The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959

1958 - Mr What`s year


Leading Fancies 

Running the National on a Friday had been a miserable failure so Mrs Topham reversed the idea. Traditionalists may not have been pleased but in a post war world where Saturday was the recognized day of leisure it was the only viable option to stage the race on a Saturday and I wonder in this ever changing world when we will be embracing a Sunday National ? With Sundew sadly meeting his end at  Haydock favouritism went to his vanquished rival of twelve months ago, WYNDBURGH who had reversed the placings with Sundew in the Grand Sefton and then won the gruelling Eider Chase at Newcastle unchallenged. The only blot in an otherwise successful campaign had been when he had unseated his rider at he last fence when in contention in the Mildmay Memorial. He started at  6-1. Next up at 100-7 came GOOSANDER, a distant fifth behind Wyndbugh in the Eider and he was the only marker leader without a win all season. Having said that he liked Aintree and had run the race of his life in the National twelve months ago when having been up with the leaders throughout before fading to finish sixth. No doubt it was the form shown in that race which made him so popular with punters.  The leading Irish challenger was MR WHAT. He had won the Troytown Chase (beating Sentina) and had also won two other chases in a busy season (this was to be his ninth start of the campaign). He was one of five runners starting at 18-1. The others were HART ROYAL, a first fence faller in 1957 but with two wins from four starts this year and three very robust individuals,  the National Hunt Handicap Chase winner SENTINA (eleventh race of the season), EAGLE LODGE (twelfth race) with five wins under his belt at Kempton, Hurst Park, Plumpton and twice at Fontwell and SPRINGSILVER (fourteenth race) who had won the Birdlip Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and had been running consistently since the previous summer winning over both fences and hurdles in his native Ireland.

GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE (sponsored by Irish Hospital Sweepstakes) 4 1/2 miles, £13,719 to the winner

 1 0-10B03  ESB  12, 11-12T F Rimell D V Dick 
 30-04020  GOOSANDER  10, 11-7 N.Crump T.Molony 
 4 213100  WISE CHILD  10, 11-6 C.Bewicke S.Hayhurst 
 5 004340  GLORIOUS TWELFTH  9, 11-3 R.Renton B.Wilkinson 
 6 1413U1  WYNDBURGH  8, 11-3K.Oliver M.Batchelor 
 7121-214  COLLEDGE MASTER  8, 11-2 R.Turnell W.Rees 
 8-442220  LONGMEAD  8, 11-1 J.Corbett - IRE G W Robinson 
 9 200F00  HOLLY BANK  11, 10-13 W.Hide Mr P.Brookshaw 
10 2F13-1F  ACE OF TRUMPS  10, 10-12 C.Nicholson P A Farrell 
11  013024  ATHENIAN  9, 10-11 P.Cazalet D.Ancil 
12  123U01  SENTINA  8, 10-11 T W Dreaper - IREP.Taaffe 
13 F-03101  HART ROYAL  10, 10-11 I.LomaxP.Pickford 
14 -112033  GREEN DRILL  8, 10-10 C.Bewicke G.Milburn 
16  324420  SYDNEY JONES  11, 10-12 P.Tory Mr M.Tory 
17 10/2-022  VALIANT SPARK  9, 10-7 E.Champneys M.Scudamore 
18  430302  TIBERETTA  10, 10-6 E.Courage G.Slack 
20 0-0P104  RENDEZ-VOUS III  10, 10-13W.Wightman J A Bullock 
21  340000   BROOKLING  9, 10-3 G.Wells -IRE T.Taaffe 
22  240431  SPRINGSILVER  8, 10-4 C.Magnier - IRE F T Winter 
23  102204  NEVER SAY WHEN  9, 10-2 F.Cundell S.Mellor 
24-31B221  PIPPYKIN  10, 10-5 W.Whiston T.Brookshaw 
26     /22P-0  PRINCESS GARTER  11, 10-3E.Davies Mr W.Roberts 
27 F-20000  MUST  10, 10-1 W.Pilkington R.Morrow 
28  140F00  SOUTHERNTOWN  12, 10-1 P.Doherty P.Cowley 
29  0F0400  THE CROFTER  10, 10-0 W D Francis J.Power 
30  3P0B00  MOSTON LANE  9, 10-0 R.Ward R.E Jenkins 
31 00-2230  RICHARDSTOWN  10, 10-0 M.Neville -IRE J.Morrissey 
32  410131  EAGLE LODGE  9, 10-0 M.FeakesA.Oughton 
33  012112  MR WHAT  8, 10-6 T.Taaffe - IRE A.Freeman 
34  430300  COMEDIANS FOLLY  10, 10-0 L G Scott Mr D.Scott 
35 P/PPF0-4 FROZEN CREDIT  12, 10-12 W.Ransom Mr P.Ransom 

Non Runners : 2 SAM BROWNTHORN (-), 15 BREMONTIER (A.Rosslo), 19 TOP TWENTY (F.Shortt), 25 BELROBIN (John Lehane) 

S P :  6-1 Wyndburgh, 100-7 Goodander, 18-1 Eagle Lodge, Hart Royal, MR WHAT, Sentina, Springsilver, 20-1 Valiant Spark, 22-1 Athenian, Pippykin, 25-1 Colledge Master, 28-1 Brookiling, ESB, Glorious Twelfth, Green Drill, Longmead, Sydney Jones, Tiberetta, 40-1Ace Of Trumps, Richardstown, The Crofter, 45-1 Rendez Vous III, Wise Child, 50-1 Holly Bank, Must, Never Say When, 66-1 Comedians Folly, Frozen Credit, Moston Lane, Princess Garter, Southerntown

Aintree debutants (11)

Comedians Folly*, Frozen Credit*, Holly Bank, Green Drill, Longmead*, Mr What, Nic Atkins*, Richardstown, Southerntown, Springsilver*. Valiant Spark 

Winners at Aintree (5)

Ace of Trumps Becher Chase (1956) 
Colledge Master Foxhunters Chase (1957) 
ESB Grand National (1956) 
Tiberetta Becher Chase (1957) 
WyndburghGrand Sefton Chase (1957) 


Saturday 29th March - Going : Soft

Sources ; Pathe/British Movietone/Chaseform

* not covered by the newsreel foootage 

Second fence : LONGMEAD (fell)

Fifth fence : RENDEZ-VOUS III (fell), PRINCESS GARTER (unseated rider), VALIANT SPARK (fell)

Bechers (6th) : MUST (fell), SENTINA (fell), COMEDIAN`S FOLLY (hampered & refused, cleared fence at third attempt), FROZEN CREDIT (hampered & refused) 

Seventh fence : COMEDIAN`S FOLLY (refused)*


Eleventh fence : GLORIOUS TWELFTH (refused)*

Thirteenth fence : BROOKLING (fell)*

The Chair (15th) : ACE OF TRUMPS (pulled up)*

Order at half way : (According to Chaseform) (1) GOOSANDER (2) ATHENIAN, (3) NEVER SAY WHEN, (4) GREEN DRILL, (5) TIBERETTA, (6) MR WHAT, (7) THE CROFTER, (8) EAGLE LODGE, (9) WYNDBURGH, (10) ESB, (11) PIPPYKIN, (12) RICHARDSTOWN (unseated rider), (13) SYDNEY JONES, (14) SOUTHERTOWN, (15) COLLEDGE MASTER, (16) HART ROYAL, (17) WISE CHILD, (18) MOSTON LANE, (19) SPRINGSILVER, (20) HOLLY BANK

Seventeenth fence : MOSTON LANE (refused)

Eighteenth fence : COLLEDGE MASTER (tried to refuse at the previous fence, clambered over - pulled up) 

Nineteenth fence : ATHENIAN (fell - lodged in fence)* , NEVER SAY WHEN (refused & unseated rider), SOUTHERNTOWN (unseated rider)*, SPRINGSILVER (refused)*, WISE CHILD (pulled up)*

Twentieth fence : THE CROFTER (unseated rider)

Bechers (22nd) : PIPPYKIN (fell), SYDNEY JONES (brought down), HART ROYAL (refused)

Order at the Canal Turn : (1) MR WHAT, (2) GOOSANDER, (3) GREEN DRILL, (4) TIBERETTA, (5) ESB, (6) EAGLE LODGE, (7) WYNDBURGH, (8) HOLLY BANK (tailed off

Twenty eighth fence : EAGLE LODGE (pulled up)*


 1stMR WHAT A.Freeman 
 2ndTIBERETTA G.Slack 
 3rdGREEN DRILL G.Milburn 
 4thWYNBURGH M.Batchelor 
 5thGOOSANDER T.Molony 
 6thESB D V Dick 
 7thHOLLY BANK Mr P.Brookshaw 

Only seven finished

31 ran.

Time : 9 minutes, 59 4/5 seconds

Distances :  30-15-15-20-12

Owned by D J Coughlan

Trained by Tom Taaffe in Ireland 

The winner

Mr What never won another race despite being extensively campaigned over the next five seasons. He became something of an Aintree regular appearing in each of the next five Nationals. He finished a distant third behind Oxo in 1959, fell at second Bechers when in contention in 1960 and was only eleventh (on firm ground that he hated) in 1961. In 1962 for new connections (he was now trained in England) he ran a superb race to finish third behind two Aintree old timers, Kilmore and Wyndburgh on the heavy ground he so loved. His last National was an anti-climax as he  refused on the first circuit. On that occasion he was ridden by a young Irish jockey called Tommy Carberry who was having his first National ride.