1. ITV Report

Emotional homecoming for owner of Foxhunters' Chase winner Balnaslow

Margaret Simpson with Foxhunters' Chase winner Balnaslow.

Foxhunters’ Chase winner Balnaslow has arrived back home in Northern Ireland fresh from victory at Aintree.

The horse’s owner Peggy Hagan died last year and her daughter says Thursday's race, which is the warm-up to the Grand National was an emotional one for her.

Margaret Simpson said: “It was such an emotional day, watching the race I didn’t believe for one minute we’d come in first, Graham [McKeever - trainer] maybe thought better, but I just couldn’t put it into words. He did us proud on Thursday.

“It’ll always be my mummy’s horse and unfortunately she passed away in November,” she added.

“After her three children, this was the love of her life, I mean Graham sent her videos when she was in hospital just before she passed away and it brought tears to her eyes, it just made her day every day getting those videos of the horses.

“She would just love to have been there on Thursday but as Derek [O’Connor – jockey] says, she was looking down on us and she was willing that horse to win.”

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