Grand National Sidelights: Manifestos Victory Cost Eight Bookmakers over 45,000,000-Other Interesting Details, Daily Racing Form, 1922-04-16


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f . ■ I t t * , . i t ! 1 1 I ] I I ] GRAND NATIONAL SIDELIGHTS I Manifestos Victory Cost Eight Bookmakers , Over ,000,000— Other Interesting Details. LONDON. England, March 20.— On Friday, Mat-cii 24, the thoughts of all sportsmen turn i toward Liverpool, for on the afternoon ot £ a that day the Grand National Steeplechase I is decided over the famous Aintree course, 1 prints English Tit Bits. i First run in 1839, this greatest of all British cross-country races stands by itself as the I supreme test of merit for horses and jockeys I alike. The thirty jumps are higher and thick- 1 er than those to be found on any other raco * course ; while the full distance of four miles : 8.".6 yards — part of which is plowed land— I calls* for an amount of stamina on the part I of competitors that is heartbreaking to any . I but the gamest and most highly trained ani- I mals. ; The value of the stakes amounts to about 1 5,000 ; but even this not inconsiderable prize j I is a comparatively small sum compared with i I the fortune in bets that is usually harvested I by the stable connections of the winning I horse, for the Grand National is one of the I heaviest betting events of the year. I When Manifesto won in 1897, the eight leading bookmakers of the day poid out between them over ,000,000 to clients who had backed the popular animal either singly or in doubles with the Lincoln Handicap winner, General Peace. Apart from the fact that Manifesto was generally known to be a particularly good horse over the Aintree country, the coincidence of the Czar of Russia issuing his manifesto about General Peace just previously was so striking that thousands of people, who would never have thought of betting in the ordinary way, rushed in and backed the double event. Tear after year the cry is raised that the Grand National jumps are more severe than ever before and that the race is "too cruel." As a matter of fact the fences are built to the same measurement every year, the lowest fence proper being 4 ft 7 in. high and 2 ft. 9 in. thick, while the obstacle backing the "open ditch" is 5 ft. 2 in. high and 3 ft. thick. A ditch on the take-off side is 6 ft. wide and has a 3 ft. drop, being banked to a guard rail 18 in. high in front. The water jump consists of a thorn fence 3 ft. high and 2 ft. 3 in. thick, with 12 ft. of water 3 ft, deep. Each fence costs about 50 to build. One hundred and two tons of thorns and ninety-six tons of spruce are used in the construction of the obstacles — fourteen of which have to be negotiated twice during the race — and j j two loads of thorns and two loads of spruce j go to make each fence The cash value of the horses engaged i varies considerably, and while ,500 would I | purchase some of the hopeless" brigade j j j i I | weighted at 110 pounds, it is probable that an offer of twenty times that amount would not tempt the owners of one or two of the really good horses to part with their favor- • ites. Altogether the value of the twenty-seven or twenty-eight runners that will face the start-I ing gate will not fall far short of 00,000 ; while after the race the winner will most certainly be worth some thousands of dollars more than he was valued about eleven minutes earlier.

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