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How the start of a joke won a Grand National fall out

Heard the one about an English trained horse, bred in Ireland, with a Scottish name ridden by a Welshman in the Grand National? In 1911 Glenside, a one eyed plodder with breathing problems, who had fallen in the race the previous year was totally unfancied for the race. As tips for Grand National go, he wasn't one of the best.

The horse was due to be ridden by Frank Mason who had been champion jump jockey six times, but he broke his leg the previous week. Possibly in a fit of pique Mason verbally questioned the abilities of the other jockeys, including his replacement, Jack Anthony. He went so far as to predict that all the contestants would fall.

Leading up to the race the course suffered a deluge and the ground was more than heavy. Twenty six horses started the race, including the well fancied French Lutteur III and five fell at the first. Lutteur III got as far as the fence after Bechers where he ploughed a hole through the birch and fell. On the second circuit Caubeen and Rathnally both went for this hole, collided and fell. Glenside was left in the lead. A witness told the Sporting Life that Glenside looked a beaten horse at the Canal Turn but that somehow Anthony got him home. Horses were still falling and being remounted (now banned) behind. At the last Glenside propped, then hit the top; tongue lolling out and in a state of exhaustion he walked over the line. He beat the remounted horses Rathnally, Shady Girl and Fool-Hardy. Anyone looking at the Grand National latest odds shouldn't expect that many fallers this time around.

Frank Mason nearly got it right; the only non faller being the horse he should have ridden, Glenside! Jack Anthony went on to ride two more National winners.


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