History-maker Rachael Blackmore becomes the first woman to win the Grand National

Rachael Blackmore made history at Aintree as she became the first female jockey to win the Grand National on Minella Times.

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead, winning at 11-1 from 100-1 runner-up Balko Des Flos.

The Irish jockey, who last month was the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham – on De Bromhead’s Honeysuckle – bided her time before challenging and leading two out en route to even greater glory at Aintree. 

Female jockey Rachael Blackmore made history by winning the Grand National on Saturday

Female jockey Rachael Blackmore made history by winning the Grand National on Saturday

Female jockey Rachael Blackmore made history by winning the Grand National on Saturday

RESULT

1 Minella Times (R Blackmore) 11-1

2 Balko Des Flos (A Coleman) 100-1

3 Any Second Now (M P Walsh) 15-2

4 Burrows Saint (P W Mullins) 9-1 

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Aidan Coleman partnered Balko Des Flos – and Any Second Now was third for trainer Ted Walsh, with Willie Mullins’ Burrows Saint finishing fourth to complete a clean sweep for Irish horses. 

The Irishwoman, who became the first leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival last month, timed her finish to perfection as Minella Times surged ahead after the 30th and final fence.

Minella Times, priced at 11-1, never looked threatened in the charge to the finish 100-1 shot Balko Des Flos coming second and Any Second Now in third place.

The closest a female jockey had previously come to winning the most famous steeplechase in the world was Katiee Walsh on Seabass in 2012 when she finished third.

‘I cannot believe it,’ Blackmore said. ‘He was a sensational spin. I’m so lucky to be riding. It is unbelievable.

‘He was just incredible and jumped beautifully. I tried to wait as long as I could. When I jumped the last and asked him for a bit, he was there.

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead in the iconic race at Aintree

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead in the iconic race at Aintree

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead in the iconic race at Aintree

Minella Times, priced at 11-1, never looked threatened in the charge to the finish

Minella Times, priced at 11-1, never looked threatened in the charge to the finish

 Minella Times, priced at 11-1, never looked threatened in the charge to the finish

‘I don’t feel male or female right now, I don’t even feel human. This is just unbelievable.’

Favourite Cloth Cap, ridden by Tom Scudamore, pulled up at the third last fence.

This year’s race took place in front of empty stands because of COVID-19 restrictions.

A delighted De Bromhead, who also trained the first two home in last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, made clear his admiration for Blackmore.

The 31-year-old Irish jockey timed her run to perfection to claim a historic victory

The 31-year-old Irish jockey timed her run to perfection to claim a historic victory

The 31-year-old Irish jockey timed her run to perfection to claim a historic victory

‘She’s brilliant, isn’t she?’ he said.

‘Aren’t we so lucky to have her? They broke the mould after her – she’s brilliant.’

So too was Minella Times, who had six and a half lengths to spare from his stablemate – with another length and three-quarters to Any Second Now and then a long gap to Burrows Saint.

The County Waterford trainer added: ‘It’s just brilliant. It’s down to Rachael, obviously.

Blackmore holds the Grand National Handicap Chase trophy after winning on Minella Times

Blackmore holds the Grand National Handicap Chase trophy after winning on Minella Times

Blackmore holds the Grand National Handicap Chase trophy after winning on Minella Times

‘She was brilliant going into today, I’m delighted … amazing, super ride.

‘She hardly left the rail, she was just brilliant on him. It was brilliant to get it for the McManuses.

‘I’m over the moon – Balko was super as well. Aidan was super on him, he ran an absolute cracker as well.

‘It feels amazing, it really does. It’s incredible, stuff you dream of. I’ve been watching (this race) since I was a kid.

‘It’s amazing. I’m just so lucky.’

Jockey Blackmore celebrates Grand National glory with trainer Henry De Bromhead

Jockey Blackmore celebrates Grand National glory with trainer Henry De Bromhead

Jockey Blackmore celebrates Grand National glory with trainer Henry De Bromhead

Relive all the action from the Grand National with Sportsmail’s KISHAN VAGHELA here. 

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