Recent Grand National Winners

The Grand National takes place soon after the Cheltenham Festival. Saturday April 4th is the date for your diaries. We already have a live ante-post market, so let’s take a look at the recent winners…

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2016 – Rule The World

Rule The World, a horse sired by Sulamani, won for Mouse Morris despite going-off as a 33/1 outsider. David Mullins, who was just 19 years of age, was on-board and the partnership survived a serious blunder four from home. Rule The Wordle took the final fence in 3rd place, but began to assert and took the lead at the elbow. He beat The Last Samuri by 6 lengths. Morris was ecstatic, after the victory: “It’s Disneyland – fairytale stuff. … He’s fractured his pelvis twice. Before that I always thought he was the best horse I ever had, how good would he be with a proper rear end on him?”.

2015 – Many Clouds

Many Clouds was already a Hennessy Gold Cup Champion, before his victory under Leighton Aspell and he’s regarded as being amongst the classier horses to have triumphed in recent years. When The Druid’s Nephew came to grief, 5 fences from home, the Cloudings-sired gelding began moving through the gears and held-off a courageous challenge from Saint Are. He’ll be remembered more for his astonishing defeat of Thistlecrack though, which required an effort that would cost him his life in the 2017 Cotswold Chase. Trainer Oliver Sherwood commented afterwards, “I always said he’d die for you, and he has today, doing what he loved most. He wanted to win that race, by God he wanted to win it – he was beat at the last and he fought the last 50 yards to get up and win. I’ve trained for 32 years now and horses like that don’t come along very often”

2014 – Pineau de Re

This French bay gelding won the Ulster Grand National in 2013, but had achieved little else before the victory that catapaulted him to fame. It was another win for Leighton Aspell, which only came because Sam Twiston-Davies had opted to ride the more fancied Tidal Bay. Pineau de Re’s run was timed to perfection and he took the lead approaching the final obstacle. Only Balthazar King offered a serious threat and Pineau de Re held on to win by 5 lengths. “It’s a wonderful day, this is what we do it for. I’ve been watching the National since I was a very young boy. As much as you enjoy sharing everyone’s success, you crave a bit too. To get a chance to ride in the National is a great thing, and to get on one with a chance is even better”, said Aspell after the race.

2013 – Auroras Encore

Auroras Encore won the National, in 2013. Sired by Second Empire (who started as the favorite in the 1998 Epsom Derby), this bay gelding was trained by Sue Smith.This was a surprise winner, which had done little to suggest any great promise beforehand. Auroras Encore won by 10 lengths, from Cappa Bleau.

2012 – Neptunes Collenges

Neptune Collenges  was bred in France. He was sired by Dom Alco and out of a mare called Castille Collonges. This grey gelding won the Prix Fleuret in 2005, the Winter Novices’ Hurdle in 2005 and followed this up with wins in the River Don Novices’ Hurdle, the Prestige Novices’ Hurdle, the Punchestown Gold Cup, the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Cotswold Chase before the win at Aintree in 2012. John Hales announced after the race that Neptune Collonges would be immediately retired, saying: “He’ll never race again, that’s it.”.

2011 – Ballabriggs

Ballabriggs is owned by Trevor Hemmings and trained by John McCain Jr. His win, in 2011, followed victory, the previous year, in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, at Cheltenham. The horse was retired, after pulling up in the 2013 Grand National and finished with a record of 7 wins from 28 races.

2010 – Don’t Push It

Don’t Push It scored in 2010, for JP McManus and Jonjo O’Neill. His previous record was not particularly noteworthy, although he certainly had chances, when a faller in the Arkle. A regular Grand National runner, his win came at the 15th time of asking.

2009 – Mon Mome

Mon Mome had won the 2008 Chase, before his win in 2009. Owned by Vida Bingham and trained by Venetia Williams, he was sired by Passing Sale, the Dam being Etoile Du Lion. He fell in the 2010 National and that was his last of three attempts, the second one being successful. Retirement came in 2013. “He’s been an amazing horse to train and gave me the best day of my career when winning the Grand National.”, said Williams.

Comply Or Die – 2008

Comply Or Die followed up career wins in the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle, the Rising Stars Novices’ Chase and the Eider Chase, before his win in 2008. The David Pipe-trained bay gelding is owned by David Johnson and was retired after pulling up in the 2011 Grand National, three fences from home.

Silver Birch – 2007

Silver Birch won both the Belcher Chase and the Welsh National, in 2004. To the delight of owner, Brian Walsh, he won the National in 2007, after recovering from a leg injury. Retirement came in 2010.

Numbersixvalverde – 2006

Numbersixvalverde was first past the post, in 2006. Owned by Bernard Carroll and trained by Martin Brassiil, this horse won the Thyestes Chase and the Irish Grand National in the year before his win at Aintree. Injury forced retirement, in 2009.

Hedgehunter – 2005

Hedgehunter’s win came in 2005, following victory in the Bobbyjo Chase. In 2004, he also took the spoils in the Thyestes Chase, for Willie Mullins and Trevor Hemmings. He came close to winning the National in 2004, falling at the last fence when very much in contention.

Amberleigh House – 2004

Amberleigh House completes our list. Prior to his 2004 win, he had shown promise with victories in the Kinloch Brae Chase, the Emo Oil Chase and the Becher Chase. The Ginger McCain-trained gelding ran 11 times over the National fences, without ever falling.

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