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   Chased leaders, 9th at 3rd. 6th BB 1C, 8th CT 1C, 5th CS & WJ (where 13 remained). 4th early 2C, 2nd BB and disputed lead soon after. Left alone in front CT, joined VB. Soon went on, led ABC and 2L to the good at 29th. Began to draw clear. Nearly took wrong course approaching Elbow. Easily.
  2 Red Lad 6 10-02 E. Lucas C. Kelly 33/1 10 Chased leaders, 10th at 2nd. Generally in 8th from 3rd, 7th WJ. Same position early 2C but headway to be 4th from BB until moved into 2nd at 27th. Dropped to 3rd not long after ABC and same position at 29th. 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, 14th at 3rd. Generally 7th from BB 1C to early CS then made further headway to take 3rd before ABC. 4th WJ. 5th early 2C & at BB. Disputed lead briefly VB but dropped back to 3rd at 27th. Took 2nd not long after ABC and 2L down in that position 29th. Larger 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.W. Smith I. Anthony 100/6 2 Mid-division. Chased leaders in 10th at 3rd & BB 1C. 9th early CS & WJ. 8th BB 2C, 7th CT & VB. Modest headway into 5th ABC and kept on very dourly to be 4th from 29th.
  5 Wolf's Folly 8 10-06 A. Clement T. Fitton 100/6 6 Away in rear of mid-division. 13th at 3rd, 11th early CS & WJ. Bad mistake 17th and miraculous recovery by jockey. Somewhat one-paced and a beaten 7th ABC but plugged on exceedingly dourly.
  6 Oatlands 6 9-13 R. I'Anson H. Aylin 100/6   Soon prominent: 4th at 2nd, 3rd at 3rd, 2nd BB 1C. Left in lead CT 1C. Mistake Chair, rider briefly lost an iron and joined WJ. 2nd early 2C and began to jump poorly but remained fairly prominent in 5th from BB to VB. Tired rapidly from 27th, 6th ABC. Returned with twisted plate & cut knee.
  7R Gladiator 6 9-09 W. Moore E. Driscoll 100/6   Away well & prominent. 7th at 2nd, 6th at 3rd, 4th BB & CT 1C. Took 3rd early CS and same position WJ where 3L down. Took lead fairly early 2C. Joined shortly after BB. Had dropped back to 3rd CT & VB and losing touch with front trio when fell 27th. Remounted, finished tailed off. 
01 02 03 8 Drumcree 12 12-02 Sir C. Nugent W. Bulteel 33/1   Slowly away & always towards rear. Last but one CS & WJ where becoming tailed off and almost fell upon landing. Last from 18th and became well tailed off.
05 9R Phil May 7 11-05 B. McNaughton J. Owens 9/1   Away well & immediately led. Headed shortly after BB 1C. 5th CT and initially remained prominent when headed but had dropped to 8th by WJ where mistake. 6th CT & VB 2C. Left 4th at 27th but someway adrift of front trio and beaten. Had dropped to 5th by 29th. Same position but still fading when fell last. Remounted, walked home.
  F Pierre 8 9-07 J. Cowap J. Dillon 33/1 27TH (OD) Away well but only 12th at 3rd. 8th BB 1C, 6th early CS & WJ. Same position early 2C, 7th BB. Had lost touch with front trio when fell 27th.
05 F Buckaway 8 10-04 J. Rogers A. Newey 20/1 27TH (OD) Mid to rear. 15th at 3rd. Gradual progress to be 10th early CS & WJ. 8th early 2C. In similar position when fell 27th.
05 F Timothy Titus 8 10-12 E. Morgan E. Morgan 10/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division, 11th at 3rd. 9th BB 1C and became prominent in 5th early CS 1C. Vied for lead WJ and led early 2C. Headed well before BB where 3rd. Under pressure when fell CT.
04 P Hill Of Bree 10 10-03 J. Bostock B. Chadwick 66/1 18TH Soon fairly prominent, 9th at 2nd, 7th at 3rd. Increasingly unable to go the pace and last by early CS. Tailed off rearmost by WJ and when PU 18th.
  F Glenrex 6 9-09 Lt Col F. Lort-Phillips Reggie Walker 100/1 14TH Always rear of mid-division, 11th BB 1C. Took off too soon & fell 14th.
03 04 05 P Dearslayer 10 10-04 A. Hastings P. Whitaker 50/1 13TH No great impression in rear of 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) Away well & very prominent from the outset. Took 2nd before 2nd but not jump well and 3rd BB 1C. Took lead soon after and went 6L clear. 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. 5th at 2nd, 4th at 3rd, 5th again BB 1C. Still prominent when fell CT 1C. Broke shoulder. Dead.
04 05 B Kiora 11 10-04 A. Cort G. Clancy 33/1 8TH (CT) Soon prominent. 6th at 2nd, 5th at 3rd. BD by loose horse (Dathi) CT 1C.
  B Roman Law 8 11-05 T. Lushington J. Walsh jnr 100/7 8TH (CT) Away in rear of mid-division. Dropped towards rear and last over BB 1C. No improvement when BD by the stricken Comfit CT 1C.
  F Hard To Find 6 9-10 A. Hastings E.R.  Morgan 66/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division when attempted to refuse 1st. Last at 2nd, tailing off. Slipped up on landing BB 1C & fell.
  F St Boswells 8 9-07 R. Clarke D. Phelan 66/1 5TH Chased leaders until fell 5th.
  F Canter Home 11 9-13 F. Penton A. Aylin 66/1 5TH Mid-division until fell 5th.
  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 one-eyed 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 the latter was giving little indication of improving the stone and a half necessary on last year's effort to again grab a place. At this fence too Gladiator met his match, his hopes of at least a place appearing to have withered on the vine of using 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 1905, 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 her mistake at the last 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 (-48), receiving 10lb, it would have merited a rating of merely -58, 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