1984 Grand National
|Date||31 March 1984|
|Winning horse||Hallo Dandy|
|Trainer||Gordon W. Richards|
The 1984 Grand National (known as the Seagram Grand National for sponsorship reasons) was the 138th official renewal of the world-famous Grand National horse race that took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England, on 31 March 1984.
For the first time, the field was limited to a maximum of 40 runners. A sell-out crowd at Aintree saw 23 contenders complete the course, breaking the record for most finishers and one which still stands today.
Hallo Dandy won the race, ridden by Welsh jockey Neale Doughty. The pairing had finished fourth in the previous year's National. By the 26th fence Hallo Dandy and last year's runner-up Greasepaint were contesting the lead, which Hallo Dandy took at the second-last and held on to, securing victory by a distance of four lengths. The 1983 winner Corbiere finished third.
There was one equine fatality in the race when Earthstopper collapsed and died after finishing in fifth place.
Greasepaint was made market favourite on the day of the race, proving popular to a large section of the general public for whom the National was their only bet of the year due to his having been narrowly beaten into second place in the previous year's race. He was also being given 2 lbs less to carry but had yet to win a race since being transferred to the yard of Dermot Weld who was aiming to land a unique spring double, having saddled the winner of the Lincoln Handicap a week before the National.
Broomy Bank was relatively lightly raced prior to his winning the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham festival a few weeks before the National but with a 66% win rate he was backed to 12/1 for leading amateur rider, Jim Wilson.
Lucky Vane came to Aintree on the back of three victories during the season, the most notable being the Eider Chase, regarded by the racing fraternity as a good Grand National trial. The 12/1 chance would also benefit from the most experienced rider in the field, John Burke, taking his tenth ride in the race, having previously won it in 1976 
Grittar returned to try and regain the title he claimed in 1982, having prepared this year with a creditable third place in the Whitbred trial at Ascot. Although given 2 lbs less than when finishing fifth lest year, it was still 5 lbs more than when victorious. Having been partnered by two different riders in his previous attempts he would again have a new jockey in John Francome who had missed the ride the previous year through injury and was also a 12/1 chance.
Hallo Dandy had been a freely available 33/1 chance for the race at the start of 1984, having been pulled up in the Hennessey Cognac Gold Cup but was the subject of huge gambles when the handicapper seemed to have completely underestimated him by raising him just 1 lb in the weights to run carrying ten stones 2 lbs. A good prep race at Ayr and conditions at Aintree suggesting the horse would get the good ground he favoured, as opposed to the soft ground upon which he had tired to finish fourth last year only served to enhance his chances with his backers who sent him off at 13/1 in the hands of regular jockey Neale Doughty.
The majority of the remainder of the betting public placed their faith with last year's winner and top weighted, Corbiere, Cheltenham Foxhunters winner, Eliogarty, 1981 runner up, Spartan Missile, who provided the amateur, John White with the best backed mount of the eleven riders making their debut in the race, and Ashley House, who had been a firm ante post favourite for last year's race before being a late withdrawal. At the other end of the market over a quarter of the field were allowed to go off at 100/1 while thirteen of the field carried the minimum allowed weight of ten stones, having been handicapped below that mark.
The Jockey club appointed a new handicapper and starter for this years race with Captain Christopher Mordaunt framing the weights for the race and Captain Michael Sayers starting the race.
All five leading contenders ran well throughout the first three quarters of the race and were all well placed to mount a challenge as they jumped the Canal Turn for the second time. Greasepaint kicked on to lead at that stage and was joined four fences from the finish by Hallo Dandy who both began to stretch the chasing field. Broomy Bank and Grittar were among those who began to lose touch while Lucky Vane continued to chase the leaders towards the penultimate fence but was fighting for the minor places by the last fence.
Hallo Dandy took a one length lead over Greasepaint at the final fence but was never able to stretch away, keeping the result in doubt right up until the final few strides of the race.
|01||Hallo Dandy||Neale Doughty||10||10-02||13/1||Won by 4 lengths|
|02||Greasepaint||Tommy Carmody||9||11-2||9/1 F|
|03||Corbiere||Ben De Haan||9||12-0||16/1|
|04||Lucky Vane||Mr John Burke||9||10-13||12/1|
|06||Two Swallows||Anthony Webber||11||10-0||28/1|
|07||Fethard Friend||Gerry Newman||9||10-12||22/1|
|08||Broomy Bank||Mr Jim Wilson||9||10-12||12/1|
|09||Jivago De Neuvy||Mr Roger Grand||9||11-0||50/1|
|11||Hill Of Slane||Steve Smith-Eccles||8||10-2||33/1|
|14||Beech King||Pat Kiely||10||10-1||66/1|
|15||Eliogarty||Mr Donal Hassett||9||11-5||16/1|
|16||Spartan Missile||Mr John White||12||11-4||18/1|
|17||Yer Man||Val O'Connell||9||10-2||25/1|
|19||Another Captain||Andrew Stringer||12||10-1||66/1|
|20||Mid Day Gun||Graham McCourt||10||10-3||40/1|
|21||Poyntz Pass||H Rogers||9||10-5||100/1|
|23||Canford Ginger||Colin Brown||9||10-1||100/1||Last to complete|
|03 (open ditch)||Golden Trix||Kevin Mooney||9||10-1||50/1||Fell|
|06 (Becher's Brook)||Clonthurtin||Tom Taaffe||10||10-0||100/1||Fell|
|06 (Becher's Brook)||Hazy Dawn||Mr Willie Mullins||9||10-9||100/1||Fell|
|06 (Becher's Brook)||Midnight Love||Chris Grant||9||11-4||28/1||Fell|
|06 (Becher's Brook)||Three To One||Phil Tuck||13||10-2||66/1||Fell|
|08 (Canal Turn)||Bush Guide||Miss Valerie Alder||8||10-5||33/1||Fell|
|13||Roman General||Major Malcolm Wallace||11||10-3||500/1||Unseated Rider|
|15 (The Chair)||Ashley House||Graham Bradley||10||11-13||20/1||Fell|
|15 (The Chair)||Carl's Wager||Mr Ronnie Beggan||9||10-2||28/1||Fell|
|17||The Drunken Duck||Alan Brown||11||10-3||100/1||Pulled Up|
|18||Door Step||Mr John Queally||8||10-2||100/1||Fell|
|19 (open ditch)||Fortune Seeker||Paul Barton||9||10-0||100/1||Fell|
|19 (open ditch)||Kumbi||Kevin Doolan||9||10-0||100/1||Fell|
|19 (open ditch)||Pilot Officer||Mr Adrian Sharpe||9||10-2||33/1||Refused|
|22 (Becher's Brook)||Imperial Black||Colin Hawkins||8||10-7||50/1||Fell|
|23||Burnt Oak||Peter Scudamore||8||10-7||25/1||Pulled Up|
|27 (open ditch)||Silent Valley||Geordie Dun||11||10-8||33/1||Pulled Up|
Media Coverage and Aftermath
The race was watched by an official attendance of 54,583.
The BBC broadcast the race live on Television for the twenty-fifth consecutive year, as part of its regular Saturday afternoon Grandstand programme. For the thirteenth consecutive year, the commentary team consisted of John Hanmer, Julian Wilson and lead commentator, Peter O'Sullevan who was calling his thirty-ninth Grand National on Radio or Television.
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- Reg Green, 'A Race Apart', 1988
- Christopher Simpson, Grand Nationals of the 80s
- Reg Green 'A Race Apart', 1988
- "Hallo Dandy 1984 Grand National". grand-national.me.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
- Chris Simpson, Grand Nationals of the 80s
- Sporting Life Souvenir Magazine 9 April 1988, page 4
- BBC Race Footage
- The Grand National : the history of the Aintree spectacular, by Stewart Peters & Bernard Parkin, ISBN 0-7524-3547-7
- "Grand National Anorak |". freewebs.com. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
- Sporting Life Souvenir Magazine, 4 April 1987, page 19
- "Grand National – Grand National 2015". grand-national.net. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
- "BBC SPORT | Other Sport | Horse Racing | Grand National 2003 | National finishes year-by-year". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-27.