Maori Venture won the 1987 Grand National in a time of nine minutes 19.3 seconds which was then the third fastest time on record. A maximum field of 40 competitors saw 22 cross the finish line, very sadly a popular grey horse Dark Ivy, who was the 11/2 second favourite had a fatal fall at Becher’s. This led to an outcry over the safety of horses and riders and a few years later the famous fence was modified. Maori Venture was owned by Jim Joel, trained by Andrew Turnell and paired with jockey Steve Knight.
West Tip, the 1986 Grand National winner, was the favourite at 5/1 with Corbiere and Lean Ar Aghaidh both well fancied. Maori Venture had shown very mixed form on the build up to the Grand National. He had shown promise finishing as runner up in the Hennessy Gold Cup but then been unplaced in one race and fell in another. Starting at a price of 28/1 his owner Jim Joel had no great expectations of him even completing the course.
He did little during the first circuit but managed to stay on his feet after he came down so steeply at Becher’s his nose touched the turf, from there on he began to jump with precision, increasing his pace between fences. Clearing Becher’s with no trouble second time around, by the time he reached the last he had joined The Tsarevitch to challenge for the lead. From the Elbow he pulled away strongly to beat The Tsarevitch by four lengths with Lean Ar Aghaidh third and West Tip in fourth place.
The 1987 Grand National was Maori Venture’s first and only appearance in the race. The day after the race his owner announced that he would be retired to Childwick Stud. Mr Joel who had first attempted to win the race in 1957 was 92 when his horse won the National, in his will he left Maori Venture to his partner on the day, jockey Steve Knight.
Pos | Name | Jockey | Age | Weight | SP
1st | Maori Venture | Steve Knight | 11 | 10-13 | 28/1
2nd | The Tsarevich | John White | 11 | 10-05 | 20/1
3rd | Lean Ar Aghaidh | Guy Landau | 10 | 10-00 | 14/1
4th | West Tip | Richard Dunwoody | 10 | 11-07 | 5/1 fav
5th | You’re Welcome | Peter Hobbs | 11 | 10-02 | 50/1
6th | Tracys Special | Simon McNeill | 10 | 10-00 | 50/1
7th | The Ellier | Frank Berry | 11 | 10-00 | 18/1
8th | Attitude Adjuster | Niall Madden | 7 | 10-06 | 25/1
9th | Northern Bay | Reg Crank | 11 | 10-01 | 50/1
10th | Monanore | Tom Morgan | 10 | 10-03 | 20/1
11th | Smith’s Man | Mark Perrett | 9 | 10-00 | 14/1
12th | Corbiere | Ben de Haan | 12 | 10-00 | 12/1
13th | Big Brown Bear | Robert Stronge | 10 | 10-02 | 200/1
14th | Cranlome | M Richards | 9 | 10-00 | 500/1
15th | Colonel Christy | S Moore | 12 | 10-00 | 300/1
16th | Plundering | Peter Scudamore | 10 | 10-11 | 16/1
17th | Preben Fur | A Stringer | 10 | 10-00 | 66/1
18th | Bright Dream | Richard Rowe | 11 | 10-02 | 50/1
19th | Why Forget | Chris Grant | 11 | 10-00 | 40/1
20th | Gala Prince | T Jarvis | 10 | 10-00 | 500/1
21st | Brit | A Jones | 8 | 10-01 | 500/1
22nd | Insure | Mr. Charlie Brooks | 9 | 10-10 | 45/1