Rachael Blackmore says her achievement of winning the Grand National is still sinking in.
The Tipperary rider became the first female jockey to win the race in its 182-year history when coming home in first place on board Minella Times in Aintree on Saturday.
"I don't think it has [sunk] in, I don’t think it will for a while, it’s just incredible," Blackmore told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
"Every child with a pony grows up thinking about the Grand National. It was the first race that captured my imagination as a child. You dream about it.
"You dream about riding in the race and to actually go and win it takes it to a whole new level."
Taking the lead two out, Blackmore described the feeling as the finish line came into sight.
"I was hoping that [frontrunner] Jett would come back to us and thankfully he did," said the 31-year-old.
"When he was coming back on the turn in, my horse grabbed the bit again and was happy to go forward but it is a very long run-in from the back of the last in Aintree so you are trying to just save a bit and not fully commit until you get to the rail and the winning line is in sight.
"I was able to hear the commentator say, just as we came back onto the racecourse properly, that I was four lengths in front, I knew my horse was going to keep galloping to the line and you kind of start believing it then and it’s just absolute elation.
"It’s so massive. It’s such a special race.
I finished 10th in it last year and I got a kick out of that. There’s no other race that you’ll finish placed in and get a buzz of it. The Grand National, that’s why it's’ so special because that happens.
'I just feel extremely lucky - you can be the best jockey but you're not going to win any races if you don't have the ammunition,' Grand National winner @rachaelblackmor says as she pays tribute to trainer @HenrydeBromhead | Read more: https://t.co/0IhIMsTwrw pic.twitter.com/b2bqOVev9D— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 12, 2021
Blackmore starred in last month’s Cheltenham Festival - winning the Champion Hurdle and claiming the leading jockey prize – and revealed that the two meetings come with different expecations.
"My first feeling at winning at Cheltenham was more relief because Cheltenham has a lot more pressure attached to it," she said.
"You don’t feel the same pressure going into the Grand National. People don’t have the same expectation because there are 40 horses, four-plus miles, anything can happen. You need so much luck in a race like that. You need so much to go your way."
Blackmore is now in quarantine following her return from the UK and despite all the plaudits coming her way, was keen to play down her role.
"I feel extremely lucky," she said.
"You can be the best jockey but you are not going to win any races unless you have the ammunition under you.
"Henry de Bromhead [trainer] had three runners in the race and I’d ridden Minella Times on two previous occasions and I was very lucky that [owner] JP McManus’ family were happy for me to ride him again.
"I was thrilled to ride him and it was brilliant when it all worked out.
"We’ll have to celebrate it properly when the world is back to normal, we'll have to mark it with a bit of a party."