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.
Way back in 1928 Tipperary Tim was the first horse to win the race after being placed at 100-1. His success was largely due to a pile up caused by Easter Hero who fell at Canal Turn leaving just seven horses in the race, this was reduced to two horses by the final fence; Tipperary Tim and Billy Barton. Billy Barton fell and his jockey had to remount but by then it was too late and Tipperary Tim booked his place in history as the first horse to win at 100-1.
1929 saw the largest number ever to compete in the Grand National with sixty-six horses in the line up. With such a packed start its no wonder this ultimately led to the chaos that saw Grelach become the second 100-1 horse ever to win the National.
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.
Two decades passed before another 100-1 outsider won the National although there were some notable long shots in the intervening years such as Teal in 1952 at 100-7 and Jay Trump in 1965 at 100-6. However 1967 was the year that Foinavon won after several horses refused to jump causing a pile up that Foinavon managed to avoid going on to finish a full fifteen lengths ahead of his nearest competitor. The fence that gave Foinavon his unusual victory was later named for him.
Last and by no means least we have Mon Mome who won in 2009 and after a thrilling and highly contested race. Hunted around on the inside, he crept steadily into contention on the second circuit and was on the leaders' heels at the third last. He jumped the last upsides when there were still plenty in with a chance, and then came right away as Liam Treadwell, having his first ride in the race, asked him for more.
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’.