Big outsider Auroras Encore won the 166th Grand National at Aintree cruising to a comfortable victory in the world's most famous jumps race.
Sent off as a 66-1 shot, Auroras Encore, ridden by Ryan Mania, burst clear after jumping the last of 30 fences. Cappa Bleu finished strongly to grab the runner-up spot, with Teaforthree and Oscar Time third and fourth respectively.
Speaking shortly after crossing the finish line, jockey, Ryan Mania said:
There's no words to describe it, I got a dream ride all the way - I couldn't believe my luck. I couldn't fault the old horse.
He was second in the Scottish National last year and I thought I should stay loyal to him and thank God I did. I never really had an anxious moment, he made a couple of mistakes, that's all.
I knew he was capable, even though he hadn't been running well. This is always his time of year, but you couldn't be confident. Two years ago I gave up for six months because the rides had dried up, but Sue and Harvey took me in.
I realise this will change my life, but I can't go too mad tonight because I am at Hexham tomorrow.
Before the race Ryan Mania wrote on his Twitter account:
Here where they all finished:
- 1st Auroroas Encore (66-1)
- 2nd Cappa Bleu (12-1)
- 3rd Teaforthree (10-1)
- 4th Oscar Time (66-1)
- 5th Rare Bob (16-1)
- 6th Swing Bill
- 7th Soll
- 8th Tarquinius
- 9th Saint Are
- 10th Always Waining
- 11th Major Malarkey
- 12th Join Together
- 13th Seabass
- 14th Across The Bay
- 15th Balthazar King
- 16th Quiscover Fontaine
- 17th Any Currency
Speaking to Channel 4 Racing, winning trainer Sue Smith said:
He's a grand little horse and you can ride him anywhere, anyhow. We knew there was a strong possibility he'd get the trip and the ground is in his favour today and he has no weight on. Man's given him an absolutely wonderful ride - what more can I say!
Cappa Bleu's trainer Evan Williams, who has also seen State Of Play go so close in the race, said if she:
I'm getting closer and if I had to finish second to anybody then to finish second to Sue and Harvey - they are legends in my eyes and I couldn't think of anyone better to finish second to.
I think it's good for the north they've won.
I'll get there one day. I can't say how much it means to people like us to compete in this race.
Second, third and fourth, they matter. To see everyone come back safe and sound and happy, that's what matters.
The race passed off incident-free, with all 40 horses returning unscathed after only 17 finished the course.
A sell-out crowd of more than 70,000 in Liverpool was joined in watching the contest by an estimated 600 million television viewers across the globe.
Bookies said before the race that betting could top £150 million - with people expected to wager more cash than usual, as this year's spectacle was the only major sporting event of the weekend. The Grand National usually coincides with the US Masters and FA Cup semi-finals.