Grand National 2005

OLBG - Grand National 2005

Race Summary

As the horses moved away from the tape the crowd gave a mighty roar. The horses crossed the Melling road and to the first of the 30 fences.

At the fence Double Honour and Colonel Rayburn jump it first, behind these Strong Resolve made a mistake as did Heros Collonges and Royal Auclair but they get away with the mistakes. Not so lucky were Lord Atterbury who falls and also Frenchman's Creek who unseats his rider.

28 horses are at the second fence. The leaders get over the fence well but at the back of the filed both Risk Assessor and Ballycassidy make mistakes and unseat their riders.

On to the third fence, Glenelly Gale make ground and opens up a length lean over Double Honour and Colonel Rayburn, next in the field is Astonville and Bindaree. This fence is the first open ditch and the leaders jump it well. The rest of the filed give the fence the respect it deserves and all get away from the fence without incident.

Onto the fourth fence and Glenelly Gale opens up a further 2 lengths advantage and jumps the fence really well. Behind him the rest of the field clear the fence and the runners and riders are on to the 5th.

As they approach the fifth fence Astonville is making ground and is second on the approach but Glenelly Gael is still 3 to 4 lengths out in front at the fence and all the field again jump the fence well.

The next fence is the most famous in the world 'Bechers Brook' which has been totally rebuilt for the race this years and for the first time for many years has actually got water in the ditch again. Glenelly Gale is first at the fence and puts in a really good jump but just pecks slightly on landing but gets away from the fence well. The rest of the filed pour over the fence and most jump it well with the exception of Europa who makes a bad mistake but he survives and the horses turn a slight left and run on to the Foinavon fence for the first time.

This fence is the smallest in the race but has caused problems in the past, at the fence Glenelly Gale is still in the lead. Following up and again making progress Double Honour jumps the fence in second place, then comes Astonville and Colonel Rayburn, these are followed by Forest Gunner and Montys Pass, then Strong Resolve who makes a slight mistake. Next are Hedgehunter and Nil Desperandum. Then comes Merchants Friend, Clan Royal Ad Hoc. The rest of the field clear the fence and they run onto the next fence.

The next fence is another unique fence, The Canal Turn, where the runners have t turn 90 degrees after jumping the fence. As they approach the fence the horses move out to the right so they can cut the corner of the fence and so save ground and time getting away from the fence. At the fence Glenelly gale is two lengths in front of Double Honour who is two lengths in front of Colonel Rayburn. Hedgehunter is next. Native Emperor makes a mistake but gets away with it. The field turns hard left and on to the next fence, Valentines Brook.

At the fence Glenelly gale is still 3 in front with Double honour second the rest of the field jump the fence with the exception of Native Emperor who makes his second mistake in succession but this time he pays the penalty as he unseats his rider.

At the next Glenelly gale jumps the fence well in front and the rest of the pack are coming together and three or four horses jump it together in second. Merchants friend makes a bad mistake and falls.

As they move to the next fence Clan Royal is moving through the field and is up to second place at the fence. This next fence is the open ditch and at the fence Glenelly gale is in front but his lead is shortening. Both jump the fence well and get away from it and the rest of the field come along behind. T

he next is the 12th, the horses have no problem jumping this fence and go on to the long run to the 13th.

As the horses cross the Melling road Glenelly Gale is still full of running but Clan Royal is going really well in close second place, then comes double Honour and Montys Pass, Strong Resolve. As the runners come back on to the racecourse the field is running on well. As they approach the fence two loose horses are getting up close, one runs around the fence while the other looks as if he will jump it with the leaders at the fence Glenelly Gale is first followed by Clan royal who is a lenghth behind, a further length sees Double honour and Montys pass in next , the rest of the filed who are bunching up a little. Astonville is pulled up before the fence.

At the 14th All the horses jump the fence well but the pace is getting a little faster and the horses are starting to get little strung out. All jump the fence and run on to the 15th.

The next fence is the biggest fence in the national the Chair Fence. On the approach to the next fence one of the loose horses comes across the filed again but then runs on, As the leaders approach the fence Clan Royal and Glenelly Gale meet it together but Clan royal has the better jump and jumps into the lead. Third is Double Honour as the rest of the filed clear the fence a mistake is made by Take the Stand and he unseats his rider and Forest Gunner makes a mistake.

As they get away from the fence the leading group is stringing out more and the leaders go onto the Water jump. At this fence Clan Royal is out in front by a half a lenghth and they are 3 lengths in from of Double Honour. The next few horses jump the fence well but Strong Resolve makes a very bad mistake and loses his position.

As they run on past the winning post for the first time. Clan Royal is out in front from Glenelly Gale and Double Honour Next is Colonel Rayburn, Hedgehunter, Montys Pass, Forest Gunner, Just in Debt, Innox , Ad Hoc, Fondmort, Heros Collonges, Royal Auclair, Simply Gifted Jolly Bay. Next is Iznogoud, It takes Time, Strong Resolve, Folly Pleasant, Europa, Marcus Du Berlais, Bindaree, Amberleigh House and Nil Desperandum.

As they horses move to the next fence this is the fence that was the first on the first circuit but this time is the 17th. Clan royal is now leading the pack with Glenelly Gale and Hedgehunter a lenghth behind sharing second place. Two loose horses are also up with the leaders and are staring to look menacing.

On to the 18th fence and the leader Clan Royal jumps the fence really well, next is Glenelly Gale who is a little untidy and makes a mistake. Double Honour is next and the rest of the field follow all horses clear the fence but some in the back of the field are slow at it.

On to the 19th and there are three horses at the front of the field but only one jockey as the two loose horses get up to the leader. Clan Royal is now opening up a commanding lead as at the fence he is 5 lengths clear and jumps it well. Next is Glenelly Gale and the rest of the filed get to the fence most jump well and the pace is hotting up. Soon after the fence Jakari is pulled up.

As Clan Royal Approaches the 20th one of the loose horses crosses his path. He takes a little pull and lets the horse cross him. He gets to the fence well in the lead, The pace is still quickening, he jumps well and so do the next few in the field Foly Pleasant who is feeling the pace at this stage makes a mistake and falls.

At the 21st fence Clan Royal is still out in front and going well within himself but one of the loose horses is getting too close to him Clan Royal jumps the fence, well as the pack approach the fence four horses jump it in unison but one, Double Honour makes a mistake and falls, as the rest of the filed jump another horse makes a mistake, it is Le Coudray, he is not going to get away with it and also falls.

On to the 22nd and the loose horse is now getting very close to Clan Royal Tony McCoy can see the horse closing in on his left hand side, Tony takes a pull again and lets this horse cross him as he did two fences before with the other loose horse, who is now 5 lengths ahead of the field. Tony does a really good job here and settles his horse again. The are approaching Bechers Brook and Tony McCoy just starts to get his horse into stride for the fence when the loose horse to his left suddenly cuts across his mount at full gallop. Both Tony and Clan Royal have no other option than to go left and the horse is now in front of them Tony tries in vain to give his horse some other option but the loose horse leads them down and across the fence as they are carried out. As they get to the inside edge of the fence Clan Royal has no option but throw Tony off the horse and the pair are dramatically out of the race. Four horses jump the fence in a line and the fastest away from the fence is Hedgehunter as he runs away in front. Ad Hoc falls at the fence and Ballybough Rasher refuses to jump the fence and Marcus Du Berlais unseats his rider. So Bechers Brook and a loose horse make a big difference once again to the big race.

At the 24th. Hedge Hunter jumps it well then comes Innox followed by Just in Debt . Joly Bay takes a wide route and loses his place. The field is now getting tired and more stretched out as they go left and on to the next.

At the 25th the leaders are now very serious as horses at the back are now getting tired and detached.. Up front however Hedgehunter who is leading Innox and Just in Debt and Royal Auclair are full of running the filed clear the fence and on to the next.

At the next Hedgehunter still in the lead as Just in Debt, Royal Auclair and Heros Collonges are all getting faster as the pace hoots up. This is the last open ditch, at the fence Hedgehunter is still just in the lead and the field jump the fence.

The next is the 27th a plain fence and at it Hedgehunter leads the field the horses at the back of the field are now very tired. Some horses however are staying on and improving, Simply Gifted is going well as is Forest Gunner. Staying on at the back is Bindaree, Monty's Pass and Amberleigh House. At the fence the leaders jump it fast and well. As the field jump it they have a long run to the next fence.

As they cross the Melling road again and get onto the racecourse proper Hedgehunter leads the National. Next Comes Innox and Hero Colognes Followed by Just in Debt, Forest Gunner and It Takes Time, Fondmort has had enough and is pulled up so is the long time leader Glenelly Gale. Colonel Rayburn another who has ran well is pulled up.

As they approach the final turn Hedgehunter is still in the lead and is opening up a by two lengths, Next is Innox Still going well Just in Debt is still there next is Heros Collonges, and Polar Red who is making ground. Next comes Forest Gunner who is going well enough.

At the second last Hedgehunter is two in front of Royal Auclair, Polar red and Simply Gifted. 10 horses are in the leading pack with a further 11 following up behind. All jump the fence.

Hedgehunter is approaching the fence that he fell at last year when in contention the 30th and last fence in the Worlds Greatest Steeplechase. He approaches the fence jumps and does really well and gets away from it full of running. Royal Auclair is next at the fence and has run a blinder carrying 9lbs more that the leader he is being asked to give more by his jockey Christian Williams and in response he finds more. Next are three in a row, Hedgehunters stalemate Simply Gifted who is running a great race under his jockey Brian Harding. Alongside him is Innox who after giving his all is now starting to tire. Also alongside is Forest Gunner whose jockey Carrie Ford is trying to make history as the first woman to win, she has given her horse a great ride and has got him in the perfect position for a challenge.

As the horses approach the elbow Hedgehunter is getting further and further ahead and is now 5 lengths ahead of the field and look to be the horse that gives Ruby Walsh his second winner in the race. Ruby is not moving on the horse and is not letting himself being carried away. He is still going well passed the elbow , the second horse Royal Auclair is still staying on under pressure but will not give way, even though they are 5 lengths behind, Simply Gifted is next putting in a great race and staying on. Forest gunner is also staying on if at one pace.

As he gets away from the elbow the great Ruby Walsh is as cool as a cucumber and starts to ride the horse out hands and heels, only halfway up the run in does he really get to work to keep the horse up to his work but he can relax they are well ahead of the field as they cross the line and win the Worlds greatest Steeplechase

Finishing second is Royal Auclair a half a lenghth in front of Simply Gifted. Next is It Takes time and 5th is a historic finishing position for Carrie Ford as Forest Gunner finishes, she has equalled the highest placing ever by a female rider.

Next is Nil Desperandum, next comes Innox and Heros Collonges followed by Just in Debt and last years winner Amberleigh House. Next is the 2002 winner Bindaree followed by Iznogoud. Next is Polar Red who faded from the last followed by Joly Bay who also weakened at the end of the race. L´Aventure comes next than Monty's Pass, Strong Resolve, Spot the Difference, Arctic Copper, Europa and finally Shamawan.

Winner Comments


Hedgehunter today defied 11st 1lb to gain revenge for his last fence fall in last years event. Hedgehunter The horse travelled well throughout the race and took up the running when the then Leader Clan Royal was carried out in the race. The horse that fell tired in last years race was going so well at the last when all around him were starting to send out warnings of their tiredness. He was a revelation today and rewarded the many punters who followed him in the race. The horse did little wrong today and only made one mistake in the race. He was brave at his fences without being too bold and he is a credit to his connections.

At 9 years old he will almost certainly be back to try and re-gain his crown and if he is not asked to carry too much weight next year will have every chance.

Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins come from a famous racing family. Willie_MullinsHis father Paddy Mullins was a trainer in both flat and national hunt racing. In National hunt he is best remembered for training Dawn Run.

Willie was a good jockey who rode in this race in 1983 when he partnered The Ladys Master who unfortunately for him ran out. A year later on Hazy Dawn he fell at the 6th. As a trainer he has had some good horses in his charge and some of them have been in the race with the likes of Mickos Dream and Alexander Banquet both of whom failed to get around as did this horse last year, however all that has been forgotten now as this likeable man has now won the worlds greatest steeplechase.

Ruby Walsh

Ruby_WalshQuite simply one of the best if not the best national hunt jockey riding today, Ruby has great hands and balance. He rides horses with what seems real ease and presents horses to with great effect. His ability to sit still and allow horses to come right is superb and his ability to help horses when absolutely neccessary puts him amongst the greatest horsemen. He comes from a racing family with his father Ted who is also a very talented man who was a fine amateur jockey before becoming a well repected trainer and tv expert. Ruby rode the horse his father trained, Papillon in the 2000 Grand National and won that year. He has also ridden with great effect in the years in between with 2 4th places and only once not making it around. Ruby is top class and is always in demand by the top trainers. He is currently top jockey for Willie Mullins in Ireland and also Paul Nicholls in the UK

Second Place

Royal Auclair

Royal Auclair put up a brilliant performance today carrying the burden of 11st 10lbs He was given a great ride by Christian Williams who did everything he could to get the horse in a winning position. He was unlucky to come up against a very good winner this year. Royal Auclair was prised as his trainers best prospect for the Grand National earlier in the year. This great run today will ensure he will not go down in the weights next year however the horse today did not get the ground he likes, had the ground been firmer then who knows how much closer he would have been and if it turns out to be firmer next year you could not leave him out of your calculations.

Christian Williams

A young Welsh rider from the seaside town of Ogmore-by-Sea. Christian gave this horse a great ride today and got the horse in the right position at the end of the race, but they just found one too good today. That was lovely - he jumped brilliantly said the young rider after the race. I hope we will be seeing a lt more of Christian in the future and almost certainly back here next year.

Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls is quite simply one of the best national Hunt trainers we have in this country. He has been fighting out the trainers championship with the mighty M.C.Pipe for a few years now. Paul was an accomplished Jockey before turning his hand successfully to training. He won the Welsh National as a jockey in 1987 on Playschool. His achievements as a trainer are too numerous to mention.

Third Place

Simply Gifted

Simply Gifted ran a fine race today to finish third for a horse who had never run beyond three miles before. He jumped and travelled well in the race and although he did look like catching the winner from two out he did stay on well. He has suffered in the past with his breathing and has also had leg problems so this makes this third place even more remarkable. He ran well today and should not be put up too much in the weights. He is sure to put in good runs over a distance next year and as he now has had this experience this will stand him in good stead when he returns for a crack at the race next year.


J.J.O'Neill trains at on of the best training establishments in the country. He had good owners placing their horses with him and therefore has some really good horses in his stable. To go along with this third place he had Clan Royal running in this race who was well ahead when being carried out. His stable has had problems this year and has had to suffer by not having many runners. Now his team seem to be over it and he is starting to have his horses run well. He will put this season behind him and will be back at full strength next season and will have many more winners in both class and quantity.

Brian Harding

Brian Harding id a good jockey who gave this horse a fine run today. He got the horse into the right position at the second last and gave the horse every chance. Brian runs a lot in the north and has good rides from Nicky Richards and Ferdy Murphy.

Fourth Place

It Takes Time

Trained by the most successful trainers in the country this horse put up a good performance today. He was a very fine hurdler in his early racing days and although his first runs chasing looked as if he was going to be as good, however he is now letting his class show through. He is another who ran well today and from two out had every chance but just could not keep with the first three on the run in. His connections were a little worried about the distance but his brave effort rewarded his connections faith.

Martin Pipe

The most successful national hunt trainer in the history of the race. Martin has just about broken all records and his stable always does well. His is the champion trainer and has lots of horses under his charge and has lots of runners and a good proportion of winners.

Timmy Murphy

Timmy Murphy is having a very good season. He became the number one jockey in Martin Pipes year this year as he is now retained by one of Martin Pipes biggest owner David Johnson who is one of the best owners in national hunt. Timmy has had well over 100 winners this season, which is over double last season. He is riding well and will have lots more winners in the next few seasons. 

Full List of Finishers

1st HEDGEHUNTER 9-11-01 (Trevor Hemmings) Willie Mullins IRE Ruby Walsh 7/1 Fav
2nd ROYAL AUCLAIR 8-11-10 (Clive Smith) Paul Nicholls Christian Williams 40/1
3rd SIMPLY GIFTED 10-10-06 (Steve Hammond) Jonjo O'Neill Brian Harding 66/1
4th IT TAKES TIME 11-10-11 (David Johnson) Martin Pipe Timmy Murphy 18/1
5th FOREST GUNNER 11-10-07 (John Gilsenan) Richard Ford Carrie Ford
6th NIL DESPERANDUM 8-10-11 (Mike Shone) Franes Crowley IRE Jim Culloty
7th INNOX 9-10-06 (J P McManus) Francois Doumen FR Robert Thornton
8th HEROS COLLONGES 10-10-11 (John Hales) Paul Nicholls J P McNamara
9th JUST IN DEBT 9-10-07 (Bill Hazledean) Martin Todhunter Tony Dobbin
10th AMBERLEIGH HOUSE 13-11-03 (Halewood International Ltd) Ginger McCain Graham Lee
11th BINDAREE 11-11-03 (Raymond Mould) Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn
12th IZNOGOUD 9-10-09 (Country Stores and Avalon Surfcing) Martin Pipe Tom Scudamore
13th POLAR RED 8-10-08 (Lady Clarke) Martin Pipe Tom Malone
14th JOLY BEY 8-10-10 (David Dunsdon) Nick Gifford Mr David Dunsdon
15th L'AVENTURE 6-10-05 (Chris Harriman) Paul Nicholls Robbie McNally
16th MONTY'S PASS 12-11-06 (Dee Racing Syndicate) Jimmy Mangan IRE Barry Geraghty
17th STRONG RESOLVE 9-10-06 (Fair City Flyers) Lucinda Russell Peter Buchanan
18th SPOT THEDIFFERENCE 12-10-07 (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE Robbie Power
19th ARCTIC COPPER 11-10-06 (Grand Alliance Racing Club) Noel Meade IRE Davy Russell
20th EUROPA 9-10-06 (Trevor Hemmings) Ferdy Murphy Jason Maguire
21st SHAMAWAN 10-10-06 (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill Shay Barry
1st Fence
FELL LORD ATTERBURY 9-10-06 (David Johnson) Martin Pipe Mark Bradburne
UR FRENCHMAN'S CREEK 11-10-09 (Rory Sweet and Panda Christie) Hughie Morrison Jimmy McCarthy
2nd Fence
UR RISK ACCESSOR 10-11-04 J P McManus) Christy Roche IRE Alan Crowe
UR BALLYCASSIDY 10-11-05 (Roddy Owen and Paul Fullager) Peter Bowen Seamus Durack
3rd Fence
All Jumped
4th Fence
All Jumped
5th Fence
All Jumped
6th Fence
All Jumped
7th Fence
All Jumped
8th Fence
All Jumped
9th Fence
UR NATIVE EMPEROR 9-10-05 (Jonathan, Jeremy and S R Hitchins) Jonjo O'Neill Dominic Elsworth
10th Fence
FELL MERCHANTS FRIEND 10-10-06 (Magic Moments) Charlie Mann Noel Fehily
11th Fence
All Jumped
12th Fence
All Jumped
13th Fence
PU ASTONVILLE 11-10-13 (Fergus Wilson) Michael Scudamore Brian Crowley
14th Fence
All Jumped
15th Fence
UR TAKE THE STAND 9-11-05 (The Courters) Peter Bowen Leighton Aspell
16th Fence
All Jumped
17th Fence
All Jumped
18th Fence
All Jumped
19th Fence
PU JAKARI 8-10-10 (The Earl Cadogan) Henry Daly Richard Johnson
20th Fence
FELL FOLY PLEASANT 11-11-00 (Nick Shutts) Karen Marks Andrew Thornton
21st Fence
UR DOUBLE HONOUR 7-10-08 (The 4th Middleham Partnership) Philip Hobbs Paddy Brennan
PU LE COUDRAY 11-11-12 (J P McManus) Christy Roche IRE Conor O'Dwyer
22nd Fence
FELL AD HOC 11-10-12 (Sir Robert Ogden) Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard
UR MARCUS DU BERLAIS 8-10-05 (Marcus Beresford) Arthur Moore IRE Barry Cash
REF BALLYBOUGH RASHER 10-11-04 (B D R Partnership) Howard Johnson Alan Dempsey
CO CLAN ROYAL 10-10-11 (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill Tony McCoy
23rd Fence
All Jumped
24th Fence
All Jumped
25th Fence
All Jumped
26th Fence
All Jumped
27th Fence
PU COLNEL RAYBURN 9-10-07 (Thatch (Ferns) Racing Syndicate) Paul Nolan IRE Paul Carberry
28th Fence
PU FONDMORT 9-11-06 (Bill Brown) Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald
PU GLENELLY GALE 11-10-11 (Frank Bradley) Arthur Moore IRE Mr Tom Greenall
29th Fence
All Jumped
30th Fence
All Jumped
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