Tiger roll and Davy Russell Held on to claim a dramatic victory in the Grand Randox health National at Aintree.
Gordon Elliott’s eight-year-old landed his third Cheltenham festival success in the cross country chase last month, to go with previous victories in the triumph hurdle and chase, and was among the market participants at the world’s most famous race.
Jockey Davy Russell on Tiger roll celebrates the victory Randox health Grand National handicap chase. Photo: David Davies/PA wire
Russell cut a confident figure throughout the four and a quarter mile contest on a 10-1 shot and skated to the front at the finish line.
But just when it seemed victory sewn up, the Willie Mullins-trained good company, who traveled in a conspicuous place and jumped boldly, came with a late rattle almost with him on the line.
However, after a short wait, the judge upheld the Tiger roll narrow winner.
Bless the Wings is a fellow of the winner was third, and Anibale Fly was fourth as Irish runners dominated.
Russell has dedicated his victory leading flat jockey Pat Smullen, who was diagnosed last month with cancer.
He told ITV race: “I was afraid he would not take him as he is very economical with his jumping. They did an incredible job with this horse.
“This one’s for Pat Smullen. I talked to him this morning and he’s tough as nails.
“I really don’t know what to say.”
Elliott added: “it’s incredible. Tiger roll-yard favorite. It is great for the yard, for Gigginstown (house Stud, the owners), for all”.
Elliot began his career when silver Birch was his first winner as a trainer in the Grand national 2007.
Gigginstown house Stud, led by Ryanair Supremo Michael O’leary, won the national two years ago, rule the world.
Pleasant company, which is governed by rule in the world partner David Mullins, jumped with Elan on the front end, but looked booked honourable, when the Tiger roll stepped clear.
But the leader began to falter as the post loomed and good company was the production like a train.
There was only a head between them on the line.
Briony frost, riding in the race for the first time, lived the best of the three jockeys came fifth aboard the Neil king-trained Milansbar.
Elliot said, “I was nervous. I thought it was, but you were so nervous watching it.
“I said that I did not like the first time. I definitely appreciate it now. It’s great for my family and each home.
“He’s an incredible horse. I fought with Michael O’leary tells him to keep this horse Gigginstown when he retires and he said he wasn’t good enough.
“He better keep it now!”
He added: “at one point I said that he is not good enough and in a moment his retirement was an option, but I was very lucky to study by O’leary.
“It’s incredible for Davy Russell. He lost his mother and I’m sure his father Jerry was very proud of the house to watch. He last week a new child.
“Coming here, I was really worried about the ground. All the contrary, I couldn’t believe how it goes.”
The finish was a symbolic battle between the Locomotive stables Elliot and Mullins in Ireland.
Elliot led for most of the way in the race to be crowned champion trainer in his homeland last season, only to be caught by Mullins in the last days of the season.
This year Elliot held a large margin heading into the last week and the General principle of narrowly outplayed in Mullins-trained Isleofhopendreams in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.
Elliott said: “after Cheltenham, we can’t afford. We only hit it (Mullins) last week in the Irish national and now we again beat him, I can’t believe it.
“I beat Willie is tough, he is an amazing man and sets standards one of the greatest of all time and learning at the same time, as it’s incredible.”
Grand National – full finishing order
1st tiger roll 10-1
2nd pleasant company 25-1 Chapter
3-I Bless the Wings 40-1 11 length
4th Anibale fly 10-1 neck
The 6th road to riches
7th pipeline boy
8 Valseur Lido
9 Vieux lion Rouge
10th time de Marie
12-e-Baie DES Iles
The ideal candidate, 1st fell
Blaklion, brought down 1st
I just know that 6th
Houblon de Obeaux, 6th fell
Virgilio, 6th fell
Captain Redbeard, dropped 7th
Last push, dropped to 8th
Buywise, dropped to 8th
Lord Windermere, dropped to 8th
Alpha DES Obeaux, 15th
The Saint, brought down 15th
The Dutchman, dropped the 23rd
Ucello Conti, dropped from 27
Chase hill, pulled up 15th
Delusionofgrandeur, pulled up 17th
Maggio, approached the 18th
Thunder and roses, arrived 26th
The last samurai, arrived 26th
Tenor Nivernais, arrived 26th
Shantou flyer, arrived 26th
To recall, pulled up 29th
The warriors tale, pulled up 29th
Pendra, pulled up 29th
Double Ross pulled up 29th
Carlingford Lough, pulled up run in
A list of children, pulled up run in