Grand National Ultimate History



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1st/17th - 4' 7" H (was 4' 6"); 2nd/18th - 4' 7" H (4' 8"); 3rd/19th (OD) - ditch 6' W (5'), fence 4' 9" H (5'); 6th/22nd (BB) - fence 4' 11" H (4' 10"); 7th/23rd - 4' 7" H (4' 10"); 9th/25th (VB) - fence 4' 11" H (4' 6"), brook 6' 6" W (5'); 11th/27th (OD) - ditch 6' W (5' 6"); 14th/30th - 4' 8" H (4' 6").


Fr 30 Mar 1906 (3.03) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.34.40 23 £2,175 Prince Hatzfeldt

05 1 Ascetic's Silver 9 10-09 A. Hastings A. Hastings 20/1   Prominent from 3rd. 5th (of 13) WJ. Disputed lead BB 2C, ahead before CT. In front by 2L last. Drew clear. Nearly took wrong course Elbow. Easily.
  2 Red Lad 6 10-02 T. Lushington C. Kelly 33/1 10 Chased leaders, 7th WJ. Became very prominent CT 2C, 3rd ABC. Took 2nd at last. Unable to reach winner, who drew further away, but kept on well.
02 03 05 3 Aunt May 10 11-02 A. Persse A. Persse 25/1 2 Mid-division 3rd. Very prominent from BB 1C, 4th WJ. Largely in 2nd latter stages, 2L down 29th. Similar deficit when mistake last & lost 2nd. Kept on but unable to regain 2nd and may have been eased close home.
  4 Crautacaun 8 10-06 R. Smith I. Anthony 100/6 2 Chased leaders 3rd but generally in mid-division from CT 1C, 9th WJ. Headway CT 2C but beaten by ABC where 5th. Nevertheless, kept on dourly and left 4th at last.
  5 Wolf's Folly 8 10-06 A. Clements T. Fitton 100/6 6 Slowly away and no better than mid-division to WJ where 10th. Bad mistake 17th. Nevertheless, chased leaders to CT 2C. Very one-paced and a beaten 7th ABC. Plugged on exceedingly dourly.
  6 Oatlands 6 9-13 W. I'Anson H. Aylin 100/6   Very prominent until took lead 7th. Mistake Chair and joined WJ. Remained prominent 2C until tired rapidly from 27th. Returned with twisted plate & cut knee.
  7R Gladiator 6 9-09 W. Moore E. Driscoll 100/6   Away well & prominent. Very handy from CT 1C, 3rd WJ. Disputed lead briefly after BB 2C. 2nd when fell 26th. Remounted, finished tailed off. 
01 02 03 8 Drumcree 12 12-00 Sir C. Nugent W. Bulteel 33/1   Slowly away & always towards rear, well behind WJ where almost fell upon landing. Became well tailed off 2C.
05 9R Phil May 7 11-05 B. McNaughton J. Owens 9/1   Led until 7th. Initially remained prominent when headed but had dropped to 8th by WJ where mistake. Left 5th at 27th, 4th ABC but beaten. Same position but fading when fell last. Remounted, walked home.
  F Pierre 8 9-07 J. Cowap J. Dillon 33/1 27TH (OD) Away well & generally prominent 1C, 6th WJ. 5th CT 2C and still chasing leaders when fell 27th.
05 F Buckaway 8 10-04 D. Rogers A. Newey 20/1 27TH (OD) Always raced in mid-division 1C, 11th WJ. Modest progress from BB 2C and not without hope of a place when fell 27th.
05 F Timothy Titus 8 10-12 E. Morgan E. Morgan 10/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division 3rd. Became prominent by CT 1C. Vied for lead WJ and led early 2C. Joined BB. Had just been headed and was under pressure when fell CT.
04 P Hill Of Bree 10 10-03 J. Bostock B. Chadwick 66/1 18TH Prominent 1st. Chased leaders 3rd. Increasingly unable to go the pace and rear of mid-division CT 1C. Last CS and well behind WJ. Tailed off when PU 18th.
  F Glenrex 6 9-09 Lt Col F. Lort-Phillips R. Walker 100/1 14TH Initially mid-division but had dropped towards rear when fell 14th.
03 04 05 P Dearslayer 10 10-04 A. Hastings P. Whitaker 50/1 13TH No great impression in mid-division until saddle tree broke 12th & jockey left with no choice but to PU before next.
  F John M.P. 7 11-10 Sir C. Nugent B. Taylor 7/2F 8TH (CT) Very prominent from the outset but not jump well. Vying for lead when fell into ditch CT 1C (due to a lack of concentration).
04 F Comfit 8 11-00 Lt Col F. Lort-Phillips Tich Mason 10/1 8TH (CT) Away well & very prominent until fell CT 1C. Broke shoulder. Dead.
04 05 B Kiora 11 10-04 A. Cort G. Clancy 33/1 8TH (CT) Prominent until BD by loose horse (Dathi) CT 1C.
  B Roman Law 8 11-05   J. Walsh jnr 100/7 8TH (CT) Away in mid-division. Dropped towards rear and last over BB 1C. No improvement when BD by the stricken Comfit CT 1C.
  F Canter Home 11 9-13 Penton A. Aylin 66/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until fell BB 1C.
  F St Boswells 8 9-07 R. Clarke D. Phelan 66/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until fell BB 1C.
  F Hard To Find 6 9-07 A. Hastings D. Morgan 66/1 6TH (BB) Tried to refuse 1st and rearmost 2nd. Tailed off when fell BB 1C.
  F Dathi 9 10-04 B. McNaughton A. Birch 25/1 3RD (OD) Away well & chased leaders until fell 3rd.



A stylish victory by Ascetic's Silver who was relatively unfancied for the 1906 Grand National due in large part to a proclivity to break blood vessels. However, the chestnut former Irish National winner was a half-brother to two horses previously triumphant in the Aintree marathon and Wroughton trainer Aubrey Hastings, who gained the first of what would be three successes in that capacity, had shed 16lb to also ride the son of the prolific sire Ascetic, who was responsible for Cloister and Drumcree too. Like the former of those two horses, Ascetic's Silver proved particularly effective on ground that was on the quick side, the time and manner of his National win being excellent. That said, we should not get carried away by his performance. Whilst the field assembled in 1906 was of slightly better quality than for some recent renewals, Ascetic's Silver was arguably left with not very much to beat and the before and after form in Grand Nationals of the 1906 runners amounts to little. The race was a fast run affair. Phil May looks to have gone off too quickly and was not performing as well as he had threatened to in 1905 when again departing late on. Oatlands may also have done too much too soon, although might not have faded so rapidly without a twisted plate and cut knee which likely occurred at the 27th. That final ditch also put paid to the chances of Pierre and Buckaway, though I reckon the latter would've had to improve a stone and a half on last year's effort to grab a place. At the fence before, Gladiator met his match, his hopes of at least a place looked better founded but it's impossible to gauge whether he, too, had already used up excessive energy by always being right up with the speed. Timothy Titus certainly had begun to reach the end of his tether when parting company with Ernie Morgan a fence earlier than had been the case in 05, namely at the second Canal Turn. And it was this obstacle on the first circuit that had accounted previously for a few fancied, higher-weighted runners. The short priced favourite, John M.P., was more interested in observing the crowd than in taking the lead, failing to notice the ditch; Comfit, close up, tragically suffered a fatal fall and brought down Roman Law; whilst shipwreck survivor Kiora, seemingly in better form for a change of trainer, was knocked over by the loose Dathi, himself having been quite handy when falling at the 3rd. Meanwhile, although Hastings's second string and not fancied at all, Dearslayer's accursed run of Grand National misfortune continued.

Ultimately, then, Ascetic's Silver had only two serious rivals because Crautacaun and Wolf's Folly shaped as though more testing ground would have suited them better. Nevertheless, it is to the winner's credit how he quickened away from Red Lad and Aunt May having never been far from the lightning pace. It's hard to believe the going for the 1906 National was faster than Good to Firm because the official description was Good. The winning time indicates it certainly was not the latter, yet it cannot have been as road-like as in 1893. However, Ascetic's Silver ran only two seconds slower than his half-brother Cloister did that year and won almost as easily. There had been only minimal equine and human general athletic improvement at this stage in steeplechasing's history, therefore, we can say Ascetic's Silver's time was a little more meritorious relative to the surface. As Cloister (rated -14) carried 26lb more than Ascetic's Silver a rating for the latter of -35, incorporating 4 (pounds/lengths) for ease of victory and Hastings almost taking the wrong course on the run in, seems about right. At the weights in 1906 Aunt May emerged strictly 5 inferior, based on Ascetic's Silver's raw figure that would mean a rating of -44 but I will allow the mare 1 for being eased and award her -43. As I repeatedly stress, time is far from everything and Aunt May's previous Grand National form must be considered to provide ballast, or otherwise, to the above ratings. I said in last year's discussion that the mare would likely have at least placed in 1905 but for falling at the 28th. Had she dead heated with Kirkland (-50), receiving 10lb, it would have merited a rating of merely -60, however, there are reasons to believe Aunt May was indeed capable of performing over a stone better in 1906. Firstly, we don't know exactly what would've happened in 1905 - she may have won, secondly, Aunt May had improved, and was improving, for the strength that accompanied maturity and the training of Atty Persse, and, finally, the faster going may have suited her more per se and also not taxed the suspect stamina displayed as a 6-y-o on Good to Soft in 1902. That settled, Red Lad and Crautacaun are both rated -56 and Wolf's Folly, allowing 2 for a bad mistake at the 17th, -60.             









Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling