Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Grand National: 25-1 outsider Pineau de Re claims famous win at Aintree

By Alysen Miller, CNN
updated 1:16 PM EDT, Sat April 5, 2014
Pineau De Re clears the last fence on the way to victory in the Grand National steeplechase at Aintree Racecourse.
Pineau De Re clears the last fence on the way to victory in the Grand National steeplechase at Aintree Racecourse.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 25-1 outsider wins prestigious Grand National at Aintree course in England
  • Pineau De Re comes home ahead of Balthazar King in grueling 30-fence race
  • Caps fine comeback for winning jockey Leighton Aspell, who quit in 2007

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- One of the most dramatic Grand Nationals in recent years ended in victory for 25-1 shot Pineau De Re, who ran on relentlessly to capture Britain's most iconic horse race.

Ridden by Leighton Aspell for doctor-turned-trainer Richard Newland, Saturday's victory capped a fairytale return to racing for the jockey, following his premature retirement from the sport in 2007.

Veteran jockey Richard Johnson narrowly failed to break his 17-year Grand National duck, finishing second on Balthazar King, ahead of A.P. McCoy and Double Seven in third and Alvarado, ridden by Paul Moloney, in fourth.

The 167th edition of the most famous race in the National Hunt calendar did nothing to dispel its reputation as the ultimate test for horse and rider. Horses must jump 30 obstacles over the four-mile course, including notorious fences The Chair and Becher's Brook.

Two false starts delayed proceedings at the Aintree course near Liverpool, the race eventually getting under way in driving rain without Battle Group, who refused to start.

Breeding the world's 'smallest' horse
Peru's passion for horses
Top horses battle it out in Peru

An error-strewn opening circuit saw further casualties, and just 18 horses completed the race. Many of the favorites, including Teaforthree, Long Run and Triolo D'Alene, succumbed to the course's notoriously challenging obstacles.

By the halfway stage, loose horses were scattered among the runners. One of the most significant incidents occurred when a riderless Tidal Bay, having earlier parted company with jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, loomed upside the leader, Across The Bay, and carried him across the course and effectively out of the race.

Across The Bay managed to rejoin the field and eventually finished 17th.

Pineau De Rey's victory was memorable for both jockey and trainer.

The 37-year-old Aspell spent two years working as assistant to flat trainer John Dunlop before making a surprise comeback to race riding in 2009.

Trainer Dr. Richard Newland is a registered physician with around a dozen horses in training. He has quickly established a reputation as a trainer skilled at refreshing older horses, such as the 11-year-old Pineau De Re.

The race has been marred by deaths in past years, but this time all 40 horses and jockeys returned safe and sound.

"It has given us greater confidence in the measures taken to make Aintree safer for horses," Mark Kennedy, head of science for animal welfare at World Society for the Protection of Animals, told CNN.

"In the UK alone, for each thousand horses that start a jump race, four will die. At this level of risk fatalities are not freak events; they are predictable."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Each August, over a thousand tents and hundreds of horses converge on Little Big Horn River in Montana for the Crow Fair and Rodeo.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Show me the money! Hollywood star Tom Cruise was a big hit when he visited the Glorious Goodwood festival.
updated 8:41 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Little-known outside the tribes of the Rocky Mountains in the American northwest, Indian Relay is a "magical" horse-racing relay.
updated 9:25 AM EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
Now in his 50s, one of the world's most successful jockeys explains why he gave up acting to return to the sport that nearly crippled him.
Winning Post's Francesca Cumani is impressed by the all-round multitasking skills of Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien.
updated 4:53 AM EDT, Sat June 7, 2014
 An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider head to the main track for morning training at Belmont Park on June 4, 2014 in Elmont, New York.
More people have walked on the moon than have won the fabled Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing. California Chrome is seeking to square that score.
updated 7:37 AM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
A long history of controversy made him the "enfant terrible" of horse racing, but veteran jockey Kieren Fallon is looking for redemption.
updated 7:31 AM EDT, Tue May 27, 2014
Joel Rosario on Animal Kingdom competes to win the $10 million Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race, at Meydan race track in Dubai on March 30, 2013. The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner (11/2), trained by American Graham Motion and ridden by Rosario, beat home English raider Red Cadeaux by two lengths while another English-trained runner Planteur was third.
With owners ranging from presidents to sheikhs and queens, horse racing is known as the "Sport of Kings" for good reason.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
Buy for the right price and you could make millions. Get it wrong and it could be one of the most expensive mistakes you ever make.
updated 8:07 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
Mine That Bird, the 2009 winner of the Kentucky Derby, is having his incredible story told on the silver screen.
updated 6:35 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
Amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen is perhaps best known for helping to resurrect Prince William's relationship with Kate Middleton.
updated 8:15 AM EDT, Fri March 28, 2014
Meydan Entrance
The $10 million Dubai World Cup takes place at the Meydan Racecourse, which is a suitable setting for the world's richest horse racing day.
ADVERTISEMENT