With the countdown to the 2015 Grand National at Aintree underway we have had a look through the history of the great race and picked our top 5 Grand National gambles.
1. 2010 Dont Push It: Bookmakers losses £50m
It was a while coming but when AP McCoy finally ended his National drought the bookies took a bit of a bashing. Avaiable at 20/1 on the morning of the race a combination of public support and (presumably) some from his boss the legendary punter J P McManus saw Dont Push It eventually sent off as 10/1 joint favourite. Post race Coral estimated the cost to the bookies to be about £50 million.
2.1866 Salamander: 2013 Equivalent Winnings £3m.
We dont know what the bookmakers did overall in 1866 but one punter landed a monster gamble. Salamander was owned and trained by Edward Studd. The horse won the 1866 Grand National under jockey Alec Goodman carrying 10 7. Salamander was returned at a then record price of 40/1. The trainer Studd had £1,000 on his charge. His £40,000 winnings would equate to nearly £3 million in today’s money.
3.1953 Early Mist: 2013 Equivalent Winnings £2m
1953 saw another famous individual punt landed. The legendary Vincent O’Brien trained Early Mist. He was confident in his horse going into the 1953 National and advised his owner to have a good bet. ‘Mincemeat Joe’ Griffin took him at his word backed Early Mist to win £100,000. The horse romped home by twenty lengths under jockey Bryan Marshall.
4. 2000 Papillon: Bookies hit for £10m
Before Dont Push it in 2010 one of the biggest national gambles of recent times occurred in 2000, when the Irish-trained Papillon struck for trainer Ted and jockey Ruby Walsh. The nine-year-old had been available at 33/1 early in the morning of the great race, only to start at 10/1 after being selected by several pundits including the top tipster Pricewise of the Racing Post newspaper. Speaking afterwards Simon Clare of Coral said " this was the biggest National gamble in living memory. It was not the National payday the bookies always hope for."
5.2003 Monty’s Pass: Mike Futter's flutter
Monty’s Pass under jockey Barry Geraghty landed another huge Irish-trained gamble in 2003. Mike Futter was front man of the fivestrong Dee Racing ownership syndicate. He and the other four members of the Dee Syndicate, Ian Rose, Muir Higginson, Noel Murphy and Adam Armstrong,landed a gamble of well over £1m. Futter said after the race "I started backing him at at 66-1 before the weights came out. Then I backed him at 50-1 but then after he was tipped up in the Racing Post the price got shorter - and then I had a bit more at 25-1. The biggest bet was one of £10,000 at 50-1. I reckon I have cleared £800,000." Futter owned a series of Bingo Halls in Ireland and had tipped off his customers. He reckoned customers had won over £1.2m.
Grand National Meeting 2015 Previous Winners And 10 Year Trends