Grand National
Grand National sees highest number of finishers in 19 years with 21 completing the course

Grand National sees highest number of finishers in 19 years with 21 completing the course

Willie Mullins, trainer of this year’s winner I Am Maximus, also trained the winner 19 years ago, Hedgehunter, when 40 horses ran rather than the 32 this time. The last National to feature more than 21 finishers was in 1992, when it was won by Party Politics.

In October, Aintree and the Jockey Club announced a number of changes to the race, including a reduction in the number of runners to a maximum of 34 from 40, the movement of the first fence 60 yards closer to the starting line and a standing start. For the first time in three runnings there were no fatalities.

Speaking on ITV, Ruby Walsh said: “It all looked to be a success. I know I enjoyed watching the race and it was a great showpiece for the sport.

It’s how we advertise what we have and if that doesn’t convince people that it’s a wonderful sport, I’m not sure what will.” Last year’s winner Corach Rambler was the first contender out of the race as he unseated Derek Fox at the first fence, and no horse lost their rider again until the 15th obstacle, the Chair, where Mr Incredible and Mahler Mission sent Brian Hayes and Ben Harvey out of the saddle.

Glengouly was the last horse to part company with his rider after he lost Michael O’Sullivan four out. Stattler was the first to call it a day when pulled up at the ninth, then Mac Tottie was tailed off at the 21st fence and dismounted by James Bowen before being walked into the vet’s ambulance.

He was subsequently lame on his right-fore leg but was reported later to have travelled home. Farouk D’Alene stopped five fences from home.

Minella Crooner, Foxy Jacks and Chemical Energy gave their best before the penultimate fence, and Janidil was the final horse to be pulled up after the last. Runner-up Delta Work did not return to the winner’s enclosure due to veterinary advice and trainer Gordon Elliott said the horse suffered a cut to his hind leg but was “absolutely fine”.

Corach Rambler fell when riderless but the veterinary officer had nothing to report on examination. Not a Members’ Club Ultimate subscriber?

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