Grand National Ultimate History



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Flags were added in line with the outer extremities of the obstacles, joining those marking the inner.


Sa 6 Mar 1858 (4.02) 4m 3f Heavy (snowy) 11.05.00 16 £730 C. Capel

55 56 57 1 Little Charley 10 10-07 H. May W. Archer 100/6   Prominent. 6th at 2nd, 5th BB 1C, 7th VB 1C. Progress to be 3rd soon after ABC 1C, 2nd (of 11) WJ. 4th BB 2C, 3rd VB. Took 2nd again mid CS and soon disputed lead. Travelling best of the pair from just after ABC and, although also came under pressure, went decisively ahead approaching last. Hung and required spurring on to victory.
57 2 Weathercock(2) 7 11-07 T. Donaldson G. Ede 25/1 4 Became prominent in 4th BB 1C, 3rd VB & WJ, 5th BB 2C. Progress to be 2nd VB and took lead mid CS. Soon joined and came under pressure just after ABC. Hard ridden and headed decisively approaching last. Nothing left to give but kept on.
  3 Xanthus 8 11-00 C. Balchin G. Balchin 33/1 19 Away well & very prominent. 3rd at 2nd, one place better BB 1C. 4th VB & WJ. Only 6th BB 2C and mistake CT. Unable to go with leading trio CS. Took 3rd from beaten horse soon after ABC. Plugged on but no chance with front pair and ultimately eased to a canter.
  4 Morgan Rattler 7 10-04 H. May T. Burrows 100/6 DIST Mid-division, rarely out of 8th. Beaten by VB 2C. Lumbered on as others capitulated, took 4th after ABC. Tailed off.
  5 Conrad(2)   8-04 W. Tempest E. Jones 14/1   Away well & disputed lead. 2nd at 2nd, led alone from 3rd. 3L ahead VB 1C. Headed mid CS but regained lead soon after ABC 1C and went 9L clear. Led by same distance WJ. Lead diminished by BB 2C but still ahead VB. Headed decisively mid CS and dropped to 3rd. Very tired, 5th & last not all that long after ABC. Trotted past post, well tailed off.
  R Lough Bawn 10 9-08 J. Prince G. Stevens 9/2 CT 2C Away well & 4th at 2nd but not jump well and a mid-division 12th BB 1C. Rallied to be 6th VB 1C and chased leaders in that position WJ. Not enthusiastic and dropped to last of those remaining early 2C but still in touch. Refused petulantly CT.
56 F Harry Lorrequer 7 9-00 W. Fowler W. Fowler 12/1 CT 2C Away well & disputed lead until ahead alone 2nd. Headed next, 3rd BB 1C. 2nd again VB 1C and back in front mid CS. Headed once more soon after ABC 1C, 2nd when bad mistake Gorsed Hurdle. 5th WJ. 7th BB 2C but still handy. Less so when collided with another horse (likely the refusing Lough Bawn) & fell CT 2C.
  F Black Bess 9 9-06 D. Wynne D. Wynne 20/1 FNC BEF CT 2C Away well, 6th BB 1C. Had dropped to a mid-division 9th WJ. Good headway early 2C, 3rd BB. Progress halted when failed to rise & fell into ditch at the fence before the CT 2C.
57 P Treachery 6 9-08 J. Hughes W. White 4/1F FNC AFT BB 2C Mid-division, 11th BB 1C. Headway to be 5th VB 1C. Chased leaders in 7th WJ. Renewed progress early 2C, 2nd BB. Suffered overreach, badly cut heel & PU next.
  P Little Tom 8 9-06 B. Land B. Land jnr 5/1 PROCEED'S LANE Mid-division, 9th BB & VB 1C. Fell heavily on flat some way after ABC 1C. Remounted, well tailed off. Bad mistake, landing in water & UR WJ. Remounted again but more chance of catching a cold than the leaders and thankfully PU immediately after Proceed's Lane.
  P Glenamour 6 9-00   J. Knott NQ PROCEED'S LANE Slowly away. Refused 1st, kept going. Hampered & caused to refuse by Claudius 2nd. Kept going, well tailed off. May have refused again and utterly tailed off WJ. Rider finally gave up the ghost and PU immediately after Proceed's Lane.
  B Moire Antique 6 9-00 W. Fowler F. Page 25/1 AFT ABC 1C Mid-division, 10th BB 1C. Refused at the fence after VB 1C. Kept going, towards rear, only to be BD heavily by Little Tom on the flat after ABC 1C. (Broke blood vessel.)
55 57 F Escape 10 11-00 J. Prince T. Olliver 20/1 2 FNCS AFT VB 1C Prominent to begin with, 5th at 2nd. Had dropped to 7th by BB 1C and to 10th by VB. Crowded & fell mid CS 1C.
  F Joe Graham 6 10-04   W. Rutherford 33/1 2 FNCS AFT VB 1C Mid to rear, badly hampered 1st. Very bad mistake 2nd. Thereafter towards rear until fell mid CS 1C.
  F Claudius 6 10-07 W. Dunn W. Poole NQ CT 1C Away quite well but refused 2nd. Kept going, towards rear BB 1C. Refused again next. Kept going well tailed off. Fell CT 1C.
  F Abd-El-Kader(2)   10-05 C. Balchin C. Green 25/1 2ND Mid-division, fell heavily 2nd.



The first Saturday National but only because the race had been postponed for a few days. The weather remained plum awful, intermittent snow driven in on biting winds, and the crowd in 1858 was probably the smallest yet. The number of runners was the fewest since 1845, a few likely starters were injured on the eve of the contest and about half a dozen owners withdrew their horses due to the perceived state of the course, considering it slippery and borderline dangerous. Conditions were just about safe but gruelling and they particularly suited Little Charley who was an out and out stayer. In a renewal, perhaps not surprisingly, full of incident the winner, another for the Cheltenham clan, recorded the slowest time for a decade (when weights were heavier all round). Weathercock, the latest National participant to have been sold to a French owner (Donaldson oversaw his final preparation, Hadley trained him in France) and who had gone up no less than 37lb (rather confirming my interpretation of his heroic effort in 1857), was again denied. Burrows, who had ridden Little Charley in the previous two Grand National's, apparently chose Morgan Rattler allowing William Archer, father of future Flat legend Fred, to taste success on his final National ride. Both of the runners from the powerful stable of Harry May were 100/6 but poor Burrows finished so far behind his former mount he likely literally didn't see the horse May quietly fancied most of his pair cross the line in the gloomy, snow freckled visage that prevailed. Harry Lorrequer (see 1856) picked up The Forest Queen's mantle of seemingly always finding something to collide with! Treachery, the favourite, was weighted to be in the shake up for runner-up. The second Abd-El-Kader was, confusingly, ridden by one of the jockeys who steered the original to victory, however, on this occasion Chris Green's afternoon came to a somewhat swifter conclusion.

At the weights in the 1858 Grand National Weathercock emerged 10 (pounds/lengths) superior to Little Charley and 26 better than Xanthus. These horses have as much chance of seeing my Scroll Of Merit as Burrows did Archer, however, I believe that Weathercock ran up to the rating of -53 I awarded him last year and, having tentatively rated Little Charley in the low -80s when he was badly hampered in 1856, I am confident conditions in 1858 played to his strengths enough to merit -63. Xanthus, therefore, duly receives -79 but we should note for future reference he was eased to a canter late on.  





Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling