Winners and losers from the 2022 Grand National
The Grand National has come and gone at Aintree and who could have predicted that? The best thing about the National is its unpredictability — the form guide is tossed out the window and with the added bonus of a full crowd returning to Merseyside for the first time since 2019, the racing odds become even harder to choose a winner. In the end, 50/1 longshot Noble Yeats was victorious, with the outsider delivering trainer Emmet Mullins a first National win.
There was plenty to discuss across the whole Festival, with three days of action-packed racing culminating with an exciting National. The thrill of a full crowd made the occasion all the more special but for every trainer and jockey basking in the warmth of the racegoers’ cheers and applause, there are those whose trip to Merseyside didn’t go as planned. Read on, as we take a look at the winners and losers from the 2022 Grand National.
Grand National Winner: Sam Waley-Cohen
It was a fairy-tale ending for the career of jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, who was aboard Noble Yeats for a memorable victory in the National. The amateur and entrepreneur navigated Aintree’s treacherous course will great aplomb, as Emmett Mullins’ seven-year-old saw off Delta Work and Any Second Now to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
Waley-Cohen couldn’t have wished for a better finale, dedicating the win to his brother Thomas; who died back in 2004 from cancer. “These days are big family days, and obviously Thomas isn’t with us; so you always think about him on these days.” He said “I still always ride with his initials on my saddle. I do think he is sitting on my back.”
Polly Gundry was extremely proud of fourth place Santini after entering at 33/1 and certainly surprising a few. The performance was valiant and thanks to Nick Scholfield, the ten-year-old finished ahead of plenty of previous Grade 1 winners. After struggling in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham; Santini put things right at Aintree and gave a good account of himself to hold out and beat Fiddlerontheroof to fourth.
Grand National Loser: Rachael Blackmore
Considering the whirlwind of a 12 months Rachael Blackmore had been on; many had tipped her as one of the favorites for the National, despite Minella Times’ form being less than impressive. The Henry de Bromhead-trained nine-year-old was badly hampered before being brought down at the ninth to the frustration of the Aintree crowd, but to little surprise for those that saw the runs at Leopardstown in February and Punchestown at the end of the last year.
While it’s too early to judge whether ‘The Blackmore factor’ has lost its magic touch; she still made history as the first female jockey to win last year’s race; but will be bitterly disappointed with her run at Aintree this time around.
Loser: Gordon Elliott
Considering he missed last year’s National serving a ban, many thought Gordon Elliott would throw everything at Aintree in a bid to recover his reputation following a good turnout at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Elliott, who won consecutive Nationals with Tiger Roll in 2018 and 2019; was denied the chance of a historic hattrick to level Red Rum and jockey Davy Russell flattered; to deceive with Escaria Ten coming ninth and Russell’s Run Wild Fred falling at the eighth fence.
Delta Work, the horse who pipped Tiger Roll to the Cross County Chase; did finish third, but when you consider he was one of the favorites and Elliott’s best chance at Aintree success; the race certainly felt like a missed opportunity.