Grand National - At The Races

Amateur Jamie Codd thrilled with brave National runner-up Cause Of Causes

    Amateur rider Jamie Codd reflected on an "unbelievable experience" the morning after steering Cause Of Causes into the runner-up spot in the Randox Health Grand National.
  • Sunday 09 April 2017
  • News

Amateur rider Jamie Codd reflected on an "unbelievable experience" the morning after steering Cause Of Causes into the runner-up spot in the Randox Health Grand National.

Codd is well established as one of the sport's leading amateurs and has struck up a fantastic relationship with the Gordon Elliott-trained Cause Of Causes, partnering him to victory at the Cheltenham Festival in each of the last three years.

Owner JP McManus let him keep the ride in Saturday's Aintree spectacular and Codd did not let him down, enjoying a fantastic first ride in the race by finishing a clear second behind One For Arthur.

"He's an incredible little horse. To win at three Festivals and be second in the Grand National is fantastic and he gave me some spin," said Codd.

"It couldn't have gone any better barring winning the race. We can't have any complaints and we just bumped into one on the day."

The last amateur to ride the winner of the world's most famous steeplechase was Marcus Armytage aboard Mr Frisk in 1990.

Codd briefly felt it could be his day in the latter stages of the four-and-a-quarter-mile contest before realising he would have to settle for minor honours.

"I suppose facing into the second-last I thought we had a chance, but when the eventual winner loomed up on the run to the last I kind of felt he had plenty of horse left," he added.

"Our lad ran a great race in defeat and is back in one piece. He's still only a nine-year-old so hopefully there are other big days in him.

"It was an amazing day and a unbelievable experience for me as an amateur. I'm 35 now, so to have it down on the CV that I've ridden in the Grand National is brilliant."

The owner's racing manager, Frank Berry, confirmed Cause Of Causes will be given a summer break before being brought back next season, when a return to Cheltenham in March will be top of his agenda.

He said: "It was an unbelievable run. The horse has run a blinder and Jamie has given him a great ride.

"There were no excuses - he was just beaten by a better horse on the day. You could only be pleased with him.

"He came there with his chance at two out and I would just say he has been outstayed. Gordon Elliott has done a wonderful job with him to keep him in great shape. That is him done for the season.

"He will probably go up a few pounds for that. We will see what happens but I would say that the cross-country race at Cheltenham will be his long-term target and then we will take it from there.

"He is a great little horse and they don't come around too often. When they do you have really got to enjoy them."

Cause Of Causes was one of three runners in the race for McManus, who memorably claimed National glory with the Sir Anthony McCoy-ridden Don't Push It in 2010.

Anthony Honeyball's Regal Encore ran with credit to finish eighth, but the well-fancied More Of That, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, was pulled up after travelling well for a long way.

"Regal Encore was a bit keen early on but from halfway he jumped really well and stayed on well near the end. We might look forward to going back there with him next year," said Berry.

"That is more than likely him done for the season but we will see how he is and how he comes out of it.

"I don't think More Of That's result was down to his jumping. Barry (Geraghty) said he gave him a great ride round there, but he just didn't get home. From the Canal Turn he said he was struggling a bit. It was definitely disappointing on the day.

"I'd say we will start off in the autumn and go down a similar route and see where he goes."