Grand National 2001
The tapes went up on the starting gate and all the horses ran towards the first fence going a little too quickly but not a quickly as in previous years. The horses cross the Melling road and unusually you can see standing water on the shingle that is used to cover the road for the race. The horses get to the first and the leaders are Edmond Beau and Moral Support. Two horses are unlucky at the first and they are Art Prince who falls at the same fence as last year, and also Spanish Main who unseats his rider. The Last Fling jumps the fence too big and pecks on landing
Onto the second fence, as the leaders Edmond, Beau and Esprite De Cotte jump it a few make mistakes in behind and we lose three more at this fence Tresor De Mai and Hanakham fall and surprisingly the very safe Addington Boy will not be bettering his 4th and 5th finishes in this race as he unseats his jockey.
Onto the third fence, the first open ditch . This fence does catch out horses every year and one of the leading group falls first and also there are two more casualties Hollybank Buck falls, Kaki Crazy falls and the fancied Paddy's Return unships Adrian Maguire. The leaders are starting to get into their stride now and it's all onto the next.
Merry People and Unsinkable Boxer join the three leaders before the next and they jump it well but there are more fallers at this fence.
Earthmover unseats his rider at the same fence as last year and the strongly fancied Inis Cara falls also.
The fifth fence looms and the leader jump it well but The Last Fling will not be improving on his 7th place last year as he unseats him rider.
The next fence is the most famous fence in the world the fence that gets it's name from the famous captain who fell at it on in the first race, Becher's Brook, the first horse to jump it is a loose horse, Paddy's Return but he is on the outside and causes no problems here, The first to jump it is Beau, his jockey Twice winner of the race Carl Llewellyn gives the horse every chance by going wide where the drop is a little less. The horse jumps but pecks a little on landing but is fine. Edmond and Esprit De Cotte jump the fence well and the leaders are away from the fence quickly. However there are more fallers here Exit Swinger falls, along with Strong Tel . Northern Starlight unseats his rider
The next fence is the smallest on the course and at last and this one does not usually cause any fallers but this year Merry People is unable to improve on last years run and is hampered and unseats his rider.
The next is another of the unique fences it is The Canal Turn where the track turn by 90 degrees after the fence last year we had lost 7 runners by the time this fence cam up this year we have lost 14 but we haven't seen anything yet as the leaders approach the fence on the outside the riderless Paddy's Return turns sideways away from the crowd and is now running along the fence towards the oncoming horses and riders. Beau Jumps the fence superbly Edmond jumps next followed very closely by the improving Blowing Wind. Paddy's return heads for the pack.
Paddy's Return unknowingly hits the oncoming field and horses fall, riders are unseated and horses refuse there is a complete mêlée.
It looks like the scene at Valentines all those years ago there is complete carnage with horses and riders going around to avoided the fallers.
A few riders are thrown off and one Warren Marsden is on the floor behind the fence and a village King falls over the fence and lands on him, the horse is winded and lays flat on Warren. village kings jockey sees that Warren is in trouble and wastes no time as you can see here in pulling Warren out from under the horse.
Thankfully a few seconds later the horse gets attention from Norman Williamson and also a steward and he gets up and is okay. The causalities here are. Lance Armstrong Refused along with Dark Stranger and Feels Like Gold and also Moral Support, the faller was Village King and General Wolfe, Mely Moss , You're Agoodun and Amberleigh House. Djeddah unseated his rider.
On to the next and we now have only 17 of the original 40 starters the horses run to the next. Beau is still out in front followed by Edmond third to jump it is Brave Highlander who's has made up ground but Mister One unseats his rider. At the next Edmond and Beau jump it together and they are about two lengths in front of the others. Finally at this the 10th fence we get the first where there are no fallers.
On to the next and Smarty is starting to show up with the first half a dozen . The leaders jump it well but Esprite De Cotte loses his rider spectacularly as the horse stops but the jockey is airborne and clears the fence on his own. Red marauder makes a bad mistake.
We're at the 12th fence and the field is getting strung out. Edmond takes up the lead again and goes a length clear of Beau Papillon is also starting to show in the leading few. All jump the fence.
The field looks depleted now and Edmond is in the lead Beau is second with Smarty third Blowing Wind Comes next followed by Papillon, Noble Lord, Unsinkable Boxer, Listen Timmy, Brave Highlander, and Red Marauder.
The horses cross the Melling road and go around the bend into the home straight. The next 13th fence is often though of as an unlucky fence maybe because you have a long run to it from the previous fence, The leaders jump it will but take a little of the top of the fence off but Noble Lord is unlucky at this one and falls
Onto the next this is the fence before the chair and all the horses jump the fence. We start to think that maybe the excitement is over and we can settle down to watch the remaining few race.
The horses start to move in from the rails for the next the biggest fence in the national the Chair,
This fence has a 4ft ditch in front of it before you get to the 4ft 8 inch fence . It is a very tricky as unlike the other fences the landing side is 6inches higher then the take off side.
Last year all horses jumped the fence without problems this year was going to very different. Beau in front now jumps the fence well and he is followed by Smarty.
Edmond runs into the ditch and has no chance of jumping it his chest hits the fence and Richard Johnson is thrown over and land hard, he then ducks back into the fence while Red marauder and Papillon jump the fence.
Richard did get out of the fence and walked over to other horses and riders who were out of the race.
Moondigua also does the same and gallops into the ditch he then is unable to take off and his jockey flies through the air over the fence. Supreme Charm jumped the fence but landed on top of the fence and although he scrambled through he gave his jockey no chance of staying onboard.
The next is the water jump this also is quite a safe fence and all jump it but Listen Timmy's jockey can see he has had enough and pulls him up and also No Retreat is also pulled up. Papillon makes a slight mistake.
The horses now run up to the finishing line and have complete the first round but have it all to do again. But we are down to only 7 runners as they go out to face the run to the Melling road they are Beau who is going very well Smarty going equally as well followed by Blowing wind who is running a cracker. Next comes red Marauder who has made many mistakes but is staying on. Next last years winner Papillon is going well unsinkable boxer is next and last but by no means least is the Aintree regular and last years forth the oldest horse in the race at 13 Brave Highlander. But we do hear that Lance Armstrong who came to grief at the Canal turn has remounted and is still continuing but he is a mile behind the others. The horses cross the Melling road and onto the next, which was the first. The horses are going at a sensible pace and all jump it okay.
Onto the next and again all horses jump the fence without problems but beau's rider seems to have lost one reign or both have gone to one side. Loose horses are again up with the leaders.
The next fence the 19th is the open ditch again. Carl Llewellyn Beau's rider switches him to the inside of the course and jumps the fence well but Smarty further out also gets a good jump but a loose horse cuts across Blowing wind as the horse takes evasive action he throws off his Jockey . They and the loose horse impede Papillon who also refuses and gets rid of his jockey. Brave Highlander also refuses here. ( Lance Armstrong eventually pulls up here). Beau's reigns are now over the horses face and are causing him and his rider problems. Onto the next Only 4 left in the race now Beau, Smarty, Red Marauder and Unsinkable Boxer. Beau out in front jumps the fence but twists a little on landing he unbalances his jockey who because he has not got the reigns in the right place unseats, Carl tried desperately to hold onto the reigns and gets carried along for a few yards.. Smarty and Red Marauder jump the fence but Unsinkable Boxer is pulled up. Carl Llewellyn however has not had enough and chases Beau down the track shouting for someone to catch his horse. We are now down to two in the race . At the next both the leaders jump the fence red Marauder takes a slight lead but goes through the top of the fence but smarty jumps well. The riderless Beau jumps the fence ending his chance of being caught and remounted. The two leaders are now at Becher's and both jump the fence well, there is a big cheer from the crowd as they do so.
The two go onto the Foinavon fence, as they do Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh the riders of Blowing Wind and Papillon decide to remount their horses and try to carry on., but they are already 4 fences behind. Both the horses go and jump Foinavon well and the Canal turn crowd give a great cheer as both jump clear. The cheers get louder and louder at every fence.
The next is the canal turn again and again there is a loose horse at the head of the field. Again it is paddy Return he comes to the fence and again cuts back Red marauder misses the horse and jumps the fence but he makes a mistake and almost crawls over the fence, The loose horse runs between him and smarty but luckily smarty is cleaver enough to avoid him and jumps the fence really well and is only a length behind.
Both horses are now running well and the jockeys are being sensible and riding their horses at a sensible pace at the next which is Valentines both horses jump well Smarty is jumping the better but Red Marauder's cruising speed is faster between the fences.
At he next both jump well but again Smarty jumps the more fluently and gains half a length.
The horses are now 4 from home and Red Marauder get half a length in front but he seems to shorten up and makes a mistake at the fence his jockey leans back and the horse leaves his legs in the fence but he finds a foot hold and the jockey is balanced and they survive .Smarty pings the fence in the same way he has all the others and gets away the better and goes 3 lengths in front.
There is a long way to the next and in that time Red Marauder catches Smarty who has no more speed to offer in this ground only guts is keeping him going his jockey realises this and does not try to get more from the horse than he can give, he knows the horse is giving him everything he has left now but Red Marauder despite the mistakes still has the higher cruising speed and he passes Smarty and by the time they are at the second last he is 10 lengths ahead. At the second last again he makes a mistake he is tired but he won't give up he goes though the top of the fence and almost walks through it by he gets away from it Smarty is next at it he jumps the fence perfectly and they are approaching the last.
Red Marauder gets to the last and he steady's up at it and jumps the fence slowly but gets over without a mistake, the crowd give a louder cheer , He is tired in this strength sapping ground but he knows that the worlds greatest steeplechase is now up for grabs. Smarty jumps the fence looking very tiered but he also gets a great cheer from the crown the noise now is deafening.
The crowd are now cheering and willing on these brave two horses it doesn't matter what you bet or where it fell we all know that this is a historic race and that these two horses have run their heart out, they have overcome everything the course the trip and the weather has thrown at them and they are on the run in.
Many horses have been caught on the run in but this is not going to happen today as Red Marauder extends his lead to go past the winning line a distance in front of Smarty to win the 2001 Grand National .
Smarty the only other horse to get a clear round and he gets no less a cheer from the crowd.
Two brave horses and two brave jockeys see off the rest of the 38 runner to come home two fences in front of the other two finishers.
At the second last both Papillon and Blowing wind jump it well.
Blowing Wind then gets ahead of Papillon and clears the last Papillon is 10 length behind and also clears the last. Blowing wind gets a cheer as he passes the winning line in third place
Papillon gets a cheer as last years winner is the only other finisher in this historic race.
Red Marauder was the champion of Aintree today, he was the fastest or possibly the better stayer of the only two horses to finish in The 2001 Grand National. His performance today was absolutely outstanding considering the very difficult conditions. Red Marauder and his jockey Richard Guest showed the courage and guts that The Grand National is all about. He came through the mud tired cold and wet but crossed the line a distance ahead of his nearest rival and officially there was a distance to the third horse but the first two were half a mile ahead of the third who finished a distance ahead of the third both of which had remounted to finish the race after unshipping their riders. The determination of both horse and jockey to come through on the day was perhaps more remarkable if you consider that they made quite a few jumping errors, Richard said afterwards that "he ( Red Marauder ) just wouldn't go down today" and added "He must have made 5 or 6 errors ". In order to win the race he had to jump 30 testing fences today and that was 24 more than he managed last year when fell at the 6th. He also breaks a recent record in that the last 10 winners were all running in The National for the first time. Red Marauder is not a natural over the Aintree course as he does make mistakes in running but his courage cannot be in any doubt. Many national hunt horses refuse or simply stop running when they make a mistake or simply give up but Red showed his love of the game by staying on in his own time and not having to be urged on by relentless whipping from a jockey. It could have been very different today as he was one of the last horses to jump the canal turn before Paddy's Return came across the fence to baulk so many horses but he was far enough up the field to avoid this mle. I have to say that his best form is at distances shorter than 3miles but he has shown that he has the guts to stay this marathon trip. He is 11 now and therefore he will not improve next year but I'm sure that if he can get to Aintree next year there will be plenty of people willing to give this brave horse a good chance of a repeat and he certainly will not be, what looks like a very big price at 33/1 this year. Seeing him come through the mud to win today was truly moving and is a sight I will not forget. Well Done Red !
Norman Mason Owner and Trainer of this years winner, He was truly humble in the after race interviews pushing the glory onto his jockey, but it is a difficult job to get a horse to the national in any year but to get this horse here in a condition where he is so fit to complete this course in these gruelling conditions was the sign of a very good trainer who know his horses. It would have been very easy for him to not have even entered the horse this year after his fall last year but he know the heart of the horse and was willing to give him a second chance. He names a lot of his horses with the "Red" tag after a trip to china where he was told that red was the lucky colour. He has had some other good "reds". Red Ark who was also entered for this years race and who could be a "live " contender next year in better ground won the 2000 Perrier Joulet Chase and Red Striker won the 2001 dipper Novices chase. Norman Mason is the owner of the leisure group The Mason Organisation that has amusements and bingo halls pubs and clubs and he took out a training licence after having horses with Gordon Richards. His results have improved since he has teamed up with Richard Guest and they are very much a team. More winners will certainly come their way next season. Richard Guest.
Despite Richards quote yesterday " It looked awful, didn't it ?" he is a very good accomplished horseman . Big race wins are also not new for him as he won The Champion hurdle on Beech Road in 1989 another day when the ground was absolutely bottomless. Richard has also been second in the National when in 1992 he was second on Romany King to that year's winner Party Politics. He has had his problems with the racing authorities, which led him to throw in his jockeys licence in 1998 when he was suspended. Three months later he took a job with Norman Mason as assistant trainer and took up his licence again to ride for the stable. Richard seem to be a nice man and the careful ride he gave his mount without falling off or treating the horse badly only backs up this and he is a well deserved winner of The Worlds Greatest Steeplechase.
Jumping is the name of the game is a phrase we hear so much and this is what Smarty does best. Smarty (Temp Image) He is a great, safe jumper and didn't make a mistake today, unlike the 39 others who all had problems, He did not have it easy today, he was impeded at the 19th and must have hated the ground as the only time he ran badly this season was when he was pulled up on heavy ground. seen in this light his second is even more impressive as he overcame this as well. He ran very well for most of the race but got tired and did not seem to get the trip but you must add to that "in this ground" and I think this trip will suit him if he gets better ground. He did have the credentials to run well today being a fine winner over 3 miles and he will certainly be winning more races and dare we say it maybe win this event next year. He will have more to do next year as he will probably be higher in the handicap, however he will be only 9 next years and this is a prime age for the race.
Mark Pitman has all the credentials, and also looks like becoming one of the top trainers in the country. This is the second time for him to come in second in The Grand National as he rode the very good Garrison Savannah in the race and was a little unlucky not to win that year. ( story in past winners section of this site )That would have been some feat as the horse had won the gold cup that year. Mark comes from a racing family his father Richard was a good jockey who also was second on in the race on Crisp whose story is told else ware on the site. Richard is now the BBC's commentator on National hunt racing. Marks mother Jenny was the first and still the only woman to win The Grand National indeed she has trained two winners of the race, and I don't think it will be long before mark also has won this race. As I said he has won the Gold cup as a jockey and is now doing great this as a trainer He trained 36 winners last season and was 10th in the trainers title.
Timmy Murphy is one of the countries best national hunt jockeys. Timmy Murphy He has a good record and last year won 64 times and made the frame a further 92 times. He gave smarty a fine ride today and it is to his credit that he did not give the horse too hard a race by trying to get the horse ahead of the winner when it was clear that he was not going to win the race if the winner managed to stay on his feet. Timmy guided the horse through the carnage and also an incident at the 19th fence with great care and showed his horsemanship to the full. Along with his celebrations this year at coming second he must also have been a little disappointed that the ground was not better today, but he must be very excited about his prospects for next year.
Blowing Wind Third in the 20001 Grand National As the choice of the stables number one jockey Blowing winds odds started to fall before the race. He is a brave horse but has had jumping problems in the past., but did not how any of that today. He was hampered at the 19th fence and refused throwing off his jockey, but he had no option at that point as he had nowhere to go and was clever enough to stop. His jockey remounted and then carried on at his own pace and the horse just hunted along to until he was pushed out after the last to finish well ahead of a previous winner Papillon. This will not be known as the best third place but he was going very well before being hampered and could have gone close if this mishap had not happened. At 8 years old he will be back next year and who knows may run well again.
Martin Pipe is the top trainer in the country. He trained the 1994 winner of the race, Miinnehoma and had 10 runners in the race this year. As I said he is the top trainer in the country and trained 243 winners last season and was 123 winners and 70 thousand pounds in prise money ahead of his nearest rival.
Tony McCoyAs the stable jockey to Martin Pipe you would have expected Tony to be the number one jockey in the country and so is his 245 winners last year in testament to his professional attitude. He hates being beat at anything especially his riding.. Tony will go anywhere to try and ride a winner and is very well travelled. He rode in 803 races last year and was only unplaced in 331. Many punters follow this man relentlessly and was one of only six jockeys from the top 50 riders to show a level stakes profit on all his rides.
Papillon Fourth n the 2001 Grand National Last years winner made the frame again this year. He ran with credit and managed to avoid much of the mle at the canal turn but did make a mistake at the water jump. He was going very well until the 19th fence when along with Blowing Wind he was hampered and unseated his rider. He was another who had no choice but to throw his jockey off. He remounted at the fence and was hunted around the rest of the course but was left behind when Blowing Wind's jockey went for home. He was not asked a serous question them but was ridden along for fourth place, This was probably a good thing as his owner never wanted him to run in the race last year and if she thought that he was going to be injured she would not have run him today and the fact he came home safe and well means that he could well be back for another crack next year.
Edward (Ted) Walsh
Ted Walsh is a very popular trainer in this country and also in his native Ireland. He was a very successful amateur jockey before he turned his hand to training indeed he was 11 times the Irish Amateur Champion rider and won four times at Cheltenham and the last of these wins was in the Foxhunters in 1986. His training stables are very much a family affair with all the family helping out. Last year he also won the Irish national along with this race.
Ruby gave the horse a great ride again this year. He looked after the horse where he needed and pushed the horse along when required. At 21 he is now becoming quite an established horseman and gets plenty of good rides from his father, the trainer who he ride for the most. He must be thrilled to finish fourth this year after last years win and also another who will look forward to next years renewal with relish.
Full List of Finishers
|1st||Red Marauder||11-10-11||N.B. Mason||N.B. Mason||Richard Guest|
|2nd||Smarty||8-10-0||Mrs T. Bowen||M. Pitman||T.J. Murphy|
|3rd||Blowing Wind||8-10-9||Mr P.A. Deal||M.C.Pipe||D.J.Casey|
|4th||Papillon||10-11-5||Mrs J.Maxwell Moran||T.M. Walsh||R.Walsh|
|UR||Spanish Main|| ||Mr.C.B. Sanderson||N.A. Twiston Davies||J. Goldstein|
|FELL||Art Prince||11 10 0||Mr T.Neill||M.Pipe||J. Crowley|
|FELL||Tresor De Mai||7-11-2||Mr.J. Moran||M.C.Pipe||R. Greene|
|UR||Addington Boy||13-10-11||Royal Agricultural Benevolent Inst||F.Murphy||J.P. McNamara|
|FELL||Hanakham||12-10-11||Mr M.A. Bereton||D.McCain||B.J. Geraghty|
|FELL||Hollybank Buck||11-10-0||Mrs S. Warner||A.J. Martin||F.J. Flood|
|UR||Paddy's Return||9-10-0||Mr P.O'Donnell||F. Murphy||A. Maguire|
|UR||Earthmover||10 11 2||Mr R.M. Penny||P. Nicholls||J. Tizzard|
|FELL||Inis Cara||9-10-3||N. Hogan Syndicate||V. Wiliams||R. Widger|
|UR||The Last Fling||11-10-12||Mr.T. Hemmings||Mrs S.J. Smith||S. Durack|
|FELL||Strong Tel||11-10-11||Mr T.Neil||M.C. Pipe||D.J. Casey|
|FELL||Exit Swinger||6-10-5||Mr.C.R. Fleet||M.C. Pipe||C. Maude|
|UR||Northern Starlight||10-10-7||Mr.A. Souch||M.C. Pipe||Mr T. Scudamore|
|UR||Merry People||13-10-0||Mr.K. Casey||J. Queally||G. Cotter|
|8th Fence Canal Turn|
|BD||General Wolfe||12-11-0||The Winning Line||Miss V. Williams||B.J. Crowley|
|BD||Moral Support||9-10-9||T. and E.Yates||C.J.Mann||N. Fehily|
|BD||Mely Moss||10-10-5||Mr D. Mecer and Miss L. Boden||C.R. Egerton||N. Williamson|
|UR||Djeddah||10-10-11||Mr R. Barby and H. D'Ecouves||F. Doumen||T. Doumen|
|REF||Dark Stranger||10-10-3||Mr T. Neill||M.C. Pipe||K.A. Kelly|
|BD||You're Agoodun||9-10-1||Mr. J.S. Lammiman||M.C. Pipe||R. Wakley|
|FELL||Village King||8-10-0||Capt E.J. and MRs J .Edwards Heathcote||P.J. Hobbs||J. Culloty|
|REF||Feels Like Gold||13-10-0||Independent Twine Manuf||N.G. Richards||B. Harding|
|BD||Amberleigh House||9-10-5||Halewood Int||D. McCain||W. Marston|
|9th Fence ( Valentines)|
|UR||Mister One|| ||Mr.C.L. Tizzard||C. Tizzard||M. Bradbourne|
|UR||Esprit De Cotte||9-10-0||Mr T. Hemmings||N.J. Henderson||T. Doyle|
|FELL||Noble Lord||8-10-5||Mr.J. McCarthy and Mr.G. Lansbury||R.T. Philips||J.A. McCarthy|
|FELL||Edmond||9-10-1||Lady Knutsford||H.D. Daly||R. Johnson|
|UR||Moondigua||9-10-0||Golden Step Racing II||M.C. Pipe||J.R. Barry|
|UR||Supreme Charm||9-10-0||Mr.P.J. Vogt||K.C. Baily||R. Thornton|
|PU||Listen Timmy||12-10-3||Sir Stanley Clarke||A. King||A. Dobbin|
|PU||No Retreat||8-10-0||M. Wand A.N. Harris||S.A. Brookshaw||J.M. Maguire|
|REF||Lance Armstrong||11-10-0||Mr.G.L. Porter||R.H. Alner||A. Thornton|
|REF||Brave Highlander||13-10-0||Mr and Mrs N.J. Embiricos||J.T. Gifford||P.Hide|
|UR||Beau||8-11-10||Mrs S. Tainton||N.A. Twiston Davies||C. Llewellyn|
|PU||Unsinkable Boxer||12-10-0||Mr. P. Green||R.H. Alner||D. Gallagher|
|30th and Last Fence|