2004 Grand National Review and Results

Get a full analysis of the Aintree 2004 Grand National won by Amberleigh House at an SP of 16/1.

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Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1. Amberleigh House 16-1 Graham Lee D McCain
2. Clan Royal 10-1JF L Cooper Jonjo O’Neill
3. Lord Atterbury 40-1 Mark Bradburne M C Pipe
4. Monty’s Pass 20-1 Barry Geraghty James Joseph Mangan
5. Spot Thedifference 50-1 Richie McGrath E Bolger
6. Smarty 100-1 Andrew Tinkler M Pitman
7. Ardent Scout 50-1 Warren Marston Sue Smith
8. Bear On Board 14-1 Robert Thornton Alan King
9. Kingsmark 66-1 Mick Fitzgerald Martin Todhunter
10. The Bunny Boiler 33-1 R Geraghty Noel Meade
11. Davids Lad 12-1 Timmy Murphy A J Martin

2004 Grand National

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2004 Grand National Review

An amazing 27 years after the last of Red Rum’s three triumphs, Ginger McCain was back in the winner’s enclose to greet the Grand National hero. The 2004 Grand National hero was AMBERLEIGH HOUSE who landed the spoils on his third start in the race. He had been runner-up twice in the Becher Chase and was fast becoming as reliable as the great Rummy once was.

The 2004 Grand National was also a triumph for jockeyship. The winner was hampered early on, and again at Bechers on the first circuit. He was much further back than his connections would have liked. However, Graham Lee was patience personified and he gradually crept back into the contest. He still had plenty to do, he stayed on from that point before taking it up with 100 yards left.

The 2004 Grand National Field

The horse that beat Amberleigh House in this season’s Becher Chase, Clan Royal, was second in the 2004 Grand National. Crucially, his rider, Liam Cooper, lost his whip when the horse made a bad mistake at the 26th fence. He had nothing with which to correct his mount when he veered left on the punishing run in. That bit of bad luck may have cost him the race. He was doubly unlucky as the 26th and the last fence were the only two obstacles he made mistakes at. His jumping was otherwise exemplary and he deserves to win this great race based on his marvellous record over this unique course.

Lord Atterbury was third. He was prominent throughout, but a series of minor errors may have taken their toll on the run to the line. He did, though, put a shocking effort at Cheltenham last time out well and truly behind him here.

2003’s winner, Monty’s Pass, was fourth (albeit some way behind the principles) to further emphasis what a good race this year’s renewal was for course specialists. He won the race of those carrying 11st or more, but a 14lb rise in the weights since last year’s success proved too much.

Spotthedifference ran well behind Monty’s Pass last year before unseating his rider four out and he confirmed that good impression with another fine effort here, whilst the 2001 runner up, Smarty, defied odds of 100-1 to again finish in the money.

There was a gap back to Ardent Scout who was one of five other finishers. Last of those, in eleventh, was the well fancied Davids Lad, who was always out the back and never got close to the leaders.

Non-finishers

Of those that failed to finished, it was hard not to have most sympathy for Hedgehunter who had put up a bold show for much of the race before crashing out at the final fence. It was a tired fall, but he would have finished third had he stayed on his feet.

Nine horses came to grief at Bechers first time around, including the first and second in the race in 2002, Bindaree and What’s Up Boys.

Top weight, Le Coudray, was the noticeable faller at the same fence on the second circuit. He still looked to have something to give at the time.

The well fancied Jurancon II took a heavy fall at the fourth. Whilst one of the other co favourites, Joss Naylor was tailed off in last when pulled up before the 19th.

If there was a hard luck story it may have been Puntal, who was winging his fences out in front before unseating his ride early on the second circuit.

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