Favourite Grand National Horses

I’ve noticed we’ve had a couple of posts on this thread lately (Thanks Nick) and I thought it might be a good idea to bounce it up so anyone new could add their favourite Grand National memories………..

Where it all began?

Most people’s earliest gambling memory will be of the Grand National.

Mine was of an annual 10p each way on a horse called The Pilgarlic. I seem to remember that he made the frame on a couple of occasions but never quite got his head in front. It became a family joke that I would be backing ‘that horse with the funny name’. Whatever happened it got me hooked and I’m pleased that it did.

Backing winners used to be easy!

The years have come and gone and the stakes have increased (marginally!) and I have fond (financial and otherwise) of Seagram and Party Politics but mostly of Last Suspect.

I was a Tim Forster fan back in the 80’s and I managed to convince myself that the Duchess of Westminster’s horse wasn’t the screwball that everyone else seemed to think he was. I can’t describe the feeling of backing a 50/1 Grand National winner but to a relatively young and inexperienced punter it was like gold dust.

Unfortunately finding winners since haven’t been quite as easy!

Tell us about your favourite Grand National Horses

Who are your favourite Grand National horses? Did you manage a nice win on your favourite or was there one that got away? Or perhaps it was just a horse you enjoyed watching jumping the big Grand National fences?

Let us know your thoughts.

By the way, does anyone know how many times The Pilgarlic ran in the Grand National and when?

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47 Responses to Favourite Grand National Horses

  1. SILVER BIRCH says:

    Hello admin – my alltime favourite horse was a horse called andy pandy – who if my childhood memory serves me correct must have been about two fences in front of red rum going to bechers second time around ..anyway the rest is history – he slithered and crumpled on landing and i saw the family sweepstake disappear in front of my eyes . there was enough in that pot to keep me in curlywurlys and palm toffee for the next six months…total devastation. even now as a fortysomething i rerun the old race on my dvd and in my mind im still convinced hes gonna jump it and a mountain of chocolate and crisps will be mine :-) i think i probably need some therapy :-)anybody else suffering from andy pandy syndrome ?

  2. Brian says:

    My first memory of a punt on the national was with a horse called romany king as my sister had a horse called Romany.
    I was only 13 at the time and picking a horse that actually finished was something of an achievement never mind getting 2nd place (or so i was told back then).

    Anyway 2 years later up stepped Minnehoma as Freddie star use to make me laugh so i picked his horse.

    By now i thought i was unstoppable on the national even tho looking back now picking a horse named after your sisters horse and one that is owned by someone who makes you laugh is not probably the best strategy but hey it worked for me and got me hooked.

    My next success was with Lord Gylenne as i remember the race card having NZ next to the horse and i thought WOW if a horse is gonna travel all that way just to have 1 race it gotta be good.
    Well after been called a jammy git for picking horses on the back of such utter nonsense reasons i thought im gonna show them and that is when i started looking for winners with a genuine chance and not just on some whim i had at the time.

    Anyway it was 4 years of nothing before i would taste success again with a horse called Bindaree.

    Since then i have had a third (Amberleigh House 2003), and 3 firsts 2005-07 (Hedgehunter, Number6 and Silver Birch).

  3. Stephen says:

    Earliest Memory – Picking Romany King when he chased home Party Politics in 1992. I was 6 at the time and it sticks in my head as my first real go at the National.

    Fav Horse – Probably would have to be Suny Bay that I backed when he was a gallant 2nd twice in ’97 and ’98.

    Unluckiest Race – In 2002 when I had David’s Lad and Ad Hoc who were cruising coming to the 4th last fence when one fell and brought down the other. I still maintain one of them would have gone past Bindaree.

    Race That Hurts The Most – Clan Royal’s 2nd to Amberleigh House in 2004. I had 33/1 Ante Post on him, he started as 10/1cf. He looked all over the winner before Liam Cooper dropped the whip four from home. He popped over the final fence and headed straight for The Chair before Liam had to throw him into the elbow. That cost him valuable lengths and he ended up 2nd. Gutted.

    Fav Race – Hedgehunter’s win in 2005 was for me the greatest Grand National ride of all time. Ruby gave a masterclass in how to go round the famous course and win. Dropping Hedgehunter out the back for the first circuit and slowing creeping in to the race second time around, he sat motionless until the elbow and then let fly to win by 14 lengths. Genius.

  4. Pav says:

    You lot make me feel so old! My earliest National memory was watching Freddie chase home Jay Trump (ok so I wasn’t old enough to bet).
    Worst moment? Two years later my dad had backed the winner of the Lincoln and stood to win £861 if Honey End won the National which was a fortune then. It ended in tears (1967 Foinavon)but the race became part of my life and ‘Grand National Day’ is always celebrated. My wife gives me an all day pass knowing that I’ll be home by about half past seven with tales about how much I nearly won (I could ride a better finish than Liam Cooper etc etc)
    Favourite moment? Anyone notice how Peter O’Sullevan sounds like a dalek when he gets excited? Listen to Red Rum jumping the second last in 1977 and see if you agree. I backed Red Rum twice. 1975 and 1976.
    Best bet? Numbersixvalverde at 40/1.
    Keep up the good work on this site and keep sending in the posts. The National is THE greatest sporting event and will no doubt throw up a surprise or two this year. I think Mr Pointment will run a big race and will be in my squad. The handicap is going to be more squashed this year than ever before and I can see Mr P bounding along in front drawing comparisons with Crisp except perhaps he won’t get caught….

  5. Johnny Valentine says:

    I think The Pilgarlic ran four times: 4th (1977), 5th (1978), 4th (1979) and 3rd (1980). It was the Suny Bay or Durham Edition of its day.

    My favourite winner was Miinnehoma in 1994. A sunny spring day but the ground was heavy. Dunwoody had a tight grip as they approached The Elbow. I was high up in the press enclosure from where I could see that Miinnehoma was almost toying with Moorcroft Boy, waiting to pounce.

  6. admin says:

    Hi everyone,

    Some great memories there – keep ‘em coming!

    Johnny V – thanks a lot for The Pilgarlic info that has really helped set my age against the memories, although I’ve obviously distorted it as I thought I was about six or seven but must have been in my teens!!!!
    Where did you get your info from? Is it possible to get detailed info of Grand National results on the web anywhere going back past the Racing Post’s history? If you’ve got easy access, Johnny V, when was Sebastian V, running in the National? That was another perennial placed favourite of mine? Appreciate your help.

  7. SILVER BIRCH says:

    Great stuff guys on faboulous memories from the seventies – can anyone remember a horse called boomdocker .. if memory serves me right he hared off at 100mph and was about three fences in front before deciding either to refuse or get rid of his jockey as hed decided hed done enough – he was like a cross between roadrunner and buckaroo… !

  8. Johnny Valentine says:

    I’m pretty sure Boom Docker raced in 1977 and helped set the pace in Red Rum’s finale race. I’ll check it out and see if I can dig out some other familiar names from the 1970s…

  9. Neil says:

    My first G.N bet I can remember was a bob e/w on PURPLE SILK who was just passed near the line by TEAM SPIRIT. I think it was 100/8. I picked it because it was allegedly, temporarily stabled in box at our local DOG track( a flapper in Coatbridge, my Hometown). That and the film National Velvet got me hooked on the yearly attempt to pick the winner.

  10. Phil P says:

    Being born and brought up in Liverpool, I’ve always had a great love of The National. I started taking an interest in the stats side about 10 years ago and it’s proved to be very good for me financially.

    In recent years I’ve backed

    Silver Birch
    Amberleigh House
    Monty’s Pass

    All these were based on my system (which I haven’t had a proper chance to look at this year yet)

    Other recent winners (which I received tips for from a good source) were

    Minnehoma
    Bobbyjo
    Numbersixvalverde

    The best of that lot for me though was Amberleigh House. I’d lumped on 3 times from Christmas onwards at 33-1 and 25-1 (Each Way). We were at Aintree on the day of the big race and the previous night I’d been doing some serious research and really fancied Clan Royal aswell which I had a fair sized punt on.

    Watching the leader go past me in front of Aintree Mound I thought Clan Royal had won and was looking forward to collecting my winnings. As it went past I glanced back and noticed another horse was catching up steadily. The other horse went past me and I concentrated on watching the big screen to make sure Clan Royal was going to stay the distance. I soon realised it wasn’t!! I said to my mate next to me “I don’t know what that other horse is, but it’s going to win”. My mate had been paying slightly more attention than me and says “It’s number 17″. I glanced at my racecard and realised that it was Amberleigh House!! A full pint of Fosters (luckily in a plastic glass!) flew into the air and the majority of it landed on the bloke in front of me.

    I watched it back the following morning and realised what a great run it had been for Amberleigh House.

  11. COMPLY OR DIE says:

    Yes that was a brilliant run by AH,I also was on
    Monty`s Pass but not SB (did not think it would be soft enough but the week long watering of the course seen to that) last year instead I was on
    the very unlucky Mckelvey.

    22 days and counting.

  12. templepunk says:

    My first memory of the National was a horse called Greasepaint in the late seventies I think who I recall earned me a few pence each way courtesy of my Gran who placed my juvenile wager. Living in the Highlands of Scotland I vividly remember not picking out Ben Nevis as an obvious candidate possibly in the same year.

    Wonderfully nostalgic moments relived annually in the build up .. roll on the next chapter ..

  13. Johnny Valentine says:

    Admin, you asked if records of Grand Nationals pre-1980s are available. I’ve not found them online, but the best resource is ‘A Race Apart: The History of the Grand National’ (Hodder and Stoughton) first published in 1988 but subsequently re-printed several times I think.

    Reg plots each race in great detail and presents detailed results, including odds, weights, jockeys, etc. Absorbing stuff. Don’t take it on holiday with the missus.

    Obviously the further back in time you go, the more sketchy become the details.

    I don’t think Reg had any connection to racing or Aintree apart from a love of it. He first went to the Grand National as a young boy in 1946 and watched from his father’s shoulders as Lovely Cottage strode to victory.

    Reg was a regular guest of Des Lynam’s on Grand National Grandstand in the 1980s and 1990s. His obsession with the race was only matched by his passion for it. Reg could talk for hours about Aintree and its wonderful history.

    I met him several times and wish I’d spent more time in his company. Sadly, Reg died earlier today (March 25) aged 70. God bless you, Reg, You left a lot behind.

  14. admin says:

    Thanks to everyone for their memories on this thread – keep ‘em coming right up to the big race and beyond!

    Johnny V – thanks very much for the book recommendation. I’m off on a scouting mission for GN info tomorrow so I’ll be on the look out for Reg’s book – it sounds ideal.

  15. QuatreBras says:

    My favourite of all time is Rhyme n Reason (1998). Carried 11st (no lightweight!), virtually fell at Bechers first time, was in last place after the mistake, yet managed to win. It was an incredible performance, certainly the best I’ve seen. Sadly, the horse never raced again.

  16. QuatreBras says:

    That should be 1988!!!!

  17. pete says:

    my first winner was Red Rum in 1977. I then used to back the Pilgarlic every year from 78-80. I believe he ran 4 times in the race from 77-80 and was placed 3 times. Ironically the nearest he came to winning was in 78 when he finished fifth behind Lucius but was only beaten about five lengths.
    The eighties was a barren decade for me aside from hallo dandy in 84. Rough quest and the wonderfull Lord Gyllene brought back to back victories for me. Since then a few near misses in Mely Moss and Whats Up Boys. I still have nightmares over Whats Up Boys cos the race was in the bag.
    Amberleigh house was my last winner. Since then not a sniff not even close.

  18. Pete Norriss says:

    Every Grand National is my favourite since i watched my first one, Team Spirit in 1962.
    The Pilgarlic i remember very fondly, always stayed the trip and gave you a good run for your money.I backed him every year he ran in it.The best jumping round in my opinion was Hallo Dandy in 1984, hardly touched a twig!
    The one i remember most is 1982 (Grittar),i’d tipped him to win after he won the Foxhunters the year before, but unfortunately never backed it ante post.That race i must’ve seen 40 times on video, i learnt all the runners colours the weeks before and even now, when i see the race i could name most of them.The worst experience of the race for me(apart from horses deaths) was Geraldine Rees getting Cheers round in 1982 to become the first woman to complete the course.To say the horse finished distressed is a massive understatement,it was sad to see , just so she could make history!Alas, this years race could be my last, i plan on moving to the U.S.A later this year and the Grand National is one of the things i’ll miss most.Grand National day has been just that to me for years..Grand National Day, and nothing else mattered.

  19. Tim says:

    Johnny Valentine said (February 29th, 2008 at 5:51 pm)
    > I’m pretty sure Boom Docker raced in 1977 and helped set the pace in Red Rum’s finale
    > race. I’ll check it out and see if I can dig out some other familiar names from the 1970s…
    Yes, indeed. Boom Docker was way out in front but refused at the 17th leaving Andy Pandy leading the pack in the 1977 National. I am watching it now on Youtune.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp4KN3vmBkg&feature=related

  20. melanie says:

    HEDGEHUNTER! I love him to bits. To fall at the last fence then come back the following year to show everyone that you are actually the greatest steeplechaser in 2005 is amazing!!! I wish he wasn’t carrying so much weight in 2006 cause he probably would have won and guess who’d be the best horse since Red Rum! Hedgehunter is a true hero, and showed me never to give up, even if you’re tired at the last hurdle! :)

  21. Neil says:

    My favourite horse has to be red rum.Only 14 at the time he won in 77 had 50p ew not a lot but I know but I was just attracted to the name.These days I pick them because they meet the stats.as
    My dad had Andy Pandy and was devastated when it came down.
    Rerunning the video I think What if.
    Saw rummy in 1989 when Little Polveir won.
    My first winner when I was old enough to put my own bet on was Grittar in 1982.
    The best bet apart from having a special at ladbrokes in 93(void national) on female trainers to win Lincoln and National which I collected on,because the first part had come up;was Earth Summit and Suny bay in a forecast.Also fancied Party Politics in 92 ended up doing Romany King.
    My workmate though told me about a mate of his dad’s had £1 on
    Foinavon,to put that into perspective he says that was a third of your wages back then.Well Popham down brought everyone execepted Foinavon down and Foinavon won at 100/1.I don’t think I’d backed him at 1,000/1.Just goes to show if your luck’s in.

  22. Nick Mannion says:

    Can I put forward a jockey? In the days before the safety rules any amature with a nag could enter and ride (I think you wil find a Parker-Bowles getting round in the late 60′s!). Ome of my all time favs was the Duke De Alberqurque who was the typical aristo. cavalier sportsman and who rode in he race 8 or 9 times over a 20 year period from the mid 50′s. He always used to pre-book a private room in Walton Hospital the night of the race…and needed it 4 or 5 times too!!
    Anyhow in 1974 on Nereo (by far the best horse he owned and rode in the race) he makes the second circuit for the first time…and blow me he gets over second Bechers in touch (all flapping arms and legs and zero style) and coming to the second Canal Turn he is trying to get serious. Being a rubbish jock he doesnt jump it at an angle and barges in to a horse on his outside who had taken it at the angle.
    Bluff Irish jock shouts at him ‘What the f*** do you think you are doing?’ to which the smiling Duke replies’ My dear chap I have no idea…I’ve never got this far before.’
    He finished 7th to Red Rum, the only time he ever got round. My kind of hero!!

  23. Nick Mannion says:

    Horses I am a Pilgarlic regular performer kind of guy so my list of heros starts with Spanish Steps (placed 3 times in the Red Rum years) and West Tip (what a great record) and the the most recent nearly but not quite Brave Highlander (4th, 5th and 6th and one of the 7 who made the second circuit in Red Marauders year). Horses who perform in that race year on year are ulra special.

  24. maureen says:

    Oh crikey; it sticks in my mind more than birthdays or Christmas’s! Team Spirit was my first winner [Mill House was my favourite horse so I followed Mr Walwyns' horses]. I was so excited to speak to Willie Robinson a few years ago at Cheltenham. Probably didn’t have bets on the race for a many years until I joined a racing club. I said one day that I thought Seagram would win the National, to which they replied ‘of course he will; he’s got no weight’. They then went on the explain handicaps to me. After that it got quite easy; one year I had 3 out of the first 4. However, it’s now getting oooh so much harder. I followed Eddie the Shoe for years [after he told Observer readers to back Bindaree, which I didn't. I didn't make the same mistake when he tipped Monty's Pass!]. I’m ashamed to say that I’d feel so miserable if I didn’t get a horse placed that I seem to back more horses each year, which is why I put bets on as early as possible to get a good price. The names of horses that have ran in the race over the years are magical; Rondetto, Romany King, Phebu [so many people remember that brave little mare] Andy Pandy, Lean Ar Aghaidh [boy, could that horse jump]…could go on forever….I was convinced that Hedgehunter had fallen from tiredness, because he was a year too young, which is why I tend to dismiss younger horses. Can still remember the day that Aldaniti won, and can still picture the sun streaming through the window. Reg Green’s book is always close to hand, although I must admit to never having read it from beginning to end; it’s more for reference. And, of course I read National Velvet when I was a child. Have only been to Aintree once, and didn’t see much of the race, so I’m loathe to go again. I like to savour every moment of it! I used to feel so sad at the end of the day, knowing I’d have to wait another year, so it’s wonderful to be able to talk about it all year round!It still hurts that I backed Mon Mome at 33/1 last year, though, even though it was the biggest priced winner I’d ever had. The National is like reading a really good book that you can’t put down but, magically, when you’ve read the last page and found out who’dunnit, it starts all over again! Great stuff.

  25. Nick Mannion says:

    I am with Maureen on this!! I was born 20 miles from Aintree and when first seeing the race (aged 4 or 5…1964/5) on the tv I thought we were watching Errol Flynn in The Charge Of The Light Brigade! Have been captivated ever since.
    While only ever backing the winner 3 times (tens of placed runners each way mind!)to get back to the thread…my heros are always the nearly but not quites….from Freddie via Spanish Steps by The Pilgarlic and Just So…even forgotten horses like Old Applejack (6th and 7th in successive years at big prices) who ran the races of their lives.
    I have all Reg Greens books (there are several!) and every race from when it was first televised on DVD (transfered from video tape and via the Racing Channels archive for earlier races!).
    Another hero/heroine? 51 year old Rosemary Henderson on Fiddlers Pike in an attritional year…not many going out on the second circuit…she sensibly keeping out of the trouble and went upsides the leaders at the 20th. Adrian MaGuire (boo hiss) said something along the lines of ‘what the hell are you doing here…keep out of the way you ****…to which he magnificant Mrs H just took a pull and let them get on with it. She later said she regretted it …not that she would have won…but she knows she would have beaten the tiring Ebony Jane (who finished 4th) and been close to MaGuire (3rd and legless) but was content with 5th…and no pro could have got the 100/1 shot any closer!!

  26. SILVER BIRCH says:

    Maureen and Nick – what a fabulous piece of writing … brought back and evoked so many memories – its funny how so many of our best memories of this race go back to our childhood and every year it seemed to be baking hot , corbiere , aldaniti and red rum stormed to glory with their silks glistening in the sun , we’d shout and cheer at the telly then go outside to play with our friends and swap stories on who had been lucky .. although I dont think i ever won once.. onto the teenage years and I thought I knew it all , confidence growing weeks before the race , people at school asking you your tip – Mr Snugfit! , Rambling jack , Dark Ivy , Bonanza Boy .. the misery continued… and here we are all these years later still obsessed just so that we can say – Yip I solved the puzzle – I got it right …! It has been and always will be the greatest show on earth ..

  27. Neil S says:

    I remember Mr Snugfit and also Lucky Vane who I thought was good enough to win in the 1980′s and also Greasepaint who was unlucky twice, as well as the winners of that era.

  28. Nick Mannion says:

    Hi Silver Birch

    Thanks for the comment. I know what you mean although my national memories are of the rain and heavier going type when it produces a true test ( not wishing any horses to suffer…but these days the jocks pull them up as the kudos of ‘getting round’ appears to have diminished slightly in the modern era).
    I seem to have a talent for backing the second (16 times in the last 40 runnings…inc Red Rum the 2 times he didnt win!!)so my memories are of the gallant Sebastian and Mr Snugfit in particular and the ‘hard luck’ stories… Just So (who I backed the year he was second) seemed to be behind everything that fell on the first circuit and must have lost 20-30 lengths when hampered and went down to Dunwoody and Minnehoma by 3/4 of a length …oh the joys of constantly being able to watch over and over via dvd and you can spot your horse and all the hard luck stories…like Christopher Collins(another glorious amature) on Mr Jones (mid 60′s)nearly bd 3 or 4 times and he still gets home(admittedly a distance) 3rd. Collins went on to win the Pardubika in the early 70′s on Stephens Society (now that is a race and a half!) and was going well till 2nd Valentines in the national (on same horse) till a bad mistake put him out of the reckoning…

    Maybe its an age thing…and safety has to come first…but it doesnt seem to be the true test anymore and is just another handicap…plus I suspect nearly all the horses are better trained than 40 years ago and the standard of riding (and entries) is far better amongst the whole field…but it never seems quite right to have 10 – 12 coming over the Melling Road with a chance …and before anyone jumps on this I would rather 30+ had pulled up and the remaining runners not all in with a chance…am not asking for carnage!!!

    So in 2010 lets hope for some rain..the jocks going a stride slower…and the truer test of jumping and stamina come in to play…and Nina C on Garde Champetre making history…

  29. Nick Mannion says:

    Oh and I must mention that someone has put Pathe news reels of some of the 20′s, 30′s, 40′s and 50′s nationals on YouTube..some of them are 7 and 8 mins long but dont show the whole race…they include paddock build up and shots of the King etc (they were made for cinema news distribution after all) but they make fascinating watching….wow did that course use to take some jumping!!!

  30. crisp 73 says:

    Found this on the web, attributed to Carl Llewellyn when Party Politics died last year, “He was a fantastic jumper of the National fences, and gave me one of the best days of my life. It was a real shame that he never got the chance to win back-to-back Grand Nationals, as he was going significantly better at The Chair in the 1993 void National than when he won it in 1992.”

  31. Nick Mannion says:

    As this is local to me a mention should be made of the TRC who rehabilitate and look after old horses. The found Hello Dandy in a very very distressed and neglected condition (some Tory peer had bought him to hunt and as he got older…20 when found…had failed to look after him to put it mildly and was going to put him down…and no names…to protect the guilty…!). He became the flagbearer for the venture (TLC) and Neale Doughty even came up to lend his support and visit his old sparring partner who he finished 1st and 4th in a National on.
    He was rehabilitated and lived another 13 years and I had the privilage of visiting on an open day and was able to pat him and say my thanks (no, had never backed him) for his contribution to the best sporting event on earth!

    Lets hope all past National heros are looked after and get the retirement they deserve…

  32. admin says:

    Crisp – Party Politics was one of my favourite winners of the last twenty years – I’m thinking of doing a few retrospectives on past winners and may start with the 1992 winner so any more info/quotes like that would be very helpful.

    Nick – The TRC do great work rehabilitating ex-racehorses – here is the link address for anyone interested in finding out more about the work they do and there are some photos on there of Hallo Dandy:

    http://www.thoroughbredrehabilitationcentre.co.uk/

  33. Daniel says:

    Party Politics was my favourite of all of the National winners that I have backed and was so unlucky that 1993 was void.

    I was at Aintree in 96 for his last race and still have no idea what Carl Llewellyn was doing going down the inside rail on him when he had 10st 2lbs, and then came out with something later along the lines of PP was injured and should not have run.

    If you listen closely to the commentary at the end of the 1995 National just before the end of the race, Peter O’Sulleivan says Party Politics is closing on Royal Athlete and I am sure you can hear a woman scream in the background. It is quite short but I’m sure it sounds like someone screaming.

    I have looked at Aintree’s website and quite a few areas are named after National winners, but I can’t seen anything named after Party Politics. How about a petition to have a part of the course named after him?

  34. Daniel says:

    The 1990 grand National weekend was one of the best of my life. My first National where I could legally bet and I had 1st, 2nd and 4th, and then went up to Villa Park the next day to watch Palace beat Liverpool 4-3.

    At the playoff final in 2004 when Palace were promoted I said to my brother I wanted Palace to get Everton or Liverpool away on National weekend which they did.

    went to Aintree in 2005 and has money on Clan Royal and Hedgehunter. As Clan Royal went past where i was watching the race by the landing side of the first fence on the second circuit I knew it had to be too good to be true – cue the curse of 2nd Beechers. But Rubt won on Hedgehunter – if he had not won by so much going away perhaps Hedgehunter may have had less weight the next year and been a two time winner?

  35. party politics says:

    i’d have to say west tip as my first ever gn winner , lord gylene as my biggest gn winner and for a story horse that you just wanted/willed to win the race ….. party politics.

  36. crisp 73 says:

    Party Politics- looking again at 1993. He had gone up from OR153 to OR166 but only carried 11-2 in the 93 GN. Pulled up twice in 92-92 season but then won 29f Blue Square Gold Cup at Haydock off 162 giving 21lbs to Fiddlers Pike,finished 5th in 94 GN, and Willsford, went to win Eider and Scots National, and 17lbs to Riverside Boy who won the next seasons Welsh National. The two non finishes in GN winning season is unusual, the only one I can find in last 40 years or so is Rough Quest so perhaps very unusual but not impossible. He also had his favoured quick ground in 93(Esha Ness, at the time I think, actually recorded the second quickest ever GN).

  37. Neil S says:

    Party Politics.

    I disagree with the horse of your namesake that you said you want to cheer on. I think Aldaniti in 81 was one whom I didn’t mind winning specially after I learnt Bob Champion’s story in champions. Even though I backed Spartan Missile in the race itself.

  38. nichemarket says:

    my favourites have to be well number one red rum :-)
    , aldaniti, rough quest, lord gyllene, montys pass, hedgehunter

  39. nichemarker says:

    why do my posts kep getting deleted?

    again my favourites are redr rum, rough quest, lord gyllene, monty pass and hedgehunter

  40. nichemarket says:

    my favourites are rough quest, lord gyllene, montys pass, hedgehunter was brilliant round aintree, will miss seeing him run around now he is retired

    my main favourite has to be the legendary red rum :-)

  41. Mark o says:

    My 1st winner was 25p on l’escargot.I backed ben nevis and mon mome in the years before they won But my favourites are little polvier(should have been called little bulldozer the way it ran through the fences) mr frisk who trounced the field in record time and rhyme and reason 1 of the classiest horses to win

  42. Nafsasp says:

    Favourite race was 73, possibly highest quality first four ever, Red Rum, Crisp, L’Escargot, Spanish Steps.

    Favourite Horse, Go-Pontinental, highly fancied in 68, disappeared without trace, ran again in 73/74 by which time he was utterly useless, remember commentator on tv in 74 saying there was more chance of Foinavon coming out of retirement and winning than Go-Pontinental. Just loved the name. Does anyone know what happened to him?

  43. Nafsasp says:

    Oh….. and I wish I’d been able to see Manifesto run, his record is on a par with Red Rum bearing in mind the severity of the course in those days

  44. Kevlarfish says:

    1977 and ’78 nationals my favourites,because Sebastian V would have won in ’77 had he not tipped the late Ridley Lamb off at beechers.The ’78 National was fab,because he ran and jumped so well.I can remember the final run in when Lucius pipped him to win.I went to find Seb back in 1996 on a Monday in Marsh.I found him,stroked him and he died on the Friday.What a great horse he was.he beat rummy in 1977 Scottish National.Another one is nearly upon us.More thrills and spills.Regards.

  45. Neil S says:

    Kevlarfish with all due respect, and I was on the winner in 1977, but Andy Pandy looked special to me that year. The way he went 10 lengths clear as soon as boomdocker refused at the start of the second circuit.

    He would have taken some pegging back.

  46. Mick M says:

    I saw somebody on this thread asking for specific details / records of the Grand National. I have in my archives, details of all the Grand Nationals since 1836…..every horse, jockey, age, weight etc and what happened to the horses during the race should anybody wish any help.

  47. Declan Carty says:

    Hi Mick M.
    My late Dad bought Boomdocker (can any of you think of where he got the name ?) as a young horse and we ran him a few times but then sold him to the UK, but I cannot remember to who ?
    Could you give me the details of owner, trainer and jockey from that 77 race – I’m convinced he would have won btw – but I was only 12 !!!!