Paul Townend has that winning feeling on I Am Maximus
Paul Townend has that winning feeling on I Am Maximus

I Am Maximus wins 2024 Randox Grand National at Aintree | Report & free video replay

I Am Maximus won the 2024 Randox Grand National at Aintree for Willie Mullins, Paul Townend and owner JP McManus.

The 7/1 favourite stayed on best of all to storm clear in the straight as Irish horses dominated the finish, with Gordon Elliott's Delta Work (28/1) second, Henry de Bromhead's Minella Indo (28/1) third and Elliott's Galvin (40/1) fourth.

Kitty's Light (12/1) ran a stormer for Christian Williams but could only manage fifth in the run for the line.

A whole host of horses were in contention at the final fence, but it was I Am Maximus who finished his race off best of all as he surged clear for a seven-and-a-half length win, ensuring Mullins a second National after Hedgehunter in 2005.

By the Derby winner Authorized, like dual winner Tiger Roll, I Am Maximus was sealing a tremendous campaign after victories in the Drinmore and Bobbyjo Chases at Fairyhouse, where last season he won the Irish Grand National.

Corach Rambler (15/2) unseated his rider Derek Fox at the very first fence in his bid to go back-to-back after last year's success for Lucinda Russell.

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The winning rider said: “I ended up being first down to the first to give him a look and as he got to the Melling Road he started backing off so it wasn’t a great start, but the volume of horses pushed him down over the first three and he got a bit careful on the second circuit but I was trying to conserve as much as I could as well.

“He didn’t get the clearest run from the second last to the last, but it kind of helped me and I had a feeling when I got him out he was going to start motoring in the clear air and he did.

“The ones in front of me, I’m sure they weren’t looking for me but I had them well in my sights. I was hoping he would respond like I thought he would.

“Gold Cups are Gold Cups and Grade Ones are hard to win. But Grand Nationals are just a bit different. You just need so much luck and I can’t believe it, I’m a lucky boy.”

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Mullins added: “I thought Paul was super on him as I’m not sure the horse was giving him a lot of help on the way round and I could see him just minding him the whole way round.

“We saw that last year in the Irish National and he has supreme confidence in the horse and he always has that bit in the tank. When he was cut off going to the second last or the last, you saw him coming out around and just biding his time waiting for his challenge to deliver.

“I could see Paul’s body language and he was happy, so I was happy then. I don’t think I said anything until he got over the last and then I let go (and gave him a cheer).

“He’s a tremendous horse. He has his own way of doing things, he’s quirky and immature but he’s learning all the time. Nicky Henderson had him before me and said to me ‘make sure you get him’ and it was fine advice, Nicky could see the talent that he had and we just had to nurture it. To win an Irish National and an English National is impressive.

“I think he could be a Gold Cup horse, but we don’t know how good he could be because he doesn’t do it at home. He’s quirky, but he has huge ability and until others get the better of him, we won’t know how good he is.”

Latest trainers' title standings

First prize in the National is £500,000 – a sum which firmly puts Mullins in the driving seat for the British trainers’ title, with both Ladbrokes and Betfair making the Closutton handler an odds-on shot against Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls.

Mullins added: “Now we’ve won the National we’ll have to give it a good go, we are there with a chance so we might see you all in Sandown, Perth, Ayr – where is there!

“I’m buzzing here now at the moment and it’s huge. As far as I know our team is back in full order with no injuries or anything and I’m happy that we have a full compliment of horses and riders coming back in.”

A moment to savour for the I Am Maximus team
A moment to savour for the I Am Maximus team

McManus added: “I don’t have to say anything about the trainer - it has all been said already, and if it isn’t said, people know it. He’s patient - he’s everything you could ask for in a trainer. He delivers.

“I love everything about the race. I love Liverpool, the excitement of coming here, the build-up to the race. It’s just a very special place among very special people.”

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