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Neptune Collonges wins Grand National at Aintree, victory overshadowed by death of race favorite

Andrew Yates / AFP - Getty Images

Neptune Collonges ridden by Daryl Jacob jumps the water jump on its way to winning the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England, April 14. The annual three day meeting culminates in the Grand National which is run over a distance of four-and-a-half miles, and is the biggest betting race in the United Kingdom.

Grand National pre-race favorite Synchronised died Saturday after collapsing during the world's toughest steeplechase, which was won by Neptune Collonges in one of the race's closest finishes.

Synchronised, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, suffered a fatal injury after falling early in the Aintree race, owner J.P. McManus announced.

- Reported by the Associated Press

Scott Heppell / AP

Neptune Collonges, ridden by Daryl Jacob, center, grey horse, passes Becher's Brook and goes on to win the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, England, Saturday April 14, 2012. British Grand National favorite Synchronised died Saturday after collapsing during the world's toughest steeplechase, which was won by Neptune Collonges in one of the race's closest finishes.

Nigel Roddis / Reuters

Daryl Jacob celebrates winning the Grand National Steeple Chase aboard Neptune Collonges.