James Joseph Mangan

A small, low-key Irish racehorse trainer, James Joseph Mangan, was thrown into the limelight back in 2003 when he trained Monty’s Pass to victory in the Grand National. Not a familiar face in racing on the big stage, Monty’s Pass gave Mangan the chance to experience what it is like to sit at the top table in racing, if only for a brief moment.

One of the big reasons behind the win of Monty’s Pass being so memorable was because of the gamble that took place on the horse on the day of the race. This wasn’t all down to stable money but because many newspaper tipsters and influential people in racing really fancied the horse. He started off at 40/1 on the day and won at 16/1, the move was able to happen simply because Mangan wasn’t a traditional racing name, his horse was overlooked by some.

Since the victory for Monty’s Pass, Mangan has struggled to get back to the big time, only having a couple of runners in the race which have failed to fire. Monty’s Pass remains his biggest success and the most famous horse he has trained.

James Joseph Mangan Grand National Wins

  • 2003 - Monty's Pass ridden by Barry Geraghty

Full Results

Year Horse Result Prize Money Jockey
2010 Conna Castle Fence 29 - Pulled Up - Sean Flanagan
2009 Himalayan Trail Fence 1 - Fell - Paddy Flood
2005 Monty's Pass 16 - Barry Geraghty
2004 Monty's Pass 4 £30,000 Barry Geraghty
2003 Monty's Pass 1 £348,000 Barry Geraghty

First Grand National Winner In 2003

Montys Pass 2003 winner silks wiki
Gr1878, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With his very first runner in the race, James Joseph Mangan found himself in the winner’s enclosure in 2003 when Monty’s Pass came away from the field to win by an impressive ten lengths under Barry Geraghty.

Strongly fancied by many in racing, including a bunch of newspaper tipsters who put this horse up, Monty’s Pass gave William Hill their worst Grand National result at the time of winning, costing them £400,000 in just two bets alone. Many people followed newspaper tipsters in those days, so there will have been plenty putting small bets on in shops up and down the country.

In terms of the horse and his success, there was no fluke about this one. He was primed for the race and jumped brilliantly throughout the contest to put himself in a winnable position. Few challengers emerged, and when they did, Monty’s Pass was by far the strongest stayer of them and kept kicking clear.

As the horse hit the elbow, there was only going to be one winner, and a 12-length winning margin was recorded. The SP of the horse was 16/1, much shorter than the available prices on the morning of the race, which further adds to the tale.

James Joseph Mangan got the horse back to the race for a further two years in 2004 and 2005, his best finish in those years was fourth in 2004, while he could only manage 16th a year later. Mangan was lucky enough to win the Grand National, which is certainly not easy as a small trainer, and not only that, but he was able to do it the first time of asking, thanks to Monty’s Pass.

Famous Horses Trained By James Joseph Mangan

Here are some of the bigger names trained by James Joseph Mangan during his career.

Monty’s Pass