1984 Grand National: Results, Runners & Fallers

The 1984 Grand National was the first race we saw take place with the new maximum field limit in place. No more than 40 runners would be able to compete in the Grand National from this race onwards, a ruling put in place due to safety concerns.

The race was won by Hallo Dandy, trained by Gordon Richards and ridden by Neale Doughty. He was well backed in the antepost markets, most of which came after the handicapper had allotted the weights, many believe he had been underestimated after finishing fourth a year earlier.

Corbiere, winner in 1983, and Grittar, winner in 1982, both returned here looking to win another National title, both ran with credit but were not good enough to overhaul Hallo Dandy, who relished better conditions and landed the win.


Result Horse Starting Price Age Handicap Prize Money Jockey Trainer
1 Hallo Dandy 13/1 10 10-2 £40,842 Neale Doughty Gordon W Richards
2 Greasepaint 9/1 9 11-2 £14,132 Tommy Carmody Dermot K Weld
3 Corbiere 16/1 9 12-00 £6,936 Ben de Haan Jenny Pitman
4 Lucky Vane 12/1 9 10-13 £3,338 John Burke G B ‘Toby’ Balding
5 Earthstopper 33/1 10 11-1 - Richard Rowe G Kindersley
6 Two Swallows 28/1 11 10-00 - Anthony Webber Roddy C Armytage
7 Fethard Friend 22/1 9 10-12 - Gerry Newman Francis Flood
8 Broomy Bank 12/1 9 10-12 - Mr Jim Wilson J A C Edwards
9 Jivago De Neuvy 50/1 9 11-00 - Mr Roger Grand J Webber
10 Grittar 12/1 11 11-10 - John Francome Frank H Gilman
11 Hill of Slane 33/1 8 10-2 - Steve Smith-Eccles Alan Peter Jarvis
12 Tacroy 28/1 10 10-7 - Frank Berry P O’Connor
13 Doubleuagain 100/1 10 10-5 - Tom Morgan A Geraghty
14 Beech King 66/1 10 10-1 - Pat Kiely Unknown
15 Eliogarty 16/1 9 11-5 - Mr Donal Hassett J L Hassett
16 Spartan Missile 18/1 12 11-4 - John White H J Henderson
17 Yer Man 25/1 9 10-2 - Val O’Connell A J McNamara
18 Fauloon 50/1 9 10-13 - Bill Smith Fulke T Walwyn
19 Another Captain 66/1 12 10-1 - Andrew Stringer A Scott (2)
20 Mid Day Gun 40/1 10 10-3 - Graham McCourt J Webber
21 Poyntz Pass 100/1 9 10-5 - H Rogers P O’Connor
22 Jacko 66/1 12 10-4 - Sam Morshead David Nicholson
23 Canford Ginger 100/1 9 10-1 - Colin Brown David Raymond Cecil Elsworth

Non Finishers

Horse Fence Reason Starting Price Age Handicap Jockey Trainer
Golden Trix 3 Fell 50/1 9 10-1 Kevin Mooney B L Chinn
Clonthturtin 6 Fell 100/1 10 10-00 Tom Taaffe Arthur Moore
Hazy Dawn 6 Fell 100/1 9 10-9 Mr Willie Mullins Terry Casey
Midnight Love 6 Fell 28/1 9 11-4 Chris Grant Denys Smith
Three To One 6 Fell 66/1 13 10-2 Phil Tuck James Kenneth Murray Oliver 
Bush Guide 8 Fell 33/1 8 10-5 Miss Valerie Alder John Alder
Roman General 13 Unseated Rider 500/1 11 10-5 Major Malcolm Wallace B Munro-Wilson
Carl's Wager 15 Fell 28/1 9 10-2 Ronnie Beggan M W Dickinson
Ashley House 15 Fell 20/1 10 11-13 Graham Bradley M W Dickinson
The Drunken Duck 17 Pulled Up 100/1 11 10-3 Alan Brown B Munro-Wilson
Door Step 18 Fell 100/1 8 10-2 Mr John Queally Michael “Mouse” Morris
Fortune Seeker 19 Fell 100/1 9 10-00 Paul Barton J Cox
Pilot Officer 19 Refused 33/1 9 10-2 Adrian Sharpe Mercy Rimell
Kumbi 19 Fell 100/1 9 10-00 Kevin Doolan Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain
Imperial Black 22 Fell 50/1 8 10-7 Colin Hawkins Neville Franklin Crump
Burnt Oak 23 Pulled Up 25/1 8 10-7 Peter Scudamore David Nicholson
Silent Valley 27 Pulled Up 33/1 11 10-8 Geordie Dun I D Jordan

What Happened In The 1984 Grand National?

1984 grand national winner Halo Dandy jumping fenceThe first element of the 1984 race to touch on is a big positive, and that is regarding the number of finishers. In the first year, where we saw the field limited to a maximum of 40, we also saw the record number of finishers end the race, at the time, with 23 completing the course.

Those who were behind the maximum will have certainly seen this as an early positive for their move, even though the big number was also down to good ground on the day, which favoured everyone and made the test a little easier.

At the head of the market, we saw plenty of runners with previous experience in the race, including winners and those that had previously run well, this was a very strong renewal of the race.

In a wide-open betting heat, greasepaint was sent off as the 9/1 favourite for the race. Many punters bet on horse racing just once a year, and those who did so 12 months prior to this contest, will have remembered Greasepaint getting beaten narrowly into second place. On top of that, those who study the form will have seen the fact that he had 2lb less to carry in weight this time around, further enhancing his claims.

Broomy Bank was a very intriguing runner, lacking experience but arriving with a 66% strike rate and on the back of winning the Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival just weeks before the Grand National, and attracted support because of that.

Lucky Vane arrived on the back of three wins during the season, including the Eider Chase, a well-known Grand National trial, while previous winners Grittar from 1982 and Corbiere from 1983 were also fancied by many.

Hallo Dandy was a 33/1 shot a few months before the race after pulling up in the Hennessy Gold Cup. However, he was up just 1lb in the weights after his good run last year, ran really well at Ayr in his prep run, and had the ideal good ground for him to really showcase his talents after struggling on the heavy ground a year prior to that. This horse was the biggest gamble of them all and was sent off at 14/1, with plenty of money coming during race week and on the day of the race.

While the field bunched together during the first circuit, a few began to struggle and drop out as we went onto the second circuit. The main contenders remained, though, although, at the Canal Turn on the second circuit, two horses took over.

The first was Greasepaint, who went home early, trying to use his stamina to his advantage and run the others out of the race. It worked with some, Broomy Bank and Grittar went first, followed by Lucky Vane, two fences from home. Hallo Dandy was the one who managed to stay with Greasepaint, pushing him all the way, and the pair of them had an excellent race to the finish.

At the final fence, Hallo Dandy took a one-length lead, but both horses were battling hard, and this race certainly wasn’t over. To the credit of Greasepaint, Hallo Dandy was not able to shake him off, with a lead of one length for most of the run-in. Right at the end, the leader kicked clear again and would go on to record a winning distance of four lengths.

For Greasepaint, he would, unfortunately, finish second again, but he gave it his all and was becoming a real fan favourite because of his near misses. Hallo Dandy landed the race in great style, ran well a year earlier on ground that wasn’t suitable, and was able to show his real ability on the good ground he encountered in 1984.

40 Runner Field Limit Introduced

One of the big talking points about the Grand National is the size of the field. We want this to be as big as possible, but the race must also be safe. Regardless of the limit, we would always see horses balloted out because everyone wants to have a runner in the National.

In 1984, we saw the first year of a 40-limit cap on the runners. Those who had organised the cap will have no doubt been pleased to see that 23 runners managed to complete the course, which was a record at the time of the race for the number of completions, ensuring a safe race, whereas many finished as was possible.

This move was probably the very first small move around making the Grand National a safer race and looking at ways in which horse welfare could be looked at while trying to keep the race as the spectacle it was known to be.

Moments Of Note

  • After finishing fourth in the previous year, Hallo Dandy had better ground here and was able to use that to win the 1984 race
  • At the turn of the year, he was a 33/1 shot, but a good prep run, favourable weight and good ground on the day all contributed to him being backed, returning with an SP of 14/1
  • For the second time in two years, Greasepaint was unlucky, finishing second in the race