Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 8 Apr 1967 (3.25) 4m 4f Good (Good to Soft places) 9.49.60 44 £17,631 C. Watkins

  1 Foinavon 9 10-00 J. Kempton J. Buckingham 100/1   Away quite well, fore of mid-division 1st. Took a pull after and disputed 19th BB 1C. 25th CT 1C, 31st at 14th & WJ (where 34 remained). 28th next (17th) and a rear-division 23rd BB 2C. Avoided melee 23rd, popping slowly over fence. Left further ahead CT and 50+L to the good VB. Still well clear at 27th & 28th. Lead gradually reduced and slight mistake 29th. Only a 10L advantage last, but circa 15L clear Elbow. Ran on. Comfortably.
  2 Honey End 10 10-04 Cpt R. Price J. Gifford 15/2F 15 Mid-division 1st and well held up. Left in dispute of 31st BB 1C, 26th at 14th and 25th WJ. A rear-division 21st BB 2C. Froze (refused) at the sight of mayhem 23rd. Kept going and left 11th CT. Good headway along the CS, disputed 6th at 27th and vied for 5th next. Took 2nd at 29th and only 10L adrift last but effort flattened out and circa 15L down Elbow. Kept on. Eased towards finish.
  3R Red Alligator 8 10-00 D. Smith B. Fletcher 30/1 3 Mid-division 1st and held up. Left 33rd BB 1C, disputed 30th CT 1C where collided with Ronald's Boy, vied for 21st at 14th and same position outright WJ. Continued progress early 2C; shared 15th at 17th, 11th BB. Hampered & UR in chaos just before 23rd. Remounted, got over at third attempt and left 13th CT. Resumed steady headway along CS and 4th over last 2. Ran on well and took 3rd circa Elbow.
66 4 Greek Scholar 8 10-09 D. Smith T. Biddlecombe 20/1 8 Slowly away & towards rear 1st. Disputed 19th BB 1C, vied for 18th CT 1C, 14th at 14th and 9th WJ. 8th next (17th), 7th BB. Hampered & caused to refuse 23rd and found himself partially in the fence briefly before retracing steps. Kept going and left 5th CT, 4th from VB to 27th, took 3rd over 28th and 2nd after ABC. Dropped to 3rd at 29th, same position last. Tired and caught for 3rd circa Elbow but kept on.   
66 5 Packed Home 12 10-00 D. Moore T. Carberry 100/1   Rear of mid-division 1st. Left 28th BB 1C, disputed 27th at 14th, mistake Chair and 30th WJ. Continued in similar vein 2C, 28th & last BB. Picked way slowly over 23rd at first attempt. Left vying for 2nd CT. Dropped to 3rd before 27th and to 4th at 28th. 5th by last. Kept on dourly. Finished lame.
  6R Solbina 10 11-02 F. Winter E. Harty 25/1   Rear of mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 25th BB 1C, 21st CT 1C and vied for 23rd WJ. A rear-division 17th BB 2C. Hampered & caused to refuse with jockey coming off 23rd. Remounted and left in a share of 6th CT. Kept on one-paced thereafter.
  7R Aussie 10 10-00 P. Murphy F. Shortt 50/1   Mid-division 1st. Disputed 12th BB 1C, 13th CT 1C. Had dropped into a share of 19th by 14th, 18th WJ. 16th BB 2C. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd, jockey landing on fence but keeping hold of reins. Quickly remounted, got over at second attempt and left vying for 2nd CT. Took 2nd outright by 27th. Dropped back to 3rd after ABC and continued to weaken thereafter.
66 8 Scottish Final 10 10-00 T. Balding N. Howard 100/1   Mid-division 1st. Disputed 22nd BB 1C where bad mistake. 26th CT 1C, 30th at 14th and 29th WJ. A rear-division 24th BB 2C where again a poor error. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Kept going and left 10th CT. Kept on one-paced thereafter.
66 9 What A Myth 10 12-00 Cpt R. Price P. Kelleway 20/1   Mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 25th BB 1C, 27th CT 1C and vied for 23rd WJ. 25th next (17th). In a rear-division share of 19th BB. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Kept going (at third attempt) and left 17th CT. Ran on well in hopeless cause.
65 66 10 Kapeno 10 11-01 P. Cazalet N. Gaselee 25/1   Disputed 5th at 1st, vied for 9th BB 1C, shared 11th CT 1C, 7th at 14th & WJ. 6th next (17th) and 5th BB. Hampered & caused to refuse 23rd. Kept going and left 9th CT. Effort CS and disputed 6th at 27th, however, pestered by a loose horse at & after 28th and gradually faded. 
65 66 11 Quintin Bay 11 10-00 A. Brabazon J. Cullen 50/1   Disputed 5th at 1st. Mistake 2nd. Vied for 16th BB 1C and for 14th CT 1C where slight error and jockey waved to his auntie. Became more prominent again circa 10th and 6th at 14th. 8th WJ. Had dropped to 12th by next (17th) and to 15th at BB. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Kept going and left 4th CT where squeezed for room. 5th at 27th and joined in that position next. Came under pressure and weakened thereafter.
  12 Bob-A-Job 13 10-00 T. Hudson C. Young 100/1   Mid-division 1st. Disputed 16th BB 1C, 20th CT 1C, 25th at 14th and 26th WJ. Vied for 23rd next (17th). In a rear-division share of 19th BB. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Kept going and left in dispute of 6th CT. Faded somewhat thereafter.
  13 Steel Bridge 9 10-00 D. Auld E. Prendergast 100/1   Rear of mid-division 1st. Left 29th BB 1C, 28th CT 1C & WJ. Still towards rear of main group next (17th). In a rear-division share of 25th BB. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Kept going and left 12th CT. Plugged on one-paced.
  14R Castle Falls 10 10-03 C. Hall S. Hayhurst 50/1   Vied for 3rd at 1st. Disputed lead 2nd, shared 3rd at 3rd. Remained prominent and contested 7th BB 1C. Equal 5th CT 1C. Jumped right next (VB), nevertheless, vied for lead again at 12th & 14th. 2nd, 1/2L down, WJ. 4th at 17th, disputed lead once more 21st and led outright BB. Sharing the lead again approaching 23rd when hampered & fell onto fence before being pushed over by the weight of horses behind him when the latter came to a halt, landing on back. Remounted, well behind, and left 16th CT. Tailed off ABC but plugged on.
  15 Ross Sea 11 10-03 F. Cundell J. Cook 66/1   Mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 31st BB 1C where mistake. 33rd CT 1C. 32nd at 14th & WJ. Disputed 29th next (17th) and in a rear-division share of 25th BB. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Kept going and left 8th CT. Weakened thereafter.
  16R Rutherfords 7 10-11 T. Molony J. Leech 28/1   Away well & disputed 9th at 1st. Soon became very prominent, vied for 3rd BB 1C. Same position outright CT 1C. Mistake 10th but ridden up to share lead 11th. Contested 3rd at 14th, disputed lead again Chair and vied for 3rd once more WJ. Tied for 2nd next (17th), led 18th then shared lead until approaching 23rd where became the first to be hampered by loose horses (Popham Down & April Rose) veering left and then right, put brakes on & UR before fence. Remounted and left in dispute of 13th CT. Plugged on with little zest. 
65 66 17 Freddie 10 11-13 R. Tweedie P. McCarron 100/9   Disputed 5th at 1st but soon lost position and never travelling well. 14th BB 1C, shared 16th CT 1C and vied for 15th WJ. Tied for 20th next (17th). In a rear-division 22nd BB where pecked badly. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Eventually kept going (got over at third attempt) and left 18th & last but one CT. Plodded on.
66 18 Game Purston 9 10-00 J. Yeomans K. White 66/1   Rear of mid-division 1st. 18th BB 1C, 22nd CT 1C, disputed 16th at 14th and 20th WJ. Vied for 15th next (17th), 14th BB. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Eventually kept going and left 19th & rearmost CT. Plodded home in last.
  R Barberyn 12 10-01 G. Milner N. Mullins 100/1 27TH (OD) Led 1st, joined 2nd, disputed 3rd at 3rd. Same position BB 1C, shared 5th CT 1C, slight mistake 10th and had dropped to 12th by 14th. 17th WJ. Contested 20th next (17th). 27th & last but one BB. Caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Kept going and left 15th CT. In a similar position when refused 27th.
  R Kirtle-Lad 8 10-03 A. Stephenson P. Broderick 28/1 24TH (CT) Disputed 9th at 1st. Soon became prominent and vied for 3rd BB 1C, 4th CT 1C. Shared lead 11th & 12th, very narrow outright advantage 13th. Vied for 3rd again 14th & WJ. Led again next (17th), 2nd at 18th and disputed lead once more 20th where pecked badly & nearly UR. Had dropped into a tie for 8th BB. Still fairly prominent when hampered upon take off 23rd, landed on top of the fence & UR. Pulled over by jockey and first to remount, in a clear 2nd. However, had pulled a muscle and refused CT.
65 U Rondetto 11 11-07 B. Turnell J. Haine 33/1 23RD Disputed 9th at 1st & BB 1C, 10th CT 1C. Had progressed into 5th by 14th and remained there until moved up to 4th by 20th. Vied for 2nd BB. 3rd approaching 23rd, going well, when hampered, mistake & UR.
  U Princeful 9 10-02 F. Rimell R. Edwards 100/1 23RD Always very prominent. Disputed 3rd at 1st, vied for lead 3rd to 5th, 2nd BB & CT 1C, shared lead again from 11th through 15th and led outright WJ. Tied for 2nd 17th & 18th, haggled over lead once more 19th and vied for 2nd BB. In 4th when hampered & UR 23rd. 
66 R The Fossa 10 10-02 F. Rimell S. Mellor 100/8 23RD Fore of mid-division 1st, chased leaders 4th and disputed 7th BB & CT 1C. 8th at 14th, 6th WJ & BB. Hampered, jinked slightly to the right & caused to refuse 23rd, depositing jockey onto fence.
66 R Norther 10 10-00 T. Jenkins J. Lawrence 50/1 23RD Fore of mid-division 1st. Disputed 19th BB 1C. Slight mistake 7th but vied for 16th CT 1C. Shared 9th at 14th, 10th WJ & 17th. Contested 8th BB. Similar position when tried to leap over a fallen horse as well as the 23rd but landed on fence sending jockey flying over. Eventually remounted and put to the fence again but refused.
  B Different Class 7 11-02 P. Cazalet D. Mould 100/8 23RD Mid-division 1st. Disputed 9th BB 1C, vied for 7th CT 1C, 11th at 14th and 12th WJ. 11th again next (17th). In a share of 8th BB. Similar position when BD from behind in mayhem just before fence at 23rd.
65 U Leedsy 9 10-05 P. Norris S. Murphy 50/1 23RD Mid-division 1st. 15th BB 1C where mistake. Disputed 14th CT 1C, 13th at 14th and 11th WJ. 9th next (17th).  Something went wrong with irons 19th. 12th BB 2C where pecked badly. Similar position when hampered in the act of jumping 23rd, landed on the fence & jockey fell off sideways while horse clambered through.
  F Limeking 10 10-13 Cpt N. Crump P. Buckley 33/1 23RD Mid-division 1st. Left 27th BB 1C where slightly hampered by the fall of Border Fury. Vied for 23rd CT 1C, shared 15th WJ. 13th next (17th) & BB. Similar position when hampered in the act of jumping 23rd & landed, with rider, on the fence before falling backwards in the struggle to free himself and lay winded on take off side.
66 R Harry Black 10 10-00 H. Lane R. Reid 100/1 23RD Mid-division 1st. Disputed 12th BB 1C. Had dropped into a share of 19th by 14th and same position outright WJ. A rear-division 18th BB 2C and a similar position when caused to refuse in mayhem at 23rd. Persistently declined to jump the fence thereafter.
  P Penvulgo 8 10-00 W. Francis J. Lehane 50/1 BEF 20TH Away well & 2nd at 1st. Disputed lead 2nd & 3rd (where pecked badly) and at 4th & 5th. Led BB 1C and 3L clear CT 1C. Joined 11th, after which began to fade quite badly. Shared 9th at 14th, 13th WJ. Contested 15th next (17th), continued to weaken and further towards rear when PU well before 20th (may have jumped into the back of another horse at 19th).
  R Kilburn 9 11-00 S. Nesfield T. Norman 100/8 19TH (OD) Rear of mid-division 1st. Disputed 22nd BB 1C, vied for 18th CT 1C, Shared 16th at 14th, 14th WJ & 17th. Similar position when abruptly refused 19th, burying head in fence & sending jockey over to landing side.
  R Lucky Domino 10 10-05 G. Waring J. Kenneally 66/1 19TH (OD) Away well & disputed 5th at 1st where pecked slightly. Vied for 3rd BB 1C, shared 7th CT 1C. Had faded to be 22nd WJ. Further towards rear when refused (possibly caused to) 19th.
  R Tower Road 9 10-00 D. Dallimore R. Williams 40/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. 24th BB 1C, disputed 23rd CT 1C, shared 27th at 14th and same position outright WJ & 17th. Refused (possibly caused to) 19th.
  P Aerial 11 10-09 R. Armytage T. Durant 100/1 17TH Slowly away & always towards rear. Last at 1st, rider forced to cling on around horse's neck to stay aboard 3rd, left 37th & rearmost BB 1C where becoming tailed off. 36th & last but one CT 1C. Very minor progress to be 35th at 11th. Left 34th at 12th. Became even further behind, taking WJ circa 2 furlongs adrift. PU lame 17th.  
  P Dun Widdy 11 10-10 J. Barratt J. Edwards 100/1 AFT 16TH (WJ) Mid-division 1st. Very bad mistake 3rd and rider left with one rein. Left 34th BB 1C where becoming tailed off. 34th at 11th. WAS tailed off after 12th, remaining 33rd until gave up the unequal struggle immediately after WJ.
  P Forecastle 9 10-10 Cpt N. Crump N. Wilkinson 50/1 AFT 16TH (WJ) Agitated in appearance before race. Always towards rear, showing no interest whatsoever. Left 36th & last but one BB 1C where becoming tailed off. Rearmost at CT 1C & 11th. Possibly hampered by Anglo 12th and became well tailed off last but one. Same position 14th. PU immediately after WJ.
66 P Anglo 9 11-01 F. Winter B. Beasley 100/8 16TH (WJ) Last but one !st. Left 35th BB 1C where becoming tailed off. 36th & rearmost but one when collided with Forecastle 12th and dropped to last, completely tailed off. Same position 14th. Mistake Chair and PU before WJ.
65 F Ronald's Boy 10 10-13 C. Harty P. Irby 100/1 12TH Disputed 9th at 1st where jolting mistake & nearly UR. Lost position and jumped quite violently right at 5th & 6th (BB 1C, where left 30th). Vied for same position CT 1C where collided with Red Alligator. 33rd at 11th and when ploughed through 12th, unshipping rider, & fell into landing side ditch.
  F Border Fury 8 10-02 F. Nicholson D. Crossley-Cooke 100/1 6TH (BB) Fore of mid-division 1st. Disputing 24th when jumped left & fell BB 1C.
64 65 66 U April Rose 12 10-08 A. Kilpatrick Maj P. Bengough 66/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division 1st. 9th at 2nd. 8th when mistake & rider fell off 3rd.
66 F Dorimont 13 10-00 B. Shand-Kydd R. Pitman 100/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division 1st. Rear of midfield when took off too soon & fell 3rd.
65 66 P Vulcano 9 10-00 Cpt R. Price J. Speid-Soote 40/1 3RD (OD) Towards rear 1st. Hampered & kicked on stifle by the prone Dorimont 3rd. Imediately PU. Broke leg. Dead.
  F Meon Valley 12 10-07 B. Turnell A. Turnell 66/1 1ST Mid-division when jumped too big, came down too steeply & fell 1st.
66 U Popham Down 10 10-00 F. Walwyn M. Gifford 66/1 1ST Mid-division when hampered by the fall of Meon Valley & UR 1st.
  F Bassnet 8 10-11 A. Kilpatrick D. Nicholson 10/1 1ST Towards rear in 40th when overjumped & fell 1st.



The 1967 Grand National saw the biggest pile-up and single most sensational incident in the race's history. As the field (of 28 remaining horses) approached the 23rd, led by the loose Popham Down and April Rose, the two unpartnered ones suddenly veered slightly left then slightly right (the latter also running down the fence) checking the momentum of almost the entire bunch instantly. First to be compromised was co-leader Rutherfords who put the brakes on and unseated John Leech before the obstacle. The other joint leader Castle Falls was hampered and fell onto the fence, soon to be pushed over it and onto his back, unsurprisingly dislodging Stan Hayhurst in the process, by the weight of horses who were caused to refuse behind him. Third-placed Rondetto was hampered, blundered and unseated. Princeful, in fourth, also unseated due to being hampered (before leaping the fence riderless). Kapeno was hampered and caused to refuse. The Fossa, when hampered and caused to refuse, jinked and deposited Stan Mellor onto the fence. Mellor then slid to earth on the landing side and wisely scarpered. Greek Scholar, in seventh, was hampered and caused to refuse, very briefly becoming stuck partially on the fence before slipping back to the take off side. Kirtle-Lad, was hampered, also landed on the gorse and unseated Paddy Broderick who then pulled him over. Chasing the leaders Norther tried to leap a horse on the ground as well as the fence but landed on top of it sending his jockey flying over. Different Class was knocked over, it seems from behind, just before the fence and Brian Fletcher on Red Alligator may have suffered the same fate but Fletcher managed to cling onto a rein and keep the horse upright. Leedsy, when hampered, fell onto the fence, Stan Murphy (who had appeared to be without his irons for most of the second circuit) fell off sideways and Leedsy clambered through the obstacle. Pat Buckley and Limeking joined those humans and animals on top of the fence when hampered in the act of jumping before Buckley found Limeking, who had reared and slipped backwards, lying winded but unharmed on the take off side. In midfield Game Purston was brought to a halt (caused to refuse) while Aussie dumped Francis Shortt onto the fence but Frank held on to a rein and quickly remounted. Also in the mid-division Quintin Bay, Bob-A-Job and What A Myth were all forced to stop and further towards the rear a similar thing happened to Freddie, Scottish Final, Ross Sea, Steel Bridge and Barberyn. Solbina was also hampered and caused to refuse, Eddie Harty coming off. Harry Black the same, although Roddy Reid remained on, but no matter how many times he was put to what was left of the 23rd he refused to keep going. Honey End just froze at the sight of what was before him. However, both Foinavon and, at an interval, tail-dweller Packed Home got over at the first attempt. Michael O'Hehir's television commentary was the finest piece of race calling ever, confronted by a sudden and unprecedented situation he calmly and eloquently described the chaos while correctly identifying Foinavon instantly.

April 8th was the latest date upon which the National had been run. The prize money was on the downslide because of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the race and a lack of sponsors, however, the value to the winning owner was still notably about £10,000 more than that of the Gold Cup. Foinavon, who always travelled accompanied by a white goat named Susie, became the fourth 100/1 winner. He had finished fourth in the 1966 King George but was nought from fifteen prior to the National in the 1966/67 season and, whilst not far behind Honey End at second Becher's, must, of course, be considered extremely fortunate bearing in mind how much ground that horse and others made up. Greek Scholar went after Foinavon too soon and ultimately tired whereas Honey End saved his big effort until a little later. Red Alligator was eyecatching, certainly to a six-year-old me (probably the name, having picked him out in the paddock, rather than what I absorbed from the race on the box). My grandad put a bob each way on him for me in 1968! However, nothing could have caught Foinavon that day after the 23rd. His trainer and usual rider John Kempton could not do the weight and preferred to go to Worcester where he rode a winner. Despite a shoestring budget Kempton's horses were, thus, obviously in form and he had improved Foinavon's jumping as well as employed a bitless bridle. Kempton lost his enthusiasm for the sport when he stopped riding. John Buckingham, who was enjoying his best season and rode a careful and sensible race after being left well clear, did not and became a highly popular and respected master valet following his career in the saddle.

Rain on the morning of the 1967 Grand National, which persisted lightly during the race, had eased the going but the winning time was poor (19 seconds slower than that of 1965 when it was also Good but only towards the Good to Soft side as opposed to Good to Soft places in 1967, and the 1965 victor, Jay Trump (whom I rated -34), carried 19 pounds more than Foinavon). Therefore, I can't rate Foinavon any higher than -100 which, on my ratings, makes his winning performance the worst, to this date of 1967 at least, in the history of the race, 7 (pounds/lengths) behind Glenside's in 1911. For the record, strictly at the weights Foinavon emerged 11 ahead of Honey End, 17 better than Greek Scholar and 18 in advance of Red Alligator, but the form is virtually worthless.

Contemporary opinion regarding the 1967 Grand National was polarised. I believe it reminded folk of and introduced to folk why the Aintree National held a special place in British culture, why it is world-renowned. The 1967 renewal restored and confirmed legendary status upon the Grand National, whatever the future at that time might have held. The public seemed to agree for there was a bigger than normal crowd at the 7th/23rd in 1968!        












Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling