Davy Russell on Tiger Roll‘I felt I was riding for the whole country.’

As heard on RTÉ Radio 1

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On Saturday, Tiger Roll took racing audiences back to the days of Red Rum, becoming the first horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals since 1974. Jockey Davy Russell joined Miriam O’Callaghan on the line from Summerhill on the back of the historic win at Aintree.

The Youghal native spoke of the pressure he felt in the lead-up to the race:

“I felt it a lot in the build-up, I felt it a lot because I knew he was the horse that could do it. There was the weight of two nations on him [Tiger Roll] because English people have really got behind him as well as Ireland and I just felt that I didn’t want to leave the butcher or the taxi-driver that had their fiver on Tiger Roll down.”

Though knowing the skill was there, the win was no sure thing, Davy explained.

“It was probably the most pressurised race I ever gone into, for the reason I knew he could do it and everybody was behind him. It was gone to a point where the slightest thing could go wrong and it could upset so many people and I felt it this time, I really did feel it and I didn’t want to believe it.”

Despite the pressure, Davy felt he was “riding for the whole country”.

“It was something that was so hard to do but I felt that Tiger Roll could do it.”

Listen back to the full interview on Sunday with Miriam here.

© The Listener 2019

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