Randox Grand National
Grade 3 Handicap,
Aintree 16:00
£1,000,000 guaranteed
7yo plus, 4m 2f 74y, Class 1   
Saturday 13th April 2024

1 I Am Maximus 7/1J
2 Delta Work 28/1
3 Minella Indo 28/1
4 Galvin 40/1
5 Kitty's Light 12/1
6 Ain't That A Shame 40/1
32 ran NR: Chambard, Run Wild Fred
Distances: 7½l, ½l, ½l Time: 9m 27.68s (slow by 23.68s)

I Am Maximus emerged as a dominant favourite, leaving his competitors behind and securing a resounding victory. This triumph marked a second win in the prestigious Aintree showpiece for the highly successful trainer, Willie Mullins. Notably, Mullins had previously tasted victory with Hedgehunter nearly two decades ago.

Among the 32 contenders who lined up at Liverpool, Mullins was responsible for eight of them. However, all eyes were on I Am Maximus, who had already impressed in last year’s Irish Grand National. Punters eagerly anticipated his performance after a strong showing in the Bobbyjo Chase—a Grade One race.

Paul Townend, riding the 7-1 market leader, demonstrated unwavering confidence as he guided I Am Maximus down the inside. Remarkably, the eight-year-old hurdler exhibited no signs of the jumping issues that had plagued him previously.

The race unfolded with early drama when defending champion Corach Rambler unseated jockey Derek Fox at the very first fence. As the field approached the final two obstacles, I Am Maximus steadily moved into contention. However, it was at the elbow that the race dynamics shifted dramatically.

I Am Maximus surged ahead, leaving the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Minella Indo and the persistent Delta Work trailing in his wake. Delta Work secured second place, a commendable achievement in his third attempt at the illustrious Grand National.

For jockey Paul Townend, this victory marked his first Grand National triumph. Meanwhile, owner JP McManus celebrated his third success at Aintree, having previously tasted victory with Don’t Push It in 2010 and Minella Times in 2021.


Mullins said: “It was an excellent ride. I had said before the race that we didn’t know how good this horse was, today he showed that he’s better than he had been. I thought he still had a little bit from the handicapper after the Bobbyjo and he’s proved it today.

“Paul was excellent, he kidded him round the inside, he got chopped up a couple of times and probably didn’t jump as clean as he could, but he was looking for the gaps and when he eventually got it he was all right.

“I could see Paul’s body language and he was happy, so I was happy then. I don’t think I said anything until he got over the last and then I let go (and gave him a cheer). 

“He’s a tremendous horse. He has his own way of doing things, he’s quirky and immature but he’s learning all the time. It’s extraordinary how we came to have him. Nicky Henderson had him before me, Michael Grech moved his horses to Ireland and Nicky said to me ‘make sure you get him’ and it was fine advice. Nicky could see the talent that he had and we just had to nurture it, so thanks to Nicky and also Henrietta Knight who organised all that.

“To win an Irish National and an English National is impressive.

“I think he could be a Gold Cup horse, but we don’t know how good he could be because he doesn’t do it at home. He’s quirky, but he has huge ability and until others get the better of him, we won’t know how good he is.”

First prize in the National is £500,000 – a sum which firmly puts Mullins in the driving seat for the British trainers’ title, with both Ladbrokes and Betfair making the Closutton handler an odds-on shot against Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls.

Mullins added: “Now we’ve won the National we’ll have to give it a good go, we are there with a chance so we might see you all in Sandown, Perth, Ayr – where is there!

“I’m buzzing here now at the moment and it’s huge. As far as I know our team is back in full order with no injuries or anything and I’m happy that we have a full compliment of horses and riders coming back in.”

A jubilant Townend said: “At halfway he was a bit careful with his jumping, but we just built his confidence back up again and then going over the last two I had the four horses in front of me that I wanted in front of me. I was hoping when I pulled him out that he’d pick up and go and he did.

“This is a special place, you grew up building Grand National fences built out of whatever you could get your hands on. It’s a dream to win it. You build a course and your ponies probably know when it’s National time as you’d have the green fences out! It’s just a race that captures the imagination.

“The feeling passing the line is up there with the best I’ve had, but it’s a different feeling. Grade Ones are extra special and tactical and in the Irish National and English National you need a bit of luck, the feeling winning this is unique.

“It’s a special feeling when they start picking up passing the elbow. You honestly don’t hear any of the noise from the crowd, at that stage you’re in full drive and you’re not thinking of anything other than getting to the lollipop stick (winning post) before something passes you.”

National glory for Townend comes after a Cheltenham Festival that included the Gold Cup with Galopin Des Champs, and Townend added: “I have to pinch myself all the time to be honest. It’s fairytale stuff.”


Randox Health Grand National
Grade 3, £1,000,000 guaranteed
7yo plus, 4m 2f 74y, Class 1
32 ran

Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

1    I Am Maximus 8 11-6 W P Mullins Paul Townend 7/1J
Delta Work 11 11-4 Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy 28/1
½ Minella Indo 11 11-6 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 28/1
½ Galvin 10 11-2 Gordon Elliott Sam Ewing 40/1
Kitty's Light 8 10-7 Christian Williams Jack Tudor 12/1
Ain't That A Shame 10 10-13 Henry De Bromhead Mr David Maxwell 40/1
nse Meetingofthewaters 7 10-8 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 11/1
5 Galia Des Liteaux 8 10-7 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 28/1
Roi Mage 12 10-8 Patrick Griffin James Reveley 66/1
Limerick Lace 7 10-8 Gavin Cromwell Mark Walsh 7/1J
Coko Beach 9 11-8 Gordon Elliott Jordan Gainford 28/1
3 Latenightpass 11 10-10 T Ellis Miss Gina Andrews 50/1
The Goffer 7 10-8 Gordon Elliott Sean Bowen 50/1
Vanillier 9 10-12 Gavin Cromwell Sean Flanagan 14/1
3 Eklat De Rire 10 10-7 Henry De Bromhead Darragh O'Keeffe 100/1
Capodanno 8 11-8 W P Mullins Keith Donoghue 28/1
3 Panda Boy 8 10-7 Martin Brassil J J Slevin 11/1
¾ Nassalam 7 11-8 Gary Moore Caoilin Quinn 50/1
19 Noble Yeats 9 11-12 Emmet Mullins Harry Cobden 12/1
40 Eldorado Allen 10 11-0 Joe Tizzard Brendan Powell 66/1
13 Adamantly Chosen 7 10-9 W P Mullins Sean O'Keeffe 33/1
PU Mac Tottie 11 10-9 Peter Bowen James Bowen 80/1
PU Janidil 10 11-6 W P Mullins Jody McGarvey 125/1
PU Foxy Jacks 10 11-4 M F Morris Gavin Brouder 33/1
PU Stattler t 9 11-5 W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins 40/1
PU Farouk d'Alene 9 11-1 Gordon Elliott Donagh Meyler 100/1
PU Chemical Energy 8 10-9 Gordon Elliott Danny Gilligan 50/1
PU Minella Crooner 8 10-10 Gordon Elliott Kevin Sexton 125/1
UR Corach Rambler 10 11-6 Lucinda Russell Derek Fox 15/2
UR Mahler Mission 8 11-5 John C McConnell Ben Harvey 18/1
UR Mr Incredible 8 10-11 W P Mullins Brian Hayes 10/1
UR Glengouly 8 10-7 W P Mullins Michael O'Sullivan 100/1
NR 19 Run Wild Fred 10 10-10 Gordon Elliott NON RUNNER
NR 33 Chambard 12 10-7 Venetia Williams NON RUNNER