The 2013 Grand National is one that many people will remember for the result we saw. This was a big shock, and a win for the north as trainer Sue Smith and rider Ryan Mania combined together with the winner Auroras Encore.
He won at 66/1, a big win for the bookmakers, especially as the favourite Seabass was heavily backed in the build-up to the race.
Auroras Encore won the race by nine lengths, leading at the elbow on the run for home and remaining clear as the horse dug deep and kept on finding more, despite coming to the end of a long-distance race.
Favourite Seabass, trained by Ted Walsh and ridden by daughter Katie, was a big gamble in the build-up to the race and eventually sent off as the 11/2 favourite, though he could only manage a 13th place finish.
The race was shown on Channel 4, the first time that anyone other than the BBC had carried either TV or radio coverage of the event, and the start of a four year deal the channel had signed.
What Happened In The 2013 Grand National?
The race started with no issues, as 40 runners set off in the 2013 Grand National. This race was the first time that the start had been moved, going 90 yards closer to the first fence, in a bid to move further away from the buzz of the stands in order to try and keep the horses calm, and aid communication between jockeys and the starter.
Seabass was sent off as the 11/2 favourite, picking up a lot of support. Not only was the horse fancied to go close, but being ridden by a female jockey helped to catch the eye of casual punters, who jumped on the bandwagon and played a part in the price collapse.
The favourite was ridden by Katie Walsh, and her brother Ruby Walsh rode the second favourite, who was On His Own and was sent off at 8/1. He fell at the 25th fence on the course.
Auroras Encore was the winner of the race, recording a victory for the north of England, and a big boost for trainer Sue Smith. The winning distance was nine lengths, with Cappa Bleu back in second place and Teaforthree in third.
With an SP of 66/1, this was certainly a win for the bookmakers and is the biggest priced winner of the race since Mon Mome in 2009. Fancied runners filled the places, with Cappa Bleu finishing with an SP of 12/1 and Teaforthree was sent off at 10/1.
Going for the race was described as good to soft, ideal jumping ground which led to no non-runners being declared in the race and a full field of 40 going under starters orders.
Channel 4 Provide First Non-BBC Grand National Coverage
Whenever anyone mentioned the Grand National, instantly people thought of the coverage from the BBC, but not anymore. The race had been aired live on TV since 1960, with every race covered by the BBC, radio coverage stretches back even further to 1927.
Channel 4 picked up the rights and the 2013 Grand National was the first year of a four-year deal signed by the broadcaster. The Grand National is an event covered by the designated events ruling, so must be shown on Channel 4, meaning few others could pick up the rights and compete against Channel 4.
Winning Jockey Mania Airlifted To Hospital A Day After Victory
Ryan Mania was not a huge name in the racing world at the time of winning the Grand National. Unlike the bigger names, he had to work the day after, so was booked in for rides at Hexham 24 hours after winning the big one.
He celebrated, but not too much, however, at Hexham, his day did not go to plan. A fall in the handicap hurdle left Mania with injuries and he was airlifted to Newcastle hospital for assessment. He was released a couple of days after, but it certainly wasn’t how he would have planned to celebrate his first National win.
Sue Smith Becomes Third Woman To Train A Grand National Winner
Sue Smith wrote her name into the history books by becoming the third woman to train the winner of a Grand National. Jenny Pitman was the first, doing it twice in 1983 and 1995, while Venetia Williams was the second to do it with Mon Mome in 2009.
Smith said after the race that she thought her runner had a chance, despite his big odds from the bookmakers. With the ground being right for her runner, a low weight and a lot of luck in running, things fell right and that was enough for the team to land a huge win.
Moments Of Note
- The Grand National is broadcast away from the BBC for the first time, the start of a four-year deal signed with Channel 4
- Sue Smith wins her first Grand National, becoming the third woman to train the winner of the race
- Ryan Mania wins the Grand National on Saturday but is airlifted to hospital on Sunday after a fall at Hexham
- Brother and sister combination Ruby and Katie Walsh were sent off first and second-favourites for the race, with dad Ted training the favourite that Katie rode
- A 66/1 winner of the race gave the bookmakers a good result