Tiger Roll wins Grand National in tight finish

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Tiger Rol has won the Grand National Steeplechase in a photo finish over Pleasant Company in one of the closest races in years at Aintree.

Tiger Roll - giving jockey Davy Russell his first win in 14 attempts - had to hold off an unbelievable late surge from fellow Irish raider Pleasant Company to take victory.

But just when he looked to have victory sewn up, the Willie Mullins-trained Pleasant Company, who had been ridden prominently and jumped boldly, came with a late rattle to nearly join him on the line.

Tiger Roll, owned by Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary, gave trainer Gordon Elliott his second win in the race having won it in 2007 with Silver Birch.

Pleasant Company has won five of his 18 previous starts and he came within the shortest of distance of winning the biggest one of them all.

Russell's win was laced with emotion following the death of his mother earlier this year.

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"It's a wonderful event I love it so much, I've been coming here for years, hoping..." he said.

"She was a marvellous woman", said Russell.

Bless The Wings was third at 40-1 and Ireland completed a clean sweep of the top four with Anibale Fly (10-1). "She would get me out of bed at six in the morning and drive me round the country".

"It's a great day for Gordon and for Davy".

A race that finished with a Mullins-Elliott 1-2 is a fitting representation of the National Hunt season in a wider sense, with the two dominant forces in the Irish training game sending out two runners that routed the opposition.

Bryony Frost, riding in the race for the first time, was the best of the three female jockeys, coming in fifth on Milansbar, trained by Neil King.

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