Cork jockey Aidan Coleman thrilled with second place in the Grand National

Innishannon native was runner-up to Rachael Blackmore on a 100-1 shot
Cork jockey Aidan Coleman thrilled with second place in the Grand National

Minella Times and Rachael Blackmore after win for owner JP McManus and trainer Henry de Bromhead being congratulated by runner-up Aidan Coleman. Picture: Healy Racing

CORK Jockey Aidan Coleman was full of praise for runner-up Balko Des Flos - who massively outran his 100-1 odds at Aintree to give his stablemate Minella Times most to do in the Randox Grand National.

The 2018 Ryanair winner had been in the doldrums for a couple of seasons but showed signs the fire still burned bright before unseating Rachael Blackmore in the Cross Country at Cheltenham last month.

"I couldn't be happier with him. He was super. 

"He jumped brilliantly and travelled into it really well. He did everything right but just didn't win. 

"All credit to him," Coleman said.

If there was an unlucky horse in the race it was Ted Walsh's Any Second Now - who performed a minor miracle to get into third, having been brought almost to a standstill by a faller.

Jockey Mark Walsh said: "He was very unlucky, he very nearly got brought down at the third last and he's done great to finish third."

Patrick Mullins enjoyed a great ride on fourth-placed Burrows Saint, whose stamina appeared to give way after the last.

"I had a fantastic spin, and he did everything right," said Mullins. "We got a lovely position, and he jumped fantastic.

"I was chatting to Rachael (Blackmore) going past the stands with a circuit to go, and we were both very happy with where we were.

"We were side by side all of the way, and I was trying to get on to her boot and get a lead off her - but from the second-last, I just couldn't go with her. He got very tired and maybe he didn't stay, but it was nearly the perfect ride."

Farclas, who finished fifth, did best of Irish trainer Denise Foster's four runners.

Her representative Lisa O'Neill said: "Farclas jumped and travelled really well, and (jockey) Jack (Kennedy) seemed happy with him. You need a lot of luck in a race like this, so he ran a solid race."

The yard's other three runners were Shattered Love (10th), Alpha Des Obeaux (11th) and Milan Native - who pulled up.

O'Neill said: "It was a bit of an unknown for Shattered Love, and we didn't know what would happen with her, but she is a class filly. She ran OK.

"Alpha Des Obeaux ran his race but was not good enough. (Jockey) Jamie (Codd) said Milan Native was unsure about the fences and frightened himself a small bit."

Cloth Cap, the 11-2 favourite, was pulled up three fences from the finish when losing touch after being in contention for most of the race.

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill will have the nine-year-old's wind checked out.

"(Jockey) Tom (Scudamore) said he was going away grand and he just started gurgling a little bit - and he did the right thing and pulled him up," said the Jackdaws Castle handler.

"He was having a great run, and everything was going grand... then he stopped.

"We will get him checked out, but we will look at his wind. Tom just said he got slower and slower, but he did the right thing."

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