1: Manifesto 1895-1904
Manifesto made a remarkable eight appearances in the Grand National but in 1896, after he had fallen at the first fence in that year’s National, few would have predicted what the future held for the horse. 12 months earlier he had finished fourth in the National but, in a classic case of third time lucky, he took the marathon in 1897.
Disaster struck in the lead up to the 1898 Grand National, when a stable boy left Manifesto’s stable door open and the horse escaped. Although he was recaptured, he managed to badly bruise a fetlock jumping a gate, leading to him missing the race.
But Manifesto won the race again in 1899 carrying 12st 7lb which was a full stone more than the second top-weight, Gentle Ida, who was his half-sister. More weight was to follow, in 1900 he carried an eye-watering 12st 13lb when he finished third. Not entered in 1901 he finished third twice more in 1902 and 1903 before, aged 16, he finished eighth and last in 1904.
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2: Red Rum 1973-1977
It could be argued Red Rum never got the recognition he deserved. We all know he won three Grand Nationals but its forgotten he also finished second in the race on his two other visits.
In both 1975 and 1976 he carried top weight around the course conceding 11lb to dual Gold Cup winner L’Escargot in 1975 and 12lb to Rag Trace in 1976. Rummy was 12 when he won his third National, carrying 11st 8lb, he was top weight once again.
3: West Tip 1985-1990
Like Red Rum, West Tip completed five Grand Nationals however he contested the race six times, falling on his 1985 debut. But his record thereafter was exemplarity, the highlight of which was victory in 1986 for Richard Dunwoody.
Returning in 1987 he carried 11st 7lb into fourth spot and was fourth again, carrying the same weight in 1988. Despite advancing years he finished second in 1989 and returned as a 13-year-old to finish tenth in 1990.
4: Corbiere 1983-1987
Corbiere is famous for making Jenny Pitman the first woman to train a Grand National winner. That was 1983 and it was Corbiere’s first attempt at the National. But he attempted the race in all of the next four Nationals.
Carrying 11st 4lb to victory in 1983 meant 12st was his weight in 1984 and while never looking likely to win he finished an admirable third as he did in 1985 when again allotted top-weight.
Remarkably he wore the No. 1 (top-weight) saddle cloth again in 1986 when falling at the fourth fence. His final curtain call was in the 1987 National where old age was against him and he finished down the field in 12th.
5: Spanish Steps (1973-1975)
Spanish Steps was never a Grand National winner but that could have been so different if he were not born in the wrong era.
He did win the 1968 Tote Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the 1969 Hennessy Gold Cup, Benson & Hedges Gold Cup and S.G.B. Chase. He was also placed in a King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup during his career but National glory eluded him.
Fourth, carrying 11st 13lb and giving Red Rum 22Ibs, in the 73 National, Spanish Steps was fourth again in 1974, carrying 11st 9lb (behind Red Rum and L’Escargot) and third to L’Escargot and Red Rum in 1975.
Remarkably Spanish Steps was only keeping up a family tradition of National placings as his dam, Tiberetta, had finished second, third and fourth the race (1957-1959)