Nick Robson, PA
Rachael Blackmore became the first woman to ride the winner of the Randox Grand National when steering Minella Times to glory at Aintree.
The Irish rider (31) was top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival – where she won the Champion Hurdle – and crowned a fabulous season with an historic triumph in the world’s greatest steeplechase.
The writing was on the wall when she took Minella Times into the lead before the final fence, although she had to keep the Henry de Bromhead-trained eight-year-old up to his work as the famous Elbow approached.
Blackmore and Minella Times (11-1) were not for stopping, though, and galloped into racing folklore to win in the colours of JP McManus.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 10, 2021
Balko Des Flos (100-1), ridden by Aidan Coleman, was second to give De Bromhead an incredible one-two.
Any Second Now (15-2) was third, with Burrows Saint (9-1) fourth and Farclas (16-1) fifth, as Irish-trained horses filled all those places.
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.”