Blackmore becomes first woman jockey to win Grand National

Aintree (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Grand National on Saturday, coming home clear on Minella Times.

The 31-year-old added National glory to her history-making exploits at Cheltenham last month with an inch-perfect ride.

For trainer Henry de Bromhead it also completed an incredible run, having become the first trainer to win the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

"I don't feel I am either a female, a male or even a human at the moment," said Blackmore. "It is unbelievable.

"I don't know what Henry does with the horses. He gave me such a spin out there."

De Bromhead, a self-confessed pessimist, also emulated his one-two in the Gold Cup with a one-two in the National as Balka des Flos was second.

"It feels amazing, it is something you dream of," he said.

"Rachael was brilliant, she kept him on the inside the whole way round. She is special."

The Irish repeated their dominance of Cheltenham as the first five were all trained in Ireland.

Any Second Now, carrying the same colours of winning owner JP McManus, was third, having been badly hampered by a faller.

Favourite backers had hopes for a while with Cloth Cap prominent, but a mistake at the 26th fence saw him pulled up before the next.

The field had been led a merry dance by outsider Jett and many had called it a day by the time they turned for home and the final two fences.