Sam Waley-Cohen, 39, became the first amateur this century to win the world’s most famous race when Noble Yeats beat favorites Any Second Now 50-1 and he has now revealed how his brother Thomas was his inspiration
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Sam Waley-Cohen won an emotional Grand National on his last ride before retiring with his late brother’s initials embroidered into the saddle.
Waley-Cohen, 39, became the first amateur this century to win the race as Noble Yeats beat favorite Any Second Now 50-1.
After adding the Aintree figurehead to the Gold Cup he won at Long Run in 2011, Sam shared how he was inspired by brother Thomas, who died in 2004 at the age of 20 after battling leukemia for 10 years had.
He said: “When you lose someone you love, you want to make the most of life.
“You deal with things with an open heart and put a lot of energy into each day because you don’t know if it will be your last.
“I believe Thomas is on my back, I ride with his name in the saddle.”
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Sam helped raise over £1million for Oxford Children’s Hospital, where a ward bears his brother’s name, who was pictured presenting Princess Diana with a bouquet of flowers in 1995.
Former schoolmate the Duchess of Cambridge, who helped raise the funds, joined husband Prince William to congratulate him after his win.
Sam was credited with bringing the couple back together after a split in their dating days.
But he downplays that, saying, “I don’t think it has any connection to them, but as a general philosophy, it’s a good way to live your life hoping for the best and living with hope.”
Thanking fans for their support, Sam said: “It carried us on the clouds and aligned the stars.”
Waley-Cohen, which has a chain of 250 dental practices, has twice won the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Former Randox Grand National favorite Eclair Surf died from injuries sustained in a bad fall at the third fence, it was revealed yesterday.
It came after Discorama was confirmed to have sustained a fatal injury in the race.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/amateur-grand-national-jockey-sam-26679546 Amateur Grand National jockey Sam Waley-Cohen credits the late brother with inspiration for his win