PEMBROKESHIRE jockey Sean Bowen came in for a surprise ride on Give Me A Copper in the 2021 Randox Grand National, after Harry Cobden was stood down after an earlier fall.

It was Bowen’s sixth ride in the National, having already completed Aintree's showpiece race three times - with his best finish coming in 2015 when he took 11th position on Mon Parrain.

Cobden was taken to hospital for scans on his head and neck after a crunching fall from Lucky One in the earlier Grade One Mersey Novice’s Hurdle, but he was able to walk to the ambulance.

Bowen, the 23 year-old son of Little Newcastle horse trainer Peter Bowen, had earlier taken fourth place in the 4.15 Betway Handicap Chase at Aintree on Callipso Collonges, for trainer Olly Murphy.

Having also ridden the Harry Fry-trained If The Cap Fits in the 3.35 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle, Bowen received his unexpected call up for the 173rd running of the famous Grand National race.

Give Me A Copper, trained by Paul Nicholls, had won the prestigious Badger Beers Silver Trophy in November 2019 at Wincanton, and was touted as a top tip at last year’s Grand National until the festival was cancelled.

The 11 year-old, co-owned by Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, however, was a 40/1 long shot in this year's 40-runner race, having been pulled out of January's races after poor form.

And there was to be no dream ride for Bowen, as the horse was slow out, and always towards the rear of the field, before being pulled up before the 29th fence, two jumps out, without making an impact.

The headlines rightly went to Rachael Blackmore, who made sporting history by becoming the first female jockey to win the Grand National with a stunning victory on 11-1 chance Minella Times.

The 31 year-old Irish jockey scored an emotional triumph in the colours of owner JP McManus on her ride, trained by Henry de Bromhead, who had also saddled runner-up Balko Des Flos.

She demonstrated perfect poise and timing to guide Minella Times expertly round the 30 fences over more than four and a quarter miles for an impressive victory by six and a half lengths.

Balko Des Flos (100-1), ridden by Aiden Coleman, was second, with Any Second Now (15-2) taking third, and Burrows Saint (9-1) home fourth.

Blackmore had already achieved a landmark success at last month’s Cheltenham Festival when becoming the first woman to be the meeting’s leading jockey.

The one-two for De Bromhead, meanwhile, sealed his own remarkable story, having won the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup at Cheltenham.