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By Ashley Iveson, Press Association Sport. Last Updated: 05/04/10 6:17pm
Bluesea Cracker lands the Irish National.
James Motherway was left spellbound after his mare Bluesea Cracker won a gruelling renewal of the Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
The small-time Cork trainer had been without a victory over fences this season - but it came in one of the biggest National Hunt contests of the Irish calendar.
The three-mile-five-furlong heat was run at a crawl for the first couple of miles owing to the seriously testing conditions, but there were still plenty of casualties.
Among them were favourite Saddlers Storm, leading fancy Telenor, British raider Double Dizzy and top-weight Siegemaster, who was in the process of running a fine race before tipping up at the final fence.
Bluesea Cracker (25-1) was well to the fore as the field rounded the turn for home for the final time.
She was wandering around on the run to the last but Andrew McNamara's mount had enough in reserve to repel the challenge of Oscar Time by four and a half lengths and become the first mare to land this prize since Ebony Jane in 1993.
Whatuthink was third, with Cheltenham cross-country winner A New Story fourth.
"I can't believe it. She's been a fantastic mare for us," said Motherway.
"I walked the track at 12pm and was worried about getting home in the ground.
"I skipped a heartbeat going to the last but then jumped six feet into the air after it!
"We found that she has been far more settled this year and if she was ever going to go for an Irish National it was this season.
"All credit to Andy. I wanted to drop in, but he said he wanted to be mid-division as they wouldn't be gaining much ground in the conditions.
"He's a cool man and he waited for the last minute until he had to go. He lifted her over the last three."
McNamara added: "In the straight I gave her a squeeze and she quickened up well.
"Going to the last she ran around a bit and I dropped my stick trying to get two hands on the rein."