2002 Grand National

As always the Grand National provides us with a story that really only this great race can. This race sometimes makes you believe in a higher being as when you look at it from afar the real story of the 2002 Grand National winner was not really about the horse but about the Jockey Jim Culloty

Take yourself back to March 2002 and a pretty much unknown Irish jockey by the name of Jim Culloty who had come to England to ride at the age of 18 and ended up at what was a small yard at the time with Henrietta Knight. 11 years learning his trade up to the 2002 season had seen him begin to emerge as decent rider having had a total of 85 winners in the two seasons leading up to the 2001/02 season.

Then within the space of a couple of weeks he rides the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Best Mate, which was his first victory in this race and he went on to win the race in 2003 and again in 2004. If that was not enough he gets the call up to ride Bindaree days before the 2002 Aintree Grand National as Jamie Goldstein broke a leg the week of the race.

His victory in the 2002 Grand National aboard Bindaree meant that he completed a unique double of riding the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in the same year something that had not been done in the previous 26 years.

There is another sub story and again it relates to another jockey and that is Carl Llewellyn who rode Bindaree in every race he ran between October 1999 and November 2005 a total of 40 races and the one that he missed out of these 40 races was and you guessed it the 2002 Grand National due to injury.

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