2004 Grand National

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2004 Grand National
Grand National
Owner Mr John Halewood.svg
Location Aintree
Date 3 April 2004
Winning horse Amberleigh House
Jockey Graham Lee
Trainer Ginger McCain
Owner Ms. A. L .Dikel,
Halewood International
Conditions Good
← 2003
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The 2004 Grand National (known as the Martell Grand National for sponsorship reasons) was the 157th official annual running of the world-famous Grand National steeplechase which took place at Aintree near Liverpool, England, on 3 April 2004[1] and attracted the maximum permitted field of 40 competitors for total prize money of £600,000 including £348,000 to the winner.[2]

39 of the 40 original entrants took part in the race – Tyneandthyneagain was withdrawn. On the run-in after the final fence (where Hedgehunter fell when in close contention), any one of three horses looked capable of clinching victory, but it was 16–1 shot Amberleigh House who finished first, three lengths ahead of Clan Royal, who in turn was two lengths from Lord Atterbury. The winning horse was trained by Ginger McCain, who secured his fourth Grand National win, 31 years after his first with Red Rum. 11 of the 39 starters completed the course, with all of the fallers returning safely to the stables.[3]

Leading contenders[edit]

The public gambled an estimated £200 million on the outcome of the race[4] but no clear favourite emerged as four horses started off as joint-favourites.[3]

2002 National winner Bindaree was one of the 10–1 joint-favourites after winning the Welsh National at Chepstow in the last December. He had also run well to finish second over one circuit of the Aintree course in the Becher Chase in November where he had been beaten another joint-favourite, Clan Royal. The inexperienced Jurancon II also attracted public attention after being chosen as the ride of champion jockey Tony McCoy having won the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup in February, and Joss Naylor completed the quartet after finishing second in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup in November. Hedgehunter was 11–1, the 2001 Irish Grand National winner David's Lad was 12/1, and 2003 National winner Monty's Pass was also among the leading fancies at 20/1.

Finishing order[edit]

Position Name Rider Age Weight (st, lb) Starting price Distance or fate
1st Amberleigh House Graham Lee 12 10–10 16/1 Won by 3 lengths
2nd Clan Royal Liam Cooper 9 10–5 10/1 JF 2 lengths
3rd Lord Atterbury Mark Bradburne 8 10–1 40/1 29 lengths
4th Monty's Pass Barry Geraghty 11 11–10 20/1 1 length
5th Spot Thedifference Richard McGrath 11 10–4 50/1 3½ lengths
6th Smarty Andrew Tinkler 11 10–4 100/1 17 lengths
7th Ardent Scout Warren Marston 12 10–3 50/1 8 lengths
8th Bear on Board Robert Thornton 9 10–1 14/1 18 lengths
9th Kingsmark Mick Fitzgerald 11 11–7 66/1 Neck
10th The Bunny Boiler Ross Geraghty 10 10–8 33/1 A distance
11th David's Lad Timmy Murphy 10 11–4 12/1 Last to complete

Non-finishers[edit]

Fence Name Rider Age Weight (st, lb) Starting price Fate
1st Luzcadou Brian Harding 11 10–9 200/1 Fell
Artic Jack Dominic Elsworth 8 11–7 20/1 Fell
Kelami Thiery Doumen 6 10–7 66/1 Brought down
3rd (open ditch) Shardam Tom Scudamore 7 10–11 18/1 Pecked, unseated rider
4th Jurancon II Tony McCoy 7 10–7 10/1 JF Fell
6th (Becher's Brook) Risk Accessor Seamus Durack 9 11–4 66/1 Hampered, unseated rider
Montreal Joey Elliott 7 10–1 200/1 Fell
Akarus Rodi Greene 9 10–4 33/1 Hampered, fell
Bindaree Carl Lewellyn 10 11–4 10/1 JF Hampered, unseated rider
Bramblehill Duke James Davies 12 10–13 200/1 Refused, unseated rider
Blowing Wind Jimmy McCarthy 11 10-01 33/1 Refused
Bounce Back Andrew Thornton 8 10–4 50/1 Hampered, fell
What's Up Boys Richard Johnson 10 11–9 25/1 Brought down
Skycab Leighton Aspell 12 10–11 200/1 Unseated rider
9th (Valentine's) Exit To Wave Bobby McNally 8 10–5 50/1 Pulled up
15th (The Chair) Takagi Davy Russell 9 10–11 25/1 Unseated rider
16th (water jump) Mantle's Prince Ollie McPhail 10 10–1 250/1 Pulled up
18th Southern Star Joe Tizzard 9 10–13 25/1 Pulled up
Alexander Banquet James Barry 11 11–8 100/1 Unseated rider
19th (open ditch) Puntal Danny Howard 8 10–13 150/1 Fell
Joss Naylor Paul Carberry 9 10–11 10/1 JF Tailed off, pulled up
20th Gunner Welburn Tony Dobbin 12 10–8 22/1 Pulled up
22nd (Becher's) Le Coudray Conor O'Dwyer 10 11–12 28/1 Fell
23rd (Foinavon) Just in Debt Jim Culloty 8 10–5 33/1 Hampered, unseated rider
25th (Valentine's) Alcapone Noel Fehily 10 11–0 80/1 Pulled up
27th (open ditch) Wonder Weasel John P. McNamara 11 10–6 200/1 Pulled up
29th Royal Atalza Paul Moloney 7 10–6 100/1 Tailed off, pulled up
30th Hedgehunter David Casey 8 10–12 11/1 Fell

Coverage[edit]

Hedgehunter's a faller at the last! Clan Royal in front by two or three lengths. Trying hard is now Lord Atterbury on the near side... Clan Royal is veering off. He's running all over the place! Now Lord Atterbury and Amberleigh House on the near side! As they're on the run-in for home it's Clan Royal who's just in front. Now Amberleigh House is absolutely flying down the outside! It might be another one for Ginger McCain! It's Amberleigh House. Amberleigh House is gonna give the Red Rum man another win in the National!
Commentator Jim McGrath describes the climax of the race

The race was covered live on television and radio by the BBC, in accordance with the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events, for the 46th consecutive year. The coverage was also syndicated globally and broadcast on the Internet for the first time to UK subscribers on the BBC website.[1] The television coverage was presented by Claire Balding and Sue Barker. The race commentary team consisted of Ian Bartlett, Tony O'Hehir, Darren Owen and lead commentator Jim McGrath, who called the runners home for the seventh year.

Both Bartlett and Owen were covering their first Grand National on television after the retirement of John Hanmer; Bartlett had previously been part of the radio commentary team. This was also the first time since 1967 that the race was commentated on by a team of four rather than three.

Racing UK provided its own coverage of the race to bookmakers' outlets across the country. The BBC also broadcast radio commentary of the race on national radio for the 74th year as part of its Radio Five Saturday sports show.

All of the leading daily newspapers in the United Kingdom ran centre spread pullouts of various sizes with colour guides and profiles of all the runners, while office sweepstake kits were printed by three major dailys during the week prior to the race.

Jockeys[edit]

Carl Llewellyn was the most experienced rider in the race, being only the twelfth man to weigh out for the fourteenth time for a Grand National.

Six riders made their debut in the race with Andrew Tinkler and Ross Geraghty completing the course. James Barry, Bobby McNally, James Davies and Joey Elliott failed to reach the finishing post.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Amberleigh wins National BBC Sport, 3 April 2004
  2. ^ "Results from the 3.45 race at AINTREE – 3 April 2004". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Amberleigh wins National". BBC News. 3 April 2004. 
  4. ^ "UK – Record Betting on Grand National". Racing and Sports. 1 April 2004. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009.