Rachael Blackmore becomes first female jockey to win Grand National - in pictures

Irish jockey creates history riding Minella Times to victory at Aintree

Rachael Blackmore created history at Aintree as she became the first female jockey to win the Grand National on Minella Times.

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead, winning from runner-up Balko Des Flos.

The Irish jockey, who last month was the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham – on De Bromhead's Honeysuckle – bided her time before challenging and leading two out en route to even greater glory at Aintree.

Aidan Coleman partnered Balko Des Flos and Any Second Now was third for trainer Ted Walsh, with Willie Mullins' Burrows Saint finishing fourth to complete a clean sweep for Irish horses.

Blackmore told ITV Racing: "I just cannot believe it. He was an absolutely sensational spin.

"What Henry de Bromhead does with these horses, I don't know! I'm so lucky to be riding them, I just cannot believe I'm after winning the Grand National. This is unbelievable."

Blackmore was full of praise for Minella Times, one of seven horses in the race owned by JP McManus – among them Any Second Now.

Blackmore added: "He was just incredible, he jumped beautifully.

"I was trying to wait for as long as I could – when we jumped the last and I asked him for a bit, he was there. It's just incredible.

"I don't feel male or female right now – I don't even feel human. This is just unbelievable.

"This is a massive deal for me personally, not the fact I'm a female. The thing that hit me when I crossed the line was that I'd won the National, not that I'm the first female to win the National. I'm just delighted."

A delighted De Bromhead, who also trained the first two home in last month's Cheltenham Gold Cup, made clear his admiration for Blackmore.

"She's brilliant, isn't she?" he said.

"Aren't we so lucky to have her? They broke the mould after her – she's brilliant.

"It's a good partnership, you can see from when she joined us how we've gone from strength to strength. She's just a fantastic rider and a lovely person to work with."

De Bromhead also completed an incredible run, having become the first trainer to win the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Minella Times had six and a half lengths to spare from his stablemate – with another length and three-quarters to Any Second Now and then a long gap to Burrows Saint.

The County Waterford trainer added: "It's just brilliant. It's down to Rachael, obviously.

"She was brilliant going into today, I'm delighted ... amazing, super ride.

"She hardly left the rail, she was just brilliant on him. It was brilliant to get it for the McManuses. I'm over the moon – Balko was super as well. Aidan was super on him, he ran an absolute cracker as well.

"It feels amazing, it really does. It's incredible, stuff you dream of. I've been watching [this race] since I was a kid. It's amazing. I'm just so lucky."

Denise Foster's Farclas was fifth, giving Ireland a clean sweep until Blaklion followed in sixth.

Favourite Cloth Cap was prominent behind the front-running Jett for much of a race, but was eventually pulled up.

Also among those who failed to finish were the well-backed Takingrisks, Mister Malarky and Kimberlite Candy – all pulled up – while Magic Of Light, second in 2019, unseated her rider.

Other fancied runners such as Anibale Fly never got into the race and were pulled up a long way from home.

Two others, the top weight Bristol de Mai and Potters Corner – co-owned by Welsh rugby great Jonathan Davies – called it a day before Bechers Brook on the second circuit.

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