Which jockey, who retired in 2017, was placed in seven consecutive Grand Nationals?

Whether finishing in the first four in the Grand National seven years running, without ever winning the world famous steeplechase, is an enviable, or unenviable, record is really a matter of opinion, but the jockey who did just that was Paul Moloney. Having hung up his riding boots in 2017, Moloney joined a list of exceptional jockeys, including the John Francome, Jonjo O’Neill, Peter Scudamore and, of course, Richard Johnson – although the latter is still trying, after 21 attempts, so far – never to have won the Grand National. Moloney, himself, failed to complete the course on his first four attempts in the National but, thereafter, his record was remarkable.

Moloney achieved all seven placings aboard three horses, all saddled by Vale of Glamorgan trainer Evan Williams and all carrying the familiar blue colours of William and Angela Rucker. His sequence began with State Of Play, who finished fourth behind Mon Mome in 2009, third behind Don’t Push It in 2010, and fourth, again, behind Ballabriggs in 2011. In 2012, Cappa Bleu, described by Moloney as ‘an absolute armchair ride’, picked upon the baton, finishing fourth, yet again, behind Neptune Collonges and, in 2013, finished second behind Auroras Encore. Next it was the turn of the quirky, but talented, Alvarado, who finished fourth behind both Pineau De Re in 2014 and Many Clouds in 2015.

How many horses have won the Grand National more than once?

In 2019, Tiger Roll made history by becoming the first horse since Red Rum, in 1974, to win the Grand National two years running. Of course, Red Rum went on to complete an unprecedented hat-trick in the world famous steeplechase in 1977 but, before ‘Rummy’, as he was affectionately known, the last horse to win two consecutive Grand Nationals was Reynoldstown in 1936. Before that, Poethlyn won two consecutive renewals of the Grand National, but the first of them, in 1918, came in the so-called ‘War National’, run at Gatwick Racecourse.

Three other horses – Abd-El-Kader in 1850 and 1851, The Colonel in 1869 and 1870 and Manifesto in 1897 and 1899 – have won the Grand National more than once so, including Poethlyn, a total of seven horses have done so. A horse called The Duke won the first two renewals of the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase – the race which later became the Grand National – in 1836 and 1837, but the first ‘official’ running of the Grand National took place in 1839.

Who trained Arkle?

For the uninitiated, Arkle was arguably the greatest steeplechaser of all time. In a four-year period between 1962 and 1966, Arkle won 22 of his 26 races over fences – including the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years running in 1964, 1965 and 1966 – and finished behind just six horses. His Timeform Annual Rating, of 212, is the highest ever awarded to a steeplechaser and 20lb superior to any other steeplechaser in history, with the exception of his stable companion, Flyingbolt. Arkle was owned by Anne Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster, and trained by Thomas William ‘Tom’ Dreaper at the family farm in Greenogue, Kilsallaghan, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Did Prince Charles ever ride a winner as a jockey?

Charles, Prince of Wales, made his debut as an amateur jockey, at the age of 31, in a charity race at Plumpton on March 4, 1980. He finished second aboard favourite Long Wharf and, just four days later, finished fourth aboard Sea Swell in his first steeplechase at Sandown. Later the same year, on October 24 – on the first occasion he and Lady Diana Spencer had been seen together in public – Charles rode his own horse, Allibar, into a highly creditable second place in an amateur riders’ handicap chase at Ludlow. After a promising start, it would be fair to say that the remainder of Charles’ brief riding career was not altogether happy.

In early 1981, Allibar collapsed and died while being ridden out one morning and Charles was subsequently unseated twice, in the space of five days, from his own horse, Good Prospect, including famously in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. He rode his sixth, and final, race at Newton Abbott on May 21, 1981, finishing ninth on Upton Grey, owned by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; his career form figures read ‘242UU0’ so, while he came close once or twice, Prince Charles never did ride a winner as a jockey.

1 2