Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Tiger Roll wins 2018 Grand National in dramatic finish at Aintree

Tiger Roll wins 2018 Grand National in dramatic finish at Aintree

There was a tense pause as the judges looked at the photo before eventually giving the win to Tiger Roll.

Thirteen is unlucky for some but not Russell and when that number was announced over the Aintree tannoy to confirm Tiger Roll's photo-finish victory by a head over the gallant Pleasant Company, dreams finally became reality.

Tiger Roll triumphed in a thrilling, nail-biting finish to the Randox Health Grand National to give his trainer, Gordon Elliott, a second win in the race, and ensure an Irish clean sweep of the first four places.

Jumping efficiently just behind the leaders, the recent Cheltenham Festival victor traded at a high of [17.0] in-running before making steady progress in the closing stages. Tiger Roll even swept past Pleasant Company easily at the last fence and was six lengths clear with a furlong to run, and was seemingly set to be one of the race's most comfortable winners of recent times.

A race that finished with a Mullins-Elliott 1-2 is a fitting representation of the National Hunt season in a wider sense, with the two dominant forces in the Irish training game sending out two runners that routed the opposition.

Elliott trained Silver Birch to victory in the 2007 Grand National when that was a 33/1 outside to claim victory, Silver Birch had also won the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham that year.

'I was speaking to him the other morning and he's as tough as nails'. All the way up the run-in I thought he wasn't going to get there and then right on the line I thought we had a shout.

"I was thinking of all the times my dad used to cut the grass and I'd collect them grass cuttings up to make National fences to jump over on my feet in the garden", the 38-year-old Cork pilot, who was the oldest jockey in the race, said fighting back the tears.

'As a jockey this is the one you want to win, especially for someone like me having 14 goes.

"He probably did a little bit too much with me but I had to let him go after jumping The Chair - he just winged fences. She always knew it was worthwhile for her child".

"He (Tiger Roll) has come home and he's a bit exhausted this morning, but he's OK, thank God".

Since the urn of the century, 11 horses have died in the Grand National.

The horse fell halfway through the race and a green tent was erected around it in front of anxious spectators.

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