The amazing story of Tipperary Tim and the Grand National’s biggest ever upset

At the 1928 steeplechase, the Irish horse had odds of 100/1 and was the clear underdog, but what occurred next changed the course of racing forever.

It is still the most amazing day ever in the Grand National’s lengthy and exciting history.

Tipperary Tim, a rank underdog who most people questioned why he was there at all, had no support as thousands of spectators watched the 42 horses line up for the major race in 1928.

William Dutton, an assistant attorney in Chester, was riding the 10-year-old horse, which had odds of 100/1, a long way from the 5/1 favorite Master Billie.

Before the starting bell sounded, one of William’s buddies was heard yelling to him, “Billy boy, you’ll only win if all the others fall!” Their odds of even crossing the finish line appeared so slim.

Tipperary Tim was ridden by amateur jockey William Dutton, an assistant solicitor

However, his remarks proved to be prophecy, and the 87th Grand National is remembered for the incredible series of events that followed.

In actuality, all horses fell, with the exception of Tipperary Tim. A pile-up occurred at the Canal Turn jump that reduced the field to just seven horses. Other falls and incidents left only Tipperary Tim and the 33-1 Billy Barton in the race. Billy Barton struck the last fence and fell, leaving Tipperary Tim to win – Billy Barton’s jockey remounted and finished a distant second (and last).

The incident led to controversy in the press who complained that a Grand National should not be won merely by avoiding accident. It led to changes to the course with the ditch at Canal Turn being removed for the following year’s race.




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