2005 Grand National: Results, Runners & Fallers

The Grand National often finds itself at the centre of attention all day in the national media, but in 2005, things were a little different. The big race had to take second place behind the Royal Wedding, between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, which led to a later off time, the race was pushed back 25 minutes to avoid a clash.

Plenty of talk ahead of the race surrounded one woman, and that was jockey Carrie Ford, who rode Forest Gunner. She was seen as the first female rider to have a genuine shot at winning the race and was sent off as the second favourite in a bid to do that. Eventually, they only managed fifth, with Hedgehunter and Ruby Walsh taking the prize for trainer Willie Mullins.

In a wide-open betting contest, the winner Hedgehunter was sent off as the 7/1 favourite, and after being clear at the final fence, Ruby Walsh drove him home to eventually win by a margin of 14 lengths.


Result Horse Starting Price Age Handicap Prize Money Jockey Trainer
1 Hedgehunter 7/1 9 11-1 £406,000 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2 Royal Auclair 40/1 8 11-10 £154,000 Christian Williams Paul Nicholls
3 Simply Gifted 66/1 10 10-6 £77,000 Brian Harding Jonjo O’Neill
4 It Takes Time 18/1 11 10-11 £35,000 Timmy Murphy Martin Pipe
5 Forest Gunner 8/1 11 10-7 £17,500 Carrie Ford Richard Ford
6 Nil Desperandum 16/1 8 10-11 £10,500 Jim Culloty Frances Crowley
7 Innox 11/1 9 10-6 - Robert Thornton Francois Doumen
8 Heros Collonges 66/1 10 10-11 - John P McNamara Paul Nicholls
9 Just in Debt 33/1 9 10-7 - Tony Dobbin Martin Todhunter
10 Amberleigh House 16/1 13 11-3 - Graham Lee Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain
11 Bindaree 33/1 11 11-3 - Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies
12 Iznogoud 125/1 9 10-9 - Tom Scudamore Martin Pipe
13 Polar Red 100/1 8 10-8 - Tom Malone Martin Pipe
14 Joly Bay 16/1 8 10-10 - Mr David Dunsdon Nick Gifford
15 L'aventure 66/1 6 10-5 - Robbie McNally Paul Nicholls
16 Monty's Pass 33/1 12 11-6 - Barry Geraghty James Joseph Mangan
17 Strong Resolve 9/1 9 10-6 - Peter Buchanan Lucinda Russell
18 Spot Thedifference 25/1 12 10-7 - Robbie Power Enda Bolger
19 Arctic Copper 200/1 11 10-6 - Davy Russell Noel Meade
20 Europa 150/1 9 10-6 - Jason Maguire Ferdy Murphy
21 Shamawan 200/1 10 10-6 - James Barry Jonjo O’Neill

Non Finishers

Horse Fence Reason Starting Price Age Handicap Jockey Trainer
Lord Atterbury 1 Fell 25/1 9 10-6 Mark Bradburne Martin Pipe
Frenchman's Creek 1 Unseated Rider 50/1 11 10-9 Jimmy McCarthy Hughie Morrison
Ballycassidy 2 Unseated Rider 66/1 9 11-5 Seamus Durack Peter Bowen
Risk Accessor 2 Unseated Rider 100/1 10 11-4 Alan Crowe Christy Roche
Native Emperor 9 Unseated Rider 100/1 9 10-5 Dominic Elsworth Jonjo O’Neill
Merchant's Friend 10 Fell 80/1 10 10-6 Noel Fehily Charlie Mann
Astonville 13 Pulled Up 100/1 11 10-13 Brian Crowley Michael Scudamore Jr
Take The Stand 15 Unseated Rider 16/1 9 11-5 Leighton Aspell Peter Bowen
Jakari 19 Pulled Up 33/1 8 10-10 Richard Johnson OBE Henry Daly
Foly Pleasant 20 Fell 50/1 11 11-00 Andrew Thornton Karen Marks
Le Coudray 21 Pulled Up 33/1 11 11-12 Conor O’Dwyer Christy Roche
Double Honour 21 Fell 25/1 7 10-8 Paddy Brennan Philip Hobbs
Ad Hoc 22 Fell 33/1 11 10-12 Joe Tizzard Paul Nicholls
Marcus Du Berlais 22 Unseated Rider 25/1 8 10-5 Barry Cash Arthur Moore
Clan Royal 22 Carried Out 9/1 10 10-11 Tony McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
Ballybough Rasher 22 Refused 100/1 10 11-4 Alan Dempsey Howard Johnson
Colonel Rayburn 27 Pulled Up 20/1 9 10-7 Paul Carberry Paul Nolan
Glenelly Gale 28 Pulled Up 150/1 11 10-11 Tom Greenall Arthur Moore
Fondmort 28 Pulled Up 50/1 9 11-6 Mick Fitzgerald Nicky Henderson

What Happened In The 2005 Grand National?

Hedgehunter 2005 grand national winner wiki
Free Betting Online, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The ground was good to soft, after rain in the week building up to the big race, so a little slower than we are used to seeing in April, but still good enough for the runners. 40 went to post, and of those runners, more than half, 21 in total, were able to complete the course.

The winner never really looked in doubt over the final couple of fences, and when he jumped over the last and clear of his rivals, Hedgehunter was going to be the only horse winning the race. Royal Auclair finished second for Paul Nicholls at 40/1, while Simply Gifted was third at 66/1.

When it comes to race talking points, there is no bigger than Clan Royal. Ridden by AP McCoy and the fancy of many people, being sent off at 9/1, he was going well on the second circuit when he was carried out by loose horses and unable to continue.

Of course, there was still a lot of work to do, and the winner won incredibly well, but those backing McCoy and Clan Royal certainly left feeling they had been denied of a chance to place at least, and potentially win the race.

With 21 finishers, and relatively small gaps between the runners as they finished behind the winner, that all points towards the race being a slowly run race, where many were allowed to stay in contention, rather than a fast pace that thinned out the field as they couldn’t cope.

Unlucky Loser Clan Royal

Anyone who backed Clan Royal in 2005 will have their own feelings about what would have happened, but most punters on his side will tell you he would have certainly won the race. That’s impossible to confirm, but he would certainly have pushed Hedgehunter all the way, he was weighted to win the contest, and strong runs after this off much higher handicap marks go some way to proving that fact.

It wasn’t to be though for the McManus runner, who will go down as one of the unluckiest Grand National runners in recent times, finishing second in 2004, and then being carried out in 2005.

Impressive Winner Hedgehunter

While many will remember Clan Royal, don’t take anything away from Hedgehunter, who was excellent in winning by 14 lengths. He fell in the 2004 race but didn’t let that stop him from coming back stronger, and ready to win, which is exactly what he did this time around.

Confidence was behind the Mullins runner, and he was sent off as the 7/1 favourite becoming the first favourite to win the race since Earth Summit in 1998.

Moments Of Note

  • After falling in 2004, Hedgehunter got what he deserved with a wide margin of success this time around
  • Anyone who backed Clan Royal will tell you 2005 was supposed to be his year, and he will go down as being one of the unluckiest Grand National horses of all time
  • A win in 2000 aboard Papillon was the first time Ruby Walsh had won the race, Hedgehunter became his second, this time for Willie Mullins rather than his dad Ted Walsh
  • Female jockey Carrie Ford carried the weight of many punters but was only able to finish fifth on Forest Gunner