Even if you’re not necessarily the most experienced bettor who understands how odds work, a long price of +10000 will still sound like an eventuality that seems unlikely. You of course would be right with +10000 a highly speculative price that very rarely pays out. However, during the running of the Grand National race in 1928 and 1929, the winning horses were both priced at +10000 before the start of the race.
The 2023 comparison
Those are staggering odds given that it’s virtually impossible to find an outside price like that in any of the races at the Grand National Festival almost 100 years later in 2023. For example, if you bet on the Liverpool Hurdle, you’ll find the horse least fancied to win, Proschema, at odds of +3300.
While there may be one or two horses at odds of +10000 in the Grand National itself who are trying to beat 2022 winner Noble Yeats, the wider point is that this is an uncommon price to see nowadays.
⭐️ NOBLE YEATS ⭐️
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) April 13, 2023
In fact, the only thing more unusual than those high odds is seeing a horse win the most famous race in the world while listed at that price, but as initially touched on, that’s exactly what happened in 1928 and 1929.
Here is the remarkable story of those unlikely winners.
Tipperary Tim – 1928
Both Tipperary Tim and amateur jockey Bill Dutton arrived at the start line of the Grand National in 1928 with long faces; there was no reason for any cheer with the weather cold and foggy while the chances of success were nil. Yes, priced at +10000, Tipperary Tim was simply making up the numbers and was officially the worst-ranked horse out of the 42 that were running that year. It was such a dire set of circumstances that one of Dutton’s friends shouted out to him on the way to the start that he could win if all the other horses fell down during the iconic race.
— Aintree Racecourse (@AintreeRaces) April 12, 2023
An unimpressed Dutton looked on glumly while others joked at his expense but as fate would go, that’s exactly what happened over the next ten minutes and 20 seconds.
Indeed, only two horses would finish the race with second-placed Billy Barton having to be remounted after falling at the last hurdle. By this time, Tipperary Tim had long crossed the line and won the Grand National at odds of +10000.
Gregalach – 1929
Lightning would strike again in 1929 when Gregalach, priced at +10000, would win the Grand National. In many respects, this win was even more astounding than the year before as 66 horses would run in the 1929 edition of the Grand National – 24 more than in 1928.
Again, owing to the unique demands of Aintree Racecourse, only nine horses would successfully complete the course with +10000 Gregalach being the first to do so. Needless to say, winning jockey Robert Everett couldn’t quite believe his eyes when he entered the final straight and knew he was going to win as only a few minutes before his main ambition would have been to not come last.
Dumbfounded punters would watch on from the terraces for the second year in a row as a beaming jockey with little pre-race fanfare punched the air in delight at the finishing post.