Has the Grand National ever resulted in a dead heat?
Not altogether surprisingly, in 172 runnings, the Grand National has yet to result in a dead heat. That’s not to say that the celebrated steeplechase hasn’t produced its fair share of dramatic finishes down the years. The inexplicable collapse of Devon Loch on the run-in in 1954 and the agonising defeat of Crisp by Red Rum in 1973 are two that spring to mind, but the closest finish in the history of the Grand National came in 2012.
On that occasion, Neptune Collonges, ridden by Daryl Jacob, who had only been third jumping the final fence, collared Sunnyhillboy, ridden by Richie McLernon, who had taken the lead at ‘Elbow’, halfway up the famously long run-in, in the dying stride to win by a nose. With the possible exception of the connections of Sunnyhill Boy, few could begrudge Neptune Collonges his National win. In his heyday, he was officially rated 174 and finished third, beaten 7 lengths and a short head, behind his illustrious stable companions Denman and Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008. In any event, that was that for the 11-year-old, who was retired immediately after the National.