Rough Quest became the first favourite for 14 years to win the Grand National, going off at odds of 7/1. Afterwards, the gelding had to survive a lengthy stewards’ enquiry because when beating Encore Un Peu, in a tight finish, Rough Quest appeared to drift across in front of Encore Un Peu on the run in after hanging left in the closing stages. In his previous start Rough Quest narrowly missed out on the 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup when he finished runner up to the winner, Imperial Call.
Overall, the 1995/6 season was memorable for Rough Quest and his trainer. He took the Racing Post Chase at Kempton Park in February 1996, finished runner up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a month later before going on to win the Grand National.
Despite his winning form, the young horse had been plagued by a constitution so fragile that he often appeared ungenuine in the heat of a close finish, which is what happened at the Grand National. The fault was diagnosed as a muscle enzyme disorder and Rough Quest’s diet was subsequently loaded with carboyhdrates and vitamin E to help counteract the problem.
After his Aintree win, he returned for the 1996/7 season at Folkestone, taking the Lympne Novices Hurdle but he never re-captured his old form and went on to win only one more race, a hunter chase at Newbury in 1999. His retirement was announced later that same year.