After being embarrassed by the Irish at the Cheltenham Festival, where they conceded the Prestbury Cup to their counterparts for the sixth time in a row after losing 23-5, the British will already be looking ahead to the Grand National in the hope that they can restore some pride in the Aintree showpiece.
Whilst the Grand National betting in 2021 is favouring Irish-trained Cloth Cap, who is now as short as 4/1 to win the marathon race for a second time for trainer Jonjo O’Neill, the Brits have had their fair share of success in the last decade, winning six of the 10 races.
So, as we study the National racecard in hope of landing ourselves a winner, let’s take a look back at the last five British-trained victors of the four-and-a-half-mile race. Read on to find out more!
- Neptune Collonges – 2012
In 2012, Neptune Collonges became just the third grey horse to win the Grand National and the first since 1961. The Paul Nicholls-trained horse was a 33/1 shot heading into the race, and in the end, it was one of the closest-ever finishes as he barely beat Sunnyhillboy over the line. It was Nicholls’ first win in the race after fielding a huge 53 runners to that point. Katie Walsh also set a record as she stormed home in third aboard Seabass. To date it’s still the best finish from a female rider. However, we’re sure Rachael Blackmore will have her sights set on trumping that sooner rather than later.
- Auroras Encore – 2013
66/1 outsider Auroras Encore landed an emphatic victory in 2013 that would have had all of Yorkshire jumping with joy. It was the first time a Yorkshire-trained horse had won the race since Merryman II in 1960 and what a way he went about his business on the day. With Ryan Mania in the saddle, the Sue Smith-trained horse romped over the line in first, an impressive nine lengths clear of Cappa Bleu, who was more fancied at 12/1.
- Pineau De Re – 2014
Mania coming out of retirement to win the race with Auroras Encore in the year prior set the tone for what was to come. Jockey Leighton Aspell had also hung up his silks for a couple of years. However, he must be delighted now that he returned to the saddle in 2009, as six years later, at the age of 37, he finally rode a winner in the Grand National. That horse was 25/1 shot Pineau De Re, and not even Richard Johnson and Sir AP McCoy could stop him as they raced home in second aboard Balthazar King and Double Seven respectively.
- Many Clouds – 2015
It turned out that Aspell wasn’t willing to settle for one career National victory either, as he returned the following year to win the race back-to-back, this time in the saddle of Many Clouds. In doing so, the Irish jockey became the first rider since Brian Fletcher’s dual victories aboard Red Rum in the 1970s to win the Grand National successively. It marked a third triumph in the race for owner Trevor Hemmings, who is looking for a record fourth victory with Cloth Cap this year. It was also a fifth successive British win with Ballabriggs winning for Donald McCain Jr. the year prior to Neptune Collonges.
- One For Arthur – 2017
With Irish-trained Rule The World ending the British dominance in 2016, One For Arthur was on hand to win back the bragging rights in 2017. It took three attempts to get the race officially underway. However, once it did get started, Lucinda Russell knew her horse was going to win. “We’re going to win the Grand National,” the Scottish trainer was heard saying as her horse kicked into gear two fences out from the finish. And, they did just that with One For Arthur notching a four-and-a-half-length victory.