Tiger Roll wins Grand National at Aintree

18 April, 2018, 03:19 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Jockey Davy Russell has celebrated his first win in the Grand National at Aintree on Tiger Roll

Remarkably, Tiger Roll, owned by Gigginstown House Stud, was also the victor of the Virtual Grand National, a computer-simulated running of the race broadcast on ITV last night.

There was to be no historic win for any of the three women jockeys in the race, the more fancied Katie Walsh on Baie des Iles never really featured - finishing last of the 12 horses out of the original 38 starters to complete the daunting race - while Bryony Frost finished fifth on Milansbar. "It would have been heartbreaking".

Tiger Roll, owned by Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary, gave trainer Gordon Elliott his second win in the race having won it in 2007 with Silver Birch.

It's that insatiable thirst for winners, the hunger for competition and the responsibility of providing for a young family - with a wife and four kids, the most recent of which arrived two weeks ago - that sets him apart.

What a partner Russell had in the pint-sized Tiger Roll - the smallest horse in the race - with the eight-year-old cementing his place in National Hunt folklore after adding the Grand National to his three Cheltenham Festival victories.

'It was the only time I liked collecting the cuttings, but all those people saying this is my first National - I've won it thousands of times in my head!

"On the way down the commentator said I was the oldest in the race so I thought "I'd better not come back next year". I thought I had it, but you're so nervous watching it. His run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last time was very good, he stayed on well to finish third, and he is well handicapped for the Grand National on that run.

'This one is for Pat Smullen, ' he said directly after the biggest win of his career.

Gordon Elliott was in demand today in his local Summerhill as he brought Tiger Roll to the south Meath village that is located only a few miles away from his training base near Longwood. I've been coming for years and been satisfied leaving not winning, because it is such a marvellous event.

Neither Russell, nor his race rival David Mullins, knew who had got the bob - a finish which was extraordinary for the fact that Tiger Roll seemingly had the race won inside the final 100m.

Elliott's Bless the Wings was back in third, closely ahead of Anibale Fly of Tony Martin's yard, with two more Irish runners trailing in behind. She got me out of bed at six o'clock in the morning to drive me around the country.

"He probably did a little bit too much with me, but I had to let him go after jumping the the Chair - he just winged fences. I just wanted him to keep going to the winning post!"



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