Has Nicky Henderson ever won the Grand National?
The short answer is no he hasn’t; neither has he won the Irish, Scottish or Welsh Grand National. That said, Henderson is, without question, one of the leading National Hunt trainers of his generation. Formerly assistant trainer to the legendary Fred Winter, Henderson began training in his right in 1978 and has since saddled over 3,000 winners, including 70 at the Cheltenham Festival. He was won the trainers’championship six times, most recently in 2019/20, the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice and the King George VI Chase three times.
However, for all his success elsewhere, victory in the Grand National remains elusive. Despite over four decades of trying, Henderson has achieved no better than second place. In fact, he secured that position with his first ever runner in the National, Zongalero, who was beaten 1½ lengths by Rubstic in 1979 and, again, with The Tsarevitch, who was beaten 5 lengths by Maori Venture in 1987. Nevertheless, Henderson remains philosophical about his lack of succes in the Grand National. Interviewed prior to the 2021 renewal – in which he saddled, OK Corrall, who was pulled up at the fence before Becher’s Brook on the second circuit – he said, ‘I’m not saying I would retire on the spot if I won it, as I wouldn’t, but it would be awfully nice to win the race.’