The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959

1947 - Caughoo`s year


The Leading Fancies 

The National was run for the first time on a Saturday at the request of the Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who suggested to Mrs Topham that the new date would be "in the interests of British industry" (not sure how - but who was arguing with the Prime Minister). The country had been gripped by the worst winter in living memory which resulted in the loss of all fixtures between 23rd January and 15th March. With the Cheltenham Festival also falling foul of the weather an abundance of runners were sent to Aintree in the hope of picking up some much needed prize money. A staggering ninety two runners contested the four hurdle races at the meeting and the National saw no less than fifty seven line up a number which not surprisingly was never surpassed thereafter. Favourite for the second year running was PRINCE REGENT, so brave in defeat twelve months before. This year he was once again carrying a prohibitive top weight of twelve stone seven (two pounds more than last year). He had been lightly campaigned with victory at Leopardstown followed by a facile win in the Champion Chase (run this year at the Autumn meeting) when both his rivals fell by the wayside. REVELRY was next best in the market , unbeaten in two starts in 1945-46 he had won at Naas but had been beaten in the Leopardstown Chase. Other fancied runners in the huge field were BRICETT, unbeaten in all completed starts a horse who stayed and who had a reputation as a very impressive jumper, LUAN CASCA had winning form over the National fences having landed the Stanley Chase in 1946, HOUSEWARMER was another course specialist having landed the Molyneux Chase. He was having his first start for new connections. DOMINO was also quietly fancied although he had not won this term and had been some way behind Luan Casca in the Stanley Chase. 

GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE 4 1/2 miles, £10,007 to the winner 

 11313-11  PRINCE REGENT  12, 12-7T W Dreaper - IRE T.Hyde 
 3121-213  HALYCON HOURS  7, 11-2 M.Arnott - IRE M.Gordon 
 411F1-11  BRICETT  10, 11-1 W.Hall M C Prendergast 
 51-13111  REARMAMENT  10, 11-1 Beeby G.Kelly 
 6 211310  KILNAGLORY  12, 11-1 F T Walwyn B.Marshall 
 7        000  REFUGIO  9, 11-0 Sweet-Escott F.Adams 
 8        /F-1  KAMI  10, 10-13 Masson Mr J.Hislop 
 911-3210  REVELRY  7, 10-12 R O`Connell - IRE D.Moore 
11 F-11F11  SILVER FAME  8, 10-12 Beeby R.Petre 
12  244130  SCHUBERT  13, 10-11 Beechener C.Beechener 
13  332F21  LEAP MAN  10, 11-0 Houghton T F Rimell 
14232-221  GORMANSTOWN  7, 10-9 C.Nicholson T.Molony 
15  P3000P  JACK FINLAY  8, 10-8 Elwell W.Kidney 
16 1041-13  LUAN CASCA  7, 10-7 H.Smyth A.Brabazon 
17 1311-F4  BRIGHTER SANDY  9, 10-7 W.Hall Capt J Eustace-Smith 
18 1234-10  HOUSEWARMER  10, 10-6 F T Walwyn R J O`Ryan 
19 F322-00  KLAXTON  7, 10-5 J.Anthony J.Maguire 
20 F-1B323  EP  12, 10-5 Beeby M.Molony 
21 -134112  MUSICAL LAD  10, 10-4 Moore M J Prendergast 
22 11-4212  BULLINGTON  11, 10-6 G R Owen J.Bissill 
23         /0F-  BOGSKAR  14, 10-4 Lord Stalbridge R.Burford 
24 212F0-0  LOUGH CONN  11, 10-1 Boland - IRED.McCann 
25     /01-P0  FIRST OF THE DANDIES  10, 10-3 G.Wilson J.Moloney 
26 33F-P02  MACMOFFAT  15, 10-4 Scott Biggs  I.Alder 
28 F0-3143  ROWLAND ROY  8, 10-3 F T Walwyn Mr R.Black 
29      /3121  SHEILAS COTTAGE  8, 10-1 N.Crump A P Thompson 
30  212413  YUNG-YAT  11, 10-1 - IRE J.Brogan 
31 4-02302  BOMBER COMMAND  8, 10-0 Feakes A.Jarvis 
32        /232  PARTHENON  8, 10-0 R.Hobbs P.Murray 
33 1-00000  CAUGHOO  8, 10-0 H.McDowell - IRE E.Dempsey 
34  1F10F1  GRANITZA  8, 10-0 M.Scott N.Dixon 
35 4-00122  OCCULTOR  12, 11-0 G R Owen B.Marshall 
36        /233  SODA II  6, 10-2 Goldsmith F.Gurney 
37 2-01102  BRICK BAT  8, 10-0 T W Dreaper - IRE E.Newman 
38 F-14232  TULYRA  11, 10-0 Powell Mr D A Jackson 
40             /0  GRECIAN VICTORY  10, 10-0 F T Walwyn P.Lay 
41 00-2213  SOME CHICKEN  10, 10-2 Roberts R.Turnell 
42 3F0-022  DOMINO  7, 10-0 F.Hartigan D.Morgan 
43 4131-33  PRATTLER  12, 10-0 T H Yates P.Conlon 
44 -F11211  BLACK JENNIFER  7, 10-0 Hardy J.Sheehan 
45     /0F13  MARTIN M  7, 10-0 Kilpatrick Maj Skrine 
46 102-122  CLYDUFFE  12, 10-0 Wight M.Hogan 
48 3F1-0F1  DOUBLE SAM  12, 10-0 S.Clark H.Haley 
49    /03010  WICKLOW  WOLF  7, 10-0 Kithching M J Hogan 
50 3-03224  GYPPO  13, 10-0 Cousins Mr J.Cousins 
5 1 F0-240P  GOOD DATE  9, 10-0 Powell J.Dowdeswell 
52 2120-00  JUBILEE FLIGHT  12, 10-0 Bampton E.Hannigan 
53  0FP43P  BORDER BOB  9, 10-0 G R Owen J.Neely 
54 FF42-13  TRIBUNE  13, 10-0 Masson K.Gilsenan 
55 1-0F000  OH JOE !  7, 10-0 Geering E.Vinall 
56  /0-1330  SHANAKILL  9, 10-0 Smallwood W.Denson 
57 2-01033  LINTHILL  11, 10-0 Lyde P.Taylor 
58  3000F0  HANDY LAD  12, 10-0-IRE Capt W.Williams 
59  121FFF  DAY DREAMS  8, 10-0 Moore M.Browne 
60 -20F000  TOYETTE  10, 10-6 G R Owen Maj R Waugh Harris 
61      /P322  PATRICKSWELL  9, 10-0 -IRE P.Cahalin 
62  3F0FF0  MICHAEL`S PEARL  8, 10-0 C.Kelly E.Reavey 

Non Runners : 2 LOVELY COTTAGE (R.Petre), 10 KEEP FAITH (-), 27 HIGHLAND CHEIFTAN (A.Grantham), 39 WISH ME LUCK (-) 

S.P : 8-1 Prince Regent, 100-6 Revelry, 22-1 Bricett & Luan Casca, 25-1 Housewarmer, 28-1 Domino, 33-1 Jack Finlay, Kami, Lough Conn, Musical Lad, Rearmament & Silver Fame, 40-1 Gormanstown, Kilnaglory, Parthenon, Sheilas Cottage & Some Chicken, 50-1 Black Jennifer, Clyduffe, Halcyon Hours, Leap Man, Prattler & Soda II, 66-1 Brick Bat, Brighter Sandy, Bullington, First of the Dandies, Klaxton, Martin M, Rowland Roy & Schubert, 100-1 Bogskar, Bomber Command, Border Bob, CAUGHOO, Day Dreams, Double Sam, EP, Good Date, Granitza, Grecian Victory, Gyppo, Handy Lad, Jubilee Flight, Linthill, MacMoffat, MIchaels Pearl, Ocultor, Oh Joe, Patrickswell, Refugio, Shanakill, Toyette, Tribune, Tulyra, Wicklow Wolf & Yung-Yat 

Aintree Debutants (32)

* denotes that this National was their only race over the National fences. 

Black Jennifer*, Bomber Command, Border Bob*, Brighter Sandy, Bullington*, Caughoo, Cloncarrig, Day Dreams*, Double Sam*, First of the Dandies, Good Date, Granitza*, Grecian Victory, Halycon Hours, Handy Lad, Kilnaglory, Klaxton, Leap Man, Ocultor*, Parthenon, Prattler*, Rearmament, Refugio*, Revelry, Rowland Roy, Shanakill*, Sheila`s Cottage, Soda II, Some Chicken, Toyette*, Tribune*, Wicklow Wolf* 

Winners at Aintree (5)

BogskarGrand National (1940) 
HousewarmerMolyneux Chase (1946) 
Luan Casca Stanley Chase (1946) 
Martin M Valentine Chase (1946) 
Prince Regent Champion Chase (1946) 


Saturday 29th March - Going : Heavy

                  Sources : Sporting Chronicle/Chaseform/Pathe/British Movietone footage/books                                * states not covered in newsreel footage

First fence : EP (fell) , REVELRY (fell) - some sources say EP was brought down but from the slow motion coverage it looks as if he was in the process of falling independently

Third fence : BULLINGTON (unseated rider), MICHAELS PEARL (unseated rider), PATRICKSWELL (ran/carried out)

Fifth fence : WICKLOW WOLF (pulled up)* 

First Bechers : BLACK JENNIFER (fell remounted)*, DAY DREAMS (pulled up)*, LUAN CASCA (unseated rider)

First Canal : SHANAKILL (fell)

First Valentines : PRATTLER (unseated rider) 

Tenth fence : BLACK JENNIFER (fell a second time & remounted)*, OCULTOR (fell remounted)* 

Eleventh fence : BOGSKAR (refused & unseated rider), BRICK BAT (refused - all sources say he continued and eventually finished although he cannot be seen on any of the footage thereafter), one other refuses possibly HALCYON HOURS (who according to sources is also put to the fence a second time and continues)

Twelfth fence : BORDER BOB (unseated rider), GRANITZA (refused), SHEILAS COTTAGE (hampered & unseated rider), PARTHENON (unseated rider) 

Fourteenth fence : FIRST OF THE DANDIES (unseated rider)*, LINTHILL (pulled up)* - numerous sources have him as pulling up after being injured before first Valentines but he is one of the last survivors to clear the twelfth fence. According to Chaseform this is where his race ended. 

The Chair : GYPPO (fell)* 

Order at half way : (1) LOUGH CONN, (2) MUSICAL LAD, (3) KILNAGLORY, (4) TULYRA, (5) KLAXTON, (6) BRICETT, (7) JACK FINLAY, (8) CAUGHOO, (9) DOMINO, (10) ROWLAND ROY, (11) PRINCE REGENT, (12) BRIGHTER SANDY, (13) SILVER FAME, (14) GORMANSTOWN (?), (15) SOME CHICKEN, (16) DOUBLE SAM (?), (17) REARMAMENT, (18) GRECIAN WAVE, (19) ?, (20) REFUGIO, (21) CLYDUFFE, (22) LEAP MAN, (23) HOUSEWARMER, (24) OH JOE (?) (25) SCHUBERT, (26) GOOD DATE, (27) KAMI, (28) SODA II, (29) MARTIN M, (30) MACMOFFAT, (31) JUBILEE FLIGHT, (32) YUNG YAT, (33) TOYETTE, (34) TRIBUNE, (35) HARDY LAD, (?) BOMBER COMMAND (slipped up on flat after fence)* - remounted stragglers continuing out of shot

Nineteenth fence : KLAXTON (unseated rider), OH JOE (unseated rider)*

Twenty first fence : DOMINO (pulled up)*, TRIBUNE (pulled up)*, YUNG-YAT (puled up)* 

Second Bechers : BLACK JENNIFER (fell and finally called it a day)*, MACMOFFAT (fell)*, ROWLAND ROY (fell remounted)

Twenty third fence : GOOD DATE (fell)* 

Order at second Canal : (1) LOUGH CONN, (2) CAUGHOO, (3) KILNAGLORY, (4) BRICETT (fell), (5) SOME CHICKEN, (6) PRINCE REGENT, (7) TULYRA, (8) MUSICAL LAD (fell), (9) GRECIAN VICTORY (fell), (10) REFUGIO, (11) KAMI, (12) DOUBLE SAM, (13) HOUSEWARMER, (14) SILVER FAME, (15) CLYDUFFE, (16) SODA II, (17) JACK FINLAY, (18) SCHUBERT, (19) REARMAMENT, (20) BRIGHTER SANDY, (21) LEAP MAN and others toiling some way behind 

Twenty Sixth fence : SODA II (fell) 

Twenty Eighth fence : DOUBLE SAM (refused), JACK FINLAY (fell), SILVER FAME (hampered & unseated rider), TULYRA (refused). Some sources say Rearmament fell here and was remounted but the newsreel footage shows him jumping the fence cleanly., GORMANSTOWN (hampered & refused)*


Unlike every other year since the war the list of finishers  in 1947 cannot be verified beyond doubt.  The list below is according to Reg Greens definitive Grand National history "A Long Time Gone" first published in 1988. However after Kilnaglory there are several different orders to be found in the various sources with some stating that there were only 18 finishers. I have taken the finishing order according to Sporting Chronicle/Racing Up to Date and added this in brackets.

1stCAUGHOO Eddie Dempsey 
2nd LOUGH CONN D.McCann 
3rdKAMI Mr John Hislop 
5th SOME CHICKEN Bob Turnell 
7thREFUGIO F.Adams 
8th KILNAGLORY Bryan Marshall 
9th OCULTOR (rem) (10)D.Owen
10th HALCYON HOURS (rem) (12)M.Gordon 
11th BRICK BAT (13)E.Newman 
12th MARTIN M (rem) (did not finish) Maj W H Skrine 
13th SCHUBERT (14)C.Beechener 
14th REARMAMENT  (17) Gene Kelly 
15th ROWLAND ROY (rem) (18)Mr R.Black 
16th TOYETTE (11)Maj R Waugh-Harris 
17th CLYDUFFE (9)M.Hogan 
18th LEAP MAN (15)T F Rimell 
19th BRIGHTER SANDY (16)Capt J Eustace-Smith 
20th HANDY LAD (19)Capt W.Williams 
21st JUBILEE FLIGHT (did not finish) E.Hannigan 

Time : 10 minutes 3 4/5 secs                                                                                                            Distances : 20-4-6-2-15                                                                                                                          Owned by Mr J J McDowell                                                                                                                        Trained by Herbert McDowell in Ireland.  

 The winner 

Caughoo returned to relative obscurity thereafter although he did run in the next two Nationals. He pulled up at the second Canal in 1948 and in 1949 he ran out early.

That's the official story but this from Mick Mutlow is much more interesting. I hope Mick does not mind quoting him direct  

"In the 1948-49 season, which turned out to be his last, he had six starts. CAUGHOO finished second twice, seventh once, pulled up twice and ran out once, which was at the fifth fence in the 1949 Grand National when his bridal broke. He spent his retirement at the Sutton (north of Dublin) home of John McDowell and he was buried there when he died in 1964 aged 25 years old. His head was sent to a taxidermist to be mounted. However when the land was developed for building purposes, his remains was exhumed and he was reburied on the farm opposite Fairyhouse racecourse.
When Jack McDowell died, the head ended up once more with the taxidermist. He later emigrated to the USA and offered the head to the Drogheda mayor (Frank Godfrey) who had an interest in mounted animals. CAUGHOO's head cost Frank Godfrey £50 and he was later offered £500 for the head in 1987 when he brought it to Aintree in 1987 for the 40th anniversary of his victory.

For whatever reason, his head remained at Aintree for a few years afterwards. When I went up to Aintree in 1989, I was invited into John Parrett's office for a chat. Whilst talking to JP, he bent down to the side of his desk and pulled out CAUGOO's head to proudly show me...…….as you do" .