There was Aintree ecstasy for Waterford on Saturday as local trainer Henry De Bromhead had the first two home in the Grand National.
The Knockeen trainer’s ‘Minella Times’, owned by JP McManus, was the victor of the famous steeplechase at odds of 11/1, with Killenaule jockey Rachael Blackmore becoming the first female victor of the race in it’s 182-year history.
100/1 shot ‘Balko Des Flos’, ridden by Aidan Coleman, came in second – as De Bromhead replicated his outstanding training achievements in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Having won six races at the Cheltenham Festival, Grand National glory now places De Bromhead in the pantheon of Irish sporting greats, given the unprecedented nature of his recent successes.
The Waterford trainer’s extraordinary achievements have been lauded in racing quarters worldwide, as has the outstanding form of jockey Rachael Blackmore aboard De Bromhead horses.
Speaking after the race, De Bromhead expressed his delight: “It’s incredible, hard to take in to be honest. Hopefully it will sink in eventually. It was a special occasion with Rachael riding the winner – it’s a bit of history. I’m thrilled for JP McManus and the whole family.”
See this week’s Munster Express for extensive coverage of this historic success.