Also known as the Martel Grand National in recognition of the race sponsors the 2000 Grand National marked the 153rd Grand National steeple-chasing race. It took place on the 8th April 2000, at Aintree Racecourse.
The race was won by Papillon – ridden by respected jockey Ruby Walsh. In the latest stages of the the race Papillon pulled further ahead of the hotly pursuing clutter of challengers. Winning in a record time of 9 minutes and 9.7 seconds , the 10/1 shot Papillon had been trained by the victors father – Ted Walsh, so was something of a family affair.
Ruby Walsh’s triumph drew applause from both fans and media, as Papillon trounced all the 17 of the 40 competitors who successfully crossed the finishing line. Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities were reported this year, which is always good to know, considering Becher’s Brook and The Chair have proved fatal for some horses in years gone by.
During the Grand National, the notable favorite – Dark Stranger – was all out of luck when rider Tony McCoy took a fall at the 3rd fence. Star traveler took a nosedive, too, when Richard Johnson hit the 25th fence. Promising prospect, Earthmower, who won the welsh National and was 14-1 disappointed too.
The globally watched event was aired in the UK on BBC. Jim McGrath’s unmistakable voice thundered the typical commentator’s theatrics and vocal overtures from start to end of this entertaining race!