The 2016 Grand National went across the Irish Sea to Ireland, with Rule The World winning the race, at the huge price of 33/1. Trained by Michael “Mouse” Morris.
It was a clean sweep for Ireland, with owners; Gigginstown Stud being Irish based, and jockey David Mullins riding home the winner.
The race was notable for two deals coming to an end.
First up, sponsor Crabbie’s sponsored the 2016 event, but this would be the final race they would sponsor, after spending three years as the headline name behind the race.
Secondly, it was the fourth and final Grand National to be broadcast on Channel 4. After moving across from the BBC, rights for UK horse racing were lost by Channel 4 and picked up by ITV, who would cover the race from 2017 onwards.
What Happened In The 2016 Grand National?
The Last Samurai and Many Clouds were sent off as 8/1 joint-favourites for the race, in a wide-open betting market. Heavy going turned this into a tough slog, officially described as soft, heavy in places on the day. 39 went to post and just 16 of those finished, with one of the favourites, Many Clouds being the last one to complete.
12 of the 23 runners that did not complete the course were pulled up by their jockeys, a common theme when the going is as heavy as it was on the day.
Rule The World was challenged by the other joint-favourite, The Last Samurai, but kicked clear in the closing stages and eventually recorded an impressive winning distance of eight lengths.
Vics Canvas, the eventual third-placed horse, gave supporters plenty to cheer about when being right in contention over the final flight. Anyone who had backed him at 100/1 pre-race would certainly have been excited in front of their TV, but unfortunately, he only ended up with place money.
All 39 runners returned home safely to the stables at the end of the race, which certainly was a positive of the race. O’Faolains Boy was the horse that was declared as a non-runner on the day, he was lame on the morning of the race, which took the field down from 40 to 39.
The Last Grand National Shown On Channel 4
At the time of the 2016 Grand National, it wasn’t really known that it would be the last race to be shown on Channel 4, however, rumours had been circulating about them giving up rights to UK horse racing at the end of the year.
Channel 4 covered four Grand National races from 2013 until 2016, gaining rights from the BBC and then losing them to ITV.
To be fair to Channel 4, they went out with a bang, with live Aintree coverage all day on the channel, including an extended version of The Morning Line, and other programs throughout the day coming live from the course.
Popular 2015 Winner Unable To Carry Top Weight To Victory
Many Clouds was a very popular winner of this race in 2015, but when it came to 2016, he had a big weight to carry around, and could not repeat his feat of 12 months ago.
The nine-year-old had 11st 10lb on his back, the highest allotted weight, and given the heavy conditions he faced, that made his task even tougher. Plenty of punters still sided with him, sending him off as one of the joint-favourites, but he was the last of 16 finishers on the day.
He did compete in the middle of the race and was with the leaders until the 26th fence when he made a bad mistake. From that point, the big weight struggled and he could not get back into the race, fading through the field and coming home at a much slower pace.
Moments Of Note
- Big prices filled the places, with a 33/1 winner, and 100/1 and 28/1 placed runners
- The race had joint-favourites, The Last Samurai finished 2nd while Many Clouds finished 16th
- 23 horses from the 39 runner field failed to finish the race
- Channel 4 broadcast the 2016 event as their final Grand National, with coverage on their main channel from Aintree most of the day, from morning until the end of the race