I Am Maximus wins Grand National at Aintree after much-fancied Corach Rambler exits at first hurdle

I Am Maximus wins Grand National at Aintree after much-fancied Corach Rambler exits at first hurdle

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Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 13/04/2024

- 16:14

Updated: 14/04/2024

- 00:35

The 176th Grand National took place at Aintree on Saturday

Paul Townend rode I Am Maximus to victory at the 176th Grand National at Aintree on Saturday ahead of Delta Work in second.

The Willie Mullins-trained horse was much fancied before the race and stormed to victory, with Minella Indo and Galvin finishing third and fourth.

Last year's winner Corach Rambler, trained by Lucinda Russell, went into the race as the second favourite behind I Am Maximus.

But he unseated his jockey Derek Fox at the first hurdle to end the hopes of many punters who backed a second successive win.

I am Maximus

Grand National 2024: Paul Townend rode I Am Maximus to victory at Aintree


Townend didn't get off to the best start but he got better as the race went on and fought off competition from Delta Work and Rachel Blackmore's Minella Indo.

He claimed he was a 'lucky boy' to win the race for the first time in his career.

Townend told ITV: "What an unbelievable race and an unbelievable horse. It is a bit surreal, to be honest.

"I ended up being first to the first and got to the Melling Road and he backed back.

"He got careful on the second circuit but I was trying to conserve energy. I didn’t get the clearest run between the second-last and last.

"I had the ones in front of me in my sights and he responded like I thought he would.

"Gold Cups and Grade Ones are special but Grand Nationals are different. You need so much luck. I am a lucky boy."

There were no fallers in the race, with 21 of the 32 starters finishing.

Changes were made to the race this year in an attempt to protect the welfare of the horses.

The alterations, announced last October, included bringing forward the start time to 4pm from the traditional 5.15pm.

This change was introduced in an attempt to have the course in a better condition at the start of the race.

The number of horses entering the Grand National was also reduced from 40 to 34.

That number went down further to 32 on Saturday morning when both Chambard and Run Wild Fred were declared lame.

A standing start was also introduced for all races in 2024, while the distance to the first hurdle was reduced to ensure horses hit it at a slower speed.

Fences also had foam and rubber toe boards added, while Fence 11 came down two inches.


Grand National 2024

Grand National 2024: I Am Maximus rode to victory at Aintree


There were sadly two deaths on Ladies Day at Aintree on Friday.

The number of horses that have died at the meeting since 2000 now stands at 65.

Giovinco died after falling at the last fence in the Mildmay Novices' Chase on Friday afternoon.

Pikar then passed away after a fall at the second to last hurdle in the last race of the day.

The deaths drew further calls from animal rights groups for horse racing to cease.

Grand National 2024

Grand National 2024: Corach Rambler crashed out early at Aintree


Animal Aid said: "If the death toll was this high in any other 'sport', it would be banned immediately.

"However, because it's 'just' horses being killed, then the racing industry and the government seem content to allow these innocent animals to suffer horrific injuries and die."

Earlier on Saturday, CJ Todd rode Gwennie May Boy to victory in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle.

Brighterdaysahead, ridden by Jack Kennedy, won the second race of the day in the Turners Mersey Novices' Hurdle.

Stan Sheppard rode Cruz Control to victory in the William Hill Handicap Chase.

Sean Bowen won the Liverpool Hurdle on Strong Leader in the final race before the National.

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