Sullington jockey Aspell rides historic Grand National double

Many Clouds ridden by Leighton Aspell clears the final fence to win The Crabbie's Grand National Steeple Chase, during Grand National Day of the Crabbies Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 11, 2015. See PA story RACING Aintree. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire YPN-151204-121305041
Many Clouds ridden by Leighton Aspell clears the final fence to win The Crabbie's Grand National Steeple Chase, during Grand National Day of the Crabbies Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 11, 2015. See PA story RACING Aintree. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire YPN-151204-121305041

Sullington jockey Leighton Aspell rode to a historic double in the Grand National on Saturday.

Aspell, 38, raced to victory on board eight-year-old 25-1 shot Many Clouds in the prestigious and world-renowned race.

Winning jockey Leighton Aspell (left) and Many Clouds owner Trevor Hemmings (right) celebrate after victory in the Crabbie's Grand National Chase during Grand National Day of the Crabbies Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 11, 2015. See PA story RACING Aintree. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire LEP-150413-125936003

Winning jockey Leighton Aspell (left) and Many Clouds owner Trevor Hemmings (right) celebrate after victory in the Crabbie's Grand National Chase during Grand National Day of the Crabbies Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 11, 2015. See PA story RACING Aintree. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire LEP-150413-125936003

He became the first jockey to win the gruelling four-and-a-quarter-mile race for two years running since Brian Fletcher, on Red Rum, 40 years ago.

It was another landmark win for the Pulborough-based rider on the mount which was trained by Oliver Sherwood and owned by Trevor Hemmings.

The local jockey had won the big race last year riding Pineau De Re for Dr Richard Newland.

He has continued his remarkable career as a jump jockey despite having already retired once.

After becoming disillusioned with the sport, he took up a role as an assistant trainer on the flat to John Dunlop for two years in 2007, but returned to the saddle with winners continuing to flow over jumps.

Following Saturday’s landmark win, Aspell said: “We will be celebrating tonight. I asked some big questions of this horse today and he gave his all.

“He’s all heart and I am so pleased for Oliver. He gave Many Clouds a nice break when he needed it.

“It feels wonderful, last year was a slight shock as the horse was new to me, but I have known Many Clouds for five years.

“It is a day we had hoped would eventually get here and he had really progressed this year.

“We knew we had a good horse, we just needed to get him in tip-tock nick.”

Wife Nicky and his three daughters were at Aintree to welcome him after the victory on Saturday afternoon.

The day was meant to be a fairytale farewell for feted champion jockey AP McCoy, but Aspell stole the headlines as McCoy finished fifth on Shutthefrontdoor.

Hennessy Gold Cup winner Many Clouds left connections perplexed when failing to run up to expectations in last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, but bounced back to form in brilliant style to land the famous steeplechase.