The 2015 Grand National was won by England, with trainer Oliver Sherwood landing the race with his very popular horse Many Clouds.
The owner of Many Clouds was another Englishman, Trevor Hemmings, a man who had supported the race strongly for many years.
Whenever anyone talks about the Grand National, one of the commonly said facts is how hard the race is to win. Jockey Leighton Aspell may not quite agree with you, as this was his second win of the race in total, following up his 2014 win aboard Pineau du Re.
The race was the third success for Trevor Hemmings, adding to the titles he won in 2005 and 2011.
What Happened In The 2015 Grand National?
Conditions for the 2015 Grand National were good, with the official going described as good to soft, usually seen as perfect jumping ground. 39 runners went to post for the contest, with Carlito Brigante being declared a non-runner on the day.
After a race day gamble, Shutthefrontdoor was sent off at the 6/1 favourite for the contest, mainly thanks to comments made in the media by AP McCoy. The legendary jockey stated that he would retire from the sport immediately if he was to win the race, so many jumped on his mount, backing that fairy tale to happen.
Unfortunately, it didn’t, McCoy’s mount ran out of stamina towards the end of the race, eventually finishing 5th.
Winning the race was Many Clouds, ridden by Leighton Aspell and coming home strongly to take the race by a winning distance of 1 ¾ lengths from Saint Are who finished second. Both the winner and runner up were returned at an SP of 25/1, while the third and fourth horses home were 40/1 and 20/1, so it was certainly a race for those backing at bigger odds.
A mention for 2014 winner Pineau du Re, he finished 12th in the race after being sent off at 25/1 and could never really get involved.
Just under half of the field completed the race, with 19 finishers and 20 failing to get home for a variety of reasons.
Back To Back Wins For Aspell
Winning one Grand National is a dream come true for any jockey, winning two is unthinkable, and winning them back-to-back, takes it to a whole new level. Leighton Aspell steered home Many Clouds to become the first jockey since Brian Fletcher won back-to-back races above the legendary Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.
He did it on the same horse twice, Leighton Aspell won the race on two different horses when he accomplished the feat.
First Field Under 40 Since 2004
A non-runner on the day is the only way we have been able to see a field of less than 40 for this race, after the reserve rule was introduced to help withdrawals from the day before. That happened here, with Carlito Brigante coming out of the contest.
The rulings surrounding the reserves and when they are allowed to enter the race has clearly worked out well for the race and led to a number of big fields in a row. Although only 39 went to post in this one, this is the first time we have not had 40 in the race since 2004.
The Foiled McCoy Faiy Tale
The storyline of AP McCoy winning the Grand National and then retiring immediately after the race was waiting to be finished on the day. Money came for his horse Shutthefrontdoor, but they were unable to get over the line in front.
The 20-time Champion Jockey did win the Grand National in 2010 on Don’t Push It but would have gone out in very fitting style had he managed to win another one here.
Talk about his retirement surrounded McCoy at both the Cheltenham Festival and the Aintree Festival that year, with fans of the sport grateful for what he had done over the years, and very sad to see him go.
If anyone deserves a moment in the spotlight it was McCoy, and although it didn’t happen, you can only begin to imagine what the atmosphere on the course would have been like had he been able to steer home Shutthefrontdoor in what would have been his last ever ride on the track.
Moments of Note
- A race with big priced runners filling the frame, the first four home were 20/1 or bigger
- Leighton Aspell became the first jockey since Brian Fletcher in1974 to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.
- AP McCoy was all the rage beforehand, his mount, Shutthefrontdoor, was backed down to 6/1 but could only finish 5th.
- We saw less than 40 runners start the race for the first time since 2004, thanks to the reserve system being put in place at the declaration stage