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Pineau De Re wins Grand National

The Grand National at Aintree

The Grand National at Aintree

Pineau De Re claimed Crabbie’s Grand National glory at Aintree for trainer Dr Richard Newland and jockey Leighton Aspell.

The 11-year-old was a 25-1 shot after finishing third in the Pertemps Final over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival and moved into the race travelling powerfully.

He jumped the final fence in a clear lead and his pursuers never looked like bridging the gap as he galloped all the way to the line to secure a momentous five-length victory.

Balthazar King ran a fine race to finish second, ahead of champion jockey Tony McCoy aboard Double Seven.

Alvarado stayed on from a long way back to finish fourth.

Aspell, who at one stage had retired from riding, said: “It’s a wonderful day, this is what we do it for.

“I’ve been watching the National since I was a very young boy.

“As much as you enjoy sharing everyone’s success, you crave a bit too.

“To get a chance to ride in the National is a great thing, and to get on one with a chance is even better.”

Irish jockey Katie Walsh got a late chance to ride Vesper Bell.

Willie Mullins’ runner was due to be ridden by Mikey Fogarty, but he was ruled out after sustaining a back injury in a fall at the track on Friday.

That left Walsh to take the mount on Vesper Bell, who fell in the Becher Chase over the National fences last December.

Ahead of the race she told Channel 4’s The Morning Line: “I’m looking forward to it, it’s great to be part of it.

“He’s run well around Punchestown a couple of times, he’s a big, scopey horse who stays well and I’m looking forward to the ride.”

 

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