1967 Grand National

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1967 Grand National
Grand National
LocationAintree Racecourse
Date8 April 1967
Winning horseRepublic of Ireland Foinavon
Starting price100/1
JockeyEngland John Buckingham
TrainerJohn Kempton
OwnerCyril Watkins
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External video
video icon BBC
video icon British Pathe

The 1967 Grand National was the 121st renewal of the world-famous Grand National steeplechase that took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England, on 8 April 1967. The race is best remembered for being won by outsider Foinavon at odds of 100/1, after being the only horse to avoid a mêlée at the 23rd fence and jump it at the first attempt.[1]

Rutherfords has been hampered, and so has Castle Falls; Rondetto has fallen, Princeful has fallen, Norther has fallen, Kirtle Lad has fallen, The Fossa has fallen, there's a right pile-up... And now, with all this mayhem, Foinavon has gone off on his own! He's about 50, 100 yards in front of everything else![2]

Commentator Michael O'Hehir describes the chaotic scene at the 23rd fence in 1967

By Becher's Brook on the second circuit 28 horses were left in the race and all jumped it successfully. One horse, Vulcano, had been injured in a fall at the third fence and was euthanised.

The most dramatic moment of the race, and perhaps of Grand National history, came when a loose horse – Popham Down, who had been hampered and unseated his rider at the first fence – veered dramatically to his right at the 23rd fence, slamming into Rutherfords, unseating its jockey Johnny Leech. A pile-up ensued. Rondetto, Norther, Kirtle Lad, Princeful, Leedsy and other horses hit the ground, then began running up and down the fence preventing others from jumping and bringing the whole race effectively to a halt. Some even began running in the wrong direction, back the way they had come.[1]

Foinavon, whose owner had travelled to Worcester on race day to ride another of his horses,[3] had been in 22nd position at Becher's, about three lengths behind the favourite Honey End, and his jockey, John Buckingham, had sufficient time to steer his mount wide of the mêlée and find a small gap in the fence to jump cleanly on the outside.

Being on the only horse over the 23rd at the first attempt, Buckingham found himself with a surprise lead of 30 lengths. Although 17 jockeys remounted to give chase and some did make up considerable ground, especially Josh Gifford on 15/2 favourite Honey End, none had time to catch Foinavon before he passed the finishing post 15 lengths clear.[1][4] His success paid out a record 444/1 on the Tote.[5]

After the race, commentator Michael O'Hehir suggested that with obstacles like Becher's Brook and Valentine's, the 23rd might one day be named after Foinavon. In 1984, the Aintree executive officially named the fence (the smallest on the course at 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)) the Foinavon fence.[2]

Three jockeys had turned him down. They asked me and I mean I'd have ridden Dick's donkey to be in the Grand National.

Jockey John Buckingham reflects on choosing to ride Foinavon in 1967

As part of the BBC's coverage of the 2010 Grand National, jockey John Buckingham described some of the extraordinary circumstances of his win in an interview. Three jockeys had turned down Foinavon prior to the race (his price the day before the National was 500/1), but Buckingham took up the opportunity to ride in the famous steeplechase. With a clear view of the mêlée at the 23rd, Foinavon was almost hampered by Honey End, whose jockey had remounted, turned around and was ready to attempt to jump the fence. At the next obstacle, the Canal Turn, Buckingham looked back in disbelief at the clear lead he held with just six fences remaining. After passing the elbow on the run-in, he got a final burst of energy from Foinavon, and later reflected: "Then there was no doubt, I knew I won it. I was absolutely over the moon."[2]

1967 was also the year when Red Rum made his first appearance at Aintree, as a two-year-old in a five-furlong sprint, finishing in a dead-heat for first the day before the National. Ten years later, he would return to the same racecourse to secure his unprecedented third Grand National title.[6]

A similar incident to the mêlée at the 23rd fence occurred in the 2001 when Red Marauder won the race from Smarty after they were left clear following a pile-up at the Canal Turn on the first circuit, and after the other remaining horses fell or were brought down by the 20th fence.[7]

It was also reminiscent of the 1928 Grand National, when Tipperary Tim was the only horse to finish the race without being remounted, also at odds of 100-1.[8]

Finishing order[edit]

Position Name Jockey Age Handicap (st-lb) SP Distance
01 Foinavon John Buckingham 9 10-0 100/1
02 Honey End Josh Gifford 10 10-4 15/2
03 Red Alligator Brian Fletcher 8 10-0 30/1
04 Greek Scholar Terry Biddlecombe 8 10-9 20/1
05 Packed Home Tommy Carberry 12 10-0 100/1
06 Solbina Eddie Harty 10 11-2 25/1
07 Aussie Frank Shortt 10 10-0 50/1
08 Scottish Final Nobby Howard 10 10-0 100/1
09 What A Myth Paul Kelleway 10 12-0 20/1
10 Kapeno Nick Gasalee 10 11-1 25/1
11 Quintin Bay Jackie Cullen 11 10-0 50/1
12 Bob-A-Job Chris Young 13 10-0 100/1
13 Steel Bridge Eamon Prendergast 9 10-0 100/1
14 Castle Falls Stan Hayhurst 10 10-3 50/1
15 Ross Sea John Cook 11 10-3 66/1
16 Rutherfords Johnny Leech 7 10-11 28/1
17 Freddie Pat McCarron 10 11-13 100/9
18 Game Purston Ken White 9 10-0 66/1

Non-finishers[edit]

Fence Name Jockey Age Handicap (st-lb) Starting price Fate
19 Kilburn Tim Norman 9 11-0 100/8 Fell
01 Bassnet David Nicholson 8 10-11 10/1 Fell
01 Meon Valley Andy Turnell 12 10-7 66/1 Fell
19 Lucky Domino John Kenneally 10 10-5 66/1 Refused
03 Dorimont Richard Pitman 13 10-0 100/1 Fell
03 April Rose Piers Bengough 12 10-8 66/1 Fell
03 Vulcano Jeremy Speid-Soote 9 10-0 40/1 Fell
12 Ronald's Boy Paul Irby 10 10-13 100/1 Fell
06 Border Fury David Crossley-Cooke 8 10-2 100/2 Fell
19 Aerial III Tim Durant 11 10-9 100/1 Fell
19 Tower Road Ray Williams 9 10-0 40/1 Fell
15 Anglo Bobby Beasley 9 11-1 100/8 Pulled Up
16 Forecastle Nimrod Wilkinson 9 10-10 50/1 Pulled Up
23 The Fossa Stan Mellor 10 10-2 100/8 Pulled Up
23 Norther Mr John Lawrence 10 10-0 50/1 Pulled Up
23 Dun Widdy John Edwards 11 10-10 100/1 Pulled Up
19 Penvuglo Johnny Lehane 8 10-0 50/1 Pulled Up
23 Harry Black Roddy Reid 10 10-0 100/1 Refused
23 Different Class David Mould 7 11-2 100/8 Brought Down
23 Limeking Pat Buckley 10 10-3 33/1 Brought Down
01 Popham Down Macer Gifford 10 10-0 66/1 Brought Down
23 Leedsy Stan Murphy 9 10-5 50/1 Brought Down
23 Princeful Roy Edwards 9 10-2 100/1 Brought Down
23 Rondetto Johnny Haine 11 11-7 33/1 Refused
24 Kirtle-Lad Paddy Broderick 8 10-3 28/1 Refused
27 Barberyn Nick Mullins 12 10-1 100/1 Refused

[9] [10] [11]

Media coverage[edit]

Once again the BBC provided the television coverage with David Coleman fronting a special edition of Grandstand. Four commentators were used for the first time, Peter O'Sullevan, Bob Haynes, Michael O'Hehir and Michael Seth-Smith.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Foinavon Grand National Liverpool 8 April 1967". Onlinebookmakers.me.uk. 8 April 1967. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "BBC Sport - Horse Racing - The story of Foinaven's 1967 Grand National victory". BBC News. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ Wood, Greg (3 April 2009). "The Joy of Six: great Grand National moments | Sport". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  4. ^ "History". Grandnational.org.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  5. ^ TheGameHunter (15 November 2012). "Foinavon ~ The 1967 Grand National Winner". Thegamehunter.co.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Grand National History 1969 - 1960". The-grand-national.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  7. ^ 2001 Aintree Grand National - Red Marauder Archived 22 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine YouTube
  8. ^ 1928 Grand National Archived 15 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine YouTube
  9. ^ The Grand National : the history of the Aintree spectacular, by Stewart Peters & Bernard Parkin, ISBN 0-7524-3547-7
  10. ^ "1966/67 - The Grand National and Aintree 1960-1969". Sixtiesnationals.webs.com. 12 October 1968. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  11. ^ Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National's Biggest Upset, by David Owen, ISBN 9781408154755