- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND (AP) - Mon Mome, a 100-1 shot, won the Grand National at Aintree by 12 lengths Saturday, with the world’s most famous steeplechase again marred by a horse death.

Mon Mome was ridden by Liam Treadwell over the grueling 4 1/2 miles. The 9-year-old matched Foinavon in 1967 as the biggest long shot to win this race.

Hear The Echo collapsed and died a few hundred yards from the finish. He was the fifth horse to die this year in the three-day meet. Butler’s Cabin, one of the pre-race favorite, also collapsed and had to be given oxygen.

Last year, a horse had to be put down after it unseated the jockey, then crashed into a barrier. Not counting Saturday’s race, the British charity Animal Aid has determined that a dozen horses have died during the Grand National.

Forty horses started the 162nd running of the race, which was delayed by two false starts. The winner pulled away after jumping the last of the 30 fences. Comply or Die, a 14-1 shot who won last year, was second. My Will finished third, ahead of State of Play.

“I had the perfect run through the race,” Treadwell said. “He jumped brilliant for me. … He gave me such a great ride. He was an absolute pleasure to ride. He is so genuine.”

Mon Mome, 10th last year, is trained by Venetia Williams, whose career as an amateur jockey ended shortly after falling in the 1988 Grand National. Williams became only the second woman after 1983 and 1995 winner Jenny Pitman to train a National winner.

“It was just unbelievable,” Williams said. “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 the horse. I’m so proud of Liam for giving him such a good ride.”

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