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1987 - Maori Venture

Aintree debutants


Attiude Adjuster, Bewleys Hill*, Brit*, Brown Trix*, Brown Veil*, Dark Ivy*, Eamons Owen*, Gala Prince, Hi Harry*, Insure, Le Bambino*, Lean Ar Aghaidh, Lucky Rew*, Maori Venture*, Marcolo, Smartside, Spartan Orient, The Ellier*, Valencio*, You're Welcome

Winners at Aintree

Corbiere - Grand National 1983

Glenrue - Topham 1986

Smiths Man - Topham 1985

3.20 : SEAGRAM GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE (98 entries), £48,005 to the winner, £16,710 to the second, £8,210 to the third & £3,960 to the fourth 

 1               BEWLEYS HILL  (USA)   10, 12-0 (W B Dixon Stroud - USA) - Mr William Dixon Stroud Jnr - American challenger who had won the Maryland Hunt Cup over Timber in 1984 and finished second a year later. Off the course for two years this was a huge ask off automatic top weight.

 2  30021-P  VALENCIO (CZ)    (B J Wise)  10, 12-0 - Roger Rowell - Czechoslovakian challenger (although running for Sussex connections). Was a very easy winner of the 1986 Velka Pardubicka but was pulled up on his only start in the UK at Newton Abbot. Another having to carry automatic top weight. No realistic chance

 3    444344  WEST TIP    10, 11-7  (M.Oliver) - Richard Dunwoody - Last years hero was carrying ten pounds more and whilst he had not won this season he had been running well in handicaps and had run a sound prep race when finishing just four lengths behind The Thinker in fourth place in the Gold Cup.

 4   331F02   MAORI VENTURE    11, 10-13  (A.Turnell) - Steve Knight - Lingfield specialist who had won six times at the Surrey track. Also liked Newbury where he had won two Mandarin Chases. Not so good at Cheltenham where he tended to fall and his jumping had often let him down. 

 6  1-24F00  PLUNDERING    11, 10-11  (F T Winter) - Peter Scudamore - Faller at first Canal last year and had then won the Whitbread Gold Cup at Sandown. This season had started promisingly with second at Cheltenham and fourth in the Hennessy but he had been somewhat disappointing thereafter

 7    001424  CORBIERE    12, 10-10  (Mrs Jenny Pitman) - Ben de Haan -  Getting long in the tooth but still showed ability finishing fourth in the Welsh National and won a small chase at Haydock in December.

 8   2F-4422  DRUMLARGAN    13, 11-2*  (D M Grissell) - Mr Gavin Wragg - Two previous attempts had resulted in a pulled up and unseated rider. Now amateur ridden and running reasonably well in southern hunter chases for new connections

 9    1112-20   ATTITUDE ADJUSTER    7, 10-6  (M F Morris - Ireland) - Niall Madden - The best Irish hunter chaser of 1985-86 winning three times including the Cheltenham Foxhunters. Only fifth in the race this year and the most inexperienced runner in the race, having just his ninth start over rules. If he took to the fences he was in with a chance

10   40210-0  THE TSAREVICH    11, 10-5  (N J Henderson) - John White - Seventh last year this one had had his problems this year and was not seen out until the Festival when he finished behind in the Mildmay of Flete (a race he had won the previous two years)

11    110-430   INSURE    9, 10-5  (F T Winter) - Mr Charlie Brooks - Won the 1986 Irish Grand National by a distance in a bog but shown little since joining Fred Winter.

12  03-3U24  CLASSIFIED    11, 10-3  (N J Henderson) - Steve Smith-Eccles - Finished fifth and third in the last two Nationals. Finished fourth in Cathcart on his last start.

13   -112U4P  GLENRUE    10, 10-3  (T.Casey) - Brendan Powell - Surprise winner of last years Topham having made most of the running and in good form during the early part of the year but stamina doubts. 

14   21/2P-10  SMITH'S MAN    9, 10-0  (Mrs Jenny Pitman) - Mark Perrett - Topham winner in 1985 but lightly raced since with only four starts. Did win small race at Leicester in December.

15     241121   DARK IVY    11, 10-2*  (G.Richards) - Phil Tuck - Moved from Ireland this year and in sparkling form for new connections winning at Wetherby and Ayr twice and finishing runner up in the Eider at Newcastle. Good jumper and a striking grey, he would be popular with the "once a year" punters. 

16   410-132   MONANORE    10, 10-3*  (W.Harmey - Ireland) - Tom Morgan - Was prominent last year until fading to finish eighth. Winner of amateur orders event at Punchestown in December and would be one of the leading Irish challengers

17    403314   DALTMORE    9, 10-0  (P.Mullins - Ireland) - Tony Mullins - Tough animal having eighteenth run of the season which had so far yielded just one victory, at Limerick in December 

18  1P20F0    SMARTSIDE    12, 10-0 (E P Harty - Ireland) - Padge Gill - Quite old to be making his Aintree debutant. Smart Irish chaser winning three times earlier in the season and had finished second in the valuable Thyestes Chase st Gowran. 

19  3-U4411    THE ELLIER    11, 10-0  (N.Tinkler) - Frank Berry * - Consistent ex-Irish cheer who, apart from victory in 1984 Troytown Chase rarely ran a bad race but rarely got his head in front.  Sold to the Full Circle Partnership he had narrowly won the Kim Muir at the Festival on his first start for new connections. On the short list despite last minute change of rider

20 300-40P  RUN TO ME    12, 10-0  (N R MItchell) - Mr Norman Mitchell - Tough sort who unseated in 1985 Topham when in contention. Shown nothing in just two starts this term. No realistic chance.

21   433112    LEAN AR AGHAIDH    10, 10-0  (S.Mellor) - Guy Landau - Enjoying something of a renaissance this season for young rider having failed to live up to the promise he had shown as a novice in 83-84. Two wins at the turn of the year and unlucky to lose the Kim Muir when his rider lost his whip after a mistake at the last. This one was on several shortlists.

22 142324    HI HARRY    9, 10-0  (M F Morris) - M.Flynn - Irish chaser making UK debut, This was to be his fifteenth start of a busy season that had yielded victory in a chase at Mallow and a hurdle at Tipperary.

23  02P002   TRACYS SPECIAL    10, 10-0  (A.Turnell) - Simon McNeill - Brought down at first Valentines last year. Not shown too much this season suggesting his best years were behind him.

24  320003  PREBEN FUR    10, 10-0  (M C Chapman) - Andrew Stringer - Finished fourth in 1986 Topham. Making debut for new connections.

25 U04020   YOU'RE WELCOME    11, 10-2*  (J T Gifford) - Peter Hobbs - Not many miles on the clock over fences and not won for over a year.

26  4-43024   MARCOLO    10, 10-0 (M.Cunningham - Ireland) - P.Leech - Fairly useful Irish chaser having second run in the UK. Finished fourth in last seasons Kim Muir. 

27  U12332    BROWN TRIX    9, 10-8*  (F T Winter) - Mr David Pitcher - Quite useful in his younger days but there had to be reservations about his fifty two year old amateur rider

28    0P0241   WHY FORGET    11, 10-0 (W A Stephenson) - Chris Grant - Amongst the back markers last year beat You're Welcome by a head at Nottingham last time confirmed his well-being

29   00-0014   BRIGHT DREAM    11, 10-2*  (J T Gifford) - Richard Rowe - Well thought of by connections but a little unpredictable and probably not up to the task

30  322P32  LITTLE POLVEIR    10, 10-2*  (J A C Edwards) - Colin Brown - Ninth last year and running consistently in handicaps without ever getting his head in front. Each-way appeal

31   210-044   NORTHERN BAY    11, 10-1*  (T T Bill) - Reg Crank - Early faller in 1985 and a credible eleventh last year. Lightly raced this season with the race in mind and sure to equip himself well again without troubling the judge.

33   0P-30PP  BIG BROWN BEAR    10, 10-2*  (G B Barlow) - Robert Stronge - Had won over four miles at Haydock in the past but was struggling to finish this season and had no chance whatsoever. Another "P" on the cards.

34 00-4P20   GALA PRINCE    10, 10-0  (A P Jarvis) - Tim Jarvis - Just one win to his credit and twice behind Bright Dream this season. No chance.

35   111000    EAMONS OWEN    10, 10-0  (Mrs Sue Oliver) - Jacqui Oliver - Hit a purple patch in the winter with wins at Hereford, Market Rasen and Wolverhampton but then had rather lost his way and this was a very big ask. 

36    3103F0   BROWN VEIL    12, 10-1*  (R C Armytage) - Mr Marcus Armytage *- Mud lover who won at Windsor on New Years day (beating Insure) but who was another out of his depth here.

37    340P30   LUCKY REW    12, 10-0  (T S M Bulgin) - Charlie Mann - A winner of ten small races but not showed a great deal for some time and no chance whatsoever.

38  232000    CRANLOME    9, 10-0  (R.Champion) - Mark Richards - Ex-Irish with a few wins under his belt. Had a prep-race in the Topham two days previously and had finished fifth. No chance in this though.

39  1/2-PPP    LE BAMBINO    10, 10-2*  (M.Meade) - Chris Warren - Only ever won one event in his life and his form this year was almost an insult to this great race

40  200300  BRIT    8, 10-1*  (W G M Turner) - Alan Jones - A winner of a few minor races in the south but hopelessly outclassed

42  301130    SPARTAN ORIENT    11, 10-0  (J S King) - Luke Harvey - A winner of a couple of novice chases but facing an enormous task

43   32S3FF   COLONEL CHRISTY    12, 10-0  (H O'Neill) - Stan Moore * - Ran credibly to finish 9th in 1983. Making a belated return to Aintree having only won once since.

Gee Armytage down to ride Brown Veil in the race card although she was declared to ride The Ellier in the press as Mark Dwyer broke wrist in fall the previous day. In the event due to a knee injury sustained in the Topham Gee would have to wait another year.

Micky Hammond declared to ride Colonel Christy in the race card but Stan Moore declared in the press.

S.P : 5-1 West Tip, 11-2 Dark Ivy, 9-1 Classified, 12-1 Cornier, 14-1 Lean Ar Aghaidh & Smiths Man, 16-1 Plundeirng, 18-1 The Ellier, 20-1 Monanore & The Tsarevich, 25-1 Attitude Adjuster, 28-1 MAORI VENTURE, 33-1 Glenrue & Little Polveir, 40-1 Why Forget, 45-1 Insure, 50-1 Bright Dream, Northern Bay, Tracys Special & You're Welcome, 66-1 Drumlrgan, Marcolo & Preben Fur, 100-1 Bewleys Hill, Brown Trix, Baltimore, Hi Harry & Smartside, 150-1 Run To Me, 200-1 Big Brown Bear, Brown Veil & Eamons Owen, 300-1 Colonel Christy, 500-1 Brit, Cranlome, Gala Prince, Le Bambino, Lucky Rew, Spartan Orient & Valencio 

The Anoraks selection : CLASSIFIED

Each way : Monanore & Plundering


1st    MAORI VENTURE - Steve Knight

2nd  THE TSAREVICH - John White

3rd   LEAN AR AGHAIDH - Guy Landau

4th    WEST TIP - Richard Dunwoody

5th   YOU'RE WELCOME - Peter Hobbs

6th    TRACYS SPECIAL - Simon McNeill

7th    THE ELLIER - Frank Berry

8th    ATTITUDE ADJUSTER - Niall Madden

9th    NORTHERN BAY - Reg Crank

10th   MONANORE - Tom Morgan

11th    SMITHS MAN - Mark Perrett

12th   CORBIERE - Ben de Haan

13th   BIG BROWN BEAR - Robert Stronge

14th   CRANLOME - Mark Richards

15th   COLONEL CHRISTY - Stan Moore

16th   PLUNDERING - Peter Scudamore

17th   PREBEN FUR - Andrew STringer

18th   BRIGHT DREAM - Richard Rowe

19th   WHY FORGET - Chris Grant

20th  GALA PRINCE - Tim Jarvis

21st    BRIT - Alan Jones

22nd  INSURE - Mr Charlie Brooks

Trained by Andrew Turnell in Wantage

Time : 9 minutes, 19.3 seconds



Here is what happened to the others


BEWLEYS HILL - Returned to the USA

BRIT - Only eight at the time of his National experience I can find no record of him running under rules again.

BROWN VEIL - At twelve he had run his last race.

CLASSIFIED - Won two minor chases at Fakenham and Stratford in May. Lightly raced thereafter finishing unplaced in the 1988 Kim Muir at the Festival but ended his career on a winning note in May 1989 in a hunter chase at Huntingdon 

COLONEL CHRISTY - Had an amazing summer winning four races on the trot (three at Newton Abbot and one at Stratford). Didn't run again after October.

CORBIERE - This wonderful survivor of five Nationals had earned a deserved retirement which sadly was not as long as it should have been as he died in December 1988.

DALTMORE - Moved to the UK the following season and won a point to point . Ran sporadically under rules thereafter. On his last start at Nottingham in February 1991 he finished tailed off behind one of his 87 rivals West Tip.

DARK IVY - Killed instantly at Bechers. Photographs of the unfortunate animal made front page news the following day and no doubt can still be found on animal rights websites.

DRUMLARGAN - Stayed in training for one more year refusing in the Cheltenham Foxhunters on his last start.

EAMONS OWEN - Won an amateur riders chase at Worcester easily in October 1987 but wasn't seen out again that season and when he did return showed little in seven starts in 1988-89. Last seen at Fakenham in May 1989.

GALA PRINCE - Pulled up in the Midlands National on his next start. Won a small race at Carlisle the following season.

GLENRUE - Pulled up on all four starts the following season. Later seen in a novice hurdle - a sad end to a Topham winners career

HI HARRY - Won a hurdle at Tipperary in May.

LE BAMBINO - Having had a pretty wretched 1987-87 season he managed to win a hunter chase at Warwick in March 1988 before pulling up in the Aintree Foxhunters. He reverted to type the following season pulling up on his only start.

LUCKY REW - Another twelve year old he was retired after two more starts falling at Huntingdon in May.

MAORI VENTURE - His delighted owner announced his retirement the following day and he was given to his rider. He died in February 2000 aged twenty four.

PLUNDERING - Finished sixth in the Whitbread on his next start. Showed nothing in three starts the following season and was not seen out again after finishing tailed off in a four mile steeplechase at Cheltenham on New Years Day.

RUN TO ME - Unseated at the big ditch in the Aintree Foxhunters in 1988 on his only other start under rules.

SPARTAN ORIENT - Fell in the 1988 Foxhunters on what was his last start under rules.

THE ELLIER - Killed at Wetherby on his next start.

VALENCIO - Returned to the Czech Republic but injury ended his career after just one more start. He enjoyed a long retirement. 

WHY FORGET - Pulled up in the Scottish National on his next start and was not seen out again.

1988 - Rhyme'n'Reason

Aintree debutants


Brass Change*, Bucko, Durham Edition, Eton Rouge, Friendly Henry, Gee-A, Hard Case*, Hettinger, Memberson, Midnight Madness*, Oyde Hills*, Pollys Pal*, Repington*, Rhyme 'n' Reason*, Sacred Path*, Seeanden, Sir Jest, Strands of Gold, Tullamarine*

Winners at Aintree

Border Burg - Foxhunters - 1987

Smiths Man - Topham 1985

West Tip- Grand National 1986

3.20 SEAGRAM GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE (105 entries), £51,178 to the winner, £17,661 to the second, £8,630 to the third & £4,110 to the fourth


1   300330  WEST TIP    11, 11-7 (M.Oliver) - Richard Dunwoody - One of the most popular horses in training. The 1986 hero finished fourth last year and whilst he had not won since his moment of glory he rarely ran a bad race and had run credibly to finish sixth in the Gold Cup last time out. Another big race was on the cards.

 2    21211F  RHYME 'N' REASON    9, 11-0 (D.Elsworth) - Brendan Powell - Top class chaser, won 1985 Irish Grand National as a novice in 1985 but then lost his way and didn't win for two seasons. Back to his best this year with four victories including the Mildmay Memorial and Racing Post Chase. Had also finished runner up in the Welsh National but had fallen four our when still in contention in the Gold Cup. One of the leading fancies despite a lack of experience at Aintree.

 3      11231-2  LEAN AR AGHAIDH    11, 11-0  (S.Mellor) - Guy Landau - Ran the race of his life to finish third in this last year but didn't see the trip home after making a lot of the running. Followed that with victory in the Whitbread. Confined to just one ran this season but ran well behind Rhyme 'n' Reason at Kempton. One of the favourites

 4   413-023  HARD CASE    10, 10-12  (J T R Dreaper- Ireland) - Ken Morgan - Fancied Irish challenger who had been trained with this race in mind. Graced the cover of the days Racing Post.

 5  10/02-P0  THE TSAREVICH    12, 10-10  (N J Henderson) - John White - Making his third appearance in the race he ran the race of his life last year to go down five lengths to Maori Venture having led at the Elbow. Lightly raced again but pulled up in the mud at Newbury in February and was a long way behind Rhyme'n'Reason in the Racing Post Chase.

 6     013PF1  DURHAM EDITION    10, 10-9  (W A Stephenson) - Chris Grant - Prolific winner in the north and ran a blinder to finish third in the Hennessy this season on a rare trip south. Won his prep race at Market Rasen and would have no problems staying the trip. One for the short list.

 7    101-41P  BORDER BURG    11, 10-7 (J S Delahooke) - Simon Sherwood - Top hunter chaser victorious twelve times including last years Foxhunters. Ran poorly in handicap company on his last start so had plenty to prove.

 8    1U1030  LITTLE POLVEIR    11, 10-7*  (J A C Edwards) - Tom Morgan - Won Scottish National in heavy conditions a week after unseating at the Chair in last years National. Successful at Exeter and Nottingham this season, The softer it got the better his chances.

 9    0U0014  LUCISIS    9, 10-6  (F.Flood - Ireland) - Mr John Queally - Very useful in 1986-87 winning Thyestes Chase. Just one win this season in small race at Navan. Coming here after running in his fourth successive Cheltenham Festival putting up his best performance when finishing fourth in the Kim Muir.

10  14U030  MIDNIGHT MADNESS  10, 10-5 (D.Bloomfield) - Mark Richards - Twenty length winner of last seasons Midlands Grand National and this year ran credibly in both Hennessy and Welsh National. Stayed forever and would be on the short list.

11    000-320 ATTITUDE ADJUSTER    8, 10-6* (M F Morris - Ireland) - Niall Madden - 1986 Cheltenham Foxhunters winner who showed a liking for this course when running prominently for a long way last year. Not in the same form this year and was well beaten in the Foxhunters at the Festival last time.

12    313002  BUCKO    11, 10-5 (J G Fitzgerald) - Mark Dwyer - Not the most consistent of animals but finished a very credible second in the National Hunt Handicap Chase at Festival on last run.

13    124F40  STRANDS OF GOLD    9, 10-3  (M C Pipe) - Peter Scudamore - Not quite lived up to the promise he showed as a novice but still capable of picking up a decent prize. Making his first start for his trainer having been formally trained by Jimmy Fitzgerald.

14   0F0210  MONANORE    11, 10-4*  (W D Harney - Ireland) - Tom Taaffe - This would be his third National with two completions to his name. Won the valuable Leopardstown Chase this season and another sound performance expected.

15  F20242   GEE-A    9, 10-3  (G A Hubbard) - Gee Armytage - The best chance so far in the National for a lady rider winning six times last season including at both Cheltenham and Aintree festivals. Not managed to add to the tally this season but finished second in the Mackeson Gold Cup.

16  00-F210  YOU'RE WELCOME    12, 10-1*  (J T Gifford) - Peter Hobbs - Ran a blinder to finish fifth in this last year. Campaigned in hunter/amateur events this season winning at Lingfield in March and finished sixth in the Kim Muir last time. Getting on but expected to run well again.

17   200041  REPINGTON    10, 10-1*  (Capt N F Crump) - Colin Hawkins - Wetherby specialist who had been a fairly prolific winner a couple of seasons ago. Not quite so good now but victorious on his last start at Doncaster.

18   0-P102U  TRACYS SPECIAL    11, 10-0  (A.Turnell) - Steve Knight - Brought down in 1986 and sixth last year. Won his first race for four years when landing a slowly run race at Windsor in January. 

19    11/313-1    SACRED PATH    8, 10-0  (Oliver Sherwood) - Clive Cox - Five times chase winner. Off course for fourteen months when won at Warwick in March. On the back of that victory this very lightly raced individual would be vying for favouritism.

20  01U033    MEMBERSON    10, 10-3*  (P.Dufosee) - Ronnie Beggan - Out and out stayer who often dropped himself out in races. Made a staggering amount of ground to beat Knock Hill in four mile chase at Cheltenhams new year meeting. One for the short list

21   04-4323  NORTHERN BAY    12, 10-4*  (T T Bill) - Hywel Davies - Having his fourth attempt and had completed the course the last two times. Likely to do so again but in his own time.

22    2S1121   SIR JEST    10, 10-2*  (W A Stephenson) - Kenny Jones - Enjoying a remarkable  season winning seven  of his thirteen races. Interesting to see how he would adapt to the Aintree fences for the first time. 

23  200P-PP  KUMBI    13, 10-0  (D.McCain) - Carl Llewellyn - Twice failed to complete the course in 1984 & 1985. Lightly raced since and recent efforts gave no indication of any improvement now.

24  2P/100-0  SMITH'S MAN    10, 10-0  (Mrs Jenny Pitman) - Mark Perrett - Winner of 85 Topham and ran well in this last year finishing eleventh, Tailed off on only start this year which did not bode well for another attempt.

25  0PP0P-4  BIG BROWN BEAR    11, 10-2*  (G B Barlow) - Robert Stronge - Was a revelation in 1987, leading for a long way before weakening to finish thirteenth, well beaten in hunter chase at Haydock on only start this year.

26   312220   BRIGHT DREAM    12, 10-2*  (J T Gifford) - Richard Rowe - Didn't seem to enjoy himself and finished down the field last year but running consistently well this season winning at Ascot and Plumpton in the early part of the season.

27  00-4U0P  INSURE    10, 10-0  (F T Winter) - Ben de Haan - Former Irish Grand National winner who ran well in 1987 until running out of steam finishing last of the twenty two finishers. Nothing shown this year and was pulled up in a small race at Towcester last time out.

28  032212   COURSE HUNTER    10, 10-01* (D J G Murray-Smith) - Paul Croucher - Fell when in contention in 1987 Topham. Running consistently this season winning at Newbury in February. Stamina may be an issue.

29   010331     LASTOFTHEBROOWNIES    8, 10-0  (M F Morris - Ireland) - Tommy Carmody - Having tenth start of a busy season which saw him win the Munster National at Limerick and a chase at Leopardstown (although his task was made easier by the leader running out two fences from home) - held by Hard Case on previous meetings at Leopardstown

30  0-01000   ETON ROUGE    9, 10-5*  (Mrs Mercy Rimell) - Dermot Browne - Chepstow specialist who had won a long distance chase at Warwick. May like this but equally may not.

31  BU-00P0    MARCOLO    11, 10-0  (P.Ransom) - Miss Venetia Williams - Unseated late last year when trained in Ireland. No form since moving to the UK

32   111P-F4     POLLY'S PAL    10, 10-0  (S G Payne) - J.K Kinane - Winner three times at Sedgefield and Cartmel during his career. In sparkling form last year winning four chases on the bounce but fell at first fence on season debut and behind Sir Jest on latest start. One of the outsiders.

33  000400    SMARTSIDE    12, 10-4*  (C N Allen) - Mr Al Hambly - Unseated at the first in this last year when trained in Ireland. Now in the UK and a poor hunter chaser. No chance whatsoever.

34  0-03031    BRASS CHANGE    10, 10-0  (P J Jones) - Martin Kinane - Moderate chaser who had won his last start at Newton Abbot - completely outclassed.

36  30-0200    PREBEN FUR    11, 10-0  (M C Chapman) - Seamus O'Neill - Finished down the field last year and nothing shown this season that he would fare any better.

38   01P3UP   TULLAMARINE    11, 10-0  (M.Castell) - Michael Bowlby - Winner at Carlisle in the autumn, recently sold to new connections. No chance.

39   301400    SEEANDEM    8, 10-0  (E P Mitchell - Ireland) - Pat Leech - Having seventeenth start of a very busy season which had seen a victory in the Kerry National at Listowel. Held by some of his Irish rivals.

40  P-33RRP   OYDE HILLS  9, 10-0  (K A Morgan) - Martin Brennan - Won a valuable novice chase at Ascot in April 87 but that was the only victory in his career. His recent form suggested he was temperamental and unlikely to get very far.

41    0323F2   FRIENDLY HENRY    8, 10-0  (J C Fox) - Neale Doughty - Never managed to get his head in front in thirty three starts under rules and a distant second in a small race at Newton Abbot on his latest start hardly suggested he was going to finally lose his maiden tag here.

43   U13F02   HETTINGER    8, 10-0  (J Ffitch-Hayes) - Penny Ffitch-Hayes - Winner of two novice chases this term but had also fallen/unseated five times. A danger to himself and others this one really had no right to line up in a National    

S.P : 17-2  Sacred Path, 10-1 Lean Ar Aghaidh & RHYME 'N' REASON, 11-1 West Tip, 13-1 Hard Case, 16-1 Border Burg, Bucko & Repington, 18-1 The Tsaravich, 20-1 Course Hunter, Durham Edition & Strands of Gold, 22-1 Sir Jest. 25-1 Lastofthebrownies & Midnight Madness, 33-1 Attitude Adjuster, Gee-A, Little Polvier, Memberson, Monanore, Tracy's Special & You're Welcome, 40-1 Lucisis, 50-1 Northern Bay & Smith's Man, 66-1 Big Brown Bear & Bright Dream, 80-1 Eton Rouge & Insure, 100-1 Brass Change, Friendly Henry, Kumbi, Oyde Hills, Preben Fur, Polly's Pal, Seeandem & Smartside, 200-1 Hettinger, Marcolo & Tullamarine

The anoraks selection : BORDER BURG

Each way : Memberson


1st    RHYME 'N' REASON - B.Powell

2nd  DURHAM EDITION - Chris Grant

3rd   MONANORE - Tom Taaffe

4th   WEST TIP - Richard Dunwoody


6th   FRIENDY HENRY - Hywel Davies

7th   THE TSAREVICH - John White

8th   COURSE HUNTER - Paul Croucher

9th   LEAN AR AGHAIDH - Guy Landau

Trained by David Elsworth at Whitsbury, Hampshire

Time : 9 minutes, 53.5 seconds

Useless piece of National trivia


COURSE HUNTERs mum was MISS HUNTER who ran in four Nationals between 1969-72.

She finished third behind GAY TRIP in 1970.

For more than half of the runners this was their only/last National experience.


BIG BROWN BEAR - At twelve he only raced two more times, an early unseat in a hunter chase at Southwell in May was his last start.

BORDER BURG - Stayed in training until he was fifteen winning twice at Towcester . Last ran at Warwick in February 1992

BRASS CHANGE - Showed nothing in seven starts the following season - his last racecourse appearance was at Hereford in April 1989

BRIGHT DREAMS - This twelve year old had run his final race

BUCKO - He won twice the following season, a handicap at Cheltenham and that rarest of things nowadays, a walkover at Market Rasen. His return to Aintree for the 1990 Topham was not a happy experience. He was hampered at the Chair and pulled up after the water - he was twelve by then and did not race again.

ETON ROUGE - The following season won the Greenals Gold Cup at Haydock but when he returned to Aintree it was for the Topham where he finished runner up to runaway winner Villierstown. The following year he did not fare so well pulling up in the same race when tailed off by Bechers. He was last seen pulling up in a hunter chase at Sandown in March 1992

HARD CASE - Moved to Tim Forsters stable and ran three times the following season but after a fourth place in the Mildmay Memorial at Sundown in January 1989 he was not seen out again

INSURE - Lightly raced in hunter chases he unseated when leading at the second in the 1989 Foxhunters. Last seen out at Fontwell in May 1991.

KUMBI - Already thirteen this National warrior ran just one more time in the Midlands Grand National. He did' not get very far. Leading at the third fence he unseated his rider.

LEAN AR AGHAIDH - Flopped in his attempt to defend his Whitbread Gold Cup title he missed the following season but on his return was a top hunter chaser winning at Stratford before he pulled off a remarkable victory in the Aintree Foxhunters for New Zealand amateur Dennis Gray, The following year at the age of fourteen he won his only start under rules, a competitive hunter case at Kempton, He returned to the Sunbury track for his last racecourse appearance in October 1991.

LUCICIS - FInished fourth in a competitive handicap at the Punchestown festival on his next start but only raced twice more the following season pulling up both times.

MARCOLO - Finished fourth on his next start at Hereford in May and was retired.

MIDNIGHT MADNESS - Did not return to Aintree but continued to run in long distance handicaps, winning the Racephone National at Warwick in 1990 as well as a number of smaller races. Finished third in the Eider Chase in 1990. Ended his career on a low note falling at the first fence in an Exeter hunter chase in May 1992.

NORTHERN BAY - At the age of twelve and with four National under his belt this fine old warrior was retired after pulling up in the Midlands National on his next start

OYDE HILLS  - Developed his own ideas about the game and showed little in a handful of starts thereafter

POLLYS PAL - Having survived the perils of Aintree he met his end on his next start at Carlise after breaking down badly.

PREBEN FUR - Lightly raced and little show over the next three seasons. Last raced at Market Rasen in March 1991

REPINGTON - Kept busy he ran twenty times over the next two seasons winning back to back chases at Huntingdon and Bangor in November 1989. Last seen out at Southwell in September 1990.

RHYME 'N' REASON - His victory came at a price as he injured his hock as a result of his misadventure at Bechers and he had to undergo surgery. It meant the end of his career but he was able to enjoy his retirement at his owners stud.

SACRED PATH - Always lightly raced he ran only six more times over the next two seasons and pulled up in four of them including his last start in the 1990 Scottish Grand National

SMITH'S MAN - Technically a fatality as he broke down badly and had to be put down a few days later

STRANDS OF GOLD - Made up for his Aintree disappointment with an excellent performance in the Whitbread Gold Cup finishing third, six and half lengths behind Desert Orchid. The following season he provided Peter Scudamore with his biggest win in his record breaking season lifting the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. Lightly raced thereafter, he pulled up in the 1990 Scottish National and Whitbread Gold Cup on his only two starts in 1989-90 and wasn't seen out at all the following season. He did win a Bangor hunter chase in 1992 but fell at Bechers in that years Foxhunters which was his final start under rules.

THE TSAREVICH - This stalwart of three Grand Nationals was retired

TRACEYS SPECIAL - Five starts in 1988-89 yielded little and he was retired

TULLAMARINE - Another in the autumn of his career he raced for one more season showing nothing. Last start saw him pulling up at Leicester in February 1989

YOU'RE WELCOME - Pulled up on his next start in a hunter chase at Cheltenham and clearly injured himself as he was listed as "dead" in the form books.

1989 - Little Polveir

Aintree debutants


Bartres, Bob Tisdal, Bonanza Boy, Cerimau*. Dixton House*, Gainsay, Galas Image, Mithras*, Mr Chris, Numerate*, Perris Valley*, Polar Nomad*, Queensway Boy, Rausal*, Sergeant Sprite*, Smart Tar*, Stearsby, Team Challenge, The Thinker*, The Thirsty Farmer*

Winner at Aintree

NEWNHAM - Foxhunters 1988

WEST TIP - Grand National 1986

3.20 SEAGRAM GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE (96 entries) £45,056 to the winner, £18,859 to the second, £9,157 to the third, £3,949 to the fourth, £1,639 to the fifth & £809 to the sixth


 1  11/113F    THE THINKER    11, 11-10 (W A Stephenson)    Simon Sherwood - 1987 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. Missed the following season but in good form this winning a minor race at Kelso and the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock. Fell before half way in this years Blue Riband. Would act on the ground and had solid claims.

 2  0-11F14  BONANZA BOY    8, 11-1  (M C Pipe)    Peter Scudamore - Jockey was enjoying a phenomenal record breaking season and with wins in the Welsh National and Racing Post Chase and a liking for soft/heavy going he provided the champion with possibly his best ever chance of Aintree glory.

 3 43-F010  WEST TIP    12, 10-11  (M.Oliver)    Richard Dunwoody - A National legend having his fifth start in the race having won in 1986 and finished fourth in the last two renewals. Running now in hunter company he had won at Hereford on heavy going in March (his first victory since he had won the National). Out of his depth in the Gold Cup last start when he was a distant fifth he still made each way appeal in a race he clearly loved.

 4   300021  DURHAM EDITION    11, 10-11  (W A Stephenson)   Chris Grant  - Runner up last year and expected to go close again. Dead heated at Sedgefield on his last start.

 5   0-R221 STEARSBY    10, 10-9 (G A Ham)    Brendan Powell - Formally very useful when trained by Jenny Pitman winning Welsh National in 1986 and Mildmay Memorial. Lost his way since but now running for new connections had shown he still retained his ability with a twenty length win at Nottingham on his last start

 6   3-F1300  BOB TISDALL    10, 10-7  (J A C Edwards)    John White* - Useful novice chaser (never out of first three in six starts) but not quite so effective in his second season although had beaten Smart Tar at Lingfield in December.

 7   302200   SMART TAR    8, 10-3 (M J Wilkinson)    Carl Llewellyn - Won Mildmay of Flete at 1988 Festival. Without a win this season and looked as if he needed the race when finishing a distant fourth behind Dixton House at Festival on his last start

 8  000100  MONANORE    12, 10-6*  (W.Harney - Ireland)     Graham McCourt - Aintree stalwart running in his third National and completed each time finishing third last year. Now at the veteran stage it was unlikely he was going to get any closer although he showed he still had ability by winning at Leopardstown in January.

 9   034222   GALAS IMAGE    9, 10-3*  (Mrs Mercy Rimell)    Neale Doughty - Won 1987 Arkle Trophy at the Festival. Only won once since but was running consistently this season chasing home Dixton House in the National Hunt Handicap Chase.

10    2/3100-  NEWNHAM    12, 10-5*  (M A Johnson)    Mr Simon Andrews - Essex based pointer rarely seen under rules but sprang a 50-1 surprise when landing the 1988 Foxhunters over one circuit of the unique course. Won a point-to-point on his only start this year

11   000433   LASTOFTHEBROWNIES    9, 10-0  (M F Morris - Ireland)    Tommy Carmody - Faller three out in 1988 when holding every chance. Just touched off in the Munster National at Limerick in the early part of the season and a well beaten third behind top Irish chaser Carvills Hill in the Irish Hennessy. Came in for strong support. 

12   0121/21    DIXTON HOUSE    10, 10-3*  (J A C Edwards)    Tom Morgan - Available at 33-1 three weeks before the race, this fragile and lightly raced individual was backed down to favouritsm on the back of his ten length victory in the National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Festival where he had several of his rivals behind him. That race like today was run on heavy ground. A worthy favourite if he could reproduce that form.

13  F00P31   PERRIS VALLEY    8, 10-0  (D K Weld - Ireland)    Brendan Sheridan -  Leading Irish hope who won four chases last season including the Irish Grand National. Won on heavy going at Leopardstown last time out with Attitude Adjuster and Monanore toiling in his wake.

14 P-0002P  GAINSAY    10, 10-6*  (Mrs Jenny Pitman)    Mark Pitman - Useful chaser who won 1987 National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Festival. Flopped in that race this year but had earlier run Bonanza Boy to half a length in the Racing Post Chase.

15    1F3134   MEMBERSON    11, 10-2*  (P.Dufosee)    Mr Guy Upton - My idea of a National horse, stays forever and jumps and was on my shortlist for the 1988 race but there he was tailed off pulling up in the closing stages. Winner at Sandown this season and realistically unlikely to fare any better this year.

16 0-02000  ATTITUDE ADJUSTER    9, 10-6*  (M F Morris - Ireland)    Niall Madden - Completed the course in the last two Nationals having raced prominently in 1987. Nothing shown in chases this season and only form was when second of three finishers in small hurdle race at Navan. 

17  443200   CRANLOME    11, 10-0  (M F Morris - Ireland)    Kevin O`Brien - Completed down the field in 1987 when trained by Bob Champion. Now in Ireland and running well in big handicaps (placed in Thyestes and Leopardstown Chases)

18  222142  SIR JEST    11, 10-1*  (W A Stephenson)    Micky Hammond - Refused in this last year and refused on his seasonal debut. In better from thereafter winning twice in minor events. Stables third string.

19  2-PP043  QUEENSWAY BOY    10, 10-0  (Miss A King)    Alan Webb - Useful in 1986-87 winning three times but not so good since but stayed forever 

20  103-03F  BEAMWAM    11, 10-6*  (Oliver Sherwood)    Mr David Naylor-Leyland - Winner of 19 races and fairly useful hunter chaser although was no match for Newnham in the 1988 Foxhunters and, expected to carry considerable overweight, would struggle.

21   240304  LITTLE POLVEIR    12, 10-3*  (G B Balding)    Jimmy Frost - The unlucky horse of 1988. Leading and still going well when unseating Tom Morgan at the twenty sixth fence. Possibly too far out to say whether he would have won. Sold in the last six weeks and changed stables. Aimed at the Grand Military Gold Cup where he had finished fourth. This would be his fourth National

22   1303F2  SERGEANT SPRITE    9, 10-2*  (P.Ransom)    Tom Taaffe - Recently changed stables this former Irish trained runner had won on a variety of surfaces but would struggle in this company.

23   334110  BARTRES    10, 10-3*  (D Murray-Smith)    Graham Bradley - Winner in small fields at Windsor and Wincanton this season but untested over the course and distance and unplaced over a much shorter distance at the Festival last time out.

24 0-00410  MR BAKER    11, 10-0  (R J Whitford - IRE)    Michael Moran - Four of his six wins had come at Tramore and most were on heavy going. Completed the course in the 1988 Topham. Ticked the right boxes but would still be one of the outsiders.  

25  3-41433  TEAM CHALLENGE    7, 10-0 (Mrs J.Pitman)    Michael Bowlby - Plumpton specialist who acted on any going and had finished third in the Kim Muir. Each way prospects.

26 2UP/0-PP BROWN TRIX    11, 10-5*  (G B Balding)    Mr David Pitcher - Unseated early in 1987 but then put up a great performance loose and was actually first past the post. Only run four times since and pulled up on three of them. No chance.

27  D13001   SEEANDEM    9, 10-0  (E Mitchell - Ireland)    Liam Cusack - Having nineteenth start of the season and running with success over both fences and hurdles. Nearly got round last year (refused four from home) 

28 3/00-3P2 CERIMAU    11, 10-0  (D R C Elsworth)    Peter Hobbs - Not won for a couple of seasons and pulled up behind Dixton House at Cheltenham. Limited appeal.

29 210010   RAUSAL    10, 10-0  (T N Bailey)    Dai Tegg - Winner twice this season but behind Sidbury Hill and Queensway Boy at Chepstow which did not bode well.

30   30P010  FRIENDLY HENRY    9, 10-4* (J C Fox)    Hywel Davies - Ran the race of his life to finish sixth in 1988. Was a maiden that day but had subsequently won a race (a three runner affair at Newbury) - long way last of six finishers in the National Hunt chase last time out.

31  000P01    MITHRAS    11, 10-1* (B.Preece)    Robert Stronge - Prolific winner last season, not shown much this until a hard fought win at Wolverhampton last time out.

32   11P133     POLAR NOMAD    8, 10-0  (W A Stephenson)    Andrew Merrigan - Whilst he had won three times this season including the Eider Chase at Newcastle and would last the trip he was considered the weakest of Arthur Stephensons four runners.

33  423322   NUMERATE    10, 10-0  (P.Davis)    Miss Tarnya Davis - Doubtful stayer and not won for a while - form figures slightly flattered him as he had been failing to win some pretty minor races.

34    311U24  HETTINGER    9, 10-0 (J Ffitch-Hayes)    Ray Goldstein - Dodgy jumper and first fence faller in 1988. Useful on his day but still made mistakes. Having fourteenth race of the season

35  130200   KERSIL    12, 10-0  (J E Swiers)    Andrew Orkney - Tough individual having seventeenth race of the season. Won small races at Sedgefield and Wetherby. 

36   4-20331  SIDBURY HILL    13, 10-0  (S.Pike)    Kevin Mooney - Only won twice in his career once in 1985 and on heavy ground last time in a hunters chase at Uttoxeter. No chance at all.

37 200000  THE THIRSTY FARMER    10, 10-4*  (M C Pipe)    Lars Kelp - Recently changed stables. A winner over the Mildmay course in 1988 but showed very little since. Swedish champion jockey in the saddle.

38   0-003P1  MEARLIN    10, 10-0  (J A B Old)    Simon McNeill - Winner in the mud at Chepstow last time. Would stay but would not be quick enough.

39 P0-U00P  SMARTSIDE    14, 10-5*  (A W Jones)    Mr Al Hambly - Got as far as the seventeenth last year and shown nothing since. At fourteen he really should have called it a day by now.

40  324032   MR  CHRIS    10, 10-0  (M P Naughton)    Brian Storey - Only won twice (during the 1986-87 season) in his life. No realistic chance.

S.P : 17-2 Dixton House, 15-2 Durham Edition, 10-1 Bonanza Boy & The Thinker, 12-1 West Tip, 14-1 Stearsby, 16-1Lastofthebrownies & Perris Valley, 18-1 Galas Image & Smart Tar, 20-1 Monanore, 25- Attitude Adjuster, Bob Tisdal & Gainsay, 28-1 LITTLE POLVEIR, 30-1 Team Challenge, 33-1 Bartres & Memberson, 40-1 Sir Jest, 50-1 Newnham, Queensway Boy, Rausal & Sergeant Sprite, 66-1 Cranlome, Friendly Henry & Mithras, 100-1 Beamwam, Mr Baker, Numerate, Seeandem & Sidbury Hill, 200-1 Mr Chris, 300-1 Brown Trix, Hettinger, Kersil, Mearlin & Smartside

Amateur Philip Fenton was due to partner Bob Tisdal but he had to forego the ride due to neck injuries sustained in a fall at The Chair in the Topham. He never got another chance to ride in the race

The Anoraks selection : BONANZA BOY

Each way : STEARSBY


1st    LITTLE POLVEIR -  Jimmy Frost

2nd  WEST TIP - Richard Dunwoody

3rd   THE THINKER - Simon Sherwood


5th   DURHAM EDITION - Chris Grant

6th   MONANORE - Graham McCourt

7th   GALAS IMAGE - Neale Doughty

8th   BONANZA BOY - P Scudamore

9th   TEAM CHALLENGE - M Bowlby

10th  NEWNHAM - Mr Simon Andrews

11th   THE THIRSTY FARMER - Lars Kelp


13th  SIDBURY HILL - Kevin Mooney

14th   MR BAKER - Michael Moran

Trained by Toby Balding at Fyfield, Hants

Time : 10 minutes 6.9 seconds

Did You Know ?

After 1989 the face of the National was changed forever with the modifications to Bechers Brook. So who was the last horse and rider to jump the iconic fence before the landing side was filled in and the National was changed forever ?


After 1989 due to the realignment of the course the water jump was no longer jumped in chases run over  the Mildmay course.

Those that did not return to Aintree achieved very little in their latter careers which proves that the 1989 National runners were in the main a fairly mediocre bunch.


ATTITUDE ADJUSTER - Still only nine this "veteran" of three Nationals never returned to the UK and spent the next two seasons running without much success in handicap company in Ireland.

BEAMWAM - Finished fourth in a big field at Taunton at the end of the month and was not seen over rules again.

CRANLOME - Pulled up at the Punchestown Festival on his next start. Showed very little thereafter but enjoyed one day in the sun when he won the Munster National at Limerick in November 1990.

DIXTON HOUSE - Pulled up lame early in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January 1990 and was retired.

FRIENDLY HENRY - Only ever won one race in his career as he raced sixteen more times without success. During 1990-91 ran in novice hurdles including one on the all-weather. Last ran at the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown in 1993.

HETTINGER - His next start was over timber at Plumpton where he trailed in a distant last of three runners. In 1991 he finished tailed off in the National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Festival. Last seen out in August 1991 when he was a faller in Belgiums premier chase the Grand Steeplechase de Flanders at Waregem.

KERSIL - Despite his advancing years he still had a lot of racing in him and he won a three runner race at Sedgefield in January 1991 at the age of fourteen. He returned to Aintree in the 1991 Foxhunters where he finished ninth. Last seen in  running in a selling chase at Catterick in January 1992 just after his fifteenth birthday.

LITTLE POLVEIR - Raced just twice more. Tailed off in the Welsh National he was retired after a lacklustre performance in the Mildmay Memorial at Sandown in January 1990

MEARLIN - Finished third on her next start at Towcester at the end of the month and was not seen out again.

MEMBERSON - Had a busy final season in 1989-90 running sixteen times winning once at Sandown in March. He finished unplaced in both the Hennessy and the Welsh National.

MITHRAS - Finished third and fourth in the next two renewals of the Midlands Grand National. Last raced at Worcester in March 1991.

MR BAKER - Raced ten times the following season but failed to get his nose in front.

MR CHRIS - Returned to Aintree in the 1990 and 1991 Foxhunters. Tailed off and pulled up early in 1990 but was prominent and still with a chance when he unseated at the Canal Turn the following year. He last raced under rules at Bangor in March 1992.

NEWNHAM - Only raced once more under rules finishing a credible but distant fourth behind Lean Ar Aghaidh in 1990 Foxhunters

NUMERATE - Showed very little thereafter. Highly tried in 1990-91 running fourteen times without success. On his last start in January 1992 he ran in a claiming chase at Southwell on the all - weather (all-weather chasing was a very brief and ultimately unsuccessful experiment in the early nineties)

PERRIS VALLEY - Flopped in the Whitbread finishing tailed off last of thirteen finishers and then finished unplaced in the valuable Galway Plate on what was his final racecourse appearance. The following season when being aimed at another attempt at the National he broke his shoulder in a fall in a racecourse schooling session.

POLAR NOMAD - Finished last of eight finishers in his next start, the Midlands National. He didn`t win again but finished sixth in the Eider the following season. Last raced at Newcastle in May 1991.

RAUSAL - Finished fourth in the Midlands National on his final start of the season. Only reached the frame once in his next fourteen starts. Last raced at Nottingham in 1992

QUEENSWAY BOY - Showed nothing in handicap company the following season but was quite a good hunter chaser the following year winning at Hereford In May 1991. In 1992 started 50-1 for the Foxhunters and was tailed off when he refused at the big ditch which was ironically the same fence that he had stopped at in the National.

SERGEANT SPRITE - Pulled up in the Midlands National on his next start. Showed nothing thereafter until he surprised everyone by winning his last ever race at Uttoxeter in April 1992.

SIDBURY HILL- Already at the veteran stage there weren`t too many miles on the clock and he showed nothing in a few starts the following season

SMARTSIDE - The oldest horse to compete in a National of the eighties had run his final race.

SMART TAR - Beat future Whitbread runner up Sam Da Vinci in the Golden Miller Chase at Cheltenhams April meeting on his next start but showed nothing (and failed to beat a horse home) on his two races in 1989-90 season. Listed as dead in that years Timeform Chasers and Hurdlers.

THE THINKER - The one exception to my disparaging remarks about the Class of 89. Flopping in the Whitbread on his next start he continued to be campaigned in good company in 1989-90 finishing second in the Tommy Whittle and Greenalls Gold Cup at Haydock. He missed his two main engagements though, the Gold Cup due to a bout of coughing and the National due to he firm ground. He raced just once the following season when finishing third in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby. He was being aimed once again at the National but tragedy struck on the eve of the race when he broke his leg on the gallops and had to be put down.

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