Before the race, Tipperary Tim's amateur jockey, William Dutton, heard a friend call out to him: "Billy boy, you'll only win if all the others fall!" These words turned out to be true, as all of the 41 other starters fell during the race.
The 1928 National was run during misty weather conditions with the going very heavy. As the field approached the Canal Turn on the first circuit, Easter Hero fell, causing a pile-up from which only seven horses emerged with seated jockeys. By the penultimate fence this number had reduced to three, with Great Span looking most likely to win ahead of Billy Barton and Tipperary Tim. Great Span's saddle then slipped, leaving Billy Barton in the lead until he too fell. Although Billy Barton's jockey Tommy Cullinan managed to remount and complete the race, it was Tipperary Tim who came in first at outside odds of 100/1. The 10-year-old was trained by Joseph Dodd for owner Harold Kenyon.
With only two riders completing the course, 1928 set the record for the fewest number of finishers in a Grand National.