To have a runner in The Grand National is one thing, but to go to the race with a real chance is something else.
That real chance became more and more hopeful with every drop of rain that fell on Aintree for the 1998 National.
Earth Summit appreciated every drop of it that day and provided just reward for huge patience on the part of the connections.
Having won the Scottish National as a six year old, Earth Summit's target became to win The Grand National, but injury managed to disrupt the plans and it was thought that he would never run again.
However, he managed to make a wonderful comeback when winning the Welsh National at Chepstow in December 1997. The heavy ground had clearly been in his favour that day for this out and out stayer and so it was at Aintree, that the prevailing conditions encouraged the public to back him down to 7/1 favourite for the great race following fairly constant rain all morning.
During the race itself, the heavy ground managed to help eliminate most of the field and it was clear that Earth Summit's staying qualities would indeed prove decisive.
From the Melling Road, the race was already down to two, with top weight Suny Bay remaining the only challenger. It became evident that Carl Llewellyn on Earth Summit and Graham Bradley on Suny Bay were having a bit of a chat between the 2nd last and last, but with Carl pausing only to say "Bye" Earth Summit began to pull away as the weight advantage of 23lbs began to tell in his favour. A gutsy win by a gutsy performer!