Grand National Ultimate History



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Fr 26 Mar 1915 (3.01) 4m 4f Good 9.47.80 20 £3,515 Lady Nelson

  1 Ally Sloper 6 10-06 A. Hastings J. Anthony 100/8   Mid-division, 10th at 1st. Bad mistakes 2nd (where jockey's brother helped rider stay on) & CT 1C. 9th (of 15) WJ. Jumped better 2C and gradual progress, 7th BB. Further headway CS, 5th ABC. Took 2nd at 29th. Leapt into lead last and kept on well. All out.
14 2 Jacobus 8 11-00 J. Robinson A. Newey 25/1 2 Mid-division, 8th at 1st, 10th VB 1C. Became prominent by WJ where 3rd. Dropped back to 6th at 19th but resumed progress to be 2nd BB 2C. Hampered & bad mistake VB, nevertheless took lead shortly after. Not headed until outjumped last. Kept on gamely.
  3 Father Confessor 6 9-10 F. Hartigan A. Aylin 10/1 8 Mid-division, 9th at 1st, 8th BB 1C, 11th VB 1C. Had moved up to 7th WJ and to 4th by 19th. 6th BB 2C, 7th ABC. Under pressure in 4th at 29th. Kept on at same pace, continuing to pick off weakening horses.
  4 Alfred Noble 10 10-12 P. Whitaker T. Hulme 25/1 2 Chased leaders, 7th at 1st. 10th BB 1C, 7th again VB 1C, 6th ABC & WJ. Headway into 5th at 19th, 3rd BB 2C. Took 2nd CS, lost it at 29th. Weakened thereafter, losing 3rd.
13 14 5 Thowl Pin 10 10-08 F. Withington W.J. Smith 33/1 8 Mid-division, 12th at 1st & BB 1C. 8th VB 1C, 10th WJ. 8th again BB 2C, 6th ABC. Able only to plug on at the one pace.
  6 Silver Top 8 10-00 Cpt Bruce S. Walkington 9/1   Towards rear 1st, bad mistake 2nd. Nevertheless, a mid-division 9th BB & VB 1C. 11th WJ. Good steady progress 2C. 8th at 19th, 5th BB, 3rd CS & ABC. Weakened quickly soon after.
  7R Balscadden 8 11-08 J. Robinson F. Lyall 10/1   Initially rear of mid-division. Improved into 11th by BB 1C, 12th VB. Fell next (10th). Remounted but almost 2f behind. Tailed off 15th & last WJ. Game effort to be 9th BB 2C and finished strongly but no realistic chance of getting back into it.
13 14 8 Blow Pipe 10 10-04 W. Cotcheifer W. Smith 50/1   Tubed. 6th at 1st, 3rd at 4th and took lead BB 1C. Headed before VB 1C but in front again by ABC 1C. Led until early CS 2C. Hanging on in 4th ABC but under severe pressure. Faded badly thereafter and finished tailed off.
  9 Hackler's Bey 8 10-02 J. Rogers S. Harrison 40/1   Mid-division, 14th at 1st. Chased leaders until became prominent in 6th BB 1C. 5th VB 1C, 4th ABC, 5th again WJ. Began to fade early 2C, bad mistake 21st and 11th BB. Continued to weaken and finished well tailed off.
13 P Irish Mail 8 11-12 B. Gore L. Brabazon 6/1F ABC 2C Interrupted preparation. Away well & 2nd at 1st. 4th BB & VB 1C, 3rd ABC. Had dropped to 8th by WJ. Rallied and 4th BB 2C. Lost ground quickly CS. Exhausted when PU circa ABC.
12 13 14 P Ballyhackle 12 11-09 H. Ussher S. Avila 50/1 26TH Away well & 5th at 1st but had dropped towards rear by BB 1C. 14th & last but one WJ. No revival 2C, 13th & last BB. Broke down badly on off fore & PU 26th. Broke leg. Dead.
  P Distaff 7 10-10 A. Hastings E. Piggott 25/1 26TH Always towards rear, 13th WJ. Brief effort to be 10th BB 2C. Soon faded and PU circa 26th.
  P The Babe 7 10-00 F. Withington B. Chadwick 50/1 26TH Away well, 3rd at 1st. 5th BB & ABC 1C. 2nd WJ. Began to fade early 2C, 12th BB. Continued to weaken and PU circa 26th.
  F St Mathurin 10 9-10 E. Woodland T. Dunn 50/1 22ND (BB) Initially rear of mid-division. Good progress to be 3rd BB & VB 1C, 4th WJ. Had dropped to 7th at 19th and weakening further when fell BB 2C.
  B Denis Auburn 8 9-07 A. Hastings J. Reardon 33/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division, 11th at 1st. Headway to lead briefly 4th. Headed before BB 1C where 7th. 6th VB 1C but had dropped to 12th by WJ. No further impact. Towards rear when BD by St Mathurin BB 2C.
  F Bullawarra 10 11-12 H. Escott Charles Hawkins 100/7 16TH (WJ) Away well & 4th at 1st.  2nd from 4th until took lead before VB 1C. Had been headed by ABC 1C but still 2nd when hampered by a loose horse & fell WJ.
14 F Bahadur 12 9-07 Cpt E. Craven P. Roberts 50/1 10TH Rear of mid-division until fell 10th.
  F Bachelor's Flight 8 9-08 Reggie Walker H. Harty 100/9 5TH Away well, keen & led over first 3. Headed by 4th, hampered & fell next.
  F Lord Marcus(2) 7 10-03 P. Whitaker G. Parfrement 7/1 5TH Mid to rear until fell 5th.
14 F Ilston 7 11-08 A. Hastings I. Anthony 33/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division, 13th at 1st. Fell 3rd.



1915 saw the first true khaki National and with the Great War raging the stands were half empty. There was nothing comic about it as Ally Sloper provided second successes in the race for Aubrey Hastings and Jack Anthony. The latter's brother Ivor's reward for keeping Jack aboard at the 2nd was to fall at the next! The ground lost early may have done Ally Sloper a favour because none of the first seven home were involved with the near suicidal pace that prevailed for the body of the first circuit, the highest placed of them at the Water was Jacobus in third who had been held up for the bulk of it. Several riders it seems were hell-bent upon trying to emulate the tactics employed on Sunloch in 1914. Those horses up with the pace to varying degrees who finished well beaten or not at all included Blow Pipe, Bullawarra, Irish Mail, Hackler's Bey, The Babe, Denis Auburn, Bachelor's Flight and St Mathurin. From the other perspective, the jockeys who chose to hold up their mounts showed courage after what had happened last year. And the above is not to say the pace really collapsed when Jacobus took over from Blow Pipe just after second Valentine's. Ally Sloper had won the Stanley, Becher and Valentine chases over the Grand National fences before turning six and as a young Liverpool specialist he may have been able to improve upon his effort in the 1915 renewal of the big race, certainly his jumping was below its usual standard in the opening stages here. However, Aintree was taken over by the War Office until hostilities ceased and the next authentic Grand National would not take place until 1919. In the meantime Lady Nelson, the first female winning owner, fittingly gave 25% of her prize money to funds for soldiers and sailors.

Ally Sloper's time in triumph was par for the Good going. I compared it with two contrasting renewals, in terms of strength of performance, on similar ground, those of 1899 (using Manifesto's raw figure and holding that the pace collapse in that race counterbalanced the slightly stiffer jumping test now present) and 1914. This produced two figures within a span of 9 (pounds/lengths), the better of them in relation to Sunloch to whom I was as generous as possible. Therefore, I'm happy to split the difference and allocate a raw mark of -48 to Ally Sloper. At the weights in the 1915 Grand National Jacobus emerged 6 better than Ally Sloper and the former made a bad mistake at second Valentine's for which I will allow Jacobus 2 and rate him -40, however, Ally Sloper's two notable early errors must have cost that horse at least 4 so his final grade is -44. Jacobus was 12 superior to Alfred Noble (-54) who in turn came out 12 in advance of Thowl Pin (-66) with Father Confessor a further 2 inferior (-68).  









Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling