'I chatted with Rachael at halfway - but I couldn't go with her from two out'
Patrick Mullins was so well placed at halfway that he was able to have a chat with Rachael Blackmore, but he had to settle for fourth in his quest for an amazing double over the Grand National fences.
A day after the amateur rider had blitzed his rivals on Livelovelaugh in the Topham Chase, he was bang in contention for much of the way on Burrows Saint in the National itself but was left behind by the winner from the second-last fence.
"I got a fantastic spin," he said. "He jumped fantastic. I was chatting with Rachael going past the stands with a lap to go and we were both very happy where we were.
"We were side by side all the way. I was trying to get a lead off her but I couldn't go with her after the second-last. He got very tired; maybe he didn't stay."
Mark Walsh was cursing his luck after finishing third on the Ted Walsh-trained Any Second Now.
“He was very unlucky," the jockey said. "He very nearly got brought down at the third-last and he’s done great to finish third."
Jack Kennedy was happy with fifth place for Farclas and said: "I was absolutely delighted with him. He jumped and travelled great but probably just didn’t see out the trip."
Sam Waley-Cohen, another attempting to become the first amateur to succeed since Marcus Armytage in 1990, led the field for a long way on the Jessica Harrington-trained Jett, setting a strong pace, only to fade into eighth place at the line.
"That was such fun," said the jockey, who explained the bold tactics were designed to keep his mount engaged in the race.
"He's a horse you can't disappoint and in a couple of previous races he's had horses fall in front of him and he's been, 'no way, what am I doing here?'" the rider said.
"So I said to Jessie I'd get him out in front and let him enjoy himself. While he was jumping like that, I thought 'keep going and enjoy yourself'. I was enjoying myself.
"I tried to give him a breather from the third-last to the second-last but he didn't just fill up again."
The Long Mile, the youngest horse in the race, suffered a fatal injury. JP McManus' seven-year-old was a four-time winner who had earned nearly £70,000 in prize-money.
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