Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 20 Mar 1948 (3.18) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.25.40 43 £9,103 J. Procter

47 1 Sheila's Cottage 9 10-07 Cpt N. Crump A. Thompson 50/1   Chased leaders 1st, 9th BB 1C. 8th VB 1C, disputed 7th at 12th, where veered to right before fence, and left 5th next. Still 5th (of 25) WJ. 4th at 17th and disputed lead 19th but 1L down in 2nd at 21st & BB 2C. Dropped to 3rd just after 23rd, same position CT. 4th again VB. Disputed 2nd at 27th & 28th, between 2 and 3L down. 3rd, 6L off the pace, at 29th. Left a 3L 2nd at last. Drew level Elbow, had the inner rail in fierce battle and 1L ahead passing WJ. Kept on.
47 2 First Of The Dandies 11 10-04 Gerry Wilson J. Brogan 25/1 1 Prominent 1st. 5th from BB 1C to 12th. Headway to be left in lead next. 4L ahead at bend onto 2C but only 1L to the good 17th and joined briefly 19th. However, 1L in front again from 21st to VB and had extended advantage to 3L by 28th. Lead cut to 1L once more on run to & at next. Closest pursuer took wrong course before last where again 3L clear. Joined at Elbow, had outer in fierce battle and 1L down passing WJ. Kept on.
  3 Cromwell 7 10-11 P. Cazalet Lord Mildmay 33/1 6 Mid-division 1st & BB 1C, 17th VB 1C. Continued to be held up, 21st at 12th. Left 18th at 13th, minor headway into 11th WJ. 10th at 17th, further progress to be left in dispute of 6th at 19th. Same position from 21st to VB 2C where half a dozen clear. Disputed 5th at 27th but 6th again next as jockey began to suffer recurrence of old neck injury. Still 6th, 11L off of leader, at 29th. Left a 10L 5th last. Took 4th shortly after and took 3rd past Elbow. Ran on with minimal assistance. 
  4 Happy Home 9 11-10 F. Walwyn G. Kelly 33/1 6 Very prominent throughout. 4th at 1st, 3rd BB 1C, 2nd at 7th. 4th VB 1C, 2nd again 12th, left 3rd next. Maintained that position until went 2nd once more 17th. 3rd from 19th until just after 23rd where took back 2nd. Joined in that position 27th where 2L down. Tired-looking mistake 28th and dropped to 4th. Battled on to dispute 3rd at 29th, 6L off of leader. Left 3rd, 5L down, last. Weakened run in.
  5 Platypus 7 10-06 W. Smallwood A. Jack 66/1 10 Towards rear. 23rd at 12th, 20th WJ, left 22nd at 17th. Began to make modest progress, left 16th BB 2C, but still in rear quartet of main field, about a fence behind leaders in 12th, at 27th. Continued headway to be left 7th at last. Finished like a train. Never nearer. 
47 6 Rowland Roy 9 11-08 F. Walwyn B. Marshall 100/9 6 Mid-division 1st, 16th VB 1C. 14th at 12th, left 10th next, 6th WJ, where slight mistake, & 17th. Disputed 4th at 19th and same position until took 3rd before VB 2C. Under presssure in 5th at 28th and 9L off the pace in that position next where another slight error. Left 4th at last, still 9L down. Weakened considerably thereafter.
47 7 Parthenon 9 10-00 R. Hobbs P. Murray 100/1   Mid-division BB 1C. Fore of same in dispute of 10th VB 1C. 12th at 12th, left 9th next, 8th WJ. 9th again at 17th and left 9th once more at 19th. Left 8th at 21st and maintained that position through the 27th where in a midfield group of 3, somewhat adrift of leading sextet. Left 8th again last. Plugged on.
  8 Maltese Wanderer 9 10-00 T. Yates K. Gilsenan 100/1   Towards rear 1st. Steady progress to be 19th at 12th, left in dispute of 14th next and vying for 8th WJ. 7th at 17th, left in dispute of 6th at 19th and left 7th again at 21st. Maintained that position through 29th (although long since beaten) and left 6th once more last. Began to fade before Elbow.
  9 Offaly Prince 9 10-05 Cpt R. Price A. Parker 100/1   Fore of mid-division, 10th BB 1C. 9th VB 1C and in dispute of same position 12th where squeezed for room. Nevertheless, left 7th next and held that position WJ despite slight mistake. Had dropped to 11th by 17th and left 11th again 19th. Left 10th at both the 21st & BB 2C, although hampered by the fall of Clonaboy at the latter. 11th once more at 27th, in rear quartet of main field. Left 11th last. Plugged on.
47 10 Klaxton 8 11-08 J. Anthony R. Smyth 40/1   Mid-division 1st. Rear of same in 20th VB 1C. Disputed 25th at 12th, left 22nd next and vied for 15th WJ. Left 14th next, left 12th at both the 19th & 21st and left 11th BB 2C. 10th at 27th, heading rear quartet of main field, and left 10th again last. Plugged on.
  11 War Risk 9 11-01 B. Hobbs B. Turnell 33/1   Fore of mid-division 1st & BB 1C. 13th VB 1C & 12th. Left in dispute of 12th next and maintained that position through the 17th. Left 10th at 19th and left 9th at 21st. Still 9th at 27th although drifting back from midfield trio towards rear quartet (of main bunch). Left 9th again last. Weakened further.
47 12 Revelry 8 11-06 F. Walwyn D. Moore 33/1   Towards rear of main group BB 1C. Continued in same vein: 24th at 12th, left 21st next, vied for same position WJ, left 21st again 17th. Left 13th BB 2C and still in that position, last of main field, at 27th. Left a tailed off 12th at last. Plodded on.
46 47 13 Schubert 14 10-02 C. Beechener L. McMorrow 66/1   Initially very prominent. 3rd at 1st, 6th from BB 1C to 12th. Left 8th next and had dropped to 13th by WJ. Left 18th at 17th and becoming tailed off in 17th BB 2C. Was tailed off, in a last but one 14th, by 27th. Left 13th at last. Finished well tailed off.
46 14R Lovely Cottage 11 11-04 J. Morant C. Hook 66/1   Mid-division 1st & BB 1C. Fell 10th. Remounted, well tailed off. Unable to reconnect with main field and completed at a leisurely pace. Utterly tailed off.
  RO Zahia 8 10-02 Maj E. Champneys E. Reavey 100/1 30TH Very prominent. 2nd at 1st, 4th BB 1C & 7th, 3rd VB 1C, 4th again at 12th. Left 2nd once more next and maintained that position until 17th where had dropped back to 3rd. Disputed 4th at 19th, 5th from 21st to beyond 23rd, 4th again CT 2C and 5th once more next (VB). Renewed progress CS to dispute 2nd at 27th & 28th, between 2 and 3L down. Only 1L adrift in clear 2nd on the run to and at the 29th. Once jumped, rider took incorrect course (towards wrong side of Chair) and went wide of last.
  P Skouras 8 10-00 M. Arnott A. Power 100/1 23RD Generally raced in rear of mid-division. Disputed 25th at 12th, left 25th next, 23rd WJ. Some progress to be left 16th at 17th. Left 12th BB 2C but had dropped back to rear of midfield and PU next (23rd).
47 P Caughoo 9 11-01 H. McDowell E. Dempsey 28/1 23RD Always towards rear. Disputed 25th at 12th, left 26th next, vied for 21st WJ. Left 20th at 17th and left 14th BB 2C. PU next (23rd).
46 47 CO Prince Regent 13 12-02 T. Dreaper T. Hyde 25/1 23RD Mid-division BB 1C. Towards rear in 30th at 12th. Left in dispute of 27th next, 18th WJ. Left 17th at 17th and left 15th BB 2C. Still towards rear of main group when carried out by a loose horse next (23rd).
  F Clonaboy 10 10-10 R. Hobbs E. Hannigan 66/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division, 15th at 12th. Left 16th next, 17th WJ. Left 15th again at 17th, left 13th at 19th and left 11th at 21st. 10th and travelling okay when fell BB 2C.
46 47 U Housewarmer 11 10-06 F. Walwyn F. Nicholson 25/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division 1st & BB 1C. Gradually dropped back, in dispute of 25th at 12th where jumped left. Left 23rd next, 19th WJ. Left 19th again at 17th. Very modest progress and had just been left vying for 12th when hampered by Clonaboy getting to his feet & UR BB 2C.
  F Highland Lad 9 10-00 M. Owens E. Kennedy 50/1 21ST Initially mid-division. Disputed 9th at 12th, left 12th next, midfield Chair. Vied for 9th again WJ. Chased leaders in 8th at 17th. Left in dispute of 6th at 19th. 7th and still going okay when fell heavily 21st.
  F Le Daim 9 10-01 A. Kilpatrick N. Pinch 100/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division, 15th VB 1C where rider summoned taxi. Nevertheless, 11th at 12th, where jockey waved to his auntie in the stands, and further progress to be left 6th at 13th despite pilot hailing a passing minicab. 4th WJ, 5th at 17th and 6th when took one chance too many & fell heavily at 19th.
  U Weevil 9 10-11 T. Farmer V. Mooney 33/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division 1st, 21st VB 1C. 22nd at 12th, left 19th next, 14th WJ. Jinked and jumped left at 17th where disputed 12th. Had just been left 11th when badly hampered by the rising Le Daim & UR 19th.
47 U Soda 7 10-00 J. Goldsmith H. Bonneau 40/1 17TH Mid-division 1st, rear of same BB 1C. 18th VB 1C, 20th at 12th, left 20th next. Disputed 15th WJ. 14th, on the extreme inner, when hampered by Weevil landing in his path at 17th, jockey falling off onto hedge demarking line of course.
46 47 P Lough Conn 12 10-05 F. Boland Jerry Fitzgerald 22/1 17TH Kicked by Musical Lad before start. Nevertheless, away well & immediately led. Mistake 1st but not headed until VB 1C. Remained very prominent until broke blood vessel CS 1C and began to fade quite quickly. Disputed 7th at 12th, left 24th next and well towards rear of main group WJ. Tailed off when PU before 17th.
  U Tommy Traddles 7 10-00 E. Forwood C. Harrison 100/1 15TH (CHAIR) Fore of mid-division BB 1C. Slightly lost position and 17th at 12th. Left in dispute of 12th next and in similar position when bad mistake & UR Chair.
47 R Gormanstown 8 10-09 C. Hall M. Hogan 66/1 15TH (CHAIR) Prominent over first 3. Gradually lost position: disputed 10th VB 1C, 16th at 12th, left 17th next. Still midfield when refused Chair, sending jockey over fence.
46 R Knight's Crest 11 10-03 Cpt R. Price T. Maher 100/1 15TH (CHAIR) Chased leaders 1st. Mid-division BB 1C. Towards rear VB 1C. Disputed 25th at 12th, left vying for 27th next. Similar position when refused Chair, sending jockey over fence.
47 U Rearmament 11 11-02 I. Anthony D. Ruttle 66/1 15TH (CHAIR) Always towards rear. 31st at 12th, left 30th next. Last of main group when hampered by the refusal of Knight's Crest & UR Chair.
  U Ulster Monarch 9 10-01 J. Wight Cpt J. Eustace-Smith 100/1 14TH Chased leaders 1st. Prominent in 7th by BB 1C and same position VB 1C. Further headway CS and 3rd at 12th. Left 4th next and still so when mistake & UR 14th.
  U Sir John(2) 7 10-03 A. Kilpatrick Maj C. Blacker 100/1 14TH Mid-division 1st, where pecked, & BB 1C. 12th VB 1C. 18th at 12th. Left in dispute of 14th next where bad mistake &  jockey waved to his auntie. Similar position when another mistake, stumbled upon landing & UR 14th.
  U Cloncarrig 8 10-13 T. Masson J. Hislop 22/1 13TH Prominent 1st. Very much so in 2nd BB 1C, 3rd at 7th. Took lead VB 1C, 2L ahead 12th. Narrowly in front when mistake & UR 13th.
  U Caddie 10 11-07 I. Anthony Jack Maguire 50/1 8TH (CT) Prominent over first 3. Mid-division BB 1C and when mistake & UR CT 1C.
  U Roimond 7 11-07 G. Beeby D. Black 22/1 8TH (CT) Chased leaders 1st. Gradually drifted back through field and towards rear of main group, on the inner, when awkward leap & rider struggled with his balance CT 1C, eventually falling off.
47 R Halcyon Hours 8 11-05 N. Smyth M.C. Prendergast 50/1 8TH (CT) Never travelling well and tailed off in last but one BB 1C. Similar position when refused CT 1C.
46 47 R Musical Lad 11 10-01 V. Moore M. Browne 100/1 8TH (CT) Fractious before start then dwelt. A little adrift 1st. Tailed off last by BB 1C. Similar position when refused CT 1C.
  F Loyal Antrim 11 10-03 T. O'Sullivan E. Newman 22/1 7TH Mid-division until fell 7th.
46 47 F Silver Fame 9 11-06 G. Beeby M. Molony 9/1F 6TH (BB) Chased leaders 1st. Still pursuing frontrunners in 12th when fell BB 1C, seemingly jumping into the back of another horse.
47 F Some Chicken 11 10-00 J. Roberts B. Redmond 50/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division 1st but had dropped towards rear of main group when fell heavily BB 1C.
  F Bora's Cottage 10 10-00 Cpt R. Price T. Vinall 100/1 4TH Mid-division until fell 4th.
  U Ultra Bene 9 10-01 P. Cazalet T. Grantham 100/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until dived at 3rd, brushed through top of fence & UR.
46 47 F Bricett 11 11-03 C. Hall T. Molony 100/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  U Serpentine 10 10-00 Cpt R. Price C. Mitchell 100/1 1ST Towards rear when mistake, pecked & UR 1st.



Sheila's Cottage, an ornery creature who had once run into the sea after unseating her rider at Ayr and who had the top of off one of Arthur Thompson's fingers two days following her 1948 Grand National triumph, became the twelfth winning mare, the first for 46 years, and the third horse sired by Cottage to taste National success in the last five renewals (Workman, Lovely Cottage). She was immediately retired to stud and later given to Thompson, an ex-Desert Rat and prisoner of war, who was the only rider capable of controlling her. Along with his stable jockey, it was a first National victory for jovial, enthusiastic and outspoken Captain Neville Crump. The former cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps officer would become one of the all-time great National Hunt trainers. On a nice, sunny day 21 of the horses who lined up in front of a near record crowd had previously contested a Grand National, almost half of the field of 43. Anthony, now Lord, Mildmay's rotten National luck (see 1936) continued. He had become prone to cramping of the neck following a fall and the affliction struck him again in the later stages of this gruelling race. Sadly it would do so once more causing him to drown whilst swimming in 1950. Like Cromwell, the blinkered mare Zahia (by Cottage) can be considered unfortunate. Her jockey, Eddie Reavey, had walked the course and mistakenly thought that the Chair and Water Jump should be bypassed on their left, not their right, on the final circuit. Thus, in running, he took a path towards the Chair omitting the 30th. We will never know exactly how Zahia would have fared, however, halfway between the last and the Elbow she was level with the longtime leader, First Of The Dandies, despite being eased down. Bearing in mind the fame of the Aintree spectacular, that Reavey had ridden in the 1947 renewal (albeit getting only as far as the 3rd) and had troubled to walk the course his error was inexcusable. The course woud subsequently be delineated on the inner between the last two. Happy Home (you guessed it, by Cottage!) had endured a hard race just over a fortnight earlier when runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup but only tired late. Platypus made up an extraordinary amount of ground fom the middle of the second canal side. Rowland Roy remained upright this year but disappointingly did not appear to stay - perhaps the extra weight, earned by virtue of his Scottish Grand National win, in better company rather than the additional distance to that at Bogside caught him out? Caughoo was badly outpaced on the ground which seems to have been on the Good side of Good to Firm. Knight's Crest ran as Tudor Close.

Deciphering the relative worth of the performances in the 1948 Grand National is particularly tricky. But I have had a go and will start at Cheltenham. There is quite a difference of opinion regarding another of the offspring of Cottage, Cottage Rake. However, the first of his three Gold Cup victories, when he beat Happy Home by 1 1/2 lengths in 1948, was arguably his best. In the 1947 Prestbury Park Blue Riband the 6-y-o Fortina (before being retired to stud) had triumphed over Happy Home by 10 lengths. Fortina is not talked about in the same terms as a couple of Gold Cup winners who feature in my Scroll of Merit, namely Prince Regent (-11) and Easter Hero (-14). It may be that Fortina was of that level, there is scant evidence in a brief career, but even giving him reasonable benefit of doubt I couldn't rate him higher than a theoretical (as he never ran in the National)  -18 and, therefore, on the line through Happy Home, Cottage Rake, of whom it was said couldn't carry weight against inferiors as well as the likes of Prince Regent and Easter Hero, I couldn't rate higher than a theoretical -26. Looking at some of the progeny of Cottage (which also included 1939 Gold Cup winner Brendan's Cottage) I rated Workman -47, Lovely Cottage -33 and will shortly rate Sheila's Cottage -37 and Zahia -43, therefore -26 is not unreasonable as the upper limit of their range of ability. Please bear in mind for now that this places Happy Home at -28 at his best.

A second, independent, approach to the 1948 form is via the rather riskier medium of time comparison. A simple comparison of Sheila's Cottage's time with those recorded by the National winners on Good to Firm in 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1938 (1940 is excluded because the fences weren't as stiff that year) gives her a mean rating of -36. If we just take the year, 1934, when the going most closely resembled the surface of 1948 Sheila's Cottage was 5 seconds slower than Golden Miller (at 3 1/2 lengths per second) whilst carrying 23lbs less and based upon Golden Miller's raw mark of -5 earns a rating of -45. However (see 1934), even when merely comparing the times of 1933 and 1934 I felt it was such an unreliable equation, in the context of the collateral form that existed, that I reduced Golden Miller's superiority on pure time by 18 (pounds/lengths). If I mimicked that here it would give Sheila's Cottage a rating of -27. The average of -45 and -27 is also -36, please bear that figure in mind too.

Strictly at the weights in the 1948 Grand National Happy Home emerged 4 better than Sheila's Cottage, 7 superior to the promising 7-y-o Cromwell, 8 ahead of First Of The Dandies, 18 in advance of Rowland Roy and 28 too good for Platypus. I will allow Happy Home 1 for his mistake at the 28th but I cannot allow him anything for the mark left upon him by his Gold Cup exertions which appear to have seen him run below his best by about 5 and, therefore, to -33 instead of -28 (with the 1 allowed his final rating becomes -32). This places Sheila's Cottage at -37 and that makes sense to me! Cromwell is granted 3 for lack of jockey assistance so instead of receiving -40 he gets the same rating as the winner, -37 which seems about right. First Of The Dandies receives -41, Rowland Roy -51 and Platypus -61. Finally, trying to be as fair as possible towards Zahia, she carried 2lb less than the runner-up so I will award her -43.                   











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling