2004 Grand National
The 2004 Grand National (known as the Martell Grand National for sponsorship reasons) was the 157th official annual running of the world-famous Grand National steeplechase which took place at Aintree near Liverpool, England, on 3 April 2004 and attracted the maximum permitted field of 40 competitors for total prize money of £600,000 including £348,000 to the winner.
|Date||3 April 2004|
|Winning horse||Amberleigh House|
|Owner||Ms. A. L .Dikel,|
39 of the 40 original entrants took part in the race – Tyneandthyneagain was withdrawn. On the run-in after the final fence (where Hedgehunter fell when in close contention), any one of three horses looked capable of clinching victory, but it was 16–1 shot Amberleigh House who finished first, three lengths ahead of Clan Royal, who in turn was two lengths from Lord Atterbury. The winning horse was trained by Ginger McCain, who secured his fourth Grand National win, 31 years after his first with Red Rum. 11 of the 39 starters completed the course, with all of the fallers returning safely to the stables.
2002 National winner Bindaree was one of the 10–1 joint-favourites after winning the Welsh National at Chepstow in the last December. He had also run well to finish second over one circuit of the Aintree course in the Becher Chase in November where he had been beaten another joint-favourite, Clan Royal. The inexperienced Jurancon II also attracted public attention after being chosen as the ride of champion jockey Tony McCoy having won the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup in February, and Joss Naylor completed the quartet after finishing second in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup in November. Hedgehunter was 11–1, the 2001 Irish Grand National winner David's Lad was 12/1, and 2003 National winner Monty's Pass was also among the leading fancies at 20/1.
|Position||Name||Rider||Age||Weight (st, lb)||Starting price||Distance or fate|
|1st||Amberleigh House||Graham Lee||12||10–10||16/1||Won by 3 lengths|
|2nd||Clan Royal||Liam Cooper||9||10–5||10/1 JF||2 lengths|
|3rd||Lord Atterbury||Mark Bradburne||8||10–1||40/1||29 lengths|
|4th||Monty's Pass||Barry Geraghty||11||11–10||20/1||1 length|
|5th||Spot Thedifference||Richard McGrath||11||10–4||50/1||3½ lengths|
|6th||Smarty||Andrew Tinkler||11||10–4||100/1||17 lengths|
|7th||Ardent Scout||Warren Marston||12||10–3||50/1||8 lengths|
|8th||Bear on Board||Robert Thornton||9||10–1||14/1||18 lengths|
|10th||The Bunny Boiler||Ross Geraghty||10||10–8||33/1||A distance|
|11th||David's Lad||Timmy Murphy||10||11–4||12/1||Last to complete|
|Fence||Name||Rider||Age||Weight (st, lb)||Starting price||Fate|
|1st||Artic Jack||Dominic Elsworth||8||11–7||20/1||Fell|
|1st||Kelami||Thiery Doumen||6||10–7||66/1||Brought down|
|3rd (open ditch)||Shardam||Tom Scudamore||7||10–11||18/1||Pecked, unseated rider|
|4th||Jurancon II||Tony McCoy||7||10–7||10/1 JF||Fell|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Risk Accessor||Seamus Durack||9||11–4||66/1||Hampered, unseated rider|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Montreal||Joey Elliott||7||10–1||200/1||Brought Down|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Akarus||Rodi Greene||9||10–4||33/1||Hampered, Brought Down|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Bindaree||Carl Llewellyn||10||11–4||10/1 JF||Hampered, Brought Down|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Bramblehill Duke||James Davies||12||10–13||200/1||Refused, unseated rider|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Blowing Wind||Jimmy McCarthy||11||10-01||33/1||Refused|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Bounce Back||Andrew Thornton||8||10–4||50/1||Hampered, fell|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||What's Up Boys||Richard Johnson||10||11–9||25/1||Brought down|
|6th (Becher's Brook)||Skycab||Leighton Aspell||12||10–11||200/1||Unseated rider|
|9th (Valentine's)||Exit To Wave||Bobby McNally||8||10–5||50/1||Pulled up|
|15th (The Chair)||Takagi||Davy Russell||9||10–11||25/1||Unseated rider|
|16th (water jump)||Mantle's Prince||Ollie McPhail||10||10–1||250/1||Pulled up|
|18th||Southern Star||Joe Tizzard||9||10–13||25/1||Pulled up|
|18th||Alexander Banquet||James Barry||11||11–8||100/1||Fell|
|19th (open ditch)||Puntal||Danny Howard||8||10–13||150/1||Unseated Rider|
|19th (open ditch)||Joss Naylor||Paul Carberry||9||10–11||10/1 JF||Tailed off, pulled up|
|20th||Gunner Welburn||Tony Dobbin||12||10–8||22/1||Pulled up|
|22nd (Becher's)||Le Coudray||Conor O'Dwyer||10||11–12||28/1||Fell|
|23rd (Foinavon)||Just in Debt||Jim Culloty||8||10–5||33/1||Hampered, unseated rider|
|25th (Valentine's)||Alcapone||Noel Fehily||10||11–0||80/1||Pulled up|
|28th||Wonder Weasel||John P. McNamara||11||10–6||200/1||Pulled up|
|29th||Royal Atalza||Paul Moloney||7||10–6||100/1||Tailed off, pulled up|
Commentator Jim McGrath describes the climax of the race
The race was covered live on television and radio by the BBC, in accordance with the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events, for the 46th consecutive year. The coverage was also syndicated globally and broadcast on the Internet for the first time to UK subscribers on the BBC website. The television coverage was presented by Claire Balding and Sue Barker. The race commentary team consisted of Ian Bartlett, Tony O'Hehir, Darren Owen and lead commentator Jim McGrath, who called the runners home for the seventh year.
Both Bartlett and Owen were covering their first Grand National on television after the retirement of John Hanmer; Bartlett had previously been part of the radio commentary team. This was also the first time since 1967 that the race was commentated on by a team of four rather than three.
Racing UK provided its own coverage of the race to bookmakers' outlets across the country. The BBC also broadcast radio commentary of the race on national radio for the 74th year as part of its Radio Five Saturday sports show.
All of the leading daily newspapers in the United Kingdom ran centre spread pullouts of various sizes with colour guides and profiles of all the runners, while office sweepstake kits were printed by three major dailys during the week prior to the race.
Carl Llewellyn was the most experienced rider in the race, being only the twelfth man to weigh out for the fourteenth time for a Grand National.
Six riders made their debut in the race with Andrew Tinkler and Ross Geraghty completing the course. James Barry, Bobby McNally, James Davies and Joey Elliott failed to reach the finishing post.
- Amberleigh wins National BBC Sport, 3 April 2004
- "Results from the 3.45 race at AINTREE – 3 April 2004". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
- "Amberleigh wins National". BBC News. 3 April 2004.
- "UK – Record Betting on Grand National". Racing and Sports. 1 April 2004. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009.