100-1 shot Mon Mome romps home in National

Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 01:00

RACING/Grand National:Venetia Williams became just the second woman to train the winner of the John Smith’s Grand National as Mon Mome produced a 100-1 shock in the 162nd running of the world-famous marathon at Aintree.

Bookmakers celebrated wildly as Liam Treadwell’s mount thundered down the run-in well clear, with the nine-year-old matching Foinavon’s 1967 starting price to become the joint biggest-priced winner.

Last year’s hero Comply Or Die chased Mon Mome home in second ahead of Paul Nicholls’ My Will, while champion jockey Tony McCoy’s 14th attempt at the race ended without success as he finished just seventh aboard 7-1 favourite Butler’s Cabin.

The recession-busting 70,130 crowd on Merseyside booed officials as the minutes ticked by during two false starts, but Treadwell welcomed the disruption having been trapped at the rear of the field.

Becher Chase winner Black Apalachi merrily skipped along at the head of affairs until falling mid-race, leaving Offshore Account to pull those still standing along to the Melling Road.

Heading to the second-last Ruby Walsh appeared set to provide champion trainer Nicholls with a first National win, but he couldn’t mix it with Mon Mome and Comply Or Die who pulled away heading to the final fence.

Mon Mome, who was 10th in the race last year, landed over it full of running and capitalised on his lighter weight to sail round the Elbow without a moment’s worry.

The win came at the 14th attempt as a trainer for Williams, who was knocked unconscious from a fall in the race as a jockey 22 years ago — before soon after hanging up her riding boots.

She explained: “I was knocked out at Becher’s but broke my neck in a hurdle race a fortnight later and that was it. I just admire all the jockeys who have taken part and got round.”

Of the win, she continued: “He was 10th last year and I couldn’t see any real reason why he would improve on it. I hoped he would run well but it was only when he was about four lengths up after jumping the last that I thought he might win.

“It was just unbelievable, the owner was watching the wrong horse for the first part of the race and she thought it was out the back.

“I’m so proud of everyone in the yard — I never get chance to praise them and give them the credit they deserve, it is all a team effort. It is a race everyone wants to win but you always assume that it is out of reach.

“I’m not a great one for dreaming and aiming too high as I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment.

“To aim to win this race, the likelihood is that you are going to be disappointed for the rest of your life, so it is just fantastic to have done it.”

Jenny Pitman is the only other female name on the winning trophy, while Treadwell added his on what was a first ever ride in the race.

The 23-year-old started out riding on the Flat until weight issues got the better of him, and he has been based in Herefordshire with Williams for five years.

“I spoke to my mum last night and she told me to go and get my hair cut in case I win, and I told her not to be silly,” he said. “This is my first season without my claim and both Nick Gifford and Venetia have been very good to me.

“It really hasn’t sunk in. I haven’t won any big races before and have been placed at Cheltenham but never had anything like this before.

“I missed the first two starts as I was out the back, so the restart worked out well for me. A couple of times loose horses fell upsides me and went under his legs but it didn’t really affect the horse.

“Venetia said to try and get some light in the race and hope to get some luck. The further he went the better he travelled and he filled himself up going to the second-last, which paid dividends.

“I didn’t think I would win until we landed over the last, when he put his head down and was very genuine.”

Six jockeys — Nick Scholfield, Davy Russell, Paul Townend, Robbie Power, Paddy Flood and Denis O’Regan — were stood down for four days (April 18th-21st inclusive) for causing the false starts.

GRAND NATIONAL RESULT
1 Mon Mome (Liam Treadwell) 100-1
2 Comply Or Die (Timmy Murphy) 14-1
3 My Will (Ruby Walsh), 8-1
4 State of Play (Paul Moloney) 14-1
5 Cerium (K Mercer) 100-1

Other Finishers
6 Big Fella Thanks
7 Butler’s Cabin
8 Southern Vic
9 Snowy Morning
10 Arteea
11 Irish Invader
12 Idle Talk
13 Darkness
14 Preists Leap
15 Offshore Account
16 Battlecry
17 Cornish Sett

1st fence:Golden Flight (fell), Himalayan Trail (fell)
2nd fence:Ollie Magern (fell), Brooklyn Brownie (fell)
3rd fence:Chelsea Harbour (fell), Reveillez (brought down) 
4th fence: Stan (fell)
12th fence:Musica Bella (fell)
15th fence:Cloudy Lane (unseated)
16th fence:Zabenz (fell)
17th fence:Eurotrek (pulled up)
18th fence:Fleet Street (unseated), Can’t Buy Time (fell)
19th fence:Rambling Minster (pulled up)
21st fence:Fundamentalist (pulled up), Kilbeggan Blade (pulled up) 
22nd fence: Black Apalachi (unseated), Silver Birch (fell) Parsons Legacy (fell), Kelami (pulled up)
25th fence:Knowhere (pulled up)
30th fence:L’Ami (pulled up)
Hear The Echo pulled up on run-in