Monty’s Pass won the 2003 Martell Grand National at Aintree in convincing style. The 10 year old trained in Ireland by Jimmy Mangan and ridden by Barry Geraghty, won the race by twelve lengths from the 2001 Welsh National winner Supreme Glory, in a time of nine minutes 21.7 seconds.
A maximum field of 40 runners saw 14 complete the grueling four and a half mile course. Unfortunately a number of horses and jockeys were injured and Warren Marston’s ride Goguenard had to be put down after being caught in a melee at the 19th fence.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, a great favourite with the Aintree crowd because of it’s connection to the Liverpool football team, was found to have broken a leg. Luckily the injury was repaired however the horse was retired from racing. Jockey Gerry Supple also suffered a broken leg and injuries to other jockeys included a broken wrist, collarbone and nose, neither horses nor humans got off lightly on this most challenging of courses!
The favourite for the race was Shotgun Willy who ridden by Ruby Walsh had won the Gold Cup at Haydock on March 1st. Walsh had won the race in 2000 and Shotgun Willy started the race as the clear favourite at 7/1, however, he was always at the back of the field and pulled up after making a mistake at the 21st fence. Iris Bleu ridden by champion jockey Tony McCoy and You’ll Never Walk Alone ridden by Conor O’Dwyer started as joint second favourites at 8/1. Monty’s Pass was considered a good each way chance at 16/1, he had been heavily backed from 40/1 the day before the race, after being predicted to win by several leading tipsters. The Racing Post tipped him to win two months before the race.
In the first half of the race Gunner Welburn, Chives, Montifault and Blowing Wind all featured at the front of the field. On the second circuit Gunner Welburn was first over Becher’s Brook, ahead of Monty’s Pass, following the Foinavon fence with the field strung out he was still in the lead. With two fence’s left and only a handful of horses in contention Monty’s Pass went clear of Amberleigh House and a tiring Gunner Welburn.
After safely clearing the last fence Monty’s Pass powered home to win, with Supreme Glory surging to overhaul two horses to take second place and Amberleigh House third. It was a good day for the bookmakers with so many well fancied horses failing to finish, however William Hill payed out more than £400,000 on two winning bets alone, at the time their worst hit in Grand National history.
Position | Number | Name | Rider | Age | Weight | Starting price
1st | 19 | Monty’s Pass | Barry Geraghty | 10 | 10-7 | 16/1
2nd | 32 | Supreme Glory | Leighton Aspell | 10 | 10-2 | 40/1
3rd | 21 | Amberleigh House | Graham Lee | 11 | 10-4 | 33/1
4th | 30 | Gunner Welburn | Barry Fenton | 11 | 10-2 | 16/1
5th | 23 | Montifault | Joe Tizzard | 8 | 10-4 | 33/1
6th | 11 | Bindaree | Carl Llewellyn | 9 | 10-11 | 25/1
7th | 10 | Carberry Cross | Liam Cooper | 9 | 10-12 | 25/1
8th | 14 | Blowing Wind | Tom Scudamore | 10 | 10-9 | 20/1
9th | 33 | Tremalt | Jason Maguire | 12 | 10-2 | 200/1
10th | 1 | Behrajan | Richard Johnson | 8 | 11-12 | 22/1
11th | 35 | Djeddah | Thiery Doumen | 12 | 10-1 | 66/1
12th | 20 | Majed | Rodi Greene | 7 | 10-5 | 200/1
13th | 31 | Royal Predica | Jamie Moore | 9 | 10-2 | 33/1
14th | 16 | Southern Star | Dominic Elsworth | 8 | 10-8 | 66/1