Grand National Ultimate History



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Sa 3 Apr 1976 (3.19) 4m 4f Firm 9.20.90 32 £37,420 T.W. Raymond, B. Lawrie & H. Keen

75 1 Rag Trade 10 10-12 F. Rimell J. Burke 14/1   Away well & prominent 1st. Left in dispute of 4th BB 1C, 5th next (Foinavon). Shared 7th at 12th. Alone in 7th (of 22) WJ. Continued to track leaders 2C, 6th at 27th. Moved up to 5th at 28th. Further headway to be 3rd over last 2. Led by 1L Elbow. Kept on well. 
73 74 75 2 Red Rum 11 11-10 G. McCain T. Stack 10/1 2 Mid-division, good jump BB 1C. 12th next (Foinavon), vied for 9th at 12th. 12th again WJ. Customary headway early 2C, 5th at 19th. Left in same position BB, 4th CT. Progress to dispute lead 26th and did so through 29th. Took narrow advantage last. Headed before elbow where 1L down. Kept on well.
  3 Eyecatcher 10 10-07 J. Bosley B. Fletcher 28/1 8 Started steadily in mid-division. Left in dispute of 7th BB 1C, 7th outright next (Foinavon). Further progress to be 5th at 12th, 6th WJ. 4th at 19th. Left 3rd BB. Vied for lead from 26th to 29th (where slight mistake). A narrow 2nd at last. Weakened somewhat from just before Elbow.
75 4 Barona 10 10-06 R. Armytage P. Kelleway 7/1F 3 Rear of mid-division. 18th at 7th, 14th WJ. Headway early 2C, however, last of leading group of 10 CT. Still only 8th at 28th. Continued progress and 6th over last 2. Ran on well. Never nearer.
  5 Ceol-Na-Mara 7 10-06 S. Mellor J. Glover 22/1 2 1/2 Prominent when mistake 1st and soon buried in mid-division. A rear of same 20th at 7th (Foinavon). 15th WJ. Progress into 7th by 23rd (Foinavon). Further steady headway to be 4th over 28th & 29th. 5th at last. Kept on.
75 6 The Dikler 13 11-07 F. Walwyn R. Barry 25/1 10 Mid-division 1st. Left in dispute of 4th BB 1C. 4th outright over next 2, 3rd VB 1C, 2nd from 10th through ABC 1C. Had dropped to 4th again by 14th and to 5th WJ but rallied to lead briefly 17th. Ahead once more 19th, 2nd at 20th, 4th at 21st and left 4th BB. In a share of 5th CT but back up to vying for lead by 27th where slight mistake. 3rd next and under pressure before 29th where 5th. 4th last and weakened thereafter. 
  7 Sandwilan 8 10-00 S. Wright R. Hyett 100/1   Mid-division, 13th at 7th (Foinavon). Headway to dispute 7th at 12th, 8th WJ. 6th at 19th and vied for 5th CT but had dropped back to 9th by end of CS. Plugged on to be 7th at last.
75 8 Spittin Image 10 10-00 M. Scudamore A. Turnell 66/1   Soon very prominent, led from 5th. Clear over 10th & 11th. Joined 14th and dropped to 2nd just after WJ. Regained lead 18th, disputed 2nd next, led once more 20th, mistake and headed again 21st, left 2nd BB. Remained there through CT but had dropped to 5th by 27th. 6th at 28th, 8th last.
73 74 75 9 Spanish Steps 13 10-02 E. Courage J. King 22/1   Largely mid-division, 11th at 7th (Foinavon) and 12th at 12th. Good headway to be 3rd at 14th. Disputed lead Chair & WJ. Soon dropped back early 2C and 7th at 19th. Sustained cut to leg BB. 9th by 23rd (Foinavon). Last of leading group in 10th at 28th. Plugged on into 9th.
  10 Black Tudor 8 10-00 G. Kindersley G. Thorner 50/1   Towards rear 1st. 23rd & last but one BB 1C & 7th (Foinavon). 19th WJ. Left 14th BB 2C. 11th and in six-strong rear group 28th. Plugged on very dourly.
  11 Churchtown Boy 9 10-06 T. Salaman T. Salaman 33/1   Held up in mid-division 1C, 16th at 7th (Foinavon), 11th WJ. Headway to become very prominent by 17th. Disputed 2nd at 19th where mistake. 3rd at 21st. Left in lead BB. Led from next (Foinavon) through VB. Weakened quickly after: 4th at 27th, 7th at 28th. Faded further.
  12 Highway View 11 10-10 J. Cox P. Black 33/1   Away well & led 1st. Headed next but remained prominent, left in dispute of 4th BB 1C. 6th at 7th (Foinavon), 5th CT 1C, 6th again 12th. Had dropped back to 13th by WJ. 11th at 23rd (Foinavon) and in rear group. 12th at 28th. Plodded on.
  13 Jolly's Clump 10 10-03 T. Jones I. Watkinson 12/1   Towards rear 1st. 24th & last from BB 1C to 12th. 17th WJ and same position 21st. Left 15th (last but one) BB. 13th, in rear group, at 28th. Plodded on. 
75 14 Money Market 9 11-00 V. Bewicke B. Champion 12/1   Away well & prominent, briefly leading at 4th. 3rd BB 1C until VB 1C where 2nd. 3rd again 12th, disputed lead 14th & Chair, 4th WJ. Faded comprehensively from early 2C and a rear group 12th at 23rd. 14th at 28th. Plodded on.
  15 Colondine 9 10-00 I. Dudgeon B. Forsey 60/1   Fore of mid-division, 10th at 7th (Foinavon). Had dropped back to be 22nd & plum last by WJ. Tailed off by 19th. Left 16th & rearmost BB. A last but one 15th by 28th. Lumbered on.
  16 Indian Diva 9 10-03 M. John Thorne N. Henderson 100/1   Mid-division, 14th at 7th (Foinavon). 16th WJ. Left 13th BB where very bad mistake. 16th & last 28th. Laboured home in last.
  F Golden Rapper 10 10-08 F. Winter J. Francome 28/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division 1st. Fore of same BB 1C. 8th at 7th (Foinavon). 5th from VB 1C to 14th. 3rd WJ. Led 21st, still going well, and remained ahead when fell heavily next (BB).
  U Prolan 7 10-03 E. O'Grady M. Morris 13/1 22ND (BB) Away well & very prominent until dreadful blunder 1st, nearly down, and lost much ground. 22nd at 7th (Foinavon). Gradually recovered to be 11th at 12th. 10th WJ, chasing leaders. 8th at 19th where jumped markedly right. Had just been left 10th again when badly hampered by Golden Rapper upon landing & UR BB. 
  F Boom Docker 9 10-00 D. Marks J. Williams 50/1 22ND (BB) Mid-division, 15th at 7th (Foinavon). Progress to be 9th WJ but none further made and had just been left 15th again when fell BB 2C.
  U Ballybright 9 10-00 F. Cundell S. Morshead 80/1 22ND (BB) Rear of mid-division 1st. 21st at 7th (Foinavon). 20th WJ. Had just been left a tailed off 16th & last but one when bad mistake, nearly down, & UR BB 2C.
  U Roman Bar 7 10-10 P. Taaffe G. Newman 33/1 19TH (OD) Rear of mid-division 1C, 19th at 7th (Foinavon), 18th WJ. Similar position when mistake & UR 19th.
  P Perpol 10 10-06 W. Charles K. White 66/1 19TH (OD) Away well & prominent beyond 4th. 9th at 7th (Foinavon). Continued to fade and 21st (last but one) WJ. Tailed off when PU shortly after 19th. 
73 74 U Nereo 10 10-01 F. Winter Duke Of Alburquerque 50/1 13TH Away well & prominent. 2nd BB 1C. Short of room & mistake next (Foinavon) but still 2nd CT 1C. 4th from VB 1C to 12th. 3rd when mistake & UR 13th.
  U Meridian 9 10-00 G. McCain JJ. O'Neill 33/1 13TH Held up in mid-division. 17th at 7th (Foinavon). Still midfield when mistake, pecked badly & UR 13th.
  F Tregarron 9 10-01 K. Oliver C. Tinkler 12/1 6TH (BB) Away well & very prominent, led 2nd & 3rd. Still handy in 4th when fell BB 1C.
75 F Glanford Brigg 10 11-03 J. Hardy M. Blackshaw 28/1 6TH (BB) Rear of mid-division 1st. Towards rear when fell BB 1C.
75 F Tudor View 10 10-00 P. Upton C. Read 100/1 6TH (BB) Always towards rear. Fell BB 1C.
75 F High Ken 10 10-12 J. Edwards M. Dickinson 33/1 4TH Away well & prominent. Disputing 5th when fell 4th.
  U Thomond(2) 11 10-03 T. Pearson J. Wilson 100/1 4TH Prominent 1st then chased leaders until hampered by High Ken & UR 4th.
  F Merry Maker 11 10-02 G. Doidge A. Mildmay-White 50/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until fell 3rd.
74 U Huperade 12 10-04 G. Owen J. Carden 100/1 1ST Mid to rear, UR 1st.
  F Ormonde Tudor 7 10-00 R. Bower K. Barnfield 100/1 1ST Slowly away & towards rear when fell 1st.



The attendance for the 1976 Grand National, the first renewal under the progressive management of Ladbrokes, was a much healthier figure of 42,000, and the gathered crowd witnessed Fred Rimell's fourth and final win, equaling the record of George Dockeray, courtesy of Rag Trade. Fred and Mercy had worked their magic on the big, clumsy horse who had recently won the Welsh Grand National when left ahead at the last, although to be fair Rag Trade had also taken the 1975 Midlands Grand National (three weeks after finishing tailed off at Aintree) when still under the care of his previous trainer Arthur Pitt. This was a second Liverpool National success, again in an owner partnership, for Teasie Weasie. Ridden by the stylish John Burke, Rag Trade was able to conserve his one burst until after the last, however, whilst there is conflicting opinion I agree with Ivor Herbert (in his biography of Red Rum) that Tommy Stack, the reigning Champion Jockey who had been reunited with Red Rum having previously had the mount for Bobby Renton and on the horse's debut for Ginger McCain, should have pressed on from the second Canal Turn where the hitherto quick Firm ground pace collapsed. Stack ought to have made more use of the great horse rather than allowing Rag Trade and others to hang around. Tommy, on this occasion, seemed to lack trust in Red Rum despite the class, courage, desire and stamina he had always shown at Aintree (and would show again in 1977). Had he been given his head down the Canal side Red Rum could have completed the distance faster than Rag Trade notwithstanding that he was shouldering twelve pounds more than Rimell's charge (and nineteen pounds more than he had in 1973). Sadly, Rag Trade became injury prone and would break down fatally in the 1978 National, Fred passed away suddenly in 1981, and John Burke, much too young, died of a heart attack in 1995.

Strictly at the weights in the 1976 Grand National Red Rum emerged 10 (pounds/lengths) better than Rag Trade, 25 ahead of Eyecatcher, 26 in advance of The Dikler, 29 too good for Barona and 31 better than Ceol-Na-Mara (the latter two being the chief beneficiaries of the pace collapse whereas Money Market was the prime example of the leaders going a bit too fast). Although now a 13-y-o The Dikler ran a very similar race to that which he had the previous year when I rated him -43 and he came out 27 inferior to Red Rum who was reckoned to have been about half a stone below his best. The Dikler had won a Gold Cup on Good to Firm and the 1976 Aintree going would have made the National less of a stamina test than in 1975 - it was to no avail, like Eyecatcher he didn't fully stay, but I will give The Dikler the same rating as last year which places Red Rum at -17 in 1976, 1 worse than last year and 7 below his best, due to Stack's timid ride. Rag Trade gets -27 (the same mark as Rimell's Gay Trip in 1970), Eyecatcher receives -42, Barona -46 and, allowing 1 for a mistake at the 1st, Ceol-Na-Mara -47. It is worth noting that just a month before the 1976 National Red Rum had come out 4 better than Royal Frolic over an inadequate 3m at Haydock which again rather confirms the superiority of the National form over that of the Gold Cup in this period because Royal Frolic next (on 14 March) won the Cheltenham Blue Riband by 5 lengths (incidentally for Rimell and Burke). Had Stack rode a bolder race Red Rum could have at least matched his best rating of -10 and won fairly comfortably in 1976.











Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling