Liam Treadwell won the John Smith Grand National Steeple Chase during day three of the John Smiths Grand National Meeting at Aintree in Liverpool on the 4th April 2009, riding Mon Mome.
It was a definite tale of triumph as he steered Mon Mome, which means 'My kid', to victory at odds of 100 to 1, the biggest priced winner in the 7,200 metre race. The last 100-1 winner was Foinavon 42 years ago. Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), and Caughoo (1947) were also Grand National winners who started at 100-1, but their victories were achieved in a time when the scale of betting, was far less than it is in 2009.The race which involves 30 fences, was watched by the 70,130 strong Aintree crowd, but few of them had backed Mon Mome, a nine year old who finished 10th in 2008. The horse was the first French-bred winner for 100 years, and has vanquished the myth that the winner of the Grand National must have less than 11 stone – he could even have carried topweight with his 12 length victory. Mon Mome's trainer Venetia Williams, a previous amateur jockey, became the second ever woman, after Jenny Pitman, to train a winner of the worlds greatest steeplechase race. Liam had spent seven years trying to make a breakthrough as a jockey, first on the flats and then over jumps. Treadwell, 23, who himself admits that he had 'never even had a sniff of a ride round the big fences before', rode round like Aintree like a true professional. It has long been speculated that in Aintree and Prestbury the Englishman is no longer able to compete with Irishmen, but Treadwell has indeed now put that trumped-up story to bed!Treadwell's father has been a work-rider and stablehand at John Dunlop's Arundel yard for 20 years, while his mother still works there part-time. Treadwell began his career by riding point-to-pointers for Nick Gifford but at 8 stone was too light so became an apprentice on the Flat for Amanda Perett and Dandy Nicholls. He became too heavy, and says that he always knew in the long-term that he was going to end up jumping. It was a call out of the blue from Gifford asking him to ride his horses in 2008 that revitalised his career. The credit crunch was predicted to lower turnover of the race, but the only betting shop to lose on the Grand National was reportedly the William Hill branch in Ross-on-Wye which is close to Williams Aranstone stables in Herfordshire, which is where Treadwell chose to celebrate his sin on the evening of the race, rather than attending the Saturday's grand winners ball.Winning the Grand National has done different things for different jockeys – Ruby Walsh and Richard Dunwoody have definitely used it to go on and achieve greater things, whereas McCoy has never won the race, but has rode 3,000 other winners. So where it will take Treadwell is yet to be seen – it was his 20th win of the season but it is unlikely that it will put up in the same ranks as McCoy and Johnson in the jockeys championship. But one thing is certain – there were a lot of winners with Mon Mome this year, but next year there's sure to be more trying to jump on the bandwagon!