The Grand National
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Grand National History 1899 - 1890

Aintree Grand National 1899

Harry Dyas who had owned "Manifesto" when he won in 1897 sold the horse in 1898 to Mr. J Bulteel and the horse came back strong to win the 1899 Grand National for his new owner starting at 5-1 as the horse was not the favourite. The favourite was "Gentle Ida", another horse that had been owned by Harry Dyas and was still kept in his stable. Mr. Dyas had said he believed the horse to be more likely to win than "Manifesto" giving that the starting weight was around a stone less, this feeling spread leading to 4-1 odds on the day for "Gentle Ida".

The race itself was ran on a sunny day with "Manifesto" lining up as a heavy 12st 7lbs and staying behind the leading pack for much of the event before slipping and landing on his shoulder. "Manifesto" would not have been expected to make up such a distance at this point, but along with jockey George Williamson the pair got up and battled hard to make up the necessary ground overtaking "Gentle Ida" who fell at the next fence and catching up to the following years winner "Ambush II" with the pair just behind the leaders at Becher's Brook the second time around. From here "Manifesto" pushed ahead winning by five lengths over "Ford Of Fyne" with "Elliman" ridden by Ernie Piggott who would later ride "Manifesto" in the National.

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Aintree Grand National 1898

In between two victories for "Manifesto" the horse named "Drogheda" won the National with long odds of 25-1 followed by "Cathal" who recorded two, second place finishes in succession with fairly short odds of 7-1 as the race was run in a snowstorm. "Manifesto" was to compete but a week earlier had managed to escape his stable after the latch was left unlocked allowing the horse the freedom to wander. "Manifesto" did just this galloping across country before trying to jump a 5ft gate unsuccessfully and injuring himself, an injury that kept him out of competition for several months.

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Aintree Grand National 1897

"Manifesto" the horse that first ran in the 1892 Grand National and would go on to race in 8, more Nationals than any other horse would win the 1897 race. Installed as favourite and ridden again by Terry Kavanagh, who had been trying to win the event for 10 years "Manifesto" won by a clear twenty lengths leaving the pair jubilant. The race didn't start out as would have been hoped with the horses called back following a false start, the race did however start without any problems the second time around as 28 horses participated, equaling the same number as the previous year.

"Manifesto" for much of the race hung back in second position as all horses made it to the Canal Turn before previous winner "Wild Man From Borneo" was pulled up after being ran into. "The Soarer" who won a year earlier was the only other former Grand National winner to compete and also fell suffering a broken collarbone with only "Manifesto" and "Timon" out in front until "Timon" unseated his rider leaving only "Cathal" with a slight chance of catching up. "Cathal" the second place horse in 1895 was though too far behind falling at the last as he desperately struggled to make up ground allowing "Manifesto" the option of relaxing as he raced to the finish under the thunderous applause of those who had backed him and starting the legacy left by maybe the greatest horse ever.

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Aintree Grand National 1896

40-1 outsider "The Soarer" won the 1896 Grand National, on a day which 28 horses ran, a much better amount than the past decade normally featured with the winning jockey being David Campbell and William Hill-Walker the horses owner. 1892 winner "Father O'Flynn" finished second in the race, also from odds of 40-1, which were quite long for a former winning horse that was not yet truely past its prime.

1896 was also the year the great flat jockey Fred Archer took his own life, the jockey who two years earlier struggled to come to terms with losing his wife died aged 29. Fred's father William Archer had ridden "Little Charley" to victory in the 1858 National and later trained and co-owned 1925 winner "Double Chance" with both being closely linked to the history of the event.

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Aintree Grand National 1895

The 1895 Grand National was won by "Wild Man From Borneo", a very quick horse whose stuffed head is still at Aintree in an interview room used by several winners. He was owned by John Widger and ridden by jockey Joe Widger on a day which the race was ran under heavy fog with many spectators unable to view the majority of the action. "Cathal" came in second ridden my Mr. H Escort followed by "Van Der Berg" in third and "Manifesto" in fourth who ran very well from the start only to tire towards the end with jockey Terry Kavanagh on his back.

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Aintree Grand National 1894

"Why Not" moved up two places from third in 1893 to first in 1894 and both times he was ridden by Arthur Nightingall who had won in 1890. Arthur joined the small club of dual winners when the pair who were pre-race favourites at 5-1 won ahead of 13 other horses as yet another small field turned out at Aintree. "Cloister" was withdrawn from the race with the bookies aware of this much earlier than the public, something that also occurred in 1895 when the horse was again found to be lame a few days before the race with those close by employing a detective to look after him in 1895 in case there was any foul play.

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Aintree Grand National 1893

In one of the most amazing Grand Nationals ever, "Cloister" the then 9 year-old 9-2 favourite set a record winning the race by a clear 40 lengths while carrying 12 stones and 7lbs an entire stone heavier than his appearance in 1891. The 40-length win was in sharp contrast to the runner up spot in 1892 when he finished 20 lengths behind the winning horse "Father O'Flynn".

"Cloister" led the race from the first fence and just kept on going increasing the distance between himself and all the others following a huge charge to take command early. "Aesop" finished second, "Why Not" third and "Tit For Tat" fourth at 25-1 with another four horses completing the course.

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Aintree Grand National 1892

At the 1892 Grand National "Ilex" again finished third ridden by Arthur Nightingall, Terry Kavanagh who would later ride "Manifesto" finished fourth on "Ardcarn" and "Cloister" returned as 11-2 favourite to finish second behind "Father O'Flynn" who won at 20-1 ridden by Captain Roddy Owen. "Father O'Flynn" was trained and owned by Gordon Wilson and would never again finish in the top four.

1892 was also the year "Manifesto" ran his first ever race aged 4 when the horse that was bred in Ireland by solicitor and farmer Harry Dyas was entered in a steeplechase in Manchester. The horse did not look overly impressive though as he failed to complete the course. "Manifesto" did however race the following month in Manchester in a hurdle race, which he won receiving prize money of 39 pounds.

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Aintree Grand National 1891

Arthur Nightingall would go on to finish in the top 4 in 1891 and the following three Nationals, but it was another who would begin the same three year cycle in 1891 with the now legendary horse "Cloister" finishing second as his triumphant route to victory leading to him becoming one of the most famous participants at Aintree got started. It was however only for the fantastic race "Come Away" ran that the events even happened as they did, because but for him and jockey Harry Beasley winning as 4-1 favourites in his twelfth appearance the record he was to set two years later may not have been. The race itself had two previous winners "Ilex" and "Roquefort" finishing in third and fourth.

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Aintree Grand National 1890

There would be no second place finish as in 1888 or third as in 1889 for Arthur Nightingall, who this year was riding the favourite "Ilex" at starting odds of 4-1 winning on the horse and completing three impressive appearances at Aintree by joining the winners list. The horse which he had ridden a year earlier also returned and finished third again with both second and place finishers "Pan" and "Brunswick" performing well after being considered complete outsiders with massive odds of 100-1.

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