Grand National Ultimate History



prev . next


Indications are there was a little more plough this year.


We 13 Mar 1861 (3.57) 4m 3f Good to Soft (Soft places) 10.14.00 24 £985 J. Bennett

59 1 Jealousy 7 9-12 C. Balchin J. Kendall 5/1   Held up. Rear of mid-division 15th BB 1C. Chased leading pair in 8th (of 17) WJ. Same position but midfield BB 2C. Smooth headway CS, close 2nd ABC. Took lead before straight. Ran on. Cosily.
  2 The Dane 5 10-00 T. Wadlow W. White 33/1 2 Away well but never fluent. Rear of mid-division 16th BB 1C, midfield 12th WJ. Bad mistake CS 2C & dropped back to rear of mid-div. Rallied to be 6th entering straight. Ran on like a train after last but always held. Never nearer.
  3 Old Ben Roe   10-07 G. Waddington G. Waddington 10/1 2 Chased leaders, 6th BB 1C, 5th WJ. Became more prominent early 2C, 3rd BB. Gifted lead CT. Narrow advantage ABC. Headed before straight. Kept on one-paced. Lost 2nd run in.
60 4 Bridegroom 9 10-07 R. Day Fitzadam 25/1 1 Mid-division, 12th BB 1C. Chased leading pair in 6th WJ. More prominent by BB 2C where 4th. 3rd CT. 4th again mid CS & entering straight. Kept on same pace without landing a blow.
58 59 60 5 Xanthus 11 9-08 C. Balchin C. Boyce 50/1 NK Away well & immediately led but headed before 1st. Chased clear leader in 2nd BB 1C. Reduced deficit CS and a close 2nd ABC 1C, same story WJ. 3L down in 2nd BB 2C. Held that position until late CS. Only able to keep on at same pace and had dropped to 5th entering straight.
60 6 Redwing(2) 11 9-07 James Murphy J. Murphy jnr 25/1 4 1/2 Away well & took lead before 1st. 12L clear BB 1C. Advantage reduced CS and only narrowly ahead ABC 1C & WJ. 3L lead BB 2C but collided with the prostrate form of The Conductor CT & lost ground. Partially recovered to be 3rd from mid CS until entering straight then weakened.
  7 Wee Nell 6 9-11   J. Knott NQ   Mid-division 1C, 14th BB & 13th WJ. Headway to chase leaders in 6th BB 2C. Continued to do so mid CS but unable to make any impression. Plugged on.
  8 The Unknown 14 9-00   G. Eatwell NQ   A fore of mid-division 10th BB 1C. Midfield WJ. Unable to make any significant impact. Plodded on.
  9 The Emperor 6 10-02   A. Goodman 100/8   Mid-division, 11th BB 1C & 10th WJ. Still midfield BB 2C. Unable to make any significant impact. Plodded on.
59 60 P Anatis 11 10-04 H. May T. Pickernell 4/1F LATE 2C Chased leaders, 5th BB 1C, 7th WJ. Became more prominent in 4th very early 2C but very badly hampered by the fall of Cockatoo 2nd fence 2C & nearly UR. Met further trouble circa CT & lost more ground. Rear of mid-division mid CS and eventually PU.
56 P Franc Picard 15 10-00 H. Lamplugh H. Lamplugh 14/1 LATE 2C Slowly away. Mid-division 1C, 13th BB & 11th WJ.  Became more prominent early 2C, chased leaders in 5th BB. Gradually faded thereafter and eventually PU.
  P The Rover 5 8-08   F. Page NQ LATE 2C Away well & initially very prominent, 2nd at 1st. Had dropped to a fore of mid-division 8th by BB 1C. Chased leading pair in 9th WJ. 7th but midfield BB 2C. Rallied to pursue leaders again mid CS but faded thereafter and eventually PU.
60 P Brunette(2) 8 11-00 T. Olliver F. Rowlands 33/1 CS 2C Chased leaders unenthusiastically in 7th BB 1C. Pursued leading pair in 3rd WJ. Began to fade early 2C and mid-division BB. Continued to drop away and eventually PU.
  P Frank 6 10-03   H. Harris NQ CS 2C Soon dropped towards rear. Last over BB 1C and tailed off rearmost WJ. Still last BB 2C and eventually PU.
60 P Kilcock 7 9-10 J. Farrell D. Meaney 40/1 EARLY 2C Always towards rear 1C. Soon comprehensively beaten 2C and not persist long.
  F Cockatoo 9 8-08 C. Green C. Green 7/1 2ND FNC 2C Away well, 4th at 1st. Chased leaders in same position BB 1C. Still pursued leading pair in 4th WJ. Took 3rd very early 2C and up to 2nd when swerved & fell 2nd fence 2C.
  F Dr Leete 8-08 J. Peace W. Marson NQ 2ND FNC 2C Away well but had dropped towards rear by BB 1C and remained there until fell 2nd fence 2C.
  P Diamant 8 10-04   J. Enoch NQ ABC 1C Mid to rear when badly hampered & almost forced off the course in scrimmage at 2nd. Towards rear when refused BB 1C. Kept going. Well tailed off and PU circa ABC 1C.
  F The Freshman 8 9-07 T. Golby M. Blake 100/7 VB 1C Away well & initially very prominent. Chased clear leader in 3rd BB 1C. Fell VB 1C.
  F The Conductor 6 8-12 G. Balchin J. Nightingall 40/1 CT 1C Slowly away. Rear of mid-division in 17th BB 1C. Tried to refuse & fell heavily CT 1C. Broke shoulder. Dead.
  F Master Bagot 7 10-00 W. Saunders G. Ede 8/1 FNC BEF CT 1C Midfield. Fore of mid-division in 9th BB 1C. Making headway when jumped sideways & fell fence before CT 1C.
  R Kibworth Lass   11-03   T. Olliver jnr NQ BB 1C Mid to rear when badly hampered & almost forced off the course in scrimmage at 2nd. Towards rear when refused BB 1C.
  R Longrange 7 9-10 R. Sherrard R. Sherrard NQ 2ND Mid to rear, refused 2nd.
  B The Irish Emigrant 5 9-00 J. Peace R. Sly jnr NQ 2ND Slowly away. Towards rear when BD in scrimmage for a gap in the 2nd.



Albeit somewhat temporarily for now, the race was held a week closer to spring in 1861. In front of possibly the largest, and most motley, attendance yet the improving Jealousy became the fourth mare to win the Grand National. The pace was merely moderate to good and there was a distinct lack of the semblance of class in this renewal with Huntsman absent and the top weight (before Kibworth Lass's penalty) Brunette rated a stone lower than in 1860 (and decidedly not enjoying the experience). Never had there been as many horses carrying eight stone something. A 5-y-o, The Dane may well have caused a 33/1 upset but for an ill-timed mistake along the canal side on the second circuit although, in fairness, the entire did not jump well throughout. That was a pity because the younger horse was seemingly improving faster than the victor, however, Jealousy, who was not fully fit when running in the 1859 National, had beaten The Dane over hurdles at the 1860 Liverpool Spring Meeting whilst conceding 20lb, now received two and her glory was won cosily. George Stevens, still seeking a second Grand National success, had wanted to ride the mare but he was not let off by his retaining owner whose horse then became a very late non runner so, for probably the only time in his life, was envious of Joe Kendall, who would later be warned off twice, as the latter executed a perfect hold up ride very much in the style of Stevens himself! Charles Balchin, younger brother of Gus who had three times peviously ridden Jealousy's stablemate Xanthus and whose first National runner in his own right, The Conductor, suffered the ultimate ill fortune, would sustain serious injuries later in his year of triumph when his horse and cart toppled down an embankment near his Surrey training base. Charles, in his early thirties, never fully recovered and passed away in October 1862. In a renewal during which the 2nd fence caused problems on both circuits, accounting indirectly for Anatis, Bridegroom improved markedly upon his initial union with the Aintree Blue Riband and Redwing's jockey sported colours that were white with one red sleeve. Frank had yet to be named and ran as Brother to Lady's Maid. 

A reliable yardstick, Xanthus, the massive stable outsider, seems to have run very similarly to how he did in 1860 when I rated him -70, therefore, the performances of the other principal finishers in the 1861 Grand National can be assessed accordingly. Strictly at the weights Old Ben Roe (-56), a good looking perfect steeplechasing type, emerged 14 (pounds/lengths) ahead of Xanthus, 1 superior to Bridegroom (-57), 5 better than both Jealousy and The Dane, and 20 in advance of Redwing. The latter, ridden much more positively in 1861 by his trainer's son than he had been by his pilot of last year (when rated -82), collided with the prone figure of The Conductor when leading at the second Canal Turn and, therefore, can be upgraded by 7 to -69 to place him just ahead of Xanthus whom he (Redwing) had held sway over to that point. I will also uprate both The Dane and Jealousy by 5 to match Old Ben Roe's -56, in the case of the former due to his jumping errors and in respect of Jealousy because of her cosiness of success although there is the suspicion she may have had even more in hand.



> There is great debate among some historians regarding the exits of three horses due to contradictions between contemporary sources. Mick Mutlow describes the demise of Anatis as occuring at the 2nd fence 2C as follows: " As Cockatoo began to rise, Anatis cannoned into him which then pitched (her jockey) onto her neck as she fell to her knees. Then just as Anatis was recovering along came Dr Leete who collided into her and she was knocked down again, but this time she received a nasty injury to her side. Her rider...was then dragged some distance as he still had a foot in one of the irons." However, I give great weight to Bell's Life in this era and it says that Anatis at the 2nd fence 2C: "jumped on (Cockatoo)...pitched onto her head...however, got clear of the fallen ones without actually tumbling, with (her jockey) holding on by her neck, in which peril he remained to about the centre of the next meadow, and then regained the saddle." Bell's Life goes on to say later in its race description: "...a second disappointment having thrown Anatis further behind..." and later still refers to the horse as pulling up. Furthermore, The Era hints of a blunder closer to the CT 2C than the 2nd and only refers to her as "being now out of the race" after talking of horses entering the final straight. Hence what I've written in the race facts section above. Mick has Brunette falling at the fence before BB 2C in accordance with Sporting Life, however, the same organ appears to list her in eighth soon after and whilst this may be an error Bell's Life has the mare getting over BB 2C in midfield and later walking in! Mick also has Kibworth Lass pulling up at the same time as the fellow Manby-owned Diamant at a place I describe as circa ABC 1C. This would make the runs of these two horses a mirror image which arouses my suspicion that some reporters didn't know who was whom. Upon digging deeper I put together a couple of comments: "Diamant, however, went on in pursuit" (Sporting Life, no mention of Kibworth Lass doing likewise) and "Kibworth Lass, who had not run the course throughout, after her disappointment in the early portion of the race" (The Era). These suggest to me that Kibworth Lass did not continue after the pair refused at BB 1C. 





Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling