Everything has a history to it and the Grand national is no exception, the very first race was in 1837 and it was held at Maghull and was won by a horse called The Duke, but it was two years later in1839 that it was moved to its more familiar home in Aintree which the land was owned by Lord Sefton and was leased to William Lynn who owned the Waterloo Hotel, the very first Aintree Grand national was won by a horse with an appropriate name called Lottery, also in the same race a certain Captain Beecher fell at a fence with his horse Conrad when in front and as he stumbled to his feet to make sense of things he noticed that the fence he fell at had a ditch in it with water and realised he became the only faller to go at that fence, after the race finished, he cursed the fence and named it his fence after his surname Beecher and with the Brook on the landing side so massive he decided to call it Beecher’s Brook. In the 1840’s the handicap system was introduced to the race and in 1845 the stone wall fence was replaced as it was decided by the jockey club to be too dangerous and replaced it with the Water Jump, the first Irish bred horse Mathew wins the national in 1847.
Another famous fence was named when a horse called Valentine as he hesitantly didn’t want to jump the fence but for some miracle he just cleared it, the first horse to win under 11seconds was called (Cure All) in 1845. The 1850’s heralded the first horse to win back-to-back Grand nationals when (Abd - El - Kader) won in 1850 and 1851. 1853 jockey Tom Oliver became the first person to mount three national winners on the15 year old Peter Simple, his two previous winners were on Gay Lad in 1842 and Vanguard in1843, incidentally he became the first jockey to win the first back to back nationals as well. 1857 no less than seven false starts hampered the start of the race which saw Emigrant come home to victory, these days three false starts would be enough to void the race which sadly happened in 1993, the next year in 1858 flags were introduced to the fences which would make sure that all the fences were jumped and none were missed out. In 1862 jockey James Wynn became the first human to be killed at the Chair fence, in 1866 Salamander pulled off the biggest gamble of the race with £40,000 as well as the heavy weight he was carrying and obliged at 40/1. 1868 The Lamb became the first grey to win and between 1869 and 1871 The Lamb and The Colonel managed to become dual winners and the third in that Century and also the jockey George Stevens who rode the1871 winner The Colonel made history himself by becoming the first jockey to ride four national winners. Before 1885 the course hadn’t been turfed and beyond the melling road the race was over Farmland where they had to jump over hedges from field to field the prize money was a mere £1,035 a lot in them days. In the 1890’s a horse called Cloister wins the Grand national in record time of 9 minutes and 30 seconds he also started off as 9/2 fav, but surely it was Manifesto who ended the century on a high winning the 1897 and 1899 Grand nationals. At the turn of the century in 1900 Ambush ll broke the barrier for the royal family when owned by HRH the Prince of Wales gave them there first winner, three years later King Edward Vll decided to run him again but this time he fell, the race itself was won by the favourite Drumcree and for whom won for his owners the prize money of £2,000. In 1904 a horse called Moifaa from New Zealand was on ships course to Liverpool for the Grand national when the ship sank, luckily Moifaa managed to swim to a deserted island where he was rescued and no more for his ordeal was there for the start of the Grand national and won it amazingly. In 1908 American bred horse Rubio was pulling bus coaches at stations leading up to the race in which he won, 1915 the first lady owner to win the Grand national was a Lady Nelson winning with her horse Ally Sloper. Between 1916 and 1918 the Grand national was run at Gatwick, in 1919 Ernie Piggott the Grandfather of the flat racing legend Lester Piggott obliged on Poethlyn at 11/4 and winning over £3,500 prize money, in 1921 a record field of 35 horses the biggest so far was won by Shaun Spadah scooping the prize of £7,000, in 1925 fashionable hats were worn everywhere especially Aintree where Double Chance came home the winner and the introduction of the starting gate made its debut, 1927 saw for the first time the BBC starting its radio coverage and commentated to those lucky few who could afford a wireless and listen to 8/1 favourite Sprig come home to win. In 1928 the first long shot at a 100/1 Tipperary Tim came home alone after the challenger Billy Barton fell at the final fence when neck and neck with him, amazingly everything fell but the winner and only two finished. The biggest field in recorded history in 1929 saw 66 go to post and unbelievably all 66 runners cleared the first fence, yet again another shock winner at 100/1 called Gregalach came home to win. The 1930s had arrived and so had, probably, the greatest horse of his generation Golden Miller who in 1934 completed the unbelievable double, first winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup and then the Grand national all in the same season, all this as well as winning in the fastest time of 9 minutes and 20 seconds, sadly it was to be the only time The Miller would get round, but with 5 Gold Cups behind him and the double that eludes even today’s best horses his legend has surely set the standards for generations to come. In 1936 one of the biggest drama’s happened when Davy Jones when clear at the last decided to run out of the course and miss the last to his jockey’s despair, leaving the field open for last years winner Reynoldstown to come home who himself nearly came to grief at the 26th fence and winning for his jockey amateur Fouke Walwyn who himself would become a great trainer in years to come and also training Team Spirit to win 28 years later, Reynoldstown became the first horse this Century to achieve back to back Grand national’s. In 1938 another milestone in history was reached when 17 year old Bruce Hobbs on Battleship became the youngest rider to win this great race and still his age hasn’t been bettered since, Bruce Hobbs became a successful trainer. The 1940s had arrived and with the out break of the Second World War the Grand National had to be postponed for 6 years between 1940 and 1945, where the Aintree racecourse was converted to an American base. The 1947 race wasn’t without controversy when 100/1 outsider Caughoo came out of the fog to come home and win the national, but many jockeys complained that the jockey Eddie Dempsey on Caughoo missed the first circuit it was never proved and the result stood, in1948 Sheila’s Cottage became the first mare to win the national and the race was moved to a Saturday to improve productivity. In 1949 the course changed hands from Lord Sefton to the Tophams and the race was won by Russian Hero. In the 1950s the world saw great changes the crowning of a new Queen, start of the space race, the death of Stalin and so on, in the Grand national of 1951 no less than 12 horses exited at the first fence and by the end of the first circuit there were only 6 horses left, coming home the victor was Nickle Coin and to date the last mare to win this race. In 1952 the BBC and the owner of the course Miriam Topham had a massive dispute which led to the BBC to back down and Mrs Topham employing her own staff to commentate on the race, it proved to be a disaster and the public were in confusion on who actually won the race, it was the one and only time the BBC never covered the race, normality returned the next year it started a sequence for trainer Vincent O’Brien, winning three grand nationals in a row with his horses Early Mist in 1953, Royal Tan in 1954 and Quare Times in 1955 and it was a feet never to be equalled even to this very day, Vincent O’Brien felt he had achieved in national hunt racing and decided to change to flat racing. 1956 will always be remembered for the Queen Mothers horse Devon Lock which will go down in history as the horse who sensationally collapsed yards before the winning post when well clear of the most luckiest winner ESB, even to this day the then jockey Dick Francis firmly believes that the noise of the cheering crowd in the last few stages unsettled his horse causing him to nose dive, others believe he actually jumped an imaginary fence what ever the reasons it put the grand national firmly on the map, today Dick Francis now puts his ability into writing, where he has become one of the countries best selling novelist. In 1959 the Grand National was truly re-nound for its bravery when jockey Tim Brookshaw riding the 1957 runner up Wyndburgh lost his stirrups in the early stages of the race but he managed to stay on board over these big fences to finnish second to OXO and jockey Michael Scudamore. The 1960s had arrived at a time of great change, the youngest president John F Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crises, the Prefumo scandal, the Vietnam War, the Beetles and the landing on the moon to name some of the events that shaped the 60s, also the Grand national was also to see great changes as the decade went on, in 1960 another milestone for the Grand national as the BBC cameras broadcast the first televised Grand national to those who were lucky to have a TV set, the race itself was commentated by Peter O’ Sullivan whose voice would become a household fixture, in 1997 he would receive the OBE from her Majesty the Queen and Aintree would commemorate the great man with a statue of himself, the 1960 race was won by Merryman II in a record time of 9minutes and 26 seconds and the winning jockey Gerry Scott who would become a starter for the Aintree Foxhunters Chase raced on a Friday. 1961 at the height of the Cold War the Russians sent two horses Grifel and Reljef to claim the race but to no prevail, both horses had fallen neither of them getting beyond the 8th fence, the race was eventually won by Nicholas Silver only the second Grey to win that Century and the last Grey to win the National. In 1962 Wyndburgh finished runner up for the third time behind Kilmore, Wyndburgh’s jockey, Bobby Barnes son Maurice would triumph on Rubstic years later. 1963 Ayala triumphed for his owner, Hairdresser Paul Raymond, at 66/1, with Pat Buckley on board, Teasey Weasey Paul Raymond would triumph again in 1976 with Rag Trade. In 1965 the future of the race looked in doubt when Miriam Topham and the BBC came to a head again over coverage of the race but this time it was Miriam Topham who gave in, the closing stages of the race was between the favourite, Freddie, who was bidding to become the first Scottish horse to win this race and the American horse Jay Trump, going to the last these two were clear of the rest of the field and it was all about who had the stamina up the run in, Jay Trump steals a 2 length advantage from Freddie, by the elbow Freddie closes within a head but Jay Trump manages to hold Freddie and win, in one of the closes finishes in years. 1967 will stick out in the mind, when a loose horse called Popham Down made a routine simple jump into national headlines, yes I am referring to the infamous 23rd fence, where everything fell, pulled up, baulked or unseated, you name it, it happened, and to make things more extraordinary a slow coach called Foinavon at 100/1 strolled in a 20 lengths winner, even the owner and trainer didn’t bother to come to see their horse win they just decided they would go fishing instead which makes it even more remarkable, the commentator that day, Michael O’ Hare was in complete shock but managed as a good professional to bring normality to a situation which could have had other commentators freezing on the spot, sadly Michael passed away, but his dynasty continues, his son Tony joined the BBC Grand national team in 1998 where he commentates from fence 4 to fence10 on the first circuit and fences 20 –25 on the second circuit, Foinavon’s winning jockey John Buckingham retired from racing a few years later to become a jockey’s Valet but now has retired, the day before the race on a Friday two horses dead heated in a selling the name of one of the horses was a 2 year old called Red Rum. In 1968 the oldest jockey to complete the course was the American amateur Tim Durrant at the ripe old age of 68 together with his mount Highlandie eventually completed the course even though he fell and had to be remounted, he also collected a £4,000 bet, also a famous Hollywood actor got in on the act as they say, Gregory Peck the proud owner of Grand national runner in that years race called Different Class ridden by David Mould managed to finish third behind eventual winner Red Alligator. In 1969 another milestone had been reached when colour was introduced for the first time on television sets everywhere and a new experience was felt and watched in households everywhere when Highland Wedding came home the winner from the 13 year old Steel Bridge. The 1970s had arrived, Ted heath and the Conservatives had won the General Election, the three day week was introduced, the return of boxing legend Mohammed Ali, the fall of the Shah in Iran and the winter of discontent, to name but a few of the events that shaped the 70s, the Grand national to, went through great changes in the 70s, with the advent of technology, Sponsorship and of course Red Rum, but with all this came the downside as well, declining attendances, the stands falling to pieces and the not knowing if this was the last Grand national, all painted a sorry picture and would become more evident towards the end of the 70s, in 1970 Pat Taffe at the ripe age of 40 became the oldest jockey to win the National until the record was broken 12 years later, he replaced the injured Terry Biddlecombe to ride Gay Trip, amazingly Pat had won it before on Quare Times back in 1955, this would be his retirement season on a great illustrious career which included being the jockey of the legendary Arkle who rode him to victory in the Gold Cups. 1971 another famous owner graces the winning enclosure, Fred Pontin the Pontins holiday camp boss owned Specify who won by a short head from Black Secret, in 1972 the BBC decided that a new aspect of the race build up should be included when the cameras would be focused on the jockeys walking from the changing rooms also the top show jumping rider in his day Harvey Smith decided he would like a go at the Grand national fences, sadly a bad fall at Beechers shook him up, he eventually got round but decided to stick with what he knew show jumping, when retired from his sport he turned to training with his wife Sue and together they trained over National Hunt where one of his horses Kildimo won the first ever Beechers chase staged at Aintree in November 1992 and in April 1993 he was a participant in the ill fated race that never was Grand national. In 1973 it could well have been the last Grand national when property developer Bill Davies purchased the course off Miriam Topham, asking the critics to put the question, how long before the race is bulldozed in favour of buildings for business, but for now the question would have to wait, meanwhile the race itself was just as intense as top weight Crisp a big horse from Australia carrying a burden of 12 stone and compared to Red Rum from England carrying only 10-5 were joint co favourites, Crisp was to have 20 length lead from Red Rum over the last fence, but the weight and the long run in was to be his undoing as Red Rum snatched it at the line from crisp, Crisp and jockey Richard Pitman now turned TV racing presenter for BBC Grandstand, were exhausted and heartbroken, meanwhile as for the victor Red Rum, he broke the course record in a time of 9 minutes and 2 seconds was to stand until Mr Frisk in 1990, and it also heralded the start of the Red Rum era. 1974 Red Rum himself this time carrying top weight of 12 stone became the first horse since Reynoldstown in 1936 to win and the second horse this century to win back to back Nationals. In 1975 Red Rum endured his first defeat when going for the hat trick over the national when the weather and ground conspired against him as former two times winner of the Gold Cup and runner up to Red Rum in the 74 national L’escargot and Tommy Carberry came home the winner, also the first main sponsor of that years race was the News of the World. 1976 Red Rum finished second again where Rag Trade took the spoils, but it was in 1977 and the Jubilee year where history was made, when Red Rum ridden by Tommy Stack became the first horse in history to win three grand nationals a feit that would surely not be equalled or bettered, a record of five straight grand nationals, 150 fences jumped, 2 seconds and 3 wins and retirement followed, sadly Rummy passed away a few years later but not to be forgotten where he would be buried by the winning post and a statue of Rummy would overlook the course, it was also in that race where another piece of history was made when a Miss Charlotte Brew riding the 200/1 outsider Barony Fort became the first woman to ride in the race unfortunately it showed when pulling up at the 27th fence. 1979 the first Scottish bred horse to triumph was the 25/1 shot Rubstic, ridden by Maurice Barnes whose father finished 2nd on Wyndburough in 62, a 9 horse pile up at the Chair fence made the stewards remove the railings around the fence so the loose horses could go round it instead of being forced to jump it, the changes were executed in time for the 1980 race. The 1980s had arrived, actor Ronald Reagan becomes president of the United States, the marriage of Charles and Diana, the Shuttle takes off into space and the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Communism, they were some of the changes that shaped the 80s and it also saw how the decade shaped the future of the Grand national, in 1980, the winner came further a field, when American bred horse Ben Nevis ridden also by an American, amateur jockey Charlie Fenwick triumphed through the mud at 40/1 and trained by Capt Tim Forster who trained Well TO DO in 72 and sadly former owner of the course Miriam Topham died. In 1981 the biggest Fairytale of all time was about to be written when Bob Champion who was diagnosed with cancer and given a 50/50 chance of living, riding the 11 year old Alderniti who had a history of breaking down and was nearly put down himself came home to win the national and gave cancer sufferers hope all over the world. In 1982, 7/1 favourite Grttar made history when his rider Dick Saunders became the oldest jockey to win the national at the ripe old age of 42, also it saw the first woman to complete the course, Geraldine Reese riding Cheers she managed to finish last in 8th place. A year later in 1983 the first woman trainer to win the national was Jenny Pitman she triumphed with Colbiere, later on that year owner of the course Bill Davies gave in to public pressure and decided to sell to the jockey club and not forgetting the funds raised by the public to meet Mr Davies asking price and which meant the future of the race would be secure. 1984 saw the field restriction introduced, where only a maximum of 40 runners could take part in the race, a record was created when more than half the field (23) horses completed the course and was won by Hallo Dandy, it also saw a more permanent sponsor in the shape of Seagram which would last from 1984 to 1991. in 1985 Des Lynam took over from David Coleman as the main presenter for Grandstand, also former winning jockeys of the Grand national were also invited as special guests to parade as former winners, where they all met Princess Anne who honoured them for their achievements, incidentally the race was won by Last Suspect at 50/1 and owned by the Duchess of Westminster who owned the legendary Arkle in the 1960s. 1986, Des Lynam the then presenter of BBC Grandstand had a horse in the race in the shape of Another Duke unfortunately it refused the third fence, West Tip and his 23 year old jockey Richard Dunwoody beat Young Driver by three lengths it was all the more remarkable because only two years previously West Tip had been knocked down by a lorry and survived the rest is history. 1987 Alderniti did a charity sponsor walk for cancer, starting from his home town in Lambourne to Aintree on Grand national day, Bob Champion saddled him on the Aintree course where he got a rapturous reception, meanwhile a 92 year old gentleman Jim Joel who on the day was in South Africa was told by phone that his mount Maori Venture had won the Grand national he was so overjoyed he got the next flight out, he had also won the Derby as an owner with Royal Palace. In 1988 the famous Grand national trophy was replaced by a new one, it was sculptured by former jump jockey Philip Blacker who himself finished third on Royal Mail in 1981, the race itself was won by Rhyme’n’Reason who nearly was out of the race virtually, but a brilliant recovery by jockey Brendan Powell at Beechers first time round just kept him in the race but was right at the back eventually he managed to power his way back in to the race and catch Durham Edition in the final stride. 1989 Aintree celebrated its 150th year of the great race, the race was one by Little Polvier and Jimmy Frost but the sad deaths of Seeamdem and Brown Trix at Beechers Brook called for the banning of the race the jockey club’s response was to bring in big modifications which meant that both the Brook at Beechers and Valentines would be filled in, and security would be tightened up after few people came to close to the runners on the turn for home it was the biggest modification change since 1962, so from now on the RSPCA and other groups would have their views considered for making the race more safe than ever. So the final decade leading up to the Millennium, the 90s had arrived and what a decade it turned out to be the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of Communism, the fall of Thatcherism, the birth of the Web and many more, the new decade brought changes to Aintree as well, after last years fatalities at Beechers modifications were in force, Beechers Brook for its awesome ditch and the stream that ran along it were to be filled in, Valentines Brook another fence with a reputation was also lowered, the days of tradition were well and truly over, in its place consultation, Qualification and moving with the times, some would argue the changes were unnecessary and would take the uniqueness out of the race, while most of the majority would welcome the changes, personally I feel the welfare and safety of both horse and jockey must come first. The 1990 race saw a field of 38 runners take their chance eventually Mr Frisk overcame Durham Edition who himself finished second again broke the course record in a time of 8 minutes and 47 seconds and ridden by then amateur jockey Marcus Armytage who now writes for the Racing Post, three weeks later Marcus and Mr Frisk made more history when they both triumphed at the Whitbread Gold Cup and so became the first horse to lift both the National and Whitbread in the same season. In 1991 sponsors Seagram were in the last year of their contract and what a fitting finale when a horse called Seagram not connected in any way beat Gold Cup winner Garrison Savannah in the last strides to win. 1992 saw a new sponsor in the shape of Martell, who took over from the reigns of Seagram and are still the current sponsors of the race, if coincidence bets are part of tradition then you could get no bigger winner than Party Politics in the General Election year, in 1993 the National this time made news for all the wrong reasons, when for the first time in the history of the race, it was to become void, before the off animal activists had got onto the course delaying the start, but if that wasn’t bad enough the weather was atrocious and the horses themselves were very nervous due to the hyperactive enthusiasm crowd, the result a false start, when the starter Captain Brown did eventually get them under start of orders and pulled the lever to start the race, disaster! The tape itself went round jockey Richard Dunwoody’s neck, nine runners refuse to start and the rest of the runners mainly at the front of the field and to every ones amazement in the stands and the millions watching on television continued on; taking no notice of the flag waving stewards eventually most of the field started to pull up when they had got to the end of the first circuit, it was evident by now that the few runners continuing on were not going to stop until the finish and when jockey John White riding Esha Ness came home past the post first, it started to dawn on him that something was wrong and when he was eventually told you couldn’t help feeling sorry for him, the result of this spelt disaster for small Bookies who some of them went out of business even the bigger franchise Bookies like William Hills, Ladbrokes and Corals to name a few had lost out, but most of all the effects were felt by the Government and no more so than the Chancellor Norman Lamont who lost out on the tax, the only people not to loose out were the public themselves who got their money back, by next years race the jockey club would bring in new changes, the line up start would be moved forward to avoid the loudness of the screaming crowds therefore making the horses nervous, changing the start method by replacing the lever that releases the tape with an electronic system where only the button needs to be pushed and finally replacing the traditional starter who is usually a Major, Captain or a Colonel would be replaced by someone who is either on the jockey club or an ex jockey himself. 1994, the traditional start had been moved forward away from the stands after last years chaos, also the crowds that gathered round Beechers Brook would no longer be allowed and became out of bounds as it was found to be off putting to both horse and jockey but probably due to recommendations made and the sign of the times, the race itself was won by Minniehoma, ridden by Richard Dunwoody who himself won it on West Tip back in 86 and owned by famous entertainer Freddie Star who like the owner of the 67 winner Foinavon and 87 winner Moari Venture wasn’t at the race but did make a call to TV presenter Des Lynam live on air when in the winning enclosure, also Rosemary Henderson who rode Fiddlers Pike became only the second woman to complete the course Geraldine Reese being the first back in 82, Rosemary managed to finish last of the 6 finishers. In 1995 on Grand national day, former winner and cancer sufferer Bob Champion organised a charity race which included some of the great names and former winners of the past including Michael Scudamore, Maurice Barnes, Bob Davies and Champion himself to name a few others raising money for cancer research and for the first time the BBC transmitted live racing from Happy Valley in Hong Kong to race goers at Aintree as an experiment and was a success, the BBC decided it would put it into next years schedule, meanwhile the Grand national was won by Royal Athlete and trained by Jenny Pitman and who won it with Colbiere in 83, had her share of bad luck as well, her former husband Richard now TV presenter came second on brave horse Crisp, 18 years later in 1991 her son Mark riding Garrison Savannah was heartbroken when he was caught up the run in by Seagram and if that was not enough her horse Esha Ness came past the post first only to discover the race had been void so if any won deserved to win it Jenny did. In 1997 Peter o’Sullivan now OBE announced that this would be his last commentary on the Grand national and would retire in November, but sadly the occasion was marred by a bomb scare which postponed the race and baring in mind what happened in 93 the jockey club held an emergency meeting with the Police, owners, jockeys, trainers and so on it was decided that the race should go ahead after all on the Monday, the fear was that race would have lost its way but far from it, the race was a success and Lord Gyllene came home the winner and ridden by the appropriately named Tony Dobbin. In 1999 the great trainer Jenny Pitman announced her retirement but she would have one last crack at the race with Nathen Lad, it was also to be jockey Richard Dunwoody’s final ride in the race but it was Bobby Jo ridden by Paul Carberry and Trained by his dad Tommy who triumphed and broke a 24 year hoodoo for the Irish of not winning the race since L’secargot in 75, incidentally it was trainer Tommy who rode him that day. The year 2000 the Millennium had arrived, the end of the ill fated Dome, George Bush Jnr is elected president of USA, the end of Wembley Stadium to name but a few things that happened that year, the BBC also saw a change as front man Des Lynam switched from the BBC to ITV leaving the BBC with a headache, the surprise choice was former British Tennis player Sue Barker, any fears that the BBC had were laid to rest as Sue and ex lady jockey Claire Balding carried it off, the fear was with the defection of Des to ITV leaving a massive gap to fill but it turned out the opposite, Sue and Claire are obviously here to stay, incidentally Sue Barker’s first interview on Grand national day was with Ruby Walsh who 4 hours later triumphed on his father’s trained horse Papillion, the biggest gamble of the week at 100/1 and then backed down from 33/1 to 11/1 on the day and made it another Irish father and son winning combination. Like in 93 and 97 the Grand national made the headlines for all the wrong reasons but this time it was during the race itself, when a loose horse called Paddy’s Return ran across the fence the canal turn which spelt disaster, in the blink of an eye and not since 1967 and the famous Foinavon race, which saw nearly 3 quarters of the field taken out of the race, and by the end of the first circuit only 7 runners left standing, then only two left by Beecher’s Brook who were Red Marauder and Smarty and eventually Red Marauder wore down Smarty to come home alone a long way clear for jockey Richard Guest who himself nearly quit a few years before, sadly the Pitman jinx struck again this time Jenny’s son Mark who as a jockey was caught up the run in on Garrison Savannah in 91 and now finishing 2nd as the trainer of Smarty, but I’m sure it won’t be long before Mark trains a winner of this great race and preserves the family name to this great race, indecently only four horses finished the other two being Blowing Wind and last years winner Papillion. 2002 race saw one of the great finishes for a long time when form horse What’s up boys and outsider Bindaree were virtually neck and neck up the run in, but it was Bindaree who found the extra bit of energy to win for trainer Nigel - Twiston – Davies who himself was thinking of Quitting after a disappointing season but changed his mind after this brilliant victory. So surely after reading all these facts it is hard to imagine the absence of this race and deserves its place in the sporting calendar.
Turning victory into defeat