Ted Walsh paid a fulsome tribute to Sam and Robert Waley-Cohen, despite admitting it was a "sickener" to see Any Second Now place for a second successive year in the Randox Grand National at Aintree.
The Emmet Mullins-trained Noble Yeats proved too strong for Walsh's 15-2 favourite on what was amateur Sam Waley-Cohen's final ride before retiring from the saddle, sporting his father's brown and orange silks to victory.
Walsh lauded the father-and-son team and felt Any Second Now - who was an eight-length third last year - had just failed to see out the trip quite as well as the winner this time around, beaten two and a quarter lengths.
He said: "To get that close it's a sickener, but equally it's a great out for the Waley-Cohen family, and seeing the father going down the track to meet his son in tears.
"Mark (Walsh, jockey) said he missed the break, but that he jumped and travelled well. I thought jumping the last he might get there, but the other horse has outstayed us from the elbow. I've seen a lot happen from the elbow, including Crisp getting caught by Red Rum.
"Unfortunately for us the post is another 100 yards away, and that's where you get paid."
Delta Work, who beat dual National winner Tiger Roll in his Cheltenham Festival swansong last month, was a 20-length third for Gordon Elliott on his first try at the Aintree fences.
The trainer said: "I thought he was a bit novicey, but then he crept into it. We were close enough if good enough and I was very happy with his third finish."
Santini was a further length and a quarter back in fourth, a performance that delighted his handler Polly Gundry, who also hailed the victorious connections.
"This was such an amazing thrill with a beautiful old fashioned horse and I'm so pleased to see him come back.
"To show the courage to avoid the carnage, I feel honoured to train him. He got better and better as the race developed.
"But we are also thrilled for the Waley-Cohens who come from the point-to-point world like us. It's just a fairytale ending."
Colin Tizzard's final National saw him field two runners, with Fiddlerontheroof fifth and Lostintranslation last of the 15 finishers.
He said: "Lostintranslation enjoyed himself and ran well for well over a circuit and Fiddler also took to the fences. He stayed on and has just got tired. I'm delighted with both of them."
Martin Brassil's Longhouse Poet delighted his rider Darragh O'Keeffe in coming sixth, and he said: "Brilliant, he had a great run around and had a good break.
"In fairness, his jumping was very good and he ran a cracker. We're delighted with him."
Minella Times gave Rachael Blackmore a historic success in the race last year, but he got no further than the ninth fence this time around.
Blackmore said: "He just jumped into the horse in front of him at Valentine's."
Snow Leopardess was a well-fancied 10-1 shot but she was pulled up before the 16th with rider Aidan Coleman believing the conditions did not suit.
Other fancied runners that failed to finish included Run Wild Fred, who fell at the eighth fence, Eclair Surf who fell at the third and Enjoy D'allen, who was a first-fence casualty.
Paul Nolan's Discorama, who was seventh last year, was pulled up before the 13th fence when suffering an injury on the flat that sadly proved to be fatal.
The trainer tweeted: "We are heartbroken to have lost Discorama today at Aintree. Bryan (Cooper) pulled him up due to injury. Our condolences to his owners Andrew Gemmell and Tom Friel."