Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 28 Mar 1953 (3.17) 4m 4f Good 9.21.60 31 £9,330 J. Griffin

52 1 Early Mist 8 11-02 V. O'Brien B. Marshall 20/1   Held up in mid-division, fore of same when left 8th CT 1C. Left 5th, chasing leading quartet, at 11th. 4th (of 13) WJ. Disputed 2nd at 17th, same position outright (1L down) at 19th, vying for lead next when left in front, ahead by 2L BB 2C. Extended advantage to 3L by 27th and to 6L on run to 29th where slight mistake. 9L to the good last after which drew further away. Pushed out hands and heels, very easily.
  2 Mont Tremblant 7 12-05 F. Walwyn D. Dick 18/1 20 Very prominent, left 4th BB 1C and left 3rd CT 1C. Disputed 2nd at 11th, same position outright at Chair & WJ. 4th at 17th, 3rd at 19th, left 2nd again next. Pecked badly BB 2C where 2L down but remained in that situation beyond VB before dropping 3L back by 27th. Under pressure on run to 29th where 6L adrift. 9L behind last, tired further run in.
51 52 3 Irish Lizard 10 10-06 F. Nicholson B. Turnell 33/1 4 Mid-division, left 13th CT 1C. Put off by the refusing Glen Fire at 11th, misjudged leap, landed on fence and momentum carried him over but nearly UR in the process & lost 2 places. Still midfield, in 11th, WJ. Disputed 10th at 17th, left 6th at 20th and left a distant 5th BB 2C. Well behind leader CT 2C, left a very distant 3rd at 28th. Ran on well, never nearer.
52 4 Overshadow 13 10-04 C. Magnier P. Taaffe 33/1 20 Mid-division. Mistake 3rd, left 11th CT 1C, left 8th at 11th. Same position, still midfield, WJ. 9th next (17th). Left 10th & last at 20th, left a distant 6th BB 2C, well behind leader CT 2C. Left a very distant 4th at 28th where bad mistake. Laboured on.
  5 Senlac Hill 8 10-10 G. Beeby D. Francis 66/1 DIST Mid-division, left 10th at both CT 1C & 11th. A fore of midfield 7th at WJ. Same position next (17th). Left 5th at 20th and left a distant 4th BB 2C. Well behind leader CT 2C and becoming tailed off when left 5th & last at 28th. Clambered over last.
48 49 50 51 52 F Cloncarrig 13 11-05 F. Walwyn B. McCreery 66/1 28TH Mid-division. Left 12th CT 1C, left 9th at 11th, 10th WJ. Had dropped to 12th again by 17th but left 9th (last but one) once more at 20th. Left 8th & last BB 2C. Well behind leader CT 2C, however, keeping on in a very distant 3rd when blundered badly & fell 28th.
  R Little Yid 11 10-01 B. Renton Jimmy Power 7/1F 27TH (OD) Away well & very prominent, left in dispute of 2nd at 1st where slightly hampered. Same position BB 1C and left 2nd outright CT 1C. Dropped to 3rd for Chair & WJ, disputed 2nd again 17th, 4th at 19th (well clear of 5th), left 3rd once more next. Maintained that position, 5L down, BB 2C & CT 2C where mistake. Tiring when bad error next (VB) and had dropped about 30L behind the front pair, appearing legless, when refused 27th despite jockey's vigorous urgings.
52 F Pearly Prince 10 10-00 E. Wright T. Jenkins 66/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division, left 14th CT 1C, left 12th at 11th, 9th WJ. A midfield 8th next (17th) and left 8th again 20th. Left a distant 7th (last but one) BB 2C and in similar position when fell CT 2C.
  U Witty 8 10-05 C. Hall G. Slack 22/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division. Badly hampered by fallers at 4th. Left 9th CT 1C, left 7th at 11th. A fore of midfield 6th at WJ & 17th. Left a fairly distant 4th at 20th. Same position when mistake & UR BB 2C.
52 U Uncle Barney 10 10-04 H. Clarkson J. Boddy 40/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division at 1st where pecked. Rear of midfield BB 1C. Left 15th CT 1C, left 13th at 11th. A last but one 12th WJ. Modest headway to dispute a mid-division 10th next (17th). Left 7th at 20th. Had just been left a distant 6th when mistake & UR BB 2C.
  F Ordnance 7 10-03 F. Rimell M. Scudamore 25/1 20TH Away well, left in lead 1st. 5L ahead BB 1C. Mistake VB 1C but led by 10L at 11th, 8L clear WJ. Lead reduced to 2L by next (17th), only 1L up at 19th, joined and fell 20th.
51 F Armoured Knight 9 10-01 Gerry Wilson T. Mabbutt 66/1 20TH Initially mid-division, left 9th BB 1C. Caught leading group by next (7th), left 6th CT 1C. 4th from 11th to Chair. 5th WJ and had dropped off leading quartet by next (17th) but still 5th at 19th. Had just been left 4th again, back in midfield, when came a right purler 20th.
  P Knuckleduster 9 11-00 P. Payne-Gallwey P. Browne 25/1 18TH Away well & left in dispute of 2nd at 1st. Left 6th BB 1C. Left 4th CT 1C but slight mistake, slightly hampered on landing, nearly UR & immediately dropped back to 6th. Left 6th again 11th, however, now in mid-division. Lost further ground to be 13th & last WJ. Tailed off in that position next (17th) and PU immediately after 18th.
51 R Glen Fire 10 10-08 S. Mercer M. Lynn 10/1 11TH (OD) Very prominent 1st. Left 7th BB 1C and left 5th CT 1C. Same position, chasing leading quartet, when refused 11th.
  R Larry Finn 9 10-11 Cpt N. Crump A. Thompson 40/1 11TH (OD) Chased leaders 1st, mid-division BB 1C. Left a fore of midfield 7th CT 1C. Had just been left 6th by the refusing Glen Fire at 11th when hampered by that horse & caused to refuse, colliding with fence before being cannoned into on take off side by a loose horse which sent jockey shooting over the obstacle.
52 R Cream Of The Border 8 10-00 A. Paton J. Wilkinson 66/1 11TH (OD) Towards rear, pecked 1st. Rear of mid-division by 3rd, towards rear again BB 1C. Left a rear of midfield 16th CT 1C and had just been left 14th when refused 11th, landing on fence before slipping back into ditch & discarding rider in the process.
  U Punchestown Star 9 10-00 J. Lea S. McComb 66/1 11TH (OD) Mid-division. Hampered 1st but still midfield when blundered & a loose horse nearly fell in front of at BB 1C, badly hampered & began to drop rapidly towards rear. Left 17th & last but one CT 1C. Had, in turn, just been left a rear-division 14th at the 11th when cannoned into by a loose horse upon take off, sending jockey into wing of obstacle while horse got stuck on fence for a couple of minutes.
  R Steel Lock 9 10-00 E. Maggs E. Maggs 66/1 11TH (OD) Mid-division until fell heavily 4th. Remounted, well tailed off. Completely so in 18th & last CT 1C and when refused next (VB). Kept going, utterly tailed off. Refused again 11th.
  F Parasol 8 10-04 A. Walton A. Oughton 25/1 8TH (CT) Prominent 1st where jumped left & slightly hampered. Very handy by 4th. Disputed 2nd BB 1C. 2nd outright when fell heavily CT 1C. Broke back. Dead.
52 U Whispering Steel 8 10-13 A. Kilpatrick B. Morrow 9/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. Headway to be left 5th BB 1C. Had just been left 4th when hampered (by a combination of the prone Parasol and a loose horse) & UR CT 1C.
52 F Hierba 8 10-00 Cpt T. Hanbury A. Mullins 50/1 8TH (CT) Prominent 1st. Jumped right 3rd. Left 8th BB 1C. Had just been left 5th when fell CT 1C.
  P Lucky Dome 7 10-00 V. O'Brien P. Doyle 10/1 8TH (CT) Small. Slowly away & towards rear when pecked 1st. Last when jockey waved to his auntie in the stands 3rd. Becoming tailed off when slow & awkward leap 5th. Was tailed off, in 18th, when PU CT 1C.
  P Desire 12 10-00 W. McMullen T. Cullen 66/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. Towards rear when jumped left 3rd. Mistake BB 1C. Tailed off, in 19th, when PU CT 1C.
  U Head Crest 7 10-00 Gerry Wilson S. Barnes 40/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division 1st. Progress to be in dispute of 2nd when jockey fell off several yards after the slightest of mistakes at BB 1C.
52 F Cardinal Error(1) 9 11-05 J. Wight D. Curran 100/7 4TH Mid-division until fell heavily 4th. Broke back. Dead.
  F Baire 7 10-00 Maj B. Powell J. Foster 40/1 4TH Mid-division until fell heavily 4th.
51 U Land Fort 9 10-13 F. Rimell H. Oliver jnr 50/1 3RD (OD) Chased leaders 1st. 9th when bad mistake & knocked into from behind by Wait And See at the 3rd, jockey clung on round horse's neck for several strides before gravity took over.
  B Wait And See 8 10-05 G. Archibald A. Freeman 50/1 3RD (OD) Chased leaders. Hampered by Parasol 1st. BD by the blundering Land Fort 3rd.
  F Happy Days 13 10-00 E. Gifford A. Benson 66/1 2ND Mid-division, fell heavily 2nd.
  F Quite Naturally 9 10-08 W. O'Grady T. Molony 18/1 1ST Led until fell 1st.
  F Grand Truce 9 10-00 G. Owen D. Leslie 66/1 1ST Prominent, fell 1st.



Perhaps the public was genuinely becoming disenchanted because the crowd for the 1953 Grand National was the smallest for some time, however, with the boom in post-war sporting attendance now over the gathering was healthy enough judged by normal parameters. Those present witnessed the fewest starters for eighteen years avoid major grief at the 1st and none at all occur at the 7th/23rd, saw Irish Lizard turn out two days after winning the Topham to finish third and a Fulke Walwyn trained runner-up for the second consecutive year, but most notably they viewed a first Grand National success for arguably the greatest trainer of all time, Vincent O'Brien. The Master of Ballydoyle, who would switch full time and permanently to the flat in 1959, could count among his strengths an expert eye for spotting potential, innovation, planning, and a clear vision of how a horse should be ridden. With Royal Tan injured he trained the progressive Early Mist to produce by far his career best performance whilst booking the gifted and stylish Bryan Marshall to ensure the sometimes hesitant jumper had his mind made up for him. Early Mist had previously been fired and if there is one criticism of O'Brien it is the durabiity of some of his horses, Early Mist would break down in early 1954 and was never the same again, but then his training methods WERE based upon those of Henry Linde!

A blistering first circuit pace was set by Ordnance with the impressive victor held up, it was a two-horse race from second Valentine's and Mont Tremblant was the only finisher who was very prominent from the outset - look how badly the favourite, Little Yid, tired! I have recorded the going as the official Good, however, it must have been very much on the fast side of Good and likely not vastly different to that in 1952, which was on the slow side of Good to Firm, because the time recorded by Early Mist was only one second outside that of Teal (both races were run at a cracking overall pace). In 1953 there had been a long dry spell -  some papers described the surface as "on top" and some mentioned that it would be firm if there was no overnight rain. There were a few heavy showers on race morning. Therefore, I conclude that the turf rode very similarly to how it did in 1952 when Teal (raw rating of -18) carried 4lb less than did Early Mist a year later and, bearing in mind the latter was one second slower, the pair could be considered pretty equal.

Strictly at the weights in the 1953 Grand National Early Mist emerged 3 (pounds/lengths) ahead of Mont Tremblant, 34 better than Irish Lizard and 56 superior to Overshadow. The last-named creature came out and won the Irish Grand National at 20/1 ten days later so cannot be said to have deterioated at the age of thirteen. If we take the 'Distance' between the 1952 National runner-up and third place horse literally as 30 lengths we can compute that Teal was 58 in advance of Overshadow, which again suggests that Teal and Early Mist were almost indistinguishable in ability. Thus, I will award Early Mist a raw rating of -18 also. And we know through a Gold Cup line involving Galloway Braes that the game Mont Tremblant, due to niggling injuries, was up to a stone (probably less) inferior in 1953 compared to what he had been in 1952 (when he may have been about -10) which helps explain why he was unable to successfully concede the weight here and provides the correct context for the Teal/Early Mist raw rating.

In conclusion, therefore, I will allow Early Mist 5 for ease of victory and a final rating of -13 (close to Teal's -15). His was a great performance, not only the time but he gave weight and a thrashing to very contemporary winners of decent races (Irish Lizard and Overshadow). Mont Tremblant receives -21, which seems probably about where he was at the time. Granting Irish Lizard 2 for his incident at the 11th he gets -50 and allowing Overshadow 3 for his mistakes this doughty campaigner winds up with a mark of -71. My Scroll Of Merit now reads: Golden Miller; -7 Troytown; -8 Reynoldstown; -11 Prince Regent; -13 Early Mist; -14 Lottery, The Lamb, Disturbance, Seaman, Come Away, Cloister, Jerry M, Easter Hero, Thomond(1), Royal Mail(1); -15 Freebooter, Teal; -17 Poethlyn; -18 Congress, The Liberator; -19 Why Not, Manifesto, Kellsboro' Jack; -20 Delaneige.         







Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling