Grand National Ultimate History



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There was very little heavy plough this year. Obstacles continued to be made generally less demanding. The Sunken Lane (later named Melling Road) becomes known as Proceed's Lane for at least a decade.


We 27 Feb 1850 (4.00) 4m 3f Good 9.57.50 32 £950 J. Osborne

  1 Abd-El-Kader(1) 8 9-12 Joseph Osborne C. Green NQ   Away well & very prominent, 4th BB 1C. Jumped like a stag and still handy in 9th TTJ 1C & WJ (where 28 remained). Good headway to take lead 5th fence 2C. Kept to outer next (BB) to avoid loose horse (Hope). Gradually pulled clear CS and several lengths ahead ABC. Mistake last and challenged. Kept on strongly.
49 2 The Knight Of Gwynne 11 11-08   D. Wynne 12/1 1 Prominent, 7th BB 1C. 6th TTJ 1C, 5th WJ. 4th BB 2C, 3rd ABC. Took 2nd soon after, ran on well but just denied. Finished lame.
49 3 Sir John(1) 12 11-08 R. I'Anson snr J. Ryan 7/1 3 Away quite well & chased leaders, 9th BB 1C. 5th TTJ 1C, 7th WJ. 5th again BB 2C, 4th ABC. Took 3rd soon after. Bad mistake last. Kept on a bit one-paced.
49 4 Tipperary Boy(1) 6 10-00   S. Darling jnr NQ   Initially mid-division. Progress to be 4th TTJ 1C but only fore of midfield WJ. Rallied and left 2nd BB 2C. In same position, several lengths behind leader, ABC. Began to fade soon after. Eased to a canter.
  5 Farnham 6 11-03   T. Abbot 15/1   Away well. Led from 2nd to 4th. Headed before next (BB 1C) where 3rd. Had dropped to 10th by TTJ 1C, 8th WJ. Rallied and left 3rd again BB 2C. Began to fade CS and 5th ABC. Weakened further.
  6 Maria Day 7 10-05   H. Rackley 25/1   Chased leaders, 10th BB 1C. Fore of mid-division WJ. Still pursuing leaders in 7th BB 2C. Under pressure to continue doing so to any effect CS, 6th ABC. Faded.
  7 Vengeance 9 9-10   W. Archer 15/1   Away well & prominent, 5th BB 1C. 3rd TTJ 1C and gifted lead soon after. Mistake when ahead WJ. Still in front when badly hampered by loose horse (Hope) 4th fence 2C. Headed and reduced to chasing leaders in 6th BB. A mid-division 7th ABC. Plugged on grimly.
49 P Mulligan 6 10-10   Cpt J. Westropp NQ AFT ABC 2C Midfield 1C. Chased leaders in 9th BB 2C. 8th but had dropped back into mid-division ABC. PU fairly soon after.
  P Shinrone 6 10-05 John Murphy H. Bradley NQ AFT ABC 2C A fore of midfield 10th at WJ. Chased leaders in 8th BB 2C. 9th and had dropped back into mid-division ABC. PU fairly soon after.
49 P Peter Simple(bay) 12 12-02 Tommy Cunningham Tommy Cunningham 5/1F AFT ABC 2C Away well & very prominent on run to 1st where hampered, swerved & refused. Kept going, rear of midfield. Unable to muster the pace to get back into it although chased leaders in 10th BB 2C. Still 10th but had dropped back into mid-division ABC. PU fairly soon after.
  P Columbine(2) 5 10-04   T. Olliver 20/1 AFT ABC 2C Mid to rear throughout. Plodded on with no great impression until PU soon after ABC 2C.
49 P The Victim   11-02   W. Taylor NQ 2C Away well & very prominent on run to 1st where hampered by Peter Simple & caused to refuse. Kept going towards rear. Rear of mid-division WJ but never able to get back into it and PU 2C.
49 P The Iron Duke 6 10-12   J. Hanlon NQ 2C Away quite well but mid to rear WJ. No further impact and PU 2C.
  P Meath   10-10   J. Neale NQ 2C Mid to rear, no significant impact and PU 2C.
  P Rory-Be-Aisy 5 10-10   W. Magee NQ 2C Mid to rear, no significant impact and PU 2C.
  P Quadruped 7 10-08 Tommy Cunningham G. Arran NQ 2C Away well & prominent, 6th BB 1C. Left 2nd at last fence along CS 1C. Disputed lead next (TTJ). Hampered by a loose horse (Hope) fairly soon after, 3rd WJ. Began to fade badly not far beyond Proceed's Lane and ultimately PU.
  P Laurel   10-08 J. Butler J. Butler NQ 2C Away well & prominent, 8th BB 1C. Had dropped into mid-division by WJ. Continued to fade 2C and ultimately PU.
  P Everton 10 10-08   A. Sait NQ 2C Mid to rear, no significant impact and PU 2C.
  P Johnnie Barrie   9-11   R. Maitland NQ 2C Initially mid-division. Became prominent and 8th TTJ 1C. 6th WJ. Faded 2C and ultimately PU.
  P Kilkenny   9-10   W. Holman snr NQ 2C Initially mid-division. Became prominent and 7th TTJ 1C. 4th WJ. Faded 2C and ultimately PU.
  P Pegasus   8-10   J. Tasker NQ 2C Away well but mid-division WJ. Failed to sprout wings 2C and ultimately PU.
  P The Pony 8 8-07   D. Meaney NQ 2C Mid to rear, no significant impact and PU 2C.
  CO Little Fanny 7 9-00 W. Fowler W. Fowler 25/1 BB 2C Away well & very prominent until took lead after 4th. Headed next (BB) but left in lead at last fence CS 1C. Joined next (TTJ). Hampered by a loose horse (Hope) fairly soon after & headed once more, 2nd WJ. Left in lead again 4th fence 2C. Headed again next but a close 2nd when carried out to the inside by Hope BB.
  R Fisticuff 10 10-00   E. Parr NQ 5TH FNC 2C Mid to rear until refused at the fence before BB 2C.
48 49 F Chandler 14 11-03 T. Eskrett Cpt J. Little 16/1 4TH FNC 2C Away well. A fore of mid-division 12th at WJ. Similar place when fell 4th fence 2C.
  B Rat-Trap 7 11-07   J. Frisby 9/1 4TH FNC 2C Away well. A fore of mid-division 11th at WJ. Similar place when BD by Chandler 4th fence 2C.
48 49 P British Yeoman 10 11-10   W. Philpot NQ EARLY 2C Well towards rear WJ. No sign of any progress so not persisted with for long 2C.
  P Sobriety   10-04 T. Harrison J. Thompson NQ EARLY 2C Last WJ. No sign of any progress so not persisted with for long 2C.
  F Hope 5 10-01 H. Hunter H. Hunter NQ FNC BEF TTJ 1C Away well & very prominent. Took 2nd after 4th and led from next (BB) until fell at last fence CS 1C. (Caused havoc loose.)
  F Rainbow 6 10-08   J. Daly NQ FNC AFT VB 1C Mid-division until fell fence after VB 1C.
  B The Oaks 5 10-05 J. Rennison C. Canavan 30/1 1ST Mid-division, BD by the swerving Peter Simple 1st (knocked into ditch).
  P Spring Buck   10-12   T. Smith NQ BEF 1ST Mid-division, on the outside, when forced against a post on run to 1st & rider fractured leg. Immediately PU.



It was, apparently, the largest attendance so far for National day and the mass of folks had assembled not for the Flat contests on the card but to watch the biggest field yet compete in the grand race. The Wizard's magic wand was shown to remain in fine nick because Abd-El-Kader, a prolific winner in his native Ireland throughout his career, reversed exactly a defeat at Leamington to the gallant dual runner-up, The Knight Of Gwynne (who went lame half a mile from home), by virtue of receiving a 5lb pull. It's hard to say Abd-El-Kader's gambling owner/trainer Joseph Osborne was confident that this would occur, however, as his horse was not quoted and, therefore, cannot have been heavily backed.

Talking of handicapping, we can observe the continued development of some worrying trends. The weight carried to victory in the 1850 renewal of the Grand National by Abd-El-Kader was by far the lowest of any successful horse so far and, with participants running off of their correct marks rather than a minimum permitted impost, some nags toted a great deal less - hardly encouraging to the classier animals near the top of the scale. The triumphant beast particularly benefited because he was not the biggest of horses but then, presumably, neither was bottom weight The Pony who did nil. Under the light weight of Chris Green on Good going with little severe plough and tackling an ever easier jumping test than that of 1849 Abd-El-Kader, whose dam had once been running leader of a fast coach, was able to smash the course record. Green had returned to riding in 1849 following a near nine year break taken due to his farming commitments in Norfolk.

Hope, the equine wrecking ball, had more effect on a National than had any loose horse heretofore. Having fallen and fleed his jockey at the last obstacle along the canal side first time round he succeeded in diverting joint leaders Little Fanny and Quadruped from a true line approaching the Water Jump, allowing Vengeance to go ahead. In a form of roguish redress he next hampered the latter at the fourth fence on the second circuit before, remaining uncontent with his efforts, he caused the unfortunate Little Fanny, who had temporarily regained the lead when Vengeance was inconvenienced, to veer leftwards to such an extent that she went the wrong side of the inner marking flag at second Becher's.

The popular moniker for the erstwhile Sunken Lane became Proceed's Lane because the 1849 National was not the only occasion upon which the said horse had been unwilling to negotiate it/the jump out of it. The obstacle which had replaced it as the 1st when the start was moved forward in 1839, like any initial leap in the Grand National, was also capable of causing problems. This year Peter Simple (whose inability to regain prominence rather demonstrated that he needed testing ground) was hampered, swerved at it and felled The Oaks as well as causing The Victim to join him in refusing.

I rated The Knight Of Gwynne at -40 in 1849 and he emerged best at the weights in 1850 by 3 (pounds/lengths) over Sir John  and 25 over Abd-El-Kader. Whilst adrenaline must have offset to some extent the effects of The Knight Of Gwynne's injury (and allowing for it he deserves -40 agan) his actual performance may have suffered to he tune of 4. However, Sir John made a bad mistake at the last so I will uprate him by 2 to -45 and Abd-El-Kader also blundered at the final hurdle, therefore, I will grant him 1 for -68.            








Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling