Pineau De Re provided debutant Grand National trainer Dr Richard Newland with his 1st win in the race (5 April).
Ridden by Leighton Aspell, Pineau De Re was the 1st of 18 finishers. For the second year running, all runners and riders returned safely from the 4m4f race.
Pineau De Re was sent off at 25-1, having run well at the Cheltenham Festival, finishing 3rd in the Pertemps final. He finished in 9m 9.90s carrying 10st6lbs.
The 11-year-old by Maresca Sorrento finished 5 lengths ahead of the Philip Hobbs-trained Balthazar King.
In 3rd was the 10-1 joint-favourite Double Seven, ridden by champion jockey AP McCoy. Alvarado was 4th and Rocky Creek 5th.
After 2 false starts the runners set off, without Battle Group who planted at the start. The 1st to go at the 1st fence was best turned out winner Twirling Magnet.
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run fell at the 9th.
Popular 13-year-old Tidal Bay unseated rider Sam Twiston-Davies at the 8th, while joint–favourite Teaforthree exited at The Chair.
Jockey Leighton Aspell (pictured left) said it was “a dream come true”.
The 37-year-old jockey retired for 18 months in 2007, before returning to race-riding in 2009. His previous best result in the race was finishing 2nd on his 1st ride Supreme Glory in 2003.
“The feeling is just of elation when you cross the line. At my age I won’t have many more chances to win.
“I was trying to save as much as I could, but he’s such a little terrier — he kept swinging back into the bridle. He’s a small horse and he tries very hard over jumps, which he kept doing.
“I knew we were in with a chance jumping Valentine’s 2nd time round. You’re never certain of winning, even when you reach the Elbow. We didn’t have a lot left, to be honest, but you wouldn’t at that sort of trip.
“It’s a wonderful day. This is what we do it for.”
Worcestershire trainer Dr Richard Newland, who had some rides as an amateur, has just 12 horses in training, and said he has no intentions of expanding his operation.
“It’s quite fun and it’s not my primary source of income,” he said. “I have no plans to change anything, but at least we now have a bit more cash in the coffers.”
For a full report and coverage don’t miss next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine — out Thursday 10 April.