2012 Grand National: Results, Runners & Fallers

The 2012 Grand National was an absolute classic, with almost nothing to separate two runners at the very end. The eventual winner of the race was Neptune Collonges, winning for trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Daryl Jacob.

Despite having many reasons to back him, Neptune Collonges went off at 33/1 for the race, so those lucky enough to pick him out were rewarded with a large SP.

Despite running for more than four miles, we needed a photo finish to separate two horses at the end. Neptune Collonges attacked late joining Sunnyhillboy towards the finish line and after the photo finish, he was declared the winner.

There was real drama afterwards as those on course and at home waited for the result of the photo finish, with a wait over one and a half minutes until the judge made his decision.

Although we didn’t know at the time of the race, this would be the last time that the BBC covered the Grand National, with television rights moving across to Channel 4 a year later, ending 53 consecutive races that had been covered by the BBC.


Result Horse Starting Price Age Handicap Prize Money Jockey Trainer
1 Neptune Collonges 33/1 11 11-6 £547,268 Daryl Jacob Paul Nicholls
2 Sunnyhillboy 16/1 9 10-5 £205,823 Richie McLernon Jonjo O’Neill
3 Seabass 8/1 9 10-12 £102,863 Ms Katie Walsh Ted Walsh
4 Cappa Bleu 16/1 10 10-10 £51,383 Paul Moloney Evan Williams
5 In Compliance 100/1 12 10-00 £25,838 Niall Madden Jnr Dessie Hughes
6 Ballabriggs 12/1 11 11-9 £12,870 Jason Maguire Donald McCain Jnr
7 Hello Bud 33/1 14 10-00 £6,630 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
8 Tharawaat 125/1 7 10-4 £3,510 Brian O’Connell Gordon Elliott
9 Shakalakaboomboom 8/1 8 10-12 £1,950 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
10 Swing Bill 100/1 11 10-3 £975 Conor O’Farrell David Pipe
11 The Midnight Club 40/1 11 10-8 - Andrew Tinkler Willie Mullins
12 Planet of Sound 33/1 10 11-5 - Richard Johnson OBE Philip Hobbs
13 Neptune Equester 100/1 9 9-9 - Felix de Giles Brian Ellison
14 Calgary Bay 33/1 9 11-6 - Dominic Elsworth Henrietta Knight
15 Midnight Haze 80/1 10 10-00 - Sean Quinlan Kim Bailey

Non Finishers

Horse Fence Reason Starting Price Age Handicap Jockey Trainer
Viking Blond 1 Fell 80/1 7 10-00 Brian Hughes Nigel Twiston-Davies
Junior 2 Fell 16/1 9 11-2 Tom Scudamore David Pipe
West End Rocker 2 Fell 16/1 10 10-12 Wayne Hutchinson Alan King
Chicago Grey 5 Brought Down 20/1 9 10-13 Paul Carberry Gordon Elliott
State of Play 5 Unseated Rider 40/1 12 10-3 Noel Fehily Evan Williams
Rare Bob 5 Brought Down 40/1 10 10-9 Bryan Cooper Dessie Hughes
Synchronised 6 Fell 10/1 9 11-10 Tony McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
Alfa Beat 7 Unknown 50/1 8 11-5 Davy Russell John Joseph Hanlon (2)
Killyglen 8 Unseated Rider 14/1 10 10-4 Robbie Power Stuart Crawford
Black Apalachi 8 Fell 25/1 13 11-3 Denis O’Regan Dessie Hughes
Tatenen 8 Unseated Rider 100/1 8 10-13 Andrew Thornton Richard Rowe
Organisedconfusion 8 Unseated Rider 20/1 7 10-8 Ms Nina Carberry Arthur Moore
Becauseicouldntsee 8 Unseated Rider 25/1 9 10-3 Davy Condon Noel Glynn
Treacle 10 Fell 22/1 11 10-8 Andrew Lynch Tom Taaffe Jnr
Arbor Supreme 10 Unseated Rider 100/1 10 10-7 Mark Walsh Jonjo O’Neill
Giles Cross 11 Pulled Up 20/1 10 10-1 Paddy Brennan Victor Dartnall
Always Right 15 Unseated Rider 25/1 10 10-10 James Reveley John Wade
Quiscover Fontaine 17 Fell 50/1 8 10-4 David Casey Willie Mullins
Vic Venturi 19 Refused 80/1 12 10-00 Harry Skelton Dessie Hughes
Deep Purple 19 Pulled Up 25/1 11 11-3 Jamie Moore Evan Williams
On His Own 22 Fell 14/1 8 10-11 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
Mon Mome 22 Pulled Up 50/1 12 10-8 Aidan Coleman Venetia Williams
Postmaster 22 Pulled Up 100/1 10 10-2 Dougie Costello Tim Vaughan
According to Pete 22 Brought Down 28/1 11 10-12 Harry Haynes Malcolm Jefferson
Weird Al 27 Fell 28/1 9 11-8 Timmy Murphy Donald McCain Jnr

What Happened In The 2012 Grand National?

Neptune collonges winner in parade ring
Carine06 from UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All 40 runners that were declared, set off for the 2012 Grand National. The start was not straightforward, beginning with Synchronised, the mount of AP McCoy, unseating his rider and running loose. We also saw two false starts, where runners tried to go early and broke the tape.

Seabass and Shakalakaboomboom were sent off as the 8/1 joint-favourites for the race. Seabass certainly got the most betting attention, being ridden by female jockey, Katie Walsh. He did the best of the two favourites, finishing third in the race, while Shakalakaboomboom finished 9th.

Neptune Collonges took the race for the Paul Nicholls team, giving the master trainer his first-ever Grand National win from 53 runners across 20 Grand Nationals in the past. Immediately after the race, owner John Hales announced that his winner would be retired from racing.

The race was unfortunately tarnished, however, as we saw two horse deaths, Synchronised and According To Pete, as well as a broken leg for jockey Noel Fehily. These came despite changes to the Aintree course in a bid to increase safety in the race.

The going for the race was described as good, good to soft in places, giving perfect spring jumping ground for the runners.

The Closest Grand National Finish Ever

At the time of crossing the line, it looked tight, with the naked eye unable to split the runners and that was confirmed when we received the winning distances. The victory of Neptune Collonges was officially recorded as a win by a nose, which makes it the narrowest winning victory in the race.

This gave unbelievable drama, at home and on the course, with the winner just getting up in time to win, and what felt like an eternity afterwards to find out the race winner.

New Safety Changes Have Little Impact

Following a review into the 2011 Grand National, where two horses died on course, safety changes were made to the race. Three fences had alterations made to them, either making them smaller, or raising the landing side of the fence to aid horses.

On top of that, the minimum age for runners was increased from six to seven, and horses were only eligible if they had finished at least fourth or better in a chase race over a distance of three miles or more.

Farewell To The BBC

At the time, no one knew that this would be the final Grand National to take place live on the BBC, but racing rights were transferred across to Channel 4 before the 2013 race. This ended a run of 53 consecutive races that had been broadcast live on TV by the BBC, with the race holding a special place on the Saturday afternoon sports coverage for many years.

Despite the changes to broadcasting rights on TV, the BBC did maintain the rights to radio coverage, something that had been in place since 1927.

Moments Of Note

  • The Grand National winner Neptune Collonges became just the third grey horse to ever win the contest when he crossed the line first
  • He was also the first ever winner for trainer Paul Nicholls, winning the race with his 53rd runner in the race, runners that have been spread across 20 different races
  • Safety changes were made to the race ahead of this year’s running, but that made no difference this time around. Sadly, two horses were fatally injured on course, and on top of that, jockey Noel Fehily broke his leg during the race
  • The winning distance of a nose is the closest ever in Grand National history
  • Winning horse Neptune Collonges was immediately retired after the race by his owner John Hales.