Hill Sixteen Grand National Wins
Hill Sixteen has never won the Grand National.
They have never finished the race.
Hill Sixteen ran for Northern trainer Sandy Thomson, but sadly on his first attempt at the Grand National, he would fall at the first fence and die from his injuries. Animal rights activists targeted the race in 2023, so his death was turned into a bigger story than usual. However, his trainer was quick to actually blame the protestors for his horses’ performance in the race.
Foaled in 2013, the horse spent time with three trainers during his career, kicking off with Sue Smith, then moving to Nigel Twiston-Davies and then finally going to run for Sandy Thomson. It was Thomson that gave the horse his try at the Grand National fences, where he performed well.
He finished second and seventh in the Becher Chase in 2021 and 2022, jumping well and running with credit, which ultimately led him to run in the 2023 Grand National.
Hill Sixteen’s Death In The Grand National Hits The Headlines
The build-up to the 2023 Grand National was hit by news that protestors would be heading to Aintree with the intention to stop the race from happening. They did cause a delay to the race, with the start being delayed by around 30 minutes.
During the race, one horse, Hill Sixteen, fell and died from his injuries in the contest, which of course, was quickly highlighted by the protestors. However, trainer of the horse, Sandy Thomson, was quick to say that it was actually the protestors and what they caused, which could be the reason behind the horse falling in the race.
He had previously been to Aintree twice to run in the Becher Chase. He completed both of those races and jumped very well, including finishing second in one of his attempts. But due to the delay in the race, horses had to remain in the parade ring for much longer than usual. This caused a few of them to get worked up, and Hill Sixteen was one of the worst for this.
When the horse eventually left the parade ring and went to the start of the race, he was described as being worked up and on edge before the runners set off. He went to the first fence and fell straight away, which would ultimately lead to his death.
That poor jump was blamed on the state of mind the horse had, after being left to wait for the race to begin and after jumping so well on his two previous starts over the big fences, his trainer was quick to say this could have been the cause.
Ultimately, it was a sad moment for racing, one jumped on by protestors, with this horse losing his life.
Hill Sixteen’s Early Years
The first time we saw Hill Sixteen in a race was in Ireland, where he ran in one point-to-point contest, and he impressed by winning the race. It was April 2018 when he made his debut, winning by one length, and that was enough to put him in the shop window, which would lead to a move across the Irish Sea.
The start of Hill Sixteen’s racing career under rules would begin with Northern trainer Sue Smith. The horse went hurdling straight away and ran six times in his first season, winning once. However, he was ultra-consistent, fourth was his worst finish, and he was second on three occasions.
Chasing came the following season, with five runs over the bigger obstacles, and again, he had one win during that season. At this point, the horse moved to Nigel Twiston-Davies, to continue his career with him.
In November 2020, on his first start for Twiston-Davies, the horse won a handicap chase by 46 lengths at Ffos Las, a great performance. That was a big impression to start, and he followed it up with another win, this time dropping back to hurdles and winning a decent race at Newbury by a length.
He would go up in quality next, but struggled, having four more runs for Twiston-Davies, pulling up in three of them, so end his time at the yard on a quiet note. After this, he would be sent to Sandy Thomson, where the horse would remain for the rest of his racing career.
Hill Sixteen’s Big Race Wins
Hill Sixteen won a total of five races during his career, one point-to-point contest to start things off, two wins over hurdles and two over the bigger chase obstacles. It was probably a slightly disappointing return from the horse because he had shown much more promise and, on many occasions, had run very well without winning.
Sadly, none of those four wins were classed as big race wins, so despite running on some big stages, including at the Grand National in 2023, the horse was not able to turn one of those big races into a win.