2013 Grand National

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2013 Grand National
Grand National
2013 Grand National logo.jpg
Owner Mr D G Pryde.svg
LocationAintree Racecourse
Date6 April 2013
Winning horseRepublic of Ireland Auroras Encore
Starting price66/1
JockeyScotland Ryan Mania
TrainerEngland Sue Smith
OwnerDouglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont & David van der Hoeven
ConditionsGood to soft[1]
← 2012
2014 →
External video
video icon Full replay of the 2013 Grand National Racing TV, YouTube

The 2013 Grand National (officially known as the John Smith's Grand National for sponsorship reasons) was the 166th annual running of the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England. The showpiece steeplechase, which concluded a three-day meeting (one of only four held at Aintree throughout the year), took place on 6 April 2013. The maximum permitted field of 40 runners competed for a share of the £975,000 prize fund, which made the National the most valuable jump race in Europe.

The race was won by 66/1 shot Auroras Encore, who was ridden by jockey Ryan Mania for trainer Sue Smith. The 11/2 favourite Seabass, ridden by Katie Walsh, finished in 13th place.[2] During the race only two horses fell and six unseated their riders; 17 completed the course and all 40 that ran returned safely to the stables.[1][3]

The race was broadcast on Channel 4 for the first time as it took over the broadcasting rights for a four-year period to 2016. The BBC had broadcast the race every year since it was first televised in 1960 and first aired on radio in 1927. The BBC retain the UK radio coverage rights.[4]

Safety changes[edit]

In addition to modifications made for the previous year's race, Aintree announced that a number of further changes had been made for the 2013 National.

Twelve of the 16 fences on the course were rebuilt with the timber frames within them replaced by a softer material known as "plastic birch". The fences are still covered with at least 14 inches of spruce and will remain the same height. The starting line was also moved 90 yards closer to the first fence, further away from the spectators' stands and thereby reducing slightly the overall distance.[5]

Aintree and the Professional Jockeys' Association jointly issued a note urging participating jockeys to avoid a false start by paying more attention to the starter's orders, and to better control their speed during the race.[6]

In response to the further changes, David Muir of the RSPCA said: "They have done more than I thought they would. Fundamentally the changes that have been made are major already. They've taken the cores of the fences out, there is a cooling down area now, there's a water system and there's a reduction in the number of drop fences; [however] we'd still like to see changes to Becher's Brook, the drop is still a concern."[7]

Race card[edit]

External image
image icon The BBC's gallery of images from the 2013 Grand National

Entries for the race had to be submitted by 30 January 2013. Aintree announced that 84 horses had been entered for consideration in the 2013 Grand National, including last year's runner-up Sunnyhillboy, as well as Seabass and Cappa Bleu, third and fourth in the 2012 race respectively. Others hoping to return to the National for 2013 included Oscar Time, Big Fella Thanks, What A Friend, Cloudy Lane, Calgary Bay, and 2011 winner Ballabriggs.

Eight of the entrants were trained in Wales, including Cappa Bleu; the only Welsh-trained horse to have won the Grand National was Kirkland in 1905. Thirty-two of the 84 were trained in Ireland.

Handicap weights were announced by the British Horseracing Authority in London on 12 February.[8] The top weight of 11 st 10 lb was allotted to Tidal Bay, trained by last year's winning trainer Paul Nicholls, however the horse was withdrawn two days later with a stress fracture of the lower cannon bone on his right hind leg. 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander now carries top weight. The National's official betting partner, Betfred, put Seabass (11 st 2 lb), On His Own (10 st 10 lb), and Prince De Beauchene (11 st 3 lb) as joint-favourites upon announcement of the handicaps. Prince De Beauchene was later withdrawn with a stress fracture.[9]

There were scratchings' deadlines on 26 February and 19 March, after which 57 entries remained. 1 April marked the five-day confirmation stage at which 49 horses remained and were ranked according to their ratings. On 4 April the final field of 40 runners was declared:[10]

No Horse Age Handicap (st-lb) SP Jockey Trainer Owner(s)
1 Imperial Commander (IRE) 12 11–10 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies Our Friends in the North
2 What A Friend 10 11-09 Sam Thomas Paul Nicholls G. Mason & A. Ferguson
3 Weird Al (IRE) 10 11-08 Timmy Murphy Donald McCain B. D. Holden
4 Quel Esprit (FRA) 9 11-07 Paul Townend Willie Mullins (IRE) Red Barn Syndicate
5 Big Fella Thanks 11 11-06 Denis O'Regan Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership
6 Seabass (IRE) 10 11-06 Ms Katie Walsh Ted Walsh (IRE) Gunners Syndicate
7 Roberto Goldback (IRE) 11 11-06 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson S. Munir
8 Sunnyhillboy (IRE) 10 11-04 Richie McLernon Jonjo O'Neill J. P. McManus
9 Ballabriggs (IRE) 12 11-04 Jason Maguire Donald McCain T. Hemmings
10 Teaforthree (IRE) 9 11-03 Nick Scholfield Rebecca Curtis T437
11 Across the Bay (IRE) 9 11-02 Henry Brooke Donald McCain Scotch Piper Syndicate
12 Join Together (IRE) 8 11-02 Daryl Jacob Paul Nicholls I. Fogg & P. Barber
13 Colbert Station (IRE) 9 11-01 Tony McCoy Ted Walsh (IRE) J. P. McManus
14 Forpadydeplasterer (IRE) 11 11-00 Andrew J. McNamara Thomas Cooper (IRE) Goat Racing Syndicate
15 On His Own (IRE) 9 11-00 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins (IRE) A. & G. Wylie
16 Joncol (IRE) 10 10–13 Robbie Power Paul Nolan (IRE) K. Browne
17 Balthazar King (IRE) 9 10–12 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs The Brushmakers
18 Cappa Bleu (IRE) 11 10–11 Paul Moloney Evan Williams W. & A. Rucker
19 Oscar Time (IRE) 12 10–11 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Martin Lynch (IRE) R. Waley-Cohen
20 Always Waining (IRE) 12 10–10 Tom O'Brien Peter Bowen P. & L. Douglas
21 Tatenen (FRA) 9 10–10 Andrew Thornton Richard Rowe Stewart family
22 Treacle (IRE) 12 10-09 Noel Fehily Tom Taaffe (IRE) B. Nielsen
23 Lost Glory (NZL) 8 10-08 Mark Walsh Jonjo O'Neill J. P. McManus
24 Swing Bill (FRA) 12 10-08 Conor O'Farrell David Pipe D. Johnson
25 Saint Are (FRA) 7 10-08 Dougie Costello Tim Vaughan D. Fox
26 Chicago Grey (IRE) 10 10-07 Paul Carberry Gordon Elliott (IRE) J. Earls
27 Quiscover Fontaine (FRA) 9 10-07 David Casey Willie Mullins (IRE) J. P. McManus
28 Rare Bob (IRE) 11 10-06 Bryan Cooper Dessie Hughes (IRE) D A Syndicate
29 The Rainbow Hunter 9 10-06 Aidan Coleman Kim Bailey May We Never Be Found Out
30 Becauseicouldntsee (IRE) 10 10-06 Martin Ferris Noel Glynn (IRE) N. Glynn
31 Harry the Viking 8 10–06 Ryan Mahon Paul Nicholls A. Ferguson, G. Mason, R. Wood & P. Done
32 Mr. Moonshine (IRE) 9 10-05 Peter Buchanan Sue Smith A. Strang-Steel, D. Pryde & J. Beaumont
33 Mumbles Head (IRE) 12 10-04 Jamie Moore Peter Bowen P. Thompson
34 Ninetieth Minute (IRE) 10 10-03 Niall Madden Tom Taaffe (IRE) D. Cox
35 Auroras Encore (IRE) 11 10-03 Ryan Mania Sue Smith D. Pryde, J. Beaumont & D. P. van der Hoeven
36 Tarquinius (FRA) 10 10-02 Wilson Renwick Gordon Elliott (IRE) R. Gilbert
37 Any Currency (IRE) 10 10-00 Ian Popham Martin Keighley Cash Is King
38 Major Malarkey (IRE) 10 09-13 Tom Scudamore Nigel Twiston-Davies Baker, Dodd & Cooke
39 Soll 8 09-12 Mark Grant Jo Hughes D. Mossop
40 Viking Blond (FRA) 8 09-11 Adam Wedge Nigel Twiston-Davies C. Mould
  • Great Britain unless stated.
  • Amateur jockeys denoted by preceding title, e.g. Mr.

Race overview[edit]

The starter Hugh Barclay got the field of 40 horses off and running at the first attempt, the start line having been moved 90 yards closer to the first fence and further away from the spectators' stands. Seabass was sent off as 11/2 favourite, with jockey Katie Walsh becoming the first female rider to start a Grand National as favourite. Her brother Ruby Walsh was second-favourite on board On His Own.[11]

For the first time in history, all 40 runners made it to the Canal Turn – the eighth of the 30 fences – without mishap. Across the Bay led over the Turn from Balthazar King, while three riders were unseated. Andrew Thornton became the first of only two jockeys in the 2013 National to fall from his mount as the field streamed over the 12th fence.[11]

The Chair is the penultimate fence on the first circuit and marked the end of the race for champion jockey Tony McCoy who was unseated from Colbert Station. Thirty-two of the 40 participants were still in contention going onto the second circuit, led by Across the Bay from Balthazar King, Oscar Time, and Teaforthree.[11]

All the remaining runners safely jumped the second Becher's Brook, the first time since 1996 that the famous fence had not claimed any fallers. Ruby Walsh fell at Valentine's (the 25th fence) after which several runners had been pulled up, leaving 21 still racing. Irish-trained Oscar Time and Welsh-trained Teaforthree led the field, with Auroras Encore emerging in third position. At the final fence, Paul Carberry pulled up Chicago Grey while Mumbles Head refused and two other horses unseated their riders.[11]

At the elbow on the 494-yard run-in, Auroras Encore had extended his lead over Teaforthree and Oscar Time, the latter fading and quickly overtaken by Cappa Bleu. At the line, the pairing of Auroras Encore and Ryan Mania – taking his first ride in the Grand National – won by a distance of nine lengths, Cappa Bleu pipped Teaforthree for second place, Oscar Time finished in fourth and Rare Bob was fifth. Seventeen runners completed the course.[11]

Finishing order[edit]

Position Horse Jockey SP Distance Prize money
1 Auroras Encore (IRE) Ryan Mania 1066 66/1 Won by 9 lengths £547,268
2 Cappa Bleu (IRE) Paul Moloney 1012 12/1 Neck £205,823
3 Teaforthree (IRE) Nick Scholfield 1010 10/1 11 lengths £102,863
4 Oscar Time (IRE) Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 1066 66/1 8 lengths £51,383
5 Rare Bob (IRE) Bryan Cooper 1016 16/1 6 lengths £25,838
6 Swing Bill (FRA) Conor O'Farrell 1080 80/1 10 lengths £12,870
7 Soll Mark Grant 1033 33/1 3 lengths £6,630
8 Tarquinius (FRA) Wilson Renwick 1100 100/1 1+12 lengths £3,510
9 Saint Are (FRA) Dougie Costello 1050 50/1 12 lengths £1,950
10 Always Waining (IRE) Tom O'Brien 1033 33/1 1+12 lengths £975
11 Major Malarkey (IRE) Tom Scudamore 1050 50/1 1+12 lengths
12 Join Together (IRE) Daryl Jacob 1025 25/1 22 lengths
13 Seabass (IRE) Ms Katie Walsh 1005.5 11/2 F 1+14 lengths
14 Across the Bay (IRE) Henry Brooke 1040 40/1 3+12 lengths
15 Balthazar King (IRE) Richard Johnson 1016 16/1 1 length
16 Quiscover Fontaine (FRA) David Casey 1040 40/1 44 lengths
17 Any Currency (IRE) Ian Popham 1100 100/1 Last to complete



Fence Horse Jockey SP Fate
8 (Canal Turn) The Rainbow Hunter Aidan Coleman 1050 50/1 Unseated rider
8 (Canal Turn) Treacle (IRE) Noel Fehily 1033 33/1 Unseated rider
8 (Canal Turn) Big Fella Thanks Denis O'Regan 1033 33/1 Unseated rider
11 Ninetieth Minute (IRE) Niall Madden 1080 80/1 Pulled up
12 Tatenen (FRA) Andrew Thornton 1100 100/1 Fell
14 Viking Blond (FRA) Adam Wedge 1066 66/1 Pulled up
15 (The Chair) Colbert Station (IRE) Tony McCoy 1012 12/1 Unseated rider
17 Lost Glory (NZL) Mark Walsh 1050 50/1 Pulled up
19 (open ditch) Joncol (IRE) Robbie Power 1050 50/1 Pulled up
19 (open ditch) What A Friend Sam Thomas 1033 33/1 Pulled up
21 Becauseicouldntsee (IRE) Martin Ferris 1066 66/1 Pulled up
22 (Becher's Brook) Imperial Commander (IRE) Sam Twiston-Davies 1011 11/1 Pulled up
23 (Foinavon) Forpadydeplasterer (IRE) Andrew McNamara 1066 66/1 Pulled up
23 (Foinavon) Quel Esprit (FRA) Paul Townend 1040 40/1 Pulled up
23 (Foinavon) Weird Al (IRE) Timmy Murphy 1066 66/1 Pulled up
24 (Canal Turn) Ballabriggs (IRE) Jason Maguire 1020 20/1 Pulled up
25 (Valentine's) On His Own (IRE) Ruby Walsh 1008 8/1 Fell
25 (Valentine's) Harry the Viking Ryan Mahon 1040 40/1 Pulled up
27 (open ditch) Mr. Moonshine (IRE) Peter Buchanan 1066 66/1 Pulled up
30 Mumbles Head (IRE) Jamie Moore 1100 100/1 Refused
30 Sunnyhillboy (IRE) Richie McLernon 1020 20/1 Unseated rider
30 Roberto Goldback (IRE) Barry Geraghty 1025 25/1 Unseated rider
30 Chicago Grey (IRE) Paul Carberry 1011 11/1 Pulled up


John Smith's Grand National Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) 2013
Royal blue, yellow diamond, checked sleeves, royal blue cap, yellow diamond
Auroras Encore
1st @ 66/1
Royal blue, pink hoop
Cappa Bleu
2nd @ 12/1
Dark blue and white stripes, halved sleeves
3rd @ 10/1
Brown, orange seams and sleeves, orange and brown quartered cap
Oscar Time
4th @ 66/1
Royal blue, red seams, royal blue sleeves and cap
Rare Bob
5th @ 16/1
Royal blue, emerald green sleeves, white cap, emerald green spots
Swing Bill
6th @ 80/1
Dark blue, royal blue chevrons, dark blue cap, royal blue star
7th @ 33/1
ROYAL BLUE and WHITE (quartered), BLACK and WHITE striped sleeves and cap
8th @ 100/1
Light green, yellow inverted triangle, yellow sleeves, red diamonds, yellow cap, red diamonds
Saint Are
9th @ 50/1
Mauve and purple diabolo, purple sleeves, mauve armlets and diamond on purple cap
Always Waining
10th @ 33/1
Yellow, large black spots and armlets, black and yellow quartered cap
Major Malarkey
11th @ 50/1
Royal blue, orange star, royal blue sleeves, orange stars and cap
Join Together
12th @ 25/1
Maroon, white braces and sleeves
13th @ 11/2 F
Light blue, brown star, diabolo on sleeves and star on cap
Across The Bay
14th @ 40/1
Red, royal blue stars, hooped sleeves and star on cap
Balthazar King
15th @ 16/1
Emerald green, yellow hoops, red cap
Quiscover Fontaine
16th @ 40/1
Pink and mauve (quartered), mauve sleeves, white cap
Any Currency
17th @ 100/1
Pink, purple cross belts, hooped sleeves, purple cap
Mumbles Head
Refused @ 100/1
Black, yellow cap
Unseated Rider @ 33/1
Black, white stars, striped sleeves, black cap
Imperial Commander
Pulled Up @ 11/1
Emerald green and yellow (quartered), white sleeves and cap
Pulled Up @ 20/1
white, royal blue epaulets, white sleeves, red spots, royal blue cap
What A Friend
Pulled Up @ 33/1
Dark blue, emerald green seams, white cap
Ninetieth Minute
Pulled Up @ 80/1
Black and white (halved), red sleeves and cap
Fell @ 100/1
Light blue, royal blue star, white and royal blue check sleeves and cap
Big Fella Thanks
Unseated Rider @ 33/1
White, light blue sash, brown cap
Pulled Up @ 66/1
Emerald Green, Yellow hoops, Emerald Green cap, White star
Unseated Rider @ 20/1
Red and white stripes, hooped sleeves, striped cap
Pulled Up @ 66/1
Black, grey disc, armlets and cap
Weird Al
Pulled Up @ 66/1
Maroon, yellow star, hooped sleeves, yellow cap
Chicago Grey
Pulled Up @ 11/1
Red, white cross of lorraine and sleeves, red cap
Pulled Up @ 50/1
Emerald green, red hoop, halved sleeves, red cap
The Rainbow Hunter
Unseated Rider @ 50/1
Cerise, white sash, black cap
Mr Moonshine
Pulled Up @ 66/1
Emerald green, dark green sleeves, dark green and emerald green quartered cap
Roberto Goldback
Unseated Rider @ 25/1
Emerald green, yellow hoops, white cap
Colbert Station
Unseated Rider @ 12/1
Black, light blue sleeves, red cap
Quel Esprit
Pulled Up @ 40/1
Red, royal blue chevrons, armlets and star on cap
Viking Blond
Pulled Up @ 66/1
Black and beige (halved), chevrons on sleeves, beige cap
On His Own
Fell @ 8/1
Emerald green, yellow hoops, royal blue cap
Lost Glory
Pulled Up @ 50/1
Red, white stars on sleeves
Harry The Viking
Pulled Up @ 40/1


Sue Smith became only the third woman to train a Grand National winner, after Jenny Pitman (1983 and 1995) and Venetia Williams (2009). Smith said afterward: "I knew the ground was right for him and hoped everything else was. He stayed down the middle and had a bit of luck in running. He didn't have a lot of weight and that helped, too."

Auroras Encore was jockey Ryan Mania's first ride in the National. He said after his victory: "There are no words to describe it. I got a dream ride round. I couldn't believe my luck." Mania added that he could not "go too mad" with his celebrations as he was due to race at Hexham the next day.[12] He did race the following afternoon, but was injured in a fall during the St. John Lee Handicap Hurdle and had to be airlifted to Newcastle Royal Infirmary where he was described as being in a "stable" condition.[13] He was released from hospital two days later with minor neck and back injuries, saying he was "feeling a bit tired and a bit sore but apart from that I'm OK, it's nothing serious."[14]

With two equine fatalities in each of the two previous Nationals, much of the media commentary after the 2013 race hailed the fact that all 40 runners had returned safely to the stables and that only two had fallen at the modified fences. The RSPCA's chief executive Gavin Grant said that his organisation was "delighted that the changes seem to have contributed to a safe yet competitive race." Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare added: "Aintree can take considerable credit for the improvements they have made to the course. It is too early to say with certainty whether the softer fences are making a difference, but ... the initial signs are encouraging."[15]

Channel 4 enjoyed a 61% share of the UK terrestrial television audience at its peak during the race. Though its peak viewing figures were down by 2 million from the 2012 race which was broadcast on the BBC and watched by nearly 11 million in the UK, they were slightly above those registered by the BBC in 2011 and 2009 and more than 1 million above those achieved in 2010.[16]


Auroras Encore has taken over and leads the National field up the run-in. They head to the elbow, Auroras Encore from Teaforthree, then Oscar Time back in third place, followed by Cappa Bleu and Swing Bill. Inside the final furlong, Auroras Encore and Ryan Mania out in front here and has drawn eight lengths clear of the tiring Teaforthree, Cappa Bleu running on, but it will go to the Sue Smith team! Auroras Encore and Ryan Mania win the John Smith's Grand National!

Channel 4 lead commentator Simon Holt describes the climax of the race.[17]

As the Grand National is accorded the status of an event of national interest in the United Kingdom and is listed on the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events, it must be shown on free-to-air terrestrial television in the UK. Channel 4 took over the broadcasting rights from the BBC for a four-year period from 2013.[18]

Clare Balding and Nick Luck presented Channel 4's coverage, supported by Jim McGrath, Mick Fitzgerald and Graham Cunningham. Reports were provided by Rishi Persad and Alice Plunkett and betting updates by Tanya Stevenson and Brian Gleeson. Balding, Fitzgerald and Persad were previously regulars of BBC's coverage team for the race in recent years. The commentary team was composed of Richard Hoiles, Ian Bartlett (also previously part of the BBC's team) and Simon Holt. As lead commentator for Channel 4, Holt called the winner home for the first time.[19] After the race, Nick Luck, Mick Fitzgerald and Richard Hoiles provided the viewers with a detailed re-run of the race.

Whereas the BBC lost the television rights for the race, its radio station 5 Live broadcast the race as before, the 81st consecutive running of the National to be covered live on BBC radio.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Results From The 4.15 Race at Aintree | 6 April 2013". Racing Post. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Auroras Encore claims Aintree success". BBC Sport. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  3. ^ Bloom, Ben (6 April 2013). "Grand National 2013: as it happened". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Grand National on the BBC". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  5. ^ Johnson, Becky (26 February 2013). "Grand National Fences To Be Made Safer". News.sky.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  6. ^ Keogh, Frank (26 March 2013). "BBC Sport – Grand National 2013: Jockeys advised on safety ahead of race". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  7. ^ Wilson, Joe (4 April 2013). "BBC Sport – Grand National 2013: BHA defends Aintree race safety". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  8. ^ "84 for 2013 John Smith's Grand National at Aintree". Aintree.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  9. ^ "FAVOURITE SEABASS GIVEN 11st 2lb IN 2013 JOHN SMITH'S GRAND NATIONAL". Aintree.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  10. ^ "John Smith's Grand National Declared Runners & Reserves". Aintree.co.uk. 14 April 2012. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e Armytage, Marcus (6 April 2013). "Grand National 2013: Ryan Mania rides 66–1 shot Auroras Encore to victory at Aintree". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  12. ^ Grand National (6 April 2013). "Grand National 2013: I can't go mad, I'm racing tomorrow, says Auroras Encore jockey Ryan Mania". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  13. ^ Horse Racing (7 April 2013). "Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania taken to hospital in air ambulance after suffering fall at Hexham". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  14. ^ Paley, Tony (9 April 2013). "Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania released from hospital". The Guardian. London.
  15. ^ Greg Wood at Aintree (1 January 1970). "Aintree hail new era for Grand National with all runners back safe | Sport | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  16. ^ Greg Wood (1 January 1970). "Grand National coverage ratings bring delight for Channel 4 Racing | Sport". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Watch exclusive coverage of the 2013 Grand National from Aintree". Channel 4. 6 April 2013. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  18. ^ GMT (19 March 2012). "BBC Sport – Channel 4 gets rights for Grand National, Derby and Royal Ascot". BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Channel 4's Grand National Showcase". Channel 4. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.