The Grand National win of Seagram is one that many older punters will remember, from back in 1991. The simple reason is because of the name of the horse, which was the same name as the sponsor of the race when he won, a great day for coincidence punters.
However, there was more to that victory than just the name, and much of it was masterminded by trainer David Barons. He wasn’t a regular on the big stage, if truth be told, and had just nine runners in the Grand National over a career that lasted for 30 years.
Born on December 6, 1936, Barons would go on to have more than 900 winners during his career as a trainer, but in terms of prestige, his Grand National win was certainly the biggest he had.
After a long and fruitful career, Barons passed away in 2018.
David Hawken Barons Grand National Wins
- 1991 - Seagram ridden by Nigel Hawke
|1994||Topsham Bay||Fence 13 - Unseated Rider||-||Jimmy Frost|
|1992||Royal Battery||Fence 24 - Pulled Up||-||Rodi Greene|
|1992||Seagram||Fence 27 - Pulled Up||-||Nigel Hawke|
|1991||Bumbles Folly||Fence 21 - Pulled Up||-||Jimmy Frost|
|1973||Green Plover||14||-||Mouse Morris|
|1968||Beecham||Fence 3 - Fell||-||Bob Davies|
|1965||Dark Venetian||Fence 10 - Fell||-||Jim Renfree|
Sole Grand National Win With Seagram
Away from the coincidence of his name, there was a strong performance and real guts in the closing stages on show when Seagram landed the Grand National. The finish was dramatic, with a big change to the order in the closing stages, and it was all in favour of Seagram, as he took the title.
Going into the race, the horse was fancied to go well, with an SP of 12/1, though he did have a couple of runners ahead of him in the betting. One of those was Garrison Savannah, the horse who had just won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and was looking to complete a unique and rare double by winning at Aintree, something that had only ever been done once before and not for over 50 years.
Both horses were running well and part of a small group that were seen as the ones in with a chance of winning, but it was Garrison Savannah that looked as though he was going to land the race and complete history. The crowd roared, he was three lengths clear as the horses went to jump the final fence, and soon after, that lead was stretched to five.
The fairy tale story was unfolding in front of us, but all of a sudden, the leader began to tire. After running at Cheltenham when winning the Gold Cup just three weeks earlier, and as he went into unknown territory distance-wise, the horse began to struggle. As he hit the elbow, he was going in slow motion, and behind him, coming hard, was Seagram.
When speaking after the race, jockey Nigel Hawke admitted that when jumping the last fence, he was happy to settle for second place, but fair play to both horse and jockey, they never gave up. At the elbow, Hawke dug even deeper, seeing his chance to win. While Garrison Savannah was finding nothing and finishing the race in slow motion, Seagram managed to find another gear and overpowered his rival in the closing stages.
The way in which he went past was great to see, after four miles of running, even if it did spoil what was going to be a historical racing moment had Garrison Savannah won the contest.
In the end, there was no doubt about the winner, and a big winning distance considering the finish, with Seagram going on to win by five lengths. Not only did he get up to his rival, but he passed and kicked clear, landing the Grand National for trainer David Barons, his one and only success in the race.
Famous Horses Trained By David Barons
Here are some of the bigger names trained by David Barons during his career.