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Top 5 shock winners in Grand National history

Jockey Liam Treadwell celebrates winning the 2009 Grand National on Mon Mome

The Aintree Grand National has featured more than its share of shock results – and we have picked out the five most surprising winners in the 176-year history of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

The tone was set way back in 1839 by the name of the first Grand National winner, Lottery, although being the 5/1 favourite he was something of a contradiction-in-terms!

But since then plenty of long shots have been added to the illustrious roll of honour, including some very recently.

Here are the top five shock winners of the Aintree Grand National:


1) Foinavon (1967, 100/1)

Any list of famous Grand National stories has to include the 1967 renewal, in which a pile-up at the 23rd fence left rank outsider Foinavon out clear on his own after he was the only horse to avoid the melee, thanks to the evasive action of his jockey.

Johnny Buckingham steered his mount, who had been well down the field, around the carnage and although he was being closed upon by remounted runners in the home straight, he had built up enough of an advantage to claim an incredible triumph.

The 23rd fence – also the seventh on the first circuit – was and remains the smallest on the course apart from the water jump and in 1984 it was renamed after Foinavon.

2) Mon Mome (2009, 100/1)

At a time when the Aintree spectacular was increasingly being dominated by well-fancied runners, Mon Mome proved that outsiders can still have their day in the sun.

There was no fluke about it because the Venetia Williams-trained French-bred gelding was a useful horse, just out of form going into the race, and he was subsequently good enough to finish third in the following year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.


Mon Mome (right) on his way to victory in the 2009 Grand National

3) Tipperary Tim (1928, 100/1)

A field of 42 lined up for the 1928 Grand National and 41 of them fell…the exception being the 100/1 ‘rag’ Tipperary Tim.

It was a definite forerunner to the 1967 edition because, run on heavy ground, there was a pile-up at the Canal Turn on the first circuit, which left only seven left standing, and just three by the penultimate fence where likely-looking winner Great Span’s saddle slipped and then Billy Barton came down at the last!

4) Auroras Encore (2013, 66/1)

Although not as big a price as Mon Mome four years earlier, Auroras Encore’s victory was almost as big a shock inasmuch as he did not possess the quality of the hitherto out-of-sorts 2009 hero.

But Sue Smith’s runner loved Aintree, having won there on the Mildmay course, although winning the Grand National was the only real piece of form he showed anywhere during the last two years of his career.


Auroras Encore (left) on the way to winning the 2013 Grand National

5) Caughoo (1947, 66/1)

One of the biggest fields in Grand National history faced the starter – 57 runners, the largest since the record of 66 in 1929 and all of them returned safely back to the stables.

The first one home was 66/1 outsider Caughoo, by 20 lengths, leading an Irish one-three-four which was completed by one of Arkle’s trainer Tom Dreaper’s two other Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Prince Regent.


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Top 5 shock winners in Grand National history

The Aintree Grand National has featured more than its share of shock results – and we have picked out the five most surprising winners in the 176-year history of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

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