The biggest race of the year at Uttoxeter is just 1 week away, the Midlands Grand National! Check out some stories from previous years, plus some bonus content at the bottom of some older stories!
1. Synchronised overcame mistakes to come out on top in the 2010 Midlands National. He had to fight hard at the end, but he had enough energy to unseat his rider, A P McCoy, after passing the winning post. He went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2012.
2. David Pipe said of Master Overseer, his 2012 Midlands National winner, "He's the slowest horse we've got but the most honest. He has just got that one pace. If it was a six mile race he would keep going." He was owned by Brocade Racing, whose best horse is the popular Gold Cup winner Native River.
3. The David Pipe stable was going for an unprecedented fourth consecutive Midlands National in 2014. Their main candidate, Goulanes, fluffed the last fence but stayed on well to win under champion jockey Richard Johnson, who was having a rare ride for the yard.
4. Connections of the well-backed Irish raider Goonyella had few worries during the 2015 Midlands National. Named after an Australian coal mine, the horse revelled in the heavy going and had the race in the bag some way out.
5. Firebird Flyer followed up a second place in the Welsh National with a lucky win in the 2016 Midlands National. Golden Chieftain was clear when he fell at the final fence. Milansbar was the runner-up, and destined to fill that berth again two years later.
6. A mistake on the far side of the track seemed to put paid to Chase The Spud's chance in the 2017 Midlands National. Undeterred, he ran on well in the home straight and battled his way to the front on the run-in, to the delight of his owner-breeder Mrs Christine Banks. (See also this short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v56YcEc6Bl0)
7. After falling in his previous two races, Potters Corner came good in the 2019 Midlands National. Later that year he became the first Welsh owned, trained and ridden horse to win the Welsh National for 91 years. Millions will have seen him take the Virtual Grand National in 2020 when the real thing was cancelled due to coronavirus.
8. Second in the Welsh National to the 2019 winner Potters Corner, Truckers Lodge belied his novice status by jumping well and trotting up in the 2020 Midlands National by 18 lengths. He is likely to make a bold show in this year’s race.
Older, Historic Midlands National Winners
1. Rag Trade won the 1975 Midlands National en route to triumphs in the Welsh and Aintree versions in the next twelve months, with Red Rum a gallant second in the latter. He was owned by the first TV celebrity hairdresser, the flamboyant Mr “Teasy-Weasy” Raymond.
2. The Thinker won the Midlands National in 1986, and came out of the race so well that he scored again just three weeks later. He went from strength to strength and won next year's memorable Cheltenham Gold Cup, which was run over an hour late owing to a mid-afternoon blizzard and then having to wait for the snow to melt.