The last three winners of the Grand National
As we approach the start of this year’s Grand National, anticipation is building for one of the most prestigious horse races on the sporting calendar. With over 150 years of history, the National has become a staple of British sporting heritage, up there with Wimbledon and the FA Cup final, watching the three-mile battle at Aintree’s gruelling racecourse is up there with one of the most important moments of the year.
Indeed, winning the National is to write your name in the history books, and those assessing the Grand National betting odds for this year, either as part of a sweepstake or as a horse racing enthusiast, will know it is one of the most unpredictable races to call. Just over a month on from Cheltenham, plenty of champions at Prestbury Park will be hoping to carry their good form into the National, with the likes of Delta Work and Corach Rambler considered the favourites.
Despite the odds, it seems like the form guide goes out of the window once the national anthem is sung and the action commences. There’s been plenty of outsider victories and shock upsets in recent years, and with that in mind let’s recap some of the action in recent races. Read on, as we look at the last three winners of the Grand National.
2022 – Noble Yeats
Let’s start with the most recent winner Noble Yeats, who snatched victory last year despite coming in at 50/1 in the antepost betting. Sam Waley-Cohen, in his final race as a jockey, ended his time in the saddle with a momentous victory for the outsider, as Emmet Mullins earnt his first Grand National as trainer. With much shorter odds of 8/1 this year, Noble Yeats will hope lightning can strike twice, and a fourth-place finish under Sean Bowen in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham was certainly an encouraging enough sign to suggest the horses can join an exclusive list of successive National winners.
2021- Minella Times
The one caveat of Rachael Blackmore’s victory board Minella Times is that there were no fans in the Aintree stands to celebrate her becoming the first female to win the Grand National. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the race was forced behind closed doors with no fans for Henry de Bromhead to bask in as part of a wonderful year for his County Waterford Stable. Minella Times ran imperiously, seeing off the likes of Any Second Now and amazingly the 100/1 Balko Des Flos to secure JP McManus a second National victory.
2019 and 2018 – Tiger Roll
With the 2020 race being cancelled due to the national lockdown in England, we move to Tiger Roll’s fantastic run at the Grand National for Gordon Elliott. After beating Pleasant Company in a nail-biting finish the year before, Tiger Roll came into the 2019 race with plenty of pressure but Davy Russell ensured the thoroughbred would become the first horse since Red Rum to win the Grand National back-to-back.
“We work very hard for this the whole time,” he said. “I’ve got a brilliant team behind me, and all my family at home. Davy Russell’s mother died last year, and this was for her, and my uncle Willie Elliott died this year and this was for him.
“What can I say, Tiger Roll is just an unbelievable horse. I was running away for most of the race. It was marvellous – he gave a couple of stumbles and I think the blinkers lit him up.”