The Costa Blanca and Costa Calida Leader tip Tiger Roll (4-1) raced into the history books as he became the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back wins of the £1m Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.
“To win two nationals is unbelievable. I can’t believe it – I really can’t,” said winning jockey Davy Russell.
“Tiger Roll is a ‘tiger’,” said tearful trainer Gordon Elliott after a magnificent achievement in racing’s showcase.
It is 46 years since Red Rum claimed the first of his three victories in the world’s most famous steeplechase – successfully defending his crown in 1974 – before completing a trio in 1977.
Tiger Roll returned the 4-1 favourite in the 40 runners field over the gruelling 4 miles two and a half furlongs marathon.
“He hit a lot of fences – he was a bulldozer in his younger days – but I was happy in the latter stages, still on the bridle,” said Russell, who had Tiger Roll well positioned throughout, moving to the front to go-on in the long run-in to claim an historic victory over Magic Of Light.
Rathvinden (8-1) – tipped each way by The Leader – was third and Walk In The Mill finished fourth.
“Unbelievable. It was a beautiful ride by Davy Russell. And a phenomenal training win from Gordon Elliott. To win two Grand Nationals is incredible,” said Tiger Roll owner Michael O’Leary.
Ruby Walsh, riding Rathvinden, said sportingly: “Tiger Roll seemed to be going so easy. Rathvinden made a couple of mistakes and although I got back on the bridle I struggled to eye a win.”
Trevor Hemmings, winning owner of three Grand Nationals, said: “It was an incredible run by Tiger Roll. A superb horse – and deserves it.”
Jubilant jockey Russell also praised those in attendance at a packed Aintree: “Racing has the greatest fans of any sport.”
Trainer Elliott added: “I am not usually emotional, but Tiger wants to win. This is something that you dream of.
“Tiger is a star and his win is for everyone in the team back at the stables. Everyone. It’s for all the yard.”
Tiger Roll’s win gave Leader punters a 40-1 double following winning selection If The Cap Fits (7-1) in the Ryanair Stayers Chase over 3 miles, under jockey Sean Bowen.
Leader winning selections also included Cilaos (15-8) at Chepstow, and Lingfield double Mawsool (6-4) and El Ghazwani (4-9).
*Andrew Atkinson, who had 11 winning tips at the Cheltenham Festival in March, reports from the turf, along with Saturday racing tips – exclusively to the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida Leader. Make sure you’re on the winning team!