Grand National Ultimate History



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For the first time the course as a whole had more grass sections than non-grass ones.


We 3 Mar 1869 (3.38) 4m 4 1/2f Soft 11.00.00 22 £1,760 J. Weyman

  1 The Colonel 6 10-07 R. Roberts G. Stevens 13/1   Last away & well held up out wide. Jumped well. Towards rear BB 1C. Rear of midfield in 12th (of 13) WJ. Still held onto VB 2C. Had taken closer order in 5th by ABC. Swooped into lead just after second last. Mistake last but kept on well. Comfortably.
65 66 67 68 2 Hall Court 10 10-12 T. Golby Cpt A. Tempest 66/1 3 Away well & prominent. Jumped well. 4th BB 1C, 3rd VB 1C, very prominent Gorsed Hurdle, 4th again WJ. Same position early 2C. Took lead briefly BB, soon headed. Remained prominent CS but a little outpaced around ABC and 4th once more from there until last where mistake & sustained cut to leg. Nevertheless, kept on well to gamely snatch 2nd. Finished lame.
  3 Gardener 7 10-07 G. Bloss T. Ryan 66/1 1 Away well & led. Headed before 1st and merely chased leaders BB 1C. Briefly led again circa CT 1C, 2nd VB 1C and CS, however, had dropped back once more by WJ where 8th. 7th early 2C but renewed headway to retake lead approaching BB where outjumped. Back in front soon after but became embroiled in CS duel with Alcibiade & headed. Rejoined that horse ABC and led at second last. Headed decisively just after. Kept on but tired and lost 2nd run in.
65 66 68 4 Alcibiade 9 11-02 C. Cornell Col G. Knox 20/1 1 Slowly away but soon improved position, 5th BB 1C. Still prominent Gorsed Hurdle, however, declined customary mad dash for WJ where chased leaders in 9th. Same position early 2C and continued to track frontrunners BB. Headway to become embroiled in CS duel with Gardener and took lead mid CS. Joined ABC, 2nd at second last, 3rd last. Kept on gamely but dropped to 4th run in.
  5 Q.C. 5 10-09 H. May E. Griffiths 20/1 6 Initially mid-division. Headway to be 2nd BB 1C, 3rd CS 1C & WJ. 5th early 2C, very prominent BB and 3rd ABC. Came under pressure before entering straight and soon dropped back to 5th but plugged on one-paced.
  6 Despatch 7 10-08 W. Puttrell G. Ede 5/1 20 Away well. 6th BB 1C. Very prominent Gorsed Hurdle, 5th WJ. 6th again early 2C and steadied approaching BB as if rider wary of horse's stamina. 7th ABC. Weakened before entering straight. Left 6th at second last.
67 7 Globule 10 10-12 W. Holman snr G. Holman 25/1   Sweaty. Away well. Left in lead 1st. Briefly headed circa CT 1C but regained lead VB 1C and extended advantage CS, 4L ahead ABC 1C. Closed down by Gorsed Hurdle and briefly joined WJ. Soon led alone again. Began to fade approaching BB 2C and continued to do so after it. Became tailed off and ultimately eased to a walk.
  8 The Robber 11 11-02 H. Ellison W. Jenkins 100/1   Slowly away and towards rear throughout 1C, 13th & last WJ. No improvement 2C and became well tailed off. Ultimately eased to a trot.
68 P The Nun(2) 9 11-09 T. Golby T. Pickernell 25/1 LATE 2C Slowly away but soon improved position, 3rd BB 1C. Still very prominent Gorsed Hurdle, disputed lead WJ. Immediately took a pull, however, remained extremely handy BB 2C. Gradually faded thereafter, became tailed off and eventually PU very late on.
  P Fortunatus 6 11-04 A. Cowley Johnny Page 100/30F LATE 2C Away well but merely chased leaders BB 1C. 4th CS 1C and very prominent Gorsed Hurdle but declined mad dash for WJ where 7th. Renewed progress to be 2nd early 2C but reduced to pursuing leaders again by BB. Faded further and under severe pressure towards end of CS. Became exhausted and tailed off. PU very late on.
68 F Huntsman's Daughter 9 10-08 W. Holman snr J. Holman 40/1 2ND LAST Away well. Chased leaders BB 1C. Very prominent Gorsed Hurdle, 6th WJ. 8th early 2C. Still pursued frontrunners BB. 6th again ABC. Handier and every chance when caught broken timber & fell second last. Broke leg. Dead.
  P Harcourt 8 10-10 C. Cornell Cpt L. Harford 40/1 LATE CS 2C Mid-division entire 1C, 10th WJ. No impact 2C. Weakened and PU late CS.
  P Barbarian 6 10-10   G. Waddington NQ BB 2C Mid-division 1C, 11th WJ. Soon faded 2C and PU at BB.
68 F Pearl Diver 9 12-07 A. Cowley W. Reeves 14/1 TTJ 1C Slowly away. Chased leaders BB 1C. Became more prominent CS 1C. 5th & going well when took off too soon at hedge, struck bank with forelegs & fell TTJ 1C.
  R Dick Turpin 10 10-00 W. Saunders J. Knott 40/1 FNC AFT BB 1C Mid-division, BD in melee 1st. Eventually remounted, well tailed off. Collided with Plum Cake approaching fence after BB 1C & refused.
  R Plum Cake 6 10-00 A. Yates G. Spafford 100/1 FNC AFT BB 1C Rear of mid-division, hampered in melee 1st. Towards rear when refused 3rd. At length persuaded over only to fall into brook BB 1C. Remounted, well tailed off. Collided with Dick Turpin approaching next & refused.
  R Knave Of Trumps 9 10-06 T. Golby F. Martin 20/1 BB 1C Mid to rear when BD in melee 1st. Remounted tailed off. Refused 2nd. Eventually kept going, now well tailed off. Refused again BB 1C, this time resolutely.
67 68 R Fan 7 10-06 G. Palmer A. Thorpe 11/2 2ND Away well & took lead before 1st where hesitated & slipped up on landing. Quickly remounted, well towards rear. Persistently refused 2nd.
  R Guy Of Warwick 5 10-00 C. Green H. Crawshaw NQ 2ND Slowly away and towards rear when badly hampered in melee 1st. Well towards rear when obstinately declined 2nd.
  B Orne 5 11-02 T. Wadlow W. White 50/1 1ST Mid-division when BD by Fan 1st. Sustained cut to leg.
67 B Havelock 8 11-00 W. Jarvis J. Wheeler 33/1 1ST Mid-division, BD by Fan 1st.
  B Bishopton 7 10-04   J. Potter NQ 1ST Mid-division, BD by Fan 1st as she was rising, winding up in ditch.



Stevens struck for the fourth time! George employed his customary exaggerated hold up tactics and largely kept wide to avoid trouble. A fine ride, he demonstrated the proverbial balls of steel because, following four false starts, the pace was very moderate for the first 2 1/2 miles which played against his strategy. And whilst when the tempo was lifted in the 1869 Grand National it, and the Soft going, found out five horses who had led or been very prominent The Colonel was still left with a trio of handily positioned rivals to beat. However, it did him no harm that Gardener and Alcibiade knocked seven bells of hell out of each other down the canal side second time. The Colonel kept out of the firing line and came through to win comfortably. He was an excellent hurdler having just his second chase outing. Trained by Richard Roberts, with a deal of input from Stevens, connections knew The Colonel had improved at home beyond what he had shown on the course, an easy victory over timber at Nottingham not having impressed several observers. It was not a coincidence that Hall Court's return to significance came after he had wintered not with his owner but at Thomas Golby's stable. It is extremely likely that top weight Pearl Diver's fall at the Table Top Jump led to the removal of the hedge, the sole remaining leap element, for the 1870 National because Ted Brayley's horse had never previously been known to so much as make a mistake when jumping.

On looks Fan was a fine, maturing beast, however, she was temperamentally regressive. What I consider to be the more reliable of the sources available agree that in 1869 she exited the National by refusing at the 2nd. That followed a remount because she had caused chaos at the 1st! To further clarify the melee there: Fan was hesitant, slipped up on the landing side and as she was rising brought down Bishopton, Orne and Havelock (none of whom for assorted causes was able to continue); Dick Turpin and Knave Of Trumps were brought down in the rumpus (and both remounted); Plum Cake and Guy Of Warwick were hampered. Fan's rider and those of Dick Turpin, Knave Of Trumps, Plum Cake and Guy Of Warwick went on to demonstrate that the attitude of trying to overcome adversity and endeavouring to finish still prevailed amongst jockeys, if not horses! None got very much further although it did not help to mitigate the propensity for early incident that, apart from the false starts, each fence on the line from the 1st to Becher's Brook had to be taken from an approach narrowed by a vast throng of spectators lining the route, some in trees.

The Colonel clocked a time 30s slower, almost certainly on better ground, than had The Lamb (who missed the 1869 and 1870 renewals for various reasons) in 1868, both carried the same weight. However, the pace was nothing like as rapid in 1869 and on a line through Alcibiade the two most recent Grand National winners come out similarly. And Alcibiade appears to have pretty well run his race because he and Hall Court, the latest to become a dual runner-up and second on the two occasions Arthur Tempest was in the plate, performed to within a couple of pounds/lengths in relation to each other as how they had in 1865 when the going was similar to that of 1869 and favourable to both. Furthermore, Hall Court had just as much potential for improvement upon his 1865 effort, properly trained and staying upright, as I granted to Alcibiade in last year's discussion. On top of that, the latter emerged best at the weights for the third time in a Grand National, on this occasion by 2 (pounds/lengths) over Hall Court, 4 over The Colonel, 8 above Gardener, 13 in advance of Q.C. and 34 over Despatch who failed to stay on the going. Alcibiade probably didn't run quite as well as he had in 1868 and even allowing him a few because he engaged in a canal side duel which may have taken the edge off of him I will rate his performance a couple lower this year at -24. Hall Court also didn't help himself, by erring at the last and cutting a leg, and for this reason he deseves a rating of -26 which grants him the same stone of advancement upon 1865 as I gave Alcibiade last year. The Colonel was the other to blunder at the final hurdle and he raced widest yet won comfortably so I will uprate him 5 to -26 too (The Lamb got -27 in 1868). Gardener emerged 8 below his fellow duelist and thus receives -32, Q.C. is awarded -40 and Despatch -61.      





Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling