Grand National Ultimate History



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Fr 25 Mar 1938 (3.21) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.29.80 36 £7,598 M. du Pont Scott

  1 Battleship 11 11-06 R. Hobbs B. Hobbs 40/1   Fore of mid-division. 10th when mistake & nearly UR 7th. Deeper in midfield VB 1C. Rallied to be 7th (of 20) WJ. Further headway early 2C to forge narrow advantage by BB. Still ahead when mistake CT. Joined after VB 2C. Continuing to vie for lead when very bad mistake 28th & almost down, losing 5L. Given time to recover and dropped circa 10L off front pair. Took 2nd after 29th, 2L down last. Forced wide by loose horse (Takvor Pacha) after Elbow where 10L clear of the 3rd with Royal Danieli. Ran on well, just got up.
  2 Royal Danieli 7 11-03 Reggie Walker D. Moore 18/1 HD Always very prominent. 3rd BB 1C, 2nd at 7th & VB 1C, left in lead 10th. Headed Chair, a close up 4th WJ. 2nd, still very close, at BB & CT 2C. Vied for lead after VB 2C, briefly relegated to 3rd at 27th. Regained pole position on run to 29th. Led by 2L at last. Kept on well but just pipped.
  3 Workman 8 10-02 J. Ruttle J. Brogan 28/1 DIST Held up in mid-division 1C, 9th at 7th, more prominent 12th, 10th WJ. Left a midfield 5th BB 2C. 8L down in 4th CT 2C. Rapid headway to dispute lead by 27th. Led alone briefly after 28th. Began to weaken on run to 29th where bad mistake. 3rd, 3L adrift of leader last. Continued to fade, 10L down Elbow. May also have been slightly eased run in but held on to 3rd.
37 4 Cooleen 10 11-08 G. Evans J. Fawcus 8/1JF   Bad mistake 3rd, hampered by loose horse 4th and 13th at 7th. Remained in mid-division, 11th WJ. Left 10th BB 2C and inherited 9th CT 2C. Unable to muster the pace to get into it on the ground but stayed on to finish reasonably close to the weakening 3rd.
37 5 Delachance 9 10-09 G. Beeby J. Moloney 100/9   Initially mid-division, 11th at 7th, 9th VB 1C. Became more prominent around the 11th, 5th WJ. Took 3rd early 2C and close up in that position BB. Still 3rd when mistake CT & dropped 5L off leading pair. A very handy 4th at 27th but began to fade circa 28th. Continued to weaken.
  6 Red Knight 9 10-00 E. Hunt D. Jones 28/1   Away well & very prominent. 4th at 7th & VB 1C, 3rd at 12th. Took lead Chair, very narrowly ahead WJ. Unable to sustain pace 2C. Left a mid-division 8th BB and inherited 6th CT. Plugged on at same speed.
  7 Blue Shirt 7 10-03 N. Smyth R. Smyth 8/1JF   Rear of mid-division throughout. 21st at 7th, 15th WJ, left 13th BB 2C and 10th CT 2C. Plugged on.
  8 Hopeful Hero 10 10-09 H. Silley W. Dawes 100/1   Towards rear. 23rd at 7th, 22nd VB 1C, last but one in 20th at 12th, 18th WJ. Tailed off by 19th. Stayed on well thereafter. Never nearer.
  9 Under Bid 6 10-02 P. Whitaker M. Pringle 40/1   Away well. Mistake 1st but very prominent 4th. Had settled in 8th by 7th and same position VB 1C & WJ. Left a mid-division 6th BB 2C where pecked badly. Inherited 7th CT 2C. Gradually faded thereafter, well beaten.
35 36 10 Bachelor Prince 11 10-06 G. Evans D.J. Morgan 25/1   Soon outpaced, 22nd at 7th. 14th WJ. Left a rear of mid-division 12th BB 2C where pecked. Laboured on.
  11 Lough Cottage 11 10-07 F. Furlong D. Black 40/1   Very prominent. 2nd BB 1C, 3rd at 7th & VB 1C, a very close 2nd WJ. Led 17th and although soon headed remained prominent, 4th at 18th and left a close up 4th BB 2C. Began to fade, 10L down in 5th CT 2C. Eventually weakened badly.
36 12 Provocative 8 10-07 J. Anthony F. Rimell 22/1   Mid-division, 14th at 7th. Fore of midfield in 10th VB 1C and 9th WJ. Lost ground early 2C. Had just been left a rear of mid-division 11th when as good as down BB & came to a standstill. Inherited 11th CT but continued to weaken.
37 13 Drim 11 11-03 P. Cazalet B. Tighe 100/1   Mid-division, 15th at 7th. A last but one 19th WJ. Tailed off by 19th. Lumbered on.
35 36 U Lazy Boots 12 10-04 Sir G. Congreve Sir G. Congreve 100/1 27TH (OD) Rear of mid-division, 19th at 7th & VB 1C. Headway into midfield by 12th, 12th WJ. Left 9th BB 2C and inherited 8th CT 2C. Still in mid-division when ploughed through 27th & UR.
37 P Royal Mail(1) 9 12-07 I. Anthony E.M. Williams 100/8 24TH (CT) Slowly away. A rear of mid-division 20th at 7th, 16th WJ. Short-lived effort early 2C, left a midfield 7th BB. 6th when stumbled slightly upon landing CT 2C, went straight on & immediately PU. Broke blood vessel. 
  F Rockquilla 8 10-08 G. Beeby T. Carey 28/1 22ND (BB) Very prominent in 4th by BB 1C, 5th at 7th & VB 1C, 4th again at 12th. A very handy 6th WJ. Similar position 18th & 20th but often having to be ridden into and away from fences. Chasing leaders in a close 4th when fell BB 2C. 
  F Dunhill Castle 8 10-12 H. Lowe F. Nicholson 20/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division, 12th at 7th, 11th VB 1C. Headway along CS to become more prominent at 12th, 3rd WJ. Led 18th. Still very handy when pecked 20th. Had lost position and merely chasing leaders in 5th when fell BB 2C.
37 P Dawmar 8 10-07 Maj F. Barrett R. Burford jnr 100/1 MID 2C Always towards rear. Left 25th & last at 7th. 17th WJ. Tailed off by 19th. Became well tailed off and PU mid 2C (at 20th or later).
35 36 R Blue Prince 10 10-05 Master of Gray B. Parvin 50/1 19TH (OD) Very prominent 1st. 7th at 7th, 6th VB 1C and still handy at 12th but had dropped to 13th by WJ. Rear of mid-division when refused 19th, horse winding up in ditch and jockey on top of fence.
35 37 P Tapinois 10 10-01 T. Rayson A. Scratchley 100/1 17TH Mid-division, 16th at 7th and 15th VB 1C. Further towards rear when very bad mistake 12th, came to a virtual standstill & dropped to last. Still rearmost and well behind WJ. Tailed off when PU before 17th.
  F Rock Lad 8 10-04 F. Furlong J. Bissill 66/1 16TH (WJ) Rear of mid-division, 17th at 7th. Same position when suffered some kind of heart failure in mid-air WJ & collapsed hind legs into the water, possibly breaking one. Dead.
  U K.D.H. 7 10-00 F. Brown G. Archibald 100/1 11TH (OD) Towards rear. Left 24th & last but one 7th. Beoming tailed off when mistake & UR 11th.
  F Airgead Sios 8 12-00 C. Tabor T. McNeill 25/1 10TH Away well & very prominent. Disputed lead 3rd & 4th, led by BB 1C. Remained ahead by a couple of lengths until overjumped & fell 10th.
  F Stalbridge Park 7 10-02 O. Anthony Gerry Wilson 100/6 10TH Jumped well and soon prominent. 6th at 7th, 7th VB 1C. Had just been left 5th when rival veered to the right directly ahead of & fell 10th.
  F Cabin Fire 7 10-04 M. Cunningham T. Hyde 33/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division, 18th at 7th. Similar position when took a right purler CT 1C.
  U Hurdy Gurdy Man 10 10-00 P. Thrale J. Hislop 100/1 7TH Towards rear until bumped by loose horse in mid-air & UR 7th.
37 U What Have You 10 10-07 R. Hobbs S. Magee 100/1 7TH Dwelt & lost up to 20L. Last when very bad mistake & UR 7th.
  U Takvor Pacha 6 10-09 A. Manby A. Kalley 100/7 6TH (BB) Slowly away, rear of mid-division 3rd. Had made steady progress into midfield when very bad mistake & UR BB 1C.
  F Brighter Cottage 8 10-02 H. Ussher W. O'Grady 40/1 5TH Mid-division until fell 5th.
37 U Didoric 9 10-02 Harry Brown D. Butchers 50/1 4TH Mid-division until bad mistake & UR 4th.
  F Prominent Lad 7 10-02 J. Anthony H. Jones 100/1 4TH Mid-division until fell 4th.
35 36 37 U Emancipator 10 10-03 P. Thrale C. Gray 100/1 3RD (OD) Rear of mid-division. Jumped markedly right, collided with Takvor Pacha & jockey bumped out of saddle at 3rd.
  P Pontet 8 11-07 W. Payne J. Parkinson 66/1 3RD (OD) Towards rear when rider lost irons avoiding fallers at 1st. Dropped to last as jockey made an ultimately vain attempt to regain steering, negotiating the 2nd with some difficulty in the process. With the 3rd rapidly approaching he hopped off & PU the horse that way.
  U Dominick's Cross 7 11-00 W. Payne B. Everett 22/1 2ND Mid-division when mistake & UR 2nd.
  F Frobisher 7 10-06 Maj B. Powell Cpt P. Harding 66/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
36 F Inversible 10 10-10 J. Wight M. Hogan 33/1 1ST Rear of mid-division, fell 1st.



A game performance by the well named Battleship, a son of the outstanding American racehorse and stallion Man o' War, who overcame considerable adversity in running to triumph and will probably forever remain the last entire to win the Grand National. Battleship was also the first American owned (by the wife of actor Randolph Scott) AND bred victor. In his long career he had won at as short as four furlongs, taken the American Grand National and, most recently, finished a close second in the National Hunt Chase. The first time blinkers sported at Cheltenham were retained by Battleship who had been fired and was small to the extent that he bloodied his nose on landing over Aintree's drop fences. Tutored by his father Reg, who had worked with horses stateside and would be leading trainer from 1940 to 1942, Bruce Hobbs lengthened his reins to help the partnership stay intact - which they just about did albeit partly thanks to Fred Rimell on Provocative pushing Bruce back into the plate at the 7th. Hobbs, who at seventeen became the youngest winning rider, had improved since the 1937 National and remained remarkably unflustered, giving his mount time to recover after blundering seriously at the 28th and getting up (the judge called it correctly) without resort to the stick which Battleship resented. The horse was immediately retired, returning to America where he enjoyed a successful second career at stud. Bruce Hobbs was awarded the Military Cross in the war, was later a trainer and also held other roles within racing. Royal Danieli would not build on the promise of his run in future Grand Nationals, in fact it may have ruined him. Workman was not beaten thirty lengths to my eye and may have been rushed up too quickly along the canal side, however, he would need to develop more stamina in this company or find a weaker renewal. Cooleen nearly didn't run because she disliked the going, and she met trouble.

A morning shower was all that prevented the ground from being quicker than Good to Firm. There is no relevant collateral form available from which to assess the 1938 Grand National, therefore, we will have to rely mainly upon time comparisons, using a conversion rate of 3 1/2 lengths per second. In 1933 the surface was pretty similar and I rated Kellsboro' Jack -19, Battleship ran 1.80s slower while carrying 3lb less giving a figure of -28. In 1935 I awarded Reynoldstown a raw mark of -21, Battleship ran 9.80s slower while carrying 2lb more producing a figure of -53, however, in that year the going was, if anything, on the faster side of Good to Firm so I will knock off one-third of the pure time component for -42. I will also allow Battleship 10 (pounds/lengths) for his mistakes and being forced wide on the run in thus reducing the figures to -18 and -32. A fair method to reconcile the disparities often present between time comparisons is to take the average, -25, and it will be noted that Cooleen, whom I rated -24 in 1937, was weighted to give 2lb to Battleship by the handicapper. Strictly at the weights in 1938 Battleship emerged 3 superior to Royal Danieli who, bearing in mind the 10 granted to the winner, is thus rated -38.     











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling