The Grand National is the most famous horse race in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. It has witnessed truly great performances over the course of its history, dating back to the first race in 1838. Here are the top 10 most memorable performances of horses competing in the event.
1. Red Rum (1977)
Red Rum already created history by joining a select company of horses to win back-to-back Grand Nationals in 1973 and 1974. His attempt at a third-straight win in 1975 was halted, finishing second, where he placed again in 1976. He did put in a brilliant performance at the age of 12 to win his third crown, defying age and expectations.
2. Tipperary Tim (1928)
Tipperary Tim was the first 100/1 outsider to win the Grand National in 1928. He faced a talented field and was paired with amateur jockey Will Dutton. However, whereas the rest of the field fell over the course of the race, Tipperary Tim cleared all obstacles on his way to success. There is a tradition of picking outsiders and Battleoverdoyen, Defi Bleu and Born By The Sea are backed at 100/1 in the UK horse race betting odds to win the 2023 Grand National for interested bettors.
3. Tiger Roll (2019)
It had been over 40 years since a horse had reeled off back-to-back victories in the Grand National. Tiger Roll had the weight of history on his back after a brilliant run in 2018 as he returned to Aintree. He ensured that he would join past greats with a subline outing to secure his second win.
He’s done it!
Tiger Roll wins back-to-back Grand Nationals for the first time since Red Rum! pic.twitter.com/iP1tOV3LFv
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) April 6, 2019
4. Foinavon (1967)
Foinavon is the most famous underdog in the history of the Grand National to win the event. John Buckingham steered Foinavon through traffic at the 23rd fence to move from the middle of the field to the front before he galloped away to secure the win by 15 lengths. The horse now has the 23rd fence named after him in honour of his triumph.
5. Mr Frisk (1990)
The Grand National is not known for being a quick race, but Mr Frisk delivered one of the best performances seen at the event. He surged around Aintree and all 30 fences in a time of 8m 47.8s, still the fastest time on record.
6. Minella Times (2021)
Rachael Blackmore created history in 2021 on the back of Minella Times by becoming the first female jockey to win the National. It was a flawless ride from Blackmore and her charge, producing one of the quickest winning times and a first win for Henry De Bromhead.
Rachael Blackmore and Minella Times win the Grand National! pic.twitter.com/czIIh2SsuV
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) April 10, 2021
7. Cloister (1893)
The Grand National is a handicap race, meaning the best horses have to carry more weight around the track. Cloister was awarded the biggest handicap at the 1893 Grand National, but still managed to win with 12st 7lbs on his saddle at a rapid rate too.
8. Peter Simple (1853)
Horses are usually in their prime for jump racing at the ages of eight or nine, but Peter Simple proved that the old guard still have the vigour to get around the track and win. He is the oldest winner in the history of the event at the age of 15 by two years. That is a record that is unlikely to be broken.
9. Austerlitz (1877)
There have been four horses that have won the Grand National at the age of five, but Austerlitz produced the quickest time around the track with a flawless outing, etching his name in the history of the event.
10. Neptune Collonges (2012)
Usually, over four miles of racing, there is no need for a photo-finish to decide the outcome of the Grand National. But, in 2012, Neptune Collonges edged out his rival Sunnyhillboy by the finest of margins on the line in the closest race in the history of the event.