Grand National Ultimate History



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Fr 18 Mar 1921 (3.04) 4m 4f Heavy 10.26.00 35 £7,060 M. McAlpine

19 1 Shaun Spadah 10 11-07 G. Poole D. Rees 100/9   Chased leaders. Hampered 2nd where landed on top of prone Any Time & White Surrey and recovered cleverly. Nevertheless prominent in 5th by BB 1C. 2nd VB 1C and when slight mistake WJ (to which point 6 had survived). Disputed lead early 2C. Left solely ahead 21st. Joined by The Bore from the CT until left well clear 29th.
20 2R The Bore 10 11-08 Harry Brown Harry Brown 9/1F DIST Away quite well. Became prominent BB 1C where 6th. In three-way dispute of 4th VB 1C. 4th, slightly adrift of leading trio, WJ. Chased leaders in 5th early 2C. Left 3rd at 21st and left 2nd at 23rd. Joined leader from CT until appeared to come under pressure just before 29th & fell heavily at that obstacle. Jockey injured but remounted. Tailed off.
19 20 3R All White 7 10-13 J. Fergusson B. Chadwick 33/1 DIST Away well & very prominent. 2nd BB 1C. A close up 7th VB 1C. Pecked WJ where 3rd. Disputed lead early 2C until spooked by newspapers blowing in the wind & UR 21st. Remounted well tailed off. Stayed better than eventual 4th from last.
20 4R Turkey Buzzard 8 12-02 W. Payne Cpt T. Bennet 100/9   Increasingly prominent until left in lead BB 1C. 2L lead VB 1C. Still ahead WJ. Joined by two others early 2C then headed by both. Left 2nd at 21st. Same position when fell 23rd. Remounted, possibly more than once, much to displeasure of owner. Well tailed off. Faded after last & lost 3rd.
  F Forewarned 6 9-11 A. Hastings T. Burford 50/1 21ST Initially fore of mid-division. Became very prominent in 3rd by BB 1C but had dropped back to 9th when very bad mistake VB 1C, losing further ground. 5th and adrift of leading trio WJ. Chased leaders in 4th early 2C. Fell 21st.
  R Glencorrig 7 10-13 T. Coulthwaite Bryan Bletsoe 50/1 19TH (OD) Away well. Prominent to BB 1C where 7th. In three-way dispute of 4th VB 1C. Had lost position and last of the 6 remaining WJ. Faded further and refused 19th.
19 20 F Loch Allen 10 11-00 B. Gore J.J. Kelly 100/1 16TH (WJ) Chased leaders until fairly prominent in 8th BB 1C. In three-way dispute of 4th VB 1C. Refused Chair, kept going but rearmost and behind when fell heavily WJ.
20 R Clonree 7 12-00 P. Whitaker T. Hulme 33/1 15TH (CHAIR) Fore of mid-division 2nd. Prominent in 4th BB 1C. 3rd VB 1C. Similar position, pursuing leaders, when refused Chair.
20 F Bonnie Charlie 13 10-04 Bryan Bletsoe M. Blair 100/1 LATE 1C Mid to rear when fell 4th. Remounted. Fell three more times before rider, having broken his collar bone and tenuous partnership being utterly tailed off, declined the fourth opportunity to remount.
  R Redstart 13 9-09 E. Tomlinson Maj A. James 100/1 11TH (OD) Slowly away in rear. Rear of mid-division in 11th when refused VB 1C. Kept going, tailed off, but refused again 11th, slipping into ditch.
  F Hackam 6 9-07 G. Clancy G. Clancy 66/1 10TH Initially chased leaders. Still pursuing them in 8th VB 1C and same position when fell next.
  R Halston 9 10-09   L. Firth 50/1 9TH (VB) Rear of mid-division. 10th when refused VB 1C.
19 F Charlbury 13 9-07 William Nightingall B. Ellis 100/1 8TH (CT) Always towards rear, fell CT 1C.
  F Daydawn 8 10-13 F. Hartigan J. Anthony 100/7 8TH (CT) Fore of mid-division on run to 1st. Chased leaders from 2nd until fell 5th. Remounted. Tailed off when fell again CT 1C.
  P Rather Dark 7 10-12 P. Whitaker A. Gregson 33/1 8TH (CT) Away well. Took lead upon landing 1st and still ahead when fell BB 1C. Remounted. Tailed off when broke down badly CT 1C & PU. Could not be saved. Dead.
  F Short Knock 12 10-10   M. Halpin 100/1 7TH Mid-division until fell 7th.
  F Bobbydazzler 7 11-01 P. Woodland A. Stubbs 100/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until fell BB 1C.
  F Prince Clifton 8 10-13 M. Vasey L.B. Rees 66/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until fell BB 1C.
  F Long Lough 9 10-01 H. Ussher R. Trudgill 100/1 6TH (BB) Mid to rear until fell 4th. Remounted, tailed off, fell again BB 1C.
  F Eamon Beag 8 10-04 T. Coulthwaite M. Connors 10/1 5TH Away well & prominent until fell 5th.
  F Blazers 7 10-04 Maj H. Verschoyle B. Watkinson 30/1 5TH Prominent, fell 1st. Remounted and towards rear when fell again 5th.
  F White Cockade 8 9-10 T. Longworth H. Wicks 100/1 4TH Fairly prominent until fell 4th.
  F Cupid's Dart 7 10-00 T. Coulthwaite J. Hogan jnr 100/1 4TH Mid to rear until fell 4th.
  U Prosperitz 7 9-08 F. Morgan W. Daly 100/1 4TH Towards rear until hampered & UR 4th.
  F Old Tay Bridge 7 11-08 B. Gore E. Piggott 100/8 3RD (OD) Away well & very prominent until fell 3rd.
  F Hill Of Camas 13 10-07   Cpt J. Delmege 100/1 3RD (OD) Led to 1st. Remained very prominent once headed until fell 3rd.
  F Gleneffy 7 9-07 Cecil Young T. Willmot 100/1 3RD (OD) Mid to rear until fell 3rd.
20 F Wavebeam 10 10-07 O. Anthony S. Lloyd 100/1 3RD (OD) Towards rear until fell 3rd.
  F Any Time 10 10-06 J. Woodman F. Wooton 50/1 2ND Away well & very prominent until fell 2nd.
  F White Surrey 9 10-12 F. Hunt T. Escott 33/1 2ND Initially mid-division. Had become fairly prominent when fell 2nd.
  F Ballysax 7 10-05 D. Rogers G. Goswell jnr 100/1 2ND Rear of mid-division until fell 2nd.
  F Rufus(2) 10 10-00 K. Paget Cpt E. Doyle 100/1 2ND Towards rear, fell 2nd.
  R Garryvoe 7 11-02 A. Hastings I. Anthony 100/9 2ND Fore of mid-division on run to 1st where fell. Objected to being remounted by refusing 2nd when towards rear.
20 F General Saxham 8 11-04 D. Rogers W. Smith 66/1 1ST Away well & very prominent when fell 1st.
19 20 F Picture Saint 9 10-05 H. Ussher N. Hayes 100/1 1ST Mid to rear, fell 1st.



Another of the sensational Grand Nationals of the era and one as dramatic as any to this point. The field in 1921 was the largest to have faced the starter so far, the number of entries being partially responsible for the value to the winning owner leaping up to over £7,000. Not much successful leaping was accomplished by the runners, however, as 22 (three remounted and still going) had come to grief by first Becher's and only six embarked upon the second circuit. For just the second time (1911) there was merely one finisher who was not remounted. Unsurprisingly, as horses tumbled like autumn leaves, the notion that the fences were too severe began to grow.

There was no rival of the class of the previous two winners for Shaun Spadah to worry about in 1921. Mind you, he had a touch of class himself, particularly at Aintree. A horse possessed of a docile nature and a good jumper, it would be unkind to label Shaun Spadah as a one-paced out and out stayer. He was, like Troytown, a relentless galloper who would win 19 races in his career and, despite his name which can be translated as John the Bogman, would prove in the 1923 National that he didn't need the mud to be flying to excel. The triumphant trainer George Poole, rarely seen without a fag on, was an expert placer of horses and ran arguably the most formidable yard in the south during the 1920s. Dick Rees, the first jockey to ride over 100 winners in a Jumps season and five times Champion between 1920 and 1927, did not require his superb driving finish on this occasion, however, there is no report of him easing Shaun Spadah when left well clear by the fall of The Bore. Virtually all modern accounts of the 1921 Grand National have the latter as going the better of the two horses and falling at the last but contemporary descriptions are quite clear that The Bore had come under pressure and went heavily at the 29th. This makes sense because the ground was apparently similarly Heavy and slippery as it had been in 1920 when The Bore failed to stay. Furthermore, my interpretation of the race description is that The Bore had to be urged to join, then stick with, Shaun Spadah after the 23rd where they were left the only pair to have kept their feet. The Bore finally cracked at the second last along with Harry Brown's collar bone. Brown, one of three jockeys to sustain that injury, courageously remounted. On that theme, just about my all-time favourite Grand National image is the one conjured up by the owner of Turkey Buzzard, Mrs Hannah Hollins, being so incensed at Captain Tuppy Bennet's remounting of her horse that she chased the rider round the paddock brandishing her umbrella and cursing profusely! Fortunately for Morgan Blair's already damaged well-being he owned as well as rode Bonnie Charlie.

Shaun Spadah had continued to improve during the two years since he last contested the Grand National. Indeed, having been 60+ (pounds/lengths) inferior to Poethlyn at Gatwick in 1918, he may have gone on to perform better than the hypothetical -57 that was all I could give him credit for behind the same horse (whose raw mark was -23) when the race returned to Aintree in 1919 had his saddle not slipped. Here in 1921 Shaun Spadah's time was 5.60s slower, carrying 2lb less, than the one recorded by Troytown (raw -16) on very similar going in 1920. Employing, as usual on testing ground, a conversion rate of 2 1/2 lengths per second this computes to a raw figure of -32 for Shaun Spadah. However, he was hampered at the 2nd, blundered at the Water and, although sustaining what was obviously a decent pace for the conditions all the way to the line, was not pressed, therefore, I will allow him 6 for a final rating of -26.    









Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling