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. . . AND SOME OF THE DISASTERS; RACING.

1854: Hot favourite Miss Mowbray is "got at" and has to be withdrawn shortly before the race. She is sent off second favourite the following year but has to be put down after breaking her neck and back.

1917: In a wartime substitute National at Gatwick, Limerock has the race won only to collapse and fall within yards of the finishing line.

1928: 100-1 shot Tipperary Tim is the only horse to put in a clear round as each of his 41 rivals comes to grief.

1948: Zahia is going strongly in third place when her jockey takes the wrong course and misses out the final fence.

1951: No fewer than 29 of the 36 runners crash out before the field are halfway round the first circuit. Only three eventually complete the course.

1952: Radio coverage of the race is reduced to farce as Mirabel Topham and her friends insist on providing the commentary themselves following a copyright dispute with the BBC. The novice race-callers announce that Teal has fallen at the first fence - in fact the heavily-backed favourite goes on to win the race!

1956: Devon Loch appears set to gain a popular success for The Queen Mother only to stumble, inexplicably, on the run-in and allow ESB to win.

1964: The imminent closure of Aintree is announced as the track is set to be sold for property development - the 1965 National is set to be the last.

Thus starts a near 20-year wrangle which eventually ends with the purchase of the course by the Jockey Club, part-financed by public donations.

1967: Chaos at the 23rd fence as loose horses bring virtually the whole field to a standstill. 100-1 shot Foinavon escapes the melee and goes on to spring the biggest surprise in modern National history.

1993: The great race is abandoned after two false starts. The recall system fails and many of the runners complete two circuits of the track, with Esha Ness the winner of "the race that never was".
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 6, 2000
Words:333
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