Since it’s first running in 1839, the Grand National has captured the public’s attention quite unlike any other spectacle in British sport.
More eyes tune in to watch this horse race than any other and jockeys make no secret that the nerves beforehand are incomparable to anything else.
As ever this year promises to get the adrenaline coursing through the veins of everyone watching and participating.
Although every renewal can be labelled dramatic, we’ve picked out the top five grandstand finishes that stick out in our minds as being the most action packed. This year’s race certainly has a lot of history to live up to!
We kickoff with the closest finish in the National history. At no point in the preceding 173 years had the marathon race been decided by the winning distance of a nose.
Neptune Collonges had been an outstanding performer for trainer Paul Nicholls but had never really ever escaped the huge shadows cast by illustrious stablemates Kauto Star and Denman throughout his career.
That all changed in the blink of an eye as he sprouted wings up the home straight to pip Sunnyhillboy on the line by a nostril in 2012.
Any one of three horses could have won at the Elbow but the 33/1 grey ridden by Daryl Jacob dug deep and kept persevering all the way to the end.
The wild celebrations shows what it means to win the Grand National. Daryl Jacob struggled to put the win into words, simply saying “you can’t beat this!”
A different kind of race to Neptune Collonges’ grandstand finish. The drama of Don’t Push It’s victory was not born out of the closeness of the races but more out of what the win meant to the winning rider and his adoring public.
The Grand National was the one major honour that had eluded AP McCoy throughout his long and successful career. 14 times he’d been denied victory prior to 2010 and the outpouring of emotion that the usually stoic McCoy gave as he crossed the finishing line just showed what it meant to the champ.
It was the final piece in the puzzle and left McCoy feeling complete as jockey! Off the back of this win, his adoring fan base would then sweep him to another landmark success as he won BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
McCoy said “winning the biggest race in the world is everything.” “Don’t Push It made a couple of little mistakes, though they were probably more my fault … but who cares!?”