The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959

1951 - Nickel Coins year

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 
 221F-113  SHAGREEN  10, 12-2 - IRE G.Kelly 
 3F1F-F13  CLONCARRIG  11, 12-0 Masson R.Turnell 
 411F-U11  ROIMOND  10, 12-0 C.Beeby A.Jarvis 
 51-13130  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 
 921-0111  ARCTIC GOLD  6, 10-13 G.Balding T.Molony 
10 -321301  ROYAL TAN  7, 10-13 M V O`Brien - IREMr 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) 
ShagreenGrand Sefton Chase (1950) 
Saturday 7th April - Going : Soft 
Sources : Pathe/British Movietone newsreel, Sporting Chronicle. * Denotes not shown by newsreel 
First fence : We all know the sorry tale by now - the starter Leslie Firth let them go when they were not all ready and in the mad dash to the first they went too quick. The form book states that some of these were brought down but to be frank having looked at the footage from several angles I am of the view that they all fell. CADAMSTOWN, COLUMN, CONFUCIUS (the last to jump the fence), EAST A`CALLING, FINNURE, IRISH LIZARD, LAND FORT, PARSONHILL, REVEALED, STALBRIDGE ROCK, STOCKMAN, TEXAS DAN (all fell)
Second fence : GALLERY (fell)*, FREEBOOTER (Brought down)*
Fifth fence : SHAGREEN (fell)
Bechers (6th) : MORNING COVER (fell)
Seventh fence : BINGHAMSTOWN (fell), ROWLAND ROY (fell), SERGEANT KELLY (fell)
Order at first Canal Turn (8th) : (1) ARCTIC GOLD (fell), (2) ARMOURED KNIGHT (brought down)(3) CAESAR'S WIFE, (4) RUSSIAN HERO, (5) NICKEL COIN, (6) DOG WATCH, (7) ROIMOND, (8) GLEN FIRE (fell), (9) BROOMFIELD, (10) PRINCE BROWNIE (fell). (11) GAY HEATHER, (12) PARTPOINT, (13) ROYAL TAN, (14) DERRINSTOWN, (15) CLONCARRIG (baulked - hampered by loose horse, refused & rider thrown over fence), (16) TASMAN (refused), (17) QUEEN OF THE DANDIES
Valentines (9th) : ROIMOND (fell), PARTPOINT (unseated rider), QUEEN OF THE DANDIES (fell - some way last)
Tenth fence : CAESAR`S WIFE (fell)* 
Fifteenth fence : RUSSIAN HERO (hampered & unseated rider), DOG WATCH (unseated rider - didn`t get high enough, hit fence, horse went back into the ditch
Bechers (22nd) : GAY HEATHER (fell & remounted), DERRINSTOWN (fell & remounted - he landed on Gay Heather but was in the process of falling in any event)
Twenty Third fence : BROOMFIELD (fell), GAY HEATHER (refused)* 
Order at second Canal Turn : (1) NICKEL COIN, (2) ROYAL TAN, (3) DERRINSTOWN 
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 
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.