Grand National Ultimate History



prev . next


There was a greater preponderance of plough this year. The first hints of there being three obstacles (as opposed to two) between VB and the Table Top Jump appear in descriptions of the race.


We 2 Mar 1853 (4.25) 4m 3f Soft (Heavy places) 10.37.50 21 £750 Captain J. Little

49 50 51 52 1 Peter Simple(bay) 15 10-10 T. Olliver T. Olliver 9/1   Away well & very prominent 1st. Took lead 4th. Hampered, swerved & joined next (BB 1C). Ahead again before 6th. Headed VB 1C and dropped to 3rd. Chased clear leader in that position ABC 1C. Fore of mid-division in 4th (of 17) WJ. Regained lead before next and never headed. Led by 2L ABC 2C. Narrowest of advantages over 2 rivals last but ran on gallantly and well run in.
52 2 Miss Mowbray 8 10-12 G. Dockeray F. Gordon 5/1F 4 Mid-division 1st, pursued leaders BB 1C. Chased clear leader in 6th ABC 1C. Fore of mid-division in 8th WJ. 5th early 2C, BB & VB. 4th ABC. Took 3rd soon after. Almost disputed lead last. Kept on well but no answer to winner and held from halfway up the run in.
  3 Oscar 8 10-02 G. Dockeray A. Goodman 6/1 4 Mid-division 1st, pursued leaders BB 1C. Chased clear leader in 5th ABC 1C. Fore of mid-division in 6th WJ. 4th early 2C, BB & VB. 3rd ABC. Took 2nd soon after. Delivered challenge between last 2 and virtually disputing lead with every chance when mistake last. Faded and beaten by halfway up the run in.
51 52 4 Sir Peter Laurie 11 11-08 W. Holman snr W. Holman snr 12/1 DIST Away well & prominent 1st. Gifted a share of the lead BB 1C but stumbled upon landing & dropped back. Chased clear leader in 7th ABC 1C. Same position in fore of mid-division WJ and generally held 7th 2C. Never remotely able to mount a challenge and beaten by the time inherited 5th ABC. Laboured on to finish a bad 4th.
50 51 52 5 Abd-El-Kader(1) 11 10-10 William Jones T. Abbot 20/1   Away well & prominent 1st. 6th BB 1C, 3rd next and took lead VB 1C. Well clear by ABC 1C. Advantage diminished before WJ but still about 12L ahead. Headed before next and dropped to 6th early 2C. Maintained that position until renewed effort from mid CS, 2L down in 2nd ABC. Came under pressure and beaten soon after. Weakened and finished very tired.
  6 The General   10-04 B. Land T. Ablett 25/1   Midfield when badly hampered by a refusing Victress at 3rd & dropped towards rear. Rallied to chase clear leader in 8th ABC 1C. Mid-division in 11th WJ. Back up to 8th early 2C and generally raced in that position whilst becoming well tailed off. 7th ABC, plodded on.
51 52 7 Carrig 8 10-05 William Jones D. Wynne 15/1   Prominent 1st, 5th BB 1C and 2nd next. 4th VB 1C and chased clear leader in that position ABC 1C. 3rd WJ, which jumped like a cat, and took 2nd immediately after it. Maintained 2nd over VB 2C but began to fade shortly after and a beaten 6th ABC. Later eased and finished at a walk akin to that of a lethargic feline on a hot day.
  8 Duc An Dhurras 8 10-10 R. Prince J. Ryan 6/1   Mid-division 1st, fore of same BB 1C. Not jump well but chased clear leader in 9th ABC 1C, a midfield 10th WJ. Soon towards rear 2C and became completely tailed off. 8th ABC, laboured on.
49 50 51 9 Tipperary Boy(1) 9 10-10   J. Butler 25/1   Slowly away & last at 1st. Always towards rear, 13th WJ. Became completely tailed off 2C, 9th ABC. Lumbered on.
  P View Halloo 7 9-10 W. Manning W. Archer 100/6 LATE 2C Away quite well. Soon settled in mid-division, 9th WJ. Gradually faded 2C and eventually PU.
  F Crabbs 9 9-02 W. Fowler W. Fowler 25/1 2 FNCS AFT VB 2C Prominent 1st, 3rd BB 1C, 4th next, 2nd VB 1C. Chased clear leader in that position ABC & same place but closer WJ. Dropped to 3rd immediately after it and still 3rd over VB 2C. Took 2nd shortly after but under pressure and tired fall 2 fences before ABC.
52 P Bourton 10 11-02 S. Bradshaw S. Darling jnr 7/1 MID 2C 2nd at 1st and took lead before 2nd. Headed before 4th and merely chased leaders BB 1C. Refused 2 fences after VB 1C, kept going towards rear. Quickly recovered into mid-division by GH and fore of same in 5th WJ. Effort told, soon faded 2C and PU.
52 P Maley 6 9-10 J. Grierson E. Harrison 25/1 EARLY 2C Mid to rear until fell 3rd. Remounted, towards rear in 15th WJ. PU early 2C.
  P The Dwarf(1) 6 9-00   H. Lamplugh 25/1 EARLY 2C Mid to rear until fell 3rd. Remounted and always towards rear thereafter, 14th WJ. PU early 2C.
49 50 P The Knight Of Gwynne 14 11-02 H. May T. Donaldson 25/1 1ST FNC 2C Fore of mid-division BB 1C and until badly hampered by a refusing Bourton 2 fences after VB 1C & dropped towards rear. 17th and last WJ. Broke down & PU 1st fence 2C.
  P Field Marshal(1)   10-04 R. Nelson R. Nelson 25/1 END 1C Away well & very prominent 1st. 4th BB 1C, 5th next and took 3rd briefly just after CT 1C. Fell shortly after, somewhere along CS. Remounted but towards rear in 12th WJ and PU at end of 1C.
  P Clatterbox   9-08   T. Gaman 25/1 END 1C Always towards rear, last but one WJ and PU at end of 1C.
51 52 F Maurice Daley 8 10-02 T. Olliver C. Boyce 25/1 FNC AFT BB 1C Led immediately and over 1st. Headed before 2nd and had dropped to 7th by BB 1C. 6th when fell next.
52 P Victress 9 10-06 John Osborne J. Tasker 12/1 BB 1C Away quite well & prominent 1st. Chased leaders until refused 3rd. Eventually persuaded over but completely tailed off and PU before BB 1C.
  F Betsy Prig 8 10-00 William Smith D. Meaney 25/1 3RD Mid to rear until fell 3rd.
  F Poll   9-10 William Jones J. Debeau 25/1 3RD Mid to rear until fell 3rd.



Peter Simple became the first dual winner of the Grand National not to achieve the feat in consecutive years and he almost certainly will forever remain the oldest victor at 15. Whilst he benefited from a shambolic start in 1849 Peter Simple deserves full credit for this success. Both his triumphs came on testing going and by 1853 he had fallen below his previous winning weight. Some of his chief rivals, notably perhaps Sir Peter Laurie and Abd-El-Kader (of whom Abbot asked too much too soon), preferred better ground, that on which Peter Simple had always lacked the necessary pace. For example, he had even been unable to lead at the Water Jump on Good to Soft in 1851 when, due to a wager, to do so had been his sole aim. The year after his first win he had to cart 16lb more; he had fallen in 1852, both races on Good. Nevertheless, it was quite a training accomplishment by Tom Olliver who'd only had charge of Peter Simple since the previous November, the horse looked extremely fit especially for one of such advanced years (his fellow veteran and old rival The Knight Of Gwynne, returning after a long absence, broke down). In also gaining his third National success as a jockey, in part due to a judicious and considerate ride, Olliver denied George Dockeray (for whom Black Tom rode the winner in 1842) a fifth triumph. Olliver would continue to train until his death in 1874. The two horses of the four involved in last year's skirmish at first Becher's to return, Bourton and Victress, displayed wayward tendencies as if soured by the contretemps.

The attendance for the 1853 Grand National, although good, was not what had been seen on former occasions although the degeneration of steeplechasing, which had already begun to be reflected in the Liverpool race (see 1852), was halted by the temporary oasis of a few reasonably decent performances this year and next. At the weights Peter Simple (whom I rated circa -40 in 1849) emerged 2 (pounds/lengths) superior to 1852 heroine Miss Mowbray (rated -64) and 16 better than Oscar who can, however, be allowed 1 for his mistake at the last. Peter Simple completed the course 18.50s quicker than he had when beating The Knight Of Gwynne in 1849 but, as a 15-y-o, however fit and favoured by the ground, was hardly likely to have improved. Whilst the going when he won before was Heavy (Soft places) by all accounts the reverse was true in 1853 with the ploughed sections being the Heavy parts. He was also carrying 4lb less and facing a less demanding jumping test. Notwithstanding all that, it was still a fine effort for which I'm inclined to award -44. Thus I will rate Miss Mowbray's performance in the 1853 National at -46. I can reconcile her improvement of well over a stone upon 1852's because she clearly handled the vastly different ground of 1853 and likely improved for it per se and/or the greater test of stamina it afforded. In addition, the mare may well have won with a greater degree of cleverness than thought at the time last year and as an 8-y-o Miss Mowbray was almost certainly stronger, more mature. Oscar gets -59.     






Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling