photo-finish victory by a head over the gallant Pleasant Company, dreams finally became reality.
Russell, 38, dedicated his victory to leading Flat jockey Pat Smullen, who was diagnosed with a tumour last month, and said: "As a jockey this is the one you want to win, especially for someone like me, having 14 goes". "It would have been heartbreaking".
Grand National victor Tiger Roll is already being made favourite to repeat the feat next year.
It's that insatiable thirst for winners, the hunger for competition and the responsibility of providing for a young family - with a wife and four kids, the most recent of which arrived two weeks ago - that sets him apart.
"On the way down the commentator said I was the oldest in the race so I thought "I'd better not come back next year".
"After yesterday's great result, we'd love to try again and I think we can safely train him for the race". "I was speaking to him the other morning and he's as tough as nails".
"Tiger Roll is unbelievable and I'm very lucky to be training for the O'Learys".
ANIBALE Fly can give the Cheltenham Gold Cup form the ultimate boost by winning the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.
"When we were coming in somebody said to us why don't you enter so I did. I've been coming here for years hoping, but satisfied leaving not winning it, because it's such a marvelous event and now it's just incredible to have finally have done it".
"I never actually thought he'd got back up, but he ran a fantastic race".
Don't miss the full report from the Randox Health Grand National - including analysis, pictures and comment - in the 19 April issue of Horse & Hound. "I hope everyone who has supported me along the way can enjoy this". "I just wanted him to keep going to the winning post!"