Home » I Am Maximus wins Grand National – and no horses fall at this year’s event

I Am Maximus wins Grand National – and no horses fall at this year’s event

I Am Maximus has won this year’s Grand National – and not a single horse fell during this year’s event.

Two thirds (21 of 32) finished the race, with the horse ridden by Paul Townend crossing the line first.

Seven horses were pulled up and four unseated their riders but none fell, an Aintree spokesman said. It comes after organisers made a number of changes to enhance safety.

Changes included reducing the number of competitors, a standing start, making one of the fences shorter, and adding foam and rubber toe boards to every fence.

In addition, this year’s race was held at the earlier time of 4pm, which organisers hoped would “ensure optimal conditions”.

Last year’s race was delayed after protesters got on to the track.

I Am Maximus and Paul Townend jump The Chair. Pic: PA

The Jockey Club, which runs the course, said the changes were “data-driven” and followed analysis of recent Grand Nationals.

Protests had not been influential, it added.

“A horse may not have died during this race, yet one is killed every other day in British racing,” claimed Orla Coghlan from Animal Rising.

Her protest group wants to consign horse racing “to the history books”, she added.

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Paul Townend (right) and trainer Willie Mullins with the trophy
Paul Townend (right) and trainer Willie Mullins. Pic: PA

The race itself was hailed as one of the best ever.

“It was the most wonderful finish,” said retired jockey Sir AP McCoy.

“I’ve never seen so many horses in with a chance of winning the Grand National so late in the race. What an incredible race – just a brilliant spectacle.”

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Ruby Walsh, who has won the Grand National twice, said: “If that doesn’t convince people that this is a wonderful sport then I don’t know what will.”

Corach Rambler, last year’s winner, unseated jockey Derek Fox at the first fence.

The “unfortunate tumble” saved bookmaker Paddy Power more than £5m, spokesman Paul Binfield said.

He added: “The winner was spotted by many punters, but despite that, the bookies have had a result.”