Neptune Collonges made a late charge to beat Sunnyhillboy by a nose at horse racing’s Grand National, as two horses suffered fatal injuries.
Neptune Collonges, a 33-1 choice ridden by Daryl Jacob, gave trainer Paul Nicholls his first win in the 4 1/2-mile (7.2-kilometer) race at Aintree Racecourse, in northwest England. Sunnyboyhilly, at 16-1 odds, had taken the lead after the 30th and final fence.
“You can’t beat this,” Jacob told the British Broadcasting Corp. “It was a very close finish. I just kept my head down. The horse has done well today.”
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised, the third favorite at 10-1, and According to Pete were put down after suffering fatal injuries, according to a statement on the Aintree website. Synchronised was injured in a fall at the sixth fence, while According to Pete was hurt at the 22nd fence.
Seabass, the 8-1 co-favorite with Shakalakaboomboom, was third, giving jockey Katie Walsh the best finish by a female rider in the race and 16-1 Cappa Bleu finished fourth.
Walsh had Seabass in front at the final fence before fading. Sunnyhillboy then went into the lead and was caught by Neptune Collonges, who took the race with a lunge at the finish line.
“Class form, he had a fantastic ride,” Nicholls, who had 52 previous runners in the National, told the BBC. “It’s a great horse.”
Shakalakaboomboom was ninth among the 15 of the 39 horses in the field to finish the race.