2019 Grand National
2019 Race Summary
The 2019 Grand National took place in bright sunshine with last year’s winner Tiger Roll sent off a well backed 4/1 favourite to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.
The full forty runners lined up in front of the starter on perfect good to soft ground where, as well as returning champion Tiger Roll, the betting public had latched on to former National Hunt Chase winner Rathvinden (8/1) trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh in what turned out to be the double Grand National winning jockey’s final ride in the race. Other well supported runners were US Grand National winner Jury Duty (10/1), former Gold Cup and Grand National placed Anibale Fly (10/1) and Vintage Clouds (11/1) who had recently finished runner up in the Unibet Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Once the tape for the start was released, we witnessed the usual cavalry charge to the first fence with the runners appearing to be going at a speed more akin to a five-furlong sprint at Epsom rather than a four mile, two-and-a-half-furlong marathon.
Go Conquer might just have won the race to be leading over the first fence but the likes of Livelovelaugh, Magic Of Light and Vintage Clouds were all very close behind. The last named crumpled on landing and brought down Up For Review who, sadly, was fatally injured.
The Sam Twiston-Davies ridden Go Conquer (trained by the jockey’s father, Nigel) had a more distinct advantage when jumping the second fence where hot-favourite Tiger Roll made a slight mistake.
After that, the race started to settle down and there were no more fallers until the 19th fence, although Monbeg Notorious was pulled up after the 16th fence. During that period of the race the lead chopped and changed between Step Back, Magic of Light, Rathvinden and Pleasant Company.
At the 19th fence Jury Duty, General Principle and Rock The Kasbah all fell and Blow By Blow was pulled up after making a shuddering mistake whilst at the back of the field.
At the 20th fence, the leader, Step Back, jumped violently out to his right (as he had done at a couple of earlier fences) but this time he lost a great deal of ground and started to drop back. At this point, Rathvinden went back into the lead closely followed by stablemate, Livelovelaugh.
Approaching fence 21 Becher Chase winner Walk In The Mill moved up to challenge for the lead. Former National Hunt Chase winner Minella Rocco was pulled up after this fence after not enjoying the very soft ground.
No fallers at fence 22 and it is now that the National usually starts to thin out as the thirty-two horses remaining headed down to Becher’s for the second time. Unusually all the runners made it over Becher’s Brook safely. Foinavon is also successfully negotiated by the remaining field with Rathvinden showing in a clear lead.
2018 winner Tiger Roll gets his first prominent call from the commentators as the field head down to the Canal Turn for the second time. No fallers again but Step Back, who was leading early on, is pulled up.
Valentines Brook was next up and here Ruby Walsh calls a cab as the leader Rathvinden makes a bad mistake, but the rest of the field negotiate this fence safely.
At fence 26 favourite backers had their hearts in their mouth as Tiger Roll nodded on landing and Davy Russell did very well to stay in the saddle.
Moving towards the 27th fence, an open ditch, Davy Russell asks Tiger Roll for a big jump and yet again the Gigginstown House star is down on his nose. Amazingly these two mistakes at consecutive fences do not appear to disrupt Tiger Roll’s momentum at all. Magic of Light led over the 27th at which point last year’s runner up, Pleasant Company, unseated Paul Townend when seemingly still going well.
The remaining runners now entered a critical portion of the race with just three fences to go. Four Irish challengers were just ahead of the rest of the field over this fence with Magic Of Light in pole position just ahead of Livelovelaugh, Rathvinden and Tiger Roll.
A long run across the Melling Road towards the second last then ensued where the final cards start to be played. Behind the front four Regal Encore, Walk In The Mill, Anibale Fly and 2017 winner One For Arthur all start to make ground on the leaders.
As they went over the second last Magic Of Light just has the lead from Tiger Roll with their nearest pursuers all seemingly now under strong pressure.
As they go to the last Tiger Roll was amazingly back on the bridle and jumped to the lead while Magic Of Light made a shuddering error.
Davy Russell let out an inch of reins here and the defending champion was going oh so easily as he hit the elbow and scooted four or five lengths clear. Russell had nursed his mount through the race and was obviously aware of how Tiger Roll’s petrol nearly ran out on the run-in last year so now began to push and shove on the great horse. The lead Tiger Roll had at the elbow was crucial as suddenly he didn’t seem to be going easily anymore and a rejuvenated Magic Of Light and Rathvinden were making ground. Russell managed to conjure enough from his willing partner up the run-in and held on for a diminishing two and three-quarter length victory with Rathvinden a further 2 and a quarter lengths back in third.
The front three had opened up a good break over the other finishers with Walk In The Mill finishing fourth, eleven lengths behind Rathvinden with Robert Walford’s horse was a further half a length in front of Anibale Fly. But this race was all about the magical winner: Tiger Roll.
The celebrations from all concerned after the race were a sight to see and anyone who loves National Hunt racing will forever remember the sight of this little horse going so, so easily after thirty fences in the Grand National. This was Tiger Roll at his peak. The nine-year-old gelding was able to take mistakes in his stride and his jockey seemed able to put the horse wherever he wanted during the race.
This was a masterclass from man and horse and probably one of the best Grand National winners we have ever seen.
2019 Full Result
|1 ||Tiger Roll ||9 ||11-5 ||Gordon Elliott ||Davy Russell ||4/1F |
|2 ||Magic Of Light ||8 ||10-11 ||Jessica Harrington ||Paddy Kennedy ||66/1 |
|3 ||Rathvinden ||11 ||11-0 ||Willie Mullins ||Ruby Walsh ||8/1 |
|4 ||Walk In The Mill ||9 ||10-4 ||Robert Walford ||James Best ||25/1 |
|5 ||Anibale Fly ||9 ||11-10 ||Tony Martin ||Mark Walsh ||10/1 |
|6 ||One For Arthur ||10 ||11-0 ||Lucinda Russell ||Derek Fox ||25/1 |
|7 ||Regal Encore ||11 ||10-12 ||Anthony Honeyball ||Jonathan Burke ||66/1 |
|8 ||Singlefarmpayment ||9 ||10-6 ||Tom George ||Paddy Brennan ||50/1 |
|9 ||Outlander ||11 ||11-4 ||Richard Spencer ||James Bowen ||66/1 |
|10 ||Valseur Lido ||10 ||10-6 ||Henry De Bromhead ||Rachael Blackmore ||66/1 |
|11 ||Livelovelaugh ||9 ||10-4 ||Willie Mullins ||David Mullins ||25/1 |
|12 ||A Toi Phil ||9 ||10-11 ||Gordon Elliott ||Denis O'Regan ||50/1 |
|13 ||Bless The Wings ||14 ||10-3 ||Gordon Elliott ||Robert Dunne ||50/1 |
|14 ||Ultragold ||11 ||10-7 ||Colin Tizzard ||Tom O'Brien ||50/1 |
|15 ||Vieux Lion Rouge ||10 ||10-6 ||David Pipe ||Tom Scudamore ||50/1 |
|16 ||Captain Redbeard ||10 ||10-3 ||Stuart Coltherd ||Sam Coltherd ||66/1 |
|17 ||Folsom Blue ||12 ||10-4 ||Gordon Elliott ||Luke Dempsey ||66/1 |
|18 ||Valtor ||10 ||11-6 ||Nicky Henderson ||Daryl Jacob ||66/1 |
|19 ||Don Poli ||10 ||11-3 ||Philip Kirby ||Patrick Mullins ||66/1 |
| ||Did Not Complete || || || || || |
|BD ||Up For Review ||10 ||10-6 ||Willie Mullins ||Danny Mullins ||33/1 |
|BD ||Rock The Kasbah ||9 ||10-13 ||Philip Hobbs ||Richard Johnson ||16/1 |
|Fell ||Ballyoptic ||9 ||11-1 ||Nigel Twiston Davies ||Tom Bellamy ||25/1 |
|Fell ||General Principle ||10 ||10-4 ||Gordon Elliott ||J J Slevin ||33/1 |
|Fell ||Vintage Clouds ||9 ||10-4 ||Sue Smith ||Danny Cook ||11/1 |
|PU ||Mala Beach ||11 ||11-2 ||Gordon Elliott ||Mr Jamie Codd ||33/1 |
|PU ||Just A Par ||12 ||10-2 ||James Moffatt ||Aidan Coleman ||100/1 |
|PU ||Tea For Two ||10 ||10-9 ||Jane Williams ||Lizzie Kelly ||25/1 |
|PU ||Warriors Tale ||10 ||10-3 ||Paul Nicholls ||Harry Cobden ||66/1 |
|PU ||Joe Farrell ||10 ||10-2 ||Rebecca Curtis ||Adam Wedge ||14/1 |
|PU ||Go Conquer ||10 ||11-3 ||Nigel Twiston Davies ||Sam Twiston Davies ||33/1 |
|PU ||Noble Endeavour ||10 ||10-10 ||Gordon Elliott ||Mark Enright ||50/1 |
|PU ||Minella Rocco ||9 ||11-1 ||Jonjo O'Neill ||Richie McLernon ||33/1 |
|PU ||Dounikos ||8 ||11-0 ||Gordon Elliott ||Jack Kennedy ||16/1 |
|PU ||Step Back ||9 ||10-7 ||Mark Bradstock ||Nico de Boinville ||25/1 |
|PU ||Lake View Lad ||9 ||11-1 ||Nick Alexander ||Henry Brooke ||14/1 |
|PU ||Monbeg Notorious ||8 ||10-10 ||Gordon Elliott ||Sean Bowen ||50/1 |
|PU ||Blow By Blow ||8 ||10-6 ||Gordon Elliott ||Andrew Ring ||66/1 |
|PU ||Ramses De Teillee ||7 ||10-9 ||David Pipe ||Tom Scudamore ||20/1 |
|UR ||Plasant Company ||11 ||11-1 ||Willie Mullins ||Paul Townend ||12/1 |
|UR ||Jury Duty ||8 ||10-11 ||Gordon Elliott ||Robbie Power ||10/1 |