The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959

1950 - Freebooter`s year


 
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 fourty years and Monaveen had equipped himself well the year before until falling 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.MassonR.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 - IRED.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 - IRED.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, 10-1J.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, 10-0J 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.SmythMr J Straker 
52             -0  MERMAID VI  11, 10-0T 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 VI8, 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 MajorValentine Chase (1949) 
Cadamstown Topham Trophy (1949) 
CloncarrigMolyneux Chase (1947 & 1949) 
Freebooter Champion Chase (1949), Grand Sefton Chase (1949) 
Royal Mount Becher Chase (1949) 
Russian Hero Grand National (1949) 
San MichelleFoxhunters Chase (1948) 

 Analysis
Saturday 25th March - Going : Good 
 
This is without doubt the hardest so far to pin down despite the pretty good Pathe News coverage. What is clear is that there was a phenomenal amount of fallers on the first circuit and unusually many horses continued riderless. Certainly there appear to be as many loose horses as there were runners by half way. I doubt if I will ever be able to pin this one down but this is what I have so far.
 
First fence : All sources have six fallers and that appears borne out by the newsreel footage. I am confident that the six that went out here are COMERAGH (fell), COTTAGE WELCOME (fell), OLE`MAN RIVER (fell), RUSSIAN HERO (fell), TOMMY TRADDLES (fell) & ZARTER (fell)
 
Second fence : SKOURAS (unseated rider) & IVAN`S CHOICE (fell) - I cannot verify this some sources say Skouras came down here and others Ivan`s Choice.  Forty one horses go onto the third (I have counted them - honest)
 
There are no fallers at the third, fourth or fifth fences.
 
Bechers (6th) : Four come to grief here ARDNACASSA (fell), BATTLING PEDULAS (fell), CAVALIERO (fell), GALLERY (unseated rider)
 
This is where it gets complicated as several come to grief at the seventh, ROIMOND (fell) is the only one I am 100 % certain about. I am pretty certain that INVERLOCHY (fell) & CADAMSTOWN (fell) disappear as here as well.
 
Canal Turn (8th) : two come down here - I cannot identify the first faller, he appears to have a hoop, the only horse shown in the racecard with a hoop is Southborugh but he is clearly still with the field at Valentines (thanks to the Pathe`s slow motion cameras) the second faller looks injured and I am pretty sure this is LIMESTONE COTTAGE (hampered & fell) who is sadly listed as "dead" in that years Sporting Chronicle Annual
 
Valentines (9th) : By now the field has been whittled down to just twenty seven. We lose four here. POSSIBLE (in fourth place when he fell), BARNEY VI (fell), KNOCKIRR (brought down), I think PASTIME (fell) here as well (not 100%).
 
Eleventh fence : ROYAL MOUNT (fell hampered by a loose horse falls into the fence), CROMWELL (hampered & brought down, Lord Mildmay pitched over the fence). Some stragglers are also put out  as only eighteen appear to be left in the race (apart from any remounted runners) after the twelfth. I think we lose BINGHAMSTOWN and SOUTHBOROUGH around here
 
Order at halfway : (1) CLONCARRIG, (2) WOT NO SUN, (3) MONAVEEN, (4) SHAGREEN, (5) ACTHON MAJOR, (6) ROWLAND ROY, (7) COLUMN, (8) FREEBOOTER, (9) ANGEL HILL, (10) INCHMORE - the others I believe are still standing are SAN MICHELLE, STOCKMAN, KLAXTON , SHIP`S BELL, DYNOVI, SAFETY LOCH, CONFUCIUS & SODA II (the races only grey)
 
Twenty third fence : SHAGREEN (fell), SAN MICHELLE (fell), COLUMN (brought down)
 
Order at second Canal : (1) ANGEL HILL (unseated rider), (2) CLONCARRIG, (3) WOT NO SUN, (4) FREEBOOTER, (5) ACTHON MAJOR, (6) ROWLAND ROY, (7) MONAVEEN, (8) INCHMORE, (9) SHIPS BELL, CONFUCIUS (pulled up)
 
Twenty ninth fence : CLONCARRIG (fell) 

 Result
 
1st FREEBOOTER Jimmy Power 
2ndWOT 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
 
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 getting 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 fences.