Legend has it that, prior to winning the 1928 Grand National on 100/1 outsider Tipperary Tim, some joker told amateur jockey Mr. William Dutton that the only way his mount could win was if all his rivals fell. That may or may not be true but, either way, in a bizarre twist of fate, Tipperary Tim was the only one of the 42 runners to negotiate all of the National fences without mishap and came home a distance clear of Billy Barton, who had been remounted after falling at the final fence.
Owned by Harold Kenyon and trained by Joseph Dodd, Tipperary Tim was apparently named after Tim Crowe, a Tipperary native who was, for 15 years, Irish cross country champion.
The 1928 Grand National was run in treacherous foggy weather conditions on bottomless ground. Problems began at the eighth fence on the first circuit of the 2¼-mile course, known as the Canal Turn, which, in those days, featured a ditch before the fence itself. One of the classier horses in the field, Easter Hero – who would go on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1929 and 1930 – stood off too far and jumped into, rather than over, the fence, causing a melee from which just seven horses emerged with their jockeys intact.
Rather than taking the fence diagonally, Mr. Dutton, a solicitor by trade, had plotted a longer, but safer, course around the outside of the Canal Turn, so Tipperary Tim was still standing. By the time the field reached the twenty-ninth, and penultimate, fence, only three horses, Great Span, Billy Barton and Tipperary Tim, in that order, were left standing. Great Span departed with a slipping saddle, leaving Billy Barton in the lead, briefly, but the new leader parted company with jockey Tommy Cullinan at the final fence, leaving Tipperary Tim to gallop on to an unlikely victory.
Coincidentally, the 1929 Grand National was also won by a 100/1 outsider, Gregalach but, since then, only three more horses at treble-figure odds – Caughoo in 1947, Foinavon in 1967 and Mon Mome in 2009 – have won the Aintree marathon.