Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 26 Mar 1960 (3.17) 4m 4f Good 9.26.25 26 £13,134 W. Wallace

  1 Merryman 9 10-12 Cpt N. Crump G. Scott 13/2F   Mid-division 1st, soon chased leaders, 8th BB 1C. Left in dispute of 5th CT 1C, same position 11th. 3rd at 13th & WJ (where 17 remained). 2nd from 17th to 19th, after which reined back. 3rd again BB 2C, where slight error, and only 1/2L down in 3rd CT 2C. Shared lead along CS until 1/2L ahead 28th. Extended advantage on run to 29th and 7L lead at last. Drew further clear, 15L ahead elbow, and kept up to work. Easily.
  2 Badanloch 9 10-09 G. Owen S. Mellor 100/7 15 Mid-division 1st, soon more prominent, disputed 6th BB 1C. Left 7th CT 1C, Shared 5th at 11th, 6th at 13th, 2nd WJ. Mainly raced in 3rd from 17th, 2nd, 2L down, BB 2C. Vied for lead CT 2C until 27th, 1/2L 2nd at 28th. Could not match winner on run to 29th where 4L down. 7L back at last and 15L adrift Elbow. Kept on.
  3 Clear Profit 10 10-01 R. Newton J. Wilkinson 20/1 12 Prominent: 7th at 1st and disputed 6th BB 1C. Left in share of 8th CT 1C, 9th at 11th, 7th at 13th, 9th again WJ. 8th at next (17th), 7th once more 19th and left 6th BB 2C. A mid-division 5th CT 2C, vied for 4th at 28th, 4th outright at last. Kept on well into 3rd run in.
  4 Tea Fiend 11 10-00 G. Owen G. Madden 33/1 12 Led from 1st until joined from 7th to VB 1C. Ahead again next (10th) and 7L clear WJ. 2L to the good at 17th & BB 2C. Joined once more CT 2C. Slow jump VB 2C, dropped to 3rd and began to fade, 10L+ down at 28th. Still 3rd at last but weakened further run in.
  5 Sabaria 9 10-03 B. Turnell M. Roberts 66/1   Prominent: 5th at 1st, 4th BB 1C, 3rd CT 1C. Disputed same position 11th, 5th again at 13th, chased leaders in 8th WJ. 9th at 17th & 19th, left 7th BB 2C where slight mistake. A mid-division 6th CT 2C. Vied for 4th at 28th. Had dropped back to 5th once more by last. Faded.
58 59 6 Green Drill 10 10-03 V. Bewicke G. Milburn 33/1   Away well & very prominent. Disputed 2nd at 1st, outright 2nd BB 1C, vied for lead from 7th until VB 1C. Remained extremely handy, 2nd again at 11th & 13th. 4th WJ and retained that position until just before BB 2C but left 4th there once more whilst making a mistake and being slightly hampered by Mr What. Soon dropped to 7th where in mid-division CT 2C. No further impact, 6th at 28th & last. Weak finish.
  7 Arles 8 10-04 H.K. Jones T. Moule 45/1   Initially very prominent. Disputed 2nd at 1st, 3rd BB 1C, 4th CT 1C. had dropped to 7th by 11th, to 10th at 13th and to 12th at WJ. 13th next (17th). Left 9th (last but one) BB 2C. 10th and last over CT 2C. Becoming tailed off when left 8th & last but one 28th. Left 7th at 29th. Finished well tailed off.
  8 Skatealong 12 10-00 T. Jones R. Harrison 66/1   Rear of mid-division 1st. Midfield BB 1C. Left 11th CT 1C. Had dropped to 14th by WJ, same position next (17th). Left 10th & last BB 2C, towards rear in 9th CT 2C. Hampered (by the refusing Clanyon) and caused to refuse 28th. Kept going, well tailed off, to finish.
56 58 59 P Eagle Lodge 11 10-01 M. Feakes B. Rees 45/1 29TH Left in dispute of 13th at 1st, shared 10th BB 1C, left 10th CT 1C. Still mid-division 11th but headway to vie for 6th WJ. 7th at 17th, 8th at 19th, left 5th BB 2C. A midfield 4th CT 2C, some way behind leading trio. Began to tire down CS, 7th at 28th. Faded further and well tailed off in 7th when PU 29th.
  R Clanyon 12 10-08 W. Johns-Powell T. Jenkins 50/1 28TH Mid-division 1st. Soon made progress to chase leaders by BB 1C and left in dispute of 8th CT 1C. 10th at 11th and had dropped to 13th by WJ. 12th next (17th). Left 8th again BB 2C, same position, in midfield, CT 2C. Became tired and still 8th when refused 28th.
58 59 F Mr What 10 11-11 D.J. Morgan A. Freeman 18/1 22ND (BB) Left 11th at 1st and continued in mid-division most of 1C, 9th at 13th. Modest progress to dispute 6th WJ and same position 19th. Further headway to be 4th when fell BB 2C.
59 R Cannobie Lee 9 10-07 F. Nicholson D. Nicholson 100/9 22ND (BB) 6th at 1st, very prominent over 2nd & 3rd, handy BB 1C, left in dispute of 5th CT 1C. Vied for 3rd at 11th, 4th at 13th, 5th from WJ to 19th. Had just been left 5th again when refused BB 2C, landing temporarily on top of fence and depositing jockey into brook.
  U Team Spirit 8 10-12 D. Moore W. Robinson 9/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division: left 12th at 1st, 13th at 13th, 11th WJ, 10th at 19th. A little headway and had just been left 7th when badly hampered by the refusing Cannobie Lee and jockey knocked off BB 2C.
  F Pendle Lady 10 10-04 A. Watson M. Towers 40/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division. Left circa 17th at 1st, left 14th CT 1C where rider waved to his auntie in the stands, 10th WJ & 17th. 11th at 19th and had just been left 9th on the inner when fell heavily BB 2C.
  F Aliform 8 10-00 F. Cundell T. Biddlecombe 45/1 22ND (BB) Slowly away and left last at 1st. Left 20th BB 1C, left 19th CT 1C, 15th from 13th to WJ. Still towards rear in same position next (17th) and in last when fell BB 2C.
  F Skipper Jack 8 10-04 B. Marshall D. O'Donovan 66/1 20TH 8th over 1st and still prominent 3rd. Mid-division BB 1C, left 15th CT 1C. 16th at 13th where jockey called a cab, 17th & last WJ. Becoming tailed off when very bad mistake, rider nearly came off bacwards & horse came to a virtual standstill next (17th). Well tailed off when fell 20th.
59 P Irish Coffee 10 10-11 C. McCartan jnr W. St George Burke 66/1 19TH (OD) Left in dispute of 9th at 1st where slight mistake. Mid-division BB 1C, left 18th CT 1C. 17th at 13th, 16th & last but one WJ. Same position on outer and getting increasingly remote when PU shortly after 19th.
58 U Holly Bank 13 10-12 S.H. Brookshaw P. Brookshaw 66/1 15TH (CHAIR) Mid-division, left 17th CT 1C. Behind main group by Chair where mistake & UR.
  F Uncle Whiskers 8 10-01 C. McCartan jnr C. Finnegan 50/1 15TH (CHAIR) Left circa 18th at 1st, left 21st BB 1C, left 20th CT 1C. Behind main group when fell Chair.
59 R Belsize 11 10-00 W. Boomer P. Shortt 66/1 15TH (CHAIR) Left 23rd at 1st, left 23rd & last BB 1C, left 21st & rearmost but one CT 1C. Behind main group when hampered and caused to refuse Chair, sending jockey flying over fence. Tried to jump obstacle riderless from a standstill, broke leg. Dead.
  F Jonjo 10 10-04 J. Osborne P. Taaffe 50/1 9TH (VB) Rear of mid-division 1st. Midfield BB 1C. Left 13th CT 1C. Fell VB 1C.
  P Clover Bud 10 10-01 G. Llewellin T. Taaffe 20/1 9TH (VB) Left 24th & last but one 1st where mistake. Had just been left 22nd when mistake and hampered by the unseat of Wyndburgh at BB 1C. Rearmost & becoming tailed off CT 1C. PU before VB 1C.
  F Dandy Scot 10 11-07 Cpt R. Price F. Winter 10/1 8TH (CT) Very prominent. Vied for 2nd at 1st, outright 2nd at 2nd. 5th at BB 1C. Same position when fell CT 1C.
57 58 59 U Wyndburgh 10 11-07 K. Oliver M. Scudamore 8/1 6TH (BB) Left in dispute of 9th at 1st. Mid-division when landed too steeply & UR BB 1C.
  F Knoxtown 10 10-05 J. Brogan E. Harty 45/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division 1st. Had just been left 23rd when fell heavily BB 1C.
  U Lotoray 10 10-06 J. Edmunds M. Batchelor 66/1 1ST 9th when mistake & UR 1st.



The initial Grand National that was televised live by the BBC and the 1960 renewal saw the smallest field for 40 years and the first winning clear favourite since 1927. On a chilly day Merryman, another grand old-fashioned type who had been victorious in the 1959 Aintree Foxhunters and Scottish Grand National, became the first horse bred north of the border to triumph. Gerry Scott, whose career would be blighted by injuries and ended by a fall on the road (he went on to become a starter), rode with a collar bone broken twelve days earlier. Captain Neville Crump who gained his third and final National win, this one for Miss Winifred Wallace, would continue to train until 1989.

I have already opined (see 1957) that Merryman is often regarded (by BBC commentator Peter O'Sullevan for one) as the best National winner between 1957-1964 but, on reflection, that is very arguable and he almost certainly ran better in defeat in 1961. I think 1960 was a pretty average race - Mr What and Wyndburgh both uncharacteristically came to grief whlie Oxo had broken down. Mr What (whom I rated -21 in 1958) and future winner Team Spirit each departed when seemingly going well at second Becher's. In addition, whilst Merryman came out approximately two stones more superior to Green Drill than had Mr What in 1958 that form comparison cannot be relied upon because of how far back Green Drill, a non-stayer, finished on both occasions and the totally different ground.

In the 1960 Grand National the going was on the fast side of Good but perhaps not as much so as in 1953 and 1956 and the pace was reported as average - the riders had been told not to go crazy due to the animal rights protests of 1959. It is true that Merryman on vaguely similar ground ran much faster and won more easily than had Oxo (rated -42 raw) in 1959 and was a decent horse. However, he (Merryman) was nearly five seconds slower and carried less weight than both Early Mist (1953, -13 but raw -18) and E.S.B. (1956, -19). Strictly at the weights in 1960 Merryman emerged 18 (pounds/lengths) better than Badanloch, 38 ahead of Clear Profit and 51 too good for Tea Fiend. The time/weight comparison with 1953, based on a Good going 3L per second, reveals a figure of -36 for Merryman when juxtaposed with Early Mist's raw mark. The sightly easier course and a touch of general athletic improvement over seven years both work unfairly in favour of Merryman but the average pace and very slightly slower ground in 1960 counterbalance things so I will give him -35 and allow him 5, as I did for Early Mist, for ease of victory. Therefore, Merryman's final rating for 1960 is -30. Badanloch receives -53, Clear Profit -73 and Tea Fiend -86.    











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling