The 2018 Randox Health Grand National took place on 14th April, 2018 at Aintree in the UK. 38 runners took part and all returned to the stables. For a time, Are Saints was thought to be touch and go, but thankfully his injuries were not as bad as thought. The 38 runners were whittled down from an initial 105 entries.
At the first hurdle, one of the favourites Blaklion was brought down. From there I Just Know led until falling at Becher’s Brook, which was bypassed on the second curcuit due to an injury received by jockey Charlie Deutsch. Another notable hurdle ‘The Chair’ claimed the aforementioned Saint Are and one other.
At the 29th hurdle mark three-time Cheltenham Festival winner Tiger Roll (10/1), under Davey Russell, made a break for it and the win started to look like a formality. However, the Willie Mullins-trained Pleasant Company (a 25/1 outsider) had other ideas, leading to a dramatic finish where it almost pipped Tiger Roll to the post, resulting in a photo finish. One more stride would’ve made all the difference, but the horse lost by a head. The difference between a £500,000 and £200,000 prize.
In a touching display, Russell, the oldest jockey in the race, dedicated the victory to jockey Pat Smullen, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, saying “This one is for Pat Smullen. I was speaking to him the other morning and he’s as tough as nails. I really don’t know what to say.”
Tiger Roll is trained by Gordon Elliott, who previously won the Grand National with Silver Birch in 2007. The eight year old is owned by Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive.
- 1st Tiger Roll 10-1
- 2nd Pleasant Company 25-1
- 3rd Bless The Wings 40-1
- 4th Anibale Fly 10-1
- 5th Milansbar 25-1