The 1920s and 1930s

Going to the Grand National, Aintree, in the late 1920s    No. 443


This was possibly the day in 1928 when only two riders finished the Grand National!
Before the race had begun William Dutton on Tipperary Tim heard a friend call out to him: "Billy boy, you'll only win if all the others fall down!".
That year's National was run during typical misty damp Aintree conditions, with very heavy going. 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.
This number had been reduced to three by the penultimate fence, with Great Span looking most likely to win ahead of Billy Barton and Tipperary Tim. Great Span's saddle slipped, so Billy Barton was in the lead until he also fell. Although Billy Barton's jockey Tommy Cullinan managed to remount and complete the race, it was Tipperary Tim who came in first at odds of 100/1.
This remains a record for the fewest number of finishers, with only two riders completing the course. Easily beating the 1967 race when Foinavon won at 100/1 ahead of 17 re-mounted horses after a similar pile-up at the 23rd fence.