Morris rules racing world in National

David Mullins celebrates his National triumph
David Mullins celebrates his National triumph
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The Irsh-trained Rule The World prevailed in a dramatic finish to the Crabbies Grand National at Aintree on Saturday afternoon

What made the victory all the more remarkable was the fact that the winner, ridden by teenager David Mullins and trained by Mouse Morris had never won a race over fences before.

Steadily working his way through the field, the 33-1 shot was sitting a close third as The Last Samuri and Vics Canvas jumped the last together.

The Last Samuri battled on at the elbow but could not quite hold off the strong-finishing nine-year-old

Forging on inside the final 100 yards under 19-year-old Mullins - on his first ride in the race - the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding eventually crossed the line six lengths ahead of 8-1 joint-favourite The Last Samuri.

Vics Canvas was third at 100-1 and Gilgamboa (28-1) fourth.

It was a testing race with a downpour making the going on the National course heavy.

The fancied runners such as Holywell and Silviniaco Conti both made an early exit in a race that was largely dominated by outsiders.

Winning jockey Mullins exclaimed: “It’s unbelievable. I just couldn’t expect things to have gone better.

“There was one little mishap at the fourth-last, but thank God I came out (the other side. Everything went to plan really.

“Credit to Mouse, he’s produced this horse without having won over fences. Then there’s me, who’s never even walked around the Grand National track.

“Mouse is a genius and he’s the best man in the world for preparing a horse for one day.

“I’m very thankful to Michael and Eddie O’Leary (of Gigginstown) for giving me the chance.

“That’s the best ride I’ve ever got off a horse and it’s the best feeling to come back into a place like this.

“It was just brilliant.”

It was a memorable afternoon for trainer Morris, who was completing an Irish-English National double.

His horse Rogue Angel won the Irish version at Fairyhouse over Easter.

Morris was almost lost for words after the race, but paid tribute to his late son, Christopher, who tragically died last summer from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning while travelling in South America.

Having also won the Irish National on Easter Monday with Rogue Angel, Morris said: “I don’t know what to say. To have the two in a couple of weeks is unbelievable. I’ve a lad who’s doing overtime for me up above.

“He (Rule The World) wasn’t badly named, was he?”

Many Clouds, last year’s winner, finished 16th and last, having been heavily eased in the closing stages.

He had been vying with The Last Samuri for the lead until a mistake late on the last circuit put him out of contention.

Finishing order: 1 Rule The World, 2 The Last Samuri, 3 Vics Canvas, 4 Gilgamboa, 6 Ucello Conti, 7 Vieux Lion Rouge, 8 Morning Assembly, 9 Shuthefrontdoor, 10 Unioniste, 11 Le Reve, 12 Buywise, 13 Pendra, 14 Trio D’Alene, 15 Just A Par, 16 Many Clouds.

Although only 16 of the 39 runners that set out managed to get round, initial reports were that all horses had returned safely.