Rachael Blackmore makes history as Minella Times rides to glory at Aintree

Rachael Blackmore became the first female rider to win the Randox Grand National after steering Minella Times to a famous win at Aintree.

The 31-year-old was top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival - where she claimed the Champion Hurdle - and now the Irish rider has topped off a fabulous season with a historic triumph in the world's greatest steeplechase.

The writing was on the wall when she took Minella Times into the lead before the final fence, although she had to keep the Henry de Bromhead-trained eight-year-old up to his work as the famous Elbow approached.

Blackmore and Minella Times (11-1) were not for stopping, though, and galloped into racing folklore to win in the colours of JP McManus.

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Balko Des Flos (100-1), ridden by Aidan Coleman, was second to give De Bromhead an incredible one-two.

Any Second Now (15-2) was third, with Burrows Saint (9-1) fourth and Farclas (16-1) fifth, as Irish-trained horses filled all those places.

An emotional Blackmore said: "This is the Aintree Grand National. I'm completely blown away.

"I got a fantastic passage the whole way. Minella Times was unbelievable, he jumped fantastic, I don't think he missed a beat anywhere.

Minella Times in action at the Grand National
Minella Times in action at the Grand National

"He was able to travel into a gap, I seemed to have loads of space everywhere and you couldn't have wished for a better passage. He was just unbelievable, he really was, his jumping was second to none.

"I'm so lucky to be riding these horses for Henry de Bromhead. He trained a one-two there which is incredible. That can't be forgotten in the whole scheme of things.

De Bromhead said: "It's fantastic. Rachael is breaking all records. We're just delighted.

"Balko Des Flos ran a cracker and Chris's Dream was going very well, but unfortunately he unshipped Darragh O'Keeffe four out. They all ran really well.

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"It looked like Rachael had the race won at the last, but we all know how that can change. Any Second Now looked a bit unlucky with his passage and he started to come back at us and obviously Balko was staying on as well.

"Rachael got a great passage all the way round, a lot of luck on her side and he winged fences for her. It was brilliant.

READ MORE: Rachael Blackmore's Cheltenham Festival Super Six 2021