Rachel Blackmore revels in Grand National success as The Beatles lead messages of congratulations

RACHAEL BLACKMORE'S world has been turned upside down after her historic Grand National success.

The well-wishers have poured in since her Aintree heroics – even Ringo Starr has sent a message!

The 31-year-old had planned to fly back to Ireland straight after the race.

But she ended up missing her flight and having to get the ferry the next day with the horses. How rock'n'roll…

And with Ringo Starr posting his congratulations to Blackmore, the Irishwoman is still pinching herself.

She laughed: "It's phenomenal. We used to go on camping holidays to France when we were younger, and The Beatles would be on the CD player in the car.

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"I grew up listening to them, so it's hard to believe when you've got people like that sending you well-wishes.

"I've received well-wishes from everywhere, and people are just so kind. I feel extremely lucky to be in the position I'm in."

Blackmore's rise is no surprise to those in the racing world, but her route into the sport isn't the usual one.

But it was the Grand National that always inspired her.

She added: "I remember when the sileage was cut trying to get my pony to jump the channels of grass in the field – and imagined I was jumping fences at Aintree.

"The Grand National was the first thing that captured my imagination in the world of racing. It's that kind of special race that captures a global audience – I never thought that I'd be winning it some day.

"I know I keep saying it, but it is genuinely hard to comprehend.

"I genuinely lay awake in bed all night on Saturday. I was completely exhausted and got into bed thinking I was going to have a great night's sleep, but I just could not shut down. I've been catching up on sleep ever since!

"I just couldn't believe what had happened, I suppose. Your adrenaline would still be up and you'd be thinking about what was one of the biggest days of my life, so sleep just wouldn't allow."

While Minella Times appeared to have victory in safe-keeping up the run-in, it was not until he passed the post that Blackmore let herself believe she had secured the most momentous of wins.

She added: "I could hear the commentator saying we were four lengths ahead, and I knew my horse wasn't fading under me – he was going to stay galloping to the line. That is when I had the realisation that it might happen – and a few strides later it did happen.

"The feeling was just complete elation. It's slightly different to Cheltenham – where you're riding Honeysuckle in a Champion Hurdle, she's favourite, and there's a good bit of pressure attached to it.

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"Going out in the Grand National, I didn't feel any pressure. There's not the same expectation, because everyone involved knows the amount of luck that's involved.

"After Honeysuckle, my initial feeling was more relief, and then joy, whereas after the National it was complete joy straightaway."

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