Grand National Ultimate History



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The open ditch at the CT (8th/24th) was eliminated and the obstacle became a plain fence, remaining 5' H.


Fr 22 Mar 1929 (3.08) 4m 4f Good to Soft 9.47.40 66 £13,000 M. Gemmell

  1 Gregalach 7 11-04 T. Leader jnr B. Everett 100/1   Away well & always fairly prominent. 9th at 4th, 8th at 12th, 7th (of 22) WJ. Mistake 20th. Left 6th BB 2C. 4th CT and tracked leading trio in same position, 10L back, VB. Left 3rd at 26th and much closer order in same position 28th. Took lead before next where 1L to the good over sole remaining serious rival. Gradually drew clear. Nicely. 
28 2 Easter Hero 9 12-07 J. Anthony J. Moloney 9/1F 6 Away well & made virtually all at a good pace. Circa 5L ahead WJ. Joined early 2C and embroiled in a three-way battle with Sandy Hook and Richmond during middle part of it. Mistake VB & twisted a plate, nevertheless led alone again latter portion of CS. 2L up but under pressure after 28th, headed before next where 1L down. No answer to winner but kept on doggedly.  
  3 Richmond 6 10-06 G. Poole B. Stott 40/1 12 Away well & always very prominent. Disputed lead approaching 4th. Extremely handy BB & VB 1C. 5th ABC 1C & WJ. Vied for lead again at times during middle part of 2C. Disputing 2nd when very bad mistake 26th and not jump well after, however, maintained 2nd, 2L down, after 28th. Began to weaken well before next where mistake in 3rd & beaten. Continued to fade and did well to hang on to 3rd.   
28 4 Melleray's Belle 10 10-02 W. Easterby J.F. Mason 200/1 1 Dwelt & lost up to 20L start. Miraculously picked her way through carnage: rear of mid-division 4th, midfield of leading group 12th, 13th WJ. Continued gradual headway 2C: left 8th BB and left 7th CT. Further progress CS and 5th ABC. Took 4th shortly after 29th, kept on well and almost nabbed 3rd. Never nearer.  
28 5 May King(2) 10 11-02 R. Thompson F. Gurney 66/1 3 Away well & chased leaders 4th. Gradually became more prominent, 4th at 12th, 6th WJ. Maintained similar position 2C, still 6th CT. Left 5th at 26th, took 4th again before 28th but about 12L behind leader. A little further adrift by 29th and lost 4th not long after. Kept on under pressure and very one-paced.
27 28 6 Grakle 7 11-09 T. Coulthwaite T. Hamey 18/1   Away well & prominent, 5th VB 1C & at 12th, 4th WJ. 5th again, about 10L behind leader, when mistake VB 2C. Had dropped to 6th by 28th and continued to fade. 
  7 DDB 9 10-11 F. Withington R. Gubbins 66/1   Mid-division 1C, left 14th WJ. Began to lose touch with leading group early 2C and although inheriting several places gradually became tailed off. A fence behind in 7th at 28th. Lumbered on.
  8 Delarue 7 10-03 G. Beeby Gerry Wilson 200/1   Mid-divison until caused to refuse by Skrun Prince at the 3rd. Kept going, well tailed off. Plodded on, forming part of a back trio 2C which became over two fences behind and finished utterly tailed off. 
  9 Kilbairn 8 10-00 R. Parry L. Parry 200/1   Mid-division until caused to refuse by Skrun Prince at the 3rd, depositing jockey into ditch. Kept going, well tailed off. Plodded on, forming part of a back trio 2C which became over two fences behind and finished utterly tailed off.
  10R Camperdown 10 10-09 S. Bennet K. Goode 200/1   Soon last and struggled over 2nd and 3rd. Continued in similar vein, negotiating CT 1C at the first attempt in company with those who did so at their second attempt! Fell somewhere and remounted, completely tailed off. Plodded on, forming part of a back trio 2C which became over two fences behind and finished utterly tailed off.
  B Sandy Hook 8 10-09 T. Leader jnr F. Fish 100/1 26TH Away well & always very prominent. 4th at 4th and 2nd from BB 1C until disputed lead early 2C. Became embroiled in a three-way battle with Easter Hero and Richmond during the middle part of it. Disputing 2nd with Richmond, and may have begun to feel the pinch, when BD by the blundering latter at the 26th.
27 28 R Trump Card 11 11-12 Maj W. Renwick Tommy Morgan 33/1 24TH (CT) Away well & chased leaders, 8th WJ. Left 7th BB 2C. Same position when refused CT 2C (at least twice).
  F Toy Bell 7 10-00 Maj B. Powell D.J. Morgan 100/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division 4th. Progress to be 9th at 12th & WJ. Left 8th at 21st. 5th when fell BB 2C. Remounted, well tailed off, and fell again CT 2C.
  F Lloydie 7 11-04 B. Gore D. Rees 22/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division until caused to refuse CT 1C. Kept going but rider nearly fell off backwards upon landing on second attempt & horse came to a complete standstill. Modest recovery towards leading group circa halfway but effort told and a fence behind at BB 2C. Fell heavily CT 2C.
26 27 B Knight Of The Wilderness 9 11-07 M. Savill M. Keogh 40/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division 1C, 12th WJ. Continued in similar vein 2C, inheriting a few places. Beginning to lose touch with leaders, though just left 9th, when BD by a loose horse BB 2C.
  F Beech-Martin 8 10-08 T. Rayson L.B. Rees 50/1 21ST Away well & initially chased leaders. Progress to be prominent BB & ABC 1C, 3rd WJ. 4th again and going quite well when fell 21st.
  F Sultan Of Wicken 10 10-03 F. Withington T. James 200/1 21ST Very prominent 4th, 3rd BB 1C, prominent at 12th, had dropped to 11th at WJ. Mistake 17th. Just left 9th when fell 21st.
27 P Hawker 15 10-05 W. Payne Cpt A. Grant 200/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division until caused to refuse CT 1C. Kept going, tailed off, well so by WJ and when PU circa 19th.
  F Best Home 8 10-00 P. Wint G. Elliott 200/1 17TH Mid-division until chased leaders in 11th at 12th, 10th WJ. 9th when fell 17th.
  P Merrivale 11 10-03 Lord Westmorland F. Brookes 50/1 17TH Mid-division 4th. Rear of same, on the inner, when refused CT 1C. Kept going, tailed off. Well so when PU 17th.
  P K.C.B. 7 10-10 F. Withington J. Hogan jnr 50/1 17TH Away well & fairly prominent, 10th at 12th. Misjudged next and briefly became stuck on top of fence, jockey alighting. Remounted, tailed off. Well so when PU 17th.
25 26 27 28 R Sprig 12 12-05 T. Leader jnr T. Escott 50/1 17TH Quite slowly away. Rear of mid-division 4th & BB 1C. Similar position when refused CT 1C. Eventually kept going, well tailed off and continued without much enthusiasm. Completely tailed off by 12th. Hampered by a loose horse & refused again 17th.
  F Ardoon's Pride 9 10-10 J. Pendarves D. Thrale 200/1 16TH (WJ) Mid-division, 16th at 12th. 14th when fell with a splash WJ.
  F Kilbrain 9 10-04 A. Bickley V. Piggott 100/1 16TH (WJ) Mid-division 4th. Towards rear of leading group 12th. Had just been left 15th when fell WJ.
  R Ballyhanwood 8 10-02 M. Blair J. Goswell 100/1 15TH (CHAIR) Away very well & vied for lead 1st. Had dropped to a disputed 10th by 4th. A mid-division 14th at 12th. Rear of midfield when refused Chair, causing chaos.
28 U Tipperary Tim 11 10-10 J. Dodd B. Dutton 100/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division 4th. Towards rear of leading group 12th. Similar position when hampered by Ballyhanwood at the Chair and became stuck on top of the fence, the jockey coming off.
  R Denburgh 10 10-03 H. Smyth G. Hardy 200/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division. Towards rear of leading group 12th. A little further back when caused to refuse by Ballyhanwood at the Chair.
  F Wild Edgar 9 10-00 E. Ryan S.Regan 200/1 15TH (CHAIR) Rear of mid-division 4th. Further towards rear, on outer, when caused to refuse CT 1C. Kept going, tailed off, until squeezed for room Chair & fell into ditch.
  P Lordi 8 11-00 H. Turner Cpt H. Weber 28/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division 4th. Further towards rear, on inner, when caused to refuse CT 1C. Kept going, tailed off, until finding the Chair partially blocked & PU.
  P Overdraft 7 10-11 Maj B. Powell R. Bennett 66/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division 4th & when caused to refuse CT 1C. Kept going, tailed off, until finding Chair virtually blocked & PU.
26 27 28 R Bright's Boy 10 12-04 T. Leader jnr E. Foster 25/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division until caused to refuse CT 1C. Kept going but hampered upon take off on second attempt & clambered through fence with jockey defying gravity to cling on round horse's neck and horse coming to a virtual standstill. Caused to refuse again at a virtually blocked Chair, winding up in ditch.
28 R Billy Barton 11 11-07 A. Hastings T. Cullinan 20/1 15TH (CHAIR) Away well & chased leaders. Fairly prominent 4th. 5th, on the extreme inner, when fell CT 1C. Remounted, well tailed off. Still so when caused to refuse Chair, slipping into ditch with jockey up his neck.
  P Gay Dog 9 10-03 F. Armstrong A. Birch 200/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division until refused CT 1C, sparking mayhem. Kept going, last of those who negotiated fence at second attempt and well tailed off. PU Chair.
28 R Great Span 8 12-00 W. Payne B. Payne 100/6 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division until caused to refuse CT 1C, rearing over backwards. Kept going, well tailed off, until caused to refuse again at the Chair, ending up in ditch and half-embedded in fence.
26 27 28 P Master Billie 10 11-00 P. Whitaker M. Rayson 20/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division when caused to refuse 3rd. Eventually kept going, completely tailed off. PU Chair.
  U More Din 9 10-01 H. King A. Harraway 200/1 14TH Mid-division 4th. 18th at 12th. 17th when skewed & UR 14th.
27 F Miss Balscadden 10 10-00 M. Lindsay G. Bowden 200/1 13TH Mid-division 4th. 22nd & last of leading group 12th. Similar position when fell 13th.
  F Irina 7 10-00 P. Woodland J.P. Kelly 200/1 8TH (CT) Mistake 1st. Mid-division when mistake & nearly UR BB 1C. Still midfield when fell heavily CT 1C.
  R Big Wonder 9 10-02 G. Whitelaw J. Bisgood 50/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 4th, BB 1C & when caused to refuse CT 1C. (Hampered & caused to refuse again on second and final attempt to negotiate obstacle.)
28 R The Ace 7 11-03 G. Poole G. Evans 66/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 4th & BB 1C. Further towards rear, on inner, when caused to refuse (twice) CT 1C.
  R Stage Management 9 10-00 G. Bennett M. Doherty 100/1 8TH (CT) Initially rear of mid-division. Further towards rear BB 1C and when caused to refuse CT 1C.
28 R Soldier's Joy 11 10-02 P. Woodland Cpt A. Gossage 200/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division 4th & BB 1C. Further towards rear when caused to refuse CT 1C.
27 28 R Ballystockart 10 11-00 E. Martin jnr Cpt R. Sassoon 66/1 8TH (CT) Dwelt and always towards rear. Caused to refuse CT 1C.
  F Fleet Prince 11 10-05 A. Stubbs F. Thackray 200/1 6TH (BB) Prominent until fell heavily BB 1C.
  U Harewood 7 10-00 A. Hastings D. Williams 40/1 6TH (BB) Chased leaders until badly hampered upon landing by Fleet Prince & UR BB 1C.
  U Rampant 9 10-11 O. Anthony Maj H. Misa 100/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until hampered upon landing & UR BB 1C.
  U Theorem 12 10-00 R. Thompson T. Costello 200/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division 4th and when hampered & rider came out the side door BB 1C.
28 R Rathory 13 10-00 A. Hastings T. Burford 200/1 6TH (BB) Towards rear until veered left & refused BB 1C.
  P Odd Cat 8 10-01 F. Morgan J. Sinnott 200/1 6TH (BB) Well towards rear until PU BB 1C.
  P Duke Of Florence 8 10-02 M. Barthropp G. Turner 50/1 6TH (BB) Well towards rear until PU BB 1C.
25 26 27 U Dwarf Of The Forest 12 10-10 E. Piggott H. Kennard 200/1 5TH Mid-division until bad mistake & UR 5th.
  U Stort 10 11-00 J. Cockton T. Chisman 200/1 3RD (OD) Very prominent when mistake 1st & nearly UR. Still handy when mistake & off balance jockey bumped off by glancing contact with the passing Billy Barton at the 3rd. (When loose fell CT 1C and fell again 12th where broke neck. Dead.)
26 28 R Darracq 14 11-00 H. Leader G.S. Poole 40/1 3RD (OD) Prominent until refused 3rd, falling into ditch (which ran along hampering several runners) whilst propelling jockey over fence.
28 R Ruddyman 10 10-05 Maj B. Powell B. Parvin 50/1 3RD (OD) Chased leaders until caused to refuse by Darracq at the 3rd, jockey coming off.
  R Skrun Prince 8 10-12 T. Rimell B. Gurney 22/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until caused to refuse by a loose horse in the ditch 3rd, sending jockey over fence.
26 R Mount Etna 12 11-07 T. Leader jnr T.E. Leader 28/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until caused to refuse at the 3rd by Skrun Prince, depositing jockey into ditch.
27 28 R Drinmond 12 10-10 G. Balding B. Balding 50/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until caused to refuse by loose horses in the ditch 3rd.
  R Kwango 8 10-00 J. Pendarves A. Waudby 200/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until caused to refuse 3rd.
28 R Carfax 13 11-01 B. Ancil B. Ancil 40/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until caused to refuse 3rd, falling into ditch and sending jockey over fence.
26 28 R Koko 11 12-03 Maj F. Barrett S. Duffy 66/1 3RD (OD) Towards rear until caused to refuse 3rd, decanting jockey into ditch.
  R Uncle Ben 8 10-08 T. James P. Powell 40/1 3RD (OD) Towards rear until caused to refuse 3rd, jockey coming off.
  R Mabestown's Pride 13 10-13 B-G P. Winser D. Daly 200/1 3RD (OD) Well behind at 2nd on inner. Caused to refuse 3rd.
  F Le Touquet 7 10-12 C. Chapman J. Teasdale 200/1 2ND Very prominent, fell heavily 2nd.
25 26 28 F Ardeen 12 11-02 Sir K. Fraser B. Lyall 25/1 2ND Prominent, fell 2nd.
  U Cloringo 8 10-00 J. Paterson A. Wall 200/1 2ND Fore of mid-division, bad mistake & UR 2nd.
28 F Herbert's Choice 8 10-08 P. Woodland Jimmy Farrell 200/1 2ND Towards rear, fell 2nd.



As well as at the Canal Turn changes were also made to the conditions of entry for the 1929 Grand National in an attempt to encourage quality over quantity, however, owners, spurred on by results like that of 1928, had never been more tempted to take a potshot at National glory, hence what will forever remain the biggest field faced the starter. And, lo and behold, the race produced a second consecutive 100/1 winner although said odds were a ridiculous price for Gregalach who was a much better horse than Tipperary Tim. There were major melees at the 3rd, Canal Turn (!) and Chair, mainly affecting those in midfield and rear positions. Some horses at the first two of those obstacles were kept going or remounted so it wasn't long before runners were spread from Aintree to Maghull!

In front of a crowd of circa 300,000 (though possibly not a new record) Gregalach, usually accompanied to the races by a rough-haired terrier, became Tom Leader's second Grand National winner. His Australian jockey, Bob Everett (who died on active service in World War Two), had not ridden in a chase for several weeks beforehand. The victor and the runner-up were half-brothers (their sire, My Prince, also got Reynoldstown, Royal Mail (who was a product of the Ascetic line too) and Prince Regent). Easter Hero, having matured under Jack Anthony's tutelage, had won his last five races; most recently the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which had come of age, by twenty lengths. Had he not twisted a plate he would, at the very least, have finished much closer to Gregalach who wisely stayed out of the three-way battle (Easter Hero/Sandy Hook/Richmond) that raged during the middle part of the second circuit. However, adrenaline cannot be underestimated and Easter Hero's jockey, Jack Moloney, felt his horse became tired under his lofty burden, refusing to use his plate problem as an excuse. Contemporary opinion was divided regarding whether or not Sandy Hook was at the end of his tether when brought down at the 26th. Melleray's Belle may have been in the shake up had she not lost twenty lengths at the start, however, she was notorious for being slowly away and prone to being outpaced early on. Grakle had still not matured enough to develop the necessary stamina, certainly not on going that wasn't quick.

The winning time was above average for Good to Soft and strictly at the weights in the 1929 Grand National Easter Hero emerged 11 (pounds/lengths) superior to Gregalach, 35 ahead of May King, 41 better than Richmond and 46 in advance of Melleray's Belle. However, we must take into account manner of victory and all manner of misfortunes. I will allow Easter Hero 5 for his twisted plate and becoming involved in a three-way battle, Gregalach 2 for ease of success, Richmond 6 for mistakes and being in the three-way battle, and Melleray's Belle 8 for ground lost at the start. The revised figures, therefore, see Easter Hero with an advantage of 14 over Gregalach, 40 over May King and Richmond, and 43 over Melleray's Belle. In the 1929 and 1930 Gold Cups Easter Hero beat Grakle by a minimum of 20 lengths and in the 1931 National the latter (improved and able to translate his form to the longer distance on faster ground) came out 6 inferior to Gregalach. Previously, in the 1927 Gold Cup, a 5-y-o Grakle had beaten another dubious stayer of the National trip, Silvo, by 1 1/2 lengths. Silvo received ratings of -28 and -44 in the 1924 and 1925 Nationals respectively and although past his best by 1927 he was running at a more suitable distance when encountering Grakle so I will split the difference and measure his ability at roughly -36 in 1927. This puts Grakle at about -34 and thus Gregalach at approximately -28, which would seem reasonable per time and weight carried in the 1929 National. Consequently May King and Richmond are both rated -54, Melleray's Belle -57 and Easter Hero -14. It was a classy performance by Easter Hero, in adversity and shouldering 12st 7lb, in a contest run at a decent clip, most of which he set, and he fully deserves to take his place on my Scroll Of Merit which now reads: -7 Troytown; -14 Lottery, The Lamb, Disturbance, Seaman, Come Away, Cloister, Jerry M, Easter Hero; -17 Poethlyn; -18 Congress, The Liberator; -19 Why Not, Manifesto.           











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling