In a race which will be remembered for the horrific conditions and lack of finishers, it was 33-1 Red Marauder who found himself at the front and was crowned 2001 Grand National champion.
The rain had been lashing down before the race, leaving conditions very heavy. Many ‘mudders’ were favoured to win and saw betting fluctuate a little. The actual winner himself was not a known fan of heavy conditions, just seemed to be able to stay on his feet and find a burst of speed near the end. Red Marauder not only won, but won by more than 30 lengths.
16-1 Smarty finished in second; he was impressively up with the leaders throughout the race. Blowing Wind (16-1) and Pappion (14-1) were remounted and finished third and fourth respectively after refusing to jump over the 19th fence.
The race started out with Beau, Blowing Wind and Edmond at the front. Edmond, a known ‘mudder’, managed to steal the lead going over the 11th fence. It was here that Smarty joined the leaders with Red Marauder some way back.
As the race progressed, it seemed to be a curse to be the leader. Edmond fell at the Chair, just after Beau took the lead. The 19th fence saw Blowing Wind and Pappion refusing to jump. The 20th fence saw current leader Beau unseat his rider and end his race. This left a tiring Smarty and unheard-of Red Marauder challenging at the front.
Red Marauder had the lead with five fences to go. However, a mistake over the next allowed Smarty the lead. Smarty was expected to hold on to win, however Richard Guess had other ideas. He managed to shake off the mistake and re-capture the lead.
He jumped the final fence and pulled away for a massive victory, winning by a distance. Smarty’s jockey, T. J. Murphy, seemed too happy to slowly lead his horse to a second place finish. Understandable considering the conditions and how exhausted his horse was.
With the conditions as tough as they were, Red Marauder did exceptional to win. An outsider to say the least to win at Aintree. Bookmakers would have been happy to see the result.
Red Marauder, owned by Mr. N Mason and trained by Norman Mason, raced only one more time after his win. He finished his career with 9 wins and only 2 falls.
Starting Price: 33/1
Age: 11 years
Winning Distance: A long distance
Owner: Mr. N. Mason
Jockey: Richard Guest
Weight Carried: 10 st 11lb
3rd: Blowing Wind