Racing / Grand National: History maker mucks in

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ROSEMARY HENDERSON went about her post-race celebrations in the same practical way she had tackled the National. After achieving the highest placing by a woman in the race, 51-year-old Henderson had a quiet celebratory drink with her husband on Saturday night and mucked out horses at her Devon stable yesterday morning before the simplest of Sunday lunches.

'I've been mucking out the seven horses,' she said, 'and I won't have time to cook a Sunday lunch. It'll be just bread, cheese and soup.'

Steering Fiddlers Pike into fifth earned her a place in the record books, following Geraldine Rees on Cheers in 1982, as the only women to have completed the course from the 15 that have made the attempt.

She was the oldest of her sex to ride in the race, for which she received special dispensation from the Jockey Club. A jockey must usually have ridden 15 winners before they can take part, but the rule was waived because Mrs Henderson had demonstrated to the Jockey Club's satisfaction that she was capable.

Fiddlers Pike was slowly recovering from his exertions yesterday. 'Everything's fine with him but you can see that he's tired,' Henderson said. 'It's not so much the race, but the long journey from Aintree.'

One contender with a rather longer journey home, The Fellow, seems to have escaped unscathed from his fall at the Canal Turn. The Chantilly- trained Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was knocked back to the ground by Mister Ed as he staggered to his feet after the fall.

Peter O'Sullevan, an adviser to The Fellow's owner, the Marquesa de Moratalla, said: 'It appears no major damage has been sustained. Adam Kondrat was able to ride him back after the race.'

Double Silk underwent an x- ray examination yesterday after sustaining severe bruising in his crashing fall at the 13th fence, while Ushers Island, who came down at the third and then fell twice more when riderless, has a damaged eye but is otherwise unscathed.

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