Milansbar on road to Aintree and Grand National repeat

Tiger Roll clings on to win the Grand National ahead of Pleasant Company

This year Grand National victor Tiger Roll received a hero's welcome as the champion horse and his trainer Gordon Elliott were treated to a rapturous homecoming in the village of Summerhill in Co Meath the day after their famous win in what must have been a demanding 24 hours for the connections!

David Mullins had to settle for second with 25/1 shot Pleasant Company, two years after celebrating his National win aboard Rule The World.

He won in the first race at Tramore on Sunday with 13-8 favourite Decision Time, trained by John Kiely.

He said: "I was nervous".

"After yesterday's great result, we'd love to try again and I think we can safely train him for the race". I've said I didn't appreciate it first time round [with Silver Birch] - I'll definitely appreciate it now. "I'm definitely going to appreciate it now". The horse is now a National victor in addition to having won three different Cheltenham Festival races.

The 10-1 chance looked like he had just jumped in when cruising ominously into contention crossing the Melling Road under Davy Russell.

Willie Mullins, who saddled the 25/1 runner-up Pleasant Company, said: "We were delighted with him - he jumped from fence to fence, and while it looked like he got a bit exhausted going to the second-last fence he got his second wind and ran on again".

Elliott continued: "He's an unbelievable horse".

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"She was a marvellous woman", said Russell. He'd better keep him now! He got into a lovely rhythm, he jumped perfectly and gave me the best spin I could have ever asked for.

Looking back on the race itself, he said of the Davy Russell-ridden victor: "Two hundred yards out I thought we were home and hosed and we were going to hose up".

It is a measure of the man that only moments after claiming the biggest success of his career, he said: "This one is for Pat Smullen".

"I was speaking to him the other morning, the man is as tough as nails, and this one is for Pat", he continued as he spoke to Luke Harvey. I'm very lucky to be training for the O'Learys.

He said: "It's been an unbelievable training performance from Gordon to turn him from a Triumph Hurdle victor into a National victor".

'I've won this race thousands of times in my head but I've never won it like I have today'.

"He's so driven and determined, he started out taking horses to places like Ayr and Perth, winning little races, and look where he is now".

Outside the mighty battalions sent forth by dominant Irish trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins, who carved up the Cheltenham Festival between them (together, they have 11 National entrants), there are snipers with a single bullet that just might hit home.

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