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Galashiels jockey swaps horses for hounds

The Grand National takes place this Saturday, and will be watched by tens of millions of people across the world.

But the 2013 winning jockey, Ryan Mania from Galashiels, has given it all up for a new career.

Evanna Holland's been to meet him to talk about life after racing, and find out who he'll be backing in the big race.


Grand National winner Ryan Mania to retire immediately

The jockey Ryan Mania has announced his retirement with immediate effect, because of weight struggles.

The town of Galashiels welcomed him home after winning the Grand National Credit: PA

The 25-year-old from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders said he had been struggling for some time to keep his weight down below the accepted limit for races.

It is only eighteen months since he won the Grand National steeplechase on Aurora's Encore.

Champion jockey at Carlisle Racecourse

Tony McCoy at The Guinness Galway Hurdle at the Galway Festival Credit: Pat Healy/PA

Large crowds are expected at Carlisle Racecourse today where one of the world's most successful jockeys is riding.

Champion jockey Tony McCoy will be riding in five races including on Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Holywell.

Tony McCoy in the bet 365 Hurdle Race during the Charlie Hall Chase day at Wetherby Racecourse. Credit: John Giles/PA

The day is the richest in the racecourse's calendar with prize money of £90,000.

Other jockeys racing today include Ryan Mania from Galashiels who won the Grand National in 2013.

Tony McCoy Credit: Nigel French/PA

Ryan Mania on horse he'll ride at Grand National

Ryan Mania (in blue and yellow) in action in Kelso. Credit: ITV Border

Last year's Grand National winner Ryan Mania came second at Kelso yesterday, on the horse he'll ride at Aintree this year.

The Lindean-based jockey came second on Mr Moonshine.

He was due to ride Auroras Encore again in this year's Grand National, but injury has meant the horse will not race.

Ryan Mania came second in the Premier Chase. Credit: ITV Border


Mania at Kelso in Grand National build-up

Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania has been trying out the horse he will ride at Aintree this year.

The Lindean based jockey came second on Mr Moonshine in the Premier Chase at Kelso Racecourse.

Mania had planned to ride at Aintree on Auroras Encore, the horse he stormed to victory on at last years Grand National, but injury meant Auroras had to be retired.

Mania now plans to compete on Mr Moonshine, another horse trained by Sue and Harvey Smith.

He will ride in the same blue and yellow colours he won in last year.

Grand National winner hails "amazing" Gala day

This year's Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania has been taking part in the Braw Lads Gathering in Galashiels.

The 23-year-old, who romped to victory on Auroras Encore in the famous race at Aintree, was also Braw Lad during last year's event.

He said: "I stood here last year thinking, I made a speech saying the only thing that would top being Braw Lad would be to win the Grand National and then I went and done it!"

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