Auroras Encore Grand National Wins
- 2013 - ridden by Ryan Mania trained by Sue Smith
Trained by popular Northern trainer, Sue Smith, Auroras Encore ran in the Grand National just once, and was successful in that attempt, winning the 2013 race by nine lengths. It was a great day for his jockey Ryan Mania too, he not only won the Grand National but did so on his first ride in the race.
Foaled on March 10th, 2002 in Ireland at the Mountarmstrong Stud, he went through the sales ring twice during his younger years, before eventually being bought by Sue Smith’s husband, Harvey Smith.
The story around his win was a great one, and at big odds of 66/1 for the race, those who did back this horse will certainly remember doing so, as the returns would no doubt have been big, even for a small stake.
Winner Of The 2013 Grand National
Many jump horses attempt the race at least once in their career, but that was not the case for Auroras Encore. He ran in the contest just once, winning his only try after injury forced early retirement, and prevented him from defending the crown he won.
Auroras Encore was sent off at 66/1 for the Grand National in 2013, unfancied by many. He did give a glimpse of his ability to be a staying chaser though, coming second in the 2012 Scottish Grand National, 12 months before Aintree and a race that has very similar conditions.
The races in between that run and the Grand National were not very impressive, but the true stamina test on the day brought out the best in Auroras Encore. Nine lengths were the total winning distance of the race, ahead of Cappa Bleu and Teaforthree who finished second and third.
23-year-old jockey Ryan Mania was having his first ride in the race, and things could not have gone any better for him. A strong jumping performance from his runner helped him through the contest, and then when it came to the end of the race, staying power won the day.
Not many will have backed this runner, but those who did will remember the race fondly, given the 66/1 SP.
Auroras Encore’s Early Years
Auroras Encore went through the sales ring twice before hitting the racetrack, retaining his sale price on the second occasion. First of all, he was sent through as a two-year-old and sold for €7,000 to Frank Berry, who took the early part of the racehorse training on.
After that, he went to the sales at Doncaster where Harvey Smith spent €9,500 to buy him and take him to the stables of his wife Sue Smith. At this point, the owners in the yard, Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont and David van der Hoeven purchased the horse to run in their colours.
The horse failed to win a flat race in three attempts but fared much better when he went over hurdles. His best win over those obstacles came at the Aintree Grand National meeting, winning a listed handicap hurdle in 2008.
From then on, his career was all about chasing over the bigger obstacles, which is where he looked at home and did his best.
Auroras Encore’s Big Race Wins
The Grand National win in 2013 was certainly the biggest win of Auroras Encore’s career, the only other wins of note both came at listed handicap level, one over hurdles and one over fences.
The hurdles win is the one we’ve just mentioned, a listed handicap hurdle at the Aintree Grand National meeting in 2008. Two years later, with plenty of chase experience under his belt, he went on to win a listed handicap chase at Uttoxeter off a mark of 139 and by a winning margin of six lengths.
After that, he finished second in the Scottish Grand National, and ran at the Cheltenham Festival but was unable to win another big pot. That was until Ryan Mania steered him home in the 2013 Grand National, winning the race at their first attempt, and bringing joy to the punters who backed him on the day at big odds.
A win for the north, one that is remembered fondly, especially because it involved one of the most likeable northern racing families, the Smith family.