Long shots: famous big price winners of the Grand National
It’s not surprising with the Grand National being such a lottery that longer priced horses can triumph in this testing race. Over the years, 100/1 winners haven been far from rare occurrences. Two of them with especially fascinating stories.
Caughoo’s win in 1947 had several conspiracy theories surround the result. Some riders claimed the horse and jockey Eddie Dempsey missed 20 of the 30 fences in a race run in thick fog, due to the horse finishing as fresh as he did, which resulted in fisticuffs in the weighing room afterwards.
The second is one of the most famous in the history of the world’s greatest steeplechase when Foinavon missed the melee at the fence after Becher’s in 1967 to take an unassailable lead under John Buckingham from the chasing pack, who remounted in an attempt to catch the leader though in vain.
More recently, Mon Mome (2009) won the race at the same odds after drifting as the season progressed, but he was trained for the day and he ran out an easy winner for a 100/1 shot beating the previous year’s victor Comply Or Die.
Other winners at big prices include Aurora’s Encore two years ago (2013), who could be found at 100/1 in the morning but was sent off 66/1 for the team of Ryan Mania and Sue Smith; and the difficult character that was Last Suspect at 50/1, who got up in the dying strides to deny Mr Snugfit in 1985.
Fred Winter trained the 50/1 shot Anglo to win him a second National in a row in 1966, after Jay Trump’s narrow success over Freddie the previous year.
More recently, Royal Athlete took Jenny Pitman’s second win in the race at odds of 40/1 back in 1995 when showing his 34 rivals a clean pair of heels with an electric round of jumping to beat 1992 winner Party Politics.
Could another long short win this year? Absolutely.