Noble Yeats produced a stunning run to win the Grand National at Aintree – and no one celebrated wilder than the horse's groom.
In a fairytale finish for amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, the 50-1 outsider cleared the final fence neck and neck with favourite Any Second Now at Aintree. The seven-year-old then accelerated away in a finale that will live long in the memory of the 70,000 sell-out crowd.
The scenes afterwards were emotional with Waley-Cohen paying tribute to his late brother, and father Robert fought back tears as he spoke to reporters. Meanwhile, trainer Emmet Mullins told reporters "this is the stuff of dreams."
However, it was the groom who seemed more elated than anyone, with a tweet from @GBRacing showing how he didn't even try to contain himself in the closing stages. The 40-second clip showed him jumping about shouting as Noble Yeats neared the finish line.
When the win was confirmed, he sped onto the grass before embracing other team members. His cap was also hurled into the air amid the euphoria.
Alongside the video, the post read "THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS!!! When your horse wins the Grand National. Watch Noble Yeats’ groom as he sees his horse make history!"
Fair to say the post was popular with the account's 114,200 followers. It soon reached in excess of 500 retweets, with race fans lauding the memorable moment.
"So many 'memes' to be made forever using this. Absolutely amazing," wrote @SimonGeorge2891, while @kris1179 added "This is quality and what the sport is all about."
@LouiseMcB_lyit went further, writing: "What a fabulous story stuff dreams are made of, on day of his retirement, a amateur jockey, wins Grand National on his Dad's horse with Irish trainer at the helm, Emmet Mullins, for first grand national glory." @jayskipworth64 simply said "Love it, well done joy joy joy what the world needs now."
Waley-Cohen, who will turn 40 on Friday, only announced his retirement two days before the big race. And afterwards, he insisted National glory wouldn't prompt a change of heart: "That's definitely it now, I'm done," he told ITV.
"I always knew when I had second thoughts about getting out of bed to go and ride one it would be time to call it a day and I couldn't think of anywhere better to go out than this. The reason I kept coming back here year after year is to have a feeling like that."
It was a first victory for an amateur jockey since Marcus Armytage won on Mr Frisk at Aintree in 1990. Noble Yeats was also the first horse aged seven to win since Bogskar in 1940.
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