Irishwoman Blackmore, 31, was top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival – where she won the Champion Hurdle – and crowned a fabulous season with this historic triumph in the world’s greatest steeplechase.
“I don’t feel male or female right now, I don’t even feel human. This is unbelievable,” an emotional Blackmore said after her victory on Hendry de Bromhead’s eight-year-old horse.
“I cannot believe it. He was a sensational spin. I’m so lucky to be riding. It is unbelievable.
“He was just incredible and jumped beautifully. I tried to wait as long as I could. When I jumped the last and asked him for a bit, he was there.
“This is the Aintree Grand National. I’m completely blown away. I got a fantastic passage the whole way. Minella Times was unbelievable, he jumped fantastic, I don’t think he missed a beat anywhere.
“He was able to travel into a gap, I seemed to have loads of space everywhere and you couldn’t have wished for a better passage. He was just unbelievable, he really was, his jumping was second to none.”
Lake View Lad fell at the first hurdle, with Magic Of Light the next faller on the fourth fence as rider Robbie Power was trampled after hitting the turf, immediately receiving medical treatment.
Jett, ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, was leading after 10 fences, with the 12th hurdle seeing Double Shuffle fall while Any Second Now was temporarily hampered.
Anibale Fly pulled up ahead of the 13th, with Jett well ahead at the halfway mark and Cloth Cap in second.
‘The Chair’, as the 15th fence is known, saw Canelo fall, and Mister Malarky soon pulled up ahead as the 18th neared.
The 20th and 21st fences took numerous horses out of the steeplechase, with Potters Corner going down, Cloth Cap pulling up late, and some horses refusing to jump.
Jett’s lead began to dissipate as the final few hurdles arrived, with 11/1 Minella Times pulling clear down the final straight to claim what was a historic victory for jockey Blackmore – one of three female riders in the race alongside Bryony Frost and Tabitha Worsley.
Balko Des Flos (100/1) – ridden by Aidan Coleman – finished second to give De Bromhead a stunning one-two. Any Second Now (15/2) came third, with Burrows Saint (9/1) fourth and Farclas (16-1) fifth, as Irish-trained horses filled all those places.
“I’m so lucky to be riding these horses for Henry de Bromhead. He trained a one-two there, which is incredible,” Blackmore added. “That can’t be forgotten in the whole scheme of things.
“It’s great to win it in these colours, too. It’s always a privilege to ride for JP McManus and to win it for him is unbelievable. They’ve had a tough year so hopefully this can make things a little easier.
“This is a massive deal for me personally, not the fact I’m a female. The thing that hit me when I crossed the line was that I’d won the National, not that I’m the first female to win the National. I’m just delighted.”
PA contributed to this report.
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