Grand National Ultimate History



prev . next


3rd/19th (OD) - fence 4' 9" H (was 5'); 4th/20th - 4' 10" H (5'); 6th/22nd (BB) - fence 4' 10" H (5'); 12th/28th - fence 5' 1" H (5').


Fr 30 Mar 1928 (3.37) 4m 4f Heavy (Soft places) 10.23.60 42 £11,255 H. Kenyon

  1 Tipperary Tim 10 10-00 J. Dodd B. Dutton 100/1   Tubed. Raced on outside. Rear of mid-division 1st. Midfield in 15th BB 1C. Left 8th CT 1C, same position next (VB). 5th at 12th & WJ (where 9 remained). Continued to track leaders 2C, left 4th at 20th. Left 3rd & last 27th but close up. Left 2nd at 29th. Disputed lead last, probably going best, when temporarily left alone. Unopposed.
  2R Billy Barton 10 10-11 A. Hastings T. Cullinan 33/1 DIST Away well & prominent, disputed 7th at 1st, 6th BB 1C. Mistake but left 4th CT 1C. 3rd at 10th & 11th and 2nd at 12th. Took lead before Chair, mistake WJ. Joined early 2C but left ahead once more 20th. Joined again last (by sole remaining rival) where tired fall. Remounted, tailed off. 
  U Great Span 7 11-09 W. Payne B. Payne 33/1 29TH Fore of mid-division 1st, 13th BB 1C. Left 7th CT 1C, same position next (VB). 6th & last of leading group 12th. Advanced into 3rd by WJ. Left 2nd at 20th. Going best in that position when saddle slipped as rising at the 29th causing jockey to fall off.
  U May King(2) 9 10-13 A. Hastings L.B. Rees 100/1 27TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. Headway to be 8th BB 1C. Left 3rd CT 1C. 4th at 12th & WJ. Left 3rd again at 20th. Same position and appeared to be going well when blundered & UR 27th.
  U Maguelonne 6 10-13 G. Poole J. Bedeloup 20/1 27TH (OD) Away well & very prominent 1st. 8th at 5th, 5th BB 1C. Left 2nd CT 1C and led narrowly by 10th. Headed by next where jockey became unbalanced upon landing. Dropped to 3rd before 12th and to 6th by WJ. Thereafter remained last of leading group of 6, not jumping well and under pressure between fences. Left 5th at 20th but tiring when only just negotiated VB 2C. Still 5th and in touch when blundered & UR 27th.
   F De Combat 11 10-00 C. Mulholland F. Croney 100/1 22ND (BB) Chased leaders 1st and soon prominent. 7th BB 1C. Left 5th CT 1C, took 2nd before 10th and led 11th & 12th. Headed before Chair and 2nd WJ. Disputed lead early 2C until fell 20th. Remounted, tailed off. Fell again BB.
27 P Trump Card 10 11-10 Maj W. Renwick K. Piggott 11/2 18TH Mid-division. Left 17th BB 1C. Baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C. One of two to get over at the second attempt, tailed off (in 11th). Left 10th at 10th, 9th at 11th and 8th at 12th. Same position WJ, roughly a fence behind leading group of 6. Became well tailed off and PU 18th.
  P Melleray's Belle 9 10-05 W. Easterby J.P. Kelly 200/1 18TH Rear of mid-division 1st. Midfield BB 1C and when baulked & refused CT 1C. One of two to get over at the second attempt, tailed off (in 10th). Left 9th at 10th, 8th at 11th and 7th at 12th. Same position WJ, roughly a fence behind leading group of 6. Became well tailed off and PU 18th. 
  P Foxtrot 12 10-13 P. Woodland Cpt H. Lumsden 100/1 17TH Mid-division 1st, BB 1C and when the 9th & last to get over the CT 1C at initial attempt. Bad mistake next (VB) and began to lose touch with the leading group of 8. Left 8th at 10th and 7th at 11th where ploughed through fence & UR. Remounted, tailed off (though still ahead of remaining two). Very bad mistake & UR again 12th. Remounted once more in 9th & last, well tailed off. Clambered over Chair, roughly 2 fences behind leading group of 6, and completely tailed off when PU 17th.
25 26 R Ardeen 11 11-02 Sir K. Fraser T. Hamey 40/1 11TH (OD) Chased leaders 1st & BB 1C where 12th. Left 6th CT 1C and left 5th at 10th. Same position when refused 11th.
  F The Ace 6 11-06 G. Poole Tommy Morgan 50/1 10TH Away well & very prominent. Disputed 4th at 4th, outright 4th at 5th, 3rd BB 1C. Left in lead alone CT 1C, narrow advantage VB 1C, had dropped back to 4th when fell next (10th).
  F Easter Hero 8 12-05 T. Pardy P. Powell 100/7 8TH (CT) Away well & led 1st. Headed 2nd but remained very prominent, disputed lead 3rd & 4th where left clear. Narrow advantage when landed on top of fence CT 1C, quickly slipping back into ditch.
27 B Grakle 6 11-05 T. Coulthwaite B. Lyall 33/1 8TH (CT) Away well & very prominent. Left 2nd at 4th. Same position BB 1C and when baulked by Easter Hero CT 1C & BD, toppling into ditch.
27 R Eagle's Tail 9 11-00 A. Hastings E. Foster 50/1 8TH (CT) Always very prominent, 4th BB 1C. Similar position, on the inside, when refused CT 1C.
26 B Darracq 13 11-02 J. Leader J. Moloney 20/1 8TH (CT) Away well & chased leaders, 11th BB 1C. Had advanced a couple of places, on the inside, when baulked by the refusing Eagle's Tail & BD into ditch CT 1C.
25 27 R Keep Cool 13 10-11 J. Goswell J. Goswell 66/1 8TH (CT) Away well & 3rd over 1st. 6th at 3rd, 8th next but remained fairly prominent in 10th at BB 1C. Similar position, on the inside, when baulked by Eagle's Tail and Darracq CT 1C & caused to refuse, running along fence to the right (a loose horse seeing this also swerved to the right, blocking the only part of the fence still open).
  R Redlynch 7 10-05 H. Smyth W. West 66/1 8TH (CT) Prominent from 1st, 9th BB 1C. Similar position when baulked, caused to refuse & plunged into ditch CT 1C.
  R Soldier's Joy 10 10-00 P. Woodland D. Quirke 100/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. 14th BB 1C. Similar position when ran down fence to inner whilst refusing CT 1C.
  R Commonside 9 10-05 P. Woodland C. Harvey 200/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division 1st. Midfield BB 1C and when baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C.
  R Carfax 12 10-10 B. Ancil B. Ancil 25/1 8TH (CT) Towards rear 1st. Progress into midfield by BB 1C. Rear of mid-division when baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C.
  R Ruddyman 9 10-04 Maj B. Powell B. Parvin 66/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. Rear of mid-division when baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C.
27 R Drinmond 11 10-13 G. Balding B. Balding 33/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division 1st. A tad further towards the rear when baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C. Several attempts to get over (including one in which both horse & jockey wound up in the ditch) proved of no avail.
  R Rathowen 8 11-00 R. Payne H. Deterding 33/1 8TH (CT) Towards rear of main group until baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C.
26 27 R Test Match 10 10-09 G. Balding J.M. Maloney 66/1 8TH (CT) Towards rear of main group until baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C. (Continued to refuse when repeatedly put to fence.)
  R The Gosling 8 10-05 H. Bazley S. Dennis 200/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division 1st. Towards rear of main group BB 1C and when baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C.
26 27 R Master Billie 9 10-08 P. Whitaker D. Rees 5/1F 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division 1st. Towards rear of main group BB 1C and when baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C.
27 R Ballystockart 9 11-02 E. Martin jnr Cpt R. Sassoon 40/1 8TH (CT) Towards rear 1st. Still among backmarkers of main group when baulked & caused to refuse CT 1C.
  R Burgoright 13 10-07 B. Gore F. Bonsal 200/1 8TH (CT) Rearmost 1st. Blundered very badly 4th. Last of remaining non-remounted runners BB 1C. Modest progress back towards main group but still adrift when nowhere to go & caused to refuse CT 1C.
  R Spear O'War 7 10-10 G. Bennett F. Brookes 50/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division until caused to refuse by Scotch Eagle BB 1C. Kept going, tailed off, only to refuse again CT 1C.
27 R Amberwave 10 11-13 B. Gore J. O'Brien 10/1 8TH (CT) Slowly away, left 39th at 1st. Not jump well. Last but one on the inner when possibly distracted by the refusing Rathmore and also refused 4th. Kept going, tailed off. Fell BB 1C. Remounted, well tailed off, only to persistently refuse CT 1C.
  P Scraptoft 11 10-01 Cpt R. Laye M. Barry 200/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division, fell 1st. Remounted, well tailed off. PU before CT 1C.
26 27 U Bright's Boy 9 12-07 T. Leader jnr M. Rayson 20/1 7TH Chased leaders 1st. Mid-division BB 1C and when UR next (7th).
26 F Koko 10 12-02 T. Pardy B. Gurney 20/1 6TH (BB) Away well & fore of mid-division 1st. Midfield when fell heavily BB 1C, sliding back into brook where nearly drowned before eventually being rescued.
  R Scotch Eagle 12 10-08 S. Bennet H. Fowler 100/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division 1st. Rear of midfield when refused BB 1C, jockey stepping off.
  F Herbert's Choice 7 10-08 P. Woodland F. Gurney 50/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until fell BB 1C.
  R Rathory 12 10-02 A. Hastings D. Williams 100/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division until caused to refuse by Scotch Eagle BB 1C.
27 R Master Of Arts 11 10-06 M. Blair Maj T. Cavenagh 50/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division until caused to refuse by Scotch Eagle BB 1C.
25 26 27 F Sprig 11 12-07 T. Leader jnr T.E. Leader 100/7 5TH Mid-division 1st. Rear of midfield when fell 5th.
  F Rossieny 9 10-00 W. Payne B. Everett 33/1 4TH Prominent, disputed 7th at 1st. Vied for lead 3rd. Same position when fell 4th.
  U The Coyote 8 11-13 F. Morgan J. Hogan jnr 40/1 4TH Mid-division 1st. More prominent when back end went down upon landing & UR 4th.
  R Rathmore 11 10-01 J. Scott L. Whitfield 66/1 4TH Left 38th at 1st where mistake & jockey pitched forward. Still towards rear on the inner when refused 4th, throwing rider onto fence.
  U Seti The First 13 10-04 C. Tanner C. Tanner 40/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until mistake & UR 3rd. (Later fell when loose CT 1C.)



An extraordinary renewal as the open ditch at the Canal Turn, in what would be its last act, outdid itself by providing the setting for the biggest pile-up so far in Grand National history. It had been coming! On a misty day and testing ground in front of a record attendance of nearly 300,000, and racing for first prize money that exceeded £10,000 for the initial time, almost half of the 42 runners, the largest field yet assembled, were put out at the Turn. To further clarify: Easter Hero (who took an unfair proportion of the blame) held a narrow advantage when he landed on top of the fence and quickly slipped back into the ditch, effectively bringing down close pursuer Grakle, meanwhile almost simultaneously on the inside Eagle's Tail refused causing Darracq to be brought down and leaving Keep Cool with nowhere to go. The latter began to run down the obstacle towards the outside, this led to a loose horse following suit and just like that the entire obstacle was blocked, the back portion of the field having made a beeline for the outer upon seeing the trouble to the left (where Soldier's Joy had also run to as refusing). Nine horses, spread from positions that were very prominent to mid-division approaching the Canal Turn, had managed to negotiate it at the first time of asking, the last of them being Foxtrot. Everything further back was stopped. Two others, Melleray's Belle and Trump Card were able to get over at the second attempt but had no chance of regaining competitiveness. Altogether eighteen horses were unable to continue, several of them despite also being put to the obstacle more than once. Three of the principal nonet soon came to grief along the canal side and of these Foxtrot was remounted to make a trio without hope while a leading group of six strode on.

The magnificent mayhem at the Canal Turn should not obscure the drama that occurred before and after in the 1928 Grand National. A field with an international flavour and several promising horses was reduced to rubble. Great Span and possibly May King were unfortunate in the latter stages and opinions differ regarding who was going the better, Tipperary Tim or Billy Barton, when the American owned creature fell at the last. Earlier, Koko had gotten stuck in the brook at Becher's and was eventually hauled out with ropes. Tipperary Tim, from the small Shropshire yard of Joseph Dodd, was overall very lucky. The horse was ill-tempered, tubed, had a malformation of the upper jaw, boasted very moderate form and went off completely unbacked on the Nanny. However, he was a dour stayer, had big feet which helped his jumping and jockey Billy Dutton, later a fine dual-purpose trainer, stuck towards the outer where the going was better. Tipperary Tim became the first 100/1 winner of the National, it was the third occasion there was only one finisher who wasn't remounted and the fewest number to complete the course per se.

The time for weight carried was below average and the form of modest value. Comparisons of the clock are all that are available to determine how modest. I shall look at the three most recent previous renewals on similar going. In 1920 Troytown received a raw rating of -16 whilst running 3.20s faster and carrying 23lb more than Tipperary Tim did in 1928. Using a slow ground conversion of 2 1/2 lengths per second marks the latter as 31 (pounds/lengths) inferior (-47). In 1921 Shaun Spadah received a raw rating of -32 whilst carrying 21lb more than Tipperary Tim but running 2.40s slower. The conversion figure is 6 which, of course, when deducted from -53 also pegs the 1928 Grand National winner at -47. However, Tipperary Tim was kept honest to the last and there is no report of him being eased after it, the going was heavier in 1920 and 1921, the fences were harder (no aprons) and there is a bit of general athletic improvement working in his favour. Therefore, it is clear he merits a rating below -47. In 1927 Sprig was awarded -37 and carried 32lb more than did Tipperary Tim this year, Sprig was also 3.40s faster last year but on going that was Soft (Heavy places) compared to Heavy (Soft places). A few fences were lessened in height in 1928, however, Tipperary Tim kept to the outer to avoid the worst ground. On balance, taking into account all factors, I am inclined to give him a rating of -62.

Not surprisingly, although somewhat sadly, its notoriety amongst the public (the 1928 National was the second to be broadcast live on radio) and the advice of course inspector Gilbert Cotton quite swiftly led to the latest Edward Topham (grandson of The Wizard) deciding to fill in the Canal Turn ditch. However, it was not really the end of an era because doing so did not stop incident at the obstacle, it merely reduced the amount of it.     





Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling