Grand National Ultimate History



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Two hurdles to finish was reverted to.


(Liverpool & National) We 4 Mar 1846 (3.45) 4m 3f Good (Good to Firm places) 10.46.00 22 £695 Adams

  1 Pioneer(2) 6 11-12 Adams W. Taylor NQ   Held up, mid to rear. Began to make headway CS 2C, 6th ABC. Took 2nd after second last, disputed lead just before last and ahead straight after it. Ran on well.
  2 Culverthorpe 10 11-04   H. Rackley 12/1 3 Chased leaders CT 1C, 8th (of 16) WJ. Rapid headway to lead BB 2C. Went clear. Came under pressure after ABC and had been headed by second last but left ahead again briefly just after. Joined just before last and headed decisively straight after it. No more to give.
  3 Switcher 5 12-04   D. Wynne 7/1 3 Fairly prominent by CT 1C, 6th WJ. Took 2nd soon after BB 2C, same position ABC. 3rd at last. Kept on one-paced.
  4 Firefly 7 12-08 L. Byrne L. Byrne 6/1   Mid-division 1C. Headway to be 5th ABC 2C. Kept on doggedly to just get up for 4th near post.
  5 Eagle 5 11-12   Cpt W. Peel 25/1   Initially prominent, less so WJ. Headway and left 4th early 2C. 5th BB, 4th again ABC. Slightly faded and pipped for 4th near post.
  P Major A 6 11-06   W. Blake 25/1 LATE 2C Initially mid-division. Headway to be 5th WJ. Gradually faded 2C and beaten by ABC. Passed post but may not have jumped all obstacles.
  P Carlow   11-04   T. Olliver NQ LATE 2C Chased leaders CT 1C, 7th WJ. Gradually faded 2C and beaten by ABC. Passed post but may not have jumped all obstacles.
  P Veluti 6 10-06 G. Dockeray Jem Mason 11/2F 2ND LAST Prominent, 2nd WJ. 3rd when distracted by the antics of Golden Pippin at the Sunken Lane (2nd element) & slow jump, forsaking chance to lead. 2nd at next, 3rd BB & ABC 2C. Led and every chance when broke down & immediately PU second last.
41 42 43 44 45 P Peter Simple(grey) 12 11-02   J. Frisby 100/6 AFT ABC 2C Away well & very prominent. Took lead BB 1C. Headed after ABC 1C, 4th WJ. Left ahead again at Sunken Lane (2nd element). Soon headed once more, 4th BB 2C. Began to fade before ABC and PU not long after it.
  P Regalia   11-12 L. Byrne T. Doolan NQ ABC 2C Fairly prominent CT 1C. Mid-division WJ. No impact 2C and PU circa ABC.
45 P Brenda 9 11-04   H. Powell 100/6 ABC 2C Mid-division 1C. Headway to chase clear leader in 6th after BB 2C. Soon faded and PU circa ABC.
  P Mameluke   10-12   A. McDonough 10/1 ABC 2C Away well & soon led. Headed after 2nd. Still very prominent when collided with Hornihiharriho 4th & fell. Remounted and gradually regained some of ground lost to chase clear leader in 7th after BB 2C. Effort told and soon faded. PU circa ABC.
  P Perambulator 6 10-08   N. Stagg 16/1 ABC 2C Chased leaders until overpowered rider after ABC 1C and rushed into lead. Clear advantage WJ where bad mistake. Headed before Sunken Lane where 2nd and distracted by the antics of Golden Pippin (at 2nd element) & lost ground. Rallied to some extent but unable to regain prominence. Broke down & PU ABC 2C.
45 P Cure-All 8 12-04 K. Crisp W. Loft 16/1 CS 2C Away well & very prominent. Took lead after 2nd. Headed BB 1C. Fore of mid-division WJ. Headway and left 3rd early 2C. Soon regained lead. Headed decisively BB. Quickly faded and PU CS.
  P Golden Pippin 7 11-12   C. Nainby 12/1 MID 2C Initially restrained. Became more prominent, 3rd WJ. Pulled way into lead before Sunken Lane where did not like the look of the 2nd element & bolted down the lane to the left, hit a cart & fell into the ditch component of the obstacle. Remounted utterly tailed off and in due course PU.
  P Pickwick 6 10-10   J. Daly NQ END 1C Stirrup leather broke at 2nd and soon dropped to last. Still rearmost and well behind WJ. PU shortly after.
  B Lancet(1) 5 11-00   W. McDonough 10/1 AFT ABC 1C Mid-division. Making headway towards leaders when BD by a mounted spectator a bit after ABC 1C.
43 F Tinderbox 9 11-04 James Ryan C. Daley NQ TTJ 1C Mid to rear until fell TTJ 1C.
  F Troubadour 14 11-06   G. Rammell NQ MID 1C Mid to rear until fell somewhere mid 1C.
  B Hornihiharriho   11-00 H. Lee Carter J. Parker NQ 4TH Away well & very prominent until collided with Mameluke at 4th, caught off balance on landing & BD by passing rival.
  R The Scavenger 6 10-02   J. Bradley NQ 3RD Mid to rear, refused 1st. Coaxed over & kept going, towards rear. Threatened to refuse 2nd. Persistently declined next.
  F Lady Gray 6 10-00   E. Thomas NQ 1ST Mid to rear, fell 1st.



Most modern sources claim the course was wrongly marked for the 1846 Grand National thus causing the horses to run a distance approaching five miles, however, there is a complete absence of contemporary evidence in support of that contention. Some press reports of the era occasionally incorrectly estimate the trip as being the best part of five miles but these reports are by no means specific only to 1846 and an equal number wrongly suggest the National distance was merely four miles during this period of years. I can only assume a later-day historian has got hold of the wrong end of the stick in respect of 1846 and others have copied him (not uncommon). Whilst it is true that for a stretch of time from 1843 the National participants appear to have been flagged to the outermost limit of the course, up against its boundary, between Becher's (after which, you may recall, they had been obliged to carry straight on across a small field before inclining to the left since 1840) and the Canal Turn, this practice was not exclusive to 1846 and in any case reliable contemporary newspapers do not feel the extra yardage traversed by taking a slightly wider arc between those two fences as a consequence of tracing an outer line significant enough to be worthy of mention. The ground available upon which to race was, after all, not limitless and by 1845 the Liverpool and Bury Railway had been approved for construction just outside the racecourse (and possibly slightly inside it) in this vicinity (though it's extremely unlikely construction had yet begun). Furthermore, undoubtedly the start was not moved back to its pre-1839 position in 1846 and the winning time this year was marginally a new record. There is no way the distance could have been remotely close to five miles, it was, as usual, about 4m 3f.

The field size was the largest yet for a National and Pioneer was another shock winner. Whilst the horse had shown early promise in his career he had twice been easily defeated in the month prior to this renewal, pulling up mid-race at Hereford last time out. His owner, Adams, declined the 20/1 offered on the eve of the Liverpool race and on the day Pioneer exhibited a shaggy coat and protruding bones. As events turned out, however, they were indication of hard fitness. Pioneer, striking up a good partnership with little known William Taylor (a vet by profession), produced a performance that was no fluke because the half brother to Vanguard would go on to run well in other prestigious races (including Nationals). According to Adams the winner was untrained but he must take the credit for exercising his horse in a manner either unorthodox, inadvertent or very shrewd! There was plenty of incident in the 1846 National. This included the favourite, Veluti, the charge of master trainer George Dockeray, suffering obvious late misfortune and Lancet being brought down when a mounted spectator sauntered across his path. Meanwhile, one of the most ridiculously-named beasts ever to contest a National Hornihiharriho did not impress the correspondent of Bell's Life who described the creature as a "little, mean, ill-conditioned looking brute"!

At the weights in the 1846 Grand National Pioneer and Switcher emerged equal, 11 (pounds/lengths) superior to Culverthorpe, however, the first-named can be allowed 1 for winning nicely. I rated Cure-All -36 for his victory on Good to Soft last year when he carried 7lb less than did Pioneer in 1846 and their times were virtually identical. However, the going in 1846 was likely better than Good, the plough was almost equal to the best turf due to a very mild late winter. On the other hand the pace was probably not as fast overall as in 1845 because it dipped at times on the second circuit. On balance I reckon the two triumphant efforts were extremely similar, therefore, I will award Pioneer -35, Switcher -36 and Culverthorpe -47.       




Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling