Sam Waley-Cohen bows out with Grand National victory on Noble Yeats

Leading amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen ended his racing career in style by winning the 2022 Grand National on Noble Yeats.

Sam Waley-Cohen, who owns a chain of dental practices, wrapped up a fairytale final race steering home the 50/1 outsider Noble Yeats ahead of a strong challenge from 15/2 favourite Any Second Now. Delta Work (10/1) was third, Santini (33/1) in fourth, Fiddlerontheroof (12/1) fifth and Longhouse Poet (12/1) sixth.

Previously Waley-Cohen, who will be 40 this year, enjoyed his greatest moment in the saddle on board the Nicky Henderson-trained Long Run, owned by his father Robert Waley-Cohen.

Together, the partnership won the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup, beating greats such as Kauto Star and Denman in the process, as well as two King George VI Chases.

Though he has always continued his work in the dental industry, Waley-Cohen has never been far from the racetrack and has won all the races around Aintree's big fences and has now claimed the biggest prize of all on the seven-year-old Noble Yeats, trained by Emmet Mullins.

Although the race was won by seven-year-olds in three successive years in the 1930s, not since Bogskar landed the prize in 1940 has a horse of this age won the National.

Speaking before the race, exclusively to Planet Sport, Waley-Cohen said:

"I know no seven-year-old has done it for ages but then not many of them have run in recent times.

"We hope he can rise to the occasion. He jumps well and has quite a lot of those things you'd want in a horse round here. He's about 33/1 too and that's fine. I know there are better fancied runners.

"It's the dream to be in the Grand National and it's a great day for me to finish on.

"I think any horse on its day can rise to the occasion. There's no reason to believe that Noble Yeats can't rise to the occasion but it's a big ask so we'll see."

Talking to ITV Racing after the race, Waley-Cohen said: "It's a dream. I couldn't believe it. I've got to say thank you, as it's my last ever ride, to my dad (Robert Waley-Cohen, owner), for unwavering belief and love.

"Over 23 years and never a cross word, never been anything but a dream. It's been a love affair. To my wife, long-suffering, they aren't all good days, there are bad days in this sport."

His father Robert Waley-Cohen senior said: "It's a dream come true. I can't speak, I shouted too much! You can't go round without the horse but the horse can't get round without the jockey. Sam used to ride the National on his rocking horse, that's how far back it goes!"

"It's a fairytale, a fantasy. There's a lot of love and gratefulness, it's getting on the right horses and getting the luck. You couldn't make it up, could you?"

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