Miinnehoma won the Grand National in 1994, just one of Martin Pipe’s five entries in a thirty-six strong field. It was Miinnehoma’s Grand National debut and it followed a poor seventh finish in the Cheltenham Gold Cup just twenty-three days previously. He did nevertheless have good odds of 16-1 due to the local support he received, as he was owned by Liverpool comedian Freddie Starr.
Miinnehoma was bred in Co. Wexford, Ireland, and was bought for 35,000 guineas at the Doncaster Sales in 1988, and started his training under Owen Brennan at Newark. Under Brennan he won a two-mile race at Uttoexeter before being passed on to Martin Pipe, under whom he won four races over hurdles in the following season.
Minnehoma was usually ridden by Peter Scudamore, who had brought him to victory in the Sun Alliance Chase, but now it was Scudamore’s successor Richard Dunwoody who had inherited the ride. They jumped perfectly and Dunwoody was aware that it was best not to have the gelding at the front for very long, so restrained him for much of the course. However, Minnehoma did not enjoy being held back and was in the lead by the 17th, with Dunwoody having to work doubly hard to keep in front.
Miinnehoma pecked badly on landing over Becher’s second time round but quickly recovered and while Moorcroft Boy was ahead at the final fence, Miinnehoma took command at the Elbow. Out of the blue, outsider Just So drew alongside, but Miinnehoma had what it took and won by one and a half lengths with Moorcroft Boy (with jockey Adrian Maguire, Dunwoody’s greatest rival) twenty lengths back in third. Only six of the thirty-six contenders finished the race.
He entered the National again the following year but was pulled up by Dunwoody at the twenty-first fence. He was retired in May 1996 to the Berkshire home of his owner.