On 5th April, 2014, Crabbie's Grand National Chase (Handicap) captures the attention of not just the racing world but the housewife's choice. This annual horse race at Aintree, Liverpool, has a history unequaled in the National Hunt calendar. A steeple chase run over 4m 31/2f with 30 fences to jump. It is popular with people who do not usually watch horse racing or bet. In many ways it is the peoples' race.
The Grand National is a race that tempts so many to place a bet for the first time, once a year, regulars and professional gamblers who have won and lost a fortune.
But what are the chances of finding the winner? Whether your selection is chosen by horse's name, racing colours, form, lucky pin or blind faith there is one thing you can say: it could be a big priced winner.
In 2013 Auroras Encore won at odds of 66/1. This bay gelding trained by Sue Smith (the better half of Harvey Smith) and ridden by Ryan Mania won by nine lengths.
The previous year was won by Neptunes Collonges at odds of 33/1.
But what are the chances of finding a 100/1 winner?
Let's face it, in most races it wouldn't be possible to win at such incredible odds. But the Grand National is no ordinary race. Imagine placing a bet of £10 to win £1000. Well, in 2009 a number of lucky punters done just that! As they watched with joy as Mon Mome was hailed a 100/1 WINNER. This bay gelding won by twelve lengths.
But how many horses have won at such huge odds?
It may surprise you to learn five horses have won at odds of 100/1.
Let's take a closer look at those who have made racing history.
1928 Tipperary Tim - 100/1sp
Before the race jockey William Dutton heard a friend call: ''Billy boy, you'll only win if all the others fall down.'' To everyone's surprise that's exactly what happened with 41 of the the 42 runners falling during the race. Only two horses completed the course. Dutton made history with the first 100/1 winner.
Just like buses - punters didn't have to wait long for the next.
1929 Gregalach - 100/1sp
Trained by Tom Leader and ridden by Robert Everett this horse beat the favourite in the biggest National of all time featuring 66 runners. Mellery's Belle finished 4th at 200/1.
1947 Caughoo - 100/1sp
The 101st Grand National was won by this Irish eight-year-old ridden by Eddie Dempsey and trained by Herbert McDowell. Owner John McDowell had bought Caughoo for £50. The first, second & fourth horses where trained in Ireland (Lough Conn; Prince Regent), while the third horse was trained in France (Kami). Fifty-seven horses ran with all returning home safely.
1967 Foinavon - 100/1sp
Not only did this Irish black gelding win the Grand National but had a fence named after him when the rest of the field fell, refused, were hampered or drought down in the melee at the 23rd fence. Foinavon, named after a Scottish mountain, was well behind when a loose horse called Popham Down caused mayhem for the rest of the field. John Buckingham took his mount to the outside of the fence and went on to win. He tried to defend his title the following year but was brought down at the 16th fence.