Rachael Blackmore makes Grand National history with Cork's Aidan Coleman second on 100-1 shot

Minella Times was the winner at Aintree, despite a battling display by Balko Des Flos
Rachael Blackmore makes Grand National history with Cork's Aidan Coleman second on 100-1 shot

Rachael Blackmore celebrates winning the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase on Minella Times. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/PA Wire.

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

The Tipperary native led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead, winning at 11-1 from 100-1 runner-up Balko Des Flos, ridden by Innishannon's Aidan Coleman.

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.

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.

Minella Times ridden by jockey Rachael Blackmore clear the water jump on their way to winning. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire for the Jockey Club
Minella Times ridden by jockey Rachael Blackmore clear the water jump on their way to winning. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire for the Jockey Club

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."

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."

So too was Minella Times, who 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 - the best of the British, at 50-1, for Dan and Harry Skelton.

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.

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