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Old 11-04-15, 18:12   #1
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European Union PhOtOs-Grand National 2015-Many Clouds Wins+History is Made

Grand National 2015: Many Clouds Wins at Aintree as Saint Are and Monbeg Dude Make up Top Three in AP McCoy's Last Ever National

  • Many Clouds wins the 2015 Grand National after leading AP McCoy's Shutthefrontdoor with one furlong to go
  • However Shutthefrontdoor tired on the final straight and McCoy was forced to settle for fifth on his swansong
  • Saint Are came in second after a hard-fought final straight but it was Oliver Sherwood's horse that took the glory
  • Jockey Leighton Aspell took his second consecutive National title after his 2014 win with Pineau De Re
  • 40-1 shot Monbeg Dude, ridden by Liam Treadwell came in third after a thrilling race
Daily Mail UK, 11 April 2015

SAM TURNER: Leighton Aspell became the first jockey in more than 40 years to win back-to-back Grand Nationals when Many Clouds galloped to a famous victory in the Aintree sunshine.

The 25-1 shot, who was sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, is the first Hennessy Gold Cup winner to land the prestigious prize and in the process ended his trainer Oliver Sherwood’s wretched record in the race.

The Lambourn handler had previously saddled four National runners and non of them had even completed the course prior to his eight-year-old’s hard-fought length-and-three quarter defeat of the gallant Saint Aire.

Many Clouds won the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree for trainer Oliver Sherwood (centre) and last year's winning jockey Leighton Aspell

Aspell, riding National winner Many Clouds (right), goes toe-to-toe with second placed Saint Are (centre) along the final straight

Many Clouds (far right) leaps over the water jump during the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday afternoon

Tony McCoy on Shutthefrontdoor congratulates the winner of the 2015 Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree Racecourse

Winning horse Many Clouds is doused with water shortly after winning the Grand National in Liverpool

'I just can’t believe it,' said a visibly shocked and elated Sherwood, who along with his wife Tarnya, had ridden in the race prior to taking up training.
'I was watching and I thought after the first few fences he’s some spin.
'All I wanted was the horse to come back in one piece.
'He was foot-perfect, I don’t think he made a mistake. Hennessy winner and a National winner – it sounds good doesn’t it!'

The victory continued a remarkable comeback tale for rider Aspell who won the world’s most famous steeplechase 12 months ago aboard Pineau De Re, just a matter of years after he had announced his retirement from the sport.

For a long way it appeared Shutthefrontdoor could provide McCoy with a fairytale second National triumph before his retirement

Veteran jockey McCoy looks dejected after earning a fifth-place finish in his last ever Grand National

The runners are seen off the mark by a capacity Aintree crowd on Saturday afternoon

A group of finely dressed female racegoers pose for the cameras on a sunny day at Aintree, Liverpool

The excited masses turned out in full force for all the action at the sun-soaked Aintree venue

The Irishman’s historic achievement mirrored those of Brian Fletcher who partnered the legendary Red Rum to back-to-back triumphs in 1973-74 and his mount also carried more weight than any horse since Ginger McCain’s triple National winner.

Aspell said: 'It is wonderful. Many Clouds has given his all and it is a wonderful training performance by Oliver (Sherwood).
'He is all heart and gave me the best ride I have ever had over these fences.
'He was awesome and I was just hoping the battery life would last.'

A panoramic view of the UK's iconic Aintree Racecourse is seen during the Silver Cross Stayers' Hurdle Race earlier on Saturday afternoon

Three glammed up crowd members make it a day to remember as they pose for a selfie

The crowds were in high spirits throughout the day in anticipation for the big race

A picture of legendary jockey A.P. McCoy is seen as racegoers strategise their afternoon's betting

McCoy is greeted by adoring fans as he arrives at Aintree for his final Grand National

For much of the race, Tony McCoy looked poised to go close aboard 6-1 favourite Shutthefrontdoor who travelled and jumped like a dream behind the leaders.
However, the petrol gauge began to flicker late on and the 19-time champion jockey was forced to settle for an honourable fifth aboard the eight-year-old.

'He ran a blinder, he was just a little bit fresh and didn't get home. I'm delighted with him,' reported McCoy on dismounting.

Monbeg Dude, seventh last year, stayed on gallantly into third place to give the race’s youngest trainer Michael Scudamore another big day in the sun, while Alvarado finished in exactly the same position as 12 months ago to complete an incredible seven timer for rider Paul Moloney who has now finished in the first four in the last seven Nationals.

The fancied Balthazar King crashed out at the Canal Turn on the first circuit, bringing down Ruby Walsh Ballycasey and although there were initial concerns for both horses as the field were waved around the fence on the second circuit, they emerged unscathed as did the rest of their rivals with no fatalities reported.

The Druids Nephew was another to crash out when moving strongly at the head of affairs with Valentines Brook second time round claiming Neil Mulholland’s charge, while Rocky Creek was never really travelling with any fluency and faded into 17th.

Bookmakers write out the odds for the horses competing in the Grand National race on the final day of the festival
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