Comply Or Die
The 161st running of the Grand National took place on 5th April 2008, 40 runners battling it out for a share of the prize money, the winner receiving £450,640.
This world-famous steeplechase has been awash with fairytale endings throughout its lengthy history and the 2008 renewal was certainly no exception, joint-favourite Comply Or Die winning the race under the guidance of Irish jockey Timmy Murphy, this being Murphy’s eleventh National. Four lengths separated the winner from second-placed King John’s Castle which provided a strong challenge in the closing stages. Snowy Morning finished third.
Prior to the race, Cloudy Lane had been ante-post favourite for a considerable time, however Comply Or Die was backed into joint-favourite leading up to the race at odds of 7/1. Former winner Hedgehunter carried top weight of 11st 12lbs and was ridden by Ruby Walsh.
This was the first ever win for connections of winner Comply Or Die and following the race, jockey Timmy Murphy told the assembled reporters that it was the highlight of his career thus far. Owner David Johnson was also understandably delighted, especially so given that this was just the latest of his twenty-plus entries into the race over the years.
As for Murphy, he had managed to bounce back from a period of instability by conquering alcoholism and firmly putting behind him a brief spell in prison.
Comply Or Die would appear in a further three Grand Nationals, however he will always be remembered for his first stint at glory in the famous steeplechase.
The 2008 Grand National was televised live on BBC One.
1: Comply Or Die
2: King John’s Castle
3: Snowy Morning
4: Slim Pickings
5: Bewley’s Berry
6: Cloudy Lane
8: Bailey Breeze
9: Chelsea Harbour
10: Mon Mome