A completely astounded Rachael was first past the post aboard the Henry De Bromhead-trained Minella Times, who went off at a price of 11/1 and fourth favourite in the betting.
“I just cannot believe it,” Rachael said to ITV Racing immediately after the race. “I had an absolutely sensational spin and my God, what Henry De Bromhead does with these horses — I’m lucky to ride them.
“Winning is unbelievable. The horse was just incredible,” she said of the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old. “He jumped beautifully. I was trying to wait as long as I could before I made a move on him and actually even crossing the Melling Road, I didn’t feel like I had a horse running away with me, but when I jumped the last he was there and responded.
“I don’t feel male or female — I don’t feel human.”
“It’s just brilliant and a lot of thanks to Rachael,” said trainer Henry De Bromhead, who also trained Balko Des Flos, a 100/1 shot ridden by Aidan Coleman, to finish second. “She gave him a super ride — she hardly left the rail. It’s brilliant to get a win for the McManus’. Aidan was brilliant on ‘Balko’.
“It feels amazing and is the stuff you dream of. I have been watching since I was a kid — I’m so lucky and we’re so lucky to have Rachael.”
Former jockey Ruby Walsh said: “What an ambassador for racing Rachael is — she is an incredible person and it’s fantastic that this is a sport men and women can compete in on equal terms.”
Any Second Now, another horse owned by JP McManus, who has now owned four Grand National winners, finished third for trainer Ted Walsh and jockey Mark Walsh, despite being badly hampered earlier in the race.
Unfortunately there was one equine casualty in the race and The Long Mile had to be put down after being pulled up.
Read the full report from the Grand National in the 15 April issue of the magazine
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on completely ad-free