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

The Associated Press

AINTREE, England (AP) -- Tiger Roll gave the British Grand National successive winners for the first time in 45 years on Saturday, and horse racing's most grueling steeplechase had its first death since 2012.

The Willie Mullins-trained Up For Review suffered a fatal injury when he came down at the first fence, making it three deaths in two days at Aintree.

''While you cannot remove all risk from our sport, we will analyze what happened and leave no stone in doing so,'' said Dickon White, north west Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses

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It cast a shadow over Tiger Roll's glory. Davy Russell rode the 4-1 favorite to victory again to emulate the feat of Red Rum in 1973 and '74. 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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