Scottish National Encore on the cards for Grand National hero
Auroras Encore could head to Ayr to complete a rare National double in the same season.
Last Updated: 07/04/13 11:47am
The shock 66/1 winner of the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree may now head to Ayr for the Coral Scottish Grand National in two weeks' time.
Red Rum won both in 1974 while Earth Summit and Little Polveir have since taken both races but in different years.
Auroras Encore was just touched off by Merigo at Ayr last spring and connections of the Sue Smith-trained gelding are keen to have another go.
Part-owner Jim Beaumont said: "We would like to go for the Scottish National, if Sue says we can."
The trainer's husband Harvey Smith said: "If he comes out of the race and says 'come on now', we'll have a run around Scotland as well."
Auroras Encore had been out of form of late but came right at the best possible time as he swept to a nine-length victory over Cappa Bleu with Teaforthree third and Oscar Time fourth in the hands of Scottish-born rider Ryan Mania.
The winning trainer said: "I knew the ground was right for him and hoped everything else was. He stayed down the middle and had a bit of luck in running. He didn't have a lot of weight and that helped, too."
Mania, who retired for six months a couple of years ago when his prospects had waned, was encouraged back by the Smiths.
He said: "There's no words to describe it, I got a dream ride all the way - I couldn't believe my luck."
The heavily-supported 11/2 favourite was the Ted Walsh-trained Seabass, third 12 months ago, but who could not help his daughter Katie become the first ever lady to win the National as he weakened to 13th, while the trainer's other runner Colbert Station unseated Tony McCoy at The Chair.
There were only two fallers and each of the 40 runners and riders returned safely.
Cappa Bleu's trainer Evan Williams has saddled a placed horse for five years running.
He said: "I'm getting closer and if I had to second to anybody to finish second to Sue and Harvey, they are legends in my eyes.
"I'll get there one day.
Another Welsh trainer Rebecca Curtis saddled Teaforthree and she said: "He'll come back here next year all being well and go for the Welsh National again first probably.
"Third in the Grand National at my first attempt is not bad and we'll try again."
Robert Waley-Cohen, owner of Oscar Time, said: "He's now run in two Nationals and has been second and fourth. To run like that after a slightly interrupted preparation reflects greatly on (trainer) Martin Lynch."