Grand National Ultimate History



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Fr 27 Mar 1931 (3.04) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.32.80 43 £9,385 C. Taylor

27 28 29 30 1 Grakle 9 11-07 T. Coulthwaite B. Lyall 100/6   Chased leaders until became prominent in 6th at 11th, 4th (of 29) WJ. Left 3rd BB 2C. 4th again CT, 27th & 28th. Encouraged along by use of a flat hand and led by 29th. Fierce & protracted battle with eventual runner-up ensued. 1/4L ahead last, joined for a few strides Elbow, kept on best last 100yds.
29 30 2 Gregalach 9 12-00 P. Woodland J. Moloney 25/1 1 1/2 Away well and always very prominent. Led CT 1C & WJ. Left in lead again BB 2C. Jumped slightly right & lost lead CT 2C but led once more next (VB). Joined (by Ballasport) 27th & 28th. Soon back in front alone but headed by eventual winner by 29th. Ferocious & protracted battle ensued. 1/4L down last, regained parity for a few strides Elbow, kept on but no extra last 100yds.
30 3 Annandale 9 10-07 Maj F. Barrett Tommy Morgan 100/1 10 Jumped nicely but well off the pace, mid-division WJ. Left 11th BB 2C. 10th CT, 27th & 28th. Continued steady progress and left a 20L 4th at last. Ran on well, particularly from Elbow, to take 3rd. Never nearer.
  4 Rhyticere 9 10-12 G. Duller L. Niaudot 50/1 5 Buried in mid-division 1C, 18th WJ. Modest progress 2C to be left circa 10th BB. 7th CT, 27th & 28th and being urged to make further headway. Duly obliged and left 15L 3rd at last. Kept on one-paced and dropped to 4th Elbow. 
29 30 5 Ballyhanwood 10 10-07 M. Blair T. Isaac 40/1   Chased leaders 1C, 9th at 11th & WJ. Similar story 2C. Left 7th BB. 8th CT, 27th & 28th. Left 7th again last. Kept on dourly past beaten horses to take 5th but many lengths behind 4th.
30 6 Shaun Goilin 11 12-04 F. Hartigan M. Keogh 33/1   Came into race with swollen knee. Away well & prominent: 5th at 11th, 7th WJ. Left 8th BB 2C. 9th CT, chasing leaders. 8th again at 28th but labouring. Left a beaten 6th at last where slightly hampered.   
30 7 Glangesia 11 10-10 A. Law J. Browne 40/1   Mid-division 1C, 17th WJ. Left a midfield 12th BB 2C, same position CT. Became adrift of leading group by 27th. Still 12th ABC. Left a tailed off 8th at last. Plugged on.
28 29 30 8 Melleray's Belle 12 10-10 W. Easterby J.F. Mason 8/1   Slowly away again and rear of mid-division BB 1C. A tad further towards rear WJ. Left 19th BB 2C and left 13th CT, adrift of main group. Same position 27th & 28th. Left a tailed off 9th at last. Plugged on.
28 29 9 Great Span 10 11-00 M. Blair G. Hardy 50/1   Became very prominent by 11th, 2nd WJ. Left 2nd again BB 2C. Briefly led CT but 4th VB. 3rd at 27th & 28th. Came under increasing pressure, faded, and beaten when left 25L 5th at last. Badly weakened further and eased heavily run in.
  10 Starbox 8 10-10 J. Leader K. Urquhart 100/1   Away well but soon settled in mid-division, rear of same by WJ. Further towards rear 18th & BB 2C where left 18th. Left 16th CT. Hampered by loose horses more than once & became tailed off down the CS. Left a well tailed off 10th at last.
30 11 Royal Arch 10 10-07 G. Duller J. Bedeloup 100/1   Always towards rear and never competitive. Left 20th BB 2C. Left a well tailed off 12th & last at 30th. Lumbered on. 
29 30 12 Harewood 9 10-07 I. Anthony K. Goode 50/1   Always towards rear and never competitive. Left 21st BB 2C. Left a well tailed off 11th at last. Faded run in.
  U Ballasport 7 11-00 I. Anthony D. Williams 100/6 30TH Mid-division. Very bad mistake CT 1C & temporarily lost position. Recovered to be 16th WJ. Good progress early 2C and left 5th BB 2C where jockey got right leather caught in the riderless Easter Hero's reins during melee. This quickly snapped upon wrenching it free, leaving rider with one iron. Nevertheless, still 5th CT and further headway to dispute lead 27th & 28th. Soon dropped to 2nd and had dropped to 3rd by 29th. 7L down in same position when mistake & UR last. 
  F Kilbuck 10 11-06 T.E. Leader T. Chisman 50/1 30TH Away well & prominent 1st. Gradually declined into mid-division, as at BB & CT 1C, towards rear of midfield WJ. Left 14th BB 2C. 11th CT, 27th & 28th, in touch with leading group. Had just been left a beaten 6th when fell heavily last.
  F Georginatown 10 10-12 J. Wallace F. Maxwell 20/1 30TH Mid-division 1C including at WJ. Good progress early 2C and left 6th BB. Same position CT, 27th & 28th. Had weakened by last where had just been left a beaten 8th when, possibly distracted by the fallen Kilbuck, fell. Lay winded.
  R Drintyre 8 11-07 P. Thrale Cpt C. Brownhill 20/1 29TH Always prominent though not jump well early stages, circa 9th at 11th & 8th WJ. Left 4th BB 2C but kicked on knee by the prone Solanum as bypassed melee. Briefly 2nd at CT, however, 5th next (VB), 27th & 28th and coming under increasing pressure. Refused 29th. 
  F Gyi Lovam 9 11-03 S. Harrison Cpt R. Popler 100/1 27TH (OD) Away well but very soon lost position and tailed off last by WJ. Becoming well so when fell BB 2C. Remounted in 23rd (& last!) Completely tailed off when fell again 27th.
30 R Sir Lindsay 10 11-06 J. Anthony F. Thackray 25/1 26TH Mid-division BB 1C, fore of same 11th, 13th WJ. Had just been left circa 11th BB 2C and still going okay when mistake, badly hampered & came to a virtual standstill in melee there. Winded but got going again and left 13th CT, still in touch with main group. Had lost further ground when refused 26th.
  P Kakushin 8 11-13 F. Hartigan B. Everett 22/1 24TH (CT) Deep in mid-division 1C including WJ and not travelling particularly well. Left 16th BB 2C. 13th CT when awkward jump, jockey became unbalanced & horse veered towards the canal. Immediately PU.
  F Drin 7 11-02 P. Woodland B. Speck 20/1 24TH (CT) Prominent 2nd but not jump well and 24th WJ. Left 17th BB 2C. Still towards rear (had just been left 14th) when fell CT 2C. Broke hock. Dead. 
  R Morekeen 10 10-10 T. Webb J. Cooke 100/1 24TH (CT) Always well towards rear, last but one WJ. Only two behind when mistake & UR BB 2C. Remounted in 22nd (last but one again). Well tailed off when refused CT 2C.
  F Slieve Grien 10 10-07 R. Payne Cpt B. Moseley 66/1 23RD Dwelt but steady headway to be fore of mid-division WJ. Left circa 9th BB 2C. Similar position when fell 23rd.
30 R Guiding Light 10 11-00 C. Langlands F. McKeever 100/1 23RD Fairly prominent early, especially at BB 1C. Chased leaders CT & VB 1C. Mid-division 11th & 12th. Fore of same WJ. Rear of midfield BB 2C. Refused next (23rd).
  F Solanum 6 10-08 A. Law T. Hamey 50/1 22ND (BB) Soon very prominent, 3rd BB 1C. 6th WJ and led early 2C until possibly distracted by the loose Tamasha & fell BB 2C.
28 29 U Easter Hero 11 12-07 J. Anthony D. Rees 5/1F 22ND (BB) Soon prominent, 5th BB 1C, and led briefly before 11th. Headed 12th, 3rd WJ. Remained very handy. Had just been left 3rd again when very badly hampered by Solanum at BB 2C & UR.
  F Aspirant 8 10-10 F. Cox B. Parvin 66/1 22ND (BB) Briefly disputed lead 4th. Still prominent CT 1C but had dropped to about 12th by WJ. Chased leaders 2C. Had just been left 7th when fell BB. 
  U Theras 6 11-02 S. Harrison J. Walsh 100/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division. Good progress to be 5th WJ. Lost position early 2C. Had just been left 9th when mistake, spooked by melee on landing & UR BB 2C.
  R Mallard 13 10-07 J. Carr B. Dutton 100/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division 1C until very bad mistake WJ & lost position. Had dropped to last but one and becoming tailed off when refused BB 2C.
29 30 R Toy Bell 9 10-07 Maj B. Powell D.J. Morgan 100/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division until VB 1C but under pressure to retain that position along the rest of the CS 1C and had dropped to the rear of midfield by WJ. Similar place when refused 19th.
29 30 F Sandy Hook 10 10-12 T.E. Leader F. Fish 40/1 13TH Always very prominent, often disputing lead, until fell 13th when in front.
  U Tamasha 10 10-07 P. Wint G. Elliott 40/1 11TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. Soon chased leaders, becoming prominent by VB 1C. 5th when mistake & UR 11th.
30 RO Alike 8 10-10 A. Law F. Sclater 28/1 11TH (OD) Rear of mid-division until ran out through wing 11th.
  R Gib 8 12-05 P. Woodland E. Foster 33/1 11TH (OD) Led to 3rd but not jump particularly well. Nevertheless still very prominent in 5th when BD by Big Black Boy VB 1C. Remounted, tailed off last. Refused 11th, propelling jockey over fence.
  F South Hill 9 10-12 H. Blagrave T. Cullinan 50/1 10TH Away well & very prominent 1st. However, repeatedly jumped a bit to the right, losing ground, until fell 10th.
  P Big Black Boy 9 10-12 Maj C. Stevens B. Payne 66/1 9TH (VB) Away well & very prominent, disputing lead from the 4th to BB 1C. 3rd when ploughed through VB 1C & hindquarters landed on by the following Gib (& jockey!). Came to a standstill with injured near hind & immediately dismounted.
27 28 29 R Trump Card 13 11-05 Lord Stalbridge B. Gurney 66/1 9TH (VB) Towards rear. Last but one when refused VB 1C, ridding himself of jockey in the process.
  R Pixie 6 10-07 P. Woodland Cpt R. Sassoon 100/1 9TH (VB) Away well but had dropped to last when caused to refuse by Trump Card VB 1C.
  F Easy Virtue 8 10-12 Harry Brown P. Powell 100/1 8TH (CT) Prominent until fell CT 1C.
28 29 30 R Ruddyman 12 10-08 Maj B. Powell E. Brown 50/1 8TH (CT) Towards rear until refused CT 1C.
  F Oxclose 7 10-10 B. Renton F. Gurney 33/1 7TH Chased leaders over BB 1C. Fell next (7th).
  F Swift Rowland 10 11-02 T.E. Leader T.E. Leader 28/1 6TH (BB) Away well & led to 1st. Prominent 2nd but not fluent there and 3rd. Had dropped into mid-division when fell BB 1C. A following horse landed directly upon his head. Dead.
28 29 30 F May King(2) 12 10-10 P. Woodland Cpt R. Fanshawe 100/1 4TH Well towards rear until fell 4th.
  F Apostasy 10 10-12 Master of Gray F. Brookes 40/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.



The second largest field to this point but certainly one with good quality in depth as would have been hoped for in response to further alterations to the conditions of entry and the raising of the minimum weight to 10st 7lbs. The abandonment of Cheltenham due to frost may also have helped. It probably assisted Grakle, too, that for once he had not had to run in the Gold Cup. He put in a clean round and was able to see the trip out on going that was likely a bit faster than the official Good to Firm, spectators were basking in the sunshine, to win at his fifth attempt following an epic battle with the 1929 victor, Gregalach. Possibly less headstrong in his figure-eight noseband, Grakle was sensibly ridden by Bob Lyall who left it until inside the last 100yds to resort once or twice to the whip, in response to which Grakle customarily hung. Lyall's Uncle Tom (Coulthwaite) gained his third Grand National triumph at the age of 69 and it was another victory for a local owner. Coulthwaite had been a fine sprinter in his youth, however, even he, in his younger days, would have been hard pressed to match the pace of a hare who scurried past the post just before the winner!

The ground suited horses with a touch of class and speed and the time was above average. Conversely, Melleray's Belle was among those who would have preferred it softer. Shaun Goilin was not fully fit. At the weights the game Gregalach came out best, by 6 (pounds/lengths) over Grakle and by 31 over Annandale and Rhyticere. Grakle was established (see 1929) as around 20 inferior to Easter Hero (whom I awarded -14 in that year), therefore, I will rate the former at -34 with Gregalach receiving the same -28 for the 1931 Grand National as he got two years earlier. Thus Annandale and Rhyticere both warrant -59 for their performances.

Ballasport was unfortunate not to be placed, earlier making a very bad mistake at the first Canal Turn before being caught up in 1931's melee which this year occurred at second Becher's, to further clarify: the loose Tamasha possibly distracted the leader Solanum who followed directly in the riderless one's wake, Easter Hero, immediately behind Solanum, did well to remain on his feet but Dick Rees had no chance of staying aboard, Ballasport and Dudley Williams managed to successfully negotiate a path through prone horses and riders that enabled the partnership to survive intact but in doing so an iron was lost with the benefit of which Williams would probably not have come off Ballasport at the last, Drintyre, doing likewise, was kicked on the knee by the prone Solanum, meanwhile, just to the left Aspirant and Billy Parvin came to grief, the erstwhile combination joining those on the Aintree turf whose writhing mass may have contributed to John Walsh, the jockey of Theras, being swiftly pitched in to join them, and, in order to avoid also suffering the same fate, Sir Lindsay and Fred Thackray were obliged to stop dead. This is not to mention an unseat, a refusal and a fall towards the rear of the field.  











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling