Rule The World wins the Grand National with 19-year-old David Mullins

The Michael O’Leary-owned Rule The World has won the Grand National, having never won a race over fences in 13 previous attempts. His extraordinary success will be an emotional moment in the life of his Irish trainer, Mouse Morris, whose son Christopher died last summer from carbon monoxide poisoning while travelling in Argentina.

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Morris made reference to his loss recently after winning the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday. “Tiffer was looking down on me today. He helped me there,” was the trainer’s immediate reaction on that day.

The winner was returned at 33-1 but a still greater shock seemed on the cards after the last when the 100-1 shot Vics Canvas challenged for the lead, despite having almost lost his jockey at the first Becher’s. Vics Canvas’ chance was compromised as he ran out of room around the elbow turn a furlong from home when The Last Samuri, one of the 8-1 joint-favourites, nosed ahead. But Rule The World’s final challenge up the centre of the course proved decisive and he pulled away to win by six lengths. The Last Samuri fnished second with Vics Canvas third and Gilgamboa fourth.

Initial reports suggested 16 of the 39 starters completed the course, rather more than might have been expected on the rain-softened going, and that all horses had returned without significant injury.

The winning jockey was the 19-year-old David Mullins, who has quickly built a big following in Ireland. He acquired the ride after Bryan Cooper, the retained jockey of the winning owner, chose instead to partner First Lieutenant, who got no further than the second fence.

“It’s unbelievable. I just couldn’t expect things to have gone better,” said Mullins. “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. 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.”

Many Clouds, last year’s winner, made a bold bid for a second victory but a late mistake saw him fade out of contention. Holywell, another fancied runner, was an early faller.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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