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The Grand National

Run at Aintree, the Grand National has been a British horse racing tradition – and a sporting institution since 1893. It is one of the biggest sporting events to bet on in the UK, and there are lots of Grand National tips to help you make your bets. Betting on this race is traditional – and seeing the outsiders win is part of the charm.

The very first Grand National race was won by a horse named Lottery –  a lucky start for him. Meanwhile, Captain Becher fell at the world renowned brook. Originally, William Lynn – a syndicate head and proprietor of Waterloo Hotel – founded the course. The land was leased from the 2nd Earl of Lefton, William Molyneux. He laid the foundation stone on 2nd Feb 1829 and called the race the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase.

Historical Landmarks

Given the long history of the race, there have been plenty of incredible stories. This includes incredible horses, such as Manifesto, who has run the race no less than eight times – finished first twice finishing third three more times. Then there’s Bruce Hobbs, who was just 17 when he won the Grand National in 1939 – the youngest in history; he rode Battleship – the smallest ever horse to win the race. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Dick Saunders who was the oldest successful rider – who competed in his only ever Grand National in 1982, on Grittar, aged 48.

The first woman to ever train a Grand National winner was Jenny Pitman. She got the win firstly in 1983 with Corbiere and again in 1995 with Royal Athlete. Then, the second woman was Venetia Williams in 2009 who won with Mon Mome. She actually rode in the race 11 years previous. Other female winners include Sue Smith in 2013, and Lucinda Russell in 2017.

There have also been some incredible stories involving the obstacles. In 1928 there was the least number of horses to complete the race – just two (Tipperary Tim and Billy Barton). Then, in 2001 only four horses out of forty completed – with two remounting.

The Most Famous Grand National Horses

There have been many famous horses that have taken part in the Grand National and have made a name for themselves. Obviously, the most well-known of these all is Red Rum.

Red Rum

The world famous Red Rum had his first Grand National in 1973, where he started the race as 9/1 favourite. He may not have started the race as strongly as his rival, Crisp, but Crisp weighed much more and his stamina wained. From being more than 15 lengths ahead, Red Rum wore him down and he beat him by three quarters of a length. He ran to victory in a record breaking 9 min 1.9 seconds, knocking nearly 20 seconds off Golden Miller’s best in 1934. This record stood for 16 years.

Red Rum went on to win the race another two times – in 1974 and 1977. He also finished second on his two other races – and became the greatest performer at the Grand National ever. What made this even more astonishing was he had overcome the bone disease Pedalosteitis, which should have stopped him from racing.

 

Foinavon

The reason Foinavon is well-known is because of the circumstances in which he won. The win, in 1967, came under the strangest circumstances. At the smallest of the fences, Popham Down, a riderless horse, cut across the horse and caused a massive pile up – nearly all of the horses were brought to a standstill. However, because Foinavon was a little way behind, Foinavon’s jockey steered him around the mess and went on to win as an incredible 100/1 outsider.

Because of this extraordinary event, the exec of Aintree named the fence in honour of the horse. The horse had taken part in some top races before, but never as a winner. His owner believed his chances of winning were so slim he didn’t even show up and watch the race. The horse ran at the following year’s Grand National but fell at the water jump.

Most Famous Grand National Characters

The ‘Iron’ Duke of Alburquerque

This man, Beltran Alfonso Osorio Diez de Rivera, aka the ‘Iron’ Duke of Alburquerque, is thought to be the worst Jockey ever in the Grand National. The Duke watched the Grand National as a child and became obsessed with the race. This mad Spanish aristocrat entered the race seven times – and was very consistent. He would gallop off and end up falling off the horse. In his several attempts at the race, he broke his vertebra, his leg and numerous other bones. In fact, when bookies saw he was riding, there were odds of 66/1 given on him completing the race still atop his mount.

In 1974, after one of his falls, the duke had to have sixteen screws in his leg. Shortly after these were removed, whilst training for the Grand National, he fell and broke his collarbone. However, this didn’t deter hi, and he raced in his plaster cast. Funnily enough, this was the only time he finished the race – despite being in eighth (and last) place. However, a more serious accident occurred in 1976 when he fell and was trampled by several horses. As a result, he suffered 7 broken ribs, fractured vertebrae, a fractured thigh and wrist as well as concussion. He was in a coma for two days. Despite this fall, he still pledged to race again. However, organisers of the race revoked his license for his own safety. He never won a Grand National – but he set the record for the most broken bones.

Michael O’Hehir

Commentator, Michael O’Hehir, is most famous for commentating on the famous carnage of 1967, when Foinavon was victorious. He reported on the race with a coolness as he identified Foinavon as a horse that was coming out of the melee unscathed. O’Hehir stated that Foinavon’s unfamiliar colours made him easily recognizable. The commentator, as is customary, visited the weighing room before the race in order to become more familiar with the colours of the silks. John Buckingham’s black, red and yellow braces threw O’Hehir and he had to ask Buckingham who his horse was. At the last minute he changed his colours from green as he felt it was unlucky. This event stuck out and made him more memorable.

Grand National Previous Winners

2000 – 2018

Year

Horse

Age

Weight

Trainer

Jockey

SP

2018 Tiger Roll 8 10-13 Gordon Elliot Davy Russell 14/1
2017 One For Arthur 8 10-11 Lucinda Russell Dereck Fox 14/1
2016 Rule The World 9 10-07 Mouse Morris David Mullins 33/1
2015 Many Clouds 8 11-09 Oliver Sherwood Leighton Aspell 25/1
2014 Pineau De Re 11 10-06 Dr Richard Newland Leighton Aspell 25/1
2013 Auroras Encore 11 10-03 Mrs S Smith Ryan Mania 66/1
2012 Neptune Collenges 11 11-06 P Nicholls D Jacob 33/1
2011 Ballabriggs 10 11-00 D McCain J Maguire 14/1
2010 Don’t Push It 10 11-05 J O’Neill AP McCoy 10/1 JF
2009 Mon Mome 9 11-00 Miss V Williams L Treadwell 100/1
2008 Comply or Die 9 10-09 D E Pipe T Murphy 7/1 JF
2007 Silver Birch 10 10-06 G Elliott R M Power 33/1
2006 Numbersixvalverde 10 10-08 M Brassil N P Madden 11/1
2005 Hedgehunter 9 11-01 W P Mullins R Walsh 7/1 F
2004 Amberleigh House 12 10-10 D McCain G Lee 16/1
2003 Monty’s Pass 10 10-07 JJ Mangan B J Geraghty 16/1
2002 Bindaree 8 10-04 NA Twiston-Davies J Culloty 20/1
2000 Papillon 9 10-12 T M Walsh R Walsh 10/1

 

1975 – 1999

Year

Horse

Age

Weight

Trainer

Jockey

SP

1999 Bobbyjo 9 10-00 T Carberry P Carberry 10/1
1998 Earth Summit 10 10-05 NA Twiston Davies C Llewellyn 7/1F
1997 Lord Gyllene 9 10-00 SA Brookshaw A Dobbin 14/1
1996 Rough Quest 10 10-07 T Casey MA Fitzgerald 7/1F
1995 Royal Athlete 12 10-06 Mrs J Pitman JF Titley 40/1
1994 Miinnehoma 11 10-08 MC Pipe R Dunwoody 16/1
1992 Party Politics 8 10-07 NA Gaselee C Llewellyn 14/1
1991 Seagram 11 10-06 DH Barons N Hawke 12/1
1990 Mr Frisk 11 10-06 KC Bailey Mr M Armytage 16/1
1989 Little Polveir 12 10-03 GB Balding J Frost 28/1
1988 Rhyme N Reason 9 11-00 DRC Elsworth B Powell 10/1
1987 Maori Adventure 11 10-13 A Turnell S Knight 28/1
1986 West Tip 9 10-11 M Oliver R Dunwoody 15/2
1985 Last Suspect 11 10-05 T Forster H Davies 50/1
1984 Hallo Dandy 10 10-02 G Richards N Doughty 13/1
1983 Corbiere 8 11-04 Mrs J Pitman B de Haan 131
1982 Grittar 9 11-05 F Gilman Mr R Saunders 7/1F
1981 Aldaniti 11 10-13 J Gifford R Champion 10/1
1980 Ben Nevis 12 10-12 T Forster Mr C Fenwick 40/1
1979 Rubstic 10 10-00 SJ Leadbetter M Barnes 25/1
1978 Lucius 9 10-09 GW Richards BR Davies 25/1
1977 Red Rum 12 11-08 D McCain T Stack 9/1
1976 Rag Trade 10 10-12 T F Rimell J Burke 14/1
1975 L’Escargot 12 11-03 D Moore T Carberry 13/2

 

1950 – 1974

Year

Horse

Age

Weight

Trainer

Jockey

SP

1974 Red Rum 9 12-00 D McCain B Fletcher 11/1
1973 Red Rum 8 10-05 D McCain B Fletcher 9/1
1972 Well To Do 9 10-01 Capt. T A Forster G Thorner 14/1
1971 Specify 9 10-13 J Sutcliffe J Cook 28/1
1970 Gay Trip 8 11-05 TF Rimell P Taaffe 15/1
1969 Highland Wedding 12 10-04 T Balding E Harry 100/9
1968 Red Alligator 9 10-0 D Smith B Fletcher 100/7
1967 Foinavon 9 10-0 J Kempton J Buckingham 100/1
1966 Anglo 8 10-0 F Winter T Norman 50/1
1965 Jay Trump 8 11-05 F Winter T Smith 100/6
1964 Team Spirit 12 10-03 F Walwyn W Robinson 18/1
1963 Ayala 9 10-00 K Piggott P Buckley 66/1
1962 Kilmore 12 10-04 R Price F Winter 28/1
1961 Nicolaus Silver 9 10-01 F Rimell B Beasley 28/1
1960 Merryman II 9 10-12 N Crump G Scott 13/2F
1959 Oxo 8 10-13 M Scudamore W Stephenson 8/1
1958 Mr What 8 10-06 T Taaffe, Sr A Freeman 18/1
1957 Sundew 11 11-07 F Hudson F Winter 20/1
1956 ESB 10 11-03 F Rimell D Dick 100/7
1955 Quare Times 9 11-00 V O’Brien P Taaffe 100/9
1954 Royal Tan 10 11-07 V O’Brien B Marshall 8/1
1953 Early Mist 8 11-02 V O’Brien B Marshall 20/1
1952 Teal 10 10-12 N Crump A Thompson 100/7
1951 Nickel Coin 9 10-01 J O’Donoghue J Bullock 40/1
1950 Freebooter 9 11-11 B Renton J Power 10/1

 

Grand National 2019

Those looking to follow the Grand National this year have some impressive names to watch. However, we have got the best tips and odds to help you out. Here is a list of the movers and shakers this year…

Horses:

  • Abolitionist (favourite)
  • Folsom Blue
  • Don Poli
  • Pleasant Company
  • Rock the Kasbah
  • Alpha Des Obeaux
  • Go Conquer
  • General Principle
  • Rathvinden
  • Step Back
  • Anibal Fly
  • Tiger Roll
  • Isleofhopendreams
  • Joe Farrell
  • The Storyteller
  • The Young Master
  • Impulsive Star
  • Baie Des Iles
  • Mala Beach
  • Ballyoptic
  • Mall Dini
  • Vieux Morvan
  • Vintage Clouds
  • Lake View Lad
  • Ultragold
  • Valtor
  • Minella Rocco
  • Milansbar
  • Monbeg Notorious
  • Ms Parfois
  • Captain Redbeard
  • Cogry
  • Walk in the Mill
  • Out Sam
  • Pairofbrowneyes
  • Bless The Wings
  • Noble Endeavor
  • One For Arthur

Check out our best Grand National betting Tips and Odds as well as our best Horse Racing betting Strategies so you can make the most of the Grand National betting.

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