1956 Grand National
|Date||24 March 1956|
|Owner||Mrs. Leonard Carver|
|Highlights of the 1956 Grand National (British Pathé)|
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.
|02||Gental Moya||George Milburn||10||10-2||22/1|
|03||Royal Tan||Toss 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|
|07||Carey's Cottage||Bob Turnell||9||10-13||10/1|
|09||Wild Wisdom||Luther Bridge||11||10-1||66/1||Last to Complete|
|01||Early Mist||Bryan Marshall||11||12-2||25/1||Fell|
|01||High Guard||Arthur Thompson||9||11-1||22/1||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|
|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|
|26||Armorial III||Jack Dowdeswell||7||10-10||20/1||Fell|
|26||Much Obliged||Michael Scudamore||8||11-0||50/1||Fell|
|(Run-in)||Devon Loch||Dick Francis||10||11-4||100/7||Slipped Up|
Media Coverage and Aftermath
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!" 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." 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.
- "Aintree Grand National Winners 1839 - 2014". racingbetter.co.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- The Grand National : the history of the Aintree spectacular, by Stewart Peters & Bernard Parkin, ISBN 0-7524-3547-7
- "1956 - The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959". fiftiesnationals.webs.com. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- "Past Winners of The Grand National". grand-national.net. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- The Guardian (24 March 1956). "Devon Loch joins the great failures". London. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- Armytage, Marcus (6 April 2004). "Francis was victim of a great sporting calamity". Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- Hayler, Will (14 February 2010). "Scars of Devon Loch's Grand National never healed for Dick Francis". The Guardian. London.
- My racing Adventures, by Arthur Nightingall, published early 1900s, undated