Hedgehunter Racing Horse


Through a combination of sire Montelimar and dam Aberedw, Hedgehunter was born in 1996. Owned by millionaire Trevor Hemmings and enhanced through the training of professional horse trainer Willie Mullins, Hedgehunter doesn’t hold the strongest record you’ll see in horse racing but the wins he achieved were prestigious enough to make him a part of horse racing history.

Holding a record of five wins and fifteen seconds from forty recognised races, Hedgehunter was far from prolific, but his Grand National win in 2005 was his finest hour, and he certainly picked up a reputation from being able to place. Willie Mullins opted to retire Hedgehunter in 2008 when the bay gelding reached the age of twelve, completing a career which earned over £750,000 in prize money.

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Early races at Navan, Gowran Park, Tipperary, Killarney, Punchestown, Cork, Naas and Thurles only saw Hedgehunter’s clear ability to place, leaving Willie Mullins waiting a full year until he won his first race, finishing first in the INH Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle at Clonmel. Further second place finishes at Clonmel, Cork and Gowran Park slowed Hedgehunter’s consistency before he took his first win at Punchestown in the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase. His first appearance at Cheltenham Festival came shortly after, where he could only manage twelfth in the Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase.

Running in individual race meetings saw a win in the Goulding Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park and a place at Newbury, Chepstow and Punchestown. Hedgehunter then had his first entry at Aintree Festival, where he disappointingly fell in the Grand National. The poor showing in the Aintree Grand National was followed by dismal finishes in races at Clonmel, Thurles, Fairyhouse, Leopardstown, Punchestown, before he bounced back with a win in the Bobbyjo Chase. It was a sign of things to come, as Hedgehunter finally reached his full potential in winning the 2005 Grand National, finishing first with a 7/1 starting price.

After hitting his peak, Hedgehunter was unable to win another major race, resulting as runner-up in four of thirteen remaining runs, and only able to finish second and ninth in the next two attempts at the Grand National. The 2008 Grand National was the final race meeting he ran in, where it was clearly the right time for him to retire, as he could only reach thirteenth in a race where only fifteen horses made it to the finish line.


It takes a lot of winning elements to win the Aintree Grand National, with every past winner going down in the history books as a horse that’s worth remembering. Willie Mullins was always preparing Hedgehunter to win the Grand National, remaining confident even after far too many occasions where he was unable to win races priced as the odds-on favourite. Hedgehunter didn’t get off to the best start in falling during his first attempt at the Grand National in 2004, but his second entry saw him winning the 2005 Aintree Grand National to record his greatest ever achievement. The following three entries into the race resulted Hedgehunter at second, ninth and thirteenth, but winning the race in 2005 was more than enough to prove his quality.

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