The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959

1954 - Royal Tan`s year


Leading Fancies

To follow when I have a copy of Chaseform/Sporting Chronicle for 1953-54 

 GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE, 4 1/2 miles, £8,571 10s to the winner

 2ROYAL TAN  10, 11-7 M V O`Brien - IRE B.Marshall
 3LEGAL JOY  11, 11-3 F T Walwyn D V Dick 
 4WHISPERING STEEL  9, 10-12 A.Kilpatrick R.Morrow 
 5ALBERONI  11, 10-12 M V O`Brien - IRE Mr E Cousins 
 6CONEYBURROW  8, 10-11 J W Osborne - IRE P.Taaffe 
 7SOUTHERN COUP  12, 10-7 N.Crump A P Thompson 
 8DOMINICK`S BAR  10, 10-7 T.Hyde - IRE T.Molony 
 9TUDOR LINE  9, 10-7 R.Renton G.Slack 
10 IRISH LIZARD  11, 10-5 H.Nicholson M.Scudamore 
12CHURCHTOWN  9, 10-3 M V O`Brien - IRE T.Taaffe 
14 SWINTON HERO  10, 10-3 D.Machin Mr C.Harty
15 PRINCE OF ARRAGON  13, 10-2 J J O`Donnell - IRE J.Gorey 
16 ICY CALM  10, 10-2 G.Archibald R.Francis 
17 SANPERION  9, 10-2 L.Elwell D.Leslie 
18 GAY MONARCH II  8, 10-1 T F Rimell T.Brookshaw 
20 MARTINIQUE  8, 10-1 G R Owen Mr E Greenway 
21 ORDNANCE  8,10-1 T F Rimell J.Dowdeswell 
22 ONTRAY  6, 10-0 L S Briggs Mr R Brewis 
23 BAIRE  8, 10-0 M L Marsh J.Foster 
24 HIERBA  9, 10-0 J.Hamey R J Hamey 
25 BORDER LUCK  9, 10-0 J R Bower T.Shone 
26 PARIS NEW YORK  7, 10-0 J B Powell M.Roberts 
27 STATESMAN  8, 10-0 C.Magnier - IRE E.Newman 
28 GENTLE MOYA  8, 10-0 C.Bewicke Mr J Straker 
29 UNCLE BARNEY  11, 10-0 H.Clarkson L.McMorrow 
30 ROYAL STUART  11, 10-0 G R Owen J.Power 
31 TRIPLE TORCH  8, 10-0 J.Hartigan D.Ancil
32 MINIMAX  10, 10-0 A.Sellar Capt M MacEwan 
33 PUNCHESTOWN STAR  10, 10-0 J.Lea S.McComb 

Non Runners : 1 MONT TREMBLANT (D V Dick), 11 QUITE NATURALLY (B O`Neill), 13 QUEEN`S TASTE (R.Curran), 19 TRAVELLERS PRIDE (Mr H F Craig Harvey) 

S.P : 15-2 Irish Lizard, 8-1 Coneyburrow & ROYAL TAN, 10-1 Churchtown & Tudor Line, 100-6 Gentle Moya, 18-1 Ordnance, 20-1 Sanperion, 33-1 Dominick`s Bar & Legal Joy, 40-1 Icy Calm, Southern Coup & Whispering Steel, 50-1 Gay Monarch II, Statesman & Uncle Barney, 66-1 Alberoni, Baire, Hierba, Martinique, Minimax, Ontray, Paris New York, Prince Of Arragon, Punchestown Star, Royal Stuart, Statesman, Swinton Hero & Triple Torch

Aintree Debutants (11)

Alberoni*, Churchtown*, Martinique, Minimax, Ontray, Paris New York*, Prince of Arragon*, Sanperion*, Southern Coup*, Swinton Hero*, Triple Torch

Winners at Aintree

Border LuckValentines Chase (1951) 
Irish Lizard Molyneux Chase (1948), Topham Trophy (1953) 
Uncle Barney Valentine Chase (1952) 


First fence : ALBERONI (fell), GENTLE MOYA (fell), SWINTON HERO (fell), WHISPERING STEEL (unseated rider - if you look at the newsreel footage you will see that the horse hesitated and Morrow was catapulted out of the saddle).

Second fence : DOMINICKS BAR (fell), MINIMAX (baulked by loose horse, refused & unseated rider)

Third fence :  BAIRE (refused)*

Fourth fence : PARIS NEW YORK (fell)

Fifth fence : GAY MONARCH II (fell)

Canal Turn (8th) : STATESMAN (unseated rider)

Twelfth fence : BORDER LUCK (unseated rider)

Thirteenth fence : LEGAL JOY (fell) 

Fifteenth fence : TRIPLE TORCH (unseated rider), HIERBA (fell)* (the races only grey - the form book says fell here but I cannot verify this from the newsreel as the horse was a long way behind by this stage)

Order at Half way  (according to Chaseform) : (1) CONEYBURROW (made a terrible blunder, landed on his belly - as things turned out it would have been better if he`d called it a day there and then), (2) SANPERION, (3) ROYAL STUART, (4) CLEARING, (5) PUNCHESTOWN STAR, (6) ORDNANCE, (7) ROYAL TAN, (8) IRISH LIZARD, (9) TUDOR LINE, (10) PRINCE OF ARAGON, (11) ICY CALM, (12) ONTRAY, (13) UNCLE BARNEY, (14) SOUTHERN COUP, tailed off (15) MARTINIQUE

Nineteenth fence : ICY CALM (pulled up)*

Twenty third fence : ORDNANCE (fell)*, PRINCE OF ARAGON (fell)*

Twenty eighth fence : CONEYBURROW (fell), PUNCHESTOWN STAR (refused)*, ROYAL STUART (refused)* 


1st ROYAL TAN B.Marshall 
2nd TUDOR LINE G.Slack 
3rd IRISH LIZARD M.Scudamore 
4th CHURCHTOWN T.Taaffe 
5th SANPERION D.Leslie 
6th MARTINIQUE Mr E.Greenway 
7th UNCLE BARNEY L.McMorrow 
8th SOUTHERN COUP A P Thompson 
9th ONTRAY Mr R Brewis 

Time : 9 minutes 32 4/5 seconds. 

Distances :  

Owned by Joe Griffin

Trained by Vincent O`Brien in Ireland

The winner 

Already a veteran of three Nationals and aged ten ROYAL TAN proved just how tough they were in the good old days as he stayed in training until he was thirteen and ran in three more Nationals for good measure. Running in Prince Aly Khans colours in 1955 he got round in his own time but a year later having won a small race at Limerick he stayed on in the closing stages to finish third in ESBs sensational National of 1956. He showed nothing in his three starts before the 1957 National which was to was to be his final racecourse appearance. His career ended on a quiet note as he was carried out early in the race.