The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959

1955 - QUARE TIMES`s year


Leading Fancies

Torrential rain not only kept the crowds away in 1955 but nearly led to the abandonment of the National. With surface water lying on the course an eleven am inspection deemed that the course and fences were safe but the turf surrounding the water jump was unraceable leading to the water jump being omitted for the first (and so far only) time in the Nationals history. Favourite was an Irish trained Aintree debutant. Starting at  7-1 COPP  a former hunter chaser had won his last three races including two of Irelands premier chase, the Thyestes & Leopardstown Chase. The 1953 winner EARLY MIST (9-1) now running for a new owner following the collapse of Joe Griffins business empire had just run twice this season with a spell over hurdles before he put up a superb performance to finish fourth in the Gold Cup. TUDOR LINE just denied twelve months ago was next best at 10-1 having won the valuable Lancashire Chase at Manchester. Vincent O`Brien had trained the last two National winners and he had four runners this year, after Early Mist his next best challenger was another debutant  QUARE TIMES who had been denied by two lengths by Limber Hill in the National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He had won at Naas in January and proved he could stay when landing a four mile chase at Cheltenham the previous season. IRISH LIZARD had two first fence falls and two third places to his name in the National. At twelve his time had surely come and gone but he was in good heart having won the four mile Fred Withington Chase at Cheltenham in January and been a close third behind Quare Times at the Festival.  MARINER`S LOG, a first fence faller in 1956 was also fancied to do a lot better this year and we also had a Royal runner this year with the unusually named  M`AS-TU-VU who had won at Newbury in January.

GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE, 4 1/2 miles, £8,934 to the winner 

 1    -03F0  ROYAL TAN  11, 12-4 M V O`Brien - IRE D V Dick 
 2       - 24  EARLY MIST  10, 12-3 M V O`Brien - IRE B.Marshall 
 3  -2234    MARINER`S LOG  8, 11-12 Beeby R.Francis 
 4 110311  MR LINNET  7, 11-5 C A Rogers - IRE Mr J R Cox 
 6    -F310  TUDOR LINE  10, 10-3 R.Renton G.Slack 
 7    -2402  GIGOLO  10, 11-3 Wight R.Curran 
 8  -F1112  SUNDEW  9, 11-3 J.McLintock - IRE  P J Doyle 
 9 2120U0  ESB  9, 11-1 L.Carver T.Cusack 
10     -3142  QUARE TIMES   9, 11-0 M V O`Brien - IRE P.Taaffe 
11  1110F0  ORIENTAL WAY  7, 10-12 M V O`Brien - IRE F T Winter 
12 301122  CAREY`S COTTAGE  8, 10-11 T J Taaffe - IRE T.Taaffe 
13  133424  LITTLE YID  13, 10-10 R.Renton J R Emery 
14 -302212  IRISH LIZARD  12, 10-09 H.Nicholson M.Scudamore 
15     -3111  COPP  11, 10-8 P.Sleator - IRE T.Molony 
16  231301  M`AS-TU-VU  9, 10-7 P.Cazalet A.Freeman 
19         -04  RED RUBE  8, 10-3 A.Oughton A.Oughton 
20  03242F  NO RESPONSE 9, 10-2   R.Renton D.Ancil 
21   -4P023  CLEARING  8, 10-2 W.Stephenson R J Hamey 
23               -  DARK STRANGER  10, 10-5 Colville Mr J.Bosley 
24 -221400  BLUE ENVOY  10, 10-1 V.Smyth Mr E.Greenway 
25  211410  ANOTHER RAKE  10, 10-1 F.Gilman D.Leslie 
26  203133  GENTLE MOYA  9, 10-0 C.Bewicke Mr J.Straker 
27  243000  MOOGIE  12, 10-0 H.Cousins J.Neely 
28  FF33P0  STEEL LOCK  11, 10-0 K.Bailey J A Bullock 
29  40P24F  WILD WISDOM  10, 10-0 O`Donaghue Lt Col W.Holman 
31  33BP02  ONTRAY  7, 10-8Briggs Mr R.Brewis 
32        -304  ROMAN FIRE  12, 10-0 Bissill J.Dowdeswell 
33  3PFF34  MUNSTER KING II  8, 10-0 P.Cazalet V.Speck 
34 -030F00  SUN CLASP  7, 10-0 Storey J.Power 
35               -  UNCLE BARNEY  12, 10-0 Clarkson L.McMorrow 

Non Runners : -  5 GOOSANDER (A P Thompson, 17 MR CHIPPENDALE (-), 18 WHISPERING STEEL (R.Morrow), 22 PORTARLINGTON (R.Curson), 30 AIR WEDDING (-)

S.P: 7-1 Copp, 9-1 Early Mist, 10-1 Tudor Line, 100-9 QUARE TIMES, 12.5-1 Irish Lizard & Mariner`s Log, 100-6 Gigolo, 20-1 Careys Cottage & Mr Linnett, 22-1 M`as-tu-Vu, 28-1 Royal Tan & Sundew, 33-1 Oriental Way, 40-1 Dark Stranger, 45-1 Another Rake & No Response, 50-1 Clearing, Gentle Moya, Little Yid & Uncle Barney, 66-1 Blue Envoy, ESB, Moogie, Muster King II, Ontray, Red Rube, Roman Fire, Sun Clasp, Steel Lock & Wild Wisdom

Aintree debutants (14)

Another Rake*, Blue Envoy*, Careys Cottage, Clearing, Copp*, ESB. Gigolo*, Mariners Log, M`As-tu-Vu, Oriental Way*, Quare Times*, Red Rube, Roman Fire, Sundew

Winners at Aintree

Early MIstGrand National (1953) 
Irish Lizard Molyneux Chase (1948) & Topham Trophy (1953) 
Little Yid Molyneux Chase (1952, 1953 & 1954) & Topham Trophy (1954) 
Mr LInnet Becher Chase (1954) 
Royal Tan Grand National (1954) 
Uncle Barney Valentine Chase (1952) 


First fence : BLUE ENVOY (slid in the conditions and fell), MARINER`S LOG (fell)

Third fence : ANOTHER RAKE (fell - one of the last to jump the fence, almost came to a standstill and fell over it)

Bechers (6th)  : ESB (fell), ROMAN FIRE (Brought down)

Seventh fence : MOOGIE (third when unseated rider), COPP (never going well - fell)*

Tenth fence : DARK STRANGER (fell)

Eleventh fence : MUNSTER KING II (hampered & unseated rider), NO RESPONSE (fell), ORIENTAL WAY (brought down)

Order at half way (according to Chaseform) : (1) SUNDEW, (2) M`AS-TU-VU (3) STEEL LOCK, (4) CAREY`S COTTAGE, (5) QUARE TIMES, (6) GENTLE MOYA ,(7) WILD WISDOM, (8) TUDOR LINE, (9) ONTRAY, (10) RED RUBE, (11) MR LINNETT, (12) GIGOLO, (13) IRISH LIZARD, (14) LITTLE YID, (15) CLEARING, (16) UNCLE BARNEY, (17) ROYAL TAN, (18) EARLY MIST, tailed off (19) SUN CLASP  


Order at Canal Turn (24th) (according to Chaseform) : (1) QUARE TIMES, (2) SUNDEW (blundered), (3) CAREY`S COTTAGE, (4) TUDOR LINE, (5) GENTLE MOYA, (6) STEEL LOCK, (7) M`AS-TU-VU, (8) IRISH LIZARD, (9) ONTRAY, ,(10) GIGOLO, (11) CLEARING, (12) WILD WISDOM, (13) EARLY MIST, (14) LITTLE YID (pulled up), (15) RED RUBE, (16) ROYAL TAN, (17) MR LINNETT, (18) UNCLE BARNEY , tailed off (19) SUN CLASP

Twenty sixth fence : MR LINNETT (pulled up)*

Twenty seventh fence : SUNDEW (unseated rider), STEEL LOCK (hampered & unseated rider), M`AS-TU-VU (refused & unseated rider) 

Twenty eighth fence : SUN CLASP (fell remounted pulled up - not sure where


1stQUARE TIMES P.Taaffe 
2nd TUDOR LINE G.Slack 
4thGIGOLO R.Curran 
5th ONTRAY Mr R.Brewis 
6th GENTLE MOYA Mr J.Straker 
7th CLEARING R J Hamey 
8th WILD WISDOM Lt Col W.Holman 
9th EARLY MIST B.Marshall 
10th RED RUBE A.Oughton 
11th IRISH LIZARD M.Scudamore 
12th ROYAL TAN D V Dick 
13th UNCLE BARNEY L.McMorrow 

Time : 10 mins 19 1/5  secs

Distances : 12-4-2-20-1

Owned by Mrs W.H.E Welman

Trained by Vincent O`Brien in Ireland

The winner

QUARE TIMES proved that his exertions at Aintree had not taken too much out of him as he ran twice more that season winning a hurdle race at Leopardstown and finishing unplaced in what was then the valuable end of the season chase, the Queen Elizabeth Chase at the long lost Hurst Park. Thereafter he became something of an enigma as he never raced at Aintree again. He was declared to run in the 1956 National having won at Leopardstown and chased home Sundew in the Haydock Park Grand National Trial but injury forced him to miss the race. He only raced four more times after that, winning a two runner race at Leopardstowns Christmas meeting in 1956 and he last raced in February 1958 at Naas when he finished unplaced behind a future National winner, Mr What.