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What have been the Biggest shocks in the history of the Grand National?

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What have been the Biggest shocks in the Grand National?


The Grand National is probably the most famous horse race in the world and many who have little interest in horse racing throughout the year will take part in the office sweepstake or bet with friends and relatives on the Aintree spectacular. The 2022 renewal is almost here and it will certainly be as much of a thrilling spectacle as it is each and every year, however will there be a shock in store this year? We take a look at some of the biggest ever surprises in Grand National history…


Mon Mome wins at 100/1

Mon Mome was the most recent big-priced winner of the Grand National when he beat fancied Comply Or Die by a massive 12 lengths in 2009. The winner made very light work of the testing National fences but unbelievably he set off at a huge 100/1 having had just five previous wins to his name. Indeed this famous win would prove to be the last of his career out of 53 starts under official rules, however it seemed as though the gelding was made for the big fences and testing endurance of the Grand National.

It’s a challenge finding a 100/1 winner in any race but throughout Grand National history stretching back 170 years there have only been five winners at these hefty odds, thus a 100/1 shot has won this contest less than 3% of the time. Backing a high-priced outsider isn’t the best strategy in this race but as this runner proved, nothing is certain in this sport. The best approach would be to look at the best odds and grab yourself a bonus where one is offered. Thankfully all of the leading bookmakers offer free bets and bonuses for the Grand National and you can find the best offers by checking out this list of best horse racing betting sites which provides the reader with the latest information on each online bookie and the sort of bonuses they offer. Mon Mome was retired back in 2013 after giving sterling work to its stable but there are still long-odds winners to be found.


Rachael Blackmore becomes first female winner

There have been many female riders taking part in the Grand National but the first one to win the famous steeplechase was Rachael Blackmore aboard Minella Times in 2021. Blackmore had enjoyed an excellent Cheltenham Festival a few weeks earlier and she was fancied to perform well in the Aintree marathon which was to be held behind closed doors due to the continued Covid-19 restrictions. Blackmore was on an excellent horse that afternoon and priced at 11/1 she was receiving plenty of backing for the marathon, however Minella Times had never before won at anything exceeding 2m 6f previously in his career and even then had enjoyed just two wins. This was going to be an extremely testing assignment for both horse and jockey but the pair sat in the middle of the group for the majority of the contest before Blackmore asked more of her mount. Not only did they make it home but they did so an impressive six-and-a-half lengths in front of their closest challenger. This was a great moment for connections of the horse but also for a lady whose dream was always to be a top jockey.


A million pound upset

The bookmakers can sometimes take a battering in the Grand National and this can often be the case when a big-priced winner roars home to victory. This occurred in the 1963 renewal when Ayala won the race and it proved to be one of the most expensive as far as the bookmakers were concerned. Jockey Pat Buckley had only been asked to ride in the National a couple of weeks before the race and at just 19 years of age, this was a dream come true for the rider. Ayala was priced at 66/1 for Grand National glory – a genuine no-hoper – but Buckley was looking to just get around the course safely and enjoy the experience. In reality he had no real hopes of winning but many had put faith in him and placed big bets on him finishing first past the post. This was exactly what he did and the bookies apparently lost a cool £1 million (around £21 million in today’s money).