Grand National champ Rule The World finally breaks duck

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Only 16 horses finished, a maiden won and a 100/1 shot came third. The 2016 Grand National was as stereotypical as the old cliché about it’s unpredictability insists.

Rule The World, a nine-year-old 33/1 shot that had never won over fences, drew away from favourite The Last Samuri down the homestretch to take the ultimate prize in jumps racing.

The victory handed trainer Mouse Morris a Grand National win less than 12 days after claiming Ireland’s edition with Rogue Angel.

For the horse’s owners, Gigginstown House Stud, it was their first success in the storied race. So thrilled was Michael O’Leary, the Gigginstown boss and owner of Ryanair, that he hinted at retirement for his winning entry so that he could bask in his achievement.

The Last Samuri was a bold representative of the market leaders, galloping on gamely but finding one too good on the day. It’s more than can be said for most of the leading fancies.

Aintree’s tough conditions put paid to the challenge of Holywell, who fell, and pulled up pair Silviniaco Conti and The Druids Nephew.

Defending champion Many Clouds made a gallant effort to match Red Rum’s achievement of back-to-back success but faded badly as the finish line neared.

All those disappointments allowed for a huge-priced third place, with 100/1 shot Vics Canvas picking up the bronze medal despite blundering badly over Bechers Brook on the first lap.

Jockey Robert Dunne did tremendously just to stay onboard, let alone coax a recovery that saw his ride cross the line in third.

Dermot McLoughlin’s eight-year-old is now a 16/1 shot at next week’s Scottish Grand National, although it remains to be seen whether Vics Canvas is rolled out again so soon after one of the more gruelling Grand National’s in recent memory.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.