2012 Grand National

OLBG - 2012 Grand National

Race Summary

No horserace evokes as much emotion as the Grand National and the 2012 renewal emphasised the excitement and the passion of this most famous of all races.

In 2010 we had scenes of relief and joy as AP McCoy finally won the one big race that had eluded him and in 2011 Ballabriggs’ victory for the McCain yard reminded everyone of the Grand National’s greatest exponent: Red Rum.

How could this great race follow that in 2012 Amazingly, the latest running of the Grand National could claim to be the most dramatic of all with a titanic battle on the run-in with one horse crossing the line the smallest of distances in front of his main opponent. Neptune Collonges and Sunnyhillboy had the race between them from the elbow and it was the Paul Nicholls trained grey that just prevailed in the end by a nose.

The gallant Seabass and Katie Walsh had led over the last fence but Sunnyhillboy powered past them shortly after the jump and looked to be heading for another Grand National victory for Jonjo O’Neill.

With one hundred yards to go Sunnyhillboy still looked as if he would win but then his jockey Ritchie McLernon started to show signals that the horse was tiring and Daryl Jacob managed to conjure a last gasp drive on Neptune Collonges.

Both horses seemed to hit the line as one and for a moment it looked as though for the first time ever the Grand National might have ended in a dead-heat. It seemed impossible to imagine that after four and a half miles there could be a photo-finish that was this close.

After an agonising wait for connections, it was finally announced that Neptune Collonges had won by the minimum distance possible. Chaotic scenes followed in the winner’s enclosure with Neptune’s owner John Hales in tears of joy.

Katie Walsh became the lady rider who has come closest to winning the Grand National in finishing third on Seabass, whilst in fourth place was Cappa Bleu who provided the fourth consecutive placing for owners Mr and Mrs William Rucker whose State Of Play had been placed for the last three years.

Winner Comments

Neptune Collonges

Neptune Collonges’ owner John Hales announced immediately after the race that the horse would now be retired. He has been a fantastic servant for his owner and trainer running a total of thirty-six times and winning sixteen of those starts.

The gallant grey was the first horse of his colour to win since Nickolaus Silver in 1961.

Neptune Collonges’£547K first prize took his career earnings to an amazing £1,313,675.

The other highlights of Neptune Collonges career include winning two Punchestown Gold Cups and an Irish Hennessy.

Neptune Collonges has been one of the stars of National Hunt racing in recent years and can now look forward to a happy retirement.

John Hales

Winning owner John Hales said: “This is so emotional for me and he retires today. I just wanted to get him round safely but I never dreamed he would win. I thought the handicapper had given him 6lb too much.”

“The family were split whether to run Neptune Collonges. My daughter is showjumping down in south Wales - she has probably jumped off the horse if she is in the middle of a round!”

“He will never race again - that’s it.”

Paul Nicholls

“Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! I wasn’t sure we had got there,” said Nicholls. “He was running away when the other horse was stopping and I thought the verdict could have gone either way. He got there at the right time and that’s what counts. This has been a race we haven’t had the best of luck in but it’s great to win. It’s a race everyone knows and everyone watches. What a brilliant ride. I am so chuffed for Daryl (Jacob)”

Neptune Collonges victory snatched a seventh trainer’s title for Paul Nicholls after it looked destined to go to his great rival, Nicky Henderson.

“I had given up on the trainers’ championship - I told Nicky that it was all over.” said Nicholls.

Daryl Jacob

Jockeys, D. Jacob “I just kept my head down and the horse kept grinding out the whole way to the line. I wasn’t sure where the winning line was but I knew that, inch by inch, I was starting to grind him down. Luckily enough, the line came and we held on just enough to get there,” said Daryl Jacob.

“Nipper (Neptune Collonges) was very, very good - he got me out of trouble the whole way. I was going as fast as I was going from the start of the race to the finish of the race. He knew exactly what pace he was going and I just had trust him on it. I don’t think he missed a beat the whole way round and he loved it.

This means the whole world to me; it’s the race every jockey wants to win.” 

Full List of Runners

1 Neptune Collonges 11 11-6 Paul Nicholls Daryl Jacob 33/1
2 Sunnyhillboy 9 10-5 Jonjo O’Neill Richie McLernon 16/1
3 Seabass 9 10-12 Ted Walsh Katie Walsh 8/1JF
4 Cappa Bleu 10 10-10 Evan Williams Paul Moloney 16/1
5 In Compliance 12 10-0 Dessie Hughes Niall Madden 100/1
6 Ballabriggs 11 11-9 Donald McCain Jason Maguire 12/1
7 Hello Bud 14 10-0 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 33/1
8 Tharawaat 7 10-4 Gordon Elliott Brian O’Connell 125/1
9 Shakalakaboomboom 8 10-12 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 8/1JF
10 Swing Bill 11 10-3 David Pipe Conor O’Farrell 100/1
11 The Midnight Club 11 10-8 W P Mullins Andrew Tinkler 40/1
12 Planet Of Sound 10 11-5 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 33/1
13 Neptune Equester 9 10-0 Brian Ellison Felix De Giles 100/1
14 Calgary Bay 9 11-6 Henrietta Knight Dominic Elsworth 33/1
15 Midnight Haze 10 10-0 Kim Bailey Sean Quinlan 80/1
Did Not Complete:
Fell 1st Viking Blond 7 10-0 Nigel Twiston-Davies Brian Hughes 80/1
Fell 2nd West End Rocker 10 10-12 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson 16/1
Fell 2nd Junior 9 11-2 David Pipe Tom Scudamore 16/1
UR 5th State Of Play 12 10-3 Evan Williams Noel Fehily 40/1
BD 5th Chicago Grey 9 10-13 Gordon Elliott Paul Carberry 20/1
BD 5th Rare Bob 10 10-9 Dessie Hughes Bryan Cooper 40/1
Fell 6th (Bechers) Synchronised 9 11-10 Jonjo O'Neill AP McCoy 10/1
Fell 7th Alfa Beat 8 11-5 John Joseph Hanlon Davy Russell 50/1
Fell 8th Black Apalachi 13 11-3 Dessie Hughes Denis O'Regan 25/1
Fell 8th Becauseicouldntsee 9 10-3 Noel Glynn Davy Condon 25/1
UR 8th Killyglen 10 10-4 S R Crawford Robbie Power 14/1
UR 8th Tatenen 8 10-13 Richard Rowe Andrew Thornton 100/1
UR 8th Organised Confusion 7 10-8 Arthur Moore Nina Carberry 20/1
Fell 10th Treacle 11 10-8 Tom Taaffe Andrew Lynch 22/1
UR 10th Arbor Supreme 10 10-7 Jonjo O'Neill Mark Walsh 100/1
PU before 11th Giles Cross 10 10-1 Victor Dartnall Paddy Brennan 20/1
UR 15th (The Chair) Always Right 10 10-10 John Wade James Reveley 25/1
Fell 17th Quiscover Fontaine 8 10-4 Willie Mullins David Casey 50/1
PU before 19th Deep Purple 11 11-3 Evan Williams Jamie Moore 25/1
Refused 19th Vic Venturi 12 10-0 Dessie Hughes Harry Skelton 80/1
PU before 22nd (Bechers) Postmaster 10 10-2 Tim Vaughan Dougie Costello 100/1
PU before 22nd (Bechers) Mon Mome 12 10-8 Venetia Williams Aidan Coleman 50/1
UR 22nd (Bechers) On His Own 8 10-11 Willie Mullins Paul Townend 14/1
BD 22nd (Bechers) According To Pete 11 10-12 Malcolm Jefferson Harry Haynes 28/1
Fell 27th Weird Al 9 11-8 Donald McCain Timmy Murphy 28/1
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