BackTrack: American-Bred Battleship Wins Grand National

England’s Grand National Steeplechase always provides a great narrative for people who read the sports pages in America. Grand National tv channel, However, no preceding Grand National ever provided American papers with such fantastic backup because the 1938 renewal of the century-old evaluation for jumpers.

Normally when an American owner sends an American horse to compete in Aintree the attempt seems a little wistful, for the United States does not turn out many horses using Grand National specifications. Grand National Streaming Live free. Ten years ago Howard Bruce’s Billy Barton nearly achieved the coveted success, but the only other horse which finished the course conquered him.   Further, Battleship is a son of Man o’ War–the most famous name linked with the American Turf.

Grand National tv channel

In conjunction with Tom Hall’s Look Back attribute in BloodHorse Daily, every Thursday will present historic race tales from the webpages of this magazine. Grand National tv channel.  The story appeared in the April 2, 1938 version of The Blood-Horse.


Battleship, however he had been a decent stakes winner on the apartment in America and had proved himself one of the best jumpers of recent years on the side of the Atlantic, Grand National date 2020, got scant consideration for the Grand National.  He stood only about 15 hands and two inches tall and had the powerful, stocky conformation of a fantastic sprinter. 

Horses of that type have been in absolute contrast to the big, rangy leppers which win the National.  However, Battleship won, under 160 lbs (just four horses in the area of 36 carried more), beating out H. C. McNally’s Irish-bred Royal Danieli (157) in one of the most exciting finishes in the background of the wonderful race.

Rain fell intermittently on the morning of Grand National afternoon, and the weather was cold and unpleasant, but the crowd as usual was too huge to estimate correctly. Grand National Streaming Live free, Estimates placed it in 250,000 and higher.  The course was reasonably dry and hard, and the rain didn’t embarrass it to any great extent.  This worked out to the advantage of Battleship, whose record at America signaled that he’s at a disadvantage in soft moving.  Some time before the race that the rain ceased and the sun came out brilliantly.

Of the 36 horses which went into the article for the run of approximately four kilometers and 856 yards, including a fearsome series of 30 jumps, 23 failed to finish. Grand National date 2020. First elimination was Frank M. Gould’s restive What Have You, American-bred and -owned; he refused to break with the field.  The others went away evenly for the first swing around the great irregular pentagon.  

Grand National tv channel

Sir Francis Towle’s Airgead Sios (168) led as the field reached Becher’s Brook, the sixth jump, in the end of the straight-away that makes the longest side of the pentagon.  Close to him was Royal Danieli, at 18 to 1 among those options in the betting. Grand National Streaming Live free. Most of the other well played horses were well back.  Battleship was shut up, about fifth. Grand National tv channel. Airgead Sios got on the five-foot thorn fence that comes after Becher’s then negotiated the difficult Canal twist and Valentine’s Brook, but went down in another jump, an obstacle which caused so much difficulty in Golden Miller’s life. 

As the field headed back toward the stands after the Canal Turn an American-owned favorite, J. B. Snow’s Delachance (149), ridden by J. Maloney, started to move forward, and from the time the sixteenth leap, the liverpool in front of the stands, has been attained, he was ahead, with Lough Cottage lapped to him. 

Immediately behind him were Royal Danieli, E. T. Hunt’s Red Knight II, and Battleship, that was approximately four lengths clear of the others.  At this leap the one Canadian-owned starter, Grand National date 2020, the Kentucky-bred Rock Lad, possessed by H. R. Bain, of Toronto, fell and broke his spine, dying almost instantly.

Sixteen horses remained as the field swung sharply to the left to the next time around.  Among these was Mrs. Camille Evans’ Royal Mail, winner of the National in 1937 and one of the most heavily endorsed starters for this year’s renewal, bought recently by Mrs. Evans for 6,500 guineas in the estate of Hugh Lloyd Thomas. Grand National tv channel. Royal Mail has been the first to drop out on the next circuit.  

Young Hobbs settled down to inquire Battleship for his finest, and from the time the magnificent Becher’s Brook jump was passed he had taken the lead from Royal Danieli, Delachance having dropped back slightly.  The tiny chestnut stallion dropped the lead again to the Irish gelding since they went into the Canal Turn, and at the next jump after Valentine’s that he had been passed by Workman. Grand National tv channel. It looked as if the son of Man o’ War was defeated, but Hobbs apparently was giving him a slight”breather” contrary to the final struggle.

Two fences from house Royal Danieli was about a length ahead of Workman, and Battleship was just behind themcoming .  Workman suddenly weakened, began to fall back poorly, and the modest American horse went up to challenge again.  Royal Danieli led slightly as they moved over the last jump, but in the run-in he was against a desperate adversary.  Battleship gained inch by inch, and they went across the finish so tightly locked that few knew the result before the judges declared it. 

Battleship’s perimeter was variously estimated in a nose, a head, and a neck.  Ten lengths back in third place was Workman, and five crosses behind him James B. Rank’s good mare Cooleen (162).   As is frequently the case from the National, a riderless horse had preceded the winner throughout the end line.

Besides What Have You, additional American-owned horses that failed to finish have been Robert Lehman’s Didoric and Mrs. Jesse Metcalf’s K. D. H.


Battleship’s time was 9:29 4/5.  The National listing is 9:20 2/5, place by Golden Miller in 1934, but only two winners have covered the course faster than Battleship.

Mrs. Scott who came in the course just about an hour before the race, is the second American woman to own a National winner in six years, Mrs. F. Ambrose Clark having won in 1933 with Kellsboro’ Jack.  It was her next effort to win the large Aintree race.  In 1933 the late Noel Laing rode Trouble Maker for Mrs. Scott (then Mrs. Thomas H. Somerville), brought him home in fifteenth place.  

Her current husband, Randolph Scott, is a well known movie actor.  The two were sweethearts in their’teens.  Mrs. Scott’s chief sporting attraction lies in the evolution of hunting inventory and steeplechasers.   The farm was bought by the du Pont family in 1900, was used by Mrs. Scott’s father to conduct the world’s biggest breeding establishment for hackneys.

Reginald Hobbs, who headed in the National winner at the area of Mrs. Scott, is among the most famous British coaches of jumpers.  For several years he managed the horses of Mr. and Mrs. F. Ambrose Clark in America, and his son, the magnificent young riders, Bruce Hobbs, was born on Long Island 17 decades back. 

He trains the horses of Mr. and Mrs. Clark in England, also has Sir Abe Bailey among his clients.  His son the youngest rider ever to win the National, began his professional career at the age of 15, was instantly acclaimed one of the brightest prospects ever seen from English National Hunt racing.

Battleship Isn’t the very first Grand National winner owned by an American, however, the fourth, his inaugural being Stephen (Laddie) Sandford’s Sergeant Murphy, in 1923; A. C. Schwartz’s Jack Horner, in 1926; and Mrs. F. Ambrose Clark’s Kellsboro’ Jack, at 1933. 

He’s not the first American-bred winner, for Rubio, filmed by James B. Haggin at California, won the Aintree race that an even three years before, in 1908, under the colours of Douglas Pennant, who’d purchased him out of Mr. Haggin’s yearling sale in Newmarket in July, 1899, for 15 guineas, roughly $80.  (Two additional American-bred horses finished second, The Bore in 1921, Billy Barton is 1928). Grand National tv channel, But Battleship is the first Grand National winner equally American-owned and American-bred.

Battleship is the first complete horse to win the Grand National since 1901, when Grudon was initially.  Geldings have won each of the intervening renewals, except that 1 mare, Shannon Lass, scored, in 1902.  Battleship is probably the earliest stallion that has ever won the National, though it’s difficult to look at the ages of some of the earlier winners.  The whole horses that have won the race number 13.   (Lutteur III, winner in 1909, may be given as an entire horse, but this appears to be a mistake.)

In some quarters it is believed that a horse running at the Grand National for the first time is at a disadvantage against his more experienced resistance, but the truth barely bear out the contention. Grand National tv channel. Counting from 1839 since the inaugural of the famous fixture (last year, for the purposes of observing the centennial, the 1837 date has been shot ), this season’s running was the hundredth, and Battleship was the fifty-fourth winner that was running the National for the first time. 

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