The 2008 Grand National took place at Aintree Racecourse in England, on 5 April 2008 and offer combined prize money of around £450,000, a marked drop from previous years.
The 2008 Grand National winner was the longstanding joint-favorite Comply or Die, ridden by gifted and success-focused Irish jockey – Timmy Murphy. Murphy was well known for wanting a National win and so winning here was the realisation of a dream.
Timmy Murphy finihed the race four lengths ahead of the hotly pursuing King John’s Castle who finished second, and the similarly unrelenting chaser – Snowing Morning steered by David Casey. The first three slots were thus occupied by Comply or Die/Timmy Murphy, Kings John’s Castle/ Paul Carberry, Snowy Morning/David Casey.
Timmy Murphy’s victorious horse was owned by David Johnson, a prominent English stable owner and equestrian investor. The trainer was David Pipe.
Most interestingly a total of three riders were marking their thirteenth run. These included Mick Fitzgerald who had won the same title in 1996 riding Rough Quest, Paul Carberry who had achieved top honors in 1999 atop Bobbyjo and also the trailblazing racetrack sensation Tony McCoy.
Richard Dunwoody, a once terrific racer himself, acted as the guest presenter for the BBC coverage. Jim McGrath, the profoundly skilled and experienced veteran commentator wowed millions of anxious watchers, as his trademark thundering beckoned the winner home – for the eleventh consecutive Grand National.
The 2007 Grand National steeplechase was the 160th formal repeat of this globally followed event. As usual it was held at the Aintree racecourse in the UK and this year attracted 70,000+ to the racecourse.
The race was won by the 33/1 shot Silver Birch ridden by the inimitable Robbie Power. £400,000 of the £700,000 prize money went to the winner. It’s a substantial win for a horse that won by 3/4 of a length.
The 2007 Grand National registered a few letdowns such as when initially promising stars such as the 8/1 joint-favorite Point Barrow fizzled out at the 1st fence. Other notable occupiers of the top 7 places included McKelvery, Slim Pickings, Philson Run, Libertine, Numbersixvalveverde, and Longshanks. There’s certainly a few surprises
The owner – trainer – winner combo was one of the youngest in history (Jockey Robbie Power was 25, the trainer was the youngest in the race and so on) , but it mattered not a jot. ‘Older and wiser’ doesn’t always win the day.
Once again sponsored by John Smith the 159th Grand National steeplechase took place at Aintree on the 8th of April 2006. The race attracted a prize of almost £700,000 including £400,000 to the evenual winner.
In the race, the relatively unsupported Numbersixvalveverde took Nail Madden to a breathtakingly decisive win ahead of the 5/1 joint-favorite and reigning 2005 titleholder Hedgehunter ridden by the twice-victorious Ruby Walsh. He scooped second place here. Despie being a runner up. by maintaining such a high standard for two consecutive years, Walsh’s was catapulted to the upper echelons of racing fame.
Madden successfully rode the 9-year-old celebrated winner donning a yellow-spotted green color scheme that made the pair stand out from the crowd. Royal Auclair was owned by Clive Smith while Hedgehunter belonged to stable proprietor Trevor Hemmings. The credit for training Numbersixvalveverde goes to the one and only Paul Nicholls. Cornish Rebel who was steered by the legendary Joe Tizzard finished third. Only 9 of the 40 who left the starting line finished the race.
Hedgehunter , Ruby Walsh
Often referred to as John Smith’s Grand National due its sponsor, the 2005 Grand National steeplechase took place, once again, at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool on 9th April 2005. The total prize money this time around was an eye spinning £700,000 – with the winner pegged to collect a whopping £406,000.
With 40 horses taking part, the 7/1 favorite nine-year-old Hedgehunter ably ridden by Ruby Walsh, emerged triumphant, winning by a very impressive 14 lengths. He finished the race in a fast time too, 9 minutes 21 seconds. Hedgehunter had been capably trained by Willie Mullins.
The little-known Royal Auclair at 40/1 surprised many to give Christian Williams a seemingly unlikely 2nd place. Following hot on Auclair’s heels was yet another surprise; Brian Harding atop Simply Gifted, who was 66-1 to win. A great place bet for some no doubt.
Interesting tidbits, the race was delays by almost half an hour due to the marriage of Prince Charles to Camila Bowles. More than half of the fielded runners finished the course, which isn’t bad going. The 2005 Grand National Aintree attendance of over 70,000 was ranked as the biggest since the National of 1997.