David Pipe will forever be grateful to Comply Or Die for giving him the triumph of a lifetime in the Grand National, in what were the early days of his training career.
The Nicholashayne handler could not possibly have envisaged he would emulate his father, Martin, who sent out Miinnehoma to land the world’s greatest steeplechase in 1994, so soon after taking out a licence in his own right.
Pipe had only assumed the reins at Pond House in April 2006, so to win it himself just two years later was special.
“It was the dream day of a lifetime. Obviously everyone in National Hunt racing wants to win the Grand National,” he said.
“There have been lots of great trainers and jockeys who have been through their careers not winning it, so for me to win it in my second season was amazing. And Comply Or Die and Timmy Murphy were poetry in motion.”
Comply Or Die had advertised his claims with victory in the Eider Chase at Newcastle in February.
“He’d stayed the four-mile-one in the Eider and he was one of those horses that just jumped and galloped,” said Pipe.
He had four others in the race – Milan Deux Mille finished 15th, Madison Du Berlais and Joaaci fell and Vodka Bleu was pulled up – but it was Comply Or Die who was the undisputed stable number one.
He did in style, too, leading at the second-last fence after travelling well throughout the race and staying on strongly to beat King Johns Castle by four lengths.
“He was well-in at the weights so if was ever going to win a Grand National, with luck in running, this was going to be his year,” said Pipe.
“He was foot perfect and battled on very gamely all the way. It was a day that we’ll never forget.
“It was only when they got to the elbow I started to believe he was going to do it” David Pipe recalls the Grand National victory of Comply Or Die at @AintreeRaces ten years ago.https://t.co/7O1CWwjQk2 pic.twitter.com/HoVSf6Gvpu
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 6, 2018
Pipe felt Comply Or Die’s effort 12 months later when second to 100-1 chance Mon Mome, after he had risen 15lb in the ratings, was even more meritorious.
“He put up an even better performance when he finished second the year after with even more weight,” he said.
Comply Or Die ran twice more in the Aintree spectacular – finishing 10th in 2010 and being pulled up before two out in 2011, which was his last race. Comply Or Die died in 2016.
Pipe feels it is unfortunate Tiger Roll has been denied the chance to win the Grand National three years running, with racing being shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s a shame Tiger Roll can’t have a go this year,” he said.
“These are tough times, but we just have to survive through them.”