Sam Thomas Grand National Wins
Sam Thomas has never trained a horse that has won the Grand National.
Their best finish to date was in 2023 with Our Power ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies who came 11th.
Sam Thomas is a Welsh horse trainer who began his time in the sport as a jockey. During that period, he would go all the way to the top of racing, winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008 onboard Denman.
Thomas would retire from the saddle in 2015 and instantly take out his training license. He would train in his home nation of Wales, putting together a small string of runners, but he was already impressing with his ability to train, including him landing a big race win.
That came in the Welsh Grand National, which Thomas won in 2021 with Iwilldoit. While the Welsh Grand National is a Grade Three contest, it means a lot more than that to the people of Wales, and lifting the trophy for that race will have no doubt been a special moment for Thomas.
The Aintree Grand National is a far bigger contest, and Thomas made his training debut in that race in 2023. He would send Our Power to the race, with Sam Twiston-Davies picking up the ride for him. They completed the course but were never really challenged and ended up finishing in 11th position.
Career as a Jockey
Working with the Paul Nicholls team, despite never being the top jockey for the yard, Thomas was able to win selected races on big-name runners when standing in for jockeys unavailable or injured. He won big graded races on Kauto Star, Silverburn, What A Friend and Noland, as well as his success on Denman, showing the kind of level he reached in the saddle.
He would win the 2008 Gold Cup, a thrilling contest where he rode Denman to victory for Nicholls. Stable jockey Ruby Walsh chose to ride Kauto Star, and Thomas picked up the mount on Denman, getting the better of, the more fashionable duo in the yard, as it was described at the time.
Thomas would ride in the Grand National four times, and they all came for Nicholls. He would end his riding career without a completion in the race, falling on debut before pulling up his horse in the other three attempts he had.
Silver Birch was his first ride in the race in 2006, and just a year after Thomas rode him, that horse would go on to win the Grand National in the care of Gordon Elliott and ridden by Robbie Power. The race wasn’t kind to Thomas as a rider, he will be hoping for better luck as a trainer.