Hobbs proud of runner-up King

  • Last Updated: April 5 2014, 17:48 BST

Reaction from connections of the placed horses in the Crabbie's Grand National.

Leighton Aspell is congratulated by Richard Johnson
Leighton Aspell is congratulated by Richard Johnson

Philip Hobbs was a justifiably proud man after seeing Balthazar King finish second to Pineau De Re in the Crabbie's Grand National.

"He's amazing, he ran well in the race last year but finished much better this time," he said.

"When he jumped the third-last I thought he'd finish fifth or sixth, but he ran on really well and it's fantastic. I have enormous pride in the horse, he's one of the best, most consistent, tough horses - he tries so hard.

"It's frustrating to be second, but we'd have settled for that this morning."

Hobbs said of his other runner Chance Du Roy, who was sixth: "Going to three out I thought he had the better chance, but it was not to be with either."

Richard Johnson was aboard Balthazar King, and said: "He gave me 200 per cent. I was struggling a long way out and he is a fantastic horse. I thought we had a good chance going to the Elbow and he gave his all. It would have been great to win but I couldn't be happier."

Tony McCoy was full of praise for trainer Martin Brassil after partnering his Double Seven to finish third.

He said: "He ran great. The ground was probably a little dead for him and it caught him out a little bit. He is a very gutsy little horse and has been very well prepared by Martin Brassil. He told me to be very positive and believe in the horse.

"I thought jumping the last ditch that I had a chance of winning but the dead ground caught him out a bit from there. He is a hardy little horse with plenty of guts. Well done to Dr Newland and Leighton Aspell as they are both nice people."

Alvarado finished fourth, his trainer Fergal O'Brien beaming: "It was a fantastic run and Paul Maloney has given him a great ride. I am over the moon with the horse. He hasn't run for a long time and everyone has done a great job at home. I thought he would run a good race if he got into a rhythm.

"The horse is very talented and he was fantastic today. He was a little keen which hasn't helped him but he has finished really well. He did come home so well, especially considering he hadn't run for so long.

"I have been associated two National winners when I was with Nigel Twiston-Davies and this is a wonderful place. We have had a wonderful couple of days and I am over the moon." 

Rocky Creek was another to have been handy throughout but weakened back to fifth. His jockey Noel Fehily said: "He gave me a great spin."