Neptune Collonges won the 2012 Grand National producing one of the best finishes ever seen in the history of the race. Nosing past Sunnyhillboy in the closest ever photo-finish, Neptune Collonges was declared the winner in a time of 9 minutes 5.10s. The French-bred, 33/1 outsider is owned by John Hales, trained by Paul Nicholls and was ridden by Daryl Jacob. Of a maximum field of 40 competitors only fifteen completed the course with the winner becoming the first grey in 51 years to win the race.

The race started badly with two false starts and favourite Synchronised, ridden by owner JP McManus being unseated by the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning horse prior to the race beginning. Synchronised bolted but was quickly caught and was able to start the race. Ballabriggs, West End Rocker, Killyglen and many others came nowhere or fell far too early. Sadly Synchronised had to be put down after falling at Bechers and According to Pete was also a casualty when he fell on his second attempt at Bechers. JP McManus is said to be “devastated” by the loss of the horse.

Katie Walsh, riding Seabass, came the closest any women has ever to winning the National but her chance seemed to fade at the Elbow. Sister in law, Nina Carberry, riding Organisedconfusion on which she won the Irish National last year, was unseated at the Canal Turn on the first circuit leaving Walsh to carry on and complete the course coming in at third place.

How they finished

1st – Neptune Collonges (33-1)
2nd – Sunnyhillboy (16-1)
3rd – Seabass (8-1 joint-favourite)
4th – Cappa Bleu (16-1)
5th – In Compliance
6th – Ballabriggs
7th – Hello Bud
8th – Tharawaat
9th – Shakalakaboomboom
10th – Swing Bill
11th – The Midnight Club
12th – Planet Of Sound
13th – Neptune Equester
14th – Calgary Bay
15th – Midnight Haze

And how the rest fared:

Fence 1: Viking Blond (fell)
Fence 2: West End Rocker (fell), Junior (fell)
Fence 5: State Of Play (unseated), Rare Bob (brought down), Chicago Grey (brought down)
Fence 6: Synchronised (fell)
Fence 7: Alfa Beat (fell)
Fence 8: Black Apalachi (fell), Organisedconfusion (unseated), Becauseicouldntsee (unseated), Tatenen (unseated), Killyglen (unseated)
Fence 10: Treacle (fell), Arbor Supreme (unseated)
Fence 11: Giles Cross (pulled up)
Fence 15: Always Right (unseated)
Fence 17: Quiscover Fontaine (fell)
Fence 19: Deep Purple (pulled up), Vic Venturi (refused)
Fence 22: On His Own (fell), According To Pete (brought down), Mon Mome (pulled up), Postmaster (pulled up)
Fence 27: Weird Al (fell)

Photo Credit | Meteorshoweryn