Grand National Winners History

Every National has its own story to tell, from Foinavon’s unexpected win to Devon Loch’s inexplicable defeat, the magic of Aldaniti or the misery of Esher Ness. Names of Aintree legends trip of the tongue, Golden Miller, Corbiere, L’Escargot, Party Politics, Bobbyjo and Papillon. As thrilling And significant a Grand National As one would expect, providing a terrific spectacle In pure racing terms, Neptune Collonges getting up On the line To prevail by a nose In the tightest ever finish To a National, And his bare performance To defy a mark Of 157 was the best by a winner Of the race In Timeform history (likes Of Suny Bay And Crisp ran To higher figures In defeat); there was plenty Of.

Grand National Trial Day

It’s that time of year when the thoughts of many punters turn firmly to the Cheltenham Festival, with the countdown now well and truly on.

There’s another big race appearing on the horizon too though, namely the most famous horse race in the world – The Aintree Grand National.

Topping the bill at Haydock in mid-February is one of the key trials for the most dramatic steeplechase run anywhere on the planet.

Next Race: TBD

Grand National Winners History Books

The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.

Welsh Grand National Winners History

Last Run: 20th February 2021

  • Winner: Lord Du Mesnil
  • SP: 8/1
  • Trainer: Richard Hobson
  • Jockey: Paul O'Brien

Race Info

The trip is 3m4½f for this Grade 3 handicap chase contest which acts as a trial for just about the most famous race on the planet. £75,000 in total prize money is on offer, not a lot compared to the seven-figure bounty offered by the Grand National itself but a decent prize fund none the less. The ground at the track is currently described as soft and with a little bit more rain forecast between now and the race it seems likely to stay that way. Read on for our thoughts on this fascinating and hard to predict race.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Soft3m4½fGrade 3£75,0009 Runners1/5 1-3

Grand National Trial Betting Tips

Note: The following tips are from 2021. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.

Irish Grand National Winners History

Lucinda Russell, Fred Rimell and Neville Crump boast the all-time lead amongst trainers in this race with three wins apiece. Bidding to join that trio this year is two-time winner Venetia Williams who sends Achille to post.

The two seven year olds, Notachance and Enqarde head the betting, however recent age trends are against the duo, with each of the past 10 renewals having fallen to a runner aged eight or older. Indeed, an 11 year old won last year and in 2015, with 10 year old Robinsfirth victorious in 2019.

Grand National Winners Odds History

We had a big shock with the 33/1 success of Smooth Stepper in this race 12 months ago, but overall the market leaders haven’t fared badly in what is invariably a competitive heat. The past 10 years have witnessed two winning favourites, sneaking jolly backers into a £0.50 profit to £1 level stakes. What’s more, with seven of the 10 most recent victors being priced at odds of 8/1 or shorter, the top of the market is definitely the place to focus. Looking further back, Smooth Stepper is the only horse to have won this one at odds bigger than 18/1 in the last two decades.

Notachance10/311st 6lbsAlan KingTom Cannon
Achille10/110st 12lbsVenetia WilliamsCharlie Deutsch
Ramses De Teillee11/111st 12lbsDavid PipeFergus Gillard

Notachance – 10/3

Despite his name, and the fact that the age trend is against him, Alan King’s Notachance, actually looks to boast pretty strong claims here and currently sits atop the market. The bookies certainly think he has a chance and, frankly, so do we.

Being one of the youngest runners in the field may not be a positive when looking at the recent results of the race, but does come with the plus side that he is one of the more lightly raced contenders and therefore more likely to have something in hand from the handicapper. Making just his seventh start over fences here, the mount of Tom Cannon certainly scores top marks for consistency, having only once finished outside of the first two in those six previous efforts.

The pick of those performances came last time out, in what was his first outing at beyond 3m in the 3m5f Classic Chase at Warwick. Toughing it out in really good style to score by half a length that day, he looks to be well suited by this sort of test and can go well from this 7lb higher mark. The ground should suit him nicely and he is definitely a worthy favourite.

Achille – 10/1

If you like the form claims of the market leader, then it’s tough not to be drawn to the each way chance of the 11 year old, Achille, particularly as he hails from the yard of Venetia Williams who has sent out two of the last seven winners of this. With 11 year olds doing very well in this contest of late, Achille has more than just form on his side too.

Hit and miss when trained in France, and slow to come to the boil upon joining the Williams operation in 2015, this likeable grey has certainly discovered some consistency now, and arrives here having finished inside the first two in seven of his last eight starts. Three times a winner on soft, the current going looks to be in his favour, and he boasts a couple of excellent efforts over this sort of trip, including when chasing home the talented West Approach in a Grade 3 at Cheltenham in 2019.

It is, however, his effort last time out which really catches the eye, as it was he who finished just a ½l behind Notachance in that Classic Chase contest - an effort which was all the more meritorious considering it was his first outing in 427 days. That is a lot of time away from the track and sure to strip fitter here, and getting a 3lb pull in the weights with his Warwick conqueror, he shouldn’t be too far away at a very nice price.

Ramses De Teillee – 11/1

Another who is well worth a second glance at a double figure price is the top weight Ramses De Teillee. A burden of 11st12lb admittedly doesn’t make life easy at first glance, but Fergus Gillard claims 5lb meaning the nine year old will be saddled with a more manageable 11st7lb. Effectively taking his mark down to 147, that would look to give him every chance if at something like his best.

On the downside, Ramses De Teillee does need to bounce back from a couple of poor efforts having finished well adrift in the Becher Chase and the Welsh Grand National. The Becher Chase performance is easy enough to forgive as he was simply clueless over the National fences, whilst he was beaten so far from home at Chepstow that something was surely amiss.

An excellent second to Elegant Escape in the 2018 edition of the Welsh National, he would look to have the required stamina for this and, most significantly of all, he also ran a cracker in this very race in 2019. Running off 149 that day, with no claimer in the saddle, he went down by just a ½l at the line on ground that was likely quicker than ideal. Looking as well as ever when outbattling Yala Enki – no easy task – in a Grade 3 at Cheltenham as recently as November 2020, he can go well for a trainer who took this with the excellent Vieux Lion Rouge in 2017.

Grand National Trial Winners

2021Lord Du Mesnil8/1Richard HobsonPaul O'Brien
2020Smooth Stepper33/1Alex HalesHarry Bannister
2019Robinsfirth8/1Colin TizzardSean Bowen
2018Yala Enki8/1Venetia WilliamsCharlie Deutsch
2017Vieux Lion Rouge8/1David PipeTom Scudamore
2016Bishops Road13/2Kerry LeeRichard Johnson
2015Lie Forrit8/1Lucinda RussellPeter Buchanan
2014Rigadin De Beauchene16/1Venetia WilliamsRobert Dunne
2013Well Refreshed9/2Gary MooreJoshua Moore
2012Giles Cross4/1Victor DartnallDenis O'Regan

About the Grand National Trial: A Look at Aintree Contenders

Gerald murphy, flickr

The Grand National at Aintree is by some distance the most well-known jumps race in the world. It is a huge prize that every jockey, trainer and owner in National Hunt racing dreams of winning but just dreaming about it is not enough. Such is the unique challenge posed by the iconic marathon of a race that horses have to be thoroughly prepared before competing in the Aintree spectacular. There are number of demanding chases used as preparations, including the Grand National Trial at Haydock, just 10 miles or so east of Aintree.

A Complicated History

The Grand National Trial is one of the highlights of the jumps season at Haydock but its history is far from straightforward. Technically speaking, this is a new race as of 1991 when the Greenall Whitley Gold Cup was introduced at Haydock. However, in the eyes of many racing fans, that race was a reintroduction of the Grand National Trial which was first run at Haydock way back in 1947.

The original name was officially reinstated in 1996 and it is now considered to be the same race in terms of records and statistics. Therefore, the world famous Red Rum sits alongside more recent winners such as Party Politics and Master Oats on the list of Grand National Trial winners, adding more than a little prestige to the contest’s history.

Grand National Winners History National

Haydock Grand National Trial Timeline

Year FromYear ToRace Detail
19471984Run as the Grand National Trial over 3m 4½f
19851990No race run at the trial distance
19911995Greenall Whitley Gold Cup increased to 3m 4f
1996PresentGreenall Whitely Gold Cup reamed the Grand National Trial

Silver By Nature (2010 and 2011) and Goosander (1955 and 1957) are the only horses to have won the Grand National Trial more than once as of the 2020 renewal. In addition, it is worth noting that Silver By Nature’s trainer, Lucinda Russell, became the third trainer to saddle three winners of this race in 2015, with Neville Crump and Fred Rimmell preceding her.

A Worthy Prize in Its Own Right

The Grand National Trial is always run with half an eye on the Grand National. However, there is a danger of not treating this race with the respect that it deserves. It’s a Grade 3 contest which, as of the 2021 renewal, is worth more than £40,000 to winning connections. That’s a prize not to be sniffed at and, of course, the big race itself is also “only” a Grade 3 (even if it does have a seven-figure purse!).

In addition to that, this race is also a big one for punters to win. It is a handicap which takes place over 3 miles 4 ½ furlongs so is always going to be tough to predict. Add to that the relatively large fields which compete each year, the unpredictable ground which has varied from good to heavy in recent years (and heavy at Haydock means HEAVY) and 22 fences and it should be no real surprise that so few favourites win this race.

It takes a performance full of heart, stamina and jumping ability just to make it round the Haydock course. A large proportion of the field either falls on their way round or is pulled up some way before home, especially when the ground is tough as is common, so the winner is deserving of great respect as a staying chaser no matter what happens later in the year at Aintree.

Not the Trial Punters Might Hope For

If the Grand National Trial is a tough race to predict and complete, the Grand National itself is, of course, on a different level. These trial races help connections to get a feel of whether or not a horse has what it takes to complete the Grand National but such is the lottery of the that race that they serve as a poor predictor of success in the big one, truth be told as the table blow indicates.

Haydock Trial Winners in the Grand National: 1947 – 2020

YearTrial WinnerTrainerGrand National Position
2017Vieux Lion Rouge (8/1)David Pipe6th (12/1)
2012Giles Cross (4/1)Victor DartnallPulled Up (20/1)
2011Silver By Nature (10/1)Lucinda Russell12th (9/1)
2009Rambling Minster (18/1)Keith ReveleyPulled Up (8/1)
2005Forest Gunner (12/1)Richard Ford5th (8/1)
2004Jurancon II (10/1)Martin PipeFell (10/1 CF)
2003Shotgun Willy (10/1)Paul NichollsPulled Up (7/1 F)
2000The Last Fling (5/1)Sue Smith7th (14/1)
1997Suny Bay (7/2)Charlie Brooks2nd (8/1)
1995Nuaffe (4/1)Pat FahyFell (20/1)
1994Master Oats (11/4)Kim BaileyFell (9/1)
1993Party Politics (16/1)Nick GaseleeVoid Race (7/1 F)
1992Cool Ground (12/1)Toby Balding10th (10/1)
1983Ashley HouseMichael DickinsonWithdrawn
1977Andy PandyFred RimellFell (15/2 F)
1975Red RumGinger McCain2nd (7/2 F)
1973Highland SealR DeningPulled Up (20/1)
1971The OtterR DeningFell (12/1)
1970French ExcuseFred RimellFell (100/8 F)
1969Game PurstonMatt McCourtPulled Up (33/1)
1967BassnetA KilpatrickFell (10/1)
1964ReproductionG OwenFell (66/1)
1962SolfenW O’Grady12th (9/1)
1957GoosanderNeville Crump6th (5/1 F)
1956SundewF HudsonFell (8/1)
1953WittyW HallUnseated Rider (22/1)

Whilst it is unlikely that we’ll see a winner of both races, this is not a race to completely discount. Far from it. Many previous winners have gone on to have success in other big staying chases, including both the Welsh and Scottish Grand Nationals, whilst some have even gone down in trip for races such as the Topham Chase.

Other Races of Note at Haydock

The Grand National, held annually at Aintree, is the most popular horse race in the world. It attracts one of the largest global viewing audiences for any sporting event and it retains a prominent place in British culture. My lifelong love of the race began in 1967. I was six and can remember only grainy snapshots of infancy before that year's National. However, this event left an indelible impression. I watched it with my grandparents and recall black and white images of a seemingly endless stream of horses walking round the paddock. Then they were racing. Suddenly there was utter chaos, mayhem, adults in shocked excitement, the calm order that was all a child in the 1960s was meant to see was disrupted, the first realisation came that things happen that grown-ups can't control. 'That's the Grand National!' my grandparents said.

Volumes has been written about the Grand National over the years, however, when I looked I could not find a continuous, detailed and up to date history of the kind I was seeking, either in book form or online, hence this website. It will display on any device, please adjust your browser's zoom function to suit, but may be best viewed on a laptop or desktop.

I have strived for accuracy, however, sources are often contradictory and/or incomplete. In these instances I have used the source I consider the more reliable and/or applied logic to deduce as much as is possible. Evidence from visual sources (films, photos) has highest priority.

For horses I have dispensed with any suffix (e.g. I, II, GB, Ire, etc.). For horses of the same name I have differentiated by using (1), (2), etc. except in the case of Peter Simple (grey) and Peter Simple (bay). I have used the sire's name in the cases of two of the four un-named horses who have run in the Grand National: Laurel (1850) and Greysteel (1851); the other two, one of whom ran in 1861 and one in 1866, later became Frank (who ran under that name in 1866) and The Tavern respectively, therefore, I have employed those monikers. Needwood (1855 & 1857) ran as Casse Cou in 1857 but is shown entirely as the former. Star Of England (1854, 1856 & 1857) ran as Hopeless Star on the latter two occasions, however, always appears under his original name. Little Tom (1858 & 1860) ran as Tease in 1860 but is shown entirely as the former. Flatcatcher (1859 & 1860) ran as The Curate on the latter occasion, however, always appears under his original name. Knight's Crest (1946 & 1948) ran as Tudor Close in 1948 but is shown entirely as the former. Likewise, Gay Navarree (1962-1966) who, unfittingly, raced as Pontin-Go 1964-1966 always appears under his original and proper name.

Scottish Grand National Winners History

For trainers I have shown who is generally discerned to have been the actual trainer in cases where the actual trainer was not the licence holder. Women trainers are not generally distinguished by Mrs, Miss, etc.

For jockeys I have not used Mr, Mrs, etc. to denote official amateur status because for many years the distinction between amateur and professional was blurry to say the least. Assumed names (often containing Mr) were common amongst lots of top, experienced and well known riders. In these cases I have endeavored to show their real names. Women jockeys are not generally distinguished by Mrs, Miss, etc.

Unless I have only been able to glean their surname, trainers and jockeys are generally shown with their initial/s (of their commonly used name or nickname where applicable) and surname in 'Races' and, unless I have only been able to glean their initial/s, with their full christian name/s (full commonly used name or nickname with full christian name/s in brackets where applicable) and surname in the appropriate index. A noble, military or other title pertaining to a trainer or jockey at the time of a specific race is shown in 'Races'. Where that title was gained or it changed subsequent to the person's first appearance the person is shown by their original moniker in the appropriate index with their later one/s shown in brackets. (All this looks less confusing than it sounds!)

In 'Races' the page for each year's race has three main sections: course changes; race facts; discussion. The 'Races' opening page includes an explanation of terms and abbreviations used, however, I will cover the general things here.

I have endeavoured to list non-finishers in order of furthest travelled in the race, splitting ties by giving order preference to the more prominent horse when exiting then to more weight carried, shorter odds, etc.

Grand National Winners History Museum

For many of the earlier years of steeplechasing it was regarded in some circles as not the done thing to be known as a professional trainer, therefore, there are numerous blank spaces in the 'Trainer' column of the race facts, something that is compounded by trainers being listed as Private or Abroad (this includes Ireland!) in publications until deep into the twentieth century.

In the discussion section I have placed the emphasis on trying to interpret the reasons for and significance of what happened with less attention paid to pre-race (mis)conceptions. The equine athletes are given most prominence, then the trainers for their work to maximise horses' athletic abilities, followed by the jockeys and their task to encourage, rather than stifle, the flow of that ability. In the course of the discussions (which can be read as a narrative) I have foolhardily attempted to compare and rate the best Grand National performances, hence my 'Scroll Of Merit'.

I'm extremely grateful to have received the generous assistance and wisdom of one of the leading Grand National historians, Mick Mutlow, during my research for this site. We have enjoyed many healthy and constructive debates. Subjective opinions expressed in the discussion section of each Races page are not necessarily shared by Mick! Game earn money paypal.

I know there are a good number of Grand National aficionados in the world and I hope you will contact me to point out inaccuracies and typos, to provide missing or extra information, for general discussion, to challenge my assertions, and with suggestions for additional features (I will gradually add a passage on a specific relevant topic or subject to the foot of each year's 'Races' page (index below)). Where possible please inform me of the source of your knowledge so that I may compare it with the sources I have used. My intention is to conduct further research in pursuit of elusive and better information. Together we can make this the definitive Grand National website.

My YouTube playlist contains film from every Grand National for which any exists on that site:

Chris Dowling