Sunday 14 June 2020

Hot Favorite Earth Summit Wins 1998 Grand National

Earth Summit, a pre-match 7-1 favourite, successfully outran other contesters participating in the 1998 Grand National to pass the finishing post distinct streets ahead at Aintree Racecourse. Maintaining a chiefly judicious pace from the very start, jockey Carl Llewellyn beat Sun Bay (the 2nd runner) by an extraordinary 11 lengths. Samlee and St Mellion Fairway took distant third and fourth position, respectively. 

Such a ‘superbly judged’ run – as a lively BBC coverage immediately described it - had hardly been before seen at the Liverpool’s time-honoured racing facility. As many longstanding gaming experts rightly explained, the shiny performance narrowly paralleled another similarly tremendous record inked by the same rider back in 1992. 

Again, it was not only Llewellyn’s worthy show of skill but also a likewise solid testimony for Nigel Twiston-Davies’ superior horse-training prowess.

Nigel Twiston-Davies seemed completely clueless at first, and just tensely looking on as the tough chase kicked off and the participants coursed along the ancient gaming arena. Evidently, very little could at those early moments tip the experienced trainer about the huge honours that lay ahead of him. 

Some minutes later, the consummate equestrian coach was however spotted celebrating and hugging Llewellyn quite heartily in the finishing area. 

In what has since been commonly described as the most unfavourable British weather conditions for a Grand National showdown, Earth Summit overcame such notoriously inclement climatic circumstances to pull off an unprecedented 11-length finish…confirming the rosy pre-contest predictions he’d earned from the majority of Aintree aficionados before the event’s kickoff. 

Official statistical records prove that the literally murky clash noted three racetrack fatalities – with Do Rightly, Pashto, and Griffins Bar emerging out of the harsh National scuffle with outright mortal wounds.

Close observers have also unanimously lauded the top horse’s ‘perfect start’ – having met all his fans’ wild expectations as a deserving 7-1 favourite ahead of the competition. 

Earth Summit came out as the only renowned runner who really lived up to prior punters’ anticipations…while other would-be champs such as Rough Quest and Suny Bay desperately drifted to less-shiny forecasts hours to the start, and eventually fell distantly short of the glossy pre-race wagers they’d previously attracted from optimistic supporters. 

The unforgettable steeplechase showpiece was preceded by a rare torrential downpour. But, immediately the interrupting drizzling had ceased, the officiating starter Simon Morrant paced undeterred his designated post, and at once formally ushered anxious clutter into the long-awaited tussle. 

Shortly after, Pashto became the first casualty to crash to the rain-drenched floor at some point along the initial fence. 

With many mud-encumbered pairs falling out of the weather-affected circuit, Greenhil Tare Away was sighted making positive moves up the testing field, a few minutes into the historical chase. Almost simultaneously, Decyborg began to create some gap between the two candidates, even with the frontrunners breaking into an apparent casual banter that lasted some brief moments. 

On the other hand, a bunch of furiously advancing competitors soon started to emerge from the rear. Subsequently, the leading duo then called off their budding chitchat so as to better fight the growing opposition behind them. 

Toward the end of the first circuit, any keen spectator might have easily noted the cutthroat pursuit put up by real soft-ground pros such as Cel de Brion and St Mellion Fairway. Minutes later, as the collectively energized huddle eased into the second circuit, the day’s ultimate winner remained tactfully inconspicuous…slyly beguiling himself among then still-middling sprinters like Sun Bay and other hard-to-notice eventual top performers. 

Having thus clandestinely but very calculatingly trailed their colleagues throughout much of the track, both Sun Bay and Earth Summit finally shot into limelight as they dashed past the Becher’s Brook – commanding an invincible lead. All of a sudden, the latter gained even greater momentum and began to gradually outdistance his closest challenger.

Although Suny Bay tried all the harder to keep up with the winning galloper, he appeared to lack the requisite strength to outdo the more determined pair. In the end, amid deafening ululations issuing from the unbelieving crowds, Carl Llewellyn unstoppably piloted his resolute mount to trounce second-placed Graham Bradley by an unmistakable 11 lengths.

The third-ranking horse was Samlee – steered by the thoroughly practised Richard Dunwoody, swiftly followed by Andrew Thornton's St Mellion Fairway and Kenny Whelan/Gimme Five, in that particular order.

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