1: Devon Loch (1956)
More heartbreaking than spectacular but unquestionably the Grand National’s biggest mystery… Just what happened to Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National?
His sudden and inexplicable fall on the final straight, just 40 yards from a certain victory is almost always replayed during television build-up coverage on Grand National day.
Owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and ridden by Dick Francis, the well-fancied Devon Loch held a five-length lead over his nearest challenger, ESB, on the run-in to the finishing post, when he suddenly half-jumped into the air and landed in a belly-flop on his stomach, allowing E.S.B. to overtake and win.
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2: Crisp vs Red Rum (1973)
Just three-quarters-of-a-length separated Red Rum and Crisp, the 9/1 joint-favourites, at the end of the 1973 Grand National but this only tells a small part of this dramatic finish.
Australian bred Crisp, who had previously won a two-mile Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, jumped for fun from flag-fall and he had forged 20 lengths clear of the field after the first circuit.
Jumping the final fence Crisp, who was carrying a back-breaking 12-stone was still 15 lengths clear of 17 rivals which he had strung out all over the racecourse.
But Red Rum had not given up and on the long 494-yard run-in he managed to catch Crisp to win the race in course record time. At no point in the 9min-1sec race did it look like Crisp would be caught.
3: Neptune Collonges (2012)
The 2021 Grand National was noteworthy for several reasons. Primarily Neptune Collonges, who was ridden by Daryl Jacob, won the race in a photo-finish (beating Sunnyhillboy) making it the closest ever finish to a Grand National.
The Paul Nicholls trained winner, a 33/1 shot, became only the third grey horse to win the chase (which dates back to 1839), and the first since 1961 when he came a withering late run to snatch victory on the post. First impressions suggested he had failed to get up.
The race itself featured a reigning Gold Cup winner, Synchronised (who fell), and saw Katie Walsh become the most successful female rider in the race, finishing third on Seabass.
4: Red Marauder (2001)
Conditions had not been so heavy since Tipperary Tim was one of just two finishers in the 1928 Grand National and history was to repeat itself here as just two horses complete the course unscathed in 2001.
History books show there were four finishers in the 2001 National but two of them had been remounted, something that is not allowed today. Red Marauder ultimately won the race in the slowest recorded Grand National time in a century.
In this year a large number of the field came to grief at the Canal Turn in a Foinavon-esque incident on the first circuit. It accounted for ten casualties of which nine were either unseated or refused.
5: Last Suspect (1985)
At 50/1 1985 victor Last Suspect was the biggest priced Grand National winner since Foinaven 18 years earlier and it was 24 years until there was a bigger priced winner (Mon Mome, 2009 at 100/1).
This gelding was notoriously moody, unreliable, disinterested and had become known for pulling himself up in chases. Resultantly neither his owner or trainer wanted to run Last Suspect in the National and intended to pull him out of the race.
However his jockey, Hywel Davies, insisted he might just thrive at Aintree with its unique demands and he was proven right.
But it took a wonderful ride to get the tail-swishing horse home with Davies doing what very few riders do in the National – keeping his horse wide throughout the contest.. He jumped the last in fourth ten lengths adrift of Mr Snugfit but surged past him with 50-yards to race.
* Grand National odds correct at the time of writing. All odds are subject to change.