Grand National Ultimate History



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7th/23rd - 5' H (was 5' 6").


Fr 30 Mar 1900 (3.36) 4m 4f Good 10.01.40 16 £1,975 HRH The Prince of Wales

99 1 Ambush 6 11-03 T. Lushington A. Anthony 4/1   Away well & prominent 1st then settled in mid-division. 10th BB 1C, 8th just after ABC. Headway to be 5th (of 13) WJ and further progress, into 2nd, early 2C. 4th just after BB, 2nd again CS. Took lead for good circa ABC, 2L ahead last. Kept on well to fight off Manifesto and increased margin of victory in final 20yds when that horse eased.
98 99 2 Barsac 8 9-12 B. Bletsoe W. Halsey 25/1 4 Away well & immediately led. Headed 1st but regained lead well before BB 1C. Headed again CS 1C and 2nd just after ABC. Took lead once more Chair and held it until just after BB 2C. Rather one-paced and lost position, 5th ABC. 4th at 29th, 3rd last and continued to run on well flat. Snatched 2nd from easing rival in final 20yds.
95 96 97 99 3 Manifesto 12 12-13 W. Moore G. Williamson 6/1 NK Initially held up towards rear, last but one CS 1C. Progress began after ABC 1C, 9th WJ and then chased leaders from early 2C to beyond BB. 4th CS, 3rd ABC and 2nd at 29th. Same position, 2L down, last. Fought on gamely run in until rider accepted defeat and horse eased in last 20yds, forfeiting 2nd.
  4 Breemount's Pride 7 11-07 C. Marnes G. Saunders-Davies 20/1   Generally raced in rear of mid-division 1C, 11th WJ. Headway into 5th early 2C and rushed into lead just after BB. Quickly went clear but advantage narrowed CS and headed circa ABC, at which place 2nd. Faded and had dropped to 3rd by 29th, 4th last.
  5 Levanter 11 9-08 T. McGuire T. McGuire 50/1   Away well but soon dropped towards rear, last CS 1C and jumped slowly. Rearmost but one WJ, last again early 2C. Never a factor but kept on very dourly, passing beaten horses. Never nearer.
98 6 Grudon 10 10-05 B. Bletsoe M. Bletsoe 40/1   Prominent early, 3rd at 1st. A mid-division 6th at BB 1C, 5th CS 1C, 7th just after ABC. Headway to be 4th WJ & early 2C, 5th again just after BB. Chasing leaders, rather one-paced, when bad mistake along CS and rider contrived to get his leg entangled in bridle, 6th ABC. Faded.
  7 Easter Ogue 6 9-13 H. Escott C. Hogan 66/1   Away well. 3rd BB & CS 1C, 4th just after ABC. Had dropped to 6th by WJ. Chased leaders until beyond BB 2C but beaten in mid-division by ABC. Plodded on. 
97 99 8 Lotus Lily 10 9-11 J. Walley A. Wood 25/1   Slowly away. Headway to be a mid-division 7th BB & CS 1C. Resumed progress and 3rd from just after ABC 1C until took 2nd just after BB 2C. Began to fade CS, 4th ABC. Beaten by 29th where 5th. Continued to weaken.
  9 Sister Elizabeth 7 10-00 Cpt D. Beatty C. Clack 40/1   Mid-division 1C, never higher than 8th (as at BB & WJ). Headway to chase leaders early 2C but lost place soon after BB and well towards rear by ABC. Lumbered on.
  10 Model 7 10-07 E. Woodland P. Woodland 66/1   Chased leaders until went ahead at 1st. Headed well before BB 1C where a mid-division 9th. Same position just after ABC 1C, 10th WJ. Anonymous in midfield 2C, 7th ABC. Weakened badly thereafter to finish tailed off.
99 11 Elliman 9 10-01 G. Marsh E. Driscoll 100/7   Never better than rear of mid-division 1C, last by WJ. Way behind by CT 2C and finished well tailed off.
96 F Alpheus 9 10-10 J. Elsey A. Waddington 40/1 23RD Became prominent by BB 1C where 4th. Same position CS 1C, 5th just after ABC. 7th WJ and no sign of renewed progress when fell 23rd.
  B Hidden Mystery 6 12-00 Sir C. Nugent H. Nugent 75/20F 17TH Slowly away but soon became very prominent, 2nd BB 1C. Took lead CS 1C, travelling & jumping well. Narrowly headed Chair but remained 2nd until a loose horse (Covert Hack) swerved across path at 17th & BD.
96 97 98 F Barcalwhey 10 10-00 J. Cannon T. Lane 20/1 16TH (WJ) Initially rear of mid-division. Gradual headway to be 5th BB 1C. 6th CS & just after ABC 1C and in similar position when fell WJ.
  F Covert Hack 6 11-00 T. Lushington Tich Mason 100/6 1ST Prominent, fell 1st.
  RO Nothing 9 9-11 W. Holt W. Hoysted 100/1 1ST Slow into stride & last until caught sight of 1st whereupon bolted & ran out.



The first Grand National of the new century being won by a horse owned by the future King (Edward VII) provided a nice boost for the race and, therefore, steeplechasing as a whole. The good cheer eminating from the victory of Ambush was an especially timely tonic because Britain (and Ireland) were embroiled in the Boer War although, ironically, the royal winner shared his name with the Boers' preferred method of combat! Ambush was trained, Tommy Lushington supervising, at Henry Linde's old place (Eyrefield Lodge) and carried the tremendous dual-purpose jockey Algy Anthony to his sole National success. The pace was distinctly average, there is no indication that the going was on the easy side of Good, allowing a rare tubed runner Breemount's Pride to surge into a clear lead at one stage. Barsac was allowed to dictate much of the tempo and he improved for not having his suspect stamina exposed, however, Ambush, now a 6-y-o and whom possessed good limbs and feet, took a greater step forward. The effort of Manifesto under a huge burden was gallant. The dual victor had been beaten at levels by Hidden Mystery, made 1900 National favourite now in receipt of 13lb, a month earlier at Hurst Park. Hidden Mystery was unluckily brought down at the 17th thus depriving another renewal in this mini-era (one of generally below average depth) of part of what quality it had. 100/1 shot Nothing was aptly named, and the 7th/23rd, which had been six inches higher than any other fence on the course, inevitably claimed its first victim since 1897 having been reduced in size for 1900.

My feeling, considering the above, is that Manifesto was probably a couple of pounds short, as a 12-y-o, of being capable of reproducing his peak performance of 1899 (rated -19). At the weights in the 1900 Grand National he, nevertheless, emerged 20 (pounds/lengths) superior to Ambush and 43 better than Barsac. I will rate Manifesto -21 and because Williamson was kind to the great horse when the chance of a third triumph had gone the winner and runner-up must have 2 added to their deficits, therefore, Ambush is awarded -43 and Barsac -66.  









Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling