On the last of his winning starts earlier in the season he gave me as good a feel as any novice I've sat on and although I was a bit disappointed with the manner of that fall, I know that if he comes back to his best he will go very well.

The small field should not make a difference to him and it was a small enough field when he won it last year. He's a class horse as you would expect for a Champion hurdle winner.

Darkness' jumping was probably worse when he was going right-handed at Sandown last time, he just didn't enjoy it.

I've met Willie John a few times. He was born within a mile of where I was born, and I know he's an absolutely amazing man, although I don't remember seeing him playing rugby, unfortunately.

It was a very good race and Clan Royal ran a blinder... hopefully next time will be my moment.

I don't like missing links on my CV. I really want to win the National more than anything else but you know what the race is like. Anything can happen.

He got outpaced at a crucial time. He rather lacked the experience this time but he came home nicely.