Crisp was probably the greatest jumper Australia has ever produced.


TRAINER: Des Judd (Australia), Fred Winter (UK)

OWNERS: Sir Chester Manifold



Crisp was bred and owned by VRC Chairman, Sir Chester Manifold. As a two and three-year-old he showed only limited ability on the flat, and his future was in doubt. At four and five he turned to hurdling, and won five races. Switched to steeplechasing, he finished the 1968/69 season with wins in the Redleap and Hiskens Steeplechases, the latter by 20 lengths. The following season he repeated his Hiskens win, this time by 12 lengths in course record time.

Taken to England early in 1971, Crisp made an impressive debut, winning by 15 lengths in record time. Five days later he obliterated the opposition by 25 lengths in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

After further wins in good company, it was decided to run him in the 4½ mile Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree in 1973, for which he was given top weight of 12 st (76 kg). The race was to prove an epic, in which Crisp covered himself in glory. Jumping with incredible speed and precision, Crisp took the lead at the second fence. At one stage he extended his lead to 20 lengths, and on entering the straight the last time he was still many lengths ahead. But then fate, and fatigue, intervened. Crisp momentarily lost balance, veered to the left, and lost at least two lengths before his jockey could straighten him up. Still he battled on, to be caught right on the line by Red Rum, to whom he was conceding 24 pounds.

Seven months later Crisp met Red Rum at level weights over 3 ¼ miles at Doncaster, and beat him decisively by eight lengths. Soon after he developed leg trouble and was retired to the hunting field.