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. Very prominent 1st & 2nd and remained so, 2nd at 13th. 6th (of 25) WJ. 2nd again early 2C. Led VB, outduelled Timon (pair clear) and on top before 29th where left clear. Left further clear last. Easily.
  2 Filbert 7 9-07 Cpt D. Beatty Cpt C. Beatty 100/1 20 Held up. Rear of mid-division WJ. Headway to be 7th BB 2C. Chased leaders CS. Ran on well last half mile and helped by late departures to be 3rd at last. Just prevailed in fine battle for 2nd.
  3 Ford Of Fyne 6 10-07 Ross F. Withington 25/1 HD Held up in rear of mid-division 1C. Good headway early 2C, 4th BB. Chased leaders CS. Ran on well late and helped by departures to be 4th at last. Not quite get up for 2nd following fine battle.
95 4 Prince Albert 9 10-08 W. Moore G. Davies 25/1 HD Mid-division 1C, 13th WJ. Chasing leaders by BB 2C, 6th VB. Continued pursuit CS but deficit widened. Left 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. No impact 2C and became tailed off. Plugged on dourly, inheriting 5th.
  6R Timon 6 9-10 R. Brown J. Tervit 20/1   Away well, immediately led and went clear. 10L ahead CS 1C. Not headed until VB 2C and even then continued to vie with winner (pair clear) until before 29th where a very tired 2nd & UR. Remounted, tailed off.
  7 Fairy Queen 11 9-07 Lawless E. Lord 50/1   Slowly away. Mid to rear when hampered by loose horse (The Soarer) CT 1C. Nevertheless, mid-division at 13th & WJ. Chased leaders early 2C and up to 4th VB. Thereafter weakened and finished tailed off.
  8 Seaport 8 10-07 S. Rustell C. James 50/1   Rear of mid-division 1C, including at WJ. No greater factor 2C and finished tailed off.
94 9 Nelly Gray 8 11-03 Ross G. Morris 20/1   Soon very prominent. 3rd at 13th, 2nd WJ. Displayed tendency to swerve early 2C yet 3rd BB. Lost place under pressure CS and tried to refuse 28th. Persuaded on, weakened further, tailed off.
  10 Argonaut 7 10-12 W. Halsey R. Woodland 33/1   Rear of mid-division 1C, including at WJ. No greater factor 2C and finished well tailed off.
95 96 F Cathal 8 11-10 A. Yates Cpt R. Ward 7/1 30TH Prominent by CS 1C, 4th at 13th and 3rd WJ. 5th BB 2C. 3rd and chased leading pair from CT. Beaten after 28th, 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 2nd. 5th at 13th. Chased leaders WJ and still doing so in 5th VB 2C. Deficit widened CS, towards the end of which fell.
  F Golden Cross 6 10-02 T. Wilson G.F. Wilson 33/1 EARLY CS 2C Away well. Prominent CS 1C but only 11th WJ. Fairly handy early 2C. Fell early CS.
  F Norton(1) 11 10-07 H. Escott J. Hickey 10/1 23RD Chased leaders 1st. Mid-division after 12th. Became more prominent again early 2C. Fell 23rd.
96 F Westmeath 8 11-04 T. Hardie B. Taylor 100/1 23RD Away well & very prominent 2nd. Still prominent CS 1C, 8th WJ. Continued to travel okay 2C. Fell 23rd.
  F The Continental 6 10-02 W. Holt H. Brown 100/1 23RD Prominent 2nd. Chased leaders 13th. Only mid-division WJ. Decline unarrested when fell 23rd.
96 F Barcalwhey 7 10-01 J. Cannon C. Hogan 25/1 21ST Immediately very prominent. Still nicely handy in 6th at 13th. 7th WJ and similar position when fell 21st.
  B Little Joe 8 9-10   L. Bland 100/1 21ST Chased leaders after 12th, 10th WJ. Headway into 4th early 2C and still pretty prominent when BD by Barcalwhey 21st.
  F Gauntlet 6 11-03 T. Hardie Cpt W. Hope-Johnstone 66/1 19TH (OD) Prominent 2nd and remained very handy 1C, 4th WJ. Fading when fell 19th.
  P Chevy Chase 8 9-13   A. Anthony 28/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division 1C, including at WJ. Faded rapidly 2C and PU 19th.
  F Mediator 8 9-08   W. Grosvenor 100/1 EARLY 2C Slowly away & always in rear-division. Well behind WJ and no progress when fell ealy 2C.
  P Daimio   12-06 H. Escott H. Escott 40/1 18TH Jumped slowly in mid-division 1C, 12th WJ. Weakened quickly 2C & PU 18th.
96 P Clawson 7 10-10   B. Bissill 100/1 END 1C Away well. Very prominent 2nd and then chased leaders until mistake CT 1C and badly hampered next (VB), losing all chance and dropping to last of those not remounted. Still towards rear when 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. Mid to rear until BD by Fairy Queen (who was being hampered by a loose horse) CT 1C. Remounted tailed off. Bad blunder 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).



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 1/2 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 height. 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