I Am Maximus wins at Fairyhouse

New favourite for Grand National

With the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase edging ever closer, I am Maximus has emerged as one of the favourites to win this famous race at Aintree Racecourse.

The 2024 Grand National is set to be a three day spectacular of horse racing at the iconic Aintree Racecourse. From Thursday, 11th April to Saturday, 13th April 2024, a total of no less than 21 races will be taking place, from the Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase on the opening day to the Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk standard national hunt flat race on the Saturday.

The race that fans worldwide look forward to the most is the latest renewal of this race meeting’s most iconic race – the Randox Grand National Steeple Chase. It is set to take place from 4pm on Saturday, better known as ‘Randox Grand National Day’. It is the most famous race at the Grand National, and it does bring with it plenty of history.

The first-ever winner of the Grand National came with Lottery, ridden by Jockey Jem Mason back in 1839. The trainer was George Dockeray, and he went on to emerge victorious in this race a further three times, with Jerry in 1840, Gaylad in 1842 and with Miss Mowbray precisely 10 years later in 1852.

The final winner of the 19th Century was Manifesto, ridden by George Williamson. Meanwhile, the first winner of the 20th Century was Ambush II, ridden and trained by Algy Anthony in 1900.

Fast forward to the final winner of the Grand National in the 20th Century, which was Boobyjo, ridden by Paul Carberry and trained by Tommy Carberry. The iconic Ruby Walsh was the first jockey to be victorious in the Grand National Race in 2000, where he rode Papillon to victory.

The most recent winner of the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase came in 2023, with the winner last year being Corach Rambler, ridden by Jockey Derek Fox, and trained by Lucinda Russell. This was a second victory in this race for Fox and Russell, who had previously won in 2017 with ‘One For Arthur’.

Red Rum is the horse with the most wins in the Grand National race with 3 (1973, 1974 & 1977). As for leading jockey, this is held only by George Stevens, with 5 wins to his name (Freetrader – 1856, Emblem – 1863, Emblematic – 1864 & The Colonel – 1869 & 1870).

Finally, the title of the most successful trainer in this race is jointly held by three people with 4 wins each: Fred Rimell, Ginger McCain and the aforementioned George Dockeray. Starting with Dockeray, he, of course, won in 1839 (Lottery), 1840 (Jerry), 1842 (Gaylad) and 1852 (Miss Mowbray).

As for Rimell, he won in 1956 (E.S.B.), 1961 (Nicolaus Silver), 1970 (Gay Trip) & in 1976 (Rag Trade). Finally, we move on to McCain, whose four career victories in the Grand National Handicap Chase came in 1973, 1974, 1977 (All Red Rum) and in 2004 (Amberleigh House).

Now, in the 2024 edition of the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase, I Am Maximus is seen as one of the favourites to add a new page in the history book of this race with a win at Aintree later this year.

In the Tote.ie Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday afternoon, I Am Maximus was the horse that caught the eye as the Willie Mullins trained horse secured an emphatic victory to not only book a place in the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase, but to also make him amongst the favourites to take the win in this historic race.

Jockey Jody McGarvey rode I Am Maximus to an incredible 14 length victory ahead of Sean Flanagan’s Vanillier in second place. Jack Kennedy’s Minella Crooner rounded off the race in a creditable third place.

On his victory in the Tote.ie Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse, Willie Mullins said (via the Racing Post): “I’d imagine he goes for the Grand National now, but he would look like a Gold Cup horse in time. I’d imagine Aintree is his objective this year, but he’s one I’m really looking forward to preparing as a Gold Cup horse next year.

“I thought it was a magnificent performance considering how badly he jumped going away from the stands. He just missed one or two there and Jody (McGarvey) left him alone and let him find his own feet.

“When he got half way down the back and around the fifth-last, once he saw the stands I think he just clicked into another gear. I don’t know how good he is but he’s certainly improving with every run. However, he does love Fairyhouse and maybe this is his track; he certainly has an engine.”

Mullins has been prolific in this spport throughout his illustrious career as a horse trainer as of the time of writing. Although it is surprising to learn that a horse of his has only emerged victorious once as a trainer in the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase – his single win in this race to date came back in 2005 with Hedgehunter, who was ridden by legendary jockey Ruby Walsh.

Walsh himself has won this particular race twice – with Papillon in 2000 and, of course, with Hedgehunter five years later.

Excitement and anticipation are building with a horse, jockey and trainer are set to make history by adding another name to the list of winners of this historic and illustrious race in 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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