Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 25 Mar 1950 (3.17) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.23.60 49 £9,314 L. Brotherton

  1 Freebooter 9 11-11 B. Renton Jimmy Power 10/1JF   Soon very prominent, 2nd by BB 1C. Joined in that position 11th and 3rd at 12th. Lost place slightly on run to next and disputing 6th when bad mistake Chair & jockey forced to cling on for dear life round horse's neck. Vied for 8th (of 19) WJ, same story at 17th. 6th again BB 2C where rider called for a cab. Left 3rd CT and identical position VB. Disputed 2nd, 3L down, at 27th and 2L deficit in outright 2nd at 28th. Virtually joined leader on run to 29th where left well clear. Easily but kept up to work and finished fairly tired.
49 2 Wot No Sun 8 11-08 Cpt N. Crump A. Thompson 100/7 15 Away well & prominent, 7th BB 1C. Left 5th VB 1C, 6th at 11th & 12th. Headway to be 2nd Chair, disputed lead WJ. A very close 2nd next (17th), 3rd at 19th, 2nd again BB 2C. Left 2nd once more CT and still vying for that position, 3L down, 27th but dropped back to 3rd, 6L adrift, 28th. Continued to fade, left a distant 2nd at 29th but lost little further ground thereafter.
49 3 Acthon Major 10 11-02 W. Easterby B. O'Ryan 33/1 10 Always prominent. 3rd VB 1C, disputed 2nd at 11th and took that position outright next. 5th WJ & at BB 2C where pecked. Left 4th CT where jockey waved to his auntie in the stands. In same place when rider summoned a taxi next (VB) and still 4th, 8L down, 28th. Faded and beaten when left 3rd at 29th. Lost little further ground thereafter.
47 48 4 Rowland Roy 11 11-07 F. Walwyn D. Black 40/1 DIST Mid-division, left 13th VB 1C. 11th at 12th. Headway to be 6th WJ. 7th BB 2C. Left 5th CT and maintained same position along CS but circa 16L down at 28th. Left 4th next. Further weakened.
49 5 Monaveen 9 10-13 P. Cazalet T. Grantham 100/7 6 Away well & led. Jumped right 11th. Still ahead when bad mistake 14th, dropped to 3rd & never travelling as well after. Jumped right again Chair. Retained 3rd WJ & 17th but had retreated to about 6th at 19th and a mid-division 9th BB 2C. Left 6th CT, beaten in same position by 27th. Continued to fade. Left 5th at 29th.
49 6 Ship's Bell 10 10-00 S. Parker M. O'Dwyer 66/1 2 Mid-division, left 14th VB 1C. Left 13th at 11th, 12th WJ and vying for same position 17th. Towards rear of main group in dispute of 11th BB 2C. Left 7th CT, 8th & last of those remaining next (VB). A well beaten 7th at 27th. Left 6th at 29th. Plugged on. 
  7 Inchmore 13 10-00 J. Wight D. Curran 100/1   Chased leaders until left a prominent 6th VB 1C. 8th at 12th, a midfield 10th from WJ to BB 2C where ran down fence & jumped left. Left 8th again CT. 7th when jumped markedly left next (VB) & 26th. Well beaten in 8th & last 27th. Left 7th at 29th. Laboured on.
48 49 F Cloncarrig 10 11-09 T. Masson B. Turnell 25/1 29TH Prominent, disputed 5th BB 1C. 3rd next (7th). Left 4th VB 1C. Still 4th at 12th. Left in lead 14th, joined WJ, narrowly ahead 17th. Headed well before 19th where 3rd. 2nd when bad mistake & nearly UR 21st and had dropped back to 4th again by BB 2C. Left in lead once more CT, by 3L. Advantage reduced to 2L by 28th and virtually joined on run to 29th. Still going well, possibly better than winner, when fell there.
  R Shagreen 9 11-08 T. Dreaper G. Kelly 20/1 25TH (VB) Chased leaders. Left 8th VB 1C. Gradual progress CS 1C to be 5th at 12th. 4th from WJ to 19th. 3rd BB 2C, going okay. Similar position when fell next (23rd) after struggling valiantly to stay on feet for several yards after fence. Remounted, well tailed off. Refused VB 2C.
  R Column 10 10-02 R. Bissill A. Mullins 100/1 25TH (VB) Prominent. Left 7th VB 1C. 5th at 11th, 7th again 12th & WJ, 5th once more at 17th. Had dropped to a midfield 8th by BB 2C and in similar position when BD by Shagreen 23rd. Remounted, well tailed off. Refused VB 2C.
  U Angel Hill 10 10-03 Gerry Wilson T. Shone 33/1 24TH (CT) Initially held up, 10th BB 1C. Left 9th VB 1C. Similar position when bad mistake & nearly UR 14th. Nevertheless, disputed 8th WJ & 17th. Rather rushed up and leapt into lead 19th. Ahead by 4L BB 2C where pecked. Slight error 23rd. Only 1L in front when blundered, skewed in air & UR next (CT). 
  P Confucius 9 10-00 H. Harty C. O'Connor 40/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division, left 10th VB 1C. A midfield 11th WJ. Disputing 11th, towards rear of main group, BB 2C. Had just been left 9th & last of main group when PU well before CT 2C.
  P Safety Loch 9 10-00 F. Walwyn D. Punshon 100/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division, left 16th VB 1C. Left in dispute of 15th at 11th. Towards rear of main group in same position WJ. Still 15th, becoming tailed off, at 17th. Left 14th at 19th. WAS tailed off in same position by the approach to BB 2C. Left 11th at 23rd and had just been left 9th when PU immediately after CT 2C.
47 48 F Klaxton 10 11-13 I. Anthony Jack Maguire 40/1 23RD Rear of mid-division. Left 20th VB 1C and left 18th at 11th. A midfield 14th Chair & WJ. Disputed 12th at 17th. 13th, towards rear of main group, BB 2C. Similar position when fell next (23rd).
  F Mermaid 11 11-00 T. Palmer T. Palmer 100/1 23RD Slowly away and always towards rear. Had just been left 24th (& last) when caused to refuse by the refusing Happy River VB 1C. Kept going, well tailed off. 20th & last at 11th. Completely tailed off by BB 2C, fell next (23rd).
  R Binghamstown 11 10-07 L. Furman L. Furman 100/1 20TH Always towards rear. Left 23rd & last but one VB 1C. Had just been left 21st when caused to refuse by loose horse (Cromwell) in ditch at the 11th. Kept going, well tailed off. Completely so when refused again 20th.
  F Dynovi 9 10-00 V. Bewicke A. Jack 100/1 19TH (OD) Rear of mid-division, left 18th VB 1C. Left 14th at 11th. Slight mistake Chair. A midfield 13th WJ. 14th again at 17th. Same position when fell 19th.
  R Fighting Line 11 10-08 K. Cundell E. Greenway 50/1 18TH Mid-division, left 17th VB 1C. Left in dispute of 15th at 11th. 16th, towards rear of main group, WJ. Same position, becoming tailed off, next (17th). Refused 18th.
47 48 F Soda 9 10-05 J. Goldsmith K. Mullins 33/1 18TH Rear of mid-division, left 19th VB 1C. Left 17th at 11th and last of main group in same position WJ. Still 17th but becoming tailed off next (17th). Fell 18th.
  F Stockman 8 11-01 C. Brabazon D.K. Thomas 100/1 14TH Mid-division. Left 11th VB 1C where jockey waved to his auntie. 12th at 12th. Same position when fell 14th.
49 F Royal Mount 11 11-00 K. Cundell A. Corbett 40/1 11TH (OD) Prominent BB 1C. Left a midfield 12th VB 1C. 13th when hampered by a loose horse at the 11th & fell into fence whereupon another loose horse collided violently with partnership, knocking jockey off into fence and horse back into ditch. Broke leg. Dead.
48 49 F Cromwell 9 11-04 P. Cazalet Lord Mildmay 18/1 11TH (OD) Rear of mid-division 1st. Midfield BB 1C and when left 15th VB 1C. Had just been left 14th when hampered by a combination of a loose horse and Royal Mount being astride the 11th fence & fell into fence, sending rider over, before slipping back into ditch.
  R Saintfield 13 10-00 A. Kilpatrick M. Gosling 100/1 11TH (OD) Always towards rear. Left 22nd VB 1C. Had just been left 19th when caused to refuse by loose horse (Cromwell) in ditch at the 11th.
  R Barney 12 10-02 W. O'Grady T. Burns 100/1 11TH (OD) Always towards rear. Left 21st VB 1C. Had just been left 20th when caused to refuse by loose horse (Cromwell) in ditch at the 11th, jockey falling off into ditch in the process.
  F Possible 10 10-01 W. Payne P. Conlon 50/1 9TH (VB) Prominent BB 1C. 4th when fell VB 1C.
  F Castledermot 8 10-09 V. O'Brien T. Molony 20/1 9TH (VB) Mid-division BB 1C. Headway and had just been left 8th when fell VB 1C.
  B Knockirr 10 10-04 G. Dennistoun T. Cusack 66/1 9TH (VB) Mid-division BB 1C. Headway and had just been left 9th when BD by Castledermot VB 1C.
  F Pastime 9 10-00 J. Osborne C. Sleator 66/1 9TH (VB) Always towards rear. Had just been left 21st when fell awkwardly VB 1C.
  R Happy River 7 10-12 P. Hogan D. McCann 40/1 9TH (VB) Towards rear. Last but one when refused VB 1C.
49 F Southborough 12 10-00 B. Wightman E. Reavey 100/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. Chased leaders BB 1C. 13th when fell CT 1C.
  F Limestone Cottage 10 10-00 H.H. Jones J. Dowdeswell 100/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division until hampered & fell CT 1C. Later found to have sustained severe internal injuries. Dead.
48 49 F Roimond 9 12-01 G. Beeby D. Francis 10/1JF 7TH Prominent. In dispute of 5th BB 1C. Same position when fell next (7th).
49 F San Michele 10 10-00 H. Metcalfe J. Boddy 100/1 7TH 11th BB 1C. Similar position when fell next (7th).
  F Inverlochy 11 10-03 A. Kilpatrick P. Doyle 50/1 7TH Mid-division until fell 7th.
  F Highland Cottage 10 10-00 C. Hall M. Hogan 66/1 7TH Mid-division until fell 7th.
  B Cadamstown 10 10-08 Maj B. Powell E. Dempsey 66/1 7TH Rear of mid-division until BD 7th.
  F Garde Toi 9 12-01 B. Bates Marquis de Portago 100/1 7TH Towards rear 1st. Rear of mid-division BB 1C. Similar position when fell 7th.
49 U Gallery 12 10-08 R. Bissill G. Slack 28/1 6TH (BB) Prominent 1st but had dropped into mid-division when bad mistake & UR BB 1C.
49 F Ardnacassa 12 10-05 G. Owen T. Brookshaw 100/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until fell BB 1C.
  U Battling Pedulas 11 10-11 J. Beary D. Marzani 50/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until bad mistake & UR BB 1C.
49 U Cavaliero 9 11-06 F. Rimell J. Bullock 66/1 6TH (BB) Tubed. Mid-division until bad mistake & UR BB 1C.
  F Ivan's Choice 9 10-00 H.J. Jones P.J. O'Brien 100/1 2ND Chased leaders. Chancey leap 1st, fell 2nd when more prominent.
49 F Russian Hero 10 11-04 G. Owen L. McMorrow 22/1 1ST Away well & very prominent when fell 1st.
48 F Tommy Traddles 9 10-01 J. Delaney F. O'Connor 66/1 1ST Very prominent, fell 1st.
  F Ole Man River 8 10-00 H. Clarkson G. Bonas 100/1 1ST Fore of mid-division, fell 1st.
  F Cottage Welcome 11 10-03 C. Beechener C. Hook 100/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  F Comeragh 9 10-00 Maj N. Furlong P. Kelly 50/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  U Zarter 10 10-00 V. Smyth J. Straker 66/1 1ST Mid-division, hampered upon landing & UR 1st.
48 P Skouras 10 10-02 A. Delahooke M. Browne 100/1 1ST Heavily bandaged. Dwelt, took no interest in proceedings whatsoever and well towards rear in last at 1st. PU immediately after fence.



In the presence of the royal family, there to see Monaveen, the 1950 Grand National boasted what will forever remain the third largest field in the race's history and was arguably the best all round renewal between 1937 and 1971. On a bright, sunny day Freebooter put on a command performance to become the first winning favourite since Sprig in 1927. Powerful and deep-chested, Freebooter was a likely type to become an Aintree specialist and duly won seven of his eight completions over the National fences. He could not have had a more ideal trainer than Bobby Renton who specialised in the 'old-fashioned' type of steeplechaser. Jimmy Power was obliged to cling for dear life onto Freebooter's neck in order to stay aboard at the Chair during a contest that saw 29 of the 49 starters exit by the 11th. However, unlike many Nationals, there was a decent level of quality shared by the first five finishers. The impressive part of the race was how Freebooter and Cloncarrig pulled away from the rest on the run to the 29th. The latter's jockey, Bob Turnell, considered his mount unlucky but it is impossible to say what would have happened had Cloncarrig not fallen at the second last, many contemporary observers felt his opponent was going equally effectively (as were Angel Hill, whose intended rider had been injured in an earlier race on the card, and Shagreen when departing further out), and anyway Cloncarrig would fail to complete the course in six Grand National attempts. Rowland Roy appeared to be past his best and although runner-up Wot No Sun may have been at his peak his level of performance was not prone to wild swings - having triumphed in the 1949 Scottish Grand National he would take the Grand Sefton in 1952. In what would prove to be the start of a trend six horses came to grief at the 1st and ten in total at the 7th/23rd. Pastime may have sustained an ultimately fatal neck injury at first Valentine's.

The winning time, one-fifth of a second faster than that of Russian Hero (raw rating -35) last year, indicates that the Good to Firm going was very similar to that of 1949. Freebooter carried 17lb more and thus gets a raw mark of -18. Strictly at the weights in the 1950 Grand National he emerged 18 (pounds/lengths) superior to Wot No Sun (-36) and 34 better than Acthon Major whom I will allow 1 for shoddy jumping and a rating of -51. I will also grant Freebooter 3 for his mistakes, though nothing for margin of victory as he was left well clear and had to be kept up to his work, and a final rating of -15. Some contemporary horse racing writers felt that Freebooter's effort was the best in a National since that of Golden Miller (0) in 1934, however, I rate five performances subsequent to The Miller's better than Freebooter's, the pick of them being Reynoldstown's (-8) in 1936. Whilst Freebooter comfortably earns a place on my Scroll Of Merit there is the Cloncarrig factor to take into account and Freebooter's deplorable Cheltenham record (he preferred a flat track and liked Prestbury Park about as much as Golden Miller did Liverpool, despite going off favourite for the 1952 Gold Cup in which he fell!) My Scroll now reads: Golden Miller; -7 Troytown; -8 Reynoldstown; -11 Prince Regent; -14 Lottery, The Lamb, Disturbance, Seaman, Come Away, Cloister, Jerry M, Easter Hero, Thomond(1), Royal Mail(1); -15 Freebooter, -17 Poethlyn; -18 Congress, The Liberator; -19 Why Not, Manifesto, Kellsboro' Jack; -20 Delaneige.



> Skouras may have unseated at the 2nd rather than being pulled up immediately after the1st.

> Binghamstown may have pulled up as opposed to refusing at the 20th.    











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling