Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 21 Mar 1959 (3.16) 4m 4f Good 9.37.20 34 £13,646 J. Bigg

  1 Oxo 8 10-13 W. Stephenson M. Scudamore 8/1   Rear of mid-division 1st. Progress to be left 5th BB 1C. 4th CT 1C, took 3rd early CS 1C, 4th again at 14th & WJ (where 18 remained). Disputed 2nd from 19th until BB 2C where, with a superb soaring leap, was left in lead. 1L ahead next (23rd). Joined CT 2C until went ahead once more just before 27th. 4 1/2L clear 28th and extended advantage to 7L last where mistake. Kept up to work run in, 4L to the good Elbow. Kept on.
57 58 2 Wyndburgh 9 10-12 K. Oliver T. Brookshaw 10/1 1 1/2 Mid-division 1st. Left 11th BB 1C. 9th CT 1C, jumped left to avoid prone Belsize 11th, 7th at 14th, disputed 6th WJ, vied for 5th next (17th), shared 2nd at 19th. Left outright 2nd BB 2C where stirrup leather broke. Despite no irons disputed lead CT 2C, VB (where pecked slightly) and 26th. Headed just before 27th, 4 1/2L down 28th and a 7L 2nd at last where jockey hailed his auntie before galvanising horse for run in. Only 4L adrift Elbow, ran on well, closing further by line.
58 3 Mr What 9 11-09 T.J. Taaffe T. Taaffe 6/1F 8 Sweaty in paddock and slowly away, left in dispute of 32nd & last at 1st. Left 19th BB 1C, same position CT 1C, 12th at 14th and 9th WJ. 8th at 19th, left 4th BB 2C, disputed 3rd VB. Took 3rd outright along the CS but 10L behind leader at last. 8L down at Elbow. Kept on one-pace. Lost a shoe.
57 58 4 Tiberetta 11 10-09 E. Courage A. Oughton 20/1 20 Left 6th at 1st. Mistake 2nd but soon very prominent. 2nd by BB 1C, same position, 5L down at CT 1C, a 1/2L 2nd at 14th. Dropped to 3rd over WJ but 2nd again next (17th). 4th at 19th, left 3rd BB 1C, disputed 3rd VB. Faded into 4th along CS and well behind when jumped right 29th. Circa 30L adrift of 3rd at last but stayed on again run in.
56 58 R Eagle Lodge 10 10-00 M. Feakes J. Bullock 45/1 28TH Left 15th at 1st. Left 10th BB 1C. 8th CT 1C. Disputed 5th at 14th. 8th again WJ. 12th at 19th. Left in a share of 7th BB 2C. Left 6th & last CT 2C. Left 5th & rearmost 26th. Same place when refused 28th.
  F John Jacques 10 11-00 Cpt N. Crump J. East 33/1 26TH Left 5th at 1st. Left 4th BB 1C. Vied for 5th from CT 1C to 14th. Shared 6th WJ. 7th next (17th) to beyond 19th but left 5th outright BB 2C where forced to swerve right upon landing. 5th & last but one CT 2C and fairly close up in same position when fell 26th.
  R Cannobie Lee 8 10-10 F. Nicholson D. Nicholson 45/1 24TH (CT) Left 11th at 1st. Left 12th BB 1C where badly hampered, disputed 17th CT 1C. Recoverd to vie for 10th at 14th, 12th again WJ. Shared 11th next (17th), 9th at 19th and left 6th BB 2C. Same position when possibly distracted by a loose horse running left down the fence towards him and refused CT 2C, sending jockey over fence.
58 U Green Drill 9 10-06 V. Bewicke G. Milburn 22/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. Left 9th BB 1C, 10th CT 1C. Hampered by Vigor at 11th as that one jumped markedly left to avoid the prone Belsize. Faded to dispute 13th at 14th and be 16th WJ. Still 16th & also last but one at 17th & 19th. Minor progress and left in a share of 7th BB 2C. Had just been left vying for 6th when hampered on take off by the refusing Cannobie Lee and landed on fence CT 2C while jockey went over.
  R Vigor 11 10-05 B. Turnell B. Rees 66/1 24TH (CT) Left 13th at 1st. Left 6th BB 1C. Vied for 5th CT 1C. Jumped markedly left to avoid the prone Belsize 11th. Had dropped to 9th at 14th and to 10th WJ. Further declined to be 14th next (17th) and 15th at 19th. Left 10th & last but one BB 2C. Had just been left 7th when distracted by a loose horse jumping the CT 2C directly ahead of him & refused, dispatching jockey over fence.
  R Turmoil 9 10-01 A. Kilpatrick J. Hudson 20/1 24TH (CT) Away well & 2nd over 1st. Soon faded and left 8th BB 1C. 11th CT 1C, disputed 13th at 14th and 13th outright WJ. Still 13th at 19th, left 9th BB 2C where pecked badly, nearly down & came to a virtual standstill. Had just been left 7th & last but one when knocked into by a loose horse (Cannobie Lee) and caused to refuse CT 2C.
  P Pintail 10 10-04 J. Bissill J. Wilkinson 100/1 24TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. Left 14th BB 1C. Disputing 13th CT 1C, 15th at 14th, 17th & last but one WJ. 17th & last from next (17th), left 11th & rearmost BB 2C where pecked and nearly down. Had just been left 7th & last approaching CT 2C and steered wide to avoid the trouble on the inner when barely clambered over fence and immediately PU upon reaching the landing side.
  F Surprise Packet 10 10-05 R. Richards G. Scott 100/1 22ND (BB) Away well and made all, leading by 5L at CT 1C & WJ, until fell heavily BB 2C when 4L ahead.
  U Kerstin 9 12-00 V. Bewicke S. Hayhurst 25/1 22ND (BB) Pecked 1st where left 7th. Left 7th BB 1C. Disputed 5th CT 1C. Jumped left to avoid fallen Belsize 11th. 3rd at 14th. 2nd, 5L down, WJ. 3rd again next (17th), 5th at 19th. Had just been left in a share of 4th when UR BB 2C.
  F Mainstown 9 10-10 J. Wight M. Batchelor 40/1 22ND (BB) Left 16th at 1st, left 15th BB 1C. Disputed 13th CT 1C, 8th at 14th, 5th WJ. 6th at 19th. Had just been left in a share of 4th when fell BB 2C.
  F Irish Coffee 9 10-05 J. Hale C. Finnegan 33/1 22ND (BB) Left 29th at 1st. Headway to be left 17th BB 1C. 16th CT 1C. 14th WJ. 11th at 19th. Had just been left 5th when fell BB 2C.
  U Kilballyown 12 10-02 P. Norris E. McKenzie 33/1 22ND (BB) Rear of mid-division 1st, left 18th BB 1C. 15th CT 1C where mistake. Same position WJ & 17th, jumped right at the latter as he did at the 19th where 14th. Minor progress and had just been left 5th, in turn, when hampered upon landing by the falling Irish Coffee & UR.
  F Soltown 7 10-03 T.J. Taaffe W. Brennan 25/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division 1st. Left 13th BB 1C where pecked. 12th CT 1C, 11th WJ. 10th at 19th. Had just been left 6th when fell BB 2C.
  R Royal Tournament 9 10-00 B. Wightman B. Morrow 100/1 17TH Left 12th at 1st, left 16th BB 1C. Disputed 17th CT 1C. 18th & last over both the 14th & WJ. Still rearmost when refused 17th.
58 P Richardstown 11 10-01 M. Neville F. Carroll 66/1 14TH Left in dispute of 32nd & last at 1st and never out of rear position. Hampered by the refusing Dondrosa at the 12th. Eventually kept going, tailed off. PU 14th.
  F Slippery Serpent 8 10-11 T. Dreaper P. Taaffe 9/1 13TH Mistake 1st where left 30th. Left 20th BB 1C and identical position CT 1C. Similar spot in the field when fell 13th. Broke bone in leg and destroyed a few days later. Dead.
  R Dondrosa 7 10-11 A. Taylor C. Taylor 66/1 12TH Rear of mid-division 1st. Left 21st & last but one BB 1C where hampered. Same position CT 1C. Still last but one when refused 12th.
  F Belsize 10 10-00 W. Boomer G. Rooney 28/1 11TH (OD) Left 10th at 1st and good progress to be left 3rd BB 1C. Same position CT 1C. Jockey summoned for a cab VB 1C and partnership dropped to 4th soon after. Still 4th when fell 11th.
57 58 F The Crofter 11 10-00 W. Francis S. Mellor 100/1 6TH (BB) Away well & very prominent, left 3rd at 1st. Same position when fell BB 1C.
  F Eternal 8 10-04 Lt Col R. Fenwick-Palmer P. Major 50/1 6TH (BB) Left 9th at 1st. Headway and had just been left 3rd when went through top of fence & fell BB 1C.
58 F Valiant Spark 10 10-03 E. Champneys J. Lehane 40/1 6TH (BB) Away well & prominent, left 4th at 1st. Had just been left 3rd, in turn, when fell BB 1C.
  B Mr Gay 12 10-09 P. Thrale D. Ancil 28/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division 1st. Good headway and had just been left 6th when BD by the prone The Crofter in melee at BB 1C.
57 58 B Glorious Twelfth 10 10-07 B. Renton G. Slack 33/1 6TH (BB) Left 14th at 1st. Had just been left 11th when BD by the prone Eternal BB 1C.
  U Sundawn 10 10-00 T. Hudson Jimmy Power 100/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division 1st. Had just been left 21st, in turn, when hampered upon landing & UR BB 1C.
  U Done Up 9 11-03 Cpt R. Price F. Winter 100/7 6TH (BB) Left 28th at 1st. Had just been left 21st when hampered upon landing & UR BB 1C.
  F Henry Purcell 12 10-00 E. Smith A. Keen 100/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division 1st. Had just been left 22nd & last but one when took a purler and broke back BB 1C. Dead.
  U Oscar Wilde 9 10-04 B. Wightman T. Jenkins 28/1 4TH Ran with an abscess in mouth. Mid-division until mistake & UR 4th.
58 U Southerntown 13 10-00 P. Doherty P. Cowley 100/1 2ND Mid-division, towards inner, until mistake & UR 2nd.
  F Nic Atkins 8 10-01 P. Murphy F. Shortt 20/1 1ST Away well & very prominent in 3rd when fell 1st.
  F Stop List 10 10-01 J. Bowness T. Shone 66/1 1ST 10th when fell 1st.



This renewal's refugee from the Gold Cup was Kerstin, a lucky winner at Cheltenham in 1958 but no joy in 1959 at either Prestbury Park or in the National. The mare was one of many (notably rank outsider, the aptly-named Surprise Packet) who exited when prominent and running well as on a misty and murky day there were three separate pile-ups, at Becher's on both circuits and the second Canal Turn. In addition, the ill-fortune extended to runner-up for the second time Wyndburgh's rider, Tim Brookshaw, who would be paralysed in a December 1963 Aintree hurdles fall, being without irons from second Becher's and last year's winner Mr What losing a shoe (although whether either of these circumstances had any significant detrimental effect on performance is hard to say). Brookshaw's fellow farmer's son Michael Scudamore, who coincidentally would be forced to turn to training following a terrible fall in a Wolverhampton hurdle three years after Brookshaw's accident, was adept at getting horses to jump well for him. A fine horseman, the first famous Scu certainly got a tune out of the in form, old-fashioned stamp of a chaser Oxo, barring a mistake at the last. Oxo was trained by former Flat jockey Willie Stephenson, also a farmer, who had trained the Derby winner in 1951. Oxo was another Grand National victor who never won again and I think this was an average race, given all of the above, in which the pace somewhat collapsed - on Good going Tiberetta, in an attempt to counteract her lack of toe on the surface, may have done too much on the first circuit but seemed to be staying on again at the death. Two fatalities (the first since the course changes folowing 1954) and merely four finishers produced a last burst of protest for the time being from animal welfare activists. However, the Home Secretary Rab Butler would visit the track for the 1960 renewal and come away satisfied, as were viewers of the first live television coverage who could see for themselves that the National was fair not cruel.

Strictly at the weights in the 1959 Grand National Oxo and Mr What came out basically level, 2 (pounds/lengths) better than Wyndburgh and 34 ahead of Tiberetta. I will allow the winner 1 for his mistake at the last and the runner-up 2 for being without irons from second Becher's. On Good going described as "perfect" the winning time was undoubtedly below average (even ignoring the 1953 and 1956 races because the Good ground on those occasions was faster and the pace probably quicker). However, in 1954 on Good with just a hint of ease Royal Tan (whom I rated -27) finished in a time 4.40 seconds better than Oxo whilst carrying 8lb more which (at a Good conversion rate of 3 lengths per second) equates to 21 and, therefore, tentatively places Oxo at -48 (but, as I have indicated all along, pure time comparison is second best to collateral form so I consider this mark as an outlier). Oxo was somewhat one-paced on the run in and seemingly not going as fast as he had been towards the end of the Canal Side and just after, rather hanging on in the end from Wyndburgh who was closing, sans irons, with every stride. I will, therefore, award final ratings of -41 for Oxo (who never won again), -42 for Wyndburgh (now perhaps at his peak as a 9-y-o and on ground that suited him he had improved since 1957 (Good to Soft, -52) and was not at home on Heavy in 1958 (-77)). Mr What, one-paced on Good and with extra weight was nowhere near the horse of 1958 (Heavy, -21) and receives -42 also whereas Tiberetta (-65 in 1957, 13 inferior to Wyndburgh, and -56 on suitable ground in 1958) was now an 11-y-o and different tactics were tried on the decent ground and receives -76 (34 worse than Wyndburgh this time).











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling