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Rule The World is Aintree hero

Rule The World showed its battling qualities when ploughing through the rain-softened conditions to land the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree, yesterday.

Steadily working its way through the field, the 33-1 shot was sitting a close third as The Last Samuri and Vics Canvas jumped the last together.

The Last Samuri battled on at the elbow but could not quite hold off the strong-finishing Mouse Morris-trained nine-year-old, who was remarkably winning for the first time over fences.

Forging on inside the final 100 yards under 19-year-old David Mullins – on his first ride in the race – the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding eventually crossed the line six lengths ahead of 8-1 joint-favourite The Last Samuri.

Vics Canvas was third at 100-1 and Gilgamboa (28-1) fourth.

Mullins said: “It’s unbelievable. I just couldn’t expect things to have gone better.

“There was one little mishap at the fourth-last, but thank god I came out (the other side). Everything went to plan really.

“Credit to Mouse, he’s produced this horse without having won over fences. Then there’s me, who’s never even walked around the Grand National track… it was just brilliant.”

As ever the race was not short of drama with the well-fancied Holywell parting company with Richie McLernon at the second fence, while dual King George winner Silviniaco Conti was pulled up.

Last year’s winner Many Clouds travelled well for much of the way before making a bad mistake which ultimately cost him a repeat chance of victory.

Although only 12 of the 39 runners that set out managed to get round, initial reports were that all horses had returned safely.

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