The winner


Freebooter did not run again that season and had by his high standards a relatively disappointing 1950-51 season where he managed just one win, a small race at Haydock. He was surprisingly beaten in the Grand Sefton by Shagreen having got tired in the run-in and in the National itself he was one of several left at the start and was unlucky to be knocked out of the race at the second fence. Contrast that with his magnificent campaign in 1951-52 winning his first four races including revenge on Shagreen in an all the way victory in the Grand Sefton. He even started favourite for that years Gold Cup but Cheltenham never suited him like Aintree and he fell before halfway. I am sure he would have gone very close in the 1952 National but having disputed the lead throughout with eventual winner Teal he fell for the only time in his Aintree career at the Canal Turn. Injury prevented him from running the following season but he made one final appearance at Aintree in the autumn of 1953 when he ran in the Becher Chase. Ridden this time by George Slack he gave a text book round and won as he pleased . Slack commented afterwards that he had been given a guided tour of Aintree by the horse. It was a fitting end for this Aintree specialist who, with five wins over the fences holds the post war record for the most successes over the National course.

Leading fancies.


A National debutant, FREEBOOTER was all the rage with punters this year although he was no stranger to Aintree success. This giant of a horse had already enjoyed two victories from two starts over the National fences winning the 1949 Champion Chase and the Grand Sefton in commanding style. He shared favouritism with Lord Bicester`s ROIMOND, second in 1949 who was coming to Aintree this year on the back of two victories at Birmingham and Wincanton. The most popluar winner, however would be MONAVEEN, owned in partnership by Princess Elizabeth and her mother. This was the first Royal runner in the National for over forty years and Monaveen had equipped himself well the year before until unseating at the nineteenth. Since he had been bought by his royal owners he had gone from strength to strength winning four times this season. His only defeat had been at the hands of Freebooter in the Grand Sefton but he had turned the tables on his Aintree conqueror when winning the valuable Queen Elizabeth II Chase at Hurst Park in late December. WOT NO SUN had finished behind Monaveen and Freebooer that day but he had won the Grand National Trial at Wetherby and the valuable Emblem Chase at Manchester. In what was tragically to be his last ride in the race Lord Mildmay returned with the ever popular CROMWELL, third in 1948 and fourth in 1949. This year he had run ten times which had yielded two successes including victory over Freebooter at Sandown. SHAGREEN was the best of what was possibly a slightly weaker Irish challenge this year, he had won twice this season at Leopardstown.

GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE, 4 1/2 miles, £9,239 to the winner

1           -3  GARDE TOI  9, 12-1  (France)  Marquis de Portago

2   -2F011  ROIMOND  9, 12-1  (G.Beeby)  R.Francis

4  123321  KLAXTON  10, 11-13 (I.Anthony)  J.Maguire

5 -314221  FREEBOOTER  9, 11-11  (R.Renton)  J.Power

6   -10FF1  CLONCARRIG  10, 11-9  (T.Masson)  R.Turnell

7        -121  SHAGREEN  9, 11-8  (T W Dreaper - IRE)  G.Kelly

8    -41141  WOT NO SUN  8, 11-8  (N.Crump)  A P Thompson

10 -40230  CAVALIERO  9, 11-6  (T F Rimell)  J A Bullock

11  F02023 RUSSIAN HERO  10, 11-4  (G R Owen)  L.McMorrow

12  220102 CROMWELL  9, 11-4  (P.Cazalet)  Lord Mildmay

13 -113322  ACTHON MAJOR  10, 11-2  (W.Easterby)  R J O`Ryan

14 000F44  STOCKMAN  8, 11-1C.Brabazon  (IRE)  Thomas

15  230330  ROYAL MOUNT  11,11-0  (K.Cundell)  Mr A.Corbett

16   -12111    MONAVEEN  9, 10-13  (P.Cazalet)  A.Grantham

18  1101F3  HAPPY RIVER  7, 10-12  (P P Hogan - IRE)  D.McCann

19 -21413F  BATTLING PEDULAS  11, 10-11  (J.Bear)  D.Marzani

20  -00103  CASTLEDERMOT  8, 10-9  (M V O`Brien - IRE)  T.Molony

21     -2233  GALLERY   12, 10-8  (W.Bissill)  G.Slack

22  43F102  FIGHTING LINE  11, 10-8  (K.Cundell)  Mr E.Greenway

23 304FFF  CADAMSTOWN  10, 10-8  (J B Powell)  E.Dempsey

24 010300  BINGHAMSTOWN  11, 10-7  (Furman)  Mr L.Furmann

25  40F000  ARDNACASSA   12, 10-5  (G R Owen)  Mr T.Brookshaw

26  304F10  SODA II  9, 10-5  (J.Goldsmith)  K.Mullins

27  433144  ANGEL HILL  10, 10-3  (G.Wilson)  T.Shone

28 -P0P100  COTTAGE WELCOME  11, 10-3  (C.Beecham)  C.Hook

29      -2121  INVERLOCHY  11, 10-3  (A.Kilpatrick)  P J Doyle

30     -PP2F  BARNEY VI  12, 10-2  (W T O`Grady - IRE)  T P Burns

31    312F2P  SKOURAS  10, 10-2  (A G Delahooke)  M.Browne

32  30012F  COLUMN  10, 10-2  (W.Bissill)  A.Mullins

33   214134   POSSIBLE  10, 10-1  (W.Payne)  P.Conlon

34    311313   KNOCKIRR  10, 10-4  (J.Dennistoun)  T.Cusack

35  -00322  TOMMY TRADDLES  9, 10-1  (J.Delaney)  F.O`Connor

36    1104F3  CONFUCIUS  9, 10-0  (H.Harty - IRE)  C.O`Connor

38  322240  SAFETY LOCH  9, 10-0  (F T Walwyn)  Mr D  Punshon

39   00F141   SHIPS BELL  10, 10-0  (S.Parker)  M O`Dwyer

40     -2P02  SAN MICHELE  10, 10-0  (H.Metcalfe)  J.Boddy

41     441021  HIGHLAND COTTAGE  10, 10-0  (W.Hall)  M.Hogan

42    1412F4  INCHMORE  13, 10-0  (J S Wight)  R.Curran

43 213004 LIMESTONE COTTAGE  10, 10-0  (M H Jones) J.Dowdeswell

44  41210P    PASTIME  9, 10-0  (J W Osborne - IRE)  C.Sleator 

46       -441    SOUTHBOROUGH  12, 10-0  (W.Wightman)  E.Reavey

47    014101   IVAN`S CHOICE  9, 10-0  (H J Jones)  P J O`Brien

48  P030F4  OLE` MAN RIVER  8, 10-0  (R.Clarkson)  G.Bonas

49 3F0FP0  SAINTFIELD  13, 10-0  (A.Kilpatrick)  Mr M Gosling

50  000303  COMERAGH  9, 11-0  (Maj Noel Furlong)  P J Kelly

51    -14F010  ZARTER  10, 10-0  (V.Smyth)  Mr J Straker

52           - 0  MERMAID VI  11, 10-0  (T B Palmer)  Mr T B Palmer

53   -04432  DYNOVI  9, 10-0  (C.Bewicke)  A.Jack

Non Runners : 3 FINNURE (-), 17 ROYAL COTTAGE (M.Moseley), 37 FOXLEY (E.Greenway), 45 LE DAIM (P.Buchan)

S.P : 10-1 FREEBOOTER & Roimond, 100-7 Monaveen & Wot No Sun, 18-1 Cromwell, 20-1 Casteldermot & Shagreen, 22-1 Russian Hero, 25-1 Cloncarrig, 28-1 Gallery, 33-1 Acthon Major, Angel Hill & Soda II, 40-1 Confucius, Happy River, Klaxton, Rowland Roy & Royal Mount, 50-1 Battling Pedulas, Comeragh, Fighting LIne, Inverlochy & Possible, 66-1 Cadamstown, Cavaliero, Highland Cottage, Knockirr, Pastime, Ship`s Bell, Tommy Traddles & Zarter, 100-1 Ardnacassa, Barney VI, Binghamstaown, Column, Cottage Welcome, Dynovi, Garde Toi, Inchmore, Ivan`s Choice, Limestone Cottage, Mermaid VI, Ole`Man River, Safety Loch, Saintfield, San Michele, Skouras, Southborough & Stockman

Aintree Debutants (16)


Angel Hill*, Barney VI, Battling Pedulas, Binghamstown, Comeragh*,Cottage Welcome*, Dynovi*, Fighting Line*, Garde Toi*, Happy River*, Ivan`s Choice*, Knockirr*, Ole Man River*, Partpoint*, Shagreen, Zarter*


Winners at Aintree


Acthon Major - Valentine Chase (1949)

Cadamstown - Topham Trophy (1949)

Cloncarrig - Molyneux Chase (1947 & 1949)

Freebooter - Champion Chase (1949), Grand Sefton Chase (1949)

Royal Mount - Becher Chase (1949)

Russian Hero - Grand National (1949)

San Michelle - Foxhunters Chase (1948)



1st    FREEBOOTER - Jimmy Power

2nd  WOT NO SUN - Arthur Thompson

3rd   ACTHON MAJOR - R J O`Ryan

4th   ROWLAND ROY - R.Black

5th   MONAVEEN - Tony Grantham

6th   SHIP`S BELL - Martin O`Dwyer

7th   INCHMORE - R.Curran


Time : 9 minutes 14 1/3 secs

Distances : 15-10-dist-6-2

Owned by Mrs Lurlene Brotherton

Trained by : Robert Renton in Ripon, Yorkshire


The winner


Most sources state that NICKEL COIN never raced again but that is not the case. She was seen out twice in the 1951-52 season finishing last in both her races, at Lingfield and in the Grand International Chase at Sandown in February. The spark had clearly gone and she was retired to the paddocks where she bred three foals. She remains the last mare to have won the National.

Leading Fancies


Bearing in mind what was to happen in the "Grand Crashional" of 1951 it should be pointed out that this was in fact quite a good line up. Heading the market at 6-1 was a very exciting prospect ARCTIC GOLD, sporting the colours of Jock Whitney made famous by Easter Hero in the twenties. Beaten only once in seven races over fences, the six year old had won the predecessor to the Sun Alliance Chase, then known as the Broadway Novices Chase at the 1950 Festival and after a spin over hurdles had won three valuable chases, the Grand International at Sandown, the Great Yorkshire at Doncaster and the Grand National Trial at Hurst Park. He had the beating of several of his rivals and he had a favourites chance despite his youth and lack of experience over the National fences. Three started next best at 10-1, CLONCARRIG had so far failed to complete the course in three Nationals but at the Autumn meeting he had much better luck adding the Becher Chase (which he won in a hard fought dual over National opponent East A` Calling) to his 1949 Molyneux Chase triumph. He had been so desperately unlucky when falling two out when looking the winner in 1950. Surely he must get round this time ? His conqueror twelve months ago, FREEBOOTER was considered the best National winner since Manifesto. Third in the Great Yorkshire he had just failed to win his second Grand Sefton when going down to SHAGREEN. This was Irelands leading fancy who had also won at Leopardstown this season. Starting at 100-7 was Lord Bicesters` ROIMOND, running in his fourth National. He had fallen at the very first fence in the Grand International and had then won a small race at Haydock at odds of 1-5 on. He followed this with victory in the Mildmay Memorial. LAND FORT (20-1) was having an excellent season which had seen him win four races on the bounce (victories at Cheltenham, Hurst Park (twice) and Sandown). Starting at 22-1 was National debutant ROYAL TAN from Ireland, who, after disappointing when last of eleven finishers in the Leopardstown Chase had bounced back with a win at the same course and the popular FINNURE, Lord Bicester`s second runner who had won the last running of the Champion Chase in 1950 and had finished third in the Grand Sefton. He had finished some way behind Arctic Gold at Hurst Park but had won two small races this season at Ludlow and Sandown. These were the leading fancies and there were several others with each way prospects. I wonder what odds you could have got about there being just three finishers ?

GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE, 4 1/2 miles, £8,815 to the winner

1  -402123  FREEBOOTER  10, 12-7( R.Renton)  J.Power

2   21F-113  SHAGREEN  10, 12-2  (IRE)  G.Kelly

3   F1F-F13  CLONCARRIG  11, 12-0  (Masson)  R.Turnell

4   11F-U11  ROIMOND  10, 12-0  (C.Beeby)  A.Jarvis

5   1-13130  FINNURE  10, 12-0  (C.Beeby)  R.Francis

7    -211114  LAND FORT  7, 11-3  (T F Rimell)  B.Marshall

8- 442340  RUSSIAN HERO  11, 11-1  (G R Owen)  L.McMorrow

9    21-0111  ARCTIC GOLD  6, 10-13  (G.Balding)  T.Molony

10 -321301  ROYAL TAN  7, 10-13  (M V O`Brien - IRE)  Mr A S O`Brien

11   310103  SERGEANT KELLY  10, 10-12  (Paisley)  R De`Ath

12 200222  ROWLAND ROY  12, 10-12  (F T Walwyn)  D V Dick

13   11-1140  PRINCE BROWNIE  9, 10-9  (P.Cazalet)  A.Grantham

14   133310  ARMOURED KNIGHT  7, 10-8  (G.Wilson)  T.Cusack

17  122F33  STALBRIDGE ROCK  8, 10-5  (I.Anthony)  Mr R.McCreery

18 B4-1313   CADAMSTOWN  11, 10-4  (Brunt)  J.Dowdeswell

19 2-44042  GALLERY  13, 10-4  (W.Bissill)  A.Mullins

21  331343   DOG WATCH  10, 10-2  (G R Owen)  T.Brookshaw

22  2221F2  EAST A`CALLING  10, 10-2  (C.Knipe)  Mr M.Scudamore

23 -222302  PARTPOINT  9, 10-5  (N.Crump)  A P Thompson

24  PF3021  STOCKMAN  9, 10-2  (Vergette)  G.Vergette

25  203232  BROOMFIELD  10, 10-4  (J.Anthony)  R.Emery

26  30002F  IRISH LIZARD  8, 10-1  (H.Nicholson)  P.Taaffe

27  032022  GLEN FIRE  8, 10-1  (Mercer)  F T Winter

28   010132  TEXAS DAN  9, 10-1  (F T Walwyn)  P.Fitzgerald

29   F03412  NICKEL COIN  9, 10-1  (O`Donaghue)  J A Bullock

31   440F00  CONFUCIUS  10, 10-0  (G R Owen)  M O`Dwyer

32   P-1FF01  QUEEN OF THE DANDIES  10, 10-0  ()  R.Carter

33  0P00F2  DERRINSTOWN  11, 10-0  (IRE)  A.Power

34   130012   TASMAN  11, 10-0  (H.Price)  C.Hook

35  434033  COLUMN  11, 10-1  (W.Bissill)  Mr A.Corbett

36  F1-0322  GAY HEATHER  10, 10-0  (Paisley)  R.Curran

37  030114    MORNING COVER  10, 10-0  (G.Wilson)  G.Slack

38          /0    REVEALED  11, 10-0  (W.Francis)  Mr W.Beynon-Brown

39   /22212  CAESAR`S WIFE  9, 10-8  (G.Rogers)  Mr G B Rogers

40 FP00UD  BINGHAMSTOWN  12, 10-0  (L.Furman)  Mr L.Furman

41  1P0P03   PARSONSHILL  12, 10-2 (J.Seely)  Mr J.Seely

S.P : 8-1 Arctic Gold, 10-1 Cloncarrig, Freebooter & Shagreen, 100-7 Roimond, 20-1 Land Fort, 22-1 Finnure & Royal Tan, 33-1 Broomfield, Dog Watch, Glen Fire, Partpoint & Prince Brownie, 40-1 Morning Cover, NICKEL COIN, Russian Hero & Sergeant Kelly, 50-1 Cadamstown, East A`Calling, Gallery, Irish Lizard & Rowland Roy, 66-1 Armoured Knight, Derrinstown, Gay Heather, Stalbridge Rock & Texas Dan, 100-1 Binghamstown, Caesar`s Wife, Column, Confucius, Parsonshill, Revealed, Stockman

Aintree debutants (13)

Arctic Gold*, Armoured Knight*, Caesar`s Wife, Dog Watch*, Gay Heather*, Glen Fire, Land Fort, Nickel Coin*, Queen of the Dandies*, Royal Tan, Sergeant Kelly, Stalbridge Rock*, Tasman*


Winners at Aintree


Cloncarrig - Molyneux Chase (1947 & 1949), Becher Chase (1950)

Finnure - Champion Chase (1950)

Freebooter - Champion Chase (1949), Grand Sefton Chase (1949), Grand National (1950)

Irish Lizard - Molyneux Chase (1948)

Prince Brownie - Valentine Chase (1950)

Russian Hero - Grand National (1949)

Shagreen - Grand Sefton Chase (1950)



1st   NICKEL COIN - J A Bullock

2nd ROYAL TAN - Mr A S O`Brien

3rd  DERRINSTOWN (remounted) - A.Power


Only three finished


Time : 9 minutes 48 4/5 secs

Distances : six lengths & a distance


Owned by John Royle

Trained by Jack O`Donaghue at Reigate , Surrey


Leading Fancies

The only positive that could come out of the previous years shenanigins was that "anything was possible" in the National and therefore it perhaps came as no surprise that there was a bumper entry and another big field for the 1952 renewal. Behind the scenes Mrs Topham was embroiled in a dispute with the BBC over broadcasting rights and ended up putting together her own commentary team for the great race. It was yet another PR disaster as the team she hastily cobbled together were hopelessly not up to the task although I suppose you couldn`t fault Mrs Topham for being innovative as one of the number was a woman. Inept they may have been but they were not helped by the weather. Come post time Aintree was enveloped in a thick mist and most of the action in the country could not be seen from the stands. Favourite for the great race was the 1950 hero FREEBOOTER who was in the form of his life following a slightly disappointing 1950-51 campaign. He had won his first four starts of the season culminating with a second victory in the Grand Sefton taking his tally of victories over the course to four. He started favorite for the Gold Cup but Cheltenham never seemed to suit him and he was an early faller. Next in the market was Aintree debutant TEAL who has beaten a good field of National hopefuls at Birmingham in mid-February.  LEGAL JOY had won the Grand International Chase at Sandown and beaten the very useful Galloway Brases at Newbury on his last start. There were two future National winners in the field, both were from Ireland and both were in very good form. EARLY MIST had won the Leopardstown Chase whilst  ROYAL TAN who had blundered his chances away in 1951 at the last fence had won the National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival having been well beaten by his compatriot at Leopardstown. One other to look out for was BORDER LUCK who had wining form over the Aintree fences having won the Valentine Chase at the Autumn meeting. He had also won at Manchester and Haydock during a busy season.

GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE 4 1/2 miles, £9,268 to the winner

To follow when I get a copy of the racecard



1st    TEAL - Arthur Thompson

2nd  LEGAL JOY - MIchael Scudamore

3rd   WOT NO SUN - Dave Dick

4th   UNCLE BARNEY - J.Boddy

5th   OVERSHADOW - E.Newman

6th   PRINTERS PIE - George Slack

7th   HIERBA - A.Mullins

8th   COLUMN - Peter Pickford

9th   PARSONSHILL - Mr J.Seely

10th  SERGEANT KELLY (rem) - R.Cross


Time : 9 minutes 21 1/2 secs

Distances : 5-dist-10-6-12


Owned by Mr H Lane

Trained by Neville Crump in Middleham, Yorkshire

The winner


Teal was put away for the season and was ante-post favourite for the following years race. Tragically however, he never made it to Aintree. He did not see a racecourse again until February when he finished second in the Great Yorkshire Chase. His next start was in the Cheltenham Gold Cup where after leading in the early part of the race he landed awkwardly over the water jump and ruptured his gut. Although he bravely managed to complete the course it became clear he had injured himself quite badly and despite the best efforts of his trainer he could not be saved.

S.P : 10-1 Freebooter, 100-7 TEAL, 100-6 Legal Joy, 18-1 Early Mist, 20-1 Border Luck, 22-1 Overshadow & Royal Tan, 25-1 Another Delight & Pearly Prince, 33-1 Cardinal Error, Icy Calm, Irish Lizard, Menzies, Roimond & Wot No Sun, 40-1 Brown Jack III, Kelek, Skyreholme & Whispering Steel, 45-1 Hals Venture, 50-1 Caesars Wife, Cloncarrig, Cream of the Border, Nagara, Royal Stuart, Russian Hero, Starlit Bay, St Kathleen II & Tantivy, 66-1 Dominicks Bar, Hierba, Inter Alia & Skouras, 100-1 Bronze Arrow, Column, Court Painter, Derrinstown, Golden Surprise, Nagara, Parsonshill, Possible, Printers Pie, Rocket VI, Sergeant Kelly, Tavoy, Traveller`s Pride, Uncle Barney &  Wolfschmidt

Aintree debutants (17)


Brown Jack III, Cream of the Border, Court Painter*, Dominicks Bar, Early Mist, Golden Surprise*, Icy Calm, Inter Alia*, Kelek*, Menzies*, Nagara*, Overshadow, Printers Pie*, Skyreholme*, Starlit Bay, St Kathleen II*, Tavoy*


Winners at Aintree


Border Luck - Valentine Chase (1951)

Cloncarrig - Molyneux Chase (1947 & 1949), Becher Chase (1950)

Freebooter - Champion Chase (1949), Grand National Chase (1950), Grand Sefton Chase (1949 & 1951)

Irish Lizard - Molyneux Chase (1948)

Possible - Molyneux Chase (1950)

Royal Stuart - Molyneux Chase (1951)

Russian Hero - Grand National (1949)