THE GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONS OF THE 21st CENTURY: Here’s the feast of modern star names from 2000 to 2019 which join Daqman’s 20th-century heroes in yesterday’s column for the computer card of champions, with the final field to be chosen by ITV. ‘Race’ to be run on Saturday alongside a simulation of this year’s big race lost, which Daqman researches in the rest of the week.


Many Clouds was better than Tiger Roll! Is that true or is it clouds illusions I recall? Many Clouds had a slightly higher rating than Tiger Roll for his second victory but we can look at both sides now, and see that Tiger Roll has improved past him in overall ratings, though only as the equal of Neptune Collonges.

Clearly we need to dig further to find the diamond of the 20 years since the turn of the century. Is there one – or more – here to challenge the top stars of the previous century, Red Rum and L’Escargot, in Saturday’s Champions Grand National on ITV?

Here’s some of the form, with collateral where I can. The order-in is from the rating (on the left) for their Grand National success; on the right is the overall figure at the end of the horse’s career or, in the case of Tiger Roll, as of now.

160/166 Many Clouds (2015)

The Hennessy (now Ladbrokes Trophy) winner of 2014 was driven right out to win his National off 11st 9lb, taking three more races including the scalp of Thistlecrack in the 2017 Cotswold Chase.

A lost shoe and breathing problems were attributed to his 2016 National defeat, tailed off behind Rule Of The World.

159/168 Tiger Roll, Tiger Roll (2018 off 150 and 2019 off 159)

Won the Cheltenham Festival cross-country on his way to 2018 Grand National victory on heavy ground (only 12 finished), with Gold Cup third, Anibale Fly, in fourth.

Drew clear carrying 11st 5lb last year, with Anibale Fly fifth on better ground, and the 2017 National winner, One For Arthur, sixth.

157/168 Neptune Collonges (2012)

Third and fourth in the Gold Cup, had dropped 17lb, despite Cotswold Chase success and neck runner-up in the Haydock National trial, so the surprise was not his winning but his odds of 33-1.

153/160 Don’t Push It (2010)

At last Tony McCoy wins the National! Comply or Die 12th; Mon Mome fell. Second was Becher Chase winner (2008), the much hyped Black Apalachee.

150/142 Ballabriggs (2011)

Getting 10lb when beat Don’t Push It (third) 14 lengths. Afterwards sixth to Neptune Collonges (2012) and pulled up behind Auroras Encore (2013).

148/155 Mon Mome (2009)

Driven clear (at 100-1) of Comply Or Die but 18 times loser after, including fell 2010 National and pulled up 2012.

148/148 One For Arthur (2017)

Becher Chase fifth and Warwick Classic winner outstayed Cause Of Causes, with the favourite, Blaklion, only fourth. Sixth the following year.

148/153 Rule The World (2016)

Foiled by six lengths a gamble on hype horse The Last Samuri, who lost his next 12 starts, including the two next Grand Nationals. Rule Of The World raced just one more time.

144/150 Hedgehunter (2005)

Led 10th until two out in 2004, fell when third approaching the last, and winning favourite the following year, with outsiders in the frame but previous winners Amberleigh House, Bindaree and Montys Pass finishers but no nearer than 10th.

143/131 Pineau De Re (2014)

Beat Balthazar King, with 2012 Gold Cup winner, Long Run, behind.

140/140 Red Marauder (2001)

Fell when well fancied behind Papillon but came good on heavy ground in one of the slowest Nationals. Papillon last of only four finishers.

139/128 Amberleigh House (2004)

Not placed again in 12 starts after beating moderate field, with Montys Pass (fourth) having to give him a stone.

139/139 Comply Or Die (2008)

Landed a gamble, with his conqueror of the following year, Mon Mome, only 10th. He ran in two more Nationals, 12th in 2010 and pulled up in 2011.

139/152 Montys Pass (2003)

Had the previous year’s winner, Bindaree, behind in sixth and the following year’s winner, Amberleigh House, in third.

139/138 Papillon (2000)

Fourth and second in the Irish Grand National, was a big gamble at Aintree for Ted and Ruby Walsh. The 1999 winner, Bobbyjo, and 2001 winner, Red Marauder (fell), also ran.

138/147 Numbersixvalverde (2006)

Winner of the 2005 Irish Grand National, forged clear of Hedgehunter, hero of the previous year at Aintree; Silver Birch fell; Amberleigh House pulled up.

138/138 Silver Birch (2007)

Fell when trained Paul Nicholls in 2006 but strengthened up by Gordon Elliott in banks races, a technique he would use with Tiger Roll, and had both Numbersixvalverde (6th) and Hedgehunter (9th) behind at Aintree.

137/144 Auroras Encore (2013)

Shock 66-1 winner in sequence of moderate runs since second in the 2012 Scottish Grand National.

136/140 Bindaree (2002)

Getting 16lb from the well-backed runner-up, Whats Up Boys, the pair finishing well clear of the plunge horse, Blowing Wind (A P McCoy). Previously placed Mely Moss (second to Papillon) and Smarty (second to Red Marauder) also ran.

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