As the Grand National Festival gets underway at Aintree we are celebrating our own very special connection with the world’s greatest steeplechase.
The 1928 Grand National was the 87th running of the race. Our very own William Dutton, amateur jockey and at the time trainee solicitor Mason Moore Dutton (our forerunners), recorded his most notable success as he won the race on 100/1 shot Tipperary Tim.
Before the race, Dutton, heard a friend call out to him: "Billy boy, you'll only win if all the others fall!" These words turned out to be true, as all of the 41 other starters fell during the race.
The race was run during misty weather conditions with the going very heavy. As the field approached the Canal Turn on the first circuit, Easter Hero fell, causing a pile-up from which only seven horses emerged with seated jockeys. By the penultimate fence this number had reduced to three, with Great Span looking most likely to win ahead of Billy Barton and Tipperary Tim. Great Span's saddle then slipped, leaving Billy Barton in the lead until he too fell. Although Billy Barton's jockey Tommy Cullinan managed to remount and complete the race, it was Tipperary Tim who came in first at outside odds of 100/1. The 10-year-old was trained by Joseph Dodd for owner Harold Kenyon.
With only two riders completing the course, 1928 set the record for the fewest finishers in a Grand National.