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Top 10 Grand National moments

The Grand National at Aintree is a true British sporting institution and an event that routinely draws the nation together as a must-watch contest.

The memory banks of sports fans are littered with great Aintree moments from the past, timeless achievements that stand tall for many reasons. 

Ahead of the 2024 Grand National, where Corach Rambler is bidding to join an elite band of horses to win back-to-back renewals, we recall our Top 10 Grand National moments. 

The Grand National goes off on Saturday 13th April and, alongside every race over three days at Aintree, can be viewed on the bet365 Sports Live Streaming Service.

10. The race that never was! 

1993 Esha Ness 

There has never been a Grand National like the one in 1993, with 30 of the 39 riders failing to notice that there had been a false start.

They promptly got on with the action and while frenzied attempts were made to alert the jockeys to the race status, as many as 14 continued into the final circuit of a contest that the great Sir Peter O'Sullevan declared "the greatest disaster in the history of the Grand National" while calling the finishers home. 

The 50/1 chance Esha Ness under John White passed the post in first position, but the race was soon declared void afterwards and changes were made to ensure the farcical scenes would never be repeated.

9. Aldaniti's success is just Champion

1981 Aldaniti

Jockey Bob Champion and his horse Aldaniti faced many obstacles in the run up to their Grand National victory in 1981. Champion was recovering from cancer, while Aldaniti had suffered a serious, career-threatening injury.

Aldaniti's injuries dated back to 1976 but his trainer Josh Gifford managed to nurse him to full health once more.

He and Champion fended off the 8/1 favourite, Spartan Missile, ridden by 54-year-old amateur jockey John Thorne, for a famous success. The story of Bob Champion and Aldaniti was made into a film 'Champions'.

8. McCain does it again 

2004 Amberleigh House

As trainer of Red Rum, the name Ginger McCain would forever be associated with this great race but, in 2004 two years before he retired, the master-trainer did it again as Amberleigh House won.

McCain's exploits in the National were already the stuff of legend but, to a new generation, they were also the stuff of grainy old footage.

Amberleigh House was 16/1 under Graham Lee and appeared to be struggling when the trio of Clan Royal, Lord Atterbury and Hedgehunter forged clear. 

He was very much in the 'still going' category in the commentator's mind but, after Hedgehunter fell at the last and Clan Royal became very weary approaching the elbow, Amberleigh House surged on by and won, a famous final success in the race for his trainer. 

7. One For Arthur wins for Scotland 

2017 One For Arthur

Amazingly, Scottish-trained horses have only managed to win the Grand National twice. Rubustic in 1979 was the first and One For Arthur became the second in 2017.

Trained by Lucinda Russell and owned by Deborah Thomson and Belinda McClung - who went under the name 'The Two Golf Widows' – the winner was widely popular and well-backed having started at odds of 14/1.

Russell, whose partner and assistant is former champion jockey Peter Scudamore, became the fourth woman to train a Grand National winner after Jenny Pitman, Venetia Williams and Sue Smith.

She will attempt to repeat the feat in 2024 when when 2023 winner Corach Rambler bids for more glory.

6. Neptune Collonges wins a thriller 

2012 Neptune Collonges 

More than four-and-a-quarter miles is routinely long enough for the 40 Grand National contenders to separate themselves but that wasn't the case in 2012 as the grey Neptune Collonges won for Paul Nicholls and Daryl Jacob.

As the field neared the Melling Road on the final circuit, any of eight horses were still in with a chance of winning before Sunnyhillboy, Seabass and Neptune Collonges went clear.

Richie McLernon and Sunnyhillboy led on the run to the line but Neptune Collonges was gaining with every stride and they passed the post almost in unison.

An agonising wait of nearly two minutes elapsed before the judge called the photo-finish in one of the closes National finishes ever, with Neptune Collonges getting the verdict by a nose!

5. McCoy finally wins the big one  

2010 Don't Push It

He is the most successful jockey in the history of jumps racing but for the vast majority of his career, it appeared as though AP McCoy was destined never to win the Grand National.

By 2010 there was no room for doubt that one race was causing him significant turmoil with the Grand National at Aintree a glaring absence on his CV. 

He'd come close on occasions and suffered misfortune on others, famously being thwarted by a loose horse when leading on well-fancied Clan Royal in 2005. 

Don't Push It pulled clear after the elbow to win well, and the emotion was etched on McCoy's face as he passed the winning line, finally landing racing's best-known race at his 15th attempt. 

4. Rachael raises the bar still higher 

2021 Minella Times 

Rachael Blackmore became the first female rider ever to win the Grand National in a golden 2021 for her, sparking headlines around the world when she did. 

Just a month after her barnstorming efforts saw her crowned leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival – another first for a female – she shattered another glass ceiling for women in sport, drawing the famous line from big-race caller Richard Hoiles as she passed the winning line: "Rachael Blackmore raises the bar still higher". 

The Henry De Bromhead-trained Minella Times won in the colours of leading owner JP McManus after enjoying a faultless spin around Aintree, but it was the winning rider that stole the show.

3. Tiger Roll retains the crown 

2019 Tiger Roll 

Retaining the Grand National just isn't the done thing. Not since Red Rum (1973-'74) had any horse returned to defend their crown successfully, but the indomitable Tiger Roll changed all that in 2019.

The Gordon Elliott-trained star had won in 2018 by an ever-diminishing head from Pleasant Company, trained by Willie Mullins. Davy Russell's partner took seamlessly to the famous Aintree fences on his very first visit.

Some scoffed at odds as short as 4/1 for another Grand National but Tiger Roll cruised around Aintree under Russell and the result never really looked to be in doubt. He took the lead at the last and had plenty to spare up the long run-in to win again. 

In splendid Aintree sunshine, Tiger Roll had cemented his place as one of the most-loved horses in the modern era with a generational win. 

2. Foinavon's unlikely success

1967 Foinavon 

Few winners will ever come close to Foinavon's win at 100/1 in 1967 for sheer unlikeliness, both in price and in how the race unfolded, with this feat remaining one of the biggest Grand National upsets ever.

John Buckingham, riding in his first Grand National, was seemingly in the midst of just trying to complete the race as Foinavon was dropping backwards through the field after the midpoint, but a full-on melee came to pass at the 23rd fence as two loose horses caused most of the 28 runners still in the race to either fall, refuse to continue or unseat riders. 

Foinavon emerged from the madness and cleared the fence, inheriting a wide-margin lead. 

Remounting was still permitted in that era and 17 horses and riders got back going in pursuit of the unlikely pair, but Foinavon's advantage was healthy and he completed the remaining jumps for a most unlikely victory. 

The Foinavon fence – jumped as the 7th and 23rd in the Grand National – is a lasting memory to his win.

1. Red Rum's first win

1973 Red Rum

Red Rum's first win was perhaps his most memorable as he duelled with the great Australian horse Crisp, dubbed 'The Black Kangaroo' due to his impressive jumping ability.

Crisp took up the lead after jumping Becher's Brook for the first time and built himself quite an advantage on the field. Jumping the final fence, he was 15 lengths clear with Red Rum the only challenger in hailing distance.

The leader began to toil, his stamina giving way, and Red Rum inched closer with every passing stride, overtaking his rival close to the winning line in one of the most dramatic Nationals Aintree had witnessed. Red Rum would win again in 1974 and 1977, but nothing matched the stunning late rally of his maiden victory.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

We will be keeping you up to date on all of the latest Grand National odds.

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