Separately, in perhaps the most futile punishment ever handed out by a stewards panel, Waley-Cohen went into retirement not only with a National success but a nine-day ban for his use of the whip.
It will be back to more mundane targets for Emmet Mullins on Monday when he saddles a runner in the concluding hunters chase at Tramore where the stakes are considerably lower than Saturday’s £1 million pot.
Like Noble Yeats, It’s On The Line is a product of the point to point fields but looks to have plenty to do against Good Bye Sam representing Willie and Patrick Mullins.
Nolan said on Sunday he was “devastated” by the blow.
“It’s just devastating for the owners and the yard. It is just one of those awful things, but it is part of racing and that is what it is. Unfortunately I could not attend [the Nationa]. My father is sick at home and we had to come back from Aintree so we are with him now.
He added: “He is a novice that probably could have gone a Graded route. But we chose not to and we chose to get experience in things like the Paddy Power and over two miles in handicap chases over fences as well. I’d say that has all stood him in good stead.
“That meant he probably wasn’t as exposed as much as the others. We thought we had a bit up our sleeves but it’s never until you do it you find out. When it crossed the line my heart was doing 10 to a dozen but it has calmed down now!”
There was less welcome National fallout on Sunday with confirmation that Éclair Surf, who fell at the third fence, died due a head injury sustained in the spill. He was the second horse to sustain fatal injuries in the race as Paul Nolan’s Discorama, who was pulled up before the 13th, had to be put down some hours later due to an “untreatable pelvis injury”.
“He’s able to get a horse ready for the day. He has proved that before. They did that thing with The Shunter last year, going to Kelso and Cheltenham, so it wouldn’t be the first time. Not all of these plans work but he’s not afraid to aim high and this isn’t going to harm his career anyhow!” he added.
Waley-Cohen’s perfect ‘adieu’ inevitably dominated the big-race fallout but the result added another luminous chapter to the Mullins dynasty story. The patriarch of the family, Paddy Mullins, never landed the National during his own stellar career but Saturday’s result added to another of his grandson’s, David, who rode the 2016 winner Rule The World.