Aintree Grand National Festival 2013 Results 

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Thursday, 4 April 2013 was Grand Opening Day for the 166th running of the Grand National, England’s annual test of horses and jockeys over one of the longest distances in closed-circuit horse racing. All of Liverpool braced itself for the onslaught of some 150,000 punters, who were expected to spend some £27 million at Aintree Racecourse on food, drink and betting over the course of the three-day festival.

Day One got off to a chilly start. Although temperatures rose no higher than 8ºC, there were high heels, bare skin, fake tans and false eyelashes to be seen throughout the crowd of some 33,000. The initial prelude to the Festival’s big event was the Fox Hunters’ Steeplechase, won by 13-year old Tartan Snow with J. Hamilton in the saddle at lovely odds of 100/1. Ten-year old Cool Friend at 33/1 odds ran second and 12-year old Rash Move came in third at 40/1, giving all the lucky ticket holders a fine payday.

Friday, 5 April was designated as Ladies’ Day at the Festival. Raceday fashion reached its height, providing a spectacle of glamour and colour in the Red Rum Garden, which transformed itself into the Style Enclosure with prizes awarded to Aintree’s best-dressed visitors. The first big feature race of Day Two was the Melling Steeple Chase, with 1/3 favourite Sprinter Sacre totally outclassing the competition and carrying jockey Barry Geraghty to victory. Cue Card ridden by J. Tizzard finished second at 7/1 well behind, while Flemenstar piloted by A.E. Lynch ran third, also at 7/1.

The biggest field of the day’s adrenalin-fuelled racecard was The Topham Steeple Chase, with 30 starters competing over the same route used for the Grand National itself. Although a false start forced all the runners to return to the starting line and get organised, the mounts proved patient and all cleared the first hurdle without incident on the restart.

Much favoured There’s No Panic at 9/1 never really contested in the closely bunched first circuit and then lost touch, as Barry Geraghty rode to his second victory on Ladies Day, this time aboard 14/1 Triolo D’Alene. Walkon finished strongly to take second and Last Time D’albain finished third, both horse running at odds of 16/1/

Rounding out the main events of Ladies’ Day was the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle, which was won by J.P. McManus’s 11/8 favourite At Fishers Cross ridden by Tim McCoy. The amazing jumper took the spoils for the sixth time in six races, leaving 8/1 Just A Par in second with Ruby Walsh on board. Jockey J.E. Moore brought Buachaill Alainn home in third at a nifty 40/1. On Saturday, 6 April, there were seven races on the card, but only one that drew the eyes of the world to Aintree. Forty of racing’s biggest stars took to the stage for the Grand National in front of an audience of over nine million in a bid to win the world’s greatest steeplechase. The challenging two-and-a-quarter-mile run covered two laps of the left-handed turf circuit containing 16 fences, several of which involve water.

Going into the race for the record-breaking £975,000 prize fund, an Irish entry named Seabass was the 11/2 favourite with Ms. Katie Walsh in the saddle, but the popular pairing could do no better than thirteenth. Likewise, Ruby Walsh riding 8/1 On His Own from Ireland had an unlucky day, falling out at the St. Valentine’s Brook hazard. Nevertheless, the Emerald Isle was well represented at the finishing post, with all of the top five prize winners.

Coming in first at 66/1 odds was Auroras Encore ridden by Ryan Mania, nine lengths ahead of 12/1 runner-up Cappa Bleu mounted by Paul Moloney. Third place went to Nick Scholfield on 10/1 Teaforthree, followed by Mr. Sam Waley-Cohen aboard 66/1 Oscar Time in fourth and Bryan Cooper riding 16/1 Rare Bob in fifth.

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