Grand National hopes scuppered for many Manx punters

Racegoers enjoy themselves during Ladies Day of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool last week  Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Racegoers enjoy themselves during Ladies Day of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool last week Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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Fans of Many Clouds were left disappointed after the horse, owned by island businessman Trevor Hemmings, failed in his bid to emulate Red Rum’s back to back victories 42 years ago.

The popular nine-year-old gelding started the race eight to one co-favourite with The Last Samuri.

He had been heavily backed by punters including many in the island who had latched on to the Manx connection.

The ground was described as soft, heavy in places, making it the softest Grand National since 2001.

Earlier in the afternoon there had been an outbreak of heavy rain and some commentators said there were even hailstones.

The result was a race with frequent drama among a field that was soon strung right out.

Many Clouds, the 2015 winner, with top weight of 11st 10lb, gave jockey Leighton Aspell another fine spin over the fences as far as the fifth-last, where he made an uncharacteristic mistake that was to signal the end of his challenge.

He came last of the 16 finishers, crossing the line at a virtual walk.

Leighton Aspell looked after his tiring mount and walked home from the Elbow, eventually crossing the line as the last of 16 finishers.

‘It was possibly the ground that found us out’, said the jockey, who had hoped to become the first to ride three consecutive National winners. ‘It was quite tough out there.’

Oliver Sherwood said: ‘I’m very proud of him.

‘We’ll be back here next year.’

All 39 horses and jockeys that took part in this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National were reported to have returned home safely.

Just four horses officially fell, while seven unseated their riders and 12 were pulled up.

RESULT:

First: Rule The World 33/1

Second: The Last Samuri 8/1 co favourite

Third: Vics Canvas 100/1

Fourth: Gilgamboa 28/1

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