Last year, the Grand National was won by Pineau de Re who, priced at 25/1 just before the race, was by no means the favourite to win. However, looking ahead to this year’s race, which will take place on 11 April, what chance does Pineau de Re have of producing back-to-back Grand National victories?
If you check out the current ante-post odds on most betting sites, Pineau de Re is up among the favourites at around 25/1. Of course, the odds are changing daily at the moment, and will continue to do so, right up until the horses are under starter’s orders. To find out the latest Grand National betting news, visit a site such as bet365, where you will find the latest news on horses and trainers as well as all the ante-post odds.
You may think Pineau de Re is in with a chance of winning again this year. But if you look back at Grand National history, there have been very few horses that have won the Grand National twice, let alone in consecutive years.
Of course, Red Rum was an exception, winning back-to-back victories in 1973 and 1974, and then coming back in 1977 with his third Grand National victory. But the previous dual win before Rummy’s was way back in the 1930s by Irish-bred horse Reynoldstown.
Reynoldstown was the fifth horse to ever win the race twice and had back-to-back victories at Aintree in 1935 and 1936. However, the second win was really down to the fact that the leader, Davy Jones, ran out at the last fence as his reins had broken.
And in his first victory, Reynoldstown beat the previous year’s winner, Golden Miller, who was carrying 12st 7lbs and, despite his 1934 victory, had never really been considered a Grand National contender. In the 1935 race, Golden Miller lost his jockey after a stumble at Valentine’s Brook and Thomond II was neck and neck with Reynoldstown until the last fence, where he collided with Reynoldstown on the landing and dropped back on the run-in.
The main problem for most returning winners to the Grand National is the handicap and the increased weight they have to carry.
Reynoldstown started the 1936 race carrying the top weight of 12st 2 lbs and at 10/1. He made an error on the first circuit but kept up with the leader Davy Jones, who then broke a rein. Reynoldstown was one of ten horses to finish the race, with 50/1 and 66/1 horses coming in second and third places.
The most recent example of a horse that could have won the Grand National twice is Hedgehunter, who won in 2005 and came second in 2006, losing out to Numbersixvalverde. Hedgehunter came ninth in 2007 and 13th the following year and is undoubtedly one of the greatest Grand National runners of the modern era. But he never managed a second Grand National victory before his retirement.
So, looking at the history books, it seems that Pineau de Re does not have much of a chance of securing a back-to-back victory this year. But then again, it’s the Grand National and anything could happen on the big day.