Grand National Grey Horses

The hype and interest in grey horses gather steam in the build-up to the Grand National every year. Grand National history suggests the hype isn’t warranted, as since the first running in 1839, the race has been won by a grey horse just four times, and just one of those victories occurred this century!

  • The Lamb – 1868 & 1871
  • Nicolaus Silver – 1961
  • Neptunes Collonges – 2012
Bet £10 Get £30, Credited as 3 x £10 bets
18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £30 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad Full T&Cs

2024 Grand National Grey Horses

Now that the 2024 Grand National is finished, have a look at the table below that features the details of the grey horses in 2024 Grand National and how they performed.

Panda Boy810-617th
Coko Beach911-711th
Eldorado Allen1010-1320th
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365.
Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required. Full T&Cs

Betting on Grand National Grey Horses

With their standout looks, punters love to latch onto a grey, Desert Orchid being the most famous recent example of this. Dessie is arguably the most famous grey racehorse in the last 30 years. But despite winning over fences at Aintree he never ran in the Grand National.

Many will say that the reason not that many Grand National grey horses have won will link back to breeding. But really this is just a theory. It’s probably more the fact that not as many grey horses have actually run in the race than we think.

The three Grand National grey winners we’ve seen in the race – Neptune Collonges (2012), The Lamb (1868 & 1871) and Nicolaus Silver (1961) – have become more famous for the colour of their skin than actually winning the race. Grand National grey horses that placed are also remembered a lot more than other horses to place. Suny Bay, who was second in 1997 and 1998, is a classic example of this, while more recently What’s Up Boys, who chased home Bindaree in 2002, is another memorable Grand National Grey horse.

Get £20 in free bets when you place a £5 bet
New Customer offer YSKARZ. Place a min £5 bet on the sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and get £20 in free bets. Free bet rewards valid for 30 days. Only deposits via Debit Cards & Apple Pay will qualify for this offer. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly Full T&Cs

Who are the Grand National Grey Winners?

The Lamb (1868 & 1871)

The first Grand National grey horse to win and actually he also took home the second too. He took the race in 1868 and 1871, with a name reflecting his smaller frame and pleasant manners. The Lamb took his first National at the age of 6 years-old. This is unheard of in the modern era. He might have won the race more but during 1869 and 1870 he was sidelined due to a wasting disease.

He came back to win the 1871 race – still only 9 years old. There was a further sub-plot behind The Lamb’s Grand National wins. There were reports that he actually shed his grey coat to one that was black! Therefore, many still question his second National win as being won by a ‘Grey Horse’. There are paintings of the horse around his second National win as being a black horse. This suggests that even though he was grey when he won in 1868, he might not have been in 1871!

Nicolaus Silver (1961)

Trained by Fred Rimell and this horse was the second of four Grand National successes for that handler. The horse cost 2,500 guineas from Ireland. Many people thought he was overpriced at the time – but not Rimmel. He’d noticed that the horse would be better on decent ground – something he was unlikely to get in Ireland – and this was proved right when winning the 1961 race under jockey Charles Vaughan at 28/1.

A strange fact about this horse is that Nicolaus Silver’s owner later married a granddaughter of The Lamb’s owner.

Neptune Collonges (2012)

This Paul Nicholls-trained 11-year-old broke a 50-year Grand National grey hoodoo to land the 2012 renewal – but it was close. Under Daryl Jacob this Grand National grey horse only had a nose to spare at the line from Sunnyhillboy, but they all count. When looking back at the record books, not many people care too much about the winning distances.

This 11-year-old also defied a few more trends as he won with 11-6 on his back and with that became the first horse since the mighty Red Rum (1977) to win the Grand National with 11-6 or more. He certainly added a bit of class to the race as this popular grey had been placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before. The £547k he picked up for winning the race was a massive £342 more than the second that day picked up – a lot of money for the sake of a nose difference!

But that big pot helped see this Nicholls horse take his career earnings to £1.3million and if we talk about going out at the top, then this horse did just that – he never raced again. His win also added another bit of spice to the end of the 2011/12 champion trainers’ battle as Nicky Henderson had things more than sewn-up that season. However, Nicholls, who was yet to win the Grand National, had one more ace to play and that was Neptune Collonges. With his £540k first prize that was enough to overtake Henderson in a dramatic end to the trainers’ title race – a double celebration all around.

Did you know? – Neptune Collonges was owned by John Hales, who was famed for making the Teletubby toys.

Get £30 in Free Bets Join us & bet £10
18+. New customers only. Opt in, bet £10  on the UEFA Euro 2024 Cup at minimum 1/1 odds. No cash out. Get £30 in Free Football Bets. Free Bets expire in 7 days. Debit card / Apple Pay payments only. Offer valid from 15:00 UK Time on 11.06.2024 until 20:00 UK time on 14.07.24. T&Cs apply, | Please gamble responsibly Full T&Cs

Who will be the next Grand National Grey Winner?

Snow Leopardess was strongly fancied heading into the 2022 Grand National. She was hoping to write herself into the record books in two senses, not only becoming a rare grey Grand National winner but also winning as a mare for the first time since 1951. The signs were promising on the eve of the race as Snow Leopardess won the 2022 Virtual Grand National, but she never looked herself on race day, and was duly pulled up, to extend the wait for a grey Grand National winner even further.

Grey backers were given a real run for their money in the 2023 Grand National. Coko Beach provided some early excitement when featuring prominently on the first circuit before Vanillier and Gaillard du Mesnil eventually came through the field to finish in a more than respectable second and third place respectively.

A grey horse didn’t win the race in 2024, so some will be hoping that fortunes can change in 2025.

£30 Matched Free Bet if your first Acca loses + 100 Free Spins on Gold Blitz
*New UK customers only. Min Stake: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 100 Free Spins on Gold Blitz (£0.10 per spin) credited on settlement of qualifying Acca bet. No wagering requirements on free spin winnings. Debit Card deposit only (exclusions apply). This offer is valid 7 days from the new account being registered. 18+ . Bet the Responsible Way. Full terms apply. Full T&Cs

You might also like…

About aim to provide you with the best unofficial guide to the Aintree Grand National, including everything from this year’s runners and riders and the latest news, through to the best betting offers, how and where to watch the race, and much more.
18+ | Commercial Content | T&C's Apply | Play Responsibly | Advertising Disclosure is an independent professional comparison site supported by referral fees from the sites which are ranked on this site. The sites and information we present are from companies from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact the rankings of the sites. Other factors, including our own opinions, your location, and the likelihood of signing up, may also impact how the ranking of the sites appears to a particular user. cannot and does not present information about every betting/casino site or betting/casino site offer available.