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Wednesday, March 29, 2006


This year sees the 50th anniversary of the famous Grand National of 1956, which will always be remembered for the defeat of the Queen Mother's Devon Loch rather than the victory of E.S.B.

Devon Loch had looked assured of victory as he galloped on resolutely after the last fence before inexplicably appearing to jump a non-existent obstacle about 50 yards from the winning post.

No explanation has ever been proved for Devon Loch's antics, although the view of his jockey Dick Francis has always been that it was the sheer amount of cheering from the crowd, who were anticipating a royal victory, which caused the horse to lose concentration.

Aintree Racecourse is delighted to announce that Francis, who subsequently went on to enjoy a highly successful career as a novelist by writing 39 racing thrillers, will officially open the new weighing room complex at Aintree at noon on the opening day of the 2006 John Smith's Grand National meeting, Thursday, April 6.

The complex is part of the first phase of Aintree's £30-million redevelopment and consists of a new weighing room, parade ring and winner's enclosure, while there will also be new stables and pre-parade ring in operation for the 2006 Grand National meeting which culminates in the £700,000 John Smith's Grand National on Saturday, April 8.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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