A massive FORTY-FIVE YEARS after the legendary racehorse  'Red Rum' became the first horse ever to win 'The Grand National' back -to -back, two years in a row, 'Tiger Roll' finally matched this stupendous feat on Saturday , making  History! Many regard The National as the greatest horse race in the World, but it's also notoriously difficult with around forty horses negotiating thirty fences, including the challenging 'Chair' and 'Becher's Brook' obstacles. Also, the distance is nearly five miles' long, and all those tough fences have to be jumped twice. There are always fallers, and sadly sometimes casualties. 4-1 Favourite Tiger Roll was ridden by  three times Irish Champion Jockey Davy Russell, who rode him to victory in this race in 2018. One bettor had placed a £10K bet on Tiger Roll to win, straight up!  After the National Anthem was sung,the Defending Champion  started slowly but steadily, being held up in eighth place in a patient ride by Russell. Champion Jockey Richard Johnson was riding 'Rock the Kasbah' in his TWENTY-FIRST attempt to win this race. Every jockey wants to win the Grand National. Russell cleverly bided his time, even on the second circuit, coolly  waiting until literally the last two fences before he pressed the 'go' button on the small but ferocious Tiger. His mount responded beautifully, rapidly overtaking the leading horses 'Magic Of Light'  and Ruby Walsh's 'Rathvinden'  to bolt up to the front and win in legendary style. The overwhelmed winning jockey Russell- who had just made horse racing History- could barely speak after such a great achievement. Eventually he declared: "I can hardly believe it... he's one hell of a horse!"



Even Tiger Roll's owner, Michael O'Leary admitted after the race that he doubted if his horse could repeat the victory in this race from 2018!  But he's adamant there will not be a third attempt. I'm sure many of you will be 'heartbroken' to hear that this outstanding victory has cost the bookies an estimated loss of £200 million !  (Boo hoo !).


On Sunday there was an interesting Tennis Final in the 'ATP Sophia Antipolis' Tennis Tournament in France. The competitors were Germany's Dustin Brown and Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. The flamboyant Brown is famed for entertaining with tricky shots, and he used stunning forehands combined with seven high-powered aces to quickly win the first set with just a single break of serve. In the second set, the Serb fought back with big serves and powerful ground strokes. The rallies were mostly  short and sharp, with countless volleys and numerous backhands. Brown interspersed his Play with some smart drop shots, catching Krajinovic off guard. The Serb changed tactics by serving at wider angles, taking the score to Deuce several times.  At 2-2 Brown had two Break Point opportunities, but Krajinovic saved both with excellent serving. Brown belted out bold backhand volley winners, but the Serb upped his Game, setting up a Break Point chance for himself which he converted to lead 4-2.  He dominated briefly before Brown broke back in the very next game with skillful, determined shots. Additionally, he served his ninth ace. Krajinovic played a stunning forehand drive winner that sailed right past the German. Brown responded with an outstanding lob winner that was in by just  a few inches! As the Serb slid across the clay court Brown went into a 5-4 lead. He now served for the Championship, but missed some relatively easy returns, allowing his opponent to break serve at this critical time. Still, Brown blasted off two blistering winners down the inner lines, breaking serve yet again. He went on to serve for the Championship for a second time. Nevertheless, Krajinovic had another Break Point chance, but this time Brown saved it  and went on to win the Championship. A fine victory.


The 'Golf Masters'  Tournament starts this Thursday, 11th, with the 'usual suspects.' Enjoy.



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