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The Summer of 1975 and some "dire" flat racing

Aintrees new owner Bill Davies not only seemed ill equipped to stage the worlds greatest steeplechase (or indeed any horse racing come to that) but he also did not seem to appreciate that jumping was Aintree`s greatest asset as he set about revitalising Aintrees fortunes on the flat. His dream was to stage a £100,000 Aintree Derby. That didn't happen. This was the reality - two two day meetings staged in the summer of 1975. These were the first flat only meetings held at Aintree since the mid fifties and thankfully they were the last. The programmes was dull, the fields were small, the prize money derisory and the crowds numbered more in their hundreds than thousands. The meetings are long forgotten but here are the results. Why have I included them here ? God knows but then all racing at Aintree fascinates me no matter how terrible it is.

Wednesday 25th June (Hard)

Freshfield Maiden Plate (2-y-0 filles) 5f £ 345

SINDO (T.Ives) 4 ran

Blundellsands Handicap  1m5f £ 700

JACANTA (M.Thomas) 5 ran

Formby Hills Handicap (3-y-0) 1m £1014


Exchange Handicap 6f £ 703

MUJON (P.Cook) 4 ran

Knotty Ash Maiden Plate (3 & 4-y-0) 1m6f £ 345

LOMALOMA (B.Raymond) 9 ran

Moss Bank Maiden Plate (2-y-0) 6f £ 414

HUNTSMANS LEAP (W.Carson) 6 ran


Thursday 26th June (Hard)

Atlantic Plate (2-y-0 seller) 6f £ 345

QUARANTINE (L.Charnock) 10 ran

Melling Sprint Handicap (3-y-0) 5f £ 715

SILVER TINKLE (W.Carson) 10 ran

Aughton Handicap  1m2f £1288

KAFKA (L.Charnock)

DARLING BOB (M.Thomas) - DEAD HEAT  4 ran

Pierhead Maiden Plate (3-y-0 fillies) 1m £ 345

ALTRIVA (B.Taylor)  5 ran

Crosby Channel Plate (2-y-0) 5f £ 483

CARBURTON (M.Thomas)  5 ran

Rock Ferry Handicap (3-y-0) 1m6f £ 809

DONNA NOOK (W.Carson)  2 ran

Friday 18th July (Firm)

All races at this meeting started by flag

Falstaff Maiden Plate (2-y-0) 5f £ 345

ROYAL PURSUIT (B.Connorton)  7 ran

Macbeth Handicap  1m £ 548

CONFLUENCE (E.Johnson)  3 ran

Hamlet Handicap (3-y-0) 6f £ 699

RUBYDAR (G.Cadwaladr)  2 ran

Romeo and Juliet Maiden Plate (3-y-0) 1m2f £ 345

AUNT JEAN (L.Brown) 11 ran

Cleopatra Plate (2-y-0 seller) 6f £ 345

HOT BELLE (G.Cadwaladr)  4 ran

Horatio Apprentice Stakes 1m6f £ 442

MRS CHILD (P.Cain)  8 ran

Saturday 19th July (Firm)

Great Altcar Stakes (2-y-0) 5f £ 457


Lime Street Handicap  1m7f £ 461

DESTINY HILL (T.Ives)  9 ran

Aintree Summer Cup  1m5f £1010

NETHERKELLY (K.Lewis)  6 ran

Kirkham Handicap (3-y-0) 1m2f £ 699

SNAKE DANCE (J.Reid)  8 ran

Lodge Fillies Stakes (2-y-0) 6f £ 425

PARTRIDGE BROOK (T.Walsh)  4 ran

Wirral Maiden Stakes (3-y-0) 1m6f £ 520

ASAMA (A.Murray) 11 ran

The "one-off" Autumn Meeting

Racegoers attending the 1972 National meeting would have been surprised and delighted to see an advertisement in the racecard for a Liverpool Autumn Meeting to be staged on Saturday 28th October. "By special request" it said although it was not recorded who had requested Mrs Topham to stage this extra fixture. The programme offered six races, three on the flat including the reintroduction of the Liverpool Autumn Cup, a handicap hurdle and two races over the National fences. The Mildmay course was not used for the meeting. The first race over the National fences was the BP Chase run over the old Becher Chase distance of two and a half miles with the Chair as the second fence. Just five runners lined up but they included 1970 Grand National winner GAY TRIP and the Queen Mothers INCH ARRAN who made all the running to win by one and a half lengths. INCH ARRAN returned to Aintree the following spring where he gained a second success over the fences when landing the Topham Trophy and in doing so provided Peter Cazalet with his final winner before his untimely death. I doubt if this lovely rocking horse grey would have stayed the full National distance but sadly he never raced at Aintree again. The William Hill Grand National Trial was clearly the successor to the Grand Sefton Chase and the eleven strong field was worthy of the old race with dual Gold Cup winner L`ESCARGOT, BLACK SECRET (placed in previous two Nationals) and 1971 National winner SPECIFY in the field. The winner was GLENKILN owned by Noel Le Mare and trained by local trainer Ginger McCain. Like INCH ARRAN he made most of the running to win impressively despite some sloppy jumping. Interestingly neither GAY TRIP or SPECIFY raced again. No official attendance figures were published but the meeting was judged to be a success yet the venture was not repeated and frustrated racegoers would have to wait a further twenty years before Aintree would stage another autumn meeting

B P CHASE  2 miles 4 furlongs £2,276 to the winner
1st    INCH ARRAN                            Richard Dennard 
2nd  TAZU                                                      J.Enright  
3rd   GAY TRIP                              Terry Biddlecombe 
4th   GLENZIER LAD                                    Ron Barry 
Also ran :THE POOKA Barry Brogan (fell 2nd) 
Time : 5 mins 20.40 secs. Distances : 1 1/2-15-dist

WILLIAM HILL GRAND NATIONAL TRIAL 2 miles 7 1/2 furlongs  £4,802 to the winner 
1st     GLENKILN                                      Jimmy Bourke 
2nd   L`ESCARGOT                            Tommy Carberry 
3rd    GYLEURN                                              Ron Barry 
4th    SUNNY LAD                                         Ken White
5th    RAMPSMAN                                  Jeremy Glover 
6th    ARCTIC WORKMAN                          Pat Buckley 
7th     BLACK SECRET                               Sean Barker 
Also ran : TIMES UP Brian Forsey (pulled up flat), SPECIFY Bob Davies (fell 14th), 
KIPPIE LODGE D.Nolan (slipped up flat after 4th), FAIR VULGAN Doug Barrott (fell 1st) 
Time : 5 mins 57.20 secs. Distances : 12-4-1 1/2-8-25

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