Top Eight Grand National Winners With The Longest Odds
The Grand National is the one race a year that seemingly everyone decides to have a punt on. From ardent horse-racing fans to your nan picking a nag because of its silly name, it seems the whole of Britain has something on the race.
The wide range of punters all have one thing in common, however, and that is enduring the struggle to find that elusive winner. Do you back the favourite or maybe take a gamble on an outsider? There is plenty of history suggesting the latter.
The race at Aintree has thrown up many surprises over the years and here at FREEbets.org.uk we take a look at the greatest long shot winners in Grand National history. Get some inspiration for a free bet for this year's race from these outsiders.
8. Rubio - 66/1
When Rubio won the big one all the way back in 1908 he was the longest price winner of the National in its history. The American horse had done very little in his career before that famous day at Aintree, so much so that two years before his big win he was sent to pull a trolley bus in Towcester to build himself up away from the race track. He was the first and only winner at the National for jockey Henry Bletsoe, trainer Fred Withington and owner Frank Douglas-Pennant.
7. Russian Hero – 66/1
When the race returned after the hiatus for the Second World War there were a number of wins by unfancied horses and in 1949 Russian Hero was one of those to come in at a huge price. It was the last win of the Fearnie Williamson trained horse’s career but the owner had nothing to complain about having bet £10 on his Russian Hero at a pre-race price of 300/1. It's safe to say that Grand National coverage back then was not quite the spectacle it is today however. The BBC's Sir Peter O'Sullevan's was commentating on the race for the first fence and left his post after completing his section. He made his way to the where the horses and jockeys had finished the race unaware of the outcome, before asking triumphant jockey Leo McMorrow how he got on and was famously met by the jubilant exclamation of "I won!"
6. Aurora's Encore – 66/1
Along with Mon Mome, Aurora's Encore is one of the great longshot victors in the modern era. In his first five races in the 2012/13 season he finished no higher than fourth and given that unspectacular run-of-form, his chances at Aintree were largely dimissed. However the unexpected came in some style when he raced away from Welsh-National runner up Teaforthree and Cappa Bleu to win by a comprehensive nine lengths. His jockey, Ryan Mania, was making his first ever appearance in the race and emerged triumphant despite his tender age of just 23. However he falls short of the record as the youngest ever national winner with that accolade belonging to Bruce Hobbs, with the 17-year-old riding 40/1 shot Battleship to victory in 1938.
5. Tipperary Tim 100/1
The Irish horse broke Rubio’s record for winner at the longest price when he came in against all odds in 1928 ridden by Bill Dutton. Allegedly Dutton was told before the race that “you will only win if all the others fall down Billy Boy” and luckily for him that is just what they did. Atrocious weather conditions meant there were just two horses left at the final hurdle with the other being Barton Boy who fell on landing after the last allowing the outsider to canter to an unbelievable victory and become the poster boy for those punting on a hopeful free bet.
4. Gregalach – 100/1
Incredibly just one year after the first ever 100/1 winner of the Grand National the second one came in 1929 in the shape of Gregalach. A crazy race which saw 66 horses taking part put there weren’t the antics of the previous year as plenty of horses still got to the finishing post. A much more fancied horse Easter Hero was leading for much of the race but injured itself towards the end allowing Gregalach to make it past him and to the finishing line first. Fourth-placed Melleray's Belle was another long shot that punched well above their weight in this race, having been priced at a staggering 200/1 before the race.
3. Caughoo – 100/1
Before Russian Hero came along the first long shot after the war to win the National was Irish horse Caughoo who won at a huge 100/1 in 1947. However, this seems like it could have been a serious oversight by the bookmakers at the time. He may have had a slow start to his racing career but in both 1945 and ’46 he won the Ulster Grand National meaning he certainly had some pedigree heading to Aintree in ’47. However, he was still clearly unfancied as he won a thrilling race and the biggest prize in the game. His triumph was all the more remarkable given the fact he had cost his owner John McDowell the grand sum of just £50.
2. Foinavon – 100/1
Arguably the most famous outsider to win the Grand National as his name is immortalised in the races history with a jump named after him. At the 23rd fence in the 1967 race Foinavon was a long, long way off the lead but an almighty pile-up started by the loose horse Popham down left all the other riders either unseated or caught in a huge melee behind the fence. Foinavon was so far behind his jockey John Buckingham could sneak down the outside of the fence and ride near enough unchallenged to victory. The incident has gone down in Grand National folklore and footage coupled with Michael O'Hehir's famous commentary is often shown in the build-up to the race. One man who required the footage was his owner, Cyril Watkins, who considered Foinavon's chances so slim that he had not even attended the race.
1. Mon Mome – 100/1
The first three-figure shot to come about for over 40 years was in very recent memory when Mon Mome stormed to victory by a massive 12 lengths and thrilled everyone who had cashed in a free bet on him. The French bred horse (only the second in history to win the National) had finished tenth at Aintree before but his form had been so poor over the months preluding the big one that his odds had drifted all the way out to 100/1. Only 17 horses finished the race with another 100/1 shot finishing fifth and a 200/1 horse in tenth. His victory saw success for jockey Liam Treadwell who was only riding due to an injury to the horse's regular jockey Aiden Coleman. Remarkably it was Treadwell's debut in the race, capping off a truly stunning victory.