Grand National Ultimate History



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9th/25th (VB) - 5' H (was 4' 11"); 14th/30th - 4' 6" H (4' 7").


Fr 25 Mar 1927 (3.04) 4m 4f Soft (Heavy places) 10.20.20 37 £8,215 M. Partridge

25 26 1 Sprig 10 12-04 T. Leader jnr T.E. Leader 8/1F   Away well and settled just off leaders. Left in dispute of 2nd CT 1C and in dispute of lead VB 1C. Reined back, 7th ABC. 5th (of 15) WJ. Slightly hampered & mistake BB 2C, dropping towards rear of main group. Quickly recovered and leapt from 5th into lead by cutting corner CT. Headed before 26th where 4th. Left 2nd next, 3rd at 28th, 2nd again ABC. Took lead just before last. Kept on well. All out.
  2 Bovril 9 10-12 J. Cockton W. Pennington 100/1 1 Blind in right eye so kept to outer. Initially towards rear but steady headway to be fore of mid-division by BB 1C. Left in dispute of 2nd CT 1C but forced wide by prone horses, left 5th VB 1C. Soon back up to 3rd and retained that position until left 2nd Chair. Same place WJ. Took lead briefly BB 2C, headed next. Went a liitle wide CT & dropped to 4th. Left 3rd at 27th, disputed lead next, 3rd again ABC. Same position last where mistake & 4L down. Ran on well to take 2nd inside last 75yds and nearly got up.
26 3 Bright's Boy 8 12-07 G. Blackwell J. Anthony 100/7 1 Mid-division 1C, left 8th WJ. Similar story 2C until headway and left 3rd CT. Disputed 2nd VB, 2nd at 26th and left in lead 27th. Joined next but ahead again from ABC until headed just before last. Kept on well under pressure but lost 2nd inside last 75yds.
  4 Drinmond 10 11-02 G. Balding B. Balding 66/1 DIST Mid-division. Mistake 10th. Left 10th WJ. Threatened to lose touch with main group early 2C but rallied and 6th BB. Left in same position CT and gained a place turning. Remained 5th until left 4th at 27th where under pressure and slightly inconvenienced by the newly loose Master Billie following the latter's unseat there. Began to lose touch with leading trio before 28th. Weakened further and finished very tired.
  5 Master Of Arts 10 10-10 M. Blair Maj T. Cavenagh 50/1   Towards rear early on but improved position by sticking to inner CT 1C and well in touch throughout CS 1C. Had dropped into rear pair of main group when slightly inconvenienced by loose horses, very bad mistake, big splash, came to a virtual standstill and dropped to 12th & last of leading group WJ. Slowly set off again but soon became tailed off 2C. Left 6th at 27th but a fence behind. Left 5th at 29th. Finished well tailed off.
  6R White Park 8 12-05 F. Brown E. Foster 20/1   Mid-division until UR CT 1C. Horse ran off but turned back at Valentine's, jockey (the mad fool) ran to intercept it & remounted. Always well tailed off thereafter. Finished completely so. 
  7R Ballystockart 8 11-01 E. Martin jnr Cpt R. Sassoon 100/1   Rear of mid-division. Modest progress beginning CS, left 9th WJ. Remained with main group 2C as it became whittled down, increasingly towards rear of it. 6th VB. Left 5th at 27th as beginning to feel pinch and losing touch. Very tired when misjudged leap at 29th, landing on top of the fence. Jockey dismounted, pulled horse over then remounted to finish completely tailed off.  
26 U Master Billie 8 10-13 P. Whitaker D. Rees 20/1 27TH (OD) Mid-division. Became prominent by 12th. Generally raced in 4th place from WJ to BB 2C. 3rd at 23rd. Led 26th. Joined when bad mistake & UR 27th.
25 R Keep Cool 12 11-03 W. Midwood J. Goswell 33/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division until misfortunes of others combined with fairly rapid headway on the inner after BB 1C left him in dispute of 2nd CT 1C and in dispute of lead VB 1C. Headed and 2nd again from next (10th) until left ahead once more Chair, 2L clear WJ. Briefly headed BB 2C but led again 23rd. Still in front when caused to refuse by loose horse in ditch next (CT 2C).
  R Amberwave 9 12-00 B. Gore J. O'Brien 20/1 24TH (CT) Slowly away. Left last of main group 11th, threatening to becme tailed off. Had closed up by 14th. Left 11th WJ. Still last but one of leading group BB 2C. Had gained a place when caused to refuse by loose horse in ditch CT, plunging into it.
  CO Hawker 13 11-01 W. Payne Cpt A. Grant 66/1 24TH (CT) Initially mid-division but progress to be in leading ten by BB 1C and left 6th VB 1C. Same position WJ. Mistake 18th and dropped to rear of main group. Still last of leading nonet when carried out by a loose horse CT.
25 26 U Dwarf Of The Forest 10 11-04 R. Thompson H. Kennard 33/1 23RD Chased leaders. Had dropped to mid-division by 5th, however, improved again after ABC 1C and 7th WJ. Under pressure early 2C yet led briefly 18th. Soon headed but still as high as 3rd BB 2C. 5th when very bad mistake & UR next.
  F Mr Jolly 12 10-09 J. Wight J. Wight 66/1 23RD Chased leaders to BB 1C where rider became unbalanced & lost an iron. Thereafter mid-division until mistake & UR 11th. Remounted, well tailed off. Lumbered on until refused BB 2C. Kept going, completely tailed off, only to fall next (23rd).
26 R Misconduct 8 10-12 Maj B. Powell B. Parvin 20/1 22ND (BB) Away well & prominent. 6th when jumped big & pecked 5th. Remained very handy and left 2nd going over CT 1C but lost ground there by again overjumping & not turning well. 4th VB 1C & ABC. 3rd WJ. Had lost position and towards rear of main group when hampered & refused 20th. Kept going, well tailed off, and refused again BB 2C.
  F Uncle Jack 8 11-01 G. Poole T. O'Sullivan 50/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division, pecked 1st & rider almost flew over horse's neck. Slight mistake & UR CT 1C. Jockey kept hold of reins and remounted, well tailed off. UR again 11th. Remounted once more, completely tailed off. Persisted until fell BB 2C.
26 F Red Bee 9 11-03 A. Hastings B. Payne 50/1 16TH (WJ) Mid-division. Rear of same 11th. Mistake 14th. 8th when ridden into WJ and fell with a large splash.  
26 F Test Match 9 11-01 G. Balding B. Lyall 50/1 16TH (WJ) Rear of mid-division. Mistake Chair. Had just been left 9th, seemingly going ok, when fell WJ with a small splash.
26 RO Grecian Wave 9 11-12 J. Morrison J. Meaney 50/1 15TH (CHAIR) Initially rear of mid-division but gradually improved to be chasing leaders by BB 1C. Continued progress then left in front by events at CT & VB 1C. Had just been joined when ran out through wing Chair, unshipping rider in the process.
  R Snapper 9 10-10 P. Woodland Cpt M. Dennis 40/1 11TH (OD) Rear of mid-division. Bad mistake 1st and dropped towards rear. Another error 2nd and jockey obliged to call a cab. Dropped towards rear and last horse in main group to successfully negotiate BB 1C. Jumped right CT 1C. Last of non-remounted survivors (and out of touch with main body of field) from there until refused 11th, decanting rider.
26 F Upton Lad 12 10-10 M. Barthropp B. Dutton 66/1 10TH Towards rear 1st. Last but two of the non-remounted starters and had lost touch with the main group when fell heavily 10th.
  U Trump Card 9 11-01 Maj W. Renwick S. Dennis 33/1 9TH (VB) Away well & very prominent, often disputing lead. Left narrowly ahead alone BB 1C and left further clear CT 1C. Ran down obstacle towards outer & tried to refuse VB 1C, landing on top of fence (where became temporarily stuck) whilst sending jockey flying over.
  R Shaun Or 8 11-03 T. Leader jnr W. Madden 100/6 9TH (VB) Away well but settled in mid-division until perhaps distracted by Trump Card perched on top of VB 1C, ran down fence to outer & refused.
  U Corazon 9 10-08 Maj F. Barrett Tommy Morgan 100/1 9TH (VB) Mid-division until very bad mistake & UR VB 1C.
  F Grakle 5 10-09 T. Coulthwaite J. Moloney 9/1 8TH (CT) Away well & very prominent. Led or disputed lead from 3rd to 5th. Narrowly headed BB 1C but 2nd when fell CT 1C.
  B Blaenor 10 10-07 Maj E. Doyle Maj E. Doyle 33/1 8TH (CT) On toes beforehand. Away well & led over 1st. 4th at 2nd, marginally behind leading trio. Remained very prominent and 3rd when BD by Grakle CT 1C.
20 24 26 B Gerald L 13 12-05 O. Anthony L.B. Rees 50/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division until became prominent 4th. 5th at 5th. Left 4th BB 1C. Same position when BD by Blaenor CT 1C.
  R Sir Huon 13 10-12 T. Rayson M. Rayson 100/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division early on. Rear of midfield by BB 1C and when caused to refuse by loose horse (Knight Of The Wilderness) in the ditch at CT 1C.
  R Miss Balscadden 8 10-05 Col M. Lindsay D. Thomas 100/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division 1st. Had dropped into last trio of main group when jumped big at BB 1C and made agile recovery to land just past brook albeit in a bit of a heap. Caused to refuse by loose horse (Lissett) stopping directly in front of her CT 1C.
26 U Knight Of The Wilderness 7 11-09 P. Whitaker B. Gurney 33/1 7TH Away well & chased leaders. Sprawled upon landing BB 1C & lost a few places. Fore of mid-division when UR 7th.
  F Marsin 9 11-12 G. Blackwell P. Powell 66/1 6TH (BB) Always very prominent, often disputing lead - as when fell BB 1C.
  R Eagle's Tail 8 10-09 A. Hastings F. Brookes 20/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until refused BB 1C.
  F Lissett 11 10-05 H. Bazley T. Hamey 100/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division, mistake & nearly down 1st. Lost place but gradually recovered former position only to fall BB 1C.
  R Silver Somme 10 11-03 P. Woodland M. Connors 100/7 6TH (BB) Slowly away and not jump well due to lack of size. Becoming tailed off when refused BB 1C, jockey coming off.
19 20 21 22 24 25 R All White 13 10-05 J. Fergusson J.F. Mason 100/1 6TH (BB) Always towards rear. Last of main group and becoming tailed off when refused BB 1C.
26 R Pop Ahead 9 10-13 S. Bennet H. Fowler 40/1 6TH (BB) Away well & disputed lead 2nd. Fell 3rd. Remounted, well tailed off. Refused BB 1C.
26 RO Cash Box 10 10-12 G. Whitelaw G. Green 100/1 3RD (OD) Towards rear and raced without enthusiasm until ran out 3rd.
25 26 F Thrown In 11 11-10 O. Anthony H. Grosvenor 100/8 1ST Away well & very prominent when fell 1st.



1927 saw the biggest sized field yet and the 37 runners combined to produce a race that all-round was head and shoulders above any Grand National heretofore. With lashings of drama and a tight three-way finish, which involved two horses lumping well over twelve stone on testing ground, it remains one of the very best renewals ever despite a general lack of real quality that found most returnees from the previous year carrying about a stone more. And there was probably a record crowd at Liverpool to witness it on a slightly misty day too. It was extraordinary fare, perhaps highlighted by the current second, third and fourth going down like ninepins at the first Canal Turn, in an incident precipitated by Grakle, leaving Trump Card clear only for that horse to object to Valentine's.

Sprig became the fourth winner in five years trained at Newmarket as licensed preacher Tom Leader jnr followed his brother Jack in nabbing a first National victory. Tom, the eldest of five sons of Tom snr was the only one who specialised in National Hunt horses and Sprig, big and strong, was not the easiest to handle either at home or on course, requiring all the strength and style of Tom jnr's son Ted, the 1925/26 Champion Jockey. Poignantly, the horse had been bred by the triumphant owner's son who had been killed in World War One, Mrs Partridge having lost two other sons in the Boer War.

At last Sprig suffered no significant misfortune in a Grand National or the build up to it and his improved luck enabled him to cut his deficit with Bright's Boy to merely 1 (pound/length) which was enough to see him successful at the weights. Bright's Boy emerged 22 better than the runner-up, the one-eyed Bovril, who understandably kept to the outer. Master Billie, a doubtful stayer in the conditions, was probably beginning to feel the pinch when unseating at the 27th. Keep Cool was distracted by a loose horse in the ditch when leading and refusing at the second Canal Turn (so too Amberwave). The time was perfectly reasonable and I'm inclined to believe that Bright's Boy and Sprig may have been improving as horses. Plus they had to slog through the mud with lofty imposts. Therefore, I will rate the former a couple higher than in 1926 at -36 and Sprig, consequently, at -37. Bovril was pushed even wider at the first Canal Turn, his jockey, William Pennington, was not as strong as Ted Leader or Jack Anthony on Bright's Boy and he made a mistake at the last before finishing with a late rattle so I will allow him 4 for -54.   









Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling