GRAND NATIONAL DIRECTORY BLOG

TIGER ROLL WINS THE 2018 GRAND NATIONAL 
Tiger Roll Wins Grand National 2018
The oldest competitor in the 2018 Grand National, Davy Russell had virtually achieved everything to give his illustrious career a picture-perfect culmination. And he unmistakably pulled off a demanding feat oh-so masterfully. 
Riding one of the smallest horses seen in the past few years, the irresistible champion colorfully netted a last-gasp triumph in the 171st Randox Health Grand National.
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GRAND NATIONAL WINNER 2017: ONE FOR ARTHUR 
In 2017, One For Arthur had the distinction of becoming only the second ever Scottish winner, after Rubstic in 1979, of the Grand National at Aintree. Owned by Deborah Thomson and Belinda McClung – collectively known as “Two Golf Widows” – and trained in Kinross by Lucinda Russell, the eight-year-old had marked himself out as a possible National type when staying on well to finish fifth of 22, beaten 3 lengths, behind. Read more...


RULE THE WORLD GRAND NATIONAL WINNER 2016  
As the 169th Crabbies Grand National earnestly kicked off at the customary Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, not even the most seasoned racing pundits could expect a mere 33-1 shot to miraculously clinch a dramatic victory. All the same, that’s what exactly transpired. The feisty Rule the World – that little-known champ who had never bagged any other steeplechase title before, simply ran faster than all his challengers to a spectacular finish! This utterly startling win watched by millions of fans excitedly following the Grand National, both locally and on thousands of television screens across the world. Read more... 


MANY COUDS TOUCHES THE SKY FOR SHERWOOD (2015 NATIONAL WINNER)
Many Clouds Grand National Winner 2015
A fine example of Oliver Sherwood’s unequalled horse-training talents, Many Clouds registered an unsurpassed performance when he was announced the 2015 Grand National winner. The winning jockey - Leighton Aspell – marking his second win in two consecutive years. April 11th proved another triumph for Aintree racecourse in Liverpool, England. Leighton Aspell's spectacular win in the 2014 edition – aboard the peerless Pineau de Re a noble feat. The all-conquering horse’s proud owner, Trevor Hemmings, got a share of the immense glory. Grand National aficionado may remember that Hemmings had twice enjoyed success in the 2011 (Ballabriggs) and 2005 (Hedgehunter). Read more... 


DR NEWLAND WINS THE 2014 GRAND NATIONAL WIN PINEAU DE RE
The 167th Grand National took place on 5 April 2014, at the age-old Aintree Racecourse - situated close to Liverpool. Running under Crabbie’s sponsorship for the very first time, everyone looked utterly surprised as Leighton Aspell spectacularly won riding Pineau de Re – a mere 25/1 shot! The magnificent performance also earned John Provan (owner) and trainer Richard Newland recognition across the horse-riding world. In a similar vein, the originally undervalued winner became the 6th French-bred participator to stamp such an impressively stunning Grand National record. Read more... 

AURORAS ENCORE SPRINGS 66/1 SHOCK WIN IN 2013 GRAND NATIONAL
Like numerous other races before, the 2013 Grand National availed yet another sensation: Auroras Encore’s totally unpredicted win! Expertly ridden across the historically shortened run-in by the little-known Ryan Mania, it was a real wonder to see the unlikely 66-1 shot beat those impossible odds to win the greatest steeplechase in the world. As for the equally obscure winning trainer – Sue Smith, the incredibly lucky wife of the once-popular show jumper and TV celebrity Harvey Smith – a pretty atypical set of firsts seems to have been triply established during that year’s John Smith’s Grand National. Read more...



NEPTUNES COLLONGES WINS THE GRAND NATIONAL FOR PAUL NICHOLLS  

The historically much-sought Grand National prize has had a rather notorious trend for horses winning by a whisker. And this perfectly bizarre tradition seems to have become the standard ever since Red Rum narrowly defeated Crisp in 1973. All the same, of all these year-to-year surprises, very few can rival what happened at Aintree during the 2012 Grand National…Daryl Jacob rode Neptune Collonges from a seemingly impossible position to win the historic race – eclipsing two more fancied opponents - Sunnyhillboy and McLernon! With nothing but a grass blade separating the two foremost horses, the history-making horse wowed everyone as he deftly outran the visibly confounded Richie McLernon. It was a magical moment celebrated by a cheering crowd. Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1997: LORD GYLLENE OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE
Lord Gyllene Wins 1997 Grand National
No-one will forget the year in which Lord Gyllene won the Grand National although, in the furore surrounding what became known as the “Monday National”, the horse himself hasn’t always received the credit he deserved for an outstanding performance in the historic steeplechase. One of the reasons that Lord Gyllene faded from public consciousness was, perhaps, that he was off the course for 614 days following his National win and ran just twice, without distinction, before his eventual retirement in 2001. Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1996: ROUGH QUEST GOES CLEAR
Rough Quest had the distinction of being the first favourite to win the Grand National since Grittar, famously ridden by 48-year-old amateur Dick Saunders, in 1982. Rough Quest was found in Ireland as a four-year-old by the chairman of Kempton Park, Andrew Wates, in whose distinctive blue and green colours he ran, and trained by the late Terry Casey at Wates’ home in Beare Green, Surrey. The ten-year-old had previously finished second, beaten just 4 lengths, behind Imperial Call in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but had had such a hard race that Casey had reservations Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1995: ROYAL ATHLETE SHINES FOR PITMAN
Jenny Pitman wrote her name indelibly into Grand National history when, in 1983, she became the first woman to train the winner of the illustrious steeplechase. Ten years after the landmark victory of Corbiere, though, she was denied a second National success when Esha Ness was first past the post in the “National that never was” in 1993. Nevertheless, the redoubtable “Mrs. P.” was back in the winners’ enclosure two years later, courtesy of the twelve-year-old Royal Athlete. Ironically, Royal Athlete had been backed into antepost favourite for the void National of 1993, having finished third in the Cheltenham Gold that year. Read more...



GRAND NATIONAL 1994: MIINNEHOMA YOU'RE A STAR
Retired trainer Martin Pipe may have saddled 4,180 winners and revolutionised the world of National Hunt racing, but even the erstwhile Master of Nicholashayne could only win the Grand National once. His sole success in the celebrated steeplechase came courtesy of the eleven-year-old Miinnehoma, ridden by Richard Dunwoody, in 1994. Owned by local comedian Freddie Starr, who was born in the town of Huyton on Merseyside, Miinnehoma had Read more... 


GRAND NATIONAL 1992: PARTY POLITICS GETS THE VOTE
Party Politics proved an aptly-named winner of the Grand National, galloping to victory in the iconic steeplechase just five days before the Conservatives’ victory, against the odds, in the 1992 General Election. At nearly 18 hands high, the eight-year-old was also the tallest horse ever to win the Grand National. Owned by David and Patricia Thompson, who’d actually bought him for £80,000 just 48 hours before the race, and trained by Nick Gaselee Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1991: SEAGRAM WINS THE NATIONAL
Seagram Wins 1991 Grand National
The 1991 Grand National was the last of seven to be sponsored by the former Canadian corporation Seagram and was won, coincidentally, by a horse called Seagram. Coincidentally, because the horse wasn’t owned by the sponsors, but by industrialist Sir Eric Parker. Seagram, the corporation, was apparently offered the opportunity to buy the New Zealand-bred gelding before the Grand National, but declined. Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1990: MR FRISK FASTEST OF THEM ALL
Mr Frisk Fast Winner of Grand National
Mr Frisk has the distinction of recording the fastest winning time in the history of the Grand National. In 1990, on unseasonably firm going, he completed the 4½-mile course in a time of 8 minutes 47.80 seconds, smashing the previous course record, set by Red Rum in 1973, by 14.10 seconds. Remarkably, his record still stands, despite the start line being moved half a furlong closer to the first fence in 2013, thereby shortening the overall distance of the race. Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1989: LITTLE POLVEIR
By the time he won the Grand National, as a twelve-year-old, in 1989, Little Polveir was already a veteran of three previous attempts in the race, although he had completed the course just once. In fact, in his three previous attempts he had finished a distant ninth, at 66/1, behind West Tip in 1986, unseated rider, at 33/1, at The Chair on the first circuit in 1987, unseated rider again, at 33/1, at the twenty-sixth fence, when in the lead, in 1988. Little Polveir was bought by trainer Toby Balding, on behalf of new owner, Edward Harvey, for 15,000 guineas just six weeks before the 1989 Grand National Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1988: RHYME 'N' REASON

History records that Rhyme ‘N’ Reason, at the time a nine-year-old, trained by David Elsworth and owned by Miss Juliet Reed, won the 1988 Grand National by 4 lengths from Durham Edition. However, as is often the case, the form book fails to reveal the full drama of the world famous steeplechase. Rhyme ‘N’ Reason had beaten Lean Ar Aghaidh and Mr Frisk in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton the previous February, but had come to grief at the fourth last in the Cheltenham Gold Cup Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1987: MAORI VENTURE 1ST & ONLY
Maori Venture Grand National Winner 1987
Maori Venture had the distinction of winning the Grand National on his one and only attempt, as an eleven-year-old, in 1987. Trained by Andy Turnell and ridden by Steve Knight, Maori Venture carried the familiar colours – black, scarlet cap – of the late Harry “Jim” Joel. In so doing, he realised a lifelong ambition for Joel, who, at 92, was the doyen of owner/breeders in the country and had been trying to win the Grand National since his first runner in the race, Glorious Twelfth, finished fourth in 1957. Read more...


GRAND NATIONAL 1980 WINNER: IT'S HEAVY GOING FOR BEN NEVIS AT 40/1 
Ben Nevis had the distinction of being just the third U.S.-based horse, after Battleship in 1938 and Jay Trump in 1965, to win the Grand National. He was bred in Britain, where he raced, unsuccessfully, until bought by Redmond C. Stewart Jnr. and shipped to the United States, as a 6-year-old, in 1974. Under the auspices of Stewart’s son-in-law, Charlie Fenwick Jnr., who both trained and rode him, Ben Nevis won seven successive races. His victories included back-to-back victories in the Maryland Hunt Cup – Read more... 

GRAND NATIONAL 1972 WINNER: WELL TO DO SHINES FOR TIM FORSTER 
Well To Do had the distinction of being the first of three Grand National winners for Tim Forster, a.k.a. “The Captain”, but nearly didn’t run in the race at all. It was only on the closing date for the National, in January, that the 9-year-old finished third in a four-mile steeplechase at Cheltenham, leading to an anxious, last-minute acceptance telegram from his trainer. Read more...

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