Davy Russell had dreamed about winning the Grand National all of his life, and yesterday that dream finally came true.
Russell was victorious in the glorious Merseyside sunshine, on board the nation’s favourite horse, the exceptional Tiger Roll.
It came as no surprise considering the form Russell has been in this season, especially the past few weeks after being awarded the Leading Jockey Award at the Cheltenham Festival.
On his 15th attempt, the 38-year-old, in front of a worldwide audience of 600 million, won the race after a well executed ride on Gordon Elliott’s gutsy 8-year-old to pick up yet another major honour for Gigginstown.
Talking to At The Races, Russell said:
I’ve tried not to think about the race, to be honest. I heard some golfers last week saying you could over prepare – I’m not sure if you can do that, but I came here thinking I was just going to go down the middle and to hell with everyone else, and it worked.
Russell has had a sublime career in the saddle, a multiple Group 1 winner, a Dual Irish Champion jockey and also a Gold Cup winner back in 2014.
As a jockey this is the one you want to win, especially for someone like me having 14 goes. On the way down the commentator said I was the oldest in the race so I thought ‘I’d better not come back next year’.
It has been a tough few weeks for Russell, after the loss of his mother and getting to grips with good friend Pat Smullen’s condition.
Shortly after the race concluded, Russell dedicated his victory to Smullen.
A fitting way to finish off a fantastic three days of high quality racing.