Fitzgerald recalls Rough ride

Mick Fitzgerald has paid tribute to 1996 Grand National winner Rough Quest, who has died aged 30.

Rough Quest on his way to Grand National glory

Expertly trained by the late Terry Casey and owned by Andrew Wates, he was also placed in the 1996 Gold Cup and in two King Georges.

Fitzgerald was aboard Rough Quest for his finest hour when he won the National as the 7/1 favourite.

"It's very said news. David Arbuthnot (Wates' trainer) rang me last night to tell me," said Fitzgerald.

"But, if I was a horse, I'd want a retirement like he had.

"I'd been down there to see him a couple of times in the last two years and he looked magnificent. He really got to enjoy retirement, unlike some.

"He won the National like the good thing he was that day, and it's always nice when the class horses win the National.

"Of course he'd been second in the Gold Cup to a very good horse in Imperial Call just a few weeks earlier and he looked well in (at the weights) for the National.

"In truth, it was like a schooling session, he jumped incredible. He was only my second ride in the race and I'd fallen at the first the year before so I was very inexperienced.

"He was also placed in the King George a couple of times and I really fancied him for the 1998 National but it went really soft and that never suited him.

"He was very well trained by the late Terry Casey, who was a very underrated trainer."

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