Grand National Ultimate History



prev . next


The WJ had a 3' high gorsed fence instead of rail of the same height and the TW (total width) of the jump was said to be 16' (as opposed to 13' 6"), however, this may well have been an exaggeration.


We 6 Mar 1867 (3.23) 4m 4 1/2f Good 10.42.00 23 £1,660 Duke of Hamilton

66 1 Cortolvin(1) 8 11-13 H. Lamplugh Johnny Page 100/6   Away well & took lead before 1st. Headed before 2nd but soon regained advantage, led BB 1C. Headed again mid CS 1C and not go with increased pace from ABC, 9th (of 18) WJ. 5th early 2C and went ahead again soon after BB. Headed once more CS but remained close up and back in front early in straight. Small lead last, however, ran on well and won comfortably.
  2 Fan 5 10-03 G. Palmer A. Thorpe 8/1 5 Mid-division. Hampered CT 1C, 13th WJ. Began to make headway soon after BB 2C. 3rd by late CS. Under pressure but took 2nd soon after entering straight. Close up at last, however, swiftly outpaced by winner. Kept on but comfortably held.
  3 Shangarry 6 10-13   T. Pickernell 100/7 4 Fairly slowly away & mid-division. Gradual progress to chase leaders and up to 7th WJ. 4th early 2C. Chased leaders in that position ABC. Ran on well and just got up for 3rd following terrific tussle. Never nearer.
  4 Globule 8 11-07 W. Holman snr G. Holman 100/8 NK Away well, 3rd BB 1C. Headstrong and pulled way into lead mid CS 1C. Led until rider able to take a pull soon after BB 2C, around which time got the better of a collision with Lightheart. Regained lead CS. Began to fade early in straight and dropped back to 3rd. Battled on well but  just lost out on that position following a terrific tussle.
65 66 5 Lightheart   11-01 J. Peace E. Jones 40/1 12 Away quite well, chased leaders in 5th BB 1C. 10th WJ. 7th early 2C and still going well when got the worse of a collision with Globule soon after BB and lost much ground. Rallied but unable to quicken and not in first 7 ABC. Kept on gamely past weakening rivals into 5th then eased to canter run in.
  6 Revolver 7 11-01 J. Igoe J. Igoe NQ 12 Mid-division until became prominent in dash for WJ where 4th. Gradually faded 2C and only able to pursue leaders forlornly in 7th ABC. Plugged on increasingly leaden-footed.
  7 Shakspeare 6 11-01 W. Goodwin A. Goodman 7/1   Away well & very prominent 1st but jumped slowly and merely chased leaders in 7th BB 1C. 8th WJ. Headway into 3rd early 2C and took 2nd soon after BB. Made bad mistake at fence after VB and faded.Ultimately eased to a trot.
  8 Tennyson 5 10-10 E. Weever G. Stevens 50/1   Chased leaders in 6th BB 1C. Earnestly improved position and 3rd when bad mistake at Gorsed Hurdle, cannoned into & rider lost iron. 6th again WJ. Strived hard 2C and still pursued leaders in 5th ABC. Thereafter weakened and ultimately eased.
  9 Silver Star 10 10-09   G. Waddington 25/1   Away quite well. A fore of mid-division 10th BB 1C, 11th WJ. Effort after BB 2C but relatively short-lived and beaten CS. Laboured on very tired.
  10 Genievre 7 10-05 T. Harrison G. Ede 20/1   Chased leaders, 8th BB 1C. Progress to be 5th WJ and took 3rd soon after BB 2C. Faded towards end of CS and only able to pursue leaders forlornly in 6th ABC. Weakened further, finished tailed off.
  11 The Miller   11-04   Cpt P. Lawrence NQ   Chased leaders, 9th BB 1C. 12th WJ. Still in touch when very bad mistake early CS 2C and immediately beaten. Plodded on, tailed off.
  12 Plinlimmon 6 10-13   J. Holman NQ   Away well & very prominent 1st. 4th BB 1C. Less handy when hampered CT 1C and only 14th WJ. Increasingly outpaced 2C and beaten by CS. Lumbered on, finished tailed off. 
  13 Sea King 7 10-11 G. Barry G. Barry 12/1   Away well & very prominent 1st. 2nd BB 1C, ABC & WJ. Same position early 2C and remained handy until began to fade fairly soon after CT. Finished tailed off.
  P King Arthur 5 10-03 W. Burbidge Cpt L. Harford 5/1F LATE 2C Away well & very prominent 1st. Took lead just after and 2 1/2L ahead when refused 2nd. Kept going and driven to remain in touch, though towards rear, then made up lost ground rather quickly. Soon chasing leaders and up to 4th after ABC 1C. Went 3rd Gorsed Hurdle where sightly hampered by Tennyson but retained that position WJ. Began to fade early 2C and well beaten by CS. Eventually PU.
  R Little Wideawake 8 10-03 Schwartz J. Rickaby 30/1 MID 2C Rear of mid-division. Badly hampered CT 1C, becoming stuck on top of fence briefly. Rallied to some extent and a last but three 15th WJ. Found it hard going 2C and ultimately refused.
  P Marengo(2)   11-01 W. Saunders C. Fermin NQ EARLY 2C Very slowly away & last over 1st. Gradual headway and a fore of mid-division 11th BB 1C. Badly hampered CT 1C and lost much ground. Last but one in 17th WJ. Rearmost early 2C & soon PU.
  P Astrolabe 7 12-07 J. Cassidy J. Cassidy 20/1 END 1C Rear of mid-division. BD by Havelock CT 1C. Remounted, well behind, and towards rear in 16th WJ. PU at end of 1C.
  P Banker   11-10 J. Daly T. Ablett NQ END 1C Fore of mid-division until lost ground circa BB 1C & dropped towards rear, soon becoming tailed off. Well so in 18th & last WJ and PU at end of 1C. Badly lame.
62 64 66 P Thomastown 14 11-03 James Murphy J. Murphy jnr 25/1 CS 1C First away but headed before 1st and gradually faded, not travelling well. Broke down badly (near fore) circa fence after VB 1C & PU.
  F Havelock 6 10-03 Nash W. Jarvis NQ CT 1C Gradual progress into fore of mid-division until whipped round & fell heavily CT 1C, causing chaos.
  B Little Frank 7 10-13 H. Ellison J. Knott 25/1 CT 1C Rear of mid-division when BD by Havelock CT 1C.
65 66 B Hall Court 8 12-03 Cpt J. Browne Cpt J. Browne 50/1 CT 1C Towards rear until BD by Little Wideawake in melee CT 1C.
  B Whitehall 7 10-13   J. Milward 40/1 3RD Mid-division until knocked over at the 3rd.



The date upon which the Grand National was run had crept back closer to winter and there was more plough than in 1866, however, the going on the grassed sections of the course in 1867 was decent and Cortolvin recorded the best winning time since the race distance had reverted to its original one. By carrying the highest weight to victory since the National had become a handicap Cortolvin represented his and the late Salamander's 1866 form very well. Indeed, Cortolvin, freshened up since the autumn, may have improved upon it because he had been switched by his big-gambling new owner to French-based trainer Harry Lamplugh who had got a bit more out of Huntsman five years earlier. Lamplugh was so shrewd that the only other horse he backed in the contest was the runner-up, the mare Fan, who was making her chase debut and would soon prove mercurial. The latter, who wouldn't have won anyway, was one of those caught up in this year's melee which occurred at the first Canal Turn. To further clarify: Havelock whipped round and fell heavily, bringing down Little Frank and Astrolabe; this caused Plinlimmon and Fan to be hampered; Marengo and Little Wideawake were badly hampered; Hall Court (who would not have been enjoying the better ground) ran into the latter, who briefly perched on the fence, and was thus brought down. Meanwhile, there was, I feel, an example of inexperienced riding on the part of Captain Lummy Harford who rushed King Arthur back up following the favourite's refusal at the 2nd - the horse had nothing left for the second circuit. Harford would improve, winning the Guards' Cup nine times. Shakspeare won the battle of the poets against Tennyson! Cortolvin never ran in Britain again after the 1866/67 season. His talented trainer tragically met an early grave in September 1868 as a result of internal injuries received in a fall at Angers. Johnny Page, so strong in a driving finish that he was known as 'The Pusher', would take over the training, at least temporarily, for the Duke of Hamilton in Chantilly.

The crowd assembled for the 1867 National was larger that that of a year earlier and almost certainly a new record. The obstacles were described as fair and moderate by hunting standards. Purportedly, according to the Sporting Life and one other source, there were 24 of them (the Table Top Jump was generally not counted). However, I'm not convinced that number is accurate, it's entirely possible the jumps in the straight on both circuits were omitted from calculations.

Conundrums such as the one outlined in the preceding paragraph render assessment of performance based upon time more so than usual a method of last resort in this period. All I can proffer is, considering the slow early pace in the 1867 Grand National and that there was more plough than in 1866, Cortolvin's time on Good compares favourably to Salamander's on Soft by enough to believe the former near enough matched on the clock the final rating of -30 I awarded him last year. Strictly at the weights this places Globule at -45, Shangarry -53, Fan -59, Lightheart -63 and Revolver -75. However, I will upgrade three of those performances. I do think Lamplugh slightly improved Cortolvin who won comfortably in 1867, an effort in my mind worthy of -27 (the best since St Leger's -24 in 1847). Lightheart lost a lot of ground when in collision with Globule and was later eased, therefore, I will award him -43, the same mark as in 1866. And Fan was hampered so I will allow her 4 (pounds/lengths) for -55.        





Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling