Mouse Morris was still pinching himself yesterday following Rule The World’s tremendous victory in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree.
The nine-year-old has suffered his fair share of problems in recent years, breaking his pelvis on two occasions, but has been brilliantly nursed back to full health by his popular trainer.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding arrived on Merseyside a maiden over fences after 13 starts, but broke his duck in the grandest manner in the hands of teenage riding sensation David Mullins
Morris said: “It hasn’t sunk in properly yet. The horse is in great form this morning. You wouldn’t believe it but you could run him again today.”
It has been a difficult 12 months for the County Tipperary handler following the tragic death of his son, Christopher, last summer. Morris was reduced to tears and lost for words in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s triumph and admits he could not believe what he was seeing.
“Watching the race I thought we were going to be third and I was going to be very happy with that. It would have been a fantastic run,” he said.
“From where I was watching it, I didn’t really believe it until he passed the winning post.
“He’s a horse I always thought an awful lot of until he had his injuries. He’s a typical National horse – he’s a big horse that jumps well and has a bit of class. The funny thing is he’s actually a good ground horse. Because of his injuries, his rear end isn’t as strong as it should be muscle-wise and I think the better the ground the better he is.”
Owner Michael O’Leary hinted after the race Rule The World could be retired, but Morris is keen to enjoy the moment before considering future plans. He said: “I’d say it’s very unlikely he’ll run again this year, anyway.
“We’ll let the smoke clear and dust settle and we’ll see where we are after that. The horse won’t be abused, that is for sure.”
Morris was also keen to praise the 19-year-old winning rider, adding: “David could have bottled it at the last and gone too soon, but he waited until the bend. He’s probably an old brain on young shoulders. He was very cool, that’s for sure – cooler than I was!
“He’d arrived before yesterday. He’s one of the top conditional jockeys and has always stood out.”