Grand National hero released from hospital

JOCKEY Ryan Mania has placed watching a re-run of Saturday’s surprise Grand National triumph on 66-1 shot Auroras Encore at the top of his to-do list, after returning home to the Scottish borders yesterday following a two-night stay in hospital.

The 23-year-old suffered a heavy fall just 24 hours after his glorious win at Aintree when he was unseated riding Stagecoach Jasper in the St John Lee Handicap Hurdle at Hexham and kicked between his shoulders by another horse.

He was airlifted to Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary, after more than 30 minutes of treatment at the course, where an MRI scan revealed a small fracture on his C7 vertebra, plus soft tissue and ligament damage.

But Mania was well enough to be discharged yesterday and appeared in good spirits before arriving back in Galashiels where he attended a homecoming party in his honour last night.

“Delighted to be getting out,” he tweeted. “Looking forward to see friends and family. Would also love to see GN2013 replay.”

He later added: “I’m feeling a bit tired and a bit sore but apart from that I am doing ok. It’s nothing serious.

“I remember [the fall] I didn’t bash my head. I remember the horse jumping ok and then stumbled for a few strides after the hurdle and then fell over. The next thing I remember is a sharp pain in my back which was obviously when I got the kick.

“When it first happened I wasn’t great but once the doctors had arrived I realised I wasn’t too bad.”

Mania’s agent, Bruce Jeffrey, revealed the Scot, who quit racing for six months in 2011, “can’t wait to get back riding again”.

And he may even attempt to land the coveted double and win the Scottish Grand National with the same Sue Smith-trained horse – currently the third favourite with bookmakers – at Ayr on 20 April.

“Ryan feels fine in himself and he is up and walking about perfectly fine,” said Jeffrey.

“He is hoping to be back in the saddle in the very near future.

“Ryan and his family would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their support, it has been fantastic.”