Rachael Blackmore wins 2021 Grand National

Most Memorable Grand National Moments

The three-day event is widely popular, and given its illustrious history, it has provided us with many memorable moments over the years, with more to come in 2024.

Horse racing fans will converge on Aintree Racecourse en masse when the iconic, historic and enthralling Grand National returns for its 2024 renewal. As always, this three-day racing festival will take place from Thursday, 11th April, to Saturday, 13th April 2024.

With this being an event steeped in history, the inaugural winner of the centrepiece race, the Randox Grand National Steeple Chase, was crowned back in 1839 with Jem Mason riding Lottery, a horse that was trained by George Dockeray, who would go on to win twice more – in 1840 with Jerry, 1842 with Gaylad and in 1852 with Miss Mowbray.

Dockeray is one of the three joint most successful trainers in the history of the Grand National Steeple Chase with 4 wins. This record is also held by Fred Rimell (E.S.B. – 1956, Nicolaus Silver – 1961, Gay Trip – 1970 & Rag Trade – 1976) and Ginger McCain (Red Rum – 1973, 1974, 1977 & Amberleigh House – 2004).

The iconic horse Red Rum has just been mentioned, and this is a horse that holds the record for the most wins in this race with 3. The record for leading jockey is solely held by George Stevens, whose 5 wins came in 1856 (Freetrader), Emblem (1863), Emblematic (1864) and The Colonel (1869, 1870).

The most recent winner of the Grand National Steeple Chase came in the 2023 edition of this race, and it was Corach Rambler who took home the acclaim with victory at Aintree last year.

Here, we will look at some of the most memorable moments of the Grand National Steeple Chase over the years (in no particular order).

5: Rachael Blackmore becomes the first female jockey to win Grand National (2021)

We start with Rachael Blackmore, who in 2021 became the first female jockey to emerge victorious in the Grand National Steeple Chase. She did it onboard Minella Times, who she managed to guide to victory after fending off competition from Aidan Coleman’s Balko Des Flos and Mark Walsh’s Any Second Now, who had to settle for a second and third-place finish in that year’s race, respectively.

This was a landmark moment for Women in horse racing, just as it was in 1983 when Jenny Pitman became the first ever female trainer to win the Grand National. The horse that day was Corbiere, who was ridden by Ben De Haan. Pitman would then go on to repeat the feat 12 years later with her victory with Royal Athlete in 1995.

4: Foinavon shocks Aintree (1967)

For the next entry on this list, we rewind time back a total of 54 years to the 1967 edition of the Grand National at Aintree. The winner of that race was Foinavon, but it was not as simple as that; this horse won the race to the shock and surprise of all watching on.

Ahead of the race, Foinavon was a 100-1 outsider and given very little chance of emerging victorious that afternoon. However, thanks to a pile-up at the 23rd fence of this race, Jockey John Buckingham rode Foinavon to victory against the odds. The other members of the top three that day were Josh Gifford’s Honey End and Brian Fletcher’s Red Alligator.

3: The race that was declared void (1993)

Another particularly memorable moment in the history of the Grand National Steeple Chase came in 1993. To start the race, there were 39 riders, but events took a dramatic turn when all but 9 of them neglected to notice that a false start had been declared and went ahead with the race. Of those who remained, the winner was Esha Ness, who Jockey John White rode.

However, this victory was officially taken away from White after the race was declared void a little while later.

2: Glory finally arrives for AP McCoy (2010)

The penultimate entry on this list belongs to Jockey Tony McCoy back in 2010. McCoy, better known as the legendary AP McCoy, had not had an easy time of it in the Grand National before then, as in his previous 14 attempts to win this prestigious race at Aintree, he had failed to come out on top on every occasion.

However, on his 15th attempt back in 2010, McCoy was finally successful, emerging victorious in that year’s Grand National Steeple Chase. He guided his horse Don’t Push It to victory ahead of Denis O’Regan’s Black Apalachi, who finished in second, and Paul Moloney’s State Of Play, who rounded off the top three in third place.

1: Photo Finish (2012)

We finish this list with the closest finish to a Grand National Steeple Chase in its illustrious history, 12 years ago in 2012. Ridden by Jockey Daryl Jacob, the year 2012 saw Neptune Collonges become the first grey winner of this race since Freebooter 62 years previously in 1950. Neptune Collonges was able to finish ahead of the likes of Richie McLernon’s Sunnyhillboy (Runner-Up) and Katie Walsh’s Seabass (3rd Place), the latter being the joint favourite that day alongside Barry Geraghty’s Shakalakaboomboom, who finished in 9th place.

The race was not as simple as that, though, as it turned out to be the closest-ever finish in the history of the Grand National Steeple Chase. In the end, it had to come down to a photo finish, and this led to Neptune Collonges eventually being declared as the winner sometime after.

Excitement and anticipation are building ahead of the 2024 Grand National, which is set to get underway for three days of enthralling racing from Thursday 11th April 2024.

There is no better way to enjoy world-class horse racing at the 2024 Grand National than with an Eventmasters VIP Hospitality Package. Book now to avoid disappointment!

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