Sport in brief
• Tiger Roll, the smallest horse in the field, held off a late surge from Pleasant Company in one of the closest ever finishes in Britain’s Grand National at Aintree. A threetime Cheltenham Festival winner, Tiger Roll was well backed at 10-1 coming into the historic race, which is watched by an estimated global television audience of 600 million, and always looked likely to challenge. He surged ahead on the home straight of the four-and-a-half mile course and looked set for a comfortable win. But David Mullins chased him down on Pleasant Company and Tiger Roll required all his courage to hold off the stirring challenge from the 25-1 shot. The eight-year-old winner is owned by Irish businessman Michael O’Leary, the chiefexecutive of Ryanair, and trained by Gordon Elliott. The winning jockey, Ireland’s 38-year-old Davy Russell, said he was delighted to have finally won the race at his 14th attempt.
No driver, it seems, is going to have an easy ride in Formula One this season but, if the rollercoaster of the Chinese Grand Prix is repeated, the sport will be all the better for it. For Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who won the race, it was the climax of an emotional and challenging two weeks. From questioning his F1 future after retiring on lap two of the last round in Bahrain, the Australian emerged triumphant and euphoric, having made his mark in the race of the season so far in emphatic style. Ricciardo’s overtaking was superlative but behind him there was a different picture, with Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel left licking their wounds after finishing in fourth and eighth respectively. Hamilton was relieved that rather than dropping points to the German he has narrowed the gap in the title battle from 17 to nine points but the first half of the race proved that his team have been put on the back foot by Ferrari, who have the quicker car. Valtteri Bottas was second for Mercedes and is now five points behind Hamilton.
• Paris Saint-Germain reclaimed the French Ligue 1 championship in style with a 7-1 thrashing of last year’s champions, Monaco. The result sent them 17 points clear of their secondplaced opponents with five matches remaining. Unai Emery has now completed a domestic double after PSG’s Coupe de la Ligue triumph last month, though the Spanish manager’s future is the subject of intense speculation. PSG have scored 103 goals in this league campaign so far, winning 28 of their 33 games. In Italy, Juventus defeated Sampdoria 3-0 in Turin to go six points clear at the top of Serie A, while in England’s second-tier Championship, Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrated their return to the Premier League next season after a 2-0 win over local rivals Birmingham City.
Close … Tiger Roll and Pleasant Company