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Grand National: Tiger Roll lands thrilling photo-finish victory at Aintree

Grand National: Tiger Roll lands thrilling photo-finish victory at Aintree

Russell and Tiger Roll were well-placed throughoutIrish challenger Tiger Roll won the Aintree Grand National in a photo finish after holding off a late surge by Pleasant Company.The 10-1 chance, ridden by the experienced Davy Russell, who had never won the race before, surged clear of the rest of the field late on.Tiger Roll tired on the run-in as Pleasant Company (25-1) and David Mullins moved to challenge.
But he managed to hold on to win by a head for trainer Gordon Elliott.It is a second win in the race for Elliott, who guided Silver Birch to victory in 2007, while he also trained the third-placed finisher Bless The Wings (40-1).The Irish completed a clean sweep of the top four with Anibale Fly (10-1), while Bryony Frost, one of three female jockeys in the race, had an excellent run on Milansbar in fifth.The eight-year-old winner, who has won three times at the Cheltenham Festival in recent years, including in the cross-country race at last month's event, had come into the race well-fancied.He is owned by airline tycoon Michael O'Leary, who also triumphed with Rule The World two years ago.
Russell's experience pays dividends
Irishman Russell, the oldest jockey in the race at 38, has had some difficult times over the past couple of months after the death of his mother Phyllis at the start of March and the news of fellow weighing room veteran Pat Smullen's diagnosis with a tumour.Tiger Roll was his 14th Grand National ride, with his third place on Saint Are 12 months ago his previous best finish, and he paid tribute to Smullen afterwards."This one is for Pat Smullen. I was speaking to him the other morning and he's as tough as nails," he said."I was afraid the horse wouldn't take to it as he's very economical with his jumping. They've done a marvellous job with him."I really don't know what to say."More to follow.
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