Grand National ends in photo finish

The Grand National is off at 5.15

The Grand National is off at 5.15

The smallest horse in the field held off a late surge from Pleasant Company in one of the closest ever finishes in the historic race, which was watched by an estimated global television audience of 600 million. "It would have been heartbreaking".

Tiger Roll, owned by Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary, also gave trainer Gordon Elliott a second win, having previously triumphed with Silver Birch in 2007.

Grand National victor Tiger Roll received a hero's welcome as the champion horse and his trainer Gordon Elliott were treated to a rapturous homecoming in the village of Summerhill in County Meath on Sunday.

"I've won this race a thousand times in my head, in my heart, at home".

"I was nervous when they announced the photo-finish - I thought I had it but you are so nervous watching it".

"The Gold Cup is the Gold Cup and I've been lucky enough to win that (aboard Lord Windermere in 2014), but the National is so hard to win".

Lisa O'Neill clearing the last on Tiger Roll for a memorable win at Cheltenham
Lisa O'Neill clearing the last on Tiger Roll for a memorable win at Cheltenham

Speaking of tea, Russell was famously relieved of his retained rider's role by winning owners Gigginstown House Stud over a quiet mug, and the resiliency he showed to keep his counsel and knuckle down after losing one of the biggest jobs in racing wasn't lost on connections. The comparisons between Tiger Roll and the legend of Aintree are very compelling. I answered an advert on the internet for a share in a horse about five years ago and Del Boy was bought by Harvey at Doncaster sales after coming over from Ireland.

'We were probably a bit too keen and I quite fancied him to win, ' said Mullins.

Don't miss the full report from the Randox Health Grand National - including analysis, pictures and comment - in the 19 April issue of Horse & Hound.

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 was a marvelous woman, getting up at 6am to drive me around Ireland for races". It was a life-long ambition for him to have a runner in the National and the horse did him proud.

"It was a four-and-a-quarter-mile race and a war of attrition".

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