Grand National Ultimate History



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BB less demanding this year. The second brook of each circuit now referred to as Valentine's Brook (VB). The SW was replaced by a WJ (fence height 3', width of water 10' 4").


(Liverpool Grand) We 3 Mar 1841 (2.50) 4m 3f Good to Soft 13.25.00 11 £430 Lord Craven

39 1 Charity 11 12-00 W. Vevers H. Powell 14/1   Initially mid-division, 5th BB 1C. Soon more prominent, 3rd after ABC 1C and 4th (of 11) WJ. Chased leaders early 2C, took 2nd before BB and led mid CS. 3L ahead ABC but joined approaching last where swerved, inconvenienced Cigar & gained 2L advantage. Ran on strongly.
  2 Cigar 11 12-00   A. McDonough 4/1 Chased early leader, 3rd BB 1C. Left in lead briefly mid CS 1C, 2nd after ABC but narrowly ahead again WJ. Soon headed 2C but remained very prominent until took a pull circa CT. Good headway into 2nd mid CS, same position ABC. Further progress to dispute lead approaching last where hampered by Charity, nearly BD & lost 2L. Kept on but unable to close gap.
  3 Peter Simple(grey) 7 12-00   T. Walker 6/1 NK Initially chased early leader but last at BB 1C. Mid to rear WJ. Chased leaders again early 2C, 5th mid CS, 4th after ABC and 3rd approaching last, close up. Kept on well and nearly nabbed 2nd. Never nearer.
  4 Revealer 7 12-00   P. Barker 25/1   Mid-division until headway to be 4th mid CS 2C. 5th after ABC. Unable to go with leading trio from 2f out but plugged on and won tight battle for 4th.
  5R Goblin 10 12-00   B. Bretherton 25/1   Mid-division until fell TTJ 1C. Remounted and rejoined main body by WJ where 10th (last but one). Continued towards rear 2C, 8th after ABC. Kept on gamely to finish 5th.
  6 The Hawk 11 12-00   W. Saunders 100/6   Slowly away, towards rear BB 1C. Modest progress to be 7th after ABC 1C. 5th early 2C but very one-paced and remained in mid-division. 6th after ABC. Unable to go with leading trio from 2f out. Plugged on.
  7R Legacy   12-00   W. McDonough 12/1   Initially fore of mid-division. 2nd BB 1C and took lead before ABC 1C. Headed in mad dash for WJ, where 5th, but regained the advantage early 2C. Headed again circa BB. Remained in contention until fell somewhere CS. Remounted and gamely made back enough ground to finish 7th. 
39 40 8 Seventy Four 8 12-00   J. Whitworth 14/1   Fore of mid-division. 4th after ABC 1C but less prominent WJ. Chased leaders early 2C. 7th after ABC. Weakened.
  9R Oliver Twist 6 12-00   T. Olliver 25/1   Mid-division. 5th after ABC 1C, 3rd WJ. Remained prominent 2C until fell heavily early CS. Remounted. Tailed off.
  10R Selim 7 12-00 Cpt G. Price Cpt G. Price 25/1   Immediately led at a fast pace. 10L clear BB 1C. Still ahead when fell mid CS 1C. Remounted, 11th & last WJ. Regained prominence early 2C. Led again circa BB. Paid for exertions by fading rapidly from mid CS. Well tailed off.
39 40 P Lottery 11 13-04 G. Dockeray Jem Mason 5/2F LATE 2C Slowly away. Soon made headway and 4th BB 1C. Only 6th after ABC 1C but good progress to be a very close 2nd WJ. Remained very prominent 2C, 3rd mid CS & ABC. Began to weaken just after it and fairly swiftly PU.



Just how highly rated Lottery was is best exemplified by the swingeing imposition of an 18lbs penalty upon him for the 1841 Grand National. In a manner about as devious as that of a newborn lamb, an arbitrary clause was added to this year's race conditions applying that lofty burden " the winner of the Cheltenham Steeplechase of 1840..." long after said race's outcome was known. Courses were worried that Lottery, if set to compete off level weights, would frighten away opposition, render betting a farce and, thus, have a negative impact upon attendance. Surely though, folk would come out to see a star regardless! The tariff was excessive and unfair. Bell's Life, among other publications, argued for a more judicious handicapping system to be employed.  

Lottery, of course, would be very far from the last horse to be stopped by weight in the National. Although the pace became more sedate after Selim's canal side fall on the first circuit there were some dreadfully sapping boggy sections of plough. When Mason sensibly pulled Lottery up it left the way clearer for Charity to become the first mare to win, outbattling a pair of greys. She had been out of form for two years but is said to have been probably the best horse Lottery encountered during his career. Having returned to something like her best, Charity was not necessarily 18 pounds/lengths inferior to Lottery, however, if we say 10 it precludes her from a place on my Scroll Of Merit because I rated Lottery -14 (in 1839) and the Scroll, to retain exclusivity, ends at -20. Prominent trainer William Vevers likely also held a share in Charity. Powell, a solicitor by profession, was tough and uncompromising in a finish. His firm corrective action when Charity threatened to run out at the last hurdle did not provide welfare to the unfortunately hampered Cigar (although, in fairness, the latter was unable to close the gap created on the run in). The first three home were nicely clear of the next four who finished in a heap leading to some uncertainty regarding the finishing order.

In common with every other aspect of Jump racing at this time, there was no regulatory body to oversee the naming of horses. As mentioned on the site 'Home' page some even raced without one. There are many examples of different beasts sharing a name across the early years of the Grand National, sometimes in the same renewal! Among the most confusing cases, because of their longevity and success, is that of the two Peter Simples, therefore, rather than distinguishing them by the numerical system generally employed I decided to do so by virtue of their different colours. Thankfully, both did not run in the same year. 1841 marked the debut, as a 7-y-o, of the first Peter Simple, a grey. He would run, often with great credit (as here for which he can be rated -26 along with Cigar), in six consecutive renewals, lastly as a 12-y-o in 1846. Three years later, as an 11-y-o debutant, Peter Simple, a bay, would win. He would repeat the feat as a 15-y-o in 1853 and would also notch up six consecutive Nationals, lastly running as a 16-y-o in 1854.



> The order in which the 4th to 10th placed horses finished is a highly contentious issue among historians! My perception is as follows. More than one source and connections say Revealer was 4th. Goblin was only 8th after ABC 2C and Bell's Life is adamant the horse was pipped for 4th. The Hawk was 6th after ABC 2C and very one-paced. Having fallen somewhere along the CS 2C Legacy was not listed in the first eight after ABC 2C but was one of the four contesting 4th and this fits with the amount of time it would have taken to make up lost ground after being remounted. Seventy Four (who was probably not fully fit having had both front legs fired) was 7th after ABC 2C but definitely not among the four horses vying for 4th. Oliver Twist also fell along the CS 2C and was not among the first eight after ABC 2C or among the four vying horses. After many exertions it is no surprise that Selim faded rapidly, making the horse the likeliest candidate to finish last - which is where listed by at least one source.    

> Some sources have Selim as falling (either for the second or only time) at the CS ditch on the 2C. 










Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling