2002 saw the 155th official staging of the annual Grand National event. Held on 6th April at Aintree near Liverpool, the race was won by the 20/1 shot Bindaree, mounted by Jim Culloty. Bindaree had been trained by Nigel Twiston-Davis at the Grange Hill facility in Naunton.
The winning time stood at exactly 10 minutes and 3 seconds, a marked improvement from over 11 minutes registered by the previous year’s winner. The 2002 Grand National race had a rather diminished field that only accommodated a maximum of 40 runners. This was due to the number of injuries received in previous years.
Of the 40 competitors who took part in the 2002 Grand National, only 11 completed the course. Although this was still a disappointing low, it was at least an improvement on previous years, so a step in the right direction. A total of 9 horses fell at the very first fence while 2 fatalities took place during the race, The Last Fling at the 2nd Canal Turn and the ill-fated Manx Magic at the twentieth fence.
BBC One broadcast the electrifying race, with a viewership of close to 9 million, with only 300,000 watching on ITV.
Other top contenders included the prized Ad Hoc steered by Paul Carberry, the 1999 titleholder cheered on by thousands. However it couldn’t quite achieve its former glory. Both the promising Supreme Glory and the long-time favorite Moor Lane puled out prior to the race.
From first to fifth spot, witht he horses and jokeys riding them: Bindaree/Jim Culloty, What’s Up Boys/Richard Johnson, Blowing Wind/ Tony McCoy, Kingsmark/ Ruby Walsh, Supreme Charm/Robert Thornton. As evidenced in this finishing top five there is a certain absence of many high-flying riders. Nonetheless, this made for an interesting national, and again it was a relief that not so many injuries occured this time around.