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1841 Grand National

The 1841 Grand Liverpool Steeplechase was the third official annual running of a Steeple-chase, later to become known as the Grand National Steeplechase handicap Horse race which took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool on March 3rd 1841 and attracted a then smallest ever field of eleven runners.

Although recorded by the press at the time as the sixth running of the Grand Liverpool, which was renamed the Grand National in 1847, the first three runnings were poorly organised affairs.

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 & Betting

  • 5/2 Lottery, the 1839 winner who also bore the 13 stone, 4 lb penalty weight for having won the 1840 Cheltenham chase and was ridden, as in 1839, by Jem Mason
  • 4/1 Cigar, an eleven year old providing Alan McDonough with a record fifth ride in the race (including pre 1839 non official Nationals)
  • 6/1 Peter Simple, a seven year old grey entire ridden by T Walker
  • 12/1 Legacy, the mount of William McDonough
  • 14/1 Charity, an eleven year old mare who had failed to complete the course in 1839, a third ride for A Powell
  • 14/1 Seventy Four, the eight year old runner up in 1839, ridden this year by Whitworth
  • 100/6 The Hawk, provided a debut ride for W Saunders
  • 25/1 Revealer, a seven year old ridden by P Barker
  • 25/1 Selim, a seven year old who bore no relation to the 1814 sire of the same name, was the mount of Captain G B Price

The race

The course was as it had been the previous year with the exception that the wall, situated in front of the stands, was replaced with an artificial water jump.

Reports of the conditions and betting on the race varied widely and depended greatly on which newspaper the reader chose to get their report from after the event with Charity and Seventy-Four both listed as pre race favourite in some publications, which also varied the state of the going with everything from good to heavy. Officially Lottery is recorded as favourite on officially good going.

The race was started at 2.30pm and was run at a very sedate pace, which ensured a largely incident free contest. Selim fell at least once during the first circuit but was remounted and continued while the early leader, Goblin was the only other casualty, falling at a fence by the Canal. He was quickly remounted and had rejoined the main body of runners by the time the water jump, which marked the half way stage was jumped. Cigar was a narrow leader at this stage ahead of Charity with the remainder tightly bunched.

Legacy and Oliver Twist both fell in the second field of the second circuit and though both were quickly remounted their chance of victory was lost. Lottery now opened a good lead, which was maintained all the way back towards the racecourse but when he came into sight of the spectators in the stands it was apparent that the extra weight burden was too much to bear. His two and half length lead was quickly overhauled by Charity, Cigar and Peter Simple and, with victory beyond them, Mason pulled the former champion up before reaching the hurdles.

Charity jumped the penultimate hurdle in the lead but was passed by Cigar and Peter Simple and when these two jumped the final hurdle together it looked as though the race lay between them. Charity however found a second wind and gradually overhauled the two leaders to win by a length over Cigar with Peter Simple only half a length behind in third with Revealer in fourth. The others with the exception of Lottery, completed the course though the order in which they passed the post was not accurately recorded.

Finishing order

position name rider age weight starting price dstance or fate
Winner Charity A Powell 11 12-00 14/1 1 length
Second Cigar Alan McDonough 11 4/1 12-00 1/2 a length
Third Peter Simple T Walker 7 12-00 6/1
Fourth Revealer P Barker 7 12-00 25/1 Last recorded finisher
Completed the course Seventy Four Whitworth 8 12-00 14/1 Finishing position not recorded
Completed the course The Hawk W Saunders 12-00 100/6 Finishing position not recorded
Completed the course (remounted) Legacy William McDonough 12-00 12/1 Fell at the first jump on the second circuit
Completed the course {remounted} Oliver Twist Tom Olliver 6 12-00 25/1 Fell at the first fence on the second circuit
Completed the course {remounted} Goblin Bartholomew Bretherton 10 12-00 25/1 Fell at the Canal side of the course on the first circuit
Completed the course {remounted at least once} Selim Captain G B Price 7 12-00 25/1 Fell at Becher's on the first circuit
Non finishers
Lottery Jem Mason 13-04 5/2 favourite Pulled up with half a mile to race

The placed horses

Winner: Charity ran in the white jacket and cerise cap of Lord Craven and was prepared for the race at the stables of William Vevers in Cheltenham. His rider, A Powell had failed to finish in a place in either of his two previous Nationals. Her time of thirteen minutes and twenty-five seconds was fifty-five seconds outside the race record.

Second: Cigar ran in the colours of one Mr Anderson. Jockey Alan McDonough has also been second the previous year.

Third: Peter Simple was owned by the Hon F Craven and was a second race ride for T Walker

Fourth: Revealer ran in the tartan colours of Henry Villebois which had been carried to victory by Jerry the previous year. Bartholomew Bretherton rode both horses.


  • www.hometown.aol.co.uk/captainbeecher/1841CHARITY.html
  • Correspondent of D.E. Post contemporary report
  • Irish Newsletter March 4th 1841


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