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1843 Grand National

The 1843 Grand Liverpool Steeplechase was the fifth official annual running of a handicap Steeple-chase, later to become known as the Grand National Steeplechase handicap horse race which took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool on Wednesday March 1st 1843 and attracted a field of sixteen runners.

Although recorded by the press at the time as the eighth 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.

This year the race was run as a handicap, with horses weighted according to their ability. In previous years they had all carried the same amount. The National has remained a handicap ever since.[1]

Finishing order

position name rider age weight starting price dstance or fate
Winner Vanguard Tom Olliver 8 8-10 12/1 Three lengths
Second Nimrod Bill Scott 8 11-00 10/1 Half a length
Third Dragsman John Crickmere 7 11-03 10/1
Fourth Claude Duval Joe Tomblin 11-07 12/1
Fifth Goblin Bartholomew Bretherton 12 11-06 10/1
Sixth Bucephalus Whitworth 11 11-05 Not quoted
Seventh Lottery Jem Mason 13 12-06 4/1 Last certain finisher
Eighth Peter Simple John Frisby 9 13-06 3/1 favourite Completed the course but may not have taken all the fences
Ninth The Returned Major D Campbell 9 12-00 4/1 Completed the course but may not have taken all the fences
Non finishers
The Romp H B Hollingshead 8 11-00 Not quoted Refused
Croxby William McDonough 11-06 Not quoted Pulled up
The Wall {end of the first circuit} Tinderbox G Moore 6 11-07 10/1 Fell
The Wall {end of the first circuit} Teetotum W Lockwood 6 11-07 Not quoted Fell or brought down by Tinderbox
Fence five Victoria T Taylor 6 11-10 Not quoted Fell
First fence Consul F Oldaker 11 11-02 Not quoted Refused
Redwing Thomas Doolan 8 11-10 Not quoted Fell

Vanguard was owned by George Stanhope, the 6th Earl of Chesterfield and ran in his blue colours with red sleeves and was trained by his grooms at the Earl's private stables and gallops at Bretby Hall in Derbyshire.[2]

The horses all returned safely but Mr Moore suffered a broken collar bone when he fell at the Wall. [3]

John Crickmere was considered to be very unlucky not have won as his mount, Dragsman had bolted down a lane and lost a huge amount of ground before he was able to get the horse back into the race to finish just three and a half lengths behind the winner. In the winners enclosure Crickmere was telling anyone who would listen how unlucky he was when Tom Olliver responded in jest "But John did we not stop for a smoke at the turn to give you a chance to catch up [4]


  1. The Grand National 1839-1955 - BBC News
  2. http://bygonederbyshire.co.uk/articles/Bretby_Hall:_Racing_elite_rode_at_Bretby
  3. Reg Green's A Race Apart (1987)
  4. [1] Extract of the conversation between Olliver and Crickmere after the National
  • www.hometown.aol.co.uk/captainbeecher/1843VANGUARD.html


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