Faced with some of the most challenging fences in world racing, it’s unsurprising that so many horses fall or unseat their rider in the Grand National each year.
The 2022 edition, which was run at a tremendous pace on the good going at Aintree was no exception, and less than half of the field – 15/40 – made it over the finishing line.
It’s a Grand National that will live long in the memory given the achievements of Sam Waley-Cohen, who became the first amateur jockey since Marcus Armytage to win the race and the first non-paid rider in history to clinch the Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup double.
And in his last race before retirement, too….
As ever, the victor takes the spoils, but it’s always worth taking a moment to reflect on those that didn’t finish the Aintree course. Incredibly, two of the trickier fences – Becher’s Brook and Foinavon – saw no fallers at all, but others were at the stiffest best to bring down many of the 40-strong field.
So here’s a list of the horses that fell or didn’t finish while trying to traverse the mammoth Grand National fences:
|Fence||Fell||Unseated Rider||Brought Down||Pulled Up||Total|
As you can see from the table, just four horses fell in the 2022 Grand National. They were Éclair Surf, Run Wild Fred, Minella Times and Agusta Gold. Anibale Fly was the one horse brought down whilst nine runners unseated their jockeys and eleven were pulled up.
Below we’ll look in more detail at those non-finisher at each fence on the first and second circuits.
The first lap of the Grand National includes sixteen fences up to and including the Chair and the Water Jump in front of the Aintree grandstands which are only jumped on this circuit of the race.
A total of fifteen horses failed to complete with fences 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, 16 all clear of incident.
- Unseated rider: Mount Ida, Enjoy D’Allen
When you back a horse or two to win the Grand National, the least you hope for is a decent run for your money.
But punters who had a flutter on Mount Ida and Enjoy D’Allen were left rather disappointed when both unseated their riders at the first fence!
Fence 3 (Open Ditch)
- Fallers: Éclair Surf
- Brought down: Anibale Fly
Tragedy struck at the third fence as Éclair Surf suffered a bad fall which proved to be fatal, bringing down Anibale Fly who was following closely behind.
Fence 8 – Canal Turn
- Fallers: Run Wild Fred
- Unseated rider: De Rasher Counter, Death Duty
- Pulled up: Deise Aba
Given its routing and tight angle, Canal Turn is one of the toughest jumps each year in the Grand National, and punters waved goodbye to not one but two of the best backed horses in the field here.
Run Wild Fred enjoyed sizable support on race day – not a huge surprise with Tiger Roll’s team of Davy Russell in the saddle and Gordon Elliott on training duties. But he took a tumble at Canal Turn on the first circuit.
Stablemate Death Duty also unseated jockey Jordan Gainford here, leaving Elliott and the Gigginstown House Stud to curse the complexity of the Canal Turn.
Emma Lavelle’s De Rasher Counter also lost rider Adam Wedge when encountering the falling Run Wild Fred.
Philip Hobbs’ 100/1 outsider Deise Aba was detached from the field after the 7th and was pulled up by Tom O’Brien before attempting the Canal Turn.
Fence 9 – Valentine’s
- Fallers: Minella Times
As you would expect, plenty of punters – both casual and more discerning – held betting tickets backing Minella Times to successfully defend his Grand National title, and they were cheering on Rachael Blackmore to achieve another incredible slice of racing history.
However, it was not to be as the Irish raider took a tumble over Valentine’s Brook on the first circuit, ending hopes of a remarkable double.
Surprisingly, Minella Times was the only faller at one of the toughest jumps in racing in 2022.
- Fallers: Agusta Gold
- Pulled Up: School Boy Hours
Willie Mullins’ Agusta Gold took a tumble at fence ten under jockey Danny Mullins. School Boy Hours for Noel Meade stumbled after jumping the 9th and was pulled up by Sean Flanagan before attempting the 10th.
- Pulled Up: Discorama
Paul Nolan’s Discorama lost his running action in the run down between the 12th and 13th fences was pulled up by Bryan Cooper. Sadly, his injury proved to be untreatable and Discorama was put to sleep later in the day.
Fence 15 – The Chair
- Unseated rider: Burrows Saint, Kidisart, Domaine De L’isle
The highest fence on the Aintree track – The Chair, which stands 5ft 2in – put paid to the chances of Burrows Saint, Kidisart and Domaine De L’isle.
While all three were classed as unseating their rider rather than falling, it was pretty obvious that the scale of The Chair ultimately led them to loose their footing.
The second circuit if the Grand National has fourteen fences, with runners and riders jinking to the right at the elbow for the flat run-in to the finish line, missing out two fences on the inner-track.
A total of ten runners who set out on the second lap failed to compete the race with fences 18, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30 all clear of problems, with fence 19 omitted.
- Pulled Up: Snow Leopardess
With his mount, the grey mare Snow Leopardess, seemingly out of contention at the rear of the field, Aidan Coleman pulled up rather than putting his horse through the exertions of a second circuit.
This fence was omitted on the second circuit with vets and handlers tending to Éclair Surf on the other side of the obstacle.
Fence 22 – 2nd Becher’s Brook
- Pulled Up: Cloth Cap
Jonjo O’Neill’s Cloth Cap was struggling to keep in contention running out into the country second time around and was pulled up by Tom Scudamore before attempting Becher’s Brook for a second time.
Fence 24 – 2nd Canal Turn
- Unseated rider: Dingo Dollar
Dingo Dollar was in midfield taking the Canal Turn for the second time but a slight mistake on landing proved enough for the Sandy Thomson runner to unseat Ryan Mania 20 yards or so after the fence.
Fence 25 – 2nd Valentine’s
- Pulled Up: Mighty Thunder
The Scottish-trained Mighty Thunder was at the back of the field for the majority of the race, with Derek Fox throwing in the towel before the 25th fence as Lucinda Russell’s runner struggled to keep pace.
- Unseated rider: Fortescue
- Pulled up: Good Boy Bobby, Poker Party
Henry Daly’s Fortescue was ridden along after the 26th fences, making a tired error over the 27th and unseating Hugh Nugent. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Good Boy Bobby was also pulled up by jockey Daryl Jacob when tailing-off at the rear of the field. Henry de Bromhead’s Poker Party was also pulled up by Robbie Power before attempting the 27th.
- Pulled up: Brahma Bull, Top Ville Ben, Two For Gold
Willie Mullins’ Brahma Bull and Philip Kirby’s Top Ville Ben both jumped the 28th but were out of contention dropping back at the rear of the field so were pulled up by Brian Hayes and Thomas Dowson when crossing the Melling Road at the Anchor Bridge crossing.
Two For Gold was tracking the leaders after the 28th but weakened on the run-in to the final two fences so was pulled up by jockey David Bass just before the 29th to lead Kim Bailey’s runner back to the stables.