Numbersixvalverde Grand National Wins
- 2006 - ridden by Niall Madden Jnr trained by Martin Brassil
A two-time runner in the Grand National and winner once, Numbersixvalverde took the 2006 title in grand style. Trained in Ireland by Martin Brassil and ridden on the day by Niall Madden. He won by six lengths over Hedgehunter, who won in 2005 and was trying to win back-to-back races, but Numbersixvalverde spoilt the party.
Foaled in 1996, the Irish runner won the big race at both sides of the Irish Sea, firstly with the Irish Grand National in 2005, followed up by the Aintree Grand National a year later.
He returned in 2007 to try and retain his title but could only finish sixth and suffered an injury in the race, which kept him out until 2009 when he was eventually retired from racing.
|Niall Madden Jnr
|Niall Madden Jnr
Winner Of The 2006 Grand National
The talk ahead of the 2006 Grand National was all about two horses. Hedgehunter was back looking to win back-to-back titles, and Clan Royal was the big hope of AP McCoy, who at the time was still trying to land his first Grand National.
Those two runners dominated the betting market, with strong money condensing their price throughout the day. Eventually, they were sent off as 5/1 joint-favourites. Both ran well, with Hedghunter finishing second and Clan Royal finishing third, but neither had the ability to reel in the impressive six-length winner Numbersixvalverde.
From the final fence, there was only ever going to be one winner, as Niall Madden drove his mount clear of Hedgehunter, with his rival weighed down by carrying too much weight. Madden was strong in the saddle, so much so that he confessed that he didn’t know if he had won the race or not because he had his head down, driving hard to the line.
It was only after he crossed and then eased up after the line that he realised he was so far clear and had actually won the race and could have slowed earlier to celebrate while going over the finishing line.
A year later, Numbersixvalverde returned to the race with the hope of defending his crown. He ran a brave race and, similar to Hedgehunter, had too much weight on his back to really get involved. He finished sixth, however, it was discovered after that he had sustained an injury in the race, which would keep him out for some time. The initial hope was that he would run again, but after being off the track for two years, in 2009, the decision was made to retire the horse from racing, meaning the 2007 Grand National was his last ever run.
Numbersixvalverde’s Early Years
Numbersixvalverde had a very slow start to his racing career, but as a strong staying chaser, trying to run on the flat and over hurdles at two miles, it is hardly surprising. He ran in a total of six national hunt flat races and ten hurdle races, managing to bag just one win, which came in a maiden hurdle.
He was never a prolific winner in his career, winning a total of just five races from 36 attempts. When going chasing, he won two handicap chase races at a low level before going on to run at a better level and eventually landing his two big National wins.
Numbersixvalverde’s Big Race Wins
While he recorded just five wins in total, two of them stand out as being significant victories. The first of those came in March 2005, when Numbersixvalverde won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. Ridden by Ruby Walsh, he won by just under a length and showed that he was able to stay extreme distances, jump well, and win against some of the best handicappers in racing.
Just over a year later, after being trained with the race in mind ever since he won the Irish Grand National, it was time for Numbersixvalverde to have the biggest day of his career. In a highly competitive renewal of the Grand National, he came out on top, fending off the challenge from a previous winner to win the Grand National by six lengths. This was undoubtedly the biggest day of his career and one of two big race wins he would have.