We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

6 great sport channels

Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA

All free when you join eir Broadband

Subscribe to eir Sport
Published: 15:51 | 8/4/16

Aspell hoping for third Grand National

The Dubliner won on Pineau De Re in 2014 and Many Clouds last year

Two-time Grand National winner Leighton Aspell says he could ride pre-race favourite Many Clouds "with his eyes closed".

Aspell could secure an unprecedented third consecutive Grand National win with victory on Many Clouds again at Aintree on Saturday, and the Kildare jockey, 39, says he now has an almost telepathic relationship with the horse.

Aspell has ridden Many Clouds in all 24 of the nine-year-old's starts, and is the only jockey to have ridden the horse over jumps.

"Where I’m so lucky is that I promise you, you could ride Many Clouds with your eyes closed," he told the Guardian.

"I don’t want to jinx him so he’ll fall at the first, but if he can see the fence, he can work it out, he doesn’t need me to tell him how to jump. That means I can focus on being in the right place at the right time, when to use energy and when to conserve it.”

Aspell announced his retirement from the sport in July 2007, but came back after 18 months to ride for Oliver Sherwood’s stable following a serious injury to jockey Dominic Elsworth.

"I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should," he said.

"The mileage was a real drag, and there were other parts of the sport I could work at, but in the end I realised that I couldn’t replace the race-riding part of it. I should have just taken a couple of months off."

He admits that his career has been revitalised by the pairing with Sherwood and owner Trevor Hemmings.

"I just wanted to get enough rides to make a living and support my family," Aspell said.

"I promise you I’d have been happy just making a living at it, but then Oliver had an injection of new owners, and Many Clouds came along."

Coronation Cup to move to Friday

12:38 | 22/2/17

The Investec Coronation Cup is to revert to its original slot on the day before the Investec Derby.


Thistlecrack to miss Cheltenham

13:20 | 21/2/17

Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack has been ruled out for the rest of the season.


Pacquiao promoter denies Khan talk

15:16 | 21/2/17

Speculation that Amir Khan may finally get the super-fight he craves against Manny Pacquaio on May 20th have been flatly dismissed by the latter's promoter.


McCoy to be honoured at Cheltenham

15:36 | 17/2/17

Cheltenham racecourse is to unveil a statue of former Champion jockey Tony McCoy at next month's Cheltenham Festival.


Five rivals for Cue Card

20:15 | 16/2/17

Cue Card heads a final field of six for Saturday's Betfair Ascot Chase.


What’s in the eir Sport Pack?

We’ve got heartstopping action across 6 great sports channels, with 42 Premier League games, every Champions League game and every Europa League game, as well as UFC, Allianz Leagues GAA, Golf, F1 and much more.