Grand National Ultimate History



prev . next


Sa 29 Mar 1969 (3.24) 4m 4f Good 9.30.80 30 £17,849 T. McKoy jnr & C. Burns

66 68 1 Highland Wedding 12 10-04 T. Balding E. Harty 100/9   Jumped well. Mid-division 1st, disputed 14th BB 1C, 13th CT 1C, 11th at 12th & 14th and vied for 8th (of 24 remaining) WJ. Soon took closer order 2C, 3rd at 18th & 19th. Shared lead BB, 2nd at 23rd and led (narrowly) outright next (CT). A 1L advantage VB & 26th, 2L ahead from 27th to last and 4L clear Elbow. Pulled further away. Comfortably.
67 68 2 Steel Bridge 11 10-00 B. Lockhart-Smith R. Pitman 50/1 12 Disputed 7th at 1st. 6th BB 1C where pecked badly. Vied for 3rd CT 1C, where cut corner well but erred, & VB 1C. Shared 5th at 12th, 3rd outright 14th and contested lead Chair & WJ. Led alone next (17th), disputed lead from 18th to BB and ahead again 23rd where slight mistake. Headed narrowly CT, 1L down in 2nd VB & 26th where another slight error and 2L off the pace from 27th to last. 4L down Elbow. Kept on one-paced. 
65 67 68 3 Rondetto 13 10-06 B. Turnell J. King 25/1 1 Steadily away & well held up. Disputed 21st BB 1C. 22nd CT 1C, 17th at 14th and in a share of 19th WJ. Good headway early 2C and left 4th BB. Vied for 3rd at 23rd & CT, outright 3rd VB to 27th, contested 2nd, 2L down, 28th and 3rd again 29th & at last where 2 1/2L adrift. Kept on one-paced.
  4 The Beeches 9 10-01 B. Turnell B. Rees 100/6 12 Mid-division 1st. Disputed 21st BB 1C, vied for 19th CT 1C, 15th at 12th, 12th at 14th and shared 11th WJ. Further progress early 2C. 8th at 19th, left 5th BB where went left, disputed 6th CT and vied for 4th at 27th. 5th next where again jumped left and remained in that position beyond last. One-paced but took 4th run in.
67 68 5 Bassnet 10 10-12 Cpt R. Price J. Gifford 100/8 4 Well held up. 24th BB & CT 1C. Mistake 11th. Same position and last 12th. 23rd & last but one 14th & WJ. Gradual progress early 2C to be left in a mid-division share of 8th BB (where slight mistake). 8th outright CT and further headway to be 5th VB and vying for 4th at 27th. 4th outright from next to beyond last. Weakened run in. 
  6 Arcturus 8 11-04 Cpt N. Crump P. Buckley 100/6 12 Mid-division 1st. 17th BB 1C, 14th CT 1C, disputed 17th at 12th and 18th at 14th & WJ. Left in a share of 13th BB 2C, towards rear. Vied for 11th CT, 10th at 28th and 8th over last 2. Continued progress run in to finish 6th. Never nearer.
  7 Fort Sun 8 10-04 P. O'Brien J. Crowley 28/1   Mid-division 1st. 11th BB 1C, 12th CT 1C & 12th, 14th at 14th and disputed 13th WJ. Gradual progress to be left a midfield 7th BB 2C, 5th CT and 6th VB. Same position 28th and 7th over last 2. Kept on dourly.
  8 Kellsboro' Wood 9 10-10 D. Ancil A. Turnell 66/1   Disputed 10th at 1st. Chased leaders from 4th and vied for 7th BB & CT 1C. Dropped back a little CS 1C, 10th at 14th and shared 8th WJ. 7th at 19th, left a mid-division 6th BB and contested same position CT. 7th again VB. 8th at 28th, last effort to be 6th over last 2. Weakened slightly run in.
  9 Furore 8 10-00 A. Kilpatrick M. Gifford 20/1   Immediately very prominent. Disputed 3rd at 1st and vied for lead from 3rd to 10th, where slight mistake, then shared 2nd over 11th & 12th. Contested 4th at 14th and equal 6th WJ. Continued to drop back 2C. Left a mid-division 12th BB, where jockey waved to his auntie in the stands, and 13th CT. 11th at 28th and 9th over last 2. Plugged on dourly.
  10 Miss Hunter 8 10-00 D. Auld F. Shortt 50/1   Immediately very prominent. 2nd at 1st and vied for lead from 3rd to BB 1C. Disputed 3rd CT 1C, shared 2nd at 11th and led outright 12th. Dropped back into a share of 7th by 14th and contested 13th WJ. Left in same position BB 2C, towards rear, 14th CT, 13th at 28th and left 11th at last. Plugged on.
66 67 68 11 The Fossa 12 10-09 F. Walwyn Cpt A. Parker Bowles 33/1   Immediately very prominent. Disputed 3rd at 1st and led 2nd. Mistake 3rd and bad error 4th where rider of Kellsboro' Wood helped jockey stay aboard. 9th BB 1C where pecked. Shared 7th CT 1C and 12th. Rallied to vye for lead from 13th to Chair and contested 4th WJ. Disputed lead again from 18th to 20th, left 3rd BB and vied for same position 23rd & CT. Gradually began to fade: 4th VB, shared that position 27th, 7th at 28th, 10th over last 2, finished 11th.
  12 Limeburner 8 10-00 B. Turnell J. Buckingham 66/1   9th at 1st. Bad mistake 3rd & nearly UR. Disputed 12th BB 1C, shared 15th CT 1C, 22nd at 12th, 14th & WJ. Left a last but one 15th BB 2C and same position CT. 13th when very bad mistake & almost UR again 27th. Rearmost but one once more next in 14th. Plodded on.
67 13 Castle Falls 12 10-00 C. Hall S. Hayhurst 66/1   6th at 1st. Pulled hard. Disputed 3rd next and vied for lead from 3rd until went left, made bad mistake & nearly UR BB 1C and dropped to 4th. 5th at 7th & CT 1C but recovered CS to share 2nd at 12th and contest lead again from 13th to WJ. Soon dropped back 2C and 6th at 19th. Left in dispute of a mid-division 10th BB where pecked slightly and same position outright CT. 12th at 28th and continued to weaken. 
  14 Limetra 11 10-09 H. Lane P. Broderick 50/1   Away well & led 1st. Disputed 2nd at 2nd, vied for lead from 3rd to 5th, pecked badly BB 1C where 3rd. Shared lead again from next (7th) through 10th and led outright once more 11th. Disputed 2nd at 12th where mistake and only in a share of 4th at 14th. Had dropped to 10th by WJ and continued decline 2C to be left 16th & plum last BB (where slight mistake). Same position CT and still rearmost 28th. Laboured home.
  P Villay 11 10-03 L. Scott D. Scott 100/1 30TH Mid-division 1st where mistake. 16th BB 1C, disputed 15th CT 1C (where rider hailed a cab), vied for 7th at 12th & 14th and shared 6th WJ. Left in dispute of a midfield 8th BB 2C, 9th CT & 28th and 11th next. Became very tired and PU last.
  U The Inventor 8 10-00 E. Cousins T. Hyde jnr 33/1 27TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. 18th BB 1C, 17th CT 1C, 20th at 12th and 16th at 14th. Mistake next (Chair) but still 16th WJ. Left in dispute of a midfield 10th BB 2C, shared 11th CT. 16th & last when saddle slipped, mistake & UR 27th.
67 F Kilburn 11 10-09 G. Wells T. Carberry 22/1 22ND (BB) Disputed 7th at 1st & BB 1C. 10th CT 1C & 12th. 9th at 14th. Headway to vie for 4th WJ. 5th at 19th & 20th. 3rd when blundered badly & fell BB.
  U Tam Kiss 10 10-13 T. Jones J. Hindley 50/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division 1st. Disputed 12th BB 1C. 11th CT 1C. Mistake 11th and had dropped to 14th by 12th. 15th at 14th & WJ. Rallied early 2C and had just been left a midfield 7th when slight mistake, slightly pecked, stumbled upon landing & eventually UR BB.
68 P Moidore's Token 12 10-09 K. Oliver B. Brogan 100/6 21ST Mid-division 1st. Disputed 19th BB 1C, 18th CT 1C where mistake, 21st at 12th & 14th and shared 19th again WJ. 15th when went lame & PU 21st.
  F Flosuebarb 9 10-00 J. Hooton J. Guest 100/1 20TH Always prominent. 5th at 1st & BB 1C, 6th CT 1C, 3rd at 10th, disputed 2nd next, vied for 5th at 12th, 6th again 14th, shared lead Chair and 3rd once more WJ. 4th at 19th and same position when blundered badly & fell 20th.
  U Hove 8 10-09 F. Carr D. Nicholson 100/6 19TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. Disputed 19th BB 1C, 21st CT 1C, 16th at 12th, 13th at 14th and vied for 11th WJ. Still midfield when bad mistake & UR 19th (horse becoming stuck in fence).
67 68 U Red Alligator 10 10-13 D. Smith B. Fletcher 13/2F 19TH (OD) Held up in mid-division. Not travel well. 23rd BB & CT 1C. 20th at 14th. Disputed 19th WJ. No great improvement in midfield when mistake & UR 19th (at gap in fence made on 1C).
66 67 68 P Game Purston 11 10-00 M. McCourt S. Mellor 33/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. 10th BB 1C, disputed 7th CT 1C, 9th at 12th, 14th at 14th and had dropped to 17th by WJ. Rear of midfield when jockey injured foot attempting to avoid Hove at 19th and forced to PU immediately after fence.
  R Juan 13 10-09 P. Wills P. Wills 100/1 17TH Vied for 10th at 1st. Mistake 3rd. Shared 14th BB 1C. Went wide CT 1C where disputed 19th. 23rd & last but one 12th. 24th & rearmost 14th where jumped right which also did next (Chair). Becoming tailed off in last WJ. Even further behind when refused 17th.
  R Rosinver Bay 9 10-05 A. Riddell Martin P. Taaffe 50/1 12TH Always towards rear. 26th & last but one BB & CT 1C. 25th & rearmost when refused 12th, decanting jockey in the process.
  F Ballinabointra 10 10-01 R. Armytage P. Kelleway 100/1 10TH Always towards rear. 25th BB & CT 1C. Similar position when fell 10th.
  R Terossian 9 11-03 Cpt R. Price P. Sloan 50/1 10TH Mid-division 1st. Had dropped to 27th & last by BB 1C and same position CT 1C. Becoming tailed off when refused 10th.
  U Peccard 8 10-04 Cpt R. Price G. Sloan 50/1 6TH (BB) Mid-division 1st but had dropped to 28th & last when rider fell off backwards BB 1C.
  F Fearless Fred 7 11-03 F. Rimell T. Biddlecombe 15/2 4TH Disputed 10th at 1st. Mistake 2nd. Blundered 3rd. Mid-division when fell 4th.
  U Tudor Fort 9 10-04 G. Fairbairn J. Haldane 50/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division 1st and when mistake & UR 3rd.



There was a dreadful depth of quality in the 1969 Grand National, the top weight Arcturus (Scottish National winner of 1968) carried merely 11st 4lb, and all round it was probably the poorest renewal since 1913. Rondetto finally completed but was past his best aged thirteen, runner-up Steel Bridge was worse off at the weights with Highland Wedding than when he was just as comfortably beaten by the latter in 1968 (when the pair finished 7th and 10th) while the previous year's winner Red Alligator was noted as looking light in the paddock. The only other two horses carting more than eleven stone were both gone by the 10th and, on going that had improved to genuine Good, the overall pace was average at best (for example, Bassnet was able to come from almost last at the Water Jump to be fourth over the last three before weakening). Additionally, Highland Wedding ideally preferred more cut. However, the 12-y-o (who had been sold for £90 eight years earlier) had recently won the Eider for a third time to complete an in-season hat trick, Toby Balding's stable was in great form and late booking Eddie Harty was enjoying his best season. Highland Wedding had spread a plate in the 1966 National, had broken down and thus missed the 1967 race and I rated him -80 in 1968 but this was certainly an improved performance. He was soon after retired while Balding would continue to be a fine mentor to horses, future trainers and up and coming jockeys.

Strictly at the weights in the 1969 Grand National Highland Wedding triumphed by 11 (pounds/lengths) over Rondetto, came out 16 better than Steel Bridge, was 21 too good for Bassnet, 27 in advance of Arcturus and 28 ahead of The Beeches. A quick time comparison with narrow 1965 winner Jay Trump (-34, on very slightly easier ground) sees Highland Wedding one fifth of a second slower whilst carrying 15lb less. Add to this a touch of general athletic improvement and the average pace in 1969 and I woud place Highland Wedding at around -58 before allowing him 4 for ease of victory and a final rating of -54. Rondetto is rated -69, Steel Bridge, allowing 2 for mistakes, gets -72, Bassnet gets 1 for jumping errors and receives -78, while Arcturus and The Beeches (jumped left at a couple) are both rated -85.    











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling