As it happened: The 2024 Grand National

Sports | April 29, 2024, Monday // 15:50
Bulgaria: As it happened: The 2024 Grand National

The 2024 Grand National recently took place at Aintree, and as ever, the prestigious steeplechase did not disappoint the 150,000 racegoers who flocked to Merseyside or the millions who watched on from around the globe.

It was I Am Maximus who prevailed in a thrilling race for the finish, as the favourite in the bet market streaked clear of the chasing pack in the closing stages to win the £500,000 prize purse for his connections.

The eight-year-old’s victory marked the first triumph in the race for four-time Gold Cup-winning jockey Paul Townend, a second success for esteemed trainer Willie Mullins, and a third Grand National victory for decorated owner JP McManus.

So, as the dust settles on another renewal of the Grand National, let’s take a look back at the iconic race as it panned out, looking at the key moments that shaped the contest and, ultimately, how I Am Maximus managed to come out on top.

Drama at the first fence

The first fence of the Grand National was moved forward ahead of this year’s race to reduce the risk of any incidents, but the alteration didn’t stop the drama entirely as last year’s winner and the heavily backed Corach Rambler unseated his rider, Derek Fox, upon landing.

That would have resulted in millions of bet slips up and down the country being shredded into pieces, as Lucinda Russell’s horse was the second favourite and seeking back-to-back victories in the Grand National.

Mahler Mission halts Mr Incredible

Stattler was the second horse to withdraw from the Grand National as he never travelled well and was ultimately pulled up by Patrick Mullins before the ninth fence, with the jockey saying that the horse made a respiratory noise.

However, the next proper moment of drama came when Mahler Mission hammered Mr Incredible at the 15th fence, unseating both riders at the infamous Chair.

John McConnell’s stead was previously hampered at Valentine’s, hit the ninth, and made a mistake at the 10th before the costly error at the 15th had a domino effect that unfortunately sent both Ben Harvey and Mr Incredible’s ride Brian Hughes tumbling to the turf.

28 horses still in the running after the first circuit

The changes to this year’s Grand National were clear for all to see as 28 of the 32 horses that initially set off at the start of the race were still in contention after the first circuit.

A thrilling finish

Another seven horses were pulled up in the second circuit, but there were 10 runners still in contention as the field took the final fence.

11-year-olds Minella Indo and Delta Work, who were both 28/1 shots, were battling it out for the lead approaching the elbow.

However, Townend steered I Am Maximus around the front two and the eight-year-old ran on to the finish like a fresh horse to win by seven-and-a-half lengths from Delta Work.

Former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo admirably held on for third, while Galvin, Kitty’s Light, and Ain’t That A Shame, ridden by amateur jockey David Maxwell, rounded up the top six.

An impressive 21 horses finished the race.



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