Last updated
Ballabriggs cropped.jpg
Grandsire Mtoto
DamsireLittle Bighorn
Sex Gelding
Foaled20 April 2001
Country Ireland
Colour Bay
BreederMrs S L Jackson
Owner Trevor Hemmings
Trainer Donald McCain, Jr.
Record28: 7-7-2
Major wins
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup (2010)
Grand National (2011)
Last updated on 13 April 2013

Ballabriggs (foaled 20 April 2001) is a retired Grand National-winning National Hunt racehorse trained by Donald McCain, Jr. in Cholmondeley, Cheshire and owned by Trevor Hemmings. [1]


Racing career

Ballabriggs' racecourse debut was in a 2-mile National Hunt flat race at Uttoxeter on 14 May 2006. He was ridden by Stephen Craine and finished 5th of 15, beaten 23 lengths, at odds of 13/2. For the next two seasons he campaigned unsuccessfully over hurdles, before switching to chasing in December 2007. At Catterick on 18 January 2008, he was ridden for the first time by Jason Maguire who would go on to be the jockey with which he is most closely associated. At the sixth time of asking, and having finished runner up three times, he finally got off the mark as a chaser, winning a Class 4 Beginners' Chase at Bangor. [2]

In 2010, the gelding came to the fore as a chaser, winning five races in succession, including the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival at odds of 9/1. [3]

Then in 2011, Ballabriggs had his greatest moment, winning the 2011 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse. Ridden by Maguire, the horse's odds were between 14-1 and 20-1 before the race, but he unexpectedly remained in the leading pack for most of the race, before pulling out in front over the final fences. [4] [5] Ballabriggs finished ahead of Sam Waley-Cohen's Oscar Time in second, and Tony McCoy's Don't Push It in third. Dehydrated in the unusually hot weather, Ballabriggs immediately returned to the stable after the win, instead of going to the winners enclosure as tradition dictates. It was the first time only the jockey entered the winner's enclosure without his mount. [6]

Following his Grand National win Maguire received a five-day ban for excessive use of the whip, Ballabriggs having been driven so hard he required oxygen after the race. [7]

The horse never won again following his National success, although he contested two more Grand Nationals, finishing 6th in 2012, and pulling up in 2013, the final race of his career.


He was retired on 13 April 2013 after pulling up in the 2013 Grand National and returned to live on the Isle of Man with owner Trevor Hemmings. [1] He had run 28 races, winning 7. [8]


Pedigree of Ballabriggs (IRE), bay gelding, 27 April 2001 [9]
Presenting 1992
Mtoto b.1983 Busted Crepello
Amazer (FR)Mincio
D'Azy 1984Persian Bold Bold Lad (IRE)
Belle Viking Riverman (USA)
Papoose (IRE) 1993
Little Bighorn 1985 Blakeney Hethersett
Windmill Girl
Nip In The Air (USA) Northern Dancer
China Trade
Thomastown GirlTekoahGreat White Way
Wrong DecisionNo Argument
Tourina (Family 3-n)

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  1. 1 2 Riley, Stuart (13 April 2013). "2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs has run last race". Racing Post. London.
  2. "TOMMYSDARTS.CO.UK BEGINNERS' CHASE Result". Racing Post. 29 March 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  3. "Ballabriggs triumphant in final race of the day". Daily Mirror . Trinity Mirror. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  4. Armytage, Marcus (9 April 2011). "Jason Maguire and Ballabriggs battles way to glory at Aintree". The Daily Telegraph . Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on 12 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  5. Keogh, Frank (9 April 2011). "Ballabriggs powers to National win". BBC Sport . BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  6. Keogh, Frank (2011-04-09). "Ballabriggs powers to National win". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  7. Dave Kidd (10 April 2011). "Grand National winning jockey Maguire handed five-day ban". The People . Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  8. "Horse Database". Racing Post . Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  9. "Balabriggs pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-04-13.