Irish Jockey Niall Madden carved out a successful racing career for himself, with a few big race wins helping him elevate his name. The biggest of those came in 2006, when Madden won the Grand National for trainer Martin Brassil, riding the brilliantly named Numbersixvalverde.
Born on November 11, 1985, Madden retired from race riding on home soil after the Punchestown Christmas meeting on December 31st, 2020. Away from the Grand National, Jazz Messenger gave him a Christmas Hurdle win at Kempton to round of 2006 in style, but without a doubt, the biggest win of his career came in the Grand National.
Niall Madden Jnr Grand National Wins
- 2006 - Numbersixvalverde trained by Martin Brassil
|2013||Ninetieth Minute||Fence 11 -||-||Tom Taaffe Jnr|
|2012||In Compliance||5||£25,838||Dessie Hughes|
|2010||Made in Taipan||Fence 5 -||-||Tom Mullins|
|2009||Southern Vic||8||-||Ted Walsh|
First Grand National Ride In 2006 On Numbersixvalverde
The 2006 was Niall Madden’s first ride in the Grand National, and it was also the first time that trainer Martin Brassil had a runner in the race, so both struck at the first time of asking. In a thrilling race, with plenty of drama along the way, Numbersixvalverde was able to hold off a very strong challenge from race favourite and 2005 winner, Hedgehunter, who was ridden by Ruby Walsh.
The big weight told in the end for Hedgehunter, and as they came up the run in, with more than a stone less on his back, Numbersixvalverde was able to find a little more and kick clear to win by six lengths.
Just nine runners completed the race, this was a gruelling test, and the race was run at a very strong pace. However, those fancied to win were undoubtedly involved, behind Numbersixvalverde were the two 5/1 joint-favourites in second and third, Hedgehunter and Clan Royal.
Both of those were ridden by Ruby Walsh and Tony McCoy, two of the greatest jockeys at the time, but Niall Madden was not phased, even with it being his first ride in the race, and he beat them both home.
Madden would go on to have a long riding career, race riding in Ireland for well over a decade, but despite his big race win quite early in his career, he wasn’t able to catapult himself forward and go on to get bigger rides for bigger yards.
During part of his career, Madden spent time as a rider to Noel Meade, but this was after Noel had his successful period, and while the pair indeed teamed up with winners, very few were in feature events.
He did win the big one, though, something Niall Madden will never forget.