The Grand National & Aintree 1970-79

1972 - Well to Do`s year


 Leading Fancies

Although the first three from the previous years thrilling encounter all lined up again it looked as if the exertions of that race has taken its toll as neither SPECIFY, BLACK SECRET nor ASTBURY had managed to win a race between them this season. SPECIFY had been limited to just three races and he was easy to back at generous odds of 22-1. GAY TRIP was back to redeem himself after his unfortunate early exit in 1971 and had this season won his second Mackeson Gold Cup, finished fourth in the Massey Ferguson Gold Cup and finished eighth in the Gold Cup. He disputed second favouritism with CARDINAL ERROR who had won four chases this year including the Fairlawne Chase at Windsor. He was to be partnered by a young John Francome having his first ride in the race. Favourite was the 1970 & 1971 Gold Cup winner L`ESCARGOT who was to be the first Gold Cup winner since Mont Tremblant in 1953 to run in the race. Apart from his dual Gold Cup success he had won in America and had finished sixth in the Hennessy Gold Cup and fourth in both the King George VI Chase and the Gold Cup. Of the other fancies FAIR VULGAN had won the Eider Chase at Newcastle and had not been out of the first two this year, GYLEBURN had recent wins at Teesside Park and Haydock to his credit and CLOUDSMERE victorious in his last three starts at Kempton and Folkestone.

GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE (sponsored by BP) (98 entries) £25,785.50 to the winner, £7,824 to the second, £3,837 to the third and £1,843.50 to the fourth

 13-F0424 L`ESCARGOT  9, 12-0 D L Moore - IRE T.Carberry 
 2 143U40 GAY TRIP  10, 11-9 T F Rimell T W Biddlecombe 
 3  23442F BLACK SECRET  8, 11-2 J T R Dreaper - IRE S.Barker 
 4 1F0000 ALASKA FORT  7, 10-13 M A O`Toole - IRE H R Beasley 
 5F01-P03 SPECIFY  10, 10-11 J E Sutcliffe B.Brogan 
 6101P4-0 RIGTON PRINCE  11, 10-9 W A Stephenson J.Enright 
 7 11F120 TWIGAIRY  9, 10-9 R C Armytage T G Davies 
 8 222220 FORTINA`S PALACE  9, 10-7 M J Scudamore J.King 
 910-0004 THE PATHEON  9, 10-4 T F Rimell K B White 
10 1-114P0 PEARL OF MONTREAL  9, 10-4 P.Sleator - IRE R.Coonan 
11 0-40033 MONEY BOAT  8, 10-3 F.Flood - IRE F.Berry 
12  042120 SWAN-SHOT  9, 10-3 F.Carr P.McCarron 
13  122211 GYLEBURN  9, 10-4* G W Richards R.Barry 
14  210230 THE INVENTOR  11, 10-2 E.Cousins W.Shoemark 
17 22212-F BRIGHT WILLOW  11, 10-1 G.Cure W.Smith 
18 101011CARDINAL ERROR  8, 10-4*F T WinterJ.Francome
19  134042 SAGGART`S CHOICE  9, 10-1 A R Kemp T.Stack 
20 3-21332 WELL TO DO  9, 10-1 T A Forster G.Thorner 
21 231-034 DEBLINS GREEN  9, 10-0 G H Yardley D.Cartwright 
22  33213U NEPHIN BEG  10, 10-0 Lord Mostyn P.Morris 
23  P00111 CLOUDSMERE  8, 10-4* P.Cazalet D.Mould 
24 F3-0124 KELLSBORO` WOOD  12, 10-0 D.Ancil A.Turnell 
25  004001 GENERAL SYMONS  9, 10-0 J.Tormey - IRE P.Kiely 
26  340231 PERMIT  9, 10-0 P.Milner R R Evans 
27 3-24403 ASTBURY  9, 10-0 J P Bissill J.Bourke 
28  301021 LIME STREET  8, 10-1* F T Winter R.Pitman 
29  004440 JUST A GAMBLE  10, 10-1 P J Upton P.Buckley 
30  140411 ROUGH SILK  9, 10-6* F.Cundell D.Nicholson 
31  F03004 LISNAREE  9, 10-0 G.Wells - IRE Mr F Turner 
32  422221 NOM DE GUERRE  10, 10-0 D.Nicholson J.Haine 
33  114200 GAY BUCCANEER  11, 10-0 E J O`Grady - IRE T.Hyde 
34  F201FP MISS HUNTER  11, 10-0 D.Auld - IRE A L T Moore 
35  03030P VICHYSOISE  10, 10-3 C.Bewicke P.Blacker 
36 F0-3320 THE OTTER  11, 10-0 H R Dening T M Jones 
37  102213 BULLOCK`S HORN  9, 10-0 A R Turnell Mr R Smith 
38 1-44110 THE POOKA  10, 10-5* W.Ross - IRE Mr C Ross 
39  212212 FAIR VULGAN  8, 10-0 J C Gifford M C Gifford 
40 04-3104 BEAU PARC  9, 11-2* D.Ancil Mr A Nicholson 
41 03P-024 EVEN DELIGHT  7, 10-2* T F Rimell R.Dennard 
42 420-000 LIMEBURNER  11, 10-0 A R Turnell W.Rees 
43  033403VULTURE  10, 10-2 P N Chesmore P.Brogan 
44  43FU30 COUNTRY WEDDING  10, 10-4* G B Balding R.Champion 

S.P : 17-2 L`Escargot, 12-1 Cardinal Error & Gay Trip, 14-1 Black Secret, Fair Vulgan & WELL TO DO, 16-1 Fortina`s Palace & Money Boat, 18-1 Cloudesmere, 20-1 Gyleburn, 22-1 Specify, 25-1 Astbury, Lime Street, Rigton Prince ,Rough Silk & The Otter, 28-1 Bright Willow, Bullocks Horn, Saggarts Choice & Twigairy, 33-1 Alaska Fort, Deblins Green, Gay Buccaneer, Nom de Guerre, Swan-Shot, The Inventor & The Pantheon, 40-1 Even Delight & General Symons, 50-1 Beau Parc, Country Wedding, MIss Hunter & The Pooka, 55-1 Pearl of Montreal, 100-1 Just A Gamble, Kellsboro Wood, Limeburner, Lisnaree, Nephin Beg, Vichysoise & Vulture

 Aintree debutants (22)

Alaska Fort*, Beau Parc, Cardinal Error*, Cloudsmere, Deblins Green, Even Delight*, Fair Vulgan, Fortinas Palace*, General Symons, Gyleburn, Just A Gamble, LIme Street*, Lisnaree*, Nephin Beg*, Nom de Guerre*, Pearl Of Montreal, Rough Silk, Saggarts Choice*, Swan-Shot, The Patheon*, The Pooka, Well to Do*
Winners at Aintree
Bright WillowFoxhunters Chase (1971) 
Gay Trip Grand National (1970) 
Rigton PrinceTopham Trophy(1971) 
SpecifyGrand National (1971) 
1st WELL TO DO Graham Thorner 
2nd GAY TRIP Terry Biddlecombe 
3rd BLACK SECRET Sean Barker 
5th ASTBURY  JImmy Bourke
6th SPECIFY Barry Brogan 
7th BRIGHT WILLOW Bill Smith 
8th MONEY BOAT Frank Berry 
9th ROUGH SILK David Nicholson 
Time : 10 minutes, 8 seconds
Distances : 2-3-dead heat-2-15
Owned & trained by Tim Forster in Letcombe Bassett in Berkshire 
The winner
Whilst he stayed in training until the end of the 1974-75 season and raced in both a Scottish and Midlands National a return trip to Aintree was firmly off the agenda. In January 1973 he won the race named in his honour at Towcester and he also won his final start at Devon & Exeter in March 1975.  He died in 1985.

1973 - Red Rum`s first year (and Crisp - see below)


Leading Fancies 

The race seemed to be between two horses making their debut in the National and both would start joint-favourite. The ex-Australian chaser CRISP came to England in 1971 having won everything there was to win down under. Trained by Fred Winter the initial target was the Two Mile Champion Chase at the Festival which he won easily in 1971. Then he turned his attentions to the Gold Cup but disappointed when he could only finish fifth behind Glencarraig Lady in 1972. Next on his "bucket list" was the National. Campaigned over lesser distances he had won the Geoffrey Gilbey Memorial Chase at Newbury and finished third in the Two Mile Champion Chase. Jumping would be no problem, but would he last home ? RED RUM was owned by octogenarian millionaire businessman Noel Le Mare and trained just up the road from Aintree by an unfashionable trainer called Donald "Ginger" McCain who had his stables behind a used car showroom. He had winning form at Aintree albeit on the flat as he had dead heated for first place in a seller on his racecourse debut on the eve of the 1967 National. He had changed hands several times since then and had even spent a short spell running in the colours of 1950 National winner Freebooter.  With McCain he had won his first five starts. He had finished second behind rival HIGHLAND SEAL in the Haydock Park Grand National Trial and fourth in the Greenall Whitley Breweries Chase at the same track. The two were offered at 9-1 but CRISP was giving his rival thirteen pounds. Running in Mr Le Mares first colours was GLENKILN who had won the first (and sadly only) running of the William Hill Grand National Trial in a one-off revival of the old Autumn meeting the previous October. There he had made most of the running and had won as he liked with several of his National rivals behind him. Another with winning form at Aintree was SUNNY LAD who had won the 1972 Topham. None of the previous three National winners were in the field but L`ESCARGOT, so unlucky when knocked out early in 1972 was third favourite having run his usual good race in the Gold Cup. The popular grey GREY SOMBRERO had had an excellent 1971-72 season winning the Midlands Grand National and Whitbread Gold Cup but he had not been seen out since November. Another to note was SPANISH STEPS who had won the 1969 Hennessy. He had beaten Gold Cup winner The Dikler in the Fairlawne Chase at Windsor and had also triumphed at Newbury at the start of the season.

 GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE (92 entries) 4 1/2 miles £25,486 to the winner, £7,738 to the second, £3,794 to the third & £1,822 to the fourth

 110-4213 CRISP  10, 12-0 F T Winter R.Pitman 
 2 221204 L`ESCARGOT  10, 12-0 D L Moore - IRE T.Carberry 
 3 22F210 SPANISH STEPS  10, 11-13 E R Courage P.Blacker 
 4 44042P BLACK SECRET  9, 11-2 R C Armytage S.Barker 
 5 022403 PROUD TARQUIN  10, 10-11 R C Armytage Lord Oaksey 
 60112-24 GREY SOMBRERO  9, 10-9 D R Gandolfo W.Shoemark 
 7 413023 GLENKILN  10, 10-7 D McCain J J O`Neill 
 8 111324 RED RUM  8, 10-5 D McCain B.Fletcher 
 9 4F00B3 SUNNY LAD  9, 10-3 T F Rimell W.Smith 
10  420010 BEGGAR`S WAY  9, 10-1 P.Taaffe - IRE T.Kinane 
11  041B31 CANHARIS  8, 10-1 N.Crump P.Buckley 
12  33P012 PROPHECY  10, 10-3* D H Barons B R Davies 
13  211310 PETRUCHIO`S SON  10, 10-5* Miss S O Morris D.Mould 
14  032400 THE POOKA  11, 10-0 F T Walwyn A L T Moore 
15  003042 GENERAL SYMONS  10, 10-0 J F Tormey - IRE P.Kiely 
16  00P013 HIGHLAND SEAL  10, 10-6* H R Dening D.Nicholson 
17  /P-0344 MR VIMY  10, 10-2* G B Balding J.Haine 
18 0-30320 ROUGE AUTUMN  9, 10-0 T F Rimell K B White 
19 30-4300 ASTBURY  10, 10-2* J P Bissill J.Bourke 
20  041001 SWAN-SHOT  10, 10-0 F.Carr M.Blackshaw 
21 10PF-P4BEAU PARC  10, 10-1* D.Ancil A.Turnell 
22  312202 ASHVILLE  8, 10-4* H Thomson-Jones J.King 
23 412-401 GREAT NOISE  9, 10-2 J P Leigh D.Cartwright 
24  /4P40-0 MILL DOOR  11, 10-5* E P Birchall P.Cullis 
25  01F032 TARQUIN BID  9, 10-0 P.McCreery - IRE J.Bracken 
26  1200P0 HURRICANE ROCK  9, 10-0 D.Dartnall R.Champion 
27  344432 ROUGH SILK  10, 10-0 F.Cundell T.Norman 
28 12212PRICHELEAU  9, 10-0S.KernickN.Kernick 
30 Pc1-213 ENDLESS FOLLY  11, 10-0 J K Hooton J.Guest 
31 4-1U131 PRINCESS CAMILLA  8, 10-4* W.Wharton R.Barry 
32  104003 RAMPSMAN  9, 10-0 S.Palmer D.Munro 
33  0412F3 FORTUNE BAY II  9, 10-3* J.Gifford Mr G Sloan 
35  131P00 GREEN PLOVER  13, 10-0 D H Barons Mr M F Morris 
36 1-P01P4 CHARLEY WINKING  8, 10-0 L G Scott Mr D Scott 
37 212-300 PROUD PERCY  10, 10-0 J.Berry R R Evans 
38 1B-4234 NEREO  7, 10-3* F T Winter Duke of Alberquerque 
39  F11230 CULLA HILL  9, 10-7* T.Taaffe - IRE Mr N.Brookes 
40     /0040 GO-PONTINENTAL  13, 10-4* H O`Neill J.McNaught 

S.P : 9-1 Crisp & RED RUM, 11-1 L`Escargot, 14-1 Ashville, Canharis, Princess Camilla & Spanish Steps, 20-1 Highland Seal & Prophecy, 22-1 Black Secret & Proud Tarquin, 25-1 Grey Sombrero & Sunny Lad, 33-1 Beggars Way, General Symons & Glenkiln, 40-1 Rouge Autumn, 50-1 Astbury, Great Noise, Petruchio`s Son & Richeleau, 66-1 Fortune Bay II, Nereo & Rough Silk, 100-1 Ashville, Beau Parc, Charley Winking, Culla Hill, Endless Folly, Go-Pontinental, Green Plover, Hurricane Rock, Mill Door, Mr Vimy, Proud Percy, Rampsman, Swan-Shot, Tarquin Bid & The Pooka

Aintree debutants (25)

Ashville, Beggars Way, Canharis*, Charley Winking*, Crisp*, Culla Hill, Endless Folly*, Fortune Bay II*, Great Noise, Green Plover, Grey Sombrero*, Highland Seal*, Hurricane Rock, Mr Vimy*, Nereo, Petruchio`s Son*, Princess Camilla, Proud Percy*, Proud Tarquin*, Prophecy*, Red Rum, Richeleau*, Rouge Autumn, Spanish Steps, Tarquin BId*

Winners at Aintree

GlenkilnWilliam Hill Grand National Trial (1972) 
Sunny LadTopham Trophy (1972) 


1st RED RUM Brian Fletcher 
2nd CRISP Richard Pitman 
3rdL`ESCARGOT Tommy Carberry 
4th SPANISH STEPS Philip Blacker 
5th ROUGE AUTUMN Ken White 
6th HURRICANE ROCK Bob Champion 
7th PROUD TARQUIN Lord Oaksey 
8th PROPHECY Bob Davies 
9th ENDLESS FOLLY Joe Guest 
10th BLACK SECRET Sean Barker 
11th PETRUCHIO`S SON David Mould 
12th THE POOKA Arthur Moore 
13th GREAT NOISE David Cartwright 
14th GREEN PLOVER Mr Michael "Mouse" Morris 
15th SUNNY LAD Bill Smith 
16th GO-PONTINENTALJimmy McNaught 
17th MILL DOOR Peter Cullis 

Time : 9 minutes 1.9 seconds * COURSE RECORD *


Owned by Noel Le Mare

Trained by Ginger McCain in Southport , Lancashire