Live Commentary: Grand National - as it happened

Live Commentary: Grand National - as it happened
© PA Photos
Read how 66-1 shot Auroras Encore came through the field to win the Grand National in surprising fashion at Aintree.

It draws the attention of those that don't know a thing about horse racing or betting and yet again the Grand National proved gripping viewing.

This year's race was won by a huge outsider in Auroras Encore, who went off at 66/1 and jumped well at the last to pull clear of Teaforthree.

Read how it all unfolded at a sunny Aintree in our minute-by-minute updates below.

3.37pmAfternoon everyone! Here we are then, the Grand National! The public's favourite horse race.

3.39pmJust to let you know, the race is set to go off at 4.15pm although that time is always a bit premature as the start is very unpredictable.

3.41pmLet's look at the horses then shall we?

3.42pmTHE FAVOURITES: 40 horses are set to run and these are the hot favourites: Seabass 7/1, On His Own 10/1, Chicago Grey 11/1, Teaforthree, Colbert Station, Cappa Bleu (all 12/1), Imperial Commander 14/1.

3.46pmOn His Own has been favourite all week but has been overtaken by Seabass overnight and this morning. Chicago Grey, Teaforthree and Colbert Station have been jockeying (!) for third favourite all morning and look set to go off at a very similar price.

3.48pmKatie Walsh is hoping to become the first woman to win the National. Teaforthree also has a female jockey with Rebecca Curtis on board.

3.50pmTHE HOPEFULS: Balthazar King, Rare Bob (both 16/1), Roberto Goldback 20/1, Sunnyhillboy, Ballabriggs, Join Together (all 25/1)

3.51pmRoberto Goldback is being ridden by in-form jockey Barry Geraghty while Sunnyhillboy and Ballabriggs have a history with this race. Last year Sunnyhillboy was beaten by Neptune Collonges in the closest-ever National finish (see picture above), while Ballabriggs won this race two years ago in 2011.

3.55pmTHE LONGSHOTS: Big Fella Thanks, Always Waining, Quiscover Fontaine, Harry the Viking, Soll (all 33/1), Quel Esprit, Across the Bay, Treacle, What a Friend (all 40/1), Lost Glory 50/1

3.57pmThere's been some money for Treacle and What a Friend, who has just shortened from 66/1 to 33/1! That's who I got in a sweepstake competition so would be more than happy with a win there.

3.59pmTHE WHY-HAVE-YOU-BET-ON-HIMS: Weird Al, Forpadydeplasterer, Joncol, Oscar Time, Saint Are, The Rainbow Hunter, BecauseIcouldntsee, Mr Moonshine, Auroras Encore, Viking Blonde, Major Malarkey (all 66/1)

4.01pmThe jockeys have just left the weighing room and are now posing for a pre-race photograph. It's a beautiful day at Aintree but who will be riding into the sunset a Grand National champion?

4.04pmPersonally, I have gone for Imperial Commander, Teaforthree and Roberto Goldback. I've also stuck a quid on Ninetieth Minute because of the football connections. Unfortunately, he's drifted out to 100/1 but we had a 100/1 winner back in 2009 when Mon Mome came home. There was also a 100/1 winner called Tartan Snow earlier on this week at Aintree. There's hope!

4.06pmTHE DONKEYS: Swing Bill, Ninetieth Minute (both 80/1), Tatenen, Mumbles Head, Tarquinius, Any Currency (100/1)

4.12pmOne thing we'll all be hoping for is no fatalities in this year's race. The BHA have introduced new safety measures for this year. One part of this is moving the start 90 metres closer. It's a four mile, three-and-a-half furlong race. We're almost ready!

4.15pmSEABASS into 11/2 - the clear favourite.

4.15pmTHEY'RE OFF! No problems with the start.

4.16pmThere's 30 fences to run and no one has fallen after four.

4.17pmThey come to famous fence Becher's Brook for the first and THEY'RE ALL OVER!

4.18pmOUT! Treacle, Big Fella Thanks and The Rainbow Hunter fall at the ninth.

4.18pmTatenen is also out. Ninetieth Minute has been pulled up.

4.18pmSeabass is back in 13th at the moment. Across the Bay leads.

4.19pmBalthazar King in second as Colbert Station goes down under Tony McCoy!

4.20pmMcCoy went down at the biggest fence of all - The Chair.

4.21pmLost Glory has been pulled up as Teaforthree joins Across the Bay at the front.

4.22pmThey come to Becher's Brook for a second time and now Teaforthree is in the lead.

4.23pmFour to jump and Across the Bay is back in the lead.

4.23pmOscar Time now takes up the lead. We're in for a great finish!

4.23pmTeaforthree and Oscar Time setting the pace out front.

4.24pmOver the last and Auroras Encore leads! An outsider!


4.25pmWhat a turn up for the books! Auroras Encore is a 66/1 winner of the Grand National. Cappa Bleu was second, Teaforthree fell away to third. Oscar Time was fourth, Rare Bob fifth.

4.26pmA very clean race from start to finish. No news on any jockeys or horses yet.

4.28pmI had Teaforthree each way so am fairly happy. He looked so good until the last fence but slowed up beforehand and then was overtaken by Auroras Encore and then Cappa Bleu on the line.

4.31pmTOP SIX: Some bookies were offering a very generous six places in the race so here's the top six:

1. Auroras Encore 66/1
2. Cappa Bleu 12/1
3. Teaforthree 10/1
4. Oscar Time 66/1
5. Rare Bob 16/1
6. Swing Bill 100/1

4.33pmMost of the names that were favoured didn't come close, with Seabass, Chicago Grey, Imperial Commander, Colbert Station and On His Own all outside the top six.

4.35pmWhat that basically means is that it was a great day for the bookies! They'll have taken a serious amount of money. Although I've just had a friend tell me that he knows someone who put a tenner each way on Auroras Encore! That should return over a grand!

4.37pmJust realised that I haven't mentioned the winning jockey yet. Congratulations to Ryan Mania.

4.39pmGOOD NEWS! All horses and jockeys have returned safely. No fatalities. A pat on the back for the BHA for making those safety alterations to the course.

4.40pmIf you've only just joined us and want a quick recap on the race, read Liam Apicella's race report by clicking here.

4.42pmThanks for joining SM for coverage of another gripping Grand National. I hope you had at least a placed horse. Good afternoon!

Jockey Noel Fehily during The Paddy Power Imperial Cup Day on March 9, 2013
Read Next:
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