RACHAEL BLACKMORE made history as the first EVER female winner of the Grand National.
Bookies feared a £15MILLION payout if the queen of the Cheltenham Festival won the £750,000 showpiece event.
Blackmore celebrates winning the Grand National on Minella TimesCredit: PA
No one could get near Blackmore as she made more history in the Grand NationalCredit: Getty
The Irish jockey, 31, made more history this year at AintreeCredit: Reuters
And she made them count the cash by surging clear on 11-1 shot Minella Times to win the world’s most famous contest convincingly at Aintree.
Not since February 1839, when the Grand National was first run, had a woman crossed the line in first.
But Irish rider Blackmore, 31, looked in total control over the four-mile course, never once seriously troubled as horses all around struggled over the famous fences.
And she said afterwards: “I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human.”
Katie Walsh previously held the best record for a woman, when she finished third on Seabass in 2012.
But if anyone was to do it, it was Blackmore – who has been described as the ‘reluctant’ superstar of her sport.
She made history just last month when becoming the first woman to be crowned top jockey at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival.
De Bromhead and Blackmore celebrate their big momentCredit: PA
Blackmore has cemented her place in racing historyCredit: Getty
The superstar jockey punches the air after winning the £750,000 raceCredit: PA
Henry de Bromhead, who trained winner Minella Times, said of trailblazing Blackmore: “I’m so lucky to have her. She’s brilliant.”
Blackmore said: “I just cannot believe it. He [the horse] was an absolutely sensational spin.
“What Henry de Bromhead does with these horses I don’t know but it’s – I’m so lucky to be riding him.
“I just cannot believe I have won the Grand National.”
Speaking of the punter payout after racing fans poured their support onto Minella Times, Ladbroke’s Alex Apati said: “We may well be paying out plenty of punters today, but this will go down as a momentous year thanks to Rachael Blackmore’s history-making victory and in a tough year for all racing fans, this Grand National really has been a fantastic showcase for the sport.”
And William Hill’s Rupert Adams added: “We have dodged a bullet as we expected Rachael Blackmore to be the worst result in the race.
“Fortunately for us she was not but don’t get me wrong, we will be handing over a serious amount of cash to punters.”
Balko Des Flos was a shock runner-up at monster odds of 100-1.
Any Second Now came third at 15-2, while Burrows Saint was fourth at odds of 9-1 and 16-1 shot Farclas finished fifth.
But this day, this year, belongs to Blackmore.
More to follow.