2013 Grand National
The 2013 Grand National came under intense media scrutiny after the much publicised changes to the famous Aintree fences that were intended to increase safety to horse and jockey.
Thankfully the new softer fences were a resounding success on the safety front, with a noticeable reduction in the number of fallers during the race.
Another change to the Grand National this year has been the repositioning of the start of the race and that too was a success with the runners starting the race at the first time of asking.
Once the race was underway it was obvious the race was going to be run at a ferocious pace with Balthazar King and Across The Bay setting a scorching gallop over the early fences.
The two front runners kept the lead for a long way with Donald McCain’s Across The Bay only giving up first place as the field crossed the Melling Road for the second time.
At that point Welsh National runner-up Teaforthree took over at the head of affairs, closely pursued by 2011 Grand National runner-up, Oscar Time . These two strong stayers kicked on towards the second-last and appeared to have the race between them but one horse had quietly crept into a promising position; Auroras Encore .
Ryan Mania on Auroras Encore appeared to be confident he had plenty left on his horse and brought Sue Smith’s eleven-year-old gelding to challenge for the lead at the last fence. Mania’s timing was perfect and he had conserved more energy than his his two main opponents.
Auroras Encore powered clear for an eventual nine length success from a fast finishing Cappa Bleu with the gallant Teaforthree and Oscar Time filling the minor places.
Auroras Encore provided a 66/1 shock when winning the 2013 Grand National, although as a former runner-up in the Scottish National perhaps he shouldn’t have been allowed to go off at such inflated odds.
The Sue Smith trained gelding obviously enjoyed a return to good ground and benefited from the modifications to the Aintree fences that saw all the forty runners make it as far as the seventh fence. Auroras Encore had fell or unseated on six previous occasions in his career prior to Aintree but he handled the new softer obstacles here with aplomb.
Jockey Ryan Mania gave the winner a lovely patient ride producing his mount at the last fence to scoot away from long time leader Teaforthree and the fast finishing Cappa Bleu.
Winner Comments From Owners, Trainer and Jockey
Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont and David Van Der Hoeven
“We bought him at Christmas and his first run for us was in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby, but the plan to run him here was made when we bought him. His form when second in last year’s Scottish National was in our mind and we have just been waiting for this better ground.”
“In all my time in horse racing I’ve always wanted to bring a horse to the Grand National, and it’s just very nice to win it.”
“I should be in tears, like Harvey,” said Mrs Smith, 65. “Ryan (Mania) gave the horse such a good ride. We knew the ground was right, we knew everything else was and it was. “He had a bit of luck in running but he didn’t have much weight so that helped. But it was no fluke. The horse has plenty of miles on the clock and is very sensible, he’s a brilliant ride.”
“Ryan has given the horse a magnificent ride”
Mania said: “It’s unbelievable - people keep telling me to look happy and I am, but I just cannot believe it’s happened. It’s a dream and you cannot explain what it’s like.”
“I was happy with my early position and he jumped really well over the early fences, with just the odd mistake here and there. He was on his head a bit, but he learned from those mistakes and learned to back off the fences a bit. He was always travelling so well.”
“I got a blow into him after Becher’s, and having ridden here in November I remembered that I probably kicked on a bit soon then and realised you have to give them a chance to get their breath."
“I was sixth or seventh and had a bit of daylight and a clear run - I was very lucky and that’s what you need in the National."
“My only ambition was to get round, although I knew he stayed the trip. He hasn’t been himself all season and has needed this better ground and sun on his back. He’s not had the sunshine, but he got the better ground and he’s class on his day."
“Coming to the second-last I was delighted because I realised I was going to be placed, and I thought ‘this is great, let’s just jump home’, then the front two [Teaforthree and Oscar Time] stopped in front of me at the last and I said to myself ‘this isn’t happening’. So I got down and gave him a shove and he quickened on past them."
“I heard the commentator say there was a loose horse behind me but I didn’t dare look round and just kept going.”
2013 Full Result
|1||Auroras Encore||11||10-3||Sue Smith||Ryan Mania||66/1|
|2||Cappa Bleu||11||10-11||Evan Williams||Paul Moloney||12/1|
|3||Teaforthree||9||11-3||Rebecca Curtis||Nick Schofield||10/1|
|4||Oscar Time||12||10-11||Martin Lynch||Mr Sam Waley-Cohen||66/1|
|5||Rare Bob||11||10-6||Dessie Hughes||Bryan Cooper||16/1|
|6||Swing Bill||12||10-8||David Pipe||Conor O’Farrell||80/1|
|7||Soll||8||10-0||Jo Hughes||Mark Grant||33/1|
|8||Tarquinius||10||10-2||Gordon Elliott||Wilson Renwick||100/1|
|9||Saint Are||7||10-8||Tim Vaughan||Dougie Costello||50/1|
|10||Always Waining||12||10-10||Peter Bowen||Tom O’Brien||33/1|
|11||Major Malarkey||10||10-0||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Tom Scudamore||50/1|
|12||Join Together||8||11-2||Paul Nicholls||Daryl Jacob||25/1|
|13||Seabass||10||11-6||Ted Walsh||Ms Katie Walsh||11/2F|
|14||Across The Bay||9||11-2||Donald McCain||Henry Brooke||40/1|
|15||Balthazar King||9||10-12||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson||16/1|
|16||Quiscover Fontaine||9||10-7||Willie Mullins||David Casey||40/1|
|17||Any Currency||10||10-0||Martin Keighley||Ian Popham||100/1|
|Did Not Complete:|
|UR 8th||Big fella Thanks||11||11-6||Tom George||Denis O’Regan||33/1|
|UR 8th||Treacle||12||10-4||Tom Taaffe||Noel Fehily||33/1|
|UR 8th||The Rainbow Hunter||9||10-6||Kim Bailey||Aidan Coleman||50/1|
|PU before 11th||Ninetieth Minute||10||10-3||Tom Taaffe||Niall Madden||80/1|
|Fell 12th||Tatenen||9||10-10||Richard Rowe||Andrew Thornton||100/1|
|PU before 14th||Viking Blond||8||10-0||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Adam Wedge||66/1|
|UR 15th(The Chair)||Colbert Station||9||11-1||Ted Walsh||AP McCoy||12/1|
|PU before 17th||Lost Glory||8||10-8||Jonjo O'Neill||Mark Walsh||10/1|
|PU after 18th||Joncol||10||10-13||Paul Nolan||Robbie Power||50/1|
|PU after 18th||What A Friend||10||11-9||Paul Nicholls||Sam Thomas||33/1|
|PU before 21st||Becauseicouldntsee||10||10-6||Noel Glynn||MJ Ferris||66/1|
|PU before 22nd||Imperial Commander||12||11-10||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Sam Twiston-Davies||11/1|
|PU before 24th||Ballabriggs||12||11-4||Donald McCain||Jason Maguire||20/1|
|PU before 24th||Forpadydeplasterer||11||11-0||Tom Cooper||Andrew McNamara||66/1|
|PU before 24th||Quel Esprit||9||11-7||Willie Mullins||Paul Townend||40/1|
|PU before 24th||Weird Al||10||11-8||Donald McCain||Timmy Murphy||66/1|
|PU before 25th||Harry The Viking||8||10-6||Paul Nicholls||Ryan Mahon||40/1|
|Fell 25th||On His Own||9||11-0||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh||8/1|
|PU before 27th||Mr Moonshine||9||10-5||Sue Smith||Peter Buchanan||66/1|
|PU before last||Chicago Grey||10||10-7||Gordon Elliott||Paul Carberry||11/1|
|UR last||Roberto Goldback||11||11-6||Nicky Henderson||Barry Geraghty||25/1|
|UR last||Sunnyhillboy||10||11-4||Jonjo O’Neill||Ritchie McLernon||20/1|
|Refused last||Mumbles Head||12||10-4||Peter Bowen||Jamie Moore||100/1|