As the field of seven started up the long incline at the start of the 3�-mile event, Pendil and The Dikler held back, leaving Charlie Potheen and Inkslinger to make the running, with Captain Christy at the rear. It was the same order in the first downhill run, until the 10th fence. Then came a small tragedy for Inkslinger's devoted followers. The horse crashed down, hardly noticed by the crowd watching Pendil as the field came past again and started the final circuit. Now the front running was taken up by High Ken, a horse with a bad record for falls. Pendil and the Queen Mother's horse, Game Spirit, were close behind him. And then, at the third fence from home, High Ken went down and Pendil, trapped by the fallen horse's legs, sprawled on the soft turf.
Now it had to be The Dikler's race, but Captain Christy, coming up fast, took a narrow lead just before the last jump. Even then it seemed The Dikler must win, for Captain Christy hit the top of the hedge and floundered through it, leaving The Dikler a length ahead for the last uphill straight. But big, strong Captain Christy came on to win, in the end, by five clear lengths, and there was a roar that reached from Gloucestershire to Kerry Head. In the winner's enclosure, the Irish contingent, those who could jam in, sang with arms linked, "When Irish eyes are smiling...."