Grand National Ultimate History



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The 7th/23rd becomes commonly known as Foinavon (name officially bestowed in 1984).


Sa 30 Mar 1968 (3.20) 4m 4f Good 9.28.80 45 £17,848 J. Manners

67 1 Red Alligator 9 10-00 D. Smith B. Fletcher 100/7   Initially held up in rear of mid-division. Had to leap the prone Go-Pontinental on landing BB 1C. Smooth progress to dispute 13th at 14th. Left 10th (of 27) WJ. Continued steady headway to vie for 6th BB 2C. 4th CT, shared 2nd VB and led 26th. Narrowly ahead next, 1L to the good 28th, 3L advantage 29th and 8L clear last. Went further away (by 12L Elbow), ran on very well. Easily. 
  2 Moidore's Token 11 10-08 K. Oliver B. Brogan 100/6 20 Fore of mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 6th BB 1C, shared 8th CT 1C and vied for 3rd 11th. Disputed 4th at 14th, 6th WJ. Contested 2nd at 19th & BB 2C, in sole possession of that position CT but joined for it again VB. Had dropped to 5th by 26th where mistake. 2L down in 4th at 28th. Took 3rd once more before 29th. Vied for 2nd, 8L down, at last where mistake despite which took 2nd immediately after fence. However, lost it by Elbow before just getting back up for 2nd in shadow of the post.
67 3 Different Class 8 11-05 P. Cazalet D. Mould 17/2F NK Fore of mid-division 1st. Chased leaders from 3rd. Left in dispute of 8th BB 1C, shared 6th CT 1C. 8th again (but outright) 14th & WJ. Steady progress early 2C: 4th at 19th, 5th BB, 3rd CT and vied for 2nd next (VB). Shared 3rd at 26th and contested 2nd once more 27th, narrowly behind leader. A clear 2nd at 28th but 1L down. Same position, now 3L adrift, 29th. Joined for 2nd at last, 8L down, and lost it immediately after fence but edged back into 2nd Elbow. Kept on although tired and, after great battle, dropped to 3rd in shadow of the post.
67 4 Rutherfords 8 10-06 Cpt N. Crump P. Buckley 100/9 12 Prominent 1st. Left in dispute of 2nd BB 1C, 3rd CT 1C, 2nd at 11th and vied for that position 12th & 14th. Shared 3rd WJ. 4th BB 2C where jumped through the gap in fence left by Ross Four a circuit earlier. 5th CT, disputed 2nd again VB, vied for 3rd next (26th) and shared 2nd once more, narrowly behind leader, 27th. 1 1/2L down in outright 3rd at 28th. Dropped to 4th before 29th. Same position last.. Kept on one-paced.
66 67 5 The Fossa 11 10-04 F. Rimell R. Edwards 28/1 5 Disputed lead 1st to 3rd. Left in dispute of 2nd BB 1C. Outright 2nd CT 1C and led outright by 11th. Slight mistake Chair. Joined over WJ but led again onto 2C (and by 1L at BB & CT) until dropped to 2nd by 26th. 4th at 27th and 5th, 4L down, next, after which came under pressure. 5th over last 2. Battled on very one-paced.
  6 Valbus 10 10-00 T. Shepherd R. Langley 100/1 10 Disputed lead 1st to 3rd, led 4th, joined again 5th, left ahead BB 1C. Remained the frontrunner when jumped slightly right CT 1C and dropped to 2nd VB 1C. Shared 3rd at 11th. 9th at 14th and left 11th WJ. 9th again BB 2C, vied for 7th CT where slight mistake. Unable to be a threat to leading quintet thereafter. Still 7th at last. Kept on doggedly and just got up for 6th post.
66 7 Highland Wedding 11 11-00 T. Balding O. McNally 18/1 1/2 Mid-division 1st. Further back towards rear BB 1C where slightly hampered on landing. Left in dispute of 31st CT 1C. Very gradual progress to vie for 20th at 14th. Left in share of 17th WJ. Steady headway continued and 10th BB & CT 2C. Chased leading quintet in 6th at 28th where jumped markedly left. Still 6th at last. Kept on very one-paced and just pipped for 6th post. 
  8 Reynard's Heir 8 10-04 T. Crawford T. Kinane 28/1 1/2 Fairly prominent over the first couple but mid-division by BB 1C. Left in dispute of 20th CT 1C, 16th at 14th and left in a share of 17th WJ. 12th BB & CT 2C. 8th at last. Kept on one-paced.
67 9 Princeful 10 10-04 F. Rimell J. Leech 66/1   Prominent 1st. Left in dispute of 2nd BB 1C. 4th CT 1C, shared 5th at 11th, 2nd at 13th, vied for 2nd again next and 5th once more WJ. Contested 6th BB 2C and 6th outright CT, chasing leaders. Unable to go with leading quintet and gradually weakened.
67 10 Steel Bridge 10 10-04 D. Auld E. Harty 100/1   Rear of mid-division 1st. Fore of midfield BB 1C. 5th CT 1C. Disputed 10th at 14th. 7th WJ. Shared 14th BB 2C where jumped through gap in fence left by Ross Four. Remained in mid-division. Kept on very one-paced.
  11 Manifest 10 10-00 F. Winter R. Pitman 66/1   Mid-division. Blundered 7th. Disputed 16th next (CT). 17th at 14th. Left in share of 13th WJ. 20th BB 2C, 19th CT. Kept on dourly to improve position.
  12 San Angelo 8 10-10 E. Courage B. Rees 25/1   Kicked at start. Fore of mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 8th BB 1C. Shared 16th CT 1C. Vied for 6th at 14th. Disputed 3rd WJ. 8th BB 2C, haggled over 7th CT. Gradually weakened.
  13 Some Slipper 11 10-00 B. Trafford R. Atkins 66/1   Fore of mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 8th CT 1C. 12th CT 1C, 15th at 14th and left 12th again WJ. 11th BB 2C where jumped through the gap in fence left by Ross Four. 9th CT. Gradually weakened.
  14 French Kilt 8 10-00 F. Cundell S. Mellor 100/7   Mid-division. Improved slightly to dispute 14th CT 1C but had dropped back into a share of 20th by 14th. Left 19th WJ. 21st BB 2C. A rear of midfield 18th CT. Plugged on.
  15R Highlandie 11 10-12 T. Bamber T. Durant 100/1   Always towards rear. Last but one BB 1C. Left 34th CT 1C, 30th at 14th and left a last but one 26th WJ where slight mistake. Already well tailed off when mistake 20th then jumped through the gap in fence left by Ross Four and rider fell off BB 2C. Remounted, completely tailed off. 24th & rearmost CT. Laboured on, 16th & last but one at last. Finished 15th.
67 16 Dun Widdy 12 10-02 R. Lockhart-Smith A. Moore 100/1   Always towards rear. Left 35th & last but one CT 1C. Tailed off by 14th. Left 27th & last WJ. Two fences adrift by 21st. 23rd & rearmost but one, completely tailed off, CT 2C. Lumbered on, 15th at last. Lost even that position to a remounted horse on run in.
65 66 67 17 Quintin Bay 12 10-00 A. Brabazon W. Robinson 66/1   Mid-division. Left in dispute of 23rd CT 1C. 27th at 14th. Left 22nd WJ. Becoming tailed off in 23rd BB 2C. WAS tailed off in 22nd CT 2C. Still last but two approaching 27th where hampered, ran down fence to the right and caused to refuse. Eventually kept going, completely tailed off. 17th & rearmost at last. Stayed there.  
  R Regal John 10 10-08 Cpt R. Price J. Gifford 100/7 29TH Rear of mid-division. Left 30th CT 1C. Disputed 20th at 14th. Outright 20th WJ. Progress continued 2C: 13th BB, 11th CT. However, had dropped a bit further towards rear of main group when refused 29th.
67 F Kirtle Lad 9 10-00 A. Stephenson J. Enright 50/1 27TH (OD) Chased leaders 1st. Left in dispute of 6th BB 1C. 11th CT 1C, shared 13th at 14th and left 15th WJ. Vied for 17th BB 2C, A rear of mid-division 14th CT. Similar position when fell 27th.
65 66 R Vultrix 10 10-08 F. Cundell T. Biddlecombe 28/1 27TH (OD) Fairly prominent 3rd but had dropped into mid-division by BB 1C. Left in dispute of 20th CT 1C, 6th at 10th, shared 10th at 14th and left contesting 13th WJ. Disputed 17th BB 2C. A rear of midfield 16th CT. Similar position when refused 27th, throwing jockey into fence.
67 R Forecastle 10 10-08 Cpt N. Crump W. McLernon 50/1 27TH (OD) Disputed 3rd at 1st, vied for lead 2nd, left 5th BB 1C. In a share of 6th CT 1C, chased leaders 11th. Had faded to 19th by 14th, left 16th WJ. Contested 14th BB 2C where pecked on landing. A rear of mid-division 17th CT. Similar position when caused to refuse 27th, rider falling into ditch.
  R Master Of Art 8 10-02 Cpt R. Price B. Hanbury 100/7 27TH (OD) Rear of mid-division when very bad mistake 1st (pecked then reared when snatched up). Midfield when hampered BB 1C. Left in dispute of 28th CT 1C. 24th at 14th and left 23rd WJ. 22nd BB 2C, towards rear in 21st CT. Similar position when refused 27th.
  P Chamoretta 8 10-01 E. Courage D. Elsworth 100/1 27TH (OD) Reared & whipped round start and towards rear 1st. Rear of mid-division BB 1C. Left in dispute of 28th CT 1C. 29th at 14th. Left vying for 24th WJ where forced to the right. Tailed off by BB 2C where outright 24th, 2rd CT. Similar position when baulked by refusing horses & landed partly on fence 27th. Rider dismounted and PU.
  F Fort Knight 9 10-00 P. Ransom R. Reid 40/1 26TH Mid-division. 13th CT 1C. Continued to make headway and disputed 6th at 14th, 9th WJ. Had dropped back by BB 2C where shared 14th. A rear of midfield 15th CT. Similar position when fell 26th.
  P Phemius 10 10-08 Cpt N. Crump G. Scott 50/1 26TH Rear of mid-division. Left 25th CT 1C. Same position 14th and left 21st WJ. 19th BB 2C. Towards rear in 20th CT. Similar position when PU lame 26th.
65 67 F Rondetto 12 10-12 B. Turnell J. King 33/1 23RD (F'AVON) Fore of mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 8th BB 1C. 10th CT 1C. Headway after ABC 1C. Vied for 4th at 14th. Slight mistake Chair. Shared lead WJ. Contested 2nd at 19th & BB 2C. Same position when fell next (23rd).
  P Willing Slave 8 10-02 M. James M. James 100/1 17TH Mid-division. Disputed 14th CT 1C. Had dropped back to 26th by 14th. Left 25th WJ where mistake. Not recover, soon well behind & PU before next (17th).
67 F Bassnet 9 10-12 A. Kilpatrick D. Nicholson 18/1 16TH (WJ) Mid-division. Headway to dispute 8th CT 1C. 12th at 14th. Chasing leaders & going well in a share of 9th when crowded towards the inside and fell WJ.
67 B Foinavon 10 10-05 J. Kempton P. Harvey 66/1 16TH (WJ) Rear of mid-division. Steady, modest headway: left in dispute of 20th CT 1C, 18th at 14th and had just been left vying for 13th, going ok, when BD by Bassnet WJ.
65 67 B Ronald's Boy 11 10-00 C. Harty J. Harty 100/1 16TH (WJ) Mid to rear until progress to be 18th CT 1C. Disputed 20th at 14th. Had just been left vying for 17th when BD in melee WJ.
  B Champion Prince 9 10-12 G. Harwood A. Wates 66/1 16TH (WJ) Mid-division. Left in dispute of 23rd CT 1C where mistake & rider called a cab. 28th at 14th. Had just been left vying for 23rd again when BD in melee WJ, flinging jockey into air in process. Broke back. Dead.
  P Polaris Missile 9 10-00 M. John Thorne N. Thorne 66/1 15TH (CHAIR) Rear of mid-division until made a mistake and BD in melee BB 1C. Remounted, completely tailed off last. About 2 fences behind 12th. Still rearmost when PU before Chair.
  U Quitte Ou Double 8 10-08 J. O'Donoghue J. Ciechanowski 66/1 9TH (VB) Mid-division. 19th CT 1C. Similar position when mistake & UR next (VB).
  R Great Lark 9 10-06 W. O'Grady T. Carberry 100/6 9TH (VB) Mid-division (fore of same 3rd). Left 27th CT 1C where slight mistake. Similar position when refused VB 1C.
  F Master Mascus 9 10-06 D. Thom J. Lawrence 66/1 9TH (VB) Towards rear. Left in dispute of 31st CT 1C. Similar position when possibly tried to refuse, mistake & fell next (VB).
66 67 R Game Purston 10 10-00 J. Yeomans D. Cartwright 100/1 9TH (VB) Rear of mid-division. Left in dispute of 31st CT 1C. Similar position when hampered & refused next (VB).
  F Mixed French 9 10-00 R. Hobson G. Holmes 100/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 8th BB 1C where slightly hampered. Sharing 19th when fell heavily CT 1C.
  R Portation 10 10-00 D. Ellison G. Cramp 100/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division 1st but had dropped towards rear when very bad mistake BB 1C and jockey did well to retain balance. Tailed off by next (Foinavon) and last but one when caused to refuse by the loose What A Myth running left down the fence CT 1C. 
66 F Valouis 9 10-01 J. Prendergast E. Prendergast 40/1 6TH (BB) Fairly prominent 1st, even moreso 3rd & 4th and came to dispute lead 5th. Still vying for it when fell BB 1C.
  B Chu-Teh 9 10-00 K. Cundell N. Gaselee 33/1 6TH (BB) Prominent 1st where slight mistake, erred 2nd, chased leaders 3rd. Had just been left 6th when BD by the rising Valouis BB 1C.
  F Go-Pontinental 8 10-00 J. Sutcliffe snr M. Gifford 25/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division until fell BB 1C.
  U Ross Four 7 10-00 A. Kilpatrick P. Jones 100/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division until ploughed through BB 1C, knocking a huge gap in fence. Jockey clung on for dear life round horse's neck until gravity took over.
66 67 U What A Myth 11 12-00 Cpt R. Price P. Kelleway 28/1 6TH (BB) Held up towards rear. Jumped right, mistake & UR BB 1C before dragging jockey many yards on the ground.
  U Beecham 9 10-00 D. Barons B. Davies 66/1 3RD (OD) Rear of mid-division until mistake & UR 3rd.
  U Fort Ord 8 10-09 R. Wilson T. Norman 35/1 1ST Rear of mid-division when pecked on landing & UR 1st.



The 1968 Grand National was another bottom-heavy handicap. Red Alligator (a half-brother to 1966 winner Anglo), who had made up more ground from the second Canal Turn than any other horse in 1967, cruised home off an even pace to help dual-purpose trainer Denys Smith become champion of the Jumps season. It was a first National victory for young Brian Fletcher, a quiet and sensitive horseman who gave his mount the perfect ride. A quintet of quadrupeds got away from the second Canal, The Fossa was soon after deposed of the lead he had held for a circuit and Different Class did not stay as well as might have been expected (though weight may well have had a fair bit to do with this).

Strictly at the weights in the 1968 Grand National Red Alligator emerged 1 (pounds/lengths) ahead of Different Class, 12 better than Moidore's Token, 26 too good for Rutherfords and 33 in advance of both The Fossa and Highland Wedding. A rough time comparison can be made with the 1965 renewal. The going was Good in both years: towards the Good to Soft side thereof in 1965 and towards the Good to Firm side in 1968. Red Alligator recorded a time 1.80s faster than did Jay Trump (whom I rated -34) which, at 3 lengths per second (and allowing for a tad of general athletic improvement favouring Red Alligator) equates to an advantage of about 5 lengths. However, the 1965 winner carried 19lbs more than did Red Alligator so making this adjustment gives a figure of -48 for the 1968 hero, the slightly quicker ground of 1968 being pretty well offset by the race's steadier overall pace. The calculated raw mark for Red Alligator would put The Fossa in at -81 compared to his -76 in 1966  but the slightly quicker ground would have suited the dour stayer a little less than in 1966 when it was Soft. It would also put Highland Wedding in at -81 compared to his -97 in 1966, accounted for by but the latter finishing lame in the earlier year. Turning to the, more reliable, collateral form, Freddie (-37 in 1966) beat The Fossa by 39 whereas Red Alligator only beat him by 33 this year (The Fossa ran similarly, keeping on very one-paced in both renewals) so this line would see Red Alligator getting a rating of -43.

In conclusion, I will rate Red Alligator -48 (raw) and allow him 5 for ease of victory giving a pure mark of -43 (which seems about right in relation to Jay Trump who was all out in his duel with Freddie). Different Class receives -49 and, allowing Moidore's Token 2 for a pair of mistakes, he gets -58. Rutherfords is rated -74. Highland Wedding, allowed 1 for being slightly hampered at first Becher's and jumping markedly left at the 28th, receives -80 while The Fossa is awarded -81.   











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling