Great Memories from the Great Race

DG Tips

A true family affair in the Griffiths household, the whole clan descend upon my Nan’s house for a not so typical Saturday roast followed by our annual lucky dip wagers. I see the Grand National in a similar way to The Melbourne Cup. It’s a race that truly stops a nation; from a personal point of view no other race on the NH scene comes close. A lottery race which can be a minefield but find the winner and you’ll certainly be a lot richer.

My fondest memory of the Grand National came back in 2014. Carrying near bottom weight the good doctor Mr Newland sent out Pineau De Re to National glory. A true rags to riches story for all involved and for jockey Leighton Aspell the first win on his way to a memorable double. The horse travelled supremely well and actually ended up winning with some authority. It is somewhat unbelievable given the manner of that victory that Pineau De Re has only visited the winning enclosure once since.

It’s the only Grand National winner I’ve ever had on side and although it isn’t a race I target, the value on offer from a punter point of view is undeniable. Good Luck with whoever you choose and wish for some luck on the big day because you’ll certainly need it.

Architect Tips 

2012 Grand National – NEPTUNE COLLONGES 33/1 winner 

One of my best memories came in the 2012 running of the race, I chose to back the Paul Nicholls trained NEPTUNE COLLONGES ridden by DARYL JACOB, who was a multiple Grade one winner over fences and was sent off at huge odds 33/1. Those odds proved all wrong and he jumped from fence to fence and galloped all the way to the line from the elbow to win one of the closest finishes of all time in the greatest race.

NEPTUNE COLLONGES got up within the shadows of the post to lift the prize for connections and myself. A truly remarkable performance and that was the last time we saw this beautiful white horse on a racecourse. One that will live long in the memory of the Grand National. What made this more special was the fact most of my family was on SUNNYHILLBOY, who was second.

2005 Grand National – HEDGEHUNTER 7/1 winner 

This one goes down as another memory for the simple reason, I have never seen a horse win so easily in the Grand National before. HEDGEHUNTER travelled so well the whole way around under RUBY WALSH trained by WILLIE MULLINS and was still on the bridle approaching the last fence, he jumped it well and was still hard-held approaching the long run-in after a 4m4f gruelling test! Some engine eh? RUBY WALSH let out an inch of rein off the elbow and HEDGEHUNTER absolutely romped away to score by an easy 14 lengths.
HEDGEHUNTER was an exceptional horse, and almost won back-to-back the following year, cruising and looking like he would do the impossible but the weight began to take its toll near the end behind a well handicapped horse but full credit, he battled on well to claim runner-up spot and he goes down as one of the greatest NH horses of all time. The 2005 national win was one of the most impressive performances I have ever witnessed. Another great memory.

The Tower

THEY say the Grand National is the ‘race that stops the nation’ – an occasion with the ability to bring people together in front of television screens across the country and engage in racing for just one day of the year. Across betting shops up and down the land, you find first time punters staring at slips like foreign objects. Staff, often dressed to the nines like wannabe jump jockeys, are sent out to herd the sheep and take part in the circus that is Grand National Day. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We all have our favourite memories. Often it is our first recollection of the big race at Aintree. My own special memory is of a horse whom I had seen score in the flesh as a child, before he went on to win the big one some years later. Earth Summit was a horse who had it all. When he won the Scottish National at my local track, I was just an excited child getting my first taste of the action. And evidently, his victory would stay with me as I went forward in this game. He was a great jumper (he would only fall once during his entire career) and it stood him in great stead when, four years later, he landed the biggest of them all over the National fences in 1998.

He won the Welsh National as part of his prep in 1997, and then it was all about completing the trifecta – which he duly did in style by 11 lengths. I remember it vividly having backed him that day – my first big winner in the race – and it was made all the more sweeter given mo own ‘personal’ connection to the horse. That is what makes the Grand National. You can back your favourites, you can back your outsiders, you can take your poke in the office sweepstake. The bottom line is that wherever you look on Grand National Day, there will be a story among punters to be found.

For Earth Summit, he reached his very own summit that day and became the first horse to win the Scottish, Welsh and Aintree Grand Nationals. A true great.

JPW Racing Tipster

It’s a race that grips the nation. So many memories over the years can be talked of but from a personal note I can’t look beyond the late, and fantastic, Many Clouds. We tipped this horse up at 33/1 and some of our members even picked out 50/1 on the exchange. It wasn’t just getting the winner of the famous race, it was the manner in which he dug it out in true Many Clouds style, warrior like. It’s a moment that money can’t buy, a moment that’ll stayed etched in memory for years and years to come. He was near enough top weight (11-9) but showed his class and although the race is a so-called lottery you, if you have that luck on your side you can make a strong educated guess at the National, as our write-up to customers showed.

“MANY CLOUDS may be carrying plenty of weight but he is 5lb well in after running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and now on a new handicap mark. MANY CLOUDS is a horse who has plenty of class which I think is needed to win a National these days. He won the Hennessy Gold Cup, won the Grade 1 Argento Chase in February and ran with credit to finish 6th in this years Cheltenham Gold Cup. MANY CLOUDS is a horse who will stay all day, jumps for fun and is owned by Trevor Hemmings who loves to win this race. The owner has won this with BallaBriggs and Hedgehunter in the last 10 years. I am actually surprised the bookies have MANY CLOUDS at a huge 33/1 as for me he is the forgotten horse. He has done nothing wrong all season. A race like this could bring out the very best in him. WON 25/1.


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