Betting on the Grand National is great fun and the race is an occasion when many people get involved who would not normally either bet on or care about horse racing. The 30 testing fences and gruelling distance mean that many horses will fall, unseat or be pulled up. Listening out for your horse’s name is anxiety-inducing, to say the least, and little is more frustrating than seeing your hopes dashed at the very first fence.
The 2023 edition of the race saw 17 horses finish the race which is about average in recent times. It was the 8/1 favourite Corach Rambler who came home first, ahead of Vanillier, a 20/1 dark horse fancied by many. However, 39 horses went to post (Escaria Ten was a non-runner on the day and there was no reserve), so that means that 22 horses didn’t make it to the finish line. Here is what happened to them:
|1||Cloudy Glen||Unseated Rider|
|1||Diol Ker||Unseated Rider|
|1||Recite A Prayer||Unseated Rider|
|2||The Big Breakaway||Fell|
|8 – Canal Turn||Longhouse Poet||Unseated Rider|
|9 – Valentine’s Brook||Lifetime Ambition||Brought Down|
|13||Cape Gentleman||Pulled Up|
|15 – The Chair||Gabby’s Cross||Fell|
|15 – The Chair||Sam Brown||Fell|
|18||Any Second Now||Pulled Up|
|18||Velvet Elvis||Pulled Up|
|21||Delta Work||Unseated Rider|
|21||Eva’s Oscar||Unseated Rider|
|24 – Canal Turn||Mr Incredible||Unseated Rider|
|27||Back On The Lash||Pulled Up|
|29||Coko Beach||Pulled Up|
Last Year: See here for fallers from the 2022 Grand National.
The race was delayed by 14 minutes due to animal rights group Animal Rising. Various intruders managed to get onto the course and whilst 14 minutes may not seem like all that much, with horses and jockeys ready to go, it is a long time. 118 people were arrested by local police for a range of offences and quite what impact the disturbance had on the horses and jockeys we cannot truly say.
However, the table above shows that the first fence was particularly bad in terms of horses coming a cropper. More than one in eight horses saw their races end there, with Hil Sixteen falling and four runners unseating the jockey. With a further three horses being ruled out at the next fence, over 20% of the 39-runner field were out almost before they got going.
As the race wore on more and more of the horses were pulled up by jockeys, as is common. Few horses who run the Grand National have ever raced over a distance as far before and coupled with the unique Aintree obstacles it takes its toll. The well-backed Delta Work unseated at the 21st fence, with three horses being pulled up towards the very end of the race, including Capodanno around the last fence, as it became clear they had no chance of a decent finish and had very little left in the tank.