2009 Grand National Review and Results

A full review of the 2009 Grand National won by rank outsider Mon Mome at odds of 100/1.

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Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1. Mon Mome 100-1 Liam Treadwell Miss Venetia Williams
2. Comply Or Die 14-1 Timmy Murphy D E Pipe
3. My Will 8-1 R Walsh P F Nicholls
4. State Of Play 14-1 Paul Moloney Evan Williams
5. Cerium 100-1 Keith Mercer Paul Murphy
6. Big Fella Thanks 14-1 Christian Williams P F Nicholls
7. Butler’s Cabin 7-1F A P McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
8. Southern Vic 33-1 N P Madden T M Walsh
9. Snowy Morning 33-1 Andrew J McNamara W P Mullins
10. Arteea 200-1 J W Farrelly D E Pipe
11. Irish Invader 16-1 P Townend W P Mullins
12. Idle Talk 66-1 Brian Harding D McCain Jnr
13. Darkness 16-1 Wayne Hutchinson C R Egerton
14. Preists Leap 100-1 P T Enright Thomas Gerard O’Leary
15. Offshore Account 20-1 D J Casey C F Swan
16. Battlecry 33-1 Tom Scudamore N A Twiston-Davies
17. Cornish Sett 33-1 Nick Scholfield P F Nicholls

2009 Grand National

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2009 Grand National Review

In recent years modifications to the fences and lenient handicapping of high-class horses has resulted in the Grand National attracting a better standard of runner. However, no horse has won with an official rating of more than 144 in the last ten years and that was Hedgehunter in 2005 (carrying 11st 1lb), although he finished runner-up off 156 the following year having been second in the Gold Cup on his previous start.

However, the 2009 Grand National statistics were blown out of the water as MON MOME sprinted clear up the run-in to score easily. He became the first horse to win at 100-1 since Foinavon in 1967. Venetia Williams became only the second woman to train the winner, Jenny Pitman having been the first 26 years ago, and Mon Mome’s official rating of 148 was the highest of any winner this century.

2009 Grand National Top Finishers

Mon Mome had finished tenth last year when he was hampered at Becher’s second time, but his form earlier this season had meant that he was 7lb higher. He had seemed best suited by soft ground so the overnight rain might just have helped him.

Hunted around on the inside, he crept steadily into contention on the second circuit and was on the leaders’ heels at the third last. He jumped the last upsides when there were still plenty in with a chance, and then came right away as Liam Treadwell, having his first ride in the race, asked him for more.

Last year’s winner Comply Or Die ran a terrific race in a bid to become the first dual winner since Red Rum. He was 15lb higher than last year and struggled for form since. However, the return here brought about a revival after taking his time around the outside, he moved up looking as if he might well achieve the near impossible. He held a slight advantage over the final fence but could not respond when the winner quickened. This horse lost nothing in defeat and is young enough to be back again next season.

My Will had finished fifth in Gold Cup in preparation and was only 2lb above his last winning mark. He stays well but had made jumping errors in 14 of his previous 27 starts. His error at the Canal Turn was one of several mistakes. However, he too emerged onto the 2009 Grand National proper to lead at the second last, before his effort flattened out going to the final fence.

2009 Grand National Middle Field

State Of Play, the 2006 Hennessy and Charlie Hall Chase winner was 2lb lower and had not run since Boxing Day. He was always in the front third of the field but pecked at one of the fences running down to Becher’s second time. He got into the race crossing the Melling Road and was upsides the leader two out before tiring on the run-in.

The real surprise of the race was the performance of the two Fergus Wilson-owned runners. Cerium, who was a Grade 2 winner back in 2006 when with Paul Nicholls but had deteriorated since and had not won beyond 2m3f. He had put up a fair effort for a long way after 11 months off in Gold Cup the previous month but was a rank outsider and for the first circuit he ran like one, being out the back. However, he began to make headway on the run down from Valentine’s second time and stayed under pressure to reach his final position.

One of the novices Big Fella Thanks has improved this year, winning the Sky Bet Chase and finishing third in Racing Post Chase. He made several mistakes in the 2009 Grand National but kept going and did well to finish close. Watch this horse with next season in mind. This was only his seventh run over fences.

Butler’s Cabin was up with the leaders when falling at Becher’s the second time around last year. He was sent off favourite in a bid to give Tony McCoy an overdue winner. Even though he handled that notorious fence well, he made mistakes at several others. An error at the fourth-last effectively ended his chance, although he was keeping on at the finish. Like the 2009 Grand National runner-up he collapsed after the line but soon recovered.

2009 Grand National Horses to Watch

Southern Vic was settled at the back early but was virtually upsides the winner running back from Valentine’s second time. However, he came under pressure after the third last and could only stay on at one pace. He would have preferred more cut in the ground and might get that next year.

Last year’s third Snowy Morning was 11lb higher this time and had rather lost his way. He too ran a creditable race and followed a similar route to Mon Mome, closer to the pace on the first circuit. He then lost his pitch slightly early on the second circuit. Though, he made his ground again after the third last and, although he stumbled going to two out. He jumped the final fence in fifth place before tiring on the long run-in.

Arteea whose wins had been gained at up to 2m4f, had finished well beaten on his first start. However, he gradually crept closer on the second lap and emerged on the outside going to the second last. He looked certain to be involved in the finish. His effort petered out from that point but he must have given his young jockey a thrilling ride.

Irish Invader, an Irish chaser in good form, had never won beyond 2m2f but ran creditably. Having been in the leading group for much of the way, with stamina doubts, he did well to finish, let alone as close as he did.

Idle Talk had unseated on second circuit in 2007 and finished 14th last year. He ran well and did best of his owner’s three runners. Darkness, a Grade 1 Chase winner, had been lightly raced since but showed a return to winning form last time. Trained by Charles Egerton, he was behind from Becher’s second time before staying on again.

2009 Grand National back of the field

Preists Leap, a dual winner of Thyestes Chase is best suited by heavy ground and an undulating track. He was 18lb higher than his last winning mark. However, he got into contention turning for home before his stamina ran out.

Offshore Account had run only six times previously over fences and not at all since April 2007. He put up a bold show for a long way, being right up with the leaders until left in front at Becher’s second time. He tired on the run around to the second last.

Battlecry was behind for most of the second circuit while Cornish Sett made a number of mistakes. The worst being at Becher’s first time, he did well to complete.

2009 Grand National Non-finishers

Cloudy Lane was hampered when Cornish Sett made a mistake in front of him at Becher’s first time. He then stood too far off the Chair, giving himself no chance of staying upright.

Hear The Echo, winner of the Irish National in 2008 ran a brave race 21lb higher. He got tired in the closing stages and sadly collapsed and died on the run-in. The 2007 winner Silver Birch came back from injury 10lb higher. Although, his only run since was a hurdle last month. He enjoyed himself for a circuit and a half, still in second place when departing at Becher’s second time. The other faller at that obstacle was Parsons Legacy, who was held up off the pace.

L’Ami, formerly a high-class chaser has been revived recently by switching to Enda Bolger. He was having his third try in the race, having finished tenth in 2007 but then fell early last year. He ran reasonably but emptied quickly before two out and was pulled up.

Rambling Minster was well fancied for this on the strength of his success in the Blue Square Gold Cup. However, he was baulked on the first circuit and was hampered by the fall of Can’t Buy Time at the 18th, being pulled up before the next.

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