Resilience key for Youghal man Russell in epic Grand National triumph

Hugh Fox
April 16, 2018

"Davy (Russell, on Tiger Roll) went by me at the second-last on a fresh horse and I sort of said we weren't going to win that race to the Elbow".

Tiger Roll exhausted on the run-in as Perfect Company and David Mullins moved to challenge.

Gordon Elliott enjoyed a real Summerhill welcome home this afternoon when he brought his Aintree Grand National victor Tiger Roll to the village.

The success marks his first in a Grand National. I've said I didn't appreciate it first time round [with Silver Birch] - I'll definitely appreciate it now.

Cork jockey Davy Russell has dedicated his win on Tiger Roll in the Aintree Grand National to Offaly's Pat Smullen.

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For all that, it was Russell's first win - at the 14th attempt - much of the rest of the leaderboard was pretty familiar. "I've a brother-in-law at home that keeps the whole show going for me, my brothers and sisters and dad and obviously with mam passing recently, she was a marvelous woman".

Her father Jimmy, who won the National in 1989 and is based in Devon, summed it up by saying: 'There is no time to stop and think'. I'm in a very lucky position and I've got a lot of good horses and good owners.

The 23-year-old, who finished fifth in Saturday's £1million race on Milansbar, mucked out on Sunday morning before travelling three hours to a low-key race at Plumpton.

This year was no different and a bunch of horses fell, with many onlookers fearing it could be the end of one racer in particular: Saint Are.

However, such blows have only energised Russell to bounce back and it is ironic that Tiger Roll is owned by Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary, who delivered the biggest hit to his career five years ago.

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I was at Newbury and was very impressed with his win there.

Despite only getting home at 1am she was mucking out 10 horses in Paul Nicholls' yard by eight o'clock.

At a slightly bigger price Ucello Conti would be one I fancy to run a big race.

Following an exclusive long term partnership with Carm Productions and The Jockey Club, Inspired's Virtual Grand National 2018 was broadcast for the first time on national television in the United Kingdom on Friday evening ahead of the live event on Saturday afternoon.

He said: "It's been an unbelievable training performance from Gordon to turn him from a Triumph Hurdle victor into a National victor".

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