2012 Grand National

02:04, 5 Dec 2019 Updated 02:08, 5 Dec 2019

Race Summary

Neptune Collonges and Sunnyhillboy fight out the finish of the 2012 Grand National 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

1Neptune Collonges1111-6Paul NichollsDaryl Jacob33/1
2Sunnyhillboy910-5Jonjo O’NeillRichie McLernon16/1
3Seabass 910-12Ted WalshKatie Walsh8/1JF
4Cappa Bleu1010-10Evan WilliamsPaul Moloney16/1
5In Compliance1210-0Dessie HughesNiall Madden100/1
6Ballabriggs1111-9 Donald McCain Jason Maguire12/1
7Hello Bud1410-0Nigel Twiston-DaviesSam Twiston-Davies33/1
8Tharawaat710-4Gordon ElliottBrian O’Connell125/1
9Shakalakaboomboom810-12Nicky HendersonBarry Geraghty8/1JF
10Swing Bill1110-3David PipeConor O’Farrell100/1
11The Midnight Club1110-8W P MullinsAndrew Tinkler40/1
12Planet Of Sound1011-5Philip HobbsRichard Johnson33/1
13Neptune Equester910-0Brian EllisonFelix De Giles100/1
14Calgary Bay911-6Henrietta KnightDominic Elsworth33/1
15Midnight Haze1010-0Kim BaileySean Quinlan80/1
Did Not Complete:
Fell 1stViking Blond710-0Nigel Twiston-DaviesBrian Hughes80/1
Fell 2ndWest End Rocker1010-12Alan KingWayne Hutchinson16/1
Fell 2ndJunior911-2David PipeTom Scudamore16/1
UR 5thState Of Play1210-3Evan WilliamsNoel Fehily40/1
BD 5thChicago Grey910-13Gordon ElliottPaul Carberry20/1
BD 5thRare Bob1010-9Dessie HughesBryan Cooper40/1
Fell 6th (Bechers)Synchronised911-10Jonjo O'NeillAP McCoy10/1
Fell 7thAlfa Beat811-5John Joseph HanlonDavy Russell50/1
Fell 8thBlack Apalachi1311-3Dessie HughesDenis O'Regan25/1
Fell 8thBecauseicouldntsee910-3Noel GlynnDavy Condon25/1
UR 8thKillyglen1010-4S R CrawfordRobbie Power14/1
UR 8thTatenen810-13Richard RoweAndrew Thornton100/1
UR 8thOrganised Confusion710-8Arthur MooreNina Carberry20/1
Fell 10thTreacle1110-8Tom TaaffeAndrew Lynch22/1
UR 10thArbor Supreme1010-7Jonjo O'NeillMark Walsh100/1
PU before 11thGiles Cross1010-1Victor DartnallPaddy Brennan20/1
UR 15th (The Chair)Always Right1010-10John WadeJames Reveley25/1
Fell 17thQuiscover Fontaine810-4Willie MullinsDavid Casey50/1
PU before 19thDeep Purple1111-3Evan WilliamsJamie Moore25/1
Refused 19thVic Venturi1210-0Dessie HughesHarry Skelton80/1
PU before 22nd (Bechers)Postmaster1010-2Tim VaughanDougie Costello100/1
PU before 22nd (Bechers)Mon Mome1210-8Venetia WilliamsAidan Coleman50/1
UR 22nd (Bechers)On His Own810-11Willie MullinsPaul Townend14/1
BD 22nd (Bechers)According To Pete1110-12Malcolm JeffersonHarry Haynes28/1
Fell 27thWeird Al911-8Donald McCainTimmy Murphy28/1

18+Gamble Aware

Odds are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change

05/12/19 02:10:01