1842 Grand National

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

1842 Grand National
Grand National
Date2 March 1842
Winning horseGaylad
Starting price7/1
JockeyTom Olliver
TrainerGeorge Dockeray
OwnerJohn Elmore
← 1841
1843 →

The 1842 Grand Liverpool Steeplechase was the fourth official annual running of a steeplechase, later to become known as the Grand National Steeplechase, a horse race which took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool on 2 March 1842 and attracted 15 runners.

Although recorded by the press at the time as the seventh running of the Grand Liverpool, which was renamed the Grand National in 1847, the first three runnings were poorly organised affairs and are today regarded as unofficial.

The race was not run as a handicap chase and therefore all the runners were declared to carry 12 stone with the exception of the winner of the 1840 Cheltenham Steeplechase who had to carry 13 stone 4 lbs.

Competitors and Betting[edit]

The remaining runners did not command a starting price from the bookmakers and were sent off unquoted.

The race[edit]

The course consisted of two circuits of a spindle shaped course at Aintree, starting from a position beside the stables and running off the racecourse over Melling Road and into open countryside. The competitors would have to negotiate any hedges and banks they came across to travel from field to field, most of which were open ploughland, until reaching Becher's Brook, a man made post and rails. From here the field then turned left towards the Leeds to Liverpool canal, before jumping the Canal Turn, a fence at a sharp 90 degree angle. This would then place the runners in the fields running along the canal where they would jump Valentine's Brook, The Table top, a fence in which the landing side was significantly raised, and then the lane fences, two hedges either side of the Melling Road that marked the point where the runners re-entered the actual race course. From here the land was laid to turf as the runners turned left and came back towards the stands. Here they had to negotiate the monument or made fence, today known as the chair, and then a water jump before setting off on a second circuit of the course. On reaching the race course for a second time the runners would this time jump two hurdles before a long run in to the finish line, bypassing the monument fence and water jump on the way.

Anonymous and Columbine led the competitors around the first circuit in which Sam Weller was the only recorded faller, somewhere near Becher's Brook.

At the start of the second circuit Peter Simple took up the running and by the time Becher's Brook was reached for the second time the competitors were spread out over a furlong of the course.

Peter Simple still led at the Canal Turn but it was here that Lottery was pulled up after showing signs of distress. Only Seventy Four, Gaylad, Columbine and The Returned were still within one field {fence} of the leader at this point but the grey was still full of running and looked very likely to win.

At the turn for home a group of spectators, keen to get a good view, had encroached onto the course without realising. Peter Simple was by now many lengths clear but his rider failed to notice the spectators in time and in trying to avoid them he was thrown from his mount. Powell, on second placed Seventy Four was able to take evasive action and continued towards the hurdles in the lead with only Gaylad close enough to challenge.

Seventy Four jumped the final hurdle in the lead but was very tired by this stage and failed to respond to the vigorous urgings of his rider for an extra effort. Gaylad by contrast was treated with much more compassion by his rider and responded to this nursing by finding the extra effort necessary to get up and win by four lengths. The very unfortunate Peter Simple was remounted to finish fifteen lengths back in third with The Returned and Columbine the only other recorded finishers. The remaining runners, with the exception of Sam Weller and Lottery are believed to have completed the course but were so far behind that they were probably swallowed up by the many mounted spectators and carriages who would follow the runners from the top end of the racecourse down the home straight.

The race was timed at 13 minutes and 30 seconds, a full minute outside the record.

Finishing order[edit]

position name rider age weight starting price colours distance or fate
Winner Gaylad Tom Olliver 8 12-00 7/1 Crimson
Second Seventy Four Horatio Powell 9 12-00 6/1 Yellow, Brown seams
Third {remounted} Peter Simple Robert Hunter 8 12-00 8/1 Plaid, Scarlet sleeves Rider unseated at the home turn when spectators encroached onto the course
Fourth The Returned William Hope-Johnstone 8 12-00 15/1 White
Fifth Banathlath Peter Colgan 7 12-00 20/1 White Fell Becher's Brook first circuit, remounted
Sixth Lucks All Thomas Goddard 10 12-00 10/1 Crimson, Purple sleeves Completed the course but may not have taken all the jumps
Unrecorded Columbine Larry Byrne 8 12-00 Not quoted Blue Distanced by the judge
Unrecorded Anonymous G Moore 10 12-00 Not quoted Blue birds eye Distanced
Unrecorded Bangalore Captain William Peel 10 12-00 20/1 Blue, Orange sleeves and cap Distanced
Unrecorded Honesty William McDonough 8 12-00 Not quoted White body, Black sleeves and cap Distanced
Non finishers
Unrecorded Satirist Bartholomew Bretherton 6 12-00 100/7 Brown, Purple sleeves Fell at the lane on the start of the second circuit
Becher's Brook 2nd time Lottery Jem Mason 13-04 5/1 favourite Crimson Pulled up on the Canal side, second circuit
Near Becher's 1st time Sam Weller P Barker 8 12-00 8/1 Green Fell, Valentine's Brook, second circuit
Consul F Oldaker 10 12-00 10/1 Blue, Yellow sleeves and cap Fell Becher's Brook first circuit
Lady Langford J Abbott 12-00 Not quoted White Fate not recorded

Colours as published in The Liverpool Mail, Thursday March 3rd 1842 Distanced refers to horses that was not in site of the judge when the first horse reached the chair.


Winner: Gaylad was ridden by Tom Olliver, who was one of the most experienced riders in the race, having his fourth ride after finishing second in 1839 while riding Seventy Four. The horse was owned by Piccadilly horse trader John Elmore, already a winner with Lottery in 1839. It was also suggested that Elmore had owned a part share in 1840 Grand National winner, Jerry. He was trained by George Dockeray whose Epsom stables had also prepared Lottery and Jerry when they had won.

Second: Seventy Four, who was finishing second for the second time and carried the colours of Lord Mostyn. He was ridden by Horatio Powell.

Third: Peter Simple, who was third for the second consecutive year and was carrying the colours of his rider, Robert Hunter.

Fourth: The Returned, who was also in the colours of his rider William J Hope-Johnstone


  • http://www.greyhoundderby.com/GN1842.htm
  • Accounts from various local and National newspapers from March 1842
  • A-Z of the Grand National by John Cottrell and Marcus Armytage. Highdown press ISBN 978-1-905156-43-6
  • Gallant Sport by John Pinfold ISBN 1-901570-11-8
  • Various UK & Ireland census returns