Douglas cashes in on National winner

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LINLITHGOW businessman Douglas Pryde celebrated his success in this year’s Grand National with a glass of champagne at his favourite restaurant The Champany this week.

Douglas, an independent financial adviser, is part-owner of Grand National winner Aurora’s Encore which won the race at 66-1.

Born in Musselburgh, Douglas moved to Linlithgow in 1986 but he was well acquainted with the area prior to that as he played for Bo’ness United between 1973 and 1975.

He became involved in horse-racing over 20 years ago, seeing it as a possible investment opportunity and since then has had several winners.

His most memorable horses were German Legend, Broadgate Flyer, Incas, In Spain Again, Santa’s Run and Tres Coronas.

But it is Aurora’s Encore which has proved the most valuable as the prize money for the Grand National was over £500,000.

Douglas and his syndicate only bought the horse in November before taking it to leading hunt trainer Sue Smith in Yorkshire.

Douglas said: “It was only half-trained for the Grand National but we knew it could go the distance. Only certain horses can run over three miles and jump these jumps.

‘‘Our mindset prior to the race was we thought it was possible but more likely impossible but, with three fences to go, we knew it could win as long as it didn’t fall and when it crossed the line we were euphoric.”

Aurora competed in the Scottish Grand National last weekend but was unable to carry off a national double as it pulled up before the end. Douglas said Aurora will be rested until September and begin training in November with the aim to win the Grand National for a second time next year.