Long Shot Auroras Encore Wins John Smith's Grand National

8th April 2013

Yorkshire trainer Sue Smith – wife of former top show jumper Harvey Smith- became only the third woman to train a Grand National winner in the race’s 166-year history when 66-1 shot Auroras Encore and Scottish jockey Ryan Mania raced to an unexpected Aintree victory in the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National.

Cheered home by a sell-out 70,000 crowd, the duo improved on their second place showing in this year’s Scottish Grand National as 23-year old Mania, in his first ever ride in the John Smith’s Grand National, held off the challenge of heavily-tipped rivals Cappa Bleu and Teaforthree.

After two years when the famous steeplechase was blighted by horse fatalities, Aintree Racecourse was able to celebrate the safe return of all 40 runners and the safety contribution that changes made to the course and fences delivered in this year’s race.

John Baker, Aintree and North West Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “More than £1 million has been spent on safety and welfare measures, including changes to the core of every fence, levelling work and enhancing the watering system to produce the safest possible jumping conditions.”

This year saw the world’s most famous steeplechase run for the last time under the John Smith’s title sponsorship banner and Baker publicly thanked John Smith’s and HEINEKEN for ‘nine years of title sponsorship that have seen this meeting grow to new heights’.

Over the three days of the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National meeting, Aintree welcomed more than 150,000 race goers and Channel 4, who broadcast the Grand National for the first time this year, delivered a peak audience of 8.9 million viewers during the race.