Tiger Roll 1st back-to-back Grand National champ in 45 years

AINTREE, England (AP) — Tiger Roll gave the British Grand National back-to-back winners for the first time in 45 years on Saturday.

Davy Russell rode the 4-1 favorite to victory again in horse racing’s most grueling steeplechase, emulating the feat of Red Rum in 1973 and ’74 at Aintree. Red Rum won for a third time in 1977.

Russell had Tiger Roll well positioned throughout the 4 1/2-mile (6,400-meter) race and after moving to the front, he found plenty on the long run-in to claim a historic victory over 66-1 shot Magic Of Light. Rathvinden (8-1) was third, followed by Walk In The Mill (25-1).

It was a third Grand National success for trainer Gordon Elliott, having first won with Silver Birch in 2007.

“It’s a phenomenal training performance by Gordon,” winning owner Michael O’Leary said. “It’s brilliant that he keeps bringing this horse back at Cheltenham better than ever and Aintree better than ever. And what a ride by Davy — fantastic. It’s unbelievable. To win two Grand Nationals is just incredible. It’s a great result for the punters as well.”

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