The Grand National is often billed as ‘The Greatest Steeplechase In the World’ and a contributing factor to this accolade is its unpredictability. In fact throughout its history the race has had a significant number of winners on which the bookmakers gave long odds. Amongst the long shots are five horses that have won the race since 1928 after being placed at 100-1, presenting a great opportunity to get lucky and have some fun along the way.
The first of the five was Tipperary Tim in 1928 who was only one of the two horses that finished the race that year, the other being Billy Barton who’s jockey had to remount after a fall leaving Tipperary Tim to take the race. The reason the National became a two horse race was due to Easter Hero falling at Canal Turn and causing a massive pile up leaving only seven horses in the race five of which falling before the final fence.
The following year saw sixty-six starters begin the race which inevitably lead to chaos seeing only ten horses finish the race with Greglach taking the honours. 1929 had the highest number of horses taking part in the race, a number unlikely to be surpassed as a maximum of forty horse are no allowed to compete.
Again in 1947 a high number of horses in the race lead to a congested pack that stifled the strong favourites, such as Prince Regent who had finished third the previous year, and allowed the Irish trained 100-1 outsider Caughoo to win.
Twenty years passed before another 100-1 outsider won the National this time due to a number of riderless horses reaching the fence after Becher’s Brook and refusing to jump blocking the following horses so they couldn’t make the jump with more than a few throwing their riders. This allowed Jockey John Buckingham riding Foinavon (The fence was later named for him) who had fallen behind the pack to catch up and slow enough to adjust his path and make the jump whilst the remaining jockeys had to remount giving Foinavon a 15 length lead when he finished.
Finally 2009 saw Mon Mome win in a strongly contested race with around a dozen horses still in with a chance with only two fences remaining. Jockey Liam Treadwell kept Mon Mome out of trouble and a good run towards the last fence left him at the head of the pack alongside Comply or Die but Mon Mome had the weight advantage that proved crucial in determining the outcome.
So in a race where anything can happen do you have the guts to back a rank outsider this year? Maybe Tharawaat or In Compliance take your fancy at 100-1 or even Midnight Haze at 66-1 could be the one for you, whatever you decide the Grand National always lives up to its reputation as ‘The Greatest Steeple Chase In The World’.