Ryan Mania happy to repay his debt to Sue and Harvey Smith at Cheltenham Festival

RYAN MANIA has paid tribute to Yorkshire racing legends Sue and Harvey Smith following their Cheltenham Festival success with the veteran Vinatge Clouds.

This was Vintage Clouds winning the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham for the fifth time of asking. He was ridden by Ryan Mania who has paid tribute to Sue and Harvey Smith.
This was Vintage Clouds winning the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham for the fifth time of asking. He was ridden by Ryan Mania who has paid tribute to Sue and Harvey Smith.

The grey’s success in the Ultima Handicap Chase was Mania’s most significant since the 2013 Grand National-winning rider made his comeback 18 months ago. It follows fine winning rides on Yorkhill and Seeyouatmidnight earlier in the season for his stepfather-in-law Sandy Thomson.

Mania, who won the National on the Smith-trained Auroras Encore, hopes this latest triumph on Vintage Clouds for owner Trevor Hemmings also repays a personal debt to them since walking away from the sport in November 2014 for five years.

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“I’m unbelievably pleased for Sue Smith,” he said. “It’s great for them and great for the North. It couldn’t happen to two nicer people than Sue and Harvey. They’ve been real stalwarts of the sport.

This was Sue and Harvey Smith, plus jockey Ryan Mania, after Auroras Encore won the 2013 Grand National for Yorkshire.

“I shouldn’t say they’re getting old, but they are getting towards the end of their training and it’s just unbelievable that they can send a horse here in this fettle and still compete with the best of them.”

The jockey added: “I think because of the National we always have that shared relationship, that shared bond, and they didn’t have to start giving me rides again when I came out of retirement as ultimately it was them I let down when I retired. We had the National winner and we had a lot of history then, and for me to walk away they must have been disappointed. I can’t thank them enough for taking me on again.”

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