Wednesday, 5 April 2017

1980s: Grand National predictions

Tipping a Grand National winner is a tricky task - the last time I got it right was Mr Frisk in 1990 - so for a bit of fun this week, I've decided to take a look at the predictions made by some of the experts in the 1980s, with regards to the horses that would go on to win the famous race at Aintree.

1980: Ben Nevis (40/1)

Remounted after being brought down at the fifteenth last year, but was pulled up at the next. Rather disappointing this season.
Mike Strong, Daily Mirror

1981: Aldaniti (10/1)

A sound jumper who finished runner-up in the 1979 Scottish Grand National. Would crown a marvellous comeback for his jockey, Bob Champion, who has fought his way back from serious illness.
The Times

Aldaniti is best at the weights on his recent Ascot (3m.) success. A sound jumper - he has yet to fall - he proved his stamina when runner-up to Fighting Fit in the Scottish Grand National over 4 miles at Ayr two years ago. With a clear round, his prospects look first class.
Mike Strong, Daily Mirror (under the headline "Aldaniti looks the right one")

1982: Grittar (7/1 fav)

Grittar has all the right credentials to win the Grand National (3.20) at Aintree today and provide a fairytale success to almost equal that of Aldaniti and Bob Champion last year.
Bob Butchers, Daily Mirror

1983: Corbiere (13/1)

Outstanding chance. Acts on any going, stays well and has a fair turn of foot. Trainer Jennie Pitman says: "He has Grand National written all over him. I want to win as it will be one in the eye for those who have ignored me."
Michael Seely, The Times

1984: Hallo Dandy (13/1)

Hallo Dandy ran well on ground too soft for his liking when fourth, last year. Has satisfied connections with his big race preparation and can be expected to finish thereabouts today on better going. Well handicapped.
Mike Strong, Daily Mirror (Tim Richards, in the same paper, picked Hallo Dandy as his nap)

1985: Last Suspect (50/1)

Can be safely crossed off your list. In same ownership as Arkle but should not be mentioned in the same breath.
Phil McLennan, The Times

Last Suspect, who carries the Arkle colours, comes from a stable in good form which turned out Well To Do to win this in 1972. Jumps and stays well but is a tail-swisher and does not look one to trust for an occasion such as this and does not look one to trust for an occasion such as this.
Mike Strong, Daily Mirror

1986: West Tip (15/2)

Provided last year's mishap hasn't upset his confidence, he is ideally equipped for today's task.
Mike Strong, Daily Mirror

Going like a winner when falling at Becher's second time last year. West Tip is strongly fancied to make amends.
John Garnsey, Daily Express

1987: Maori Venture (28/1)

Good horse at best, but prone to jumping errors.
George Rae, The Times

Maori Venture carries the colours of 92-year-old Jim Joel, disappointed by the departure of Door Latch at the first last year. Bit of an erratic jumper, but could not be faulted when landing the Mandarin at Newbury for the second time. A smart chaser when things go right and stays forever.
Mike Strong, Daily Mirror

1988: Rhyme 'n' Reason (10/1)

Best handicapped horse but prone to the odd jumping lapse. However, he generally looks after himself. Brendan Powell deserves a bit of luck - his car was stolen this week.
George Rae, The Times (under the headline "Rhyme 'N' Reason for Aintree glory")

I am convinced the nine-year-old has the form to win.
John Garnsey, Daily Express

Good jockey in Brendan Powell and the horse has had a terrific season. Sometimes gets behind in his races, but he's got the finishing speed.
Bob Champion

1989: Little Polveir (28/1)

Thorough stayer running in his fourth National. Going well in the lead when unseating rider five out last year but his tendency to make mistakes has cost him dear. Love heavy ground. Possible outsider.
George Rae, The Times


  1. Winners with Last Suspect!!! And Little Polvier, since then Seagram (91), Bindaree (02), Comply or Die (08), Neptune Collenges (12) and the odd e/w, not too bad a record