Davy Russell pays emotional tribute to fellow jockey after National win

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Don't miss the full report from the Randox Health Grand National - including analysis, pictures and comment - in the 19 April issue of Horse & Hound.

After telling her father that she was kicking herself, she said: 'When you have a horse running up the run-in with you, you think, 'Could I have asked more of him?'

Meanwhile, Tiger Roll came in first at the Grand National in a photo finish with Pleasant Company.

"As a jockey this is the one you want to win, especially for someone like me having 14 goes".

"We would have races over them and kick the grass into the air like the spruce flying".

'It was the only time I liked collecting the cuttings, but all those people saying this is my first National - I've won it thousands of times in my head!

His mother Phyllis died at the beginning of March, while his close friend Pat Smullen, a multiple champion Flat jockey, was diagnosed with a tumour last month. And that was only the jockey. To see that joy was a sight to behold.

The eight-year-old, who has won the Triumph Hurdle, National Hunt Chase and Cross-Country at the Cheltenham Festival, swept past the gallant runner-up Pleasant Company with such ease under Russell at the last, with the jockey merely riding him out with hands and heels, that he was six lengths clear at the Elbow with a furlong to run.

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"Davy has been a good friend more than anything. Davy's a brilliant man and such a good horseman", Elliott said.

"Total Recall made a mistake at the first and a bad mistake at the third and then just seemed to lose his confidence, but he's come back fine".

O'Leary won the Grand National with Rule The World in 2016 in equally emotional circumstances after trainer Mouse Morris had lost his son earlier that year.

"It's known we've had our ups and our downs", O'Leary remarked.

"I was nervous when they announced the photo finish - I thought I had it but you are so nervous watching it", said the winning trainer.

O'Leary, who treated passengers to a complimentary drink on their Ryanair flight back from Liverpool on Saturday night, and Elliott have formed a remarkable partnership over the past decade and he always knew the 40-year-old had something special. I've been coming for years and been satisfied leaving not winning, because it is such a marvellous event.

He said: "It's been an unbelievable training performance from Gordon to turn him from a Triumph Hurdle victor into a National victor". Of the trio, Bryony Frost was best placed, finishing fifth on Milansbar. Mullins's runner was an impressive point-to-point victor over a year ago. And next week is certainly going to be one to savour.

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