Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Chase Stories


01 March 2021

With the eagerly-awaited Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Chase just days away, we're kicking off with 9 interesting facts surrounding the prestigious raceday...

1. Damers Cavalry is the only horse to have won the Grimthorpe Chase three times, in 1990, 91 and 93, each of them with great ease.  He loved Doncaster, for he won another race there by a distance.  He was named after a Lieutenant Dawson-Damer, who was killed in one of the few cavalry charges in the First World War. 

2. Grey Abbey, a game, popular front-runner, put up one of the best ever Grimthorpe Chase performances when giving weight and a 10 length beating to the Gold Cup fourth and Grand National runner-up Royal Auclair.  Next time out he won the Scottish Grand National in a style reminiscent of Desert Orchid, making all the running to win by 30 lengths carrying top weight of 11 stone 12 pounds. 

3. An exciting finish for the 2005 Grimthorpe Chase went in favour of Run For Paddy, who scrambled home by a short head.  He was a great battler, and won ten races during his career, the last of them being the 2006 Scottish Grand National.  Once again, the winning margin was a short head. 

4. One of the best finishes to a Grimthorpe Chase came in 2012, when Ikorodu Road hung on by a short head from Junior.  Named after a major road in Nigeria (their A1), he was a late developer; though he was nine years old, this was only his second victory.  He went on to achieve three more. 

5. Quentin Collonges won three of his four starts at Doncaster, one of which was in the 2013 Grimthorpe Chase.  After a 47 length defeat last time out he bounced back to form with a vengeance, helped by a first-time tongue strap.  He was then aimed at the last big race of the season, the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, and won that as well. 

6. The 2015 Grimthorpe Chase winner Wayward Prince was one of just six horses trained at the time by his owner Hilary Parrott.  He was a 25/1 shot that day, and was allowed to go off at the same price seven weeks later when he won the Scottish Grand National.  His grateful owner promptly retired him. 

7. The Last Samuri was so impressive when trotting up in the 2016 Grimthorpe Chase that he was sent off joint favourite for the following month's Grand National.  At Aintree he finished second, and might have won but for the downpour that hit the course on the day of the race, depriving him of his preferred good going. 

8. Only just below top class, Definitly Red won 15 races and finished sixth in Native River's epic Gold Cup.  One of his best performances was in the 2017 Grimthorpe Chase, when he thrashed a subsequent winner of the race, The Last Samuri, by 14 lengths.   

9. Captain Chaos made nearly all the running in the 2020 Grimthorpe Chase for Dan and Harry Skelton.  Galloping all his rivals into the ground, he won by the record margin of 54 lengths.  Similarly bold tactics were successful when the horse scored again at Ascot last month.   

...So there you go! Now you can show off your expert knowledge for one of the biggest National Hunt contests of the year!

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