Grand National ends in photo finish

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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.

Tiger Roll and Davy Russell held on to claim a dramatic victory in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree. "It would have been heartbreaking".

"I've tried not to think about the race, to be honest", said Russell.

Saint Are, who was kept overnight at the Aintree racecourse stables after a fall in Saturday's Randox Health Grand National, has received an upbeat report from his trainer Tom George.

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'On the way down the commentator said I was the oldest in the race so I thought "I'd better not come back next year".

"And I can't afford to retire, I've got four kids!"

However, a late surge by the Willie Mullins-trained Pleasant Company (25/1) brought the race to a photo-finish. "It's unbelievable for Davy Russell - his father Jerry is, I'm sure, very proud watching him at home".

Race favourite Total Recall made a shocking error at the third and again later on the first circuit to lose any chance of winning leaving it to his unfancied Willie Mullins' stablemate Pleasant Company to almost pull off a remarkable victory. It was my first year of training and I hadn't even a victor trained in Ireland at the time. I was fighting with Michael O'Leary (owner) telling him to keep this horse at Gigginstown when he retires and he said he wasn't good enough.

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O'Leary won the Grand National with Rule The World in 2016 in equally emotional circumstances after trainer Mouse Morris had lost his son earlier that year.

O'Leary, who treated passengers to a complimentary drink on their Ryanair flight back from Liverpool on Saturday night, and Elliott have formed a remarkable partnership over the past decade and he always knew the 40-year-old had something special. Mullins's runner was an impressive point-to-point victor over a year ago.

With the leading trainers generally keeping their powder dry at Aintree with limited runners apart from the National, several big guns are waiting in the wings for the five-day Punchestown Festival as we finish the season in style. And next week is certainly going to be one to savour.

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