SAM Waley-Cohen enjoyed a fairytale finale to his career as he steered 50-1 outsider Noble Yeats to an unlikely triumph in the Grand National.

The former Dragon School and St Edward’s School pupil claimed victory on Emmet Mullins’ charge in the world’s most famous steeplechase, two days after announcing he would retire.

Noble Yeats prevailed in the colours of the 39-year-old's father, Robert, fending off the 15-2 favourite Any Second Now by two and a quarter lengths.

Waley-Cohen, whose family home is at Upton Viva, near Banbury, had the name of late brother Thomas etched on his saddle.

In 2004, the jockey’s younger sibling died aged 20 of bone cancer and was treated at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, where a ward is named after him.

Already a former Cheltenham Gold Cup and King George VI winner, Waley-Cohen dedicated the victory to his family.

He said: “Every race you win for your family is amazing, it doesn’t matter if it’s a point-to-point or the Grand National.

“People might say ‘yeah, whatever’ but it’s a family day out and I’m overjoyed to win.”

Snow Leopardess, trained by Chipping Norton’s Charlie Longsdon, pulled up mid-race.