|The Grand National – Longshots|
A more normal service was resumed last year when the John Smith's Grand National was won by the gambled on Don't Push It, who was punted into favouritism or more correctly joint-favourite on the morning of the race, the gamble becoming a public one as the day wore on. This came a year after the 2009 Grand National produced a 100/1 winner in the shape of Mon Mome, the fifth such winner at those odds in the history of the race and currently the biggest odds that any winner has been returned at. Those looking at the Grand National betting offers shouldn't expect another big-priced winner.
Mon Mome's victory saw jockey Liam Treadwell who was only standing in for the ride due to an injury to the horses regular jockey Aiden Coleman ride a National winner on his debut ride in the race and the horse hadn't attracted many Grand National bets. It was also notable for the fact that it saw the second woman train a Grand National winner with Venetia Williams following in the footsteps of Jenny Pitman.
The previous 100/1 winner had come in 1967 via Foinavon who won in dramatic circumstances – minding his own business at the back of the field he was suddenly thrown into the limelight and the lead due to a mass pile-up and was the only horse to negotiate the 23rd fence successfully. Others remounted and tried to catch him but that proved to be in vain and Foinavon became the races fourth 100/1 winner of the race. His achievements were eventually recognised by the racecourse executive who named the fence – incidentally the smallest on the course – after him.
It took until 1928 for the first triple digit winner to be returned when Tipperary Tim overcame atrocious conditions and 41 rivals to come home as the race's first 100/1 winner – that was a year that only two runners finished the course. The story was repeated the next year as punters were dealt another body blow this time The Gregalach emerged triumphant, his price best explained by the fact that he fell in a race at Sandown just eight days before his victory at Aintree.
Caughoo took the race in somewhat controversial circumstances in 1947 to complete the fivefold of 100/1 winners – there were suggestions that Caughoo had not completed the necessary distance but this was disproved in later years and his win appeared to be legitimate after all.
In recent years events have swung the punters way but always beware of the longshot in the National but with only five at 100/1 so far, they are thankfully a rare occurrence from a punters point of view unless you have backed them of course.