2005 Grand National Review and Results

A full analysis of the Aintree 2005 Grand National, won by Hedgehunter at an SP of 7/1.

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Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1. Hedgehunter 7-1F R Walsh W P Mullins
2. Royal Auclair 40-1 Christian Williams Paul Nicholls
3. Simply Gifted 66-1 Brian Harding Jonjo O’Neill
4. It Takes Time 18-1 Timmy Murphy M C Pipe
5. Forest Gunner 8-1 Carrie Ford Richard Ford
6. Nil Desperandum 16-1 J Culloty Ms F M Crowley
7. Innox 16-1 Tony Dobbin F Doumen
8. Heros Collonges 66-1 John McNamara Paul Nicholls
9. Just In Debt 33-1 Tony Dobbin Martin Todhunter
10. Amberleigh House 16-1 Graham Lee D McCain
11. Bindaree 33-1 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies
12. Iznogoud 125-1 Tom Scudamore M C Pipe
13. Polar Red 100-1 Tom Malone M C Pipe
14. Joly Bey 16-1 Mr D H Dunsdon Nick Gifford
15. L’Aventure 66-1 R P McNally Paul Nicholls
16. Monty’s Pass 33-1 Barry Geraghty James Joseph Mangan
17. Strong Resolve 9-1 Peter Buchanan Lucinda Russell
18. Spot Thedifference 25-1 R M Power E Bolger
19. Arctic Copper 200-1 D N Russell Noel Meade
20. Europa 150-1 Jason Maguire Ferdy Murphy
21. Shamawan 200-1 J R Barry Jonjo O’Neill

2005 Grand National

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2005 Grand National Review

The 2005 Grand National looked more competitive than ever. Every one of the 40 runners was in the handicap proper.

As a result, it wasn’t surprising that the often impenetrable 11 stone mark (only 13 post war winners have carried more than 11st and none since Corbiere in 1983) was broken with HEDGEHUNTER running out a most impressive winner under 11st 1lb.

Last year, Hedgehunter seemed to lack the stamina for this great race. He took a tired fall at the final obstacle when in third place. This year however, there was a scare to trainer Willie Mullins that congestion would would force the horse to be pulled out of the race. Though, fortunately Hedgehunter made a magnificent recovery in the week leading up to the big race.. Though, despite the ground being slightly softer this time around, he stayed on strongly to draw clear on the famous run in, having travelled well throughout the contest.

He is quickly developing into an Aintree specialist and has a good chance of being the first horse since Red Rum to register back to back Grand National successes as he has plenty of class to go with his seemingly new found stamina.

The 2005 Grand National Field

Another classy performer, Royal Auclair, ran a cracker under nine pounds more than the winner to finish second. He may have given Hedgehunter more competition had the ground been slightly better. He has always shown his best form on a decent surface. His fine fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup only a few weeks ago clearly didn’t leave too much of a mark and he has done his connections proud this season.

The same is true of Simply Gifted, who also travelled nicely throughout the contest to improve one place from his fourth in the Mildmay at the Festival. He was just outstayed by the first two in the closing stages.

It Takes Time was nursed into the contest under a patient ride from Timmy Murphy. He was bang there three out but could quicken from that point and stayed on for a one paced fourth. He was, nicely clear of the fifth and sixth – Forest Gunner and Nil Desperandum – both of whom would have preferred softer ground.

Nevertheless, Forest Gunner must have given his rider, Carrie Ford, a tremendous thrill, whilst Nil Desperandum would be of interest next year granted a softer surface.

As has often been the case with horses who like to think about the game,Innox took to the challenge and seemed destined for the frame four out before fading to finish seventh. Heros Collonges and Just In Debt also failed to see out the trip, but ran with credit in eighth and ninth respectively.

They finished just ahead of two former Grand National winners – last year’s hero Amberleigh House and Bindaree. Another former winner, Monty’s Pass was sixteenth, showing just how hard it is to win this contest more than once.

200-1 shot, Shamawan, was last of the 21 finishers.

Non-finishers

As always, there were plenty of hard luck stories amongst those that failed to complete, the most obvious of which was , Clan Royal who, having been a slightly unlucky runner up last year, was put out of the race this time around by a loose horse at Becher’s on the second circuit when still going great guns for Tony McCoy. Both horse and rider deserve to win one of these.

The other notable casualties were Double Honour, who was still going in nicely in second when unseating his rider at the 21st fence, and Gold Cup runner up, Take The Stand, who gave his jockey, Leighton Aspell, no chance of keeping the partnership in tact at the Chair.

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