2012 was a year of record breaking racing for The Grand National with the highest attendance on record, highest number of previous champions and the closest ever finish which saw Neptune Collonges win by a nose. Sunnyhillboy was the horse that lost out by such a narrow margin coming in second and Seabass, ridden by Katie Walsh finished third, the closest any woman has come to winning the National.
Trainer Paul Nicholls is no strangers to success having already won Gold Cups, World Hurdles and King Georges yet after 53 horses entered to the Grand National he had yet to win it. However jockey Daryl Jacob did Nicholls proud and rode Neptune through a thrilling race to become the first Grey in 51 years to win the race in.
Controversy marred this years Grand National however, as two horses had to be put down due to injuries. Earlier Synchronised had thrown his jockey, Tony McCoy, in the lead up to the race raising questions on whether he should have raced at all. According to Pete also had to put down after sustaining a broken leg after falling at Becher’s Brook.
This is the second year in a row that two horses have died during the race even after measures had been taken to improve safety. Around £250,000 had been spent including changes to three fences and stricter pre-race screenings. The drop on the landing side of Becher’s Brook had been reduced as part of the safety review changes but the RSPCA has called for further changes to the Grand National. Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the RSPCA, said the grueling race is ‘clearly not safe enough’ adding ‘Becher’s Brook has claimed another casualty and perhaps it’s time for that to go.’