Grand National Ultimate History



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1st/17th - 5' H (was 4' 8"); 2nd/18th - 5' H (4' 6"); 5th/21st - 5' H (4' 8"); 9th/25th (VB) - fence 5' H (4' 8"); 15th (Chair, OD) - fence 5' H (4' 6").


Fr 26 Mar 1897 (3.44) 4m 4f Good 9.49.00 28 £1,975 H. Dyas

95 96 1 Manifesto 9 11-03 W. McAuliffe T. Kavanagh 6/1F   Away well. Took 2nd after 1st and remained very prominent: same position BB 1C, 3rd CS, 4th ABC, 2nd again (close up) at 13th. Rider took a pull and 6th (of 25) WJ. 2nd once more from early 2C until vied for lead soon after VB (pair clear). Eventually outduelled Timon to be on top before 29th where left clear. Left further ahead last. Easily.
  2 Filbert 7 9-07 Cpt D. Beatty Cpt C. Beatty 100/1 20 Held up in mid-division 1C, 16th WJ. Headway to be 7th BB 2C but midfield again CS. Ran on well last half mile and helped by late departures to be 4th at 29th and 3rd at last. Took 2nd well after Elbow and just held on to that position in fine battle for it.
  3 Ford Of Fyne 6 10-07 J. Dormer F. Withington 25/1 HD Initially chased leaders. Mid-division WJ. Good headway early 2C to be 4th BB but merely a midfield 8th mid CS. Left 6th at 29th. Began to run on well and left 4th at last. Not quite get up for 2nd in fine battle for that position.
95 4 Prince Albert 9 10-08 W. Moore G. Saunders-Davies 25/1 HD Midfield 1C until chased leaders in 8th ABC. Dropped to 13th in rush for WJ. 8th again, in fore of mid-division, BB 2C. 6th VB and continued pursuit of leading pair in 4th mid CS. Deficit widened but left 3rd at 29th and a distant 2nd at last. Tired run in & lost 2 places towards post.
  5 Lotus Lily 7 9-07 J. Walley A. Wood 100/1   Chased leaders 1C, 9th WJ. Continued in similar vein 2C and left 5th at 29th. Began to fade and dropped to 6th before last where left 5th again. Further weakened to finish at an interval behind the 4th.
  6R Timon 6 9-10 H. Stark J. Tervit 20/1   Away well, immediately led and had built up a handy advantage by the CS 1C. Lead narrowed between ABC and 13th but 10L clear again WJ. Leeway not reduced again until well beyond BB 2C but joined soon after VB. Then continued to vie with winner (pair clear) until a bit before 29th at which obstacle a very tired 2nd and UR, despite jockey's best efforts to cling on. Remounted, tailed off.
  7 Fairy Queen 11 9-07 P. Lawless E. Lord 50/1   Initially mid to rear. Midfield when hampered by loose horse (The Soarer) CT 1C. Nevertheless, 9th at 13th. Mid-division again WJ. Renewed progress to be 6th early 2C and at BB, 4th VB. Began to fade soon after and finished tailed off.
  8 Seaport 8 10-07 S. Rustell C. James 50/1   Mid-division 1C, 15th WJ. Even less impact 2C and finished tailed off.
94 9 Nelly Gray 8 11-03 J. Dormer G. Morris 20/1   Chased leaders until prominent in 5th at 2nd, same position BB 1C. 2nd ABC 1C, 5th again 13th, 2nd once more WJ. Displayed tendency to swerve early 2C and dropped back to 5th but rallied to be 3rd BB. Lost place under pressure and 6th mid CS. A little worse off when tried to refuse 28th. Persuaded on, weakened further and finished tailed off.
  10 Argonaut 7 10-12 W. Halsey R. Woodland 33/1   Rear of mid-division 1C, including at WJ. Even less of a factor 2C and finished well tailed off.
95 96 F Cathal 8 11-10 A. Yates Cpt R. Ward 7/1 30TH Mid-division. Prominent in 4th by CS 1C. 3rd from ABC to WJ. Same position early 2C but had dropped to 5th by BB 2C. 3rd again and chased leading pair from CT. Beaten after 28th but left a distant 2nd at 29th. Clear of 3rd when fell last.
  B Greenhill 6 9-11 R. Wheeler E. Matthews 25/1 28TH Became prominent towards WJ where 5th. Chased leaders 2C but in vain and feeling the pinch long before being BD by Nelly Gray, who was attempting to refuse, 28th.
  F Red Cross 6 10-01 W. Binnie Harry Taylor 100/1 LATE CS 2C Away well & very prominent. 3rd at 2nd & BB 1C. 5th ABC, 4th at 13th. Lost position in mad dash for WJ where midfield. Rallied 2C and a fore of mid-division 5th early to mid CS. Had begun to tire and deficit had widened when fell later CS.
  F Golden Cross 6 10-02 T. Wilson G.F. Wilson 33/1 26TH Soon chased leaders and continued to do so CS 1C. In a fore of mid-division 11th WJ. Brief modest rally early 2C but fore of midfield again VB. Fell next.
  F Norton(1) 12 10-07 H. Escott J. Hickey 10/1 24TH (CT) Chased leaders 1st. 11th ABC 1C, 10th at 13th. A mid-division 14th WJ. Became more prominent again early 2C, however, back in midfield when fell CT.
96 F Westmeath 8 11-04 T. Hardie B. Taylor 100/1 23RD Away well & prominent, 7th at 2nd. Chased leaders CS 1C, 8th WJ. Continued to travel okay 2C though only in midfield when fell 23rd.
  F Gauntlet 6 11-03 T. Hardie Cpt W. Hope-Johnstone 66/1 23RD Chased leaders until became prominent in 6th at 2nd. Same position BB 1C, 7th ABC. Very handy in 4th WJ but had faded into midfield when fell 23rd.
  F The Continental 6 10-02 W. Holt H. Brown 100/1 23RD Tubed. Initially mid-division but prominent in 8th at 2nd. Chased leaders in same position 13th but only rear of midfield WJ. Decline unarrested when fell 23rd.
96 F Barcalwhey 7 10-01 J. Cannon C. Hogan 25/1 21ST Chased leaders until became very prominent, 4th at 2nd, 2nd at 3rd, 4th again BB 1C. 2nd once more VB & early CS 1C but had lost position by ABC. Nicely handy agan in 6th at 13th, 7th WJ. In similar position when fell 21st.
  B Little Joe 8 9-10   L. Bland 100/1 21ST Headway late CS 1C to be 6th ABC, 10th WJ. Renewed progress to be 4th early 2C and still pretty prominent when BD by Barcalwhey 21st.
  P Chevy Chase 8 9-13 T. Doyle A. Anthony 28/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division. Chased leaders in 9th ABC 1C but had dropped to rear of midfield by WJ and continued to fade 2C before being PU at 19th.
  P Daimio 9 12-06 H. Escott H. Escott 40/1 18TH Jumped slowly in mid-division 1C, 12th WJ. Weakened quickly 2C, tired and beaten when PU 18th.
  F Mediator 8 9-08   W. Grosvenor 100/1 EARLY 2C Slowly away. Last 2nd and always towards rear. Tailed off, last but one WJ and no progress when fell early 2C.
96 P Clawson 7 10-10   B. Bissill 100/1 END 1C Away well. A fore of mid-division 9th at 2nd and then chased leaders until mistake CT 1C and badly hampered by loose horse (The Soarer) next (VB), losing all chance and dropping to last of those not remounted. Tailed off in 23rd WJ and PU at end of 1C.
94 95 96 P Wild Man From Borneo 9 11-05 M. Widger J. Widger 9/1 END 1C Had interrupted preparation. Rear of mid-division until BD by Fairy Queen (who was being hampered by a loose horse) CT 1C. Remounted tailed off. Bad blunder in last WJ and PU not long after.
  F Goldfish 6 9-07 J. Cannon T. Fitton 66/1 15TH (CHAIR) Fore of mid-division until fell Chair.
  P Ballyohara 8 10-03 W. Woodland W. Denby 100/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division until stirrup leather broke CT 1C & PU.
96 F The Soarer 8 11-04 W. Moore Lt D. Campbell 100/6 6TH (BB) Chasing leaders but overjumping until fell BB 1C. (Hampered 3 horses when loose and later sustained a bad injury in collision with a gateway.)



Manifesto, superbly proportioned and powerful, had been sent to a professional trainer, Willie McAuliffe who ran a large yard at Eversleigh, and, probably still maturing, now began to create his legend. His victory in the 1897 Grand National was impressive looking, however, I'm not sure he beat a lot. Only two horses carried more than 11st 5lb, for the second year running there were 28 competitors which again created plenty of incident, and the race rather fell apart with the horses holding second place to Manifesto at the 29th (Timon) and 30th (Cathal) both coming to grief, albeit they were each beaten at the time of their respective departures. That said, much credit must go to Manifesto for, ultimately, being the only horse able to sustain the relentless pace as he became the fifth winning favourite or joint favourite in eight years. Terry Kavanagh, a former apprentice to Henry Linde who died just eight days before this renewal, was one of the top jump jockeys of the period. Sadly, Kavanagh would pass away in 1908, five years after he retired, aged merely 40. The Soarer did not take well to the Grand National a second time. After falling at first Becher's he hampered Fairy Queen at the Canal Turn, causing her to bring down Wild Man From Borneo. Meanwhile, at the same place Ballyohara's stirrup leather broke and Clawson erred before the latter himself was badly inconvenienced by The Soarer at Valentine's.

The quality in depth of Grand Nationals in the second half of the 1890s was not as high as that in the first half which featured Cloister, Come Away, Ilex and Why Not. This is one reason why Manifesto stood out in the latter portion of the decade although he could, in fairness, only beat what was put in front of him. The pace in 1897 was, relative to the ground, as lightning fast as in 1894, the most recent previous occasion that the race had been run on Good. That year, you may recall, I rated the 13-y-o Why Not -19 and his time was 3.60s quicker than Manifesto's on going in 1897 that may have been a shade the faster of the two years. In addition, Why Not carried 10lb more. Even using a conservative conversion of 3 lengths per second finds Manifesto about a stone and a half inferior per a time/weight comparison. However, Why Not was all out while Manifesto won easily and the latter can be allowed at least 5 (pounds/lengths) for that. Also, the jumping test had been made somewhat tougher in 1897 with what amounts to nine leaps requiring increased scope. Furthermore, the relative insecurity of a pure time juxtaposition can be qualified and rendered more reliable by an investigation of collateral form. Cathal, as a 6-y-o and on Heavy going, was rated -34 in 1895. He may have improved with age and/or preferred the Good surface of 1897 but was essentially an out and out stayer, therefore, it's reasonable to think he would have run to a similar level had he stood up and sources indicate that had he kept his feet he would have finished runner-up. Cathal was clear of the current third when falling so we can logically surmise he may have been beaten an easy dozen lengths while giving Manifesto 7lb. Allowing the latter the same 5 mentioned above for his comfortable victory, and bearing in mind the time comparison, with the best will in the world I cannot rate Manifesto any higher than -24 for this performance. At the weights in the 1897 National Manifesto emerged 30 superior to Ford Of Fyne and Prince Albert, 44 better than Filbert. When the 5 for Manifesto's ease of success is applied it means Ford Of Fyne and Prince Albert are rated -59 and Filbert -73.       








Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling