Mon Mome

Mon Mome, who won the Grand National in 2009 at odds of 100/1, had the distinction of being the first winner to be returned at treble-figure odds since Foinavon in 1967. However, unlike Foinavon, who was effectively ‘gifted’ the race when a mêlée at the twenty-third fence – which now bears his name – put paid to the chances of anything else still standing, Mon Mome beat Comply Or Die, winner of the race in 2008, and sixteen other finishers fair and square.

Owned by Vida Bingham, trained by Venetia Williams and ridden in the National by Liam Treadwell, Mon Mome had his task made easier when the well-fancied Black Apalachi unseated jockey Denis O’Regan at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit, but there appeared no fluke about his performance. Indeed, to win by as far as he did under 11 stone was no mean feat, especially considering that in the previous twenty renewals, only Rhyme ‘N’ Reason in 1989 and Hedgehunter in 2005 had carried 11 stone or more to victory.

Patiently ridden on the first circuit, Mon Mome crept stealthily into contention against the other Grand National runners on the run to the Canal Turn and continued his progress through the field, but was still just one of a host of horses in contention on the home turn. He jumped the final fence upsides Comply Or Die, but was soon driven clear of his toiling rival to win by 12 lengths. Second favourite My Will finished third, a further 1¼ lengths away, with State Of Play 4½ lengths further back in fourth.

Unfortunately, rather than congratulating winning jockey Liam Treadwell on riding a Grand National winner at the first attempt, on a 100/1 chance, BBC racing presenter Claire Balding seemed more intent on making fun of his less-than-perfect teeth. Treadwell had the last laugh, though, because he was inundated with offers of free dental work, including from a Blackpool dentist who’d backed the winner.

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