Rule The World produced a brilliant performance to win the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National for Irish trainer Mouse Morris, bringing the curtain down on a fantastic three-days of action at Aintree.
The 33-1 shot was ridden by 19-year-old jockey David Mullins and timed his run to perfection, storming past his rivals after The Elbow to give Morris an Irish and English Grand National double, after the success of Rogue Angel at Fairyhouse.
The nine-year-old is owned by Gigginstown House Stud and remarkably it was his first success over fences. Classy horses like Silviniaco Conti, Holywell and Sir Des Champs were no match for the unique test of the National.
Approaching four from home there were several horses in contention, with The Last Samuri leading the field and Morning Assembly travelling well. Under top-weight Many Clouds was unable to emulate the great Red Rum and win back-to-back Nationals, as his challenge faded.
As the horses jumped the last Rule The World, The Last Samuri and Vics Canvas couldn’t be split, but in severely testing conditions it was Rule The World who saw out the marathon trip the best to win by six-lengths.
— PA Racing (@PAracing) 9 April 2016
An emotional Morris said after the race: “I’d have settled for third and been delighted with it. I think we got a bit of help from someone today.
“He’s had two fractured pelvis’s and I thought before that he was the best I’d ever had – he probably was. You have to wonder how good he’d have been with a proper arse on him. He’s a class horse.”
With an audience of 10 million, the decision to move the Grand National to a later start time of 5.15pm clearly paid off. It was a vintage year for the race and attracted arguably the best field in its long and illustrious history.
Stars shine bright at Grand National Festival and send Willie Mullins clear in the race for Trainers Championship
The three day Grand National Festival once again saw some of the biggest stars of National Hunt Racing show all their quality and class.
On the opening day of the meeting, Annie Power backed up her phenomenal Champion Hurdle win, with an even more devastating performance in the Grade One Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle. The star mare made light work of the step up in trip, defeating My Tent Or Yours by 18-lengths.
Apples Jade gained some sweet revenge on Ivanovich Gorbatov reversing the form of the Triumph Hurdle in emphatic fashion, with a 41-length win for Willie Mullins. The Irish trainer went surging clear of Paul Nicholls in the race for the British Trainers Championship, after wins for Douvan and Yorkhill on Saturday.
Thistlecrack cemented his place as the horse of the season as he romped to a seven-length victory in the Liverpool Stayers’ Hurdle, the aim for next season seems to be the Cheltenham Gold Cup and after the race jockey Tom Scudamore said: “If he’s as good over fences as he is over hurdles, he’s going to be Gold Cup class but the decision is theirs.”