Katie Walsh wins Irish Grand National on Thunder And Roses

Katie Walsh on Thunder And Roses
Katie Walsh is currently without a ride for the Grand National

Katie Walsh's novice mount Thunder And Roses won the Irish Grand National Chase at Fairyhouse.

Walsh, sister of jockey Ruby and daughter of trainer Ted, is only the third female rider to win the race.

"I've had some fantastic days, but this is an Irish National. It's great for women in racing," said Walsh.

Rule The World held off Sizing Coal for second, with AP McCoy - riding the race for the final time - finishing sixth on Cantlow.

Band Of Blood, a 50-1 shot, was fourth after weakening on the run-in.

Ruby Walsh, who has won the race twice, failed to finish on the fancied Perfect Gentleman.

BBC Sport horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght:
"Katie Walsh is the third female jockey - after Ann Ferris in 1984 and Nina Carberry in 2011 - to win the Irish National, and Sandra Hughes follows Jenny Pitman and Dot Love as the third successful female trainer. But Walsh - whose third place on Seabass in 2012 is the best placing for a female jockey in the Aintree National - may struggle to get a ride there this time: her planned mount, Broadway Buffalo, is unlikely to make the cut."
Potential Grand National contenders

Five horses came to grief at the first fence in the three-mile-five-furlong contest, and a number of others failed to finish.

Three runners for leading owners Gigginstown House Stud led the field turning into the home straight, with Sandra Hughes-trained 20-1 shot Thunder And Roses alongside the Mouse Morris pair of Rule The World and Band Of Blood.

The trio jumped the final fence virtually as one but Thunder And Roses picked up best on landing, galloping all the way to the line to secure a four-and-a-quarter-length victory.

The win was emotional for Hughes, who took over the training licence following the death of her father, Dessie, last November. Dessie trained 2003 Irish Grand National winner Timbera.

"Thunder And Roses stays all day. I was a little disappointed with him at Cheltenham but he came out of it fine so we took our chance," said Hughes.

"Someone above was helping us out. Dad always loved this race and to do it for him is wonderful."

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