Only four female trainers have landed victory in the Grand National, with Jessica Harrington very nearly becoming the fifth in the 2019 renewal – with her first-ever entry.
With only two fences to jump, 66/1 shot Magic Of Light pushed into the lead with the race favourite hot on her heels.
The then eight-year-old fought valiantly in the final stages, but Tiger Roll’s date with destiny was too much to fend off. Gigginstown’s poster boy pulled away when approaching the elbow, winning by 2 ¾ lengths.
Magic Of Light became the first mare to finish runner-up in the race since 1956, but the 70-year-wait for a winning mare continued.
Nevertheless, finishing second was an impressive feat for a horse that had only ran over more than three miles twice in her career.
Harrington voiced her joy at the result and was joined by jockey Paddy Kennedy who was experiencing his first ride in the Grand National.
They were both hoping she would run in the 2020 edition – before the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Harrington’s talented runner made her seasonal reappearance in Punchestown in November, going on to land the Listed Mares’ Chase at Newbury in December and then coming second to Roksana in the Grade 2 Warfield Hurdle the following month.
The 10-year-old mare holds an entry in the inaugural Mares’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, which could well be her prep run before heading up north to Liverpool.
In fact, holds two entries for the National, with Jett likely to join his stablemate at the Merseyside track.
Magic Of Light holds a 25/1 price tag for the contest currently, while her counterpart can be found at 80/1.
Could we see a mare win this contest for the first time since the days of Nickel Coin?
You never know with the Grand National. Anything can happen and that’s what makes this the greatest steeplechase on earth.