Grand National Ultimate History



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There was still a large quantity of plough. Posts and rails were added to the 1st (a hedge with a ditch on the landing side), BB (where the brook itself was widened by 2' to 8' across) and VB.


We 9 Mar 1864 (3.31) 4m 4 1/2f Soft (Good to Soft places) 11.50.00 25 £1,025 Lord Coventry

  1 Emblematic 6 10-06 E. Weever G. Stevens 10/1   Initially well held up in rear of mid-division. 16th BB 1C. Good headway to become prominent in 7th (of 21) WJ but made mistake there and dropped back into midfield. Rallied to be 4th BB 2C. 1L down in 2nd ABC. Disputed lead from early in the straight. Went away easily after last.
63 2 Arbury 11-12   B. Land jnr 40/1 3 Chased leader in 7th BB 1C, same position VB 1C. Headway to be 2nd Gorsed Hurdle. Prominent in 6th WJ. Took lead circa 2nd fence 2C. 4L ahead BB. Joined briefly before CT. 1L advantage ABC. Joined again early in straight. Headed just after last and immediately beaten. Kept on.
  3 Chester 9 10-00   W. White 40/1 DIST Chased leader in 8th BB 1C. 3rd VB 1C but had dropped to a fore of mid-division 8th by WJ. Regained prominence very early 2C and took 3rd again 2nd. Began to fade towards end of CS and no threat to front pair from ABC. Eventually prevailed following dour tussle for 3rd.
62 4 Thomastown 11 12-00 James Murphy J. Murphy jnr 33/1 2 Headway to be 3rd at BB 1C, 5th VB, 3rd again WJ. Took 2nd circa 2nd fence 2C. Began to fade towards end of CS and no threat to front pair from ABC. Eventually lost out following dour tussle for 3rd.
  5 Ocean Witch 5 10-02 T. Olliver W. Reeves 20/1 DIST Mid-division, 12th BB 1C & WJ. Caught up in melee 3rd fence 2C and no chance after, though not for the want of trying. Unable to make any impression on leaders, however, and ultimately eased to a canter.
  P Serious Case 7 11-03 T.S. Dawson G. Waddington 11/1 LAST Away well & initially very prominent. Chased leader in 5th BB 1C. Fore of mid-division 10th WJ. Still handy enough early 2C until caught up in melee 3rd. Towards rear thereafter. PU circa last. 
  P Miss Maria 9 10-00 W. Holman snr J. Holman NQ LAST Away well & very prominent until hampered by fallers 2nd, bad mistake & lost much ground. Mid-division 14th WJ. Caught up in melee 3rd fence 2C. Towards rear thereafter. PU circa last.
  P Bantam 8 11-08 W. Holman snr G. Holman 5/1 ABC 2C Rear of mid-division. 15th BB 1C. A midfield 13th WJ. Avoided trouble 3rd fence 2C and found himself 6th BB. Began to fade CS and PU circa ABC.
  P Leonidas 6 11-04 G. Bloss C. Boyce NQ ABC 2C Mid-division, 13th BB 1C, 11th WJ. Avoided trouble 3rd fence 2C and found himself 7th BB. Began to fade CS and PU circa ABC.
  F Brian Borhoime 8 10-04   J. Poinons NQ TTJ 2C Mid-division, 14th BB 1C. Rear of midfield WJ. Headway early 2C and managed to avoid carnage 3rd. 5th BB. Further progress to briefly dispute lead before CT but began to fade immediately CS. Fell TTJ.
61 P Wee Nell 9 11-06 W. Saunders J. Knott 12/1 CT 2C Away well & very prominent 1C, 2nd at 1st. Chased leader in 4th BB 1C. Same position VB 1C but struggled on plough CS. Rallied to be extremely handy again in 5th WJ. Soon began to fade 2C and PU CT.
  P Silk And Satin 8 10-02   W. Jarvis NQ MID 2C Always towards rear. PU mid 2C.
63 F Real Jam 5 10-08 David Hughes David Hughes 11/1 3RD FNC 2C Soon fairly prominent. 11th BB 1C. 8th VB 1C. Rapid headway to lead WJ. Headed very early 2C. Fell 3rd fence 2C.
  F National Petition 7 10-08 J. Monaghan J. Monaghan NQ 3RD FNC 2C Initially fore of mid-division. Chased leader in 6th BB 1C. Very prominent in 4th WJ. Still handy when fell 3rd fence 2C.
  B Ireley   10-10   M. Blake 40/1 3RD FNC 2C Away well, led 1st & soon clear. 7L ahead BB 1C. Advantage narrowed by Gorsed Hurdle and headed before WJ where 2nd. Retook lead very early 2C but had lost it again & began to fade by 2nd. BD in melee next.
  F Sir William(2) 6 11-10   C. Davison NQ 3RD FNC 2C Last to get going. Progress into a rear of mid-division 15th by WJ. Had dropped well towards rear again when caught up in melee 3rd fence 2C & fell.
  P Little Bob   11-00   P. Igoe NQ 3RD FNC 2C Slowly away & towards rear. 16th WJ. Further behind when caught up in melee 3rd fence 2C & PU.
  F Bell's Life 6 10-12 J. Nightingall E. Griffiths 30/1 3RD FNC 2C Initially fore of mid-division. Headway to be 7L down in 2nd BB 1C. Same position VB 1C but badly lost place and rear of midfield WJ. Further towards rear when fell 3rd fence 2C.
  B Reporter 5 12-02 C. Green G. Dixon 40/1 2ND FNC 2C Fore of mid-division. 9th BB 1C, 6th VB 1C. Had dropped back to a fore of midfield 9th by WJ. In similar position when BD from behind at 2nd fence 2C, sustaining cut to hock.
57 62 P Romeo 14 11-00 C. Bennett F. Martin 33/1 EARLY 2C Rear of mid-division at best until fell WJ. Remounted but tailed off and PU well before Proceed's Lane.
  P Jerusalem 11 11-10 T. Golby G. Ede 9/2F END 1C Away well & very prominent until fell heavily 2nd. Remounted, well towards rear. Became tailed off and rearmost WJ where bad mistake & dropped even further behind. PU at end of 1C.
  F Martha(1) 8 10-00 B. Land J. Land 33/1 WJ May have met trouble early 1C as soon towards rear. Little change when fell heavily WJ, bathing at her leisure.
62 F Harry 8 11-10 H. Lamplugh J. Cassidy 50/1 WJ Initially mid-division but may have met trouble early 1C as soon towards rear. Remained there until fell heavily WJ.
  F Portland 7 10-12 J. Kendall A. Goodman 12/1 2 FNCS BEF ABC 1C Fore of mid-division. 10th BB 1C, 9th VB. Badly hampered & fell mid CS 1C.
  F Satanella 5 10-12 D. Meaney D. Meaney NQ 2ND Away well & very prominent until fell heavily 2nd.



The weight range was slightly further raised to restore it at last to an appropriate level, the minimum impost set at ten stone, and after sixteen years the pot to the winner exceeded one thousand pounds once more. However, the 1864 Grand National was weak and part of the race's poorest quality era which it brought to a close. Arbury, who became a dual runner-up as Ben Land junior was also again denied, shouldered 10lb more than when beaten 20 lengths in the previous renewal! On a cold but sunny afternoon and ground softened by recent snow and heavy rain, Emblematic became the sixth mare (and the fourth in five years) to win, giving George Stevens, who rode in excruciating pain from a crushed finger, his third victory as he, his friend Lord Coventry and Edwin Weever enjoyed back-to-back triumphs. Even more wiry than her now injured sister Emblem, Emblematic, who would complete her stud career in Prussia, had been wretchedly moderate on the Flat and had not run since 1862. However, purchased by Coventry and sent to Weever in September 1863, Emblematic had been hunting and by all accounts beat Emblem in a private trial (though how fit the latter was is open to question). Nevertheless, it was another fine piece of training albeit that, on a strict line through Arbury, Emblematic put up a performance roughly two stone inferior to that of her sister in 1863.

It seems that a main feature of the 1864 National was the biggest melee the annual contest had yet seen which occurred at the 3rd fence on the second circuit. Unfortunately, details are extremely sketchy, however, it appears half of the eighteen runners remaining at that juncture were effectively put out of the race. Prominent amongst them were Real Jam, whose connections look to have been the latest to wager that their horse would lead at the Water Jump, and National Petition, likely Ireley was brought down by one of those two. Serious Case, Ocean Witch and Miss Maria (who had already been hampered at the 2nd on the first tour round) were severely inconvenienced in midfield by the chaos ahead while rear runners Bell's Life, Sir William and Little Bob went no further.

Ultimately only the winner and runner-up could sustain a respectable gallop in the 1864 Grand National. Arbury appears to have run at least as well as in 1863 (when I rated him -52) and he emerged 17 (pounds/lengths) better than Emblematic, however, the latter won comfortably. She was held onto for longer than her sister had been and not pushed right out, and she also made a significant error at the Water Jump, therefore, I can allow Emblematic 7 and will rate her -62.



> There is a school of thought that Real Jam may have continued after the 3rd fence 2C skirmish, possibly being pulled up as late as the second last, however, there is no conclusive or convincing proof of this.      





Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling