Grand National winner Tiger Roll received a hero's welcome as the champion horse and his trainer Gordon Elliott were treated to a rapturous homecoming in the village of Summerhill in Co Meath today.
A remarkable eight-year-old, Tiger Roll added the world's greatest steeplechase to his CV when hanging on in a dramatic finish to emerge victorious by a head from the strong-finishing Pleasant Company, trained by Willie Mullins.
In doing so he gave trainer Elliott a second win in the Aintree spectacular, after Silver Birch in 2007, and was adding to his three triumphs at the Cheltenham Festival.
A native of Summerhill, Elliott's pride and joy paraded down the main street surrounded by a couple of hundred people, in company with stablemates Bless The Wings, who was third, and General Principle, who landed the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday.
Elliott said: "It's unbelievable and it's only sinking in now when you get home and see all your family, friends and the crowd here in Summerhill.
"It's some buzz and it'll be a long night!"
Looking back on the race itself, he said of the Davy Russell-ridden winner: "Two hundred yards out I thought we were home and hosed and we were going to hose up. In fairness, he's only a small horse and in the last 50 or 100 yards he just hit a brick wall.
"Thankfully the line came in time. I wasn't sure he had won. When you aren't sure of the angles at a track, you are always very nervous. If it was in Ireland I could tell you the angles of every track.
"It was just a feeling of relief and it's great."
He added: "He's been a super little horse to win at three Cheltenham Festivals and then come back and win an English National. I'm very proud of him.
"We have good staff at home and Gerry Kelly the vet did a lot of work with him and also the physios. Everyone has done a great job with him.
Tiger Roll is looked after at Elliott's yard by Louise Magee, who said: "It was amazing, something you dream about, just fantastic.
"We stood over in the middle of the track, so we could see the big screen, and it was a good spot to watch it.
'He's a star. He's grumpy, but very lovable. He's a little character. He'd let you know if he didn't want you in the stable. He's a funny, little quirky horse, but he's lovely."