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Lion-hearted Tiger Roll wins Grand National thriller

Lion-hearted Tiger Roll wins Grand National thriller

But just when he looked to have victory sewn up, the Willie Mullins-trained Pleasant Company, who had been ridden prominently and jumped boldly, came with a late rattle to nearly join him on the line.

The winning jockey, Ireland's 38-year-old Davy Russell, said he was delighted to have finally won the race at his 14th attempt.

Russell's win was laced with emotion following the death of his mother earlier this year. I've won this race a thousand times in my head as a child.

"She was a marvellous woman", said Russell.

"He's lost his mother and I'm sure his father Gerry is very proud at home watching".

"Coming here I was really anxious about the ground". I was afraid to even open my mouth because I couldn't believe how well I was going at the time.

Davy Russell
Pat Smullen was diagnosed with a tumour in March. Pic Eóin Noonan Sportsfile via Getty Images

Tiger Roll is owned by Irish businessman Michael O'Leary, chief-executive of Ryanair.

A photo-finish was also required to determine third place, which went by a neck to Bless The Wings, ridden by Jack Kennedy, ahead of the Barry Geraghty-ridden Anibale Fly.

Before the race, much attention had been focused on the three female jockeys who were hoping to make history by becoming the first to win the world's most famous steeplechase.

"I was afraid to open my mouth because I couldn't realise how good I was going at the time and there's only two fences left to jump in the Grand National".

Some 26 horses failed to finish the race, either losing riders, pulling up, falling or being brought down.

Total Recall's rival for favouritism Blaklion didn't give his backers any joy at all coming down at the first whilst Ucello Conti led for a large part of the race but came to grief as he exhausted.

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