A teenage jockey made a winning debut in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree today (9 April), with David Mullins victorious aboard 33/1 shot Rule The World.
The nine-year-old Mouse Morris-trained gelding finished six lengths clear of joint-favourite The Last Samuri (David Bass), with Vics Canvas (Robert Dunne) in third.
Rule The World’s victory is the third of three remarkable recent wins for owner Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud – having already won the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with Don Cossack and the Irish Grand National with Rogue Angel all within the space of a month.
“I genuinely thought I had no chance in it,” said O’Leary, who is the boss of Ryanair. “I wanted to win a Gold Cup, but it was beyond dreams that we’d win a Grand National. To win a Gold Cup, an Irish National and a Grand National in one year – I think I should now stop, because it’s not going to get any better!”
For 19-year-old jockey David Mullins – the nephew of trainer Willie Mullins – it was a dream first ride in the world’s most famous horse race. “Rule The World, what an aptly named horse. I’ve never had a feeling like this. Everything just went to plan,” he said.
The horse had never won a race over fences, and had fractured his pelvis twice in the past – so he wasn’t one of the fancied runners at today’s Aintree showcase.
“Credit to Mouse, he told me before that this is probably one of the best horses he’s ever had, he’s just had small problems,” said David.
It was a first Grand National win for trainer Mouse Morris.
“What a trainer Mouse is – he doesn’t have a big number of horses, but when he gets them there on the day, they tend to perform extraordinarily well. I’m delighted for Mouse, he’s had a difficult year,” said O’Leary, referring to the death of Morris’ son Christopher last year of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning while travelling in South America.
Sixteen horses finished today’s race, with many jockeys opting to pull up early. Five horses fell, while six unseated their riders. All 39 runners were reported to be fine after the race.