Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 4 Apr 1970 (3.20) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.38.00 28 £14,804 T. Chambers

  1 Gay Trip 8 11-05 F. Rimell P. Taaffe 15/1   9th at 1st where pecked badly. Disputed 5th BB 1C, 8th CT 1C, vied for 6th at 13th, 7th at 14th & WJ (where 13 remained). Shared 5th again at 19th, 3rd at 21st & BB, contested that position next (Foinavon). 4th CT, 3rd once more 27th, disputed 2nd, 1/2L down, 28th. Took lead before 29th where 2 1/2L ahead. Clear by circa 9L at last, about 15L to the good Elbow and drew further away. Won with consummate ease though kept up to work.
  2 Vulture 8 10-00 T. Dreaper S. Barker 15/1 20 Led from 1st to 4th. Disputed 2nd BB 1C, vied for lead next (Foinavon) and shared 2nd again CT 1C. Dropped back slightly CS 1C and contested 3rd at 12th. Lost further ground and disputed 6th at 13th, 6th outright at 14th and vied for 4th WJ. 7th at 20th and 6th once more BB. Shared 3rd one more time next (Foinavon) and in that position outright CT. Regained lead at 26th, 1L ahead next but only 1/2L in front 28th. Dropped to 3rd on run to 29th and 10L down in same position last. Rallied and took 2nd just after final fence.
69 3 Miss Hunter 9 10-00 D. Auld F. Shortt 33/1 1/2 Mid-division 1st. Disputed 7th BB 1C, 6th CT 1C, 4th at 11th, Vied for 2nd at 13th and 2nd outright next & WJ. Continued steady progress and led 17th. Joined over 18th, slight mistake 19th but still shared lead 21st. Headed BB and remained 2nd, 1L down, until 27th where another slight error. 4th at 28th and came under pressure after it. Had dropped to 5th by 29th but rallied to contest 4th at last. Took 4th outright before Elbow. Ran on very well after and almost got up for 2nd.
  4 Dozo 9 10-04 T. Balding E. Harty 100/8 6 Mid-division 1st. Disputed 10th BB 1C, left in a share of 9th CT 1C, 8th at 14th & WJ. Alternated between 4th and 5th from 21st to 27th. Effort to vie for 2nd, 1/2L down, next. Outright 2nd, 2 1/2L adrift, 29th. Same position, circa 9L behind leader, last where came under pressure. Tired and faded thereafter.
  5 Ginger Nut 8 10-00 W. Francis J. Bourke 28/1 1 Mid-division 1st. Disputed 10th BB 1C. Left 11th CT 1C. Hampered 10th. Shared 9th over 14th & WJ. Headway early 2C and 4th at 19th. 7th BB where pecked. 6th CT, left 5th at 27th and same position next. Took 4th again after ABC and joined in that position last. Dropped to 5th before Elbow. Kept on one-paced.
  6 Pride Of Kentucky 8 10-00 E. Courage J. Buckingham 13/1 8 5th at 1st but had dropped to 12th BB 1C. Left in same position CT 1C. 13th & last at 14th, shared 12th & joint rearmost WJ. Left 8th BB 2C, same place CT. Left 7th & last 27th. Remained 7th until advanced a position run in. Plugged on.
  7 Assad 10 10-01 G. Harwood J. Gifford 28/1   4th at 1st. Slight mistake 4th but led 5th. Disputed 2nd BB 1C, where pecked badly, and vied for lead next (Foinavon). Back in a share of 2nd CT 1C, 3rd at 11th, joined in that position 12th, contested 2nd again 13th, outright 3rd once more 14th & WJ. Disputed 2nd one more time 17th and vied for lead again 18th & 19th. Had dropped to 4th by 21st, 5th BB, where once more pecked badly (& nearly down), 7th & last but one CT. Left 6th at 27th and remained in same position until after last. Continued to fade run in.
69 U Villay 12 10-00 L. Scott D. Scott 100/1 27TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. Disputed 7th BB 1C. Outright 7th CT 1C. Good headway to vie for lead 11th (where rider called a cab). Took lead next despite jumping right. Also leapt markedly right 13th but maintained advantage through WJ. Shared 2nd at 17th but contested lead again from 18th to 21st and regained sole possession of 1st place BB which held until headed 26th where slight error and dropped to 2nd. Had dropped back to 5th when mistake & UR 27th.
  F The Otter 9 10-01 Maj R. Dening B. Jones 20/1 22ND (BB) 8th at 1st. Disputed 5th BB 1C, vied for 4th CT 1C and contested lead 11th. 2nd next, where slight mistake, and shared same position 13th. Dropped to 4th by 14th, disputed 4th WJ. Contested 5th at 19th and 8th but still going okay when fell BB 2C.
  U Specify 8 10-07 D. Weeden J. Cook 100/7 22ND (BB) Mid-division 1st. 15th BB 1C, left 13th CT 1C, vied for 9th at 14th & WJ. Going well and had just been left 8th when hampered by The Otter & UR BB 2C.
66 67 68 69 R The Fossa 13 10-00 F. Walwyn W. Robinson 50/1 22ND (BB) 6th at 1st. Badly hampered by the fall of Two Springs 3rd and never really recovered. Disputed 13th BB 1C, left 14th CT 1C, contested 11th at 14th and shared 12th (& joint last) WJ. Becoming tailed off by 21st and similar situation (having just been left 9th) when declined the invitation to jump BB 2C.
  R No Justice 9 10-00 A. Neaves J. Guest 50/1 22ND (BB) 3rd at 1st where jockey waved to his auntie. Led BB 1C. Disputed 4th CT 1C where went wide. 5th over 13th & 14th, vied for 4th again WJ. Faded rapidly 2C and becoming tailed off by 21st. WAS tailed off (having just been left 9th in turn) when refused BB 2C.
  F All Glory 9 10-00 J. Edwards A. Moore 50/1 19TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. Disputed 13th BB 1C where mistake. Left in a share of 9th CT 1C. Contested 11th at 14th. 11th outright WJ. Still towards rear when fell 19th.
67 68 69 U Red Alligator 11 10-12 D. Smith B. Fletcher 13/1 11TH (OD) Mid-division 1st. 17th & last BB 1C. Left 16th, still rearmost, CT 1C. Had to swerve abruptly to avoid the fallen Fort Ord & collided with Bowgeeno 10th. Still towards rear when mistake & UR next (11th).
68 F Fort Ord 10 10-05 R. Wilson A. Turnell 50/1 10TH Towards rear 1st but soon became very prominent. Disputed 2nd BB 1C, vied for lead Foinavon and ahead outright CT 1C. 6th when fell at 10th.
  U Bowgeeno 10 10-13 B. Turnell J. Haine 22/1 10TH Mid-division 1st but 16th & last but one BB 1C. Left 15th, still with only one behind, CT 1C. Similar position when collided with the swerving Red Alligator upon landing 10th & UR.
  F French Excuse 8 10-02 F. Rimell K. White 100/8 8TH (CT) 7th at 1st. Blundered 3rd. 9th BB 1C where another mistake. Fell heavily CT 1C.
  R Persian Helen 7 10-00 M. O'Toole D. Hughes 35/1 4TH Always towards rear. Possibly hampered 3rd. Possibly hampered & caused to refuse or just plain refused 4th.
  R Queen's Guide 9 10-00 W. Wade G. Wade 40/1 4TH Rear of mid-division when BD by Perry Hill at 1st. Remounted, completely tailed off. Refused or caused to refuse 4th.
  F Two Springs 8 10-07 G. Owen R. Edwards 13/2F 3RD (OD) Away well. 2nd at 1st and still so when fell heavily 3rd.
  F On The Move 8 10-01 D. Dartnall G. Dartnall 100/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division 1st. Fore of same when fell 3rd.
65 67 68 69 U Rondetto 14 10-05 B. Turnell J. King 22/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until mistake & UR 3rd.
69 U The Beeches 10 10-00 R. Armytage S. Mellor 22/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until mistake & UR 3rd.
  B Battledore 9 10-05 A. Stephenson S. Murphy 25/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until BD by (landing on) The Beeches 3rd.
  F Racoon 8 10-03 F. Walwyn D. Mould 33/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until fell 3rd. Broke neck. Dead.
66 67 68 69 U Game Purston 12 11-05 T. Balding M. Lloyd 100/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until mistake, slightly hampered on landing & UR 3rd.
  U Permit 7 10-03 Cpt N. Crump P. Buckley 35/1 3RD (OD) Towards rear until hampered upon landing by Two Springs & UR 3rd.
  F Perry Hill 11 10-00 Cpt R. Price P. Kelleway 28/1 1ST Rear of mid-division, fell 1st.



The 1970 Grand National was a shockingly poor renewal won by a decent horse doing handsprings. A high casualty rate (the 3rd/19th may have been dressed a bit too high following damage to it in the Topham Trophy, the already small field was reduced to 17 by the 4th and the 13 remaining at the Water Jump were the fewest since 1953) meant Gay Trip was left with liitle more to beat than trees! Dozo had won the 1969 Topham but he did not stay the extra near-2 miles and along with Miss Hunter, who had been well beaten in that year's National, came out around 3 stones inferior to the very easy 1970 winner. So too did runner-up Vulture who like Gay Trip was by at least eleven times champion sire Vulgan. The superstud, however, did not generally get such good Grand National horses as some sires I have mentioned earlier (e.g. Ascetic) with Gay Trip being the best of Vulgan's three National winners (Team Spirit, whom I rated -46, and Foinavon, -100, being the others). In fact, beforehand there was severe doubt whether Gay Trip would himself stay 4 1/2 miles because the horse who became Fred and Mercy Rimell's third victor was a 2 1/2 mile specialist who had earlier in the season won the Mackeson Gold Cup. Therefore, Gay Trip was hunted round the first circuit by Pat Taaffe, who had originally 'found' the horse at an Irish farm and recorded a second National triumph fifteen years after his first (see 1955). Against the opposition that remained the partnership was comfortably able to conserve enough energy to relatively sprint away from the second last despite Gay Trip carrying a modest but clear top weight (NB Game Purston was burdened with 19lbs overweight!). Gay Trip, who had also finished fourth in the 1969 King George but, in the first of three unplaced efforts in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, had been beaten in 1970 about 2 stone by L'Escargot (see 1975), most certainly did stay the Grand National course (see 1972).

In trying to rate the performances in the 1970 Grand National we must first consider the going. It was described as Good in the morning papers and in the results but as Firm in Chris Pitt's excellent Go Down To The Beaten (NB the distance between third and fourth is also shown incorrectly as it is on the Grand National Anorak site). Quite frankly, on the film it looks faster than Good, therefore, I have split the difference and labelled it Good to Firm. In which case the winning time was astonishingly slow. The last time the going was Good to Firm (1952) Teal (-18 raw) was almost 18s quicker than Gay Trip, the 7lb more the latter carried being more than offset by the slightly easier fences and general athletic improvement both being in his favour. Furthermore, Gay Trip was also 9.20s slower than Red Alligator (raw -48) in 1968 when the ground was Good tending towards the Good to Firm side. All of this goes to confirm what a poor National, winner apart (Fred Rimell felt Gay Trip was the best of his eventual four National winners although I respectfully and strongly disagree, see 1956 for example), 1970's was and no worthwhile time comparison can be done.

There is not much collateral form either, however, taking the 1970 Gold Cup as a guide and glancing to the future, namely L'Escargot's performance in the 1975 National, I would give Gay Trip a rating of -32 raw. Strictly at the weights in the 1970 Grand National he emerged 39 (pounds/lengths) better than Vulture and Miss Hunter, 41 ahead of Dozo, 46 too good for Ginger Nut and 54 in advance of Pride Of Kentucky. I will allow Gay Trip 5 for ease of victory for a final performance rating of -27, Miss Hunter 1 for two slight mistakes and a figure of -70, Vulture gets -71, Dozo -73, Ginger Nut (awarded 1 for being hampered and a peck) receives -77 and Pride Of Kentucky gets -86.      











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling