Tipp jockey Rachael Blackmore becomes first female rider to win Grand National

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead, winning at 11-1 from 100-1 runner-up Balko Des Flos
Tipp jockey Rachael Blackmore becomes first female rider to win Grand National

Jockey Rachael Blackmore receives the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase trophy after winning on Minella Times during Grand National 

Rachael Blackmore has made history at Aintree as she became the first female jockey to win the Grand National on Minella Times.

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead, winning at 11-1 from 100-1 runner-up Balko Des Flos.

The 31-year-old Tipperary woman has become the first female to win the world's greatest steeplechase.

The Irish jockey, who last month was the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham - on De Bromhead's Honeysuckle - bided her time before challenging and leading two out en route to even greater glory at Aintree.

Aidan Coleman partnered Balko Des Flos - and Any Second Now was third for trainer Ted Walsh, with Willie Mullins' Burrows Saint finishing fourth to complete a clean sweep for Irish horses.

Minella Times ridden by Rachael Blackmore wins the Randox Grand National
Minella Times ridden by Rachael Blackmore wins the Randox Grand National

The winner was owned by JP McManus.

Speaking after the win, Blackmore said she couldn't believe it.

"This is unbelievable.

"It is just incredible. I don't feel human - this is just unbelievable.

Blackmore was full of praise for Minella Times, one of seven horses in the race owned by JP McManus.

"He was incredible, he jumped beautifully.

"When he jumped the last that I asked him for a bit, he was there."

She also praised trainer Henry de Bromhead: "What Henry does with these horses, I don't know!"

On becoming the first woman to win the Grand National, Blackmore said: “I don’t feel male or female right now - I don’t even feel human!”

Trainer Henry de Bromhead, winning his first Grand National also, heaped praise on the Tipperary born jockey. 

"She is brilliant. We are so lucky to have her. They broke the mould after her."

"I have been watching the Grand National since I was a kid 

"It is amazing. I'm just so lucky. It is the stuff that you dream of," he said.

AP McCoy received the race winner's trophy on behalf of the McManus family.

Ruby Walsh described the success as "amazing, brilliant."

'Ireland is so proud of you'

Some of Ireland's best-known sport stars, broadcasters and politicians have been offering heartfelt congratulations to Rachael Blackmore online.

Taoiseach Michéal Martin tweeted: "A truly amazing achievement again @rachaelblackmor – Ireland is so proud of you becoming the first woman to win the #GrandNational."

"A historic few weeks that will live long in the memory."

The hotel, where the winning horse got its name also joined in, tweeting: 

"Thank you all our dreams come true Minella winner of Gold Cup and Grand National"

Aintree Racecourse posted a video showing John Nallen, who trained Minella Times when he raced in Point-To-Point as a young horse, watching his "former pupil" winning the Grand National today.

Nallen also bred Gold Cup winner Minella Indo, which was also trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden by Dingle native Jack Kennedy.

The Racecourse also shared an adorable photo of Rachael as a young girl riding a toy horse.

RTÉ Sports Presenter Jacqui Hurley tweeted "Wow. Just wow #minellatimes #RachaelBlackmore."

While horse racing broadcaster Kate Tracey said: "As a female in racing I feel I’ve had to battle in every facet to prove myself but with every success & opportunity has brought the biggest sense of achievement. #RachaelBlackmore defines this at the highest level. Talented, tough, modest & a role model for all #GrandNational."

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