Maurice Barnes

Maurice Barnes only had three Grand National rides during his career, and they all came aboard the same horse, Rubstic. Of those three, he was able to win one of them, the first, landing what would be the first-ever Scottish win in the Grand National for trainer John Leadbetter.

Born in 1951, Barnes began his riding career under his father, Tommy Barnes, who was training horses at the time. His father was also a rider in his younger days, finishing second in the Grand National, a record that Maurice got the better of.

A bad fall at Cartmel would bring an end to the riding career of Maurice Barnes, he was advised to retire afterwards because of the damage that another fall would cause. He did take part in one more race after this warning, though, a six-furlong charity contest for previous Grand National jockeys, which Barnes won, ending his career on a winning note.

Maurice Barnes Grand National Wins

  • 1979 - Rubstic trained by John Leadbetter

Full Results

Year Horse Result Prize Money Trainer
1981 Rubstic 7 - John Leadbetter
1980 Rubstic Fence 15 - Fell - John Leadbetter
1979 Rubstic 1 £30,204 John Leadbetter

Winning The 1979 Grand National On Rubstic

Thirty-four runners went to post for the 1979 Grand National and a combination of loose horses causing problems and give in the ground meant that just seven of them were able to finish. Rubstic took the race, winning by two lengths in the end after being driven out to the line by Maurice Barnes.

It was a real showing of strong staying power and determination to come out on top. Three horses were in contention to win the race as they arrived at the closing stages, the strongest stayer came out on top, and that was Rubstic.

Earlier in the race, at The Chair, which came at the end of the first circuit, a loose horse caused problems for many riders, and a total of eight runners left the race at this fence. Those remaining in the race were able to dodge traffic problems and keep clear of those that were both loose around them and falling on the floor because of the loose horses.

Barnes was riding in his first-ever Grand National, it was also the first race for his trainer John Leadbetter, so neither had any experience of what happens in the race. This was a really dramatic race, with a lot going off and plenty to contend with for everyone involved, but Barnes was able to stay calm and keep going around the track, navigating what would turn out to be a winning path.

The other two rides that Maurice Barnes had in the Grand National also came aboard Rubstic. He would return with the horse in 1980, where they were bidding to retain the title they had won a year earlier. Fancied by many and sent off at just 8/1, the pair were unable to get around this time, falling at fence 15. This would be the only time in Rubstic’s career that he would fall in a race, showing just how good he was at jumping.

Rounding off their attempts, the pair were back in 1981, the last time we saw both Barnes and Rubstic in the race, and despite being 12, the horse managed to finish a respectable 7th place.