Not only did Carl Llewellyn win the Grand National during his career as a jockey, but he won the race twice, in 1992 on Party Politics and 1998 on Earth Summit.
Two wins highlighted the career of the Welsh-born rider, who also landed the National of his home country and the Scottish National during his career. He had 17 Grade One winners and spent more than 20 years in the saddle, beginning in 1986 and retiring in 2009.
Born on 29th July 1965, Llewellyn went on to be a trainer following his riding career and won the Scottish Grand National not too long after taking up his license. However, success was hard to come by, so much so that he stopped training and would turn to one of his former allies as a jockey, Nigel Twiston-Davies, where he is now part of the team looking after horses at the yard.
Carl Llewellyn Grand National Wins
- 1998 - Earth Summit trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
- 1992 - Party Politics trained by Nick A Gaselee
|2006||Baron Windrush||Fence 3 - Unseated Rider||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|2004||Bindaree||Fence 6 - Brought Down||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|2002||Beau||Fence 14 - Unseated Rider||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|2001||Beau||Fence 20 - Unseated Rider||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|2000||Senor El Betrutti||Fence 1 - Fell||-||Susan Nock|
|1999||Earth Summit||8||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|1998||Earth Summit||1||£212,569||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|1997||Camelot Knight||3||£33,057||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|1996||Party Politics||Fence 3 - Fell||-||Nick A Gaselee|
|1995||Young Hustler||Fence 3 - Unseated Rider||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|1993||Party Politics||Fence 17 - Pulled Up||-||Nick A Gaselee|
|1992||Party Politics||1||£99,943||Nick A Gaselee|
|1989||Smart Tar||Fence 20 - Fell||-||M J Wilkinson|
|1988||Kumbi||Fence 22 - Fell||-||Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain|
Winning The Grand National On Party Politics
The first Grand National success that Carl Llewellyn would taste came in 1992 when Party Politics won the race for trainer Nick Gasalee. In many ways, this win was the worst possible outcome for the bookmakers, even though Party Politics was not sent off favourite. The Grand National success came just five days before the 1992 UK General Election, so politics was on the brain for many people. Those who look for names or something topical when betting on the Grand National because they aren’t regular horse racing watchers will no doubt have been drawn in by this runner.
In terms of the race itself, this performance was all about guts and staying power from Party Politics, with Llewellyn playing his part in the saddle too. The front pair were clear, and over the last, this was a two-horse race with Party Politics keeping on and making sure Romany King, who finished second, was unable to get any closer.
The official winning distance was two and a half lengths, with the third placed horse a further 15 lengths behind the front two.
This was the first of four runs in the Grand National for Party Politics, and Llewellyn would partner the horse in three of those. The one he missed was the closest he came to winning the race again, in 1995, he finished second behind the Jenny Pitman-trained Royal Athlete, this time with Mark Dwyer on board, and back down in the weights after a few poor runs.
Second Grand National Win On Earth Summit
The win on Party Politics was Llewellyn’s third ride in the Grand National, he would taste success again in the race on his 8th attempt, this time with the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Earth Summit in 1998.
Llewellyn wasn’t originally scheduled to have this ride, it should have been regular rider Tom Jenks on board the horse, but he was injured, which gave Llwellyn a chance, and he didn’t look back. The rain came for this runner, a proved stayer and mudlark after winning both the Scottish Grand National and Welsh Grand National prior to this run.
He was a 10/1 shot on the morning of the race, but when punters picked up on how much he would relish the conditions and stay strongly in them, he was backed into favouritism and returned the 7/1 favourite after the race.
This was a much easier success than the one Llewellyn had in 1992, even though he had to work much harder due to the conditions this time around. A winning distance was recorded of 11 lengths, with Earth Summit well clear of Suny Bay, and these two were miles clear of the third home Samlee. Just six runners completed on the day, showing exactly how tough conditions were and what Earth Summit and Llewellyn had to run through to win the race.
It is probably fair to say that Llewellyn had his fair share of luck with this one. Firstly getting the ride in the first place, something that only happened because of injury to Tom Jenks, and secondly, the conditions on the day. These were strongly in favour of Earth Summit, while badly against some of the other fancied runners in the race, which definitely made life a lot easier for the winning pair.
A year later, these two would return to the course again they would complete, but a bigger weight meant they would only finish 8th in the race, a respectable run but not good enough to trouble the winners.
Grade One Success Across More Than 10 Years
Not only did Carl Llewellyn manage to hit the top with multiple Grade One races and, of course, win the Grand National twice, but he had longevity in the saddle at the top end of the spectrum. Llewellyn rode his first Grade One winner in 1992, winning the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at the Grand National meeting, before going on to win the big one on Party Politics.
His last Grade One winner came in 2004, a total of 12 years later. He rode 17 Grade One horses to victory, and of those, 14 were for Nigel Twiston-Davies, who he rode for during his career. The pair formed a very strong bond, with their skills as trainer and jockey really combining well to create a winning formula that allowed them both to compete at the highest level.
Llewellyn would bow out from racing in 2009, his last ride was on Roll Along in the Punchestown Gold Cup, where he finished fourth.