Without a doubt, the Grand National is one of the biggest highlights on the sporting calendar. Every year, the Great British public flock to the bookies to place their bets on the greatest horse race on the planet. In recent times, there have been a number of impressive performances but a few will always live long in the memory. Here are five of the most memorable Grand Nationals of all-time.
In one of the most bizarre Grand National races ever, 100/1 shot Foinavon came from way back to navigate through the field in tricky conditions and claim a shock victory. Jockey John Buckingham seized his chance at the 23rd fence after a number of horses were unable to get over it and the outsider built up enough of a lead to stun the world. To this day, it remains a memorable moment in National history and that particular fence has since been renamed in his honour.
Don’t Push It (2010)
After 14 failed attempts, Sir Anthony McCoy finally rode a winner in the Grand National as Don’t Push It romped home to snatch victory. McCoy, who is arguably the greatest jockey in the history of the sport, was clearly overjoyed at the win and although he was unable to get a second Grand National under his belt before retiring in 2015, his 2010 success will forever be remembered as one of the greatest National moments of all-time.
Red Rum (1977)
In 1977, Red Rum claimed a record third success in the race – a record that still stands today. The National legend is widely regarded as one of the greatest horses of all-time and it will take a very special runner to equal Red Rum’s immense record in the race. In fact, not one horse has managed to win the Grand National twice since Red Rum’s exploits in the mid-1970s. Will there ever be another one like him? It’s very, very unlikely.
Red Marauder (2001)
Red Marauder was crowned as the 2001 Grand National champion but he didn’t end up having much competition in the closing stages. In fact, only four horses finished this race in an eventful National. 20 horses fell during the race – a staggering number – and plenty were badly hindered by a loose runner at the Canal Turn first time around. In the aftermath, Red Marauder was left to develop a lead and he never looked like losing his advantage to claim an incredible victory.
In one of the Grand National’s most emotional stories, Aldaniti came from the brink of retirement to win the 1981 event. The horse bounced back from a near career-ending injury to win the National whilst jockey Bob Champion had also recovered from cancer in a truly sensational sporting story. Although there have been plenty of Grand Nationals since that particular renewal, it remains one of the standout races of all-time.
1993, the National that Wasn’t
In recent times, the most famous Grand National was ultimately declared void as a number of horses completed the full circuit despite a false start amongst the field. Eventual ‘winner’ Esha Ness crossed the line but the 50/1 shot was robbed of glory and the pictures of distraught jockey John White have become part of National history.
Many discussions took place as to what outcome could be achieved but clearly the horses involved could not regroup and race such a testing course again. The 1993 Grand National was therefore voided with the bookies losing millions in bet refunds!