1956 Grand National

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1956 Grand National
Grand National
Location Aintree Racecourse
Date 24 March 1956
Winning horse E.S.B.
SP 100/7[1]
Jockey Dave Dick
Trainer Fred Rimell
Owner Mrs. Leonard Carver
Conditions Good
1955
1957
External video
Highlights of the 1956 Grand National (British Pathé)

The 1956 Grand National was the 110th renewal of the world-famous Grand National horse race that took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England, on 24 March 1956.

It is probably best remembered for Devon Loch's sudden and inexplicable fall on the final straight, just 40 yards from a certain victory. The incident is almost always replayed during television build-up coverage on Grand National day.

Owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and ridden by Dick Francis, the well-fancied Devon Loch held a five-length lead over his nearest challenger, E.S.B., on the run-in to the finishing post, when he suddenly half-jumped into the air and landed in a bellyflop on his stomach, allowing E.S.B. to overtake and win. Although Francis tried to cajole the horse, it was unable to continue.

Finishing order[edit]

Position Name Jockey Age Handicap (st-lb) SP Distance
01 ESB David Dick 10 11-3 100/7
02 Gental Moya George Milburn 10 10-2 22/1
03 Royal Tan Tosse Taaffe 12 12-1 28/1
04 Eagle Lodge Alan Oughton 7 10-1 66/1
05 Ken Royal Tim Molony 8 10-8 28/1
06 Martinique Stan Mellor 10 10-0 40/1
07 Carey's Cottage Bob Turnell 9 10-13 10/1
08 Clearing Johnny Bullock 9 10-1 66/1
09 Wild Wisdom Luther Bridge 11 10-1 66/1 Last to Complete

Non-finishers[edit]

Fence Name Jockey Age Handicap (st-lb) SP Fate
01 Early Mist Bryan Marshall 11 12-2 25/1 Fell
01 High Guard Arthur Thompson 9 11-1 22/1 Fell
01 Must Bert Morrow 8 10-10 7/1 Fell
01 Reverend Prince Mr C Pocock 10 10-5 40/1 Fell
03 No Response Cathal Finnegan 10 10-1 50/1 Fell
04 Mariner's Log Rene Emery 9 11-11 22/1 Fell
11 Merry Windsor Leo McMorrow 8 10-10 28/1 Fell
12 Athenian Rex Hamey 7 10-3 66/1 Fell
18 Border Luck Mick O'Dwyer 11 10-0 66/1 Refused
18 M'as Tu Vu Arthur Freeman 10 10-6 40/1 Fell
19 Dunboy II Bobby Brewis 12 11-0 66/1 Fell
19 Polonius Gene Kelly 10 10-3 66/1 Refused
19 Domata Derek Ancil 10 10-4 66/1 Fell
21 Witty Paddy Farrell 11 10-4 66/1 Fell
22 Sundew Fred Winter 10 11-4 8/1 Fell
22 Pippykin Jimmy Power 8 10-0 100/7 Refused
26 Armorial III Jack Dowdeswell 7 10-10 20/1 Fell
26 Much Obliged Michael Scudamore 8 11-0 50/1 Fell
29 Ontray Dick Curran 8 10-0 100/6 Fell
31(Run-in) Devon Loch Dick Francis 10 11-4 100/7 Slipped Up

[2] [3] [4]

Media Coverage and Aftermath[edit]

E.S.B.'s jockey Dave Dick said of his unexpected win: "Devon Loch had me stone cold. I was a terribly lucky winner." Devon Loch's owner Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother famously said of the incident: "Oh, that's racing!"[5][6] For jockey Dick Francis, his mount's bizarre collapse on the run-in to victory in the world's most famous steeplechase remained a "terrible memory, even after all these years."[7] Devon Loch's was not the first time a horse had seemed to jump some form of ghost fence on the run in of the National. In 1901, Arthur Nightingall's race was well won on board Grudon when his mount also made to jump a fence that wasn't there. On that occasion the pair recovered and had sufficient time to continue and win the race [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aintree Grand National Winners 1839 - 2014". racingbetter.co.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  2. ^ The Grand National : the history of the Aintree spectacular, by Stewart Peters & Bernard Parkin, ISBN 0-7524-3547-7
  3. ^ "1956 - The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959". fiftiesnationals.webs.com. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Past Winners of The Grand National". grand-national.net. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  5. ^ The Guardian (24 March 1956). "Devon Loch joins the great failures". London. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Armytage, Marcus (6 April 2004). "Francis was victim of a great sporting calamity". London: Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Hayler, Will (14 February 2010). "Scars of Devon Loch's Grand National never healed for Dick Francis". The Guardian. London. 
  8. ^ My racing Adventures, by Arthur Nightingall, published early 1900s, undated