AMATEUR jockey Sam Waley-Cohen won the Grand National in his last EVER race on shock 50-1 outsider Noble Yeats.
In a pulsating finish against favourite 15-2 Any Second Now, Waley-Cohen, who is CEO of a dental care company, kept finding more and more on the horse owned by his dad Robert.
Waley-Cohen celebrates winning the Grand National on 50-1 outsider Noble YeatsCredit: EPA
Waley-Cohen won it on a horse owned by his dad to cap his career off in the most incredible wayCredit: PA
It is a miracle end to the career of 39-year-old Waley-Cohen, who announced earlier this week he was retiring after this race.
Dad Robert said: “It is absolutely a dream. Sorry I can’t speak, it means too much. It’s fabulous.
“You can’t go without the horse but the horse can’t go without the jockey, my God it’s really worked.
“It’s dedication, hard work, his record is unspeakably good.
“Fantastic. This is what we dreamed about for years. Sam was riding a rocking horse and dreaming of this.
“It’s fabulous. I feel like quoting Shakespeare – my cup runneth over. I’m really emotional.”
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Any Second Now finished second at 15-2, Delta Work was third at 10-1 and Santini fourth at 33-1.
Sam, who paid tribute to late brother Thomas who died of cancer aged 20 in 2004, said after victory: “It’s a dream. I couldn’t believe it. It’s my last ever ride.
“Thank you to dad, unwavering belief and love, never a cross word, it’s been a love affair.
“To my long-suffering wife, she’s always there to support me.
“It is beyond words. It’s a fairytale, a fantasy. Full of love and happiness and I’m so grateful.”
Watched by 70,000 punters and with the Duchess of Cornwall in attendance, Noble Yeats was always travelling strongly over the four-mile trip.
Winning connections pocket a whopping £500,000 for bagging the world’s most famous race – not a bad way to bow out at all.
Speaking earlier of his decision to retire, Waley-Cohen said: “I’m going to retire, hopefully in the Grand National.
“I’ve had such an amazing time. I’m 40 this year and I couldn’t have imagined the days I’ve had and I’d love to do it at Aintree.
“The course has been so special to me, so it felt like this was the right moment.”
Many of the big names punters were backing in their droves before the off suffered horror rides.
Rachael Blackmore fell from defending champ Minella Times, while Snow Leopardess, the miracle mare aiming to make history was pulled up by jockey Aidan Coleman.
All horses made it back safely and at the time of writing it appeared no jockeys were seriously injured in any of the falls.
More to follow.
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