2005 Grand National

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2005 Grand National
Grand National
Owner Mr Trevor Hemmings emerald cap.svg
Location Aintree
Date 9 April 2005
Winning horse Hedgehunter
Jockey Ruby Walsh
Trainer Willie Mullins
Owner Trevor Hemmings
Conditions Good to soft
External video
Replay of the 2005 Grand National in full Racing UK, YouTube

The 2005 Grand National (known as the John Smith's Grand National for sponsorship reasons) was the 158th official annual running of the world-famous Grand National steeplechase which took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England, on 9 April 2005[1] and attracted the maximum permitted field of 40 competitors for total prize money of £700,000 including £406,000 to the winner.[2]

The nine-year-old 7/1 favourite Hedgehunter, ridden by Ruby Walsh and trained by Willie Mullins, won the race by 14 lengths, in a time of 9 minutes 21 seconds. 40/1 shot Royal Auclair finished second, from 66/1-rated Simply Gifted in third.

The start of the race was moved back 25 minutes to avoid clashing with the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. Over half of the field completed the course and all the horses returned safely, although Frenchman's Creek was retired afterward. There was much media interest in Carrie Ford, the rider of Forest Gunner, who was considered the first genuine opportunity a woman had to win a Grand National. The pairing was sent off as second-favourite and finished fifth.

The showpiece race was seen by the largest attendance at Aintree since the Monday National of 1997, with a crowd of 70,850 people, and a total of 151,660 over the course of the three-day meeting.[3]

Finishing order[edit]

Position Name Rider Age Weight (st-lb) SP Distance or fate
1st Hedgehunter Ruby Walsh 9 11–1 7/1 F 14 lengths
2nd Royal Auclair Christian Williams 8 11–10 40/1 A head
3rd Simply Gifted Brian Harding 10 10–6 66/1 4 lengths
4th It Takes Time Timmy Murphy 11 10–11 18/1 9 lengths
5th Forest Gunner Carrie Ford 11 10–7 8/1 ½ length
6th Nil Desperandum Jim Culloty 8 10–11 16/1 11 lengths
7th Innox Robert Thornton 9 10–6 11/1 3½ lengths
8th Heros Collonges John P. McNamara 10 10–11 66/1 2½ lengths
9th Just in Debt Tony Dobbin 9 10–7 33/1 5 lengths
10th Amberleigh House Graham Lee 13 11–3 16/1 1½ lengths
11th Bindaree Carl Llewellyn 11 11–3 33/1 1 length
12th Iznogoud Tom Scudamore 9 10–9 125/1 1¼ lengths
13th Polar Red Tom Malone 8 10–8 100/1 9 lengths
14th Joly Bay Mr. David Dunsdon 8 10–10 16/1 15 lengths
15th L'aventure Robbie McNally 6 10–5 66/1 5 lengths
16th Monty's Pass Barry Geraghty 12 11–6 33/1 6 lengths
17th Strong Resolve Peter Buchanan 9 10/6 9/1 16 lengths
18th Spot Thedifference Robbie Power 12 10–7 25/1 17 lengths
19th Arctic Copper Davy Russell 11 10–6 200/1 21 lengths
20th Europa Jason Maguire 9 10–6 150/1 14 lengths
21st Shamawan James Barry 10 10–6 200/1 Last to finish
Non finishers
Fence 28 Fondmort Mick Fitzgerald 9 11–6 50/1 Tailed off, pulled up
Fence 28 Glenelly Gale Mr. Tom Greenall 11 10–11 150/1 Tailed off, pulled up
Fence 27 (open ditch) Colnel Rayburn Paul Carberry 9 10–7 20/1 Tailed off, pulled up
Fence 22 (Becher's Brook) Clan Royal Tony McCoy 10 10–11 9/1 Carried out by loose horses
Ad Hoc Joe Tizzard 11 10–12 33/1 Fell
Marcus Du Berlais Barry Cash 8 10–5 25/1 Unseated rider
Ballybough Rasher Alan Dempsey 10 11-04 100/1 Refused
Fence 21 Double Honour Paddy Brennan 7 10–8 25/1 Fell
Le Coudray Conor O'Dwyer 11 11–12 33/1 Tailed off, pulled up
Fence 20 Foly Pleasant Andrew Thornton 11 11–0 50/1 Fell
Fence 19 (open ditch) Jakari Richard Johnson 8 10–10 33/1 Tailed off, pulled up
Fence 15 (The Chair) Take The Stand Leighton Aspell 9 11–5 16/1 Unseated rider
Fence 13 Astonville Brian Crowley 11 10–13 100/1 Pulled up
Fence 10 Merchant's Friend Noel Fehily 10 10–6 80/1 Fell
Fence 9 (Valentine's) Native Emperor Dominic Elsworth 9 10–5 100/1 Unseated rider
Fence 2 Ballycassidy Seamus Durack 9 11–5 66/1 Unseated rider
Risk Accessor Alan Crowe 10 11–4 100/1 Unseated rider
Fence 1 Lord Atterbury Mark Bradburne 9 10–6 25/1 Fell
Frenchman's Creek James McCarthy 11 10–9 50/1 Unseated rider


Ruby Walsh has sailed over the last in front on Hedgehunter... They're at the elbow in the National. Ruby Walsh is going strongly. He's six lengths clear of Royal Auclair and Simply Gifted... and Ruby Walsh is going to win the Grand National! Fell at the last last year but too good for them this time! Hedgehunter wins it, a second Grand National for Ruby.

Commentator Jim McGrath describes the climax of the race

The race was covered live by the BBC on television and radio in the United Kingdom in accordance with the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events which recognises the Grand National as a sporting event of significant public interest.

The television coverage was part of a Grandstand special for the 46th consecutive year. Race commentary was provided by a four-man team consisting of Ian Bartlett, Tony O'Hehir, Darren Owen, and lead commentator Jim McGrath who called the runners home for the eighth year.


Carl Llewellyn had been the senior rider in the weighing room since the retirement of Richard Dunwoody after the 1999 race and became only the ninth rider ever to weigh out for a 15th National, having previously won the race in 1992 and 1998.

Nine riders made their Grand National debut, with Christian Williams finishing second and Carrie Ford fifth, while Tom Malone, David Dunsdon, Peter Buchanon and Robbie Power also completed the course. However, Alan Crowe's first ride ended at the second fence while Paddy Brennan and Tom Greenall also failed to reach the finishing post.