The Grand National has more that its fair share of fairytales and this year proved no exception as 20-year-old Niall Madden won the 4 mile 4 furlong steeplechase at his first attempt onboard Numbersixvalverde.
Trained by Martin Brassil in County Kildare, the 10-year-old gelding ran on well in the final stages to achieve the impressive double of winning both the Irish and English Grand Nationals.
At the final fence last year’s winner Hedgehunter, ridden by Ruby Walsh, and the heavily fancied Clan Royal, ridden by A P McCoy, were both in the mix, along with Inca Trail. But the Irish challenger demonstrated his class as he cruised away to win by an impressive six lengths.
Madden told BBC Sport: “It’s brilliant. I had a dream run the whole way round and he jumped super.I wasn’t sure I’d won until I crossed the line though. This means everything to me. It’s magic.
Only nine of the 40 horses that started the race completed the course. Forest Gunner and Nina Carberry were the last past the post.
Unfortunately Tyneandthyneagain, trained by Howard Johnson, was put down after falling at both the first and 11th of the 30 fences. Jockey Stephen Craine (Ebony Light) was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.
John Smith’s Grand National results
3. Clan Royal
4. Nil Desperandum
5. Risk Accessor
7. Joes Edge
8. Inca Trail
9. Forest Gunner
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