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The Grand National Preview

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 him, 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

2018Tiger Roll810-13Gordon ElliotDavy Russell14/1
2017One For Arthur810-11Lucinda RussellDereck Fox14/1
2016Rule The World910-07Mouse MorrisDavid Mullins33/1
2015Many Clouds811-09Oliver SherwoodLeighton Aspell25/1
2014Pineau De Re1110-06Dr Richard NewlandLeighton Aspell25/1
2013Auroras Encore1110-03Mrs S SmithRyan Mania66/1
2012Neptune Collenges1111-06P NichollsD Jacob33/1
2011Ballabriggs1011-00D McCainJ Maguire14/1
2010Don’t Push It1011-05J O’NeillAP McCoy10/1 JF
2009Mon Mome911-00Miss V WilliamsL Treadwell100/1
2008Comply or Die910-09D E PipeT Murphy7/1 JF
2007Silver Birch1010-06G ElliottR M Power33/1
2006Numbersixvalverde1010-08M BrassilN P Madden11/1
2005Hedgehunter911-01W P MullinsR Walsh7/1 F
2004Amberleigh House1210-10D McCainG Lee16/1
2003Monty’s Pass1010-07JJ ManganB J Geraghty16/1
2002Bindaree810-04NA Twiston-DaviesJ Culloty20/1
2000Papillon910-12T M WalshR Walsh10/1

 

1975 – 1999

Year

Horse

Age

Weight

Trainer

Jockey

SP

1999Bobbyjo910-00T CarberryP Carberry10/1
1998Earth Summit1010-05NA Twiston DaviesC Llewellyn7/1F
1997Lord Gyllene910-00SA BrookshawA Dobbin14/1
1996Rough Quest1010-07T CaseyMA Fitzgerald7/1F
1995Royal Athlete1210-06Mrs J PitmanJF Titley40/1
1994Miinnehoma1110-08MC PipeR Dunwoody16/1
1992Party Politics810-07NA GaseleeC Llewellyn14/1
1991Seagram1110-06DH BaronsN Hawke12/1
1990Mr Frisk1110-06KC BaileyMr M Armytage16/1
1989Little Polveir1210-03GB BaldingJ Frost28/1
1988Rhyme N Reason911-00DRC ElsworthB Powell10/1
1987Maori Adventure1110-13A TurnellS Knight28/1
1986West Tip910-11M OliverR Dunwoody15/2
1985Last Suspect1110-05T ForsterH Davies50/1
1984Hallo Dandy1010-02G RichardsN Doughty13/1
1983Corbiere811-04Mrs J PitmanB de Haan131
1982Grittar911-05F GilmanMr R Saunders7/1F
1981Aldaniti1110-13J GiffordR Champion10/1
1980Ben Nevis1210-12T ForsterMr C Fenwick40/1
1979Rubstic1010-00SJ LeadbetterM Barnes25/1
1978Lucius910-09GW RichardsBR Davies25/1
1977Red Rum1211-08D McCainT Stack9/1
1976Rag Trade1010-12T F RimellJ Burke14/1
1975L’Escargot1211-03D MooreT Carberry13/2

 

1950 – 1974

Year

Horse

Age

Weight

Trainer

Jockey

SP

1974Red Rum912-00D McCainB Fletcher11/1
1973Red Rum810-05D McCainB Fletcher9/1
1972Well To Do910-01Capt. T A ForsterG Thorner14/1
1971Specify910-13J SutcliffeJ Cook28/1
1970Gay Trip811-05TF RimellP Taaffe15/1
1969Highland Wedding1210-04T BaldingE Harry100/9
1968Red Alligator910-0D SmithB Fletcher100/7
1967Foinavon910-0J KemptonJ Buckingham100/1
1966Anglo810-0F WinterT Norman50/1
1965Jay Trump811-05F WinterT Smith100/6
1964Team Spirit1210-03F WalwynW Robinson18/1
1963Ayala910-00K PiggottP Buckley66/1
1962Kilmore1210-04R PriceF Winter28/1
1961Nicolaus Silver910-01F RimellB Beasley28/1
1960Merryman II910-12N CrumpG Scott13/2F
1959Oxo810-13M ScudamoreW Stephenson8/1
1958Mr What810-06T Taaffe, SrA Freeman18/1
1957Sundew1111-07F HudsonF Winter20/1
1956ESB1011-03F RimellD Dick100/7
1955Quare Times911-00V O’BrienP Taaffe100/9
1954Royal Tan1011-07V O’BrienB Marshall8/1
1953Early Mist811-02V O’BrienB Marshall20/1
1952Teal1010-12N CrumpA Thompson100/7
1951Nickel Coin910-01J O’DonoghueJ Bullock40/1
1950Freebooter911-11B RentonJ Power10/1

 

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.