RYAN MANIA drew a blank on his first return to competitive action in nearly five years.
The jockey – victorious in the 2013 Grand National on 66-1 outsider Auroras Encore – was unplaced in his two comeback mounts at Ayr.
Fair Minx was seven of 10 runners in a maiden hurdle at the Scottish track before stablemate Largy Perk was 14th out of 16 in a competitive novice hurdle.
Though both horses, trained by Sandy Thomson, were unfancied, the 30-year-old jockey was simply pleased and relieved to be back in the saddle after his abrupt ‘retirement’ in November 2014 because of disillusionment with the daily battle to make the weight.
In an exclusive interview with The Yorkshire Post on Friday night, Mania, who was previously associated with Yorkshire racing legends Sue and Harvey Smith, accepted that he had “let down” a lot of people and that he would be working hard to regain the trust of owners and trainers.
However he believes that his weight has never been under better control, thanks to a better appreciation and understanding of nutrition, and his immediate target is riding the eight winners that will take his career tally to a belated 200.