Grand National Ultimate History



prev . next


7th/23rd - 5' H (was 4' 11").


Fr 23 Mar 1934 (3.16) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.20.40 30 £7,265 D. Paget

33 1 Golden Miller 7 12-02 B. Briscoe Gerry Wilson 8/1   Initially held up just off the pace towards outer, mistake & 9th BB 1C. Steady headway CS to become very prominent in 3rd at 12th & ABC 1C. 4th at 14th & WJ (where 19 remained). Narrowly ahead by 17th, however, mistake & received slight bump from Delaneige BB 2C and merely a close up 3rd over CT & VB 2C. 2nd at 26th and disputed lead 28th. Mistake 29th and 1L down over last. Ahead again soon after and cruised away. Pushed out hands & heels. Easily, pricked ears as passed post with jockey looking round.
33 2 Delaneige 9 11-06 G. Beeby J. Moloney 100/7 5 Away well & always very prominent. 6th BB 1C. Leapt into lead CT 1C. Joined WJ. A very close 2nd at 17th. Soon back in front but joined again BB 2C where jumped slightly to the right though generally jumped well. Headed by next (23rd) but remained a close 2nd until led again 27th. Joined once more 28th but had regained 1/2L advantage by next. Landed 1L to the good last where outjumped though travelling well. Headed within 50yds. Kept on well albeit relatively one-paced.
  3 Thomond(1) 8 12-04 J. Anthony B. Speck 18/1 5 Initially prominent, 3rd BB 1C. 5th VB 1C, 7th at 12th, 5th again at 14th & WJ. 6th at 17th but had dropped to 10th by BB 2C, chasing leaders. Renewed headway thereafter and left 4th at 26th. About 3L down in same position 28th. 2L adrift in 3rd next but under pressure. No extra, merely kept on dourly.
32 33 4 Forbra 9 11-07 T. Rimell G. Hardy 100/8 20 Prominent. 5th BB 1C, 4th CT & VB 1C, 5th again at 12th. Headway to be 2nd at 14th, 3rd WJ. 4th once more at 17th but disputed lead BB 2C and marginally in front by next (23rd). Remained in lead, ahead alone by VB 2C but only narrowly so next (26th). Headed by 27th, however, joined leading pair again 28th. Began to tire on run to 29th where 4th and 4L off the pace. Still a handy 4th at last but no more to give and faded run in.
  5 Uncle Batt 8 10-13 W. James A. Robson 45/1   Very prominent early, 2nd BB 1C. Still handy VB 1C, 4th at 12th. Gradually lost position, 6th at 14th, 8th WJ. Brief rally into 5th at 17th but a mid-division 9th CT 2C. Left 8th at 28th and plugged on, inheriting positions, to finish not all that far behind the 4th.
  6 Blue Peter 11 10-07 Com A. Courage F. Cundell 66/1   Held up. 19th BB 1C, mid-division VB 1C. 15th at 12th. Left 17th at 14th but slightly hampered by fall of Cantillius. Same position, towards rear, WJ. Hampered again, by fall of Trocadero, at 23rd. Plodded on, left 10th at 28th and inherited further positions to finish 6th although tailed off. 
29 30 31 32 33 7 Gregalach 12 12-07 P. Woodland B. Parvin 25/1   Led 1st, joined 2nd and remained very prominent 1C: 7th BB, 3rd VB, 6th at 12th, 3rd again 14th, disputed lead WJ. 3rd once more at 17th and chased leaders until CT 2C. Still 6th at 28th although beaten. Broke down behind and faded. Finished on three legs, tailed off.
31 32 33 8 Apostasy 13 10-07 Master of Gray E. Brown 66/1   Initially chased leaders, 11th BB 1C. Dropped into mid-division circa VB 1C, extremely one-paced. 13th at 12th, 11th again at 14th & WJ. No impact 2C, 12th at 17th and well behind when left 11th at 28th. Finished tailed off.
30 31 32 33 9 Annandale 12 10-09 Maj F. Barrett P. Payne-Gallwey 66/1   Dwelt & towards rear. 23rd BB 1C. Continued to make steady progress: 19th at 12th, left 14th at 14th, 13th WJ. Lacked pace to make any further headway, 10th VB 2C. Faded CS, jumping becoming erratic, but inherited an under pressure 9th at 28th courtesy of CS fallers. Finished tailed off. 
33 10 Remus 9 11-09 F. Morgan Tommy Morgan 40/1   Away well & chased leaders, 12th BB 1C. Headway late 1C: 11th at 12th, 9th at 14th, 6th WJ. Had dropped back to 11th by 17th and became very tired from CT 2C. Tailed off in 12th & last by 28th. Finished well tailed off.
33 F Alpine Hut 9 11-06 P. Woodland Lt P. Harding 20/1 29TH Held up in mid-division. 21st BB 1C. 18th at the 12th, left 16th at 14th and was 14th WJ. Modest late progress to be 5th at 28th but well adrift of leading quartet. Best part of 20L behind the 4th and ridden when tired fall 29th.
33 P Slater 9 10-12 G. Whitelaw K. Piggott 33/1 29TH Prominent early. Chased leaders in 10th BB 1C, 8th at 12th & 14th, 10th once more WJ. 8th again 17th, 6th BB & CT 2C, left 5th at 26th. Began to fade, 7th and disorganised landing 28th. Continued to weaken and PU 29th.
  U Destiny Bay 10 11-02 I. Anthony H. Lloyd Thomas 40/1 28TH Held up towards rear and 22nd BB 1C. 20th & last by 12th. Left 19th at 14th. Same position WJ. Modest progress 2C and staying on in 8th when bad mistake & UR 28th.
  P Southern Hue 10 10-07 S. Duffy T. Carey 66/1 27TH (OD) Soon very prominent and led BB to CT 1C. 2nd from VB to 12th. Began to fade and 7th at 14th & WJ. 10th at 17th and continued to weaken. Had just been left 13th when ploughed through 26th. PU before next.
32 33 R Egremont 10 10-12 H. Whiteman E. Paget 66/1 27TH (OD) Very prominent until 3rd. A mid-division 15th BB 1C. Continued decline and 17th at 12th. Left a last but one 18th at 14th, same position WJ. Dropped to last soon after and well tailed off when refused 27th.
33 F Really True 10 11-04 Maj N. Furlong F. Furlong 7/1F 26TH Held up, 20th BB 1C. Steady headway to be 14th at 12th, 13th at 14th and 12th WJ. Progress continued 2C, 7th at 17th and 4th BB. Maintained same position, very prominent and going well, until fell 26th. 
  U Ready Cash 7 11-09 G. Beeby F. Walwyn 20/1 26TH Mid-division, 14th BB 1C. Headway to chase leaders by VB 1C. Generally in 9th from 12th to 17th. 7th BB 2C. 6th VB 2C and same position when mistake & UR next (26th).
33 F Trocadero 10 10-13 G. Poole M. Thery 100/7 23RD Mid-division 1st. 17th BB 1C. Still in midfield VB 1C but had dropped to rear of same by 12th where 16th. Left 15th at 14th, same position WJ. Further towards rear when fell heavily 23rd.
  P Lone Eagle 8 10-13 J. Anthony T. Hamey 50/1 22ND (BB) Bright start, 4th BB 1C. Merely chased leaders VB 1C, 10th at 12th, 12th at 14th and had dropped to 16th by WJ. Becoming tailed off at 17th. Well towards rear when broke blood vessel & PU BB 2C.
  F Cantillius 8 10-07 G. Beeby J.F. Mason 22/1 14TH Mid-division. 13th BB 1C, 12th at 12th. Drifting towards rear of midfield in 14th when fell heavily 14th.
28 29 32 R The Ace 12 10-11 T. Escott Cpt A. Head 66/1 12TH Mid to rear, 18th BB 1C. Had dropped to last, although by no means tailed off, when refused 12th. (Jockey rewarded for second attempt by being unceremoniously dumped onto the turf when horse again dug his heels in.)
  U Parson's Well 10 11-08 P. Thrale B. Hollick 66/1 10TH Mid-division, 16th BB 1C, until bad mistake & UR 10th.
31 F Kilbuck 13 10-08 T. Leader jnr T. Cullinan 66/1 10TH Prominent early and 8th BB 1C but had dropped back into rear of mid-division when fell 10th.
33 F Master Orange 9 10-07 R. Gordon P. Cazalet 66/1 9TH (VB) Dwelt & tailed off by BB 1C. Still tailed off in last when took a right purler VB 1C.
32 R Prince Cherry 10 10-11 M. Blair J. Goswell 66/1 3RD (OD) Away well but soon dropped to mid-division and refused first ditch.
33 RO Southern Hero 9 11-05 G. Evans J. Fawcus 25/1 2ND Away quite well & prominent when fell 1st. Remounted, tailed off, only to run out 2nd.
32 33 F Pelorus Jack 11 11-02 P. Woodland B. Stott 25/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  F Flambent 9 11-03 W. Philip T. Duggan 66/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  F Fortnum 9 10-07 Com A. Courage F. Sclater 33/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  F Sorley Boy 8 11-01 I. Anthony D.J. Morgan 100/7 1ST Towards rear, fell 1st.



The best Grand National of all time and one that likely will remain unsurpassed due to its wonderfully high class field (and finishers), a magnificent performance by the greatest steeplechaser who ever lived and a fair sprinkling of drama. On going that, if anything, was on the Good side of Good to Firm whereas for last year's renewal it was on the Firm side of that description Golden Miller eclipsed Kellsboro' Jack's record time of 1933 by 7.60s whilst carrying 7lb more, winning easily and finishing like a fresh horse. Golden Miller was also over 4 seconds faster than the time I calculated (see 1893) would be required to beat the record set over a longer distance by The Lamb (rated -14) who had toted 11lb less. Having just won the third of his, ultimately, five consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups Golden Miller became the first horse to complete the Gold Cup/National double in the same season, a feat that may stand alone forever. He displayed courage as well as class on a course that future events would prove he hated - he was prone to jump off of his forehand and groan upon landing at Aintree's drop fences. Never falling in his career, Golden Miller retained his form and soundness over nine seasons and lived until 1957. Possibly, although only a 7-y-o, he was at his peak in 1934, demonstrated here by an electrifying sprint. Successful trainer Basil Briscoe, who employed plenty of milk in Golden Miller's diet, would die six years earlier than the horse, his career going downhill following a post 1935 Grand National split with marvellously eccentric owner Dorothy Paget and other ill fortune. Gerry Wilson, strong, fit, determined and seven times Champion Jockey between 1933 and 1941, seemed to form the best partnership with Golden Miller. Wilson would also fall out with Briscoe and, in time, the horse's owner who, although shy and reclusive, could be bullying. However, Miss Paget was charitable and poured much money into racing alongside that destined for bookies' satchels!

Horses peak at different ages and Delaneige was certainly a better animal than last year. He had finished last in the recent Gold Cup but had not eaten up before his run at Cheltenham and the contemporary press felt he'd improved since 1933, running his best race in the 1934 National. At the weights he came out 24 (pounds/lengths) superior to Forbra compared to just 8 in 1933 when I rated them -33 and -41 respectively. Forbra was said to be much fitter than a year earlier, when he had broken a blood vessel in training, but put a lot in trying to match the pace of the first two home and faded which possibly exaggerated the margin between him and Delaneige. However, Alpine Hut (-34 in 1933) was about 20 lengths adrift of Forbra when falling at the 29th (they carried almost identical weights) and Slater (-38 in 1933), receiving 9lb from Forbra, was pulled up tired at the same obstacle. That is testament to the ferocious gallop at which the race was run but, as above, it eventually caught out Forbra too and ultimately I do not believe he ran as well as in 1933 (although I think he ran better than when winning in 1932 in a time, albeit on fastish Good, which was a whopping 24 seconds slower than Golden Miller's, whilst bearing 23lb less). Another from the renewal of a year earlier, Really True (-33 in 1933), was running in a similar style to when finishing runner-up twelve months previously so the favourite could be considered unfortunate not to place again due to capsizing at the 26th. He probably would have had to settle for fourth this time, however, as he was only receiving a stone from Thomond. The latter had missed the Gold Cup to be fresh, was fast and very effective at 2 miles, and the going should have suited him better than Golden Miller (to whom he conceded 2lb). There is an argument that Thomond didn't quite stay the National trip, however, it is more likely that he was simply not good enough at the weights because such would have again seem to have been the case in 1935 when he was third once more, on that occasion to Reynoldstown. The last-named, as we shall see, was another great horse and would beat Golden Miller's time by 1/5 of a second on similar ground in 1935 though carrying 12lb less. The two times would not be bettered until 1973.

A strict comparison based on the times recorded by Kellsboro' Jack (-19 in 1933) and Golden Miller, employing a calculus of 3 1/2 lengths per second, sees the latter come out 32 ahead when respective weights are factored in (and Golden Miller raced on slower ground and won more easily). However, collateral form is more reliable and there is plenty of it available. At the weights in the 1934 Grand National Golden Miller emerged 8 better than Thomond, 15 superior to Delaneige and 39 in advance of Forbra. He had beaten Thomond by 10 lengths in the 1933 Gold Cup and would do so by 1 length, following a great duel, in the 1935 version of that event when deliberately left about half a stone short of peak fitness (it was the only Gold Cup he did not win comfortably). Therefore, I feel that Golden Miller's measurable superiority over Thomond of 8 is about right. Similarly, Golden Miller had also beaten Delaneige by 15 lengths in the 1933 Gold Cup. Meanwhile, in the 1935 Cheltenham showpiece Kellsboro' Jack would finish 6 lengths behind Golden Miller (which, as above per the latter's fitness, equates to 13) and in the 1936 Prestbury Park Blue Riband the margin of Kellsboro' Jack's defeat was 14 whereas in the 1934 Gold Cup it was 12. All in all, especially bearing in mind the figure of 32 produced by the above time comparison, I will take Golden Miller's measurable superiority over Kellsboro' Jack as 14. Thus, the raw performance ratings for the 1934 National find Delaneige at -20 and Golden Miller at -5, and I will place Thomond at -14 (not considering it fair to put the latter, merely twice third, above a slew of great winners on my Scroll of Merit). Forbra duly receives -44, 3 below his 1933 mark. Delaneige's much improved National performance largely explains his greatly increased superiority over Forbra and also how he reduced his 1933 deficit of a stone with Kellsboro' Jack to just 1 pound/length. In fact, the 1933 National form is the anomaly, being at odds with the many pieces of form listed above. All that remains is to assess Golden Miller's final rating to reflect what he had in hand. He won the 1934 National easily whilst making three noted mistakes so the absolute minimum (especially bearing in mind the time comparison) I can award him is 5. Therefore, his performance rating is 0, the mark against which all others are measured. Roger Mortimer (racing historian and journalist) writing at the peak of Arkle's dominance said: "No single victory of Arkle's equals in sheer merit Golden Miller's win in the 1934 Grand National in record time." My Scroll now reads: Golden Miller; -7 Troytown; -14 Lottery, The Lamb, Disturbance, Seaman, Come Away, Cloister, Jerry M, Easter Hero, Thomond(1); -17 Poethlyn; -18 Congress, The Liberator; -19 Why Not, Manifesto, Kellsboro' Jack; -20 Delaneige.             











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling