Liam Treadwell carried with him plenty of invisible admirers after Aintree glory
Tony Smurthwaite was at Aintree on Liam Treadwell’s day of days and recalls the rider's astonished yet humble reaction
So many were in with a chance two out in the 2009 National that anything was possible. Last year's winner Comply Or Die strode forward but no sooner were the headlines being written than when the unconsidered Mon Mome went with him, then past him.
Headline writers were in a spin. What was the 'story' here?
Cue BBC's Jim McGrath interrupting himself running through the order as the also-rans crossed the line with "100-1 winner Mon Mome!" – and right here was a National tale to treasure.
That was only the half of it; Liam Treadwell was contesting the Grand National for the first time and in the giddy minutes afterwards looked as if he hadn't quite grasped the magnitude of it all. Well, would you?
His gap-toothed smile was on full display, especially to Clare Balding, but the memory of Treadwell from those euphoric moments was of a man who felt he was simply doing his job, without self-aggrandisement, and in the full knowledge that if Aidan Coleman had stuck with Mon Mome rather than opting to ride the better-fancied Stan, then none of this would have happened.
They say jockeys should never get too ecstatic in victory nor too despondent in defeat and, on this day of days, the rider of the 100-1 National winner left the delirium to others.
In doing so he offered an insight for others to appreciate in a rider who had made fewer headlines than most. From that point on, whether he realised it or not, Liam Treadwell carried with him plenty of invisible admirers, wishing him success, and all remembering the wide-eyed, astonished jockey who rode his luck on a 100-1 shot.