Kai sky-high af­ter O’Leary vic­tory

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - By Jonathan Pe­tre

PUNCH­ING the air with de­light, he could have been cel­e­brat­ing one of his fa­ther’s spec­tac­u­lar goals.

But Kai Rooney, el­dest son of Ever­ton foot­baller, was en­joy­ing back­ing a win­ner in an­other sport yes­ter­day – at Grand Na­tional Day at Ain­tree.

The wa­ger had, no doubt, been made by his mother Coleen as Kai, 8, is ten years too young to place a bet.

The world’s tough­est steeple­chase was won by an­other eight-year-old – Michael O’Leary’s Tiger Roll. The Ryanair chief’s gee-gee was al­ready a three-time win­ner at Chel­tenham, and was a joint-favourite.

But just when he looked to have vic­tory sewn up, the Wil­lie Mullinstrained Pleas­ant Com­pany, who had jumped boldly, came with a late rat­tle to al­most join him on the line. How­ever, af­ter a brief wait the judge con­firmed Tiger Roll the win­ner.

O’Leary, who has de­scribed Tiger Roll as ‘a lit­tle rat of a thing’, said yes­ter­day: ‘I think I’ve adopted him now as my fifth child’. Five of the top six: first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth were all trained on this is­land.

joy: Wayne Rooney’s boy Kai

win­ner: Michael O’Leary

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