The Grand National invariably throws up a story and in 2022, for the second year running, that story was more about the winning jockey than the winning horse. Players on will know all about winning, and that interest no doubt extents to the sporting world. The jockey in question was, of course, amateur Sam Waley-Cohen who, six days short of his fortieth birthday, was taking his final ride before retirement. Waley-Cohen had finished second in the 2011 Grand National on Oscar Time and fourth on the same horse in the 2013 renewal, not to mention winning Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase three times, in 2005, 2006 and 2014, the Topham Chase twice, in 2006 and 2015 and the Becher Chase once, in 2014. The latter victory came aboard Oscar Time who was, by that stage, a 13-year-old.

In the modern era, Waley-Cohen boasts a record over the Grand National fences that is second to none, so it was fitting that he should end his career with victory in the world famous steeplechase. Whther in racing, or casino south africa, we all accept that the path to winning isn’t always a straight line, or formality. His mount, Noble Yeats, was bought privately by his father, Robert, just before the publication of the Grand National weights in mid-February. At that point, Waley-Cohen Snr said, ‘Noble Yeats has the right profile. He’s an improving young horse who gets three miles and could well get further.’

His judgement proved to be spot on; although largely ignored in the betting market, Noble Yeats made steady headway to dispute the lead at the second-last fence before getting the better of a ding-dong battle with the favourite, Any Second Now, on the run-in to win by 2¼ lengths. Trainer Emmet Mullins, who was winning the Grand National at the first attempt, heaped praise on Waley-Cohen. He said,Having Sam on him was a huge asset, it was probably the winning or losing of the race. I’m not sure many other jockeys would have won on him.’

Tim Easterby is the son of Miles Henry ‘Peter’ Easterby, who won the National Hunt Trainers’ Championship three seasons running in 1978/79, 1979/80 and 1980/81. Formerly a successful amateur rider, Easterby served a lengthy apprenticeship as assistant trainer to his father before taking over the licence at Habton Grange, near Malton, North Yorkshire in 1996. Where casino fans go to casinoroar casino to win, racing fans look to Tim Easterby for the same!

Like his father, Tim Easterby is a dual-purpose trainer. Under National Hunt rules, he saddled his first Grade 1 winner, Barton, in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 1999. He has since added two more, Garruth, in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle and Barton, again, in the Aintree Hurdle on consecutive days at the Grand National Festival in 2001.

On the Flat, Easterby saddled his first Group 1 winner, Pipalong, in the Haydock Sprint Cup in 2000. He would win the same race again with Somnus – who would go on to win the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Longchamp and the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp the following season – in 2003. No doubt french online casino and sports fans looked on impressed. By that stage of his career, Easterby had already saddled his first and, so far, only British Classic winner, Bollin Eric in the the St. Leger in 2002. He also won the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot with Fayr Jag in 2004. Remarkably, Easterby did not train over a hundred winners in a Flat season until 2018, but enjoyed his best season ever, numerically, in 2019 with 126 winners.