Tiger Roll wins Grand National thriller

Minella Rocco

Tiger Roll clung on to win an incident-packed Grand National dominated by Irish runners, going clear on the run-in but then nearly being reeled in by Pleasant Company.

The Mullins-trained Pleasant Company staged a dramatic late rally, but the judge confirmed Tiger Roll the victor by a head.

Racing.com's own Matt Hill was in the United Kingdom, after earning the chance to call the famous race for BBC Radio 5 Live.

The most-tipped horse across the papers is Anibale Fly (10 picks), a few lengths clear of the next most popular, Tiger Roll (4). His next start came in the same race last month, when he was running well before getting exhausted as you'd expect for a horse returning after a year off. "I was nervous when they announced a photo finish".

'I was speaking to him the other morning and he's as tough as nails'. They always knew it was worthwhile for their child.

Willie Mullins, who saddled the 25/1 runner-up Pleasant Company, said: "We were delighted with him - he jumped from fence to fence, and while it looked like he got a bit exhausted going to the second-last fence he got his second wind and ran on again".

Initially Russell's biggest worry was whether he would miss his plane back to Ireland to make it in time to ride at Tramore today, although the owner will probably put one on especially for him. "I did not think he would handle those fences here because he is very small".

Rider Davy Russell, who was on the eight-year-old, was confident throughout the four-and-a-quarter-mile race and cruised to the front in the home straight. "I didn't appreciate it first time round with Silver Birch - I'll definitely appreciate it now".

'It was the only time I liked collecting the cuttings, but all those people saying this is my first National - I've won it thousands of times in my head! "I've been coming here for years hoping, but satisfied leaving not winning it, because it's such a marvelous event and now it's just fantastic to have finally have done it". "That's racing and I'm lucky I won it two years ago".

His ability to last the marathon trip has been slightly compromised by the heavy ground as it will be a real war of attrition and very hard work, but it's only a slight question mark. I wanted to get upsides David.

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