Manifesto: Grand National Legend

Early Years

Manifesto was always destined to become a Grand National legend. Unlike many horses bred for racing at the turn of the century, Manifesto was not run extensively in his youth. Instead of fielding his raw talent, Manifesto’s owner Harry Dyas carefully prepared the horse for the challenging world of hunt racing.

Manifesto ran his first race in 1894 in Manchester aged four. This start to his career proved to be unremarkable as the horse fell.

At The Races

Manifesto came good in his second race in Manchester, taking the title and the winner’s pot of £39. In his fourth race Manifesto achieved the incredible feat of winning the Irish championship steeplechase, earning the horse almost instant legendary status.

Manifesto’s owner continued his policy of racing his championship winning horse with care. Manifesto was only entered into two races in his second year of competitive racing, and continued his good form, winning one of these.

Manifesto’s first stab at becoming a Grand National legend came in 1895. His reputation preceded him and he was given a heavy handicap, and competed against a strong field. The horse was unaccustomed to the heavy track at Aintree, and despite jumping well only managed a fourth place finish.

Manifesto’s second attempt at winning the Grand National came in 1896. The horse had started the season well enough, winning the Manchester race, however he was unable to carry this form into the Grand National. Manifesto collided with Red Hill at the first fence and fell, earning an unplaced finish.

It was a case of third time lucky in 1897. With a lighter Handicap, and in overcast conditions Manifesto finally came into his own. Despite the presence of two previous Grand National winners, Manifesto ran the perfect race staying in second for most of the race and pulling into an unassailable lead when his closest competitors were forced out of the race by the tough course.

Manifesto won the Grand National for the second time in 1899. The horse fell at the canal turn fence, and for a moment it seemed all was lost. However, Manifesto stood and powered ahead winning the Grand National for the final time.

Manifesto, Grand National legend, ran in races until the age of 16. By this stage handicappers had the horse’s measure. Loaded with crippling weights, Manifesto battled gamely, but was unable to claim racing’s greatest prize again.