Against the odds: Mome tops National shock wins since 2000

2012 Grand National Grey Horses

Photo (cropped) by Carine06 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

With the new year – and decade – now in full swing, many shrewd operators will now have their eyes turned to finding a longshot to topple Tiger Roll in this year’s Grand National. The past two decades have been no exceptions, with eight winners priced at 25/1 or above since 2000. Here are some of the names who defied their outsider status to land the ‘people’s race’.

2009 – Mon Mome

One of the Grand National’s greatest ever shocks came courtesy of Mon Mome, whose 12-length success at 100/1 made him the longest priced winner of the race in 42 years.

After finishing 10th in the previous year’s renewal, he came into the race a year later off the back of a lacklustre effort in the Midlands Grand National, but he bounded clear after the last to give jockey Liam Treadwell the greatest victory in his career.

It also gave trainer Venetia Williams her pinnacle moment to date, becoming the second female trainer after Jenny Pitman to train a National winner.

The win left the Aintree crowd in stunned silence as Mon Mome joined 1967 winner Foinavon in winning the prestigious race at a three-figure price.

2013 – Auroras Encore

The racing public didn’t have to wait long for the next female-winning trainer – four years to be precise – when Auroras Encore took the 2013 renewal for Sue Smith.

At the age of 11, Auroras Encore was a regular in many other marathon contests and finished an agonising nose-second in the 2012 Scottish Grand National but was trying out the Aintree fences for the first time.

Allowed to go off at 66/1, a mistake four from home didn’t prove costly as he went clear by nine lengths, much to the disbelief of Smith and Jockey Ryan Mania.

Mania’s biggest victory was the start of an eventful period for the jockey, who later retired before making a comeback to riding last year.

Auroras Encore couldn’t land a blow in three subsequent starts and retired in January 2014 as a Grand National champion.

2016 – Rule The World

While he can be regarded as a shock winner at 33/1, it was the emotion of victory which gripped the public’s affections.

Mouse Morris, a much-adored figure in racing, lost his son Christopher – or “Tiffer” as he was known – to carbon monoxide poisoning while in Argentina in June 2015. Less than a year later, Rule The World reigned supreme to give his trainer a poignant victory.

It was redemption of the finest sort for the horse, who recovered from two serious pelvic injuries when – ironically – getting his first win over the fences in the National and announced fresh-faced jockey David Mullins onto the jumps scene.

After one more run that season, Rule The World was retired, owing nothing to the trainer, jockey, owner or racing community.

2012 – Neptune Collonges

Paul Nicholls had won virtually all. This was the one race that had eluded him but one of Britain’s premier trainer finally got his reward…just.

Despite being one of the classiest horses in the field, the grey was sent off at 33/1, seemingly in the twilight of his career.

However, he had one last hurrah left in him, with jockey Daryl Jacob galvanising him up by a nose – the shortest winning Grand National margin in history.

The victory was sweet for owner John Hales, whose One Man lost his life at the track in 1998, and even sweeter for Nicholls, as he pipped long-time rival Nicky Henderson to the Trainers’ Championship with National success.

2007 – Silver Birch

It was the win that started it all. Looking back on Silver Birch’s 33/1 victory, this was the one that kickstarted jockey Robbie Power and trainer Gordon Elliott’s careers.

A winner of the Welsh Grand National in 2004, Silver Birch scooped the big one to make Gordon Elliott the youngest-ever trainer to win the Grand National.

Surprisingly, he had trained a Grand National winner before he trained a winner in Ireland, which came in the May of that year.

Nowadays, Elliott and Power have gone on to become two powerful forces over the past couple of years – a far cry from that Saturday in April 2007.

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