Toby Balding

Toby Balding The late Gerald “Toby” Balding, who died in 2014 at the age of 78, had the distinction of winning the Grand National twice, with Highland Wedding in 1969 and Little Polveir in 1989. Indeed, in his long and distinguished career, he saddled over 2,000 winners, including Beech Road and Morley Street in the Champion Hurdle, in 1989 and 1991, respectively, and Cool Ground in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1992.

His first Grand National winner, Highland Wedding, had completed the National Course twice before, finishing eighth behind Anglo in 1966 and seventh behind Red Alligator in 1986. He arrived at Aintree in 1969 fresh from his third victory in four years – the 1968 renewal was abandoned – in the Eider Chase, over 4 miles and 122 yards at Newcastle in February and, in the absence of regular jockey Owen McNally, was ridden by Eddie Harty.

By now a 12-year-old, Highland Wedding was known to be as stubborn as a mule, on occasions, at home, but as Balding later explained, “He wasn’t a villain, just a bit independent so there was no question of us bullying him. We just had to wait for him.” In any event, on firm going, Highland Wedding consented to put his best foot forward and came home 12 lengths ahead of 50/1 outsider Steel Chance, ridden by Richard Pitman.

Little Polveir, too, had previous experience of the National Course, having finished ninth behind West Tip in 1986, but had fallen at the Chair and unseated his rider at Valentine’s Brook on the second circuit in two subsequent attempts. He didn’t join Toby Balding until January, 1989, but was ridden on his first two starts by young amateur rider Philip Fenton which, according to his trainer, “he enjoyed enormously after the pros had knocked lumps out of him in the past”.

Ridden in the National by professional Jimmy Frost, at 3lb overweight, Little Polveir took the lead at the final fence on the first circuit, the water jump, and led, or disputed the lead, for the rest of the way. In fact, after Becher’s Brook second time around he was never headed and, with a riderless horse for company, came home 7 lengths ahead of West Tip. Balding said later, “I don’t think any of my horses ever left for the races in better shape than Little Polveir as he headed for Aintree.”

Play at the Best Bingo Sites Online

Play at the Best Bingo Sites Online Online bingo is now incredibly popular and it’s a really fun way of gambling and making new friends. Compared to sports betting or casino slots, it’s a more sociable and recreational form of wagering, with players often using the chat feature along with playing their favourite games.

When it comes to the best bingo sites, there are lots of good ones to choose from. Ideally, you are looking for a bingo operator that has a generous welcome bonus so that you can play bingo games for free as part of the package.

Once you’ve enjoyed your new customer promotion, players should also look for the chance to play different bingo games and there are usually games starting every few minutes. You can go through to a game and choose the number of cards that you want to play with – the more bingo tickets you have, the better the chance of winning.

How to Win at Online Bingo

There are a number of ways that customers can win money playing online bingo. There might be some magic numbers that mean you can claim a spot cash prize, while the traditional bingo rules of claiming a line or a house often apply when it comes to playing online bingo.

One of the enjoyable aspects of playing at the best bingo sites is that anyone can win. It’s a bit like betting on the Grand National in terms of it being a lottery where every card depends on the balls being drawn randomly.

Indeed, the bingo balls being drawn is an automated process so that you can’t predict the next ball to come out. The balls come thick and fast so you don’t have to wait long in order to get a match on your card and the game continues until a winner is announced.

One of the other big draws of online bingo is the fact that you can make a small amount of money last a long time. Rather than placing a sports bet where you stake a larger amount on the outcome of an event, you can bet small stakes with online bingo and often get little wins which boost your balance accordingly.

Always remember to play responsibly when you visit the best bingo sites and choose one which appeals the most to you. There’s nothing to stop you having a number of different bingo site accounts.

Tim Forster

Tim Forster The late Tim Forster OBE – almost invariably known as “Captain Tim Forster” in racing circles – was a renowned pessimist. When asked for advice on how to ride Ben Nevis in the 1980 Grand National, he famously told American amateur rider Charlie Fenwick Jnr. “Keep remounting”. Despite his misgivings, Ben Nevis was left clear by the fall of Delmoss at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit and made the best of his way home to win by 20 lengths at odds of 40/1.

Forster had already trained one National winner, Well To Do in 1972, and in so doing become the first owner-trainer to win the iconic steeplechase since World War II. His third, and final, win in the National came courtesy of 50/1 outsider Last Suspect, owned by Anne, Duchess of Westminster and ridden by Hywel Davies, who put up 3lb overweight. Hardly the most resolute steeplechaser in training, Last Suspect only lined up at all because of the persistence of his jockey but, despite fiercely swishing his tail – a tell-tale sign of irritation – came with a withering run to overhaul the leader, Mr. Snugfit, in the shadow of the post and win by 1½ lengths.

Thus, Tim Forster became one of a select band of seven trainers to have won the Grand National three times. Honoured as the “last of the old-school trainers”, Forster died in 1999, at the age of 65, from cancer of the bone marrow, but was nominated for the Grand National Hall of Fame at Aintree Racecourse in 2013.