Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 30 Mar 1974 (3.19) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.20.30 42 £25,102 N. Le Mare

73 1 Red Rum 9 12-00 G. McCain B. Fletcher 11/1   Fore of mid-division. Left in dispute of 11th CT 1C, continued to vie for same position through 14th, 9th (of 29) WJ. Good headway early 2C: 5th at 19th, 2nd next, contested lead 21st, led BB. Travelling well, 4L ahead on bridle, when mistake 26th. Lead reduced to 2 1/2L at 29th but had extended advantage to circa 5L by last and 10L clear by Elbow. Ran on well. Very comfortably.
72 73 2 L'Escargot 11 11-13 D. Moore T. Carberry 17/2 7 Chased leaders. Disputed 9th CT 1C, shared 8th at 12th, 6th at 14th and 5th WJ. Vied for 3rd at 19th, in same position outright 21st. 4th BB & CT. Slight mistake 26th, contested 2nd at 28th and took that position outright before ABC. Ridden forcefully to get within 2 1/2L at 29th but circa 5L down last. 10L adrift Elbow. Kept on relatively one-paced and just held on for 2nd.
  3 Charles Dickens 10 10-00 M. Scudamore A. Turnell 50/1 SH Away well & always very prominent. Disputed lead 2nd, 3rd at 3rd, shared lead again 4th & 5th, led BB 1C. Joined next (Foinavon), 2nd CT & VB 1C. Led once more from 10th to 12th. 2nd over next two, ahead Chair where inconvenienced by a loose horse & slight mistake, 2nd WJ. Vied for lead 17th, 2nd at 18th, back in front 19th & 20th. Joined again 21st, 2nd from BB through VB. Contested same position from 26th to 28th where mistake. 3rd at 29th. Ran on well and just denied 2nd.
73 4 Spanish Steps 11 11-09 E. Courage B. Smith 15/1 8 Fore of mid-division. Left in dispute of 11th CT 1C. Progress to vie for 6th at 12th, 8th at 14th, 7th WJ. 8th again at 19th, 6th once more BB, chased leaders in 5th CT 2C. Same position until took 4th on run to 29th. Kept on rather one-paced.
72 73 5 Rough Silk 11 10-00 E. O'Grady M. Morris 66/1 7 Away well & very prominent. Disputed lead 2nd, led next, joined over 4th & 5th (where slight mistake). 2nd again BB 1C, vied for lead once more 7th (Foinavon), dropped to 4th CT 1C. Shared same position 12th & 14th but squeezed for room and slow jump Chair, 8th WJ. 9th at 19th, chased leaders in 7th from BB 2C until went 6th before 29th. Kept on, gaining one further place.
  6 Vulgan Town 8 10-08 T. Balding J. Haine 35/1 7 Mid-division. Left in dispute of 14th CT 1C, contested 8th at 12th, vied for 4th at 14th and continued progress to be 3rd WJ. Led 18th but 2nd next and 5th BB 2C. Merely chased leaders in 6th from CT 2C until went 5th before 29th. Slightly weakened run in to drop one place.
73 7 Rouge Autumn 10 10-00 F. Rimell K. White 28/1   Chased leaders, 5th CT 1C. Soon lost pitch CS 1C and had dropped into a dispute of 11th by 12th. Identical situation at 14th. Lacked vibrancy and only 14th WJ. 13th at 19th, BB & CT 2C and remained in mid-division in 12th at 28th. Plugged on quite strongly thereafter. 
73 8 Nereo 8 10-06 F. Winter Duke of Alburquerque 100/1   Soon mid-division under rider with multiple injuries. Left in dispute of 11th CT 1C, 15th at 12th, 17th at 14th, 16th WJ. Little change 2C: 14th at 19th, 12th BB, 13th CT. Plugged on well to be 10th at 27th, share 9th at 28th and finish 8th.
  9 San-Feliu 11 10-03 Cpt N. Crump P. Buckley 22/1   Mid-division, left 18th CT 1C. Good, steady progress to be 14th at 12th, 7th at 14th and 6th WJ. Faded back into midfield for 2C: 10th at 19th, 9th BB & CT, 8th over 27th & 28th. Plugged on to finish 9th.
  10 Norweigan Flag 8 10-00 Bob Clay J. Bourke 50/1   Mid-division. Left in dispute of 14th CT 1C, same position outright at 14th, 11th WJ. Mistake 17th. 15th BB 2C where pecked. A rear of midfield 17th CT 2C. 16th at 27th and last but one in 16th next. Finished strongly thereafter, gaining several places.
  11 Scout 8 10-00 A. Stephenson T. Stack 7/1F   Fore of mid-division. Disputed 9th CT 1C, contested 8th at 12th, shared 11th at 14th, 12th WJ. Good progress 2C: 6th at 19th, 3rd BB & CT, vied for 2nd at 26th & 27th. Began to come under pressure towards the end of CS and 4th of leading quartet 28th. Dropped to 7th before next & continued to weaken.
  12 Quintus 8 10-00 E. Courage G. Thorner 33/1   Rear of mid-division. Left 25th CT 1C, 23rd at 14th & WJ. 19th BB & CT 2C. 14th at 27th where mistake & jockey called a cab. Nevertheless, plugged on, gaining a couple of places.
  13 Dunno 10 10-01 N. Mitchell N. Mitchell 100/1   Rear of mid-division. Left 24th CT 1C, 19th at 14th & WJ. 18th BB 2C, 14th CT 2C, 12th at 27th, 11th at 28th. Slightly weakened thereafter.
  14 Tubs 11 10-06 Val O'Brien Val O'Brien 22/1   Always towards rear. Left 29th CT 1C, 26th at 14th & WJ. Tailed off in 23rd & last but one by BB 2C. Same position, now well tailed off CT 2C. Left 17th & last at 27th. Identical situation next. Plodded on, gaining a few places.
  15 Escari 8 10-02 J. Cox P. Black 66/1   Away well & very prominent 1st & 2nd. Mistake 4th and had faded to be left 17th CT 1C. 15th at 14th & WJ. Disputed 16th BB 2C. A rear of mid-division 15th (again) from CT 2C. Jumped violently left 28th. Despite this, plodded on to maintain 15th.
73 16 Sunny Lad 10 10-04 F. Rimell D. Cartwright 20/1   Away well & prominent. Led CT & VB 1C. Headed and 2nd over next two, joined for 2nd at 12th. 3rd at 13th & 14th, 4th WJ. Disputed 3rd at 19th. Had dropped back to 8th BB 2C. A mid-division 10th CT. 9th at 27th, shared 9th at 28th. Weakened badly thereafter.
73 17 Princess Camilla 9 11-04 G. Vergette M. Blackshaw 28/1   Very fractious before race. Mid-division, left 19th CT 1C, 16th at 14th, 17th WJ. Some progress early 2C to be 11th from 19th to CT. 13th at 27th & 28th. Weakened badly thereafter.
  P Stephen's Society 8 11-05 A. Stephenson C. Collins 40/1 27TH (OD) Mid-division. Left in dispute of 14th CT 1C where rider waved to his auntie. 13th at 12th but mistake next and had dropped to 18th by 14th. Same position WJ. Rallied to be 12th at 19th and 10th BB. Chased leaders in 8th CT 2C where jockey hailed a cab. Bad mistake VB and struggling towards rear in 17th when PU before 27th.
  R Francophile 9 10-05 E. McNally R. Pitman 16/1 27TH (OD) Rear of mid-division. Left 21st CT 1C, 20th at 14th & WJ. Disputed 16th BB 2C, 18th CT. Had just been left 17th when refused 27th, sending jockey over fence.
72 R Pearl Of Montreal 11 10-00 L. Greene T. Kinane 50/1 27TH (OD) Away well & very prominent 1st where mistake. Had dropped to 8th by CT 1C. Renewed progress to dispute 2nd at 12th. Led from next until joined 17th. Began to fade rapidly after 18th and 7th at 19th, 14th BB. A rear of mid-division 16th CT. Had just been left 17th in turn when refused 27th, horse & jockey ending up in the ditch. (Broke blood vessel.) 
  P Roman Holiday 10 10-07 V. Bewicke J. King 66/1 27TH (OD) Sulked. Never better than rear of mid-division. Left 27th CT 1C. 24th WJ. 20th BB 2C. Tailed off in 22nd CT. Had just been left 17th in turn when PU before 27th.
71 72 73 P Astbury 11 10-00 J. Bissill W. Jenks 66/1 26TH Never better than rear of mid-division. Left 26th CT 1C. 21st WJ. Well towards rear in same position BB 2C. Tailed off in 21st CT. 22nd & last but one when PU 26th.
73 P Mill Door 12 10-02 R. Blakeney J. McNaught 100/1 26TH Mid-division. Left 22nd CT 1C. 25th and in rear group WJ. Well tailed off in 24th & last BB 2C. Completely tailed off CT. Similar position when PU well before 26th. (Broke blood vessel.)
  P Wolverhampton(2) 7 10-07 T. Corrie R. Quinn 25/1 25TH (VB) Mid-division. Left 20th CT 1C. Had dropped back into rear of midfield by 12th, 22nd WJ. Tailed off in 20th CT 2C. PU before next (VB).
72 R Cloudsmere 10 10-04 R. Armytage P. Kelleway 100/1 20TH Always towards rear. Left 28th CT 1C, same position & last but one 14th & WJ. No change when caused to refuse 20th by loose horses running from side to side across fence.
73 R Glenkiln 11 10-02 G. McCain R. Crank 50/1 19TH (OD) Fairly prominent. Mistake 4th. Disputed 6th CT 1C & 12th. 9th at 14th. 13th WJ. 18th when refused 19th, horse winding up in the ditch & jockey on landing side of obstacle.
  F Straight Vulgan 8 10-08 G. Richards R. Barry 15/1 18TH Very prominent when slight mistake 1st. Nevertheless, 3rd CT & VB 1C. Pecked 10th. Disputed 4th at 12th. Dropped back to be 10th at 14th & WJ. Renewed effort very early 2C and vying for 4th again when fell 18th.
  P The Tunku 8 10-01 G. McCain R. Evans 100/1 18TH Mid-division. Left 23rd CT 1C. Rear of midfield by 12th. 25th, in back group, at 14th. 27th WJ. Similar position when PU before 18th.
  F Estoile 10 10-00 M. Scudamore R. Hyett 66/1 18TH Always towards rear and no remote impact. Left 32nd & last CT 1C. Remained rearmost through WJ. Well tailed off when fell 18th.
71 U Beau Bob 11 10-00 S. Mellor J. Glover 100/1 11TH (OD) Soon became prominent. Disputed 6th CT 1C. In similar position when bad mistake & UR 11th.
  U Shaneman 9 10-02 T. Taaffe B. Hannon 50/1 10TH Always towards rear. A last but one 31st CT 1C. no progress when UR 10th (possibly hampered).
73 R Beggar's Way 10 10-02 S. Cole V. Soane 66/1 9TH (VB) Soon towards rear. Had just been left 30th when very bad mistake, barely negotiated CT 1C, came to a standstill & dropped to last. Even further behind when refused next (VB).
  F Rough House 8 10-06 F. Rimell J. Burke 14/1 8TH (CT) Prominent 1st. Chased leaders in 11th when fell CT 1C.
73 F Culla Hill 10 10-08 S. Norton N. Brookes 100/1 8TH (CT) Fairly prominent, especially at 5th, but had declined somewhat and just been left 11th when fell CT 1C.
72 U Deblin's Green 11 10-00 G. Yardley N. Wakley 25/1 8TH (CT) Mid-division. Had just been left 18th when very slight mistake & jockey fell off after landing CT 1C.
  U Karacola 9 10-00 A. Stephenson C. Astbury 100/1 8TH (CT) Slowly away but had progressed into mid-division and just been left 22nd when very slightly hampered & UR CT 1C.
  U Argent 10 11-10 E. Cousins B. Coonan 50/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division and had just been left 23rd when hampered by the rising Rough House & jockey flew off CT 1C.
  U Huperade 10 10-12 G. Owen J. Carden 100/1 8TH (CT) Rear of mid-division. Had just been left 26th when hampered well after fence & UR CT1C.
  P Bahia Dorada 9 10-02 J. Pullen J. Guest 100/1 5TH Away well & led to and over 1st. Joined 2nd but remained very prominent, though not jumping well. Bad mistake 4th and dropped rapidly into mid-division. Horrendous error 5th & immediately PU.
  F Sixer 10 10-00 G. Clay T. Salaman 66/1 4TH Chased leaders until jumped into the back of another horse and fell 4th.
68 73 U Go-Pontinental 14 10-00 D. Nicholson J. Suthern 100/1 3RD (OD) Very keen before race. Mid-division when mistake & UR 3rd.
  F Royal Relief 10 11-06 E. Courage Lord Oaksey 18/1 1ST Very prominent. Overjumped & fell 1st.



The 1974 Grand National saw a comfortable win for Red Rum, impressively shouldering 23lb more than in 1973 to become the seventh dual winner of the race and the fifth to be victorious in consecutive years, the first in both categories since Reynoldstown (1935/1936). Red Rum had indeed improved again (see 1973) and 1973/74 was his most complete season. Apart from closing the gap on Crisp to 8 (pounds/lengths) at Doncaster he also finished a short head second in the Hennessy Gold Cup and unprecedently went on to win the Scottish Grand National three weeks after his Aintree success. It was, of course, Ginger McCain and Noel Le Mare's second triumphs plus a third (and final) one for Brian Fletcher. The latter joined Jack Anthony as the only jockeys to ride that many winners of the Liverpool Blue Riband during the twentieth century. Red Rum and connections were helped by the drying ground in the 1974 Grand National riding closer to Good to Firm than the official Good on a beautiful spring day. There were no exits at Becher's Brook on either circuit for the first time since 1954. However, there was something of a melee at the first Canal Turn where overcrowding towards the inside and the falls of Rough House and Culla Hill led to Deblin's Green, Karacola and Argent jinking and unshipping their riders. Avoiding, this year, both bad luck and disaster the tall and oft-injured Duke of Alburquerque achieved his best ever placing on Nereo. Naturally, this legendary sportsman, whom I often think bore an uncanny resemblance to the cartoon character Dick Dastardly, rode with a broken collarbone! The Spanish nobleman estimated he suffered 107 fractures from falls at Aintree, his National career ending, in typical fashion, with a trip to Walton hospital following a 1976 unseat. Also bowing out that year would be Fletcher due to the residue of a severe head injury sustained in a 1972 fall at Teesside. By then he had lost the ride on Red Rum after a fall out with McCain.

Strictly at the weights in the 1974 Grand National the improved Red Rum emerged superior to L'Escargot by 8 (pounds/lengths), to Spanish Steps by 20, Charles Dickens by 35, Vulgan Town by 49 and to Rough Silk by 50. Red Rum improved by 5 over L'Escargot compared to 1973 and by 4 over Spanish Steps with all three doing around 15 better in comparison to seventh-placed Rouge Autumn this year. L'Escargot and Spanish Steps had become out and out stayers by this stage of their careers so were less inconvenienced by 1974's Good to Firm than by 1973's Firm and, therefore, ran better themselves in 1974 with L'Escargot bettering Spanish Steps by virtually the same amount as in the 1970 Cheltenham Gold Cup and 1973 National. Red Rum (whom I rated -22 in 1973) had improved the most, however, and it is rock solid collateral form. His Doncaster run against Crisp might suggest he could now be rated -8 but I will be conservative and start with a base mark of -14 before considering the time/weight factor. The most recent previous renewal run on Good to Firm (towards the Good side thereof) is 1952 when Teal (pure rating -18) won recording a time 0.30 of a second slower than Red Rum, with similar comfort, off a comparable pace. Red Rum carried 16lb more but Teal encountered stiffer fences and 22 years of general athletic improvement also works against Teal and must be taken into account. Thus my time calculations suggest a range of -8 to -11 for Red Rum and, like Teal, I will also allow him 3 for ease of victory (plus 1 for his uncharacteristic mistake at the 26th) to give a final rating of -10 (Teal finally received -15). L'Escargot is allowed 1 for his slight mistake (also 26th) for -21, Spanish Steps gets -34, Charles Dickens, allowed 1 for a slight mistake at the Chair, receives -48, Vulgan Town -63 and Rough Silk (1 for a slight error at the 5th and being squeezed for room at the Chair) gets -63 as well. 

My Scroll Of Merit now reads: Golden Miller, Crisp; -7 Troytown; -8 Reynoldstown; -10 Red Rum; -11 Prince Regent; -13 Early Mist; -14 Lottery, The Lamb, Disturbance, Seaman, Come Away, Cloister, Jerry M, Easter Hero, Thomond(1), Royal Mail(1), Devon Loch; -15 Freebooter, Teal; -17 Poethlyn; -18 Congress, The Liberator; -19 Why Not, Manifesto, Kellsboro' Jack, E.S.B.; -20 Delaneige.










Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling