The 2000 Grand National winner almost did not run as owner Mrs Betty Moran did not like the National. After much persuasion Papillon was entered into the race at odds of 33-1 and was ridden by a very young Ruby Walsh, his father Ted Walsh was the trainer.
After the win, pressure was mounted on the owner to enter the 2001 National which Papillon did and came an impressive fourth in a National where the conditions were probably at there worst. After falling at the 19th fence Ruby Walsh manage to climb back onboard and finished 4th out of the only four that were able to complete the race in its harsh conditions.
Red Marauder 2001
Poor weather made this National one of these races you will never forget, rain, rain and more rain! Add some wind, forty horses, two riderless horse and what do you get?
Red Marauder was able to pull away from the well backed Smarty to claim his first National and a first for owner Norman Mason. Richard Guest, who was the jockey in 2001 is now a trainer and Red Marauder has retired.
Memory of G.Murray – 4th May 2009 – Glasgow
I work abroad a lot and was out of the country at the time of the 2001 Grand National and unable to have a bet through the normal channels. An Irish friend and retired bookmaker lived nearby and I mentioned I would like to have a bet in the national. He offered to take my bet. I was a bit out of touch with what was what but I sat down in front of the computer and began making selections.
I could remember Red Marauder winning at Ascot on TV seen he had run 2nd recently and decided to back him ew. Being the national I opted to bet 4 in total all ew. Beau because he had good form, Smarty because he was Jenny Pitmans and Blowing Wind because he had been such a good hurdler and AP was on board. I ended up with the first 3 and had Beau not UR most likely would have had the first 4.
My friends reaction was “A bigger fluke than Foinavaon” of course he was dead right, but that’s the national for you.
The 2002 Grand National winner will stick in most minds due to his fantastic ability in jumping the fences, winning the race by a close length and three quarters to the well known ‘What’s Up Boys’. The race was possibly more memorable due to the fact that only 11 of the forty runners were able to finish the race.
Bindaree was ridden very well by jockey Jim Culloty who had to negotiate the riderless horse Beau, Jim was able to switch and dive between What’s Up Boys and the rail with Bindaree pushing on at the right moment to win the 2002 National.
I was at my Grans for this National, I had just reached 19 years old and was giving it the big ‘I know everything about betting’. What an idiot I was, offering advice on just about every horse to every memeber of the family telling them their horse wouldn’t win.
I must have backed about 10-15 horses that day, all of them each way and I didn’t get one in the top 4. Thankfully the family didn’t have a go at me, in fact I probably lied and told them I had picked Bindaree – what an idiot!
Monty’s Pass 2003
The 2003 National winner cruised home by an astonishing 12 lengths whilst only 14 of the 40 horses involved were able to finish the tough Aintree course. Jockey Barry Geraghty was full of praise for Monty’s Pass stating, “He was like a cat, he jumped unbelievable, I had a lovely run. There was no traffic up front. It’s a thrill to finish a National never mind to win one. It’s hard to believe he could win so easily.”
Easy it seemed by so many lengths, and with rivals such Shotgun, Amberleigh House and Supreme Glory, the way this race was won will be more talked about in the future than how many horses were able to finish the race.