Party Politics

Horses | Last ran in 1996
Dam - Spin Again
Sire - Politico
Dam's Sire - Royalty
Born - 1984

Party Politics Grand National Wins

  • 1992 - ridden by Carl Llewellyn trained by Nick A Gaselee

Party Politics came home in front in the 1992 Grand National. His win will be remembered by many because the timing of his success gave many casual horse racing punters a reason to back him. Running in the race just five days before the UK General Election, Party Politics had the ideal political name to catch the eye and the reason why many people got involved with backing him.

Foaled in 1984, the horse would go on to run a total of four times in the race and finished second in 1995, when he came very close to repeating his success from 1992.

Trained by Nick Gaselee, he ran well in many other big races during his career, winning a couple of them along the way to further boost his profile. With eight career wins from 26 starts under rules, he was a regular visitor to the winners enclosure, but the Grand National win of 1992 will certainly be the one that goes down as being his biggest achievement.

Full Results

Year Result Prize Money Handicap Jockey Trainer
1996 Fence 3 - Fell - 10-11 Carl Llewellyn Nick A Gaselee
1995 2 £44,586 10-2 Mark Dwyer Nick A Gaselee
1993 Fence 17 - Pulled Up - 11-2 Carl Llewellyn Nick A Gaselee
1992 1 £99,943 10-7 Carl Llewellyn Nick A Gaselee

Winner Of The 1992 Grand National

Polling Station_wikki commons
secretlondon123, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The story behind this horse winning the race before a General Election, giving him great timing for his name, often overshadows the horse and the performance we saw that day.

He had shown signs of being a potential Grand National horse for some time before the race, with some good efforts in defeat. In the build-up to the Grand National, he finished second in both the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Welsh Grand National, two of the best-staying handicap chases that are run in the UK.

However, from there, he went downhill a little, with poor runs at Sandown and Haydock before going to Aintree. Had he won one of these or ran well in them both, he would have been much shorter in the betting, and when you combine that with the money from many members of the public due to his name being relevant, he could well have been sent off as favourite.

In the race itself, conditions were good, which gave us a race that stayed intact, with few bowing out. Of the 40 runners that took part in the race, 22 completed the course, showing that this was slightly easier than some other Grand National races we have seen over the years.

At the finish, just two runners were in with a chance, Party Politics and Romany King, with a big gap back to third place, where Laura’s Beau would finish. Party Politics took the race, winning by two and a half lengths eventually, always looking like the winner up the run-in and keeping the gap he had ahead of the second-placed Romany King.

Prior to running in the Grand National, we hadn’t seen Party Politics run over four miles, so his staying power wasn’t guaranteed, even though he had been staying on well over slightly shorter when we saw him go well in the Welsh Grand National in particular.

He would continue to thrive over this type of distance for years to come, running in the Scottish Grand National, as well as coming back to Aintree for more attempts at the Grand National.

Unable To Defend His Grand National Title

Unfortunately, Party Politics was unable to defend his Grand National title. In 1993, we saw the race void after a wild false start where some horses knew and stopped while others carried on for varying amounts of time.

Party Politics was one that carried on, running a full circuit before being pulled up when jockey Carl Llewellyn realised that the race had not been officially started. As seven runners continued to a complete finish, the race was declared void, but crucially we didn’t have a re-run, there was no race that year.

In 1994, the horse was injured and didn’t make the race, but he did bounce back in 1995, finishing second in this race, almost repeating the magic of 1992. We saw Party Politics in the Grand National one final time in 1996, but he didn’t get very far after falling at the third fence. This would be the last time we saw Party Politics on a racetrack.

Party Politics’ Early Years

Party Politics had the size to be a chaser from a young age, so rather than sending him the traditional route of flat races or hurdling first, Nick Gaselee quickly put him over fences. Two point-to-point races in the amateur field came at the start before going into novice chase races under rules.

It is fair to say the start wasn’t spectacular, in his first two races under rules, he fell on debut and was then pulled up on his second start. However, straight after, he bounced back in style by winning two races. These were low-grade contests, but behind him, he had horses who would go on to be very good runners. In his first win, he beat Romany King, who would eventually finish second behind him in the Grand National, and in his second, he beat Garrison Savannah, the 1991 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.

He would continue to head in the right direction with three wins from a spell of four runs in the space of less than three months to up his win rate and show what he was capable of.

Party Politics’ Big Race Wins

Three of the eight wins by Party Politics can be classed as big race wins, though the Grand National success he had in 1992 was certainly the biggest of his career. That was the first big race win, too, the others came afterwards.

In 1993, he won the Greenalls Gold Cup at Haydock, a race seen as a strong Grand National trial, and after winning that, he went on to run in the National, though this was the void race.

At the end of 1993, in a new season, Party Politics would go on to land the Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow, another staying handicap that is seen as an excellent trial for some of the bigger long-distance races on the calendar.

Party Politics would finish second in another Grand National in 1995, and he also finished second in the Rehearsal Chase at the end of 1994 in the build-up for that run. He never won the Welsh Grand National, but did manage to finish twice in the race, showing that staying distances were certainly his ideal race type.

Staying power at the top of the game was there for all to see with Party Politics. A deserving Grand National winner for more than just his topical name.