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2002 Grand National

The 2002 Grand National (known as the Martell Cognac Grand National Chase Showcase Handicap (Class A) Grade 3 for sponsorship reasons) was the 155th official renewal of a horse race that took place at the Aintree Racecourse on 6 April 2002. The race was run at 15:45 BST and was won by the eight year old 20/1 shot Bindaree, ridden by Jim Culloty and trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies at Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Gloucestershire, by 1 and 3/4 lengths from What's Up Boys, (10-1) in a time of 10 minutes, 03 seconds.[1] The winner was bred by Noel King in County Down, Northern Ireland and was owned by Raymond Mould. The horse ran Mould's colours of green jacket and cap with white stars. The field was limited to a maximum of forty competitors for safety reasons with eleven of those taking part completing the four mile four furlong course. There were two equine fatalities during the race, bringing the total number of horses killed in the history of the event to seventy-five. During the live broadcast of the race on BBC1, which was watched by 8.6 million people, rival network station ITV suffered its lowest ever viewing figures with just 300,000 people [3% of the market share] watching an ice hockey match being broadcast at the same time. This was compounded by BBC2 showing a Six Nations Rugby International, which retained 900,000 viewers at race time. A further 800,000 network viewers watched a film on Channel 4.[2]


Leading contenders

The long time ante post favourite was Moor Lane but his price began to drift as possibility grew that the horse was so far down the handicap that it wouldn't make the cut of forty runners. The other long time ante post favourite was Welsh Grand National winner Supreme Glory but the horse was withdrawn a few weeks before the race.

Blowing Wind was sent off as the 8/1 favourite with champion Tony McCoy in the saddle. The pair had been considered unfortunate in finishing a remounted third after being brought down in the previous year's National. The favourite gave his backers a good run for their money and shared the lead with Bindaree until three fences from the finish when he was outpaced to come home in third place.

Ad Hoc was noticed as a good Spring horse when winning the Whitbread Gold cup the previous April and was ridden by 1999 winning jockey, Paul Carberry.[3] Despite several jumping errors, the 10/1 joint second favourite was lying a close fifth when brought down three fences from home by the falling David's Lad leaving many to regard him as the hard luck story of the race.

David's Lad was a former winner of the Irish Grand National and was well supported to joint second favourite at 10/1 on the back of the recent successes of Irish National winners and was ridden by Timmy Murphy.[4] The pair moved into the leading contingent early on the second circuit and was still going well in fourth place when falling at the third last fence.

Paris Pike was the winner of the 2001 Scottish Grand National, which was run just a week after that year's Grand National and was partnered by the winning rider in last year's National, Richard Guest. His backers had little to cheer when the 10/1 partnership was severed at the first fence.[5]

What's Up Boys came to prominence when winning the testing Hennessey Cognac Gold Cup but was also quickly picked up as the housewives choice when the once a year betting public discovered he was a grey and was bidding to be the first grey to win for over forty years. With Richard Johnson in the saddle the pair went off as joint second favourites at 10/1 and looked to have the race won when going three lengths clear at the elbow before being overhauled by Bindaree in the final hundred yards to finish second.

Eventual winner, Bindaree was joint tenth in the market at 20/1.

Finishing order

Position Number Name Rider Age Weight Starting price Distance or fate
Winner 21 Bindaree Jim Culloty 8 10-4 20/1 1 3/4 lengths[6]
Second 4 What's Up Boys Richard Johnson 8 11-6 10/1 27 lengths
Third 16 Blowing Wind Tony McCoy 9 10-6 10/1 9 lengths
Fourth 3 Kingsmark Ruby Walsh 9 11-9 16/1 17 lengths
Fifth 40 Supreme Charm Robert Thornton 10 10-0 28/1 3 1/2 lengths
Sixth 22 Celibate Noel Fehily 11 10-3 66/1 3 1/2 lengths
Seventh 13 You're Agoodun Johnny Kavanagh 10 10-8 50/1 18 lengths
Eighth 14 Royal Predica Jimmy McCarthy 8 10-8 80/1 28 lengths
Ninth 12 Streamstown John McNamara 8 10-8 40/1 13 lengths
Tenth 34 Birkdale Jason Maguire 11 10-2 50/1 A distance
Eleventh 24 Mely Moss Norman Williamson 11 10-2 25/1 Last: remounted; lying tenth when fell at fence 29
Non Finishers
Fence 27 6 Ad Hoc Paul Carberry 8 11-1 10/1 Brought down by the falling David's Lad when in seventh place
Fence 27 8 David's Lad Timmy Murphy 9 11-1 10/1 Fell when running in third place
Fence 27 35 Spot Thedifference David Casey 9 10-0 33/1 Swerved to avoid the fallen horses and unseated rider
Fence 27 36 Djeddah Thierry Doumen 11 10-0 66/1 Fell
Fence 25 37 Inis Cara Brian Crowley 10 10-0 66/1 Pulled up after jumping the Canal Turn when tailed off
Fence 24 17 The Last Fling Richard McGrath 12 10-6 40/1 Fell fatally at the Canal Turn
Fence 22 (Becher's Brook) 10 Majed Barry Fenton 6 10-11 66/1 Fell towards the rear of the field
Fence 20 32 Ackzo Dean Gallagher 9 10-0 25/1 Pulled up when tailed off before fence
Fence 20 5 Lyreen Wonder Barry Cash 9 11-4 40/1 Fell
Fence 20 15 Manx Magic Gerry Supple 9 10-7 100/1 Fell fatally
Fence 18 20 Super Franky Philip O'Brien 10 10-5 66/1 Fell
Fence 17 27 Murt's Man Andrew Thornton 8 10-1 66/1 Pulled up when tailed off
Fence 14 7 Beau Carl Llewellyn 9 11-1 11/1 Stumbled and unseated rider while in 2nd place
Fence 9 (Valentine's) 26 Smarty Tom Scudamore 9 10-1 16/1 Pulled up when tailed off
Fence 7 (Foinavon) 25 Gun'n Roses II Marcus Foley 8 10-2 100/1 Fell
Fence 6 (Becher's Brook) 2 Alexander Banquet Barry Geraghty 9 11-11 22/1 Unseated rider
Fence 5 19 Frantic Tan Tom Jenks 10 10-5 50/1 Fell
Fence 5 38 Iris Bleu Paul Moloney 6 10-0 100/1 Fell
Fence 4 28 Niki Dee Russ Garrity 12 10-0 66/1 Fell
Fence 4 31 Samuel Wilderspin Tom Doyle 10 10-0 14/1 Fell
Fence 1 1 Marlborough Mick Fitzgerald 10 11-12 20/1 Fell
Fence 1 9 Paris Pike Richard Guest 10 10-13 10/1 Fell
Fence 1 11 Inn At The Top Adie Smith 10 10-8 40/1 Fell
Fence 1 18 Wicked Crack Conor O'Dwyer 9 10-5 33/1 Fell
Fence 1 23 Struggle's Glory Ben Hitchott 11 10-3 66/1 Brought down
Fence 1 29 Goguenard Warren Marston 8 10-0 66/1 Fell
Fence 1 30 Logician Mark Bradburne 11 10-0 80/1 Brought down
Fence 1 33 Red Ark Kenny Johnson 9 10-0 50/1 Fell
Fence 1 39 Carryonharry Rupert Wakely 8 10-0 66/1 Fell



The winner collected a prize of £290,000 for his owner, Raymond Mould while Aintree racecourse reported a record attendance in the modern era of 120,000 spectators over the meeting and 63,000 for the National itself. The Tote also recorded an on course record turnover of £3 million and both they and bookmakers returned good profits from the defeat of the eight most popular horses.[1]

Winning jockey Jim Culloty told the press after the race "When the second horse came by us I thought "Jesus, we're beat! "But Bindaree's as brave as they come, he stuck his neck out and went down the rails. I couldn't in my wildest dreams ever think about winning the National. In an ideal world I would have wanted to up the tempo from three out, but with the loose horse I was having a nightmare. However, he(Bindaree) got me out of jail at the last - he's a brilliant jumper."

Trainer, Nigel Twiston Davies said "We're very pleased and they did a good job. I couldn't see much of the race and I was watching with Philip Hobbs {trainer of the second horse}. I'm gutted for him, but delighted for me."[12]

Owner Raymond Mould said "Now that we have won the race we shall have to come back next year, But if my late-wife Jenny had been alive we would not have had a runner in the race, She didn't like the National."[1]

Second jockey Richard Johnson said "I was happy to get round for the first time but it was annoying to be caught on the line, He gave me a good ride and he'll be back next year. When I got after him we flew, but we gave the winner a lot of weight and you can't take anything away from my horse."

Third jockey Tony McCoy told the press "Iwas a bit disappointed because after last year I thought he was the perfect National horse, He's such a good jumper and so intelligent, but looking back he was happier on the soft ground last year than he was this time round."[12]

Robert Thornton, fifth on Supreme Charm said "He gave me a cracking ride but never got there with a chance. He was one-paced."

Noel Fehily, sixth on Celibate said "It was a brilliant ride. He was foot-perfect and picking up at the Melling Road. I began to think something good was going to happen then he got tired,"

John Kavanagh, seventh on You're Agoodun said "He gave me a fantastic ride. He jumped the last in fifth place but then got tired from the Elbow. I had ridden him to get the trip and he jumped well - he was foot-perfect."

Jimmy McCarthey, eighth on Royal Predica said "I had a great ride and he went very well for a long way."

J P McNamara, ninth on Streamstown said "He jumped around and gave me a brilliant feel and he even had to jump another horse after the Canal Turn. He has run a blinder really on ground which was much too fast for him."

Norman Williamson, last to finish on Mely Moss said "He ran a great race and gave me a brilliant ride. He would have finished about sixth but he fell near the finish and I had to remount."[13]

Media coverage

All three days of the meeting were televised live in the United Kingdom by the BBC with the racing on the Thursday and Friday being broadcast on BBC2 before the main event which was shown on the Saturday on BBC1. The BBC also broadcast a Grand National special edition of its sporting quiz show A Question of Sport the evening before the race on BBC1 with guests Jenny Pitman, Angus Loughran, Bob Champion and Richard Whiteley joining regular team captains, Ally McCoist and John Parrott. This was immediately followed by a live race preview show The Night Before the National on BBC2, presented by Clare Balding from the pre-National gala dinner at St George's Hall, Liverpool.

Coverage from the big day itself began at 1:45pm BST and was presented by Sue Barker with interviews and features by Clare Balding while Angus Loughran followed the betting. John Hanmer formed part of the commentary team for the last time for the BBC along with Tony O'Hehir and Jim McGrath who called the horses home for the fourth time.

"Coming up towards the last fence now in the National and jumping it together, What's Up Boys and Bindaree. What's Up Boys, Richard Johnson takes it up now on the near side. It's What's Up Boys as they race towards the elbow. He goes two lengths in front of Bindaree, who's coming again on the outside. A long gap then to Blowing Wind. They race in towards, up towards the final hundred yards in the National. What's Up Boys on the near side, Bindaree is coming back at him with every stride on the far side. Bindaree is wearing him down! He's pulled it out of the fire! Bindaree gets up to win the Grand National! What's Up Boys a gallant second. A long gap to Blowing Wind who's third again, followed then by Kingsmark in fourth."

Richard Pitman and Tony Dobbin provided in depth analysis of the race in a slow motion rerun offering views taken from cameras located inside the fences and some jockey's caps as well as an eye in the sky view of events. Dobbin stepped in at the last moment after Peter Scudamore was overcome with emotion at the result, being the assistant trainer of the winner. This was the forty-third consecutive year that the race had been broadcast on BBC television.

BBC Radio covered the race for the seventy-first time with the Thursday and Friday broadcasts coming as part of the Simon Mayo show on Radio 5 Live. The main event was on the Saturday Sport on five broadcast hosted by Mark Pougatch and Cornelius Lysaght. The radio commentary team was Ian Bartlett, Peader Flanagan and Dave Smith with Lee McKenzie calling the runners home for the first time.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bindaree wins Grand National BBC Sport, 6 April 2002
  2. ITV stumbles to ratings low The Guardian, 9 April 2002
  3. Culloty lands dream double The Observer, 7 April 2002
  4. Grand National: David's Lad hopes for Irish luck Manchester Evening News, 5 April 2002
  5. Racing: Paris Pike on course to compensate for Aintree The Independent, 11 April 2002
  6. 2002 Grand National Result Grand National 2002
  7. What happened to your horse BBC Sport, 6 April 2002
  8. Runners and riders for National Liverpool Echo, 4 April 2002
  9. 2002 Grand National YouTube
  10. Runners and Riders BBC Sport, 12 January 2003
  11. Starting Prices - The Aintree Martell Grand National - 6th April 2002 Racing Better
  12. 12.0 12.1 Culloty on cloud nine BBC Sport, 6 April 2002
  14. Every Aintree angle covered BBC Sport, 29 March 2002


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