Punters were counting their cash and trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies believed he had bagged another National when Blaklion appeared set for victory in the hands of Neil Fehily.
After taking up the running at the third-last fence Fehily, 41, the oldest jockey riding in the race, looked home and hosed but Blaklion went out like a pricked balloon.
“I had thought we had won it,” said Twiston-Davies, successful with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002). “He was travelling so well and jumped lovely.
"We were just cantering and the horse took Noel to the front and everything looked good but we didn't win.
Blaklion took the lead with just three fences left
"But where else do you get £44,000 for finishing fourth?
On an afternoon more suited to Flat racing in high summer at Royal Ascot, Alan King, who saddled Yanworth to take the Ryanair Hurdle earlier in the day, said: "Ive been coming to the Grand National for over 30 years and have never encountered such warm weather. I feel for the horses.”
But King’s fears were unfounded as all horses returned safe and sound as did all the jockeys.
The sale of Hawaiian garlands was proving popular outside Aintree racecourse and the party went ahead despite Blaklion failing to fill punters pockets.
Grand National runners 2017
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Grand National 2017: 40 runners confirmed
In the Red Rum Garden stage the music blasted out and the dancing never ceased.
In the year of Red Rums 40th anniversary when he made history by winning a third Grand National, Tommy Stack his jockey on that occasion returned to Aintree.
“There will never will be another horse like Red Rum,” said Stack,
71, who came close to death after contacting meningitis which has left him deaf. “He did something that will never be repeated.
“Everybody knows Red Rum. “He was an amazing character.