The Past

The 1840 Grand National

The 1840 Grand National as with a lot of these early races has been recorded poorly and as such even the number of runners is in doubt again. There were either 12 or 13. The official figures are 13 so we will go with that. To add to this the owner of the winner Jerry also seems to be in confusion. Many people have this as Mr. Elmore who was the owner of the previous winner Lottery, this is probably because he is reported as the owner in "Steeplechases Past", but the official records have the owner as Mr. Villebois. This confusion is more understandable as both Elmore and Villebois are likely to have had part ownership of the horse and the horse seems to have run in the Villebois colours.

Race Conditions: -

A sweepstake of 20 sovs, 5 forfeit, with 150 added; 12st each, gentlemen riders; the second to receive 30 sovs, and the third to save his stake; the winner to pay 10 sovs towards expenses; no rider to open a gate or ride through a gateway, or more than 100 years along any road, footpath or driftway.

On the day the crowd was again gathering and the start was again delayed to 3pm from the timed start of 1.30 pm.
The horses were sent away on the changed distance of four and a half miles. The early leader was Lottery followed very closely by Valentine on whom the Irish jockey Mr. Power was said to have placed a large bet on himself to be the first to the wall which was around half of the race. These two horses were at a scorching pace and Valentine got out in front leaving the rest of the pack trailing.
At Bechers on the first circuit Weathercock fell and his jockey Barker was severely injured by another faller Cruickshank, and had to be taken from the course to a local farmhouse where he had to spend some days after recovering.
It was at the second brook however that the major incident happened. Valentine suddenly halted and reared up on his hind legs, he then corkscrewed around and jumped the fence in some fashion, and Mr. Power somehow managed to stay on board. It was such a remarkable jump that the brook was named after the horse and it is still known today as Valentine's Brook.
This took something out of the horse who still going well but was being caught by the previous years winner Lottery who was almost upsides him when they got to the wall. Valentine was just in front and cleared the wall however Lottery was not so lucky he breasted the wall and fell in a heap. While the horse was getting up another runner Columbine jumped the wall and landed on lottery closely followed by The Nun who also fell on Lottery. Mr. Won Columbine's rider was getting to his feet when the next horse Seventy Four jumped the fence and landed on his horse and gave him a glancing blow that knocked him off his feet and face down on the turf. Mr. Won was reported as "being taken away in insensibility".
At Bechers on the second circuit Arthur Slipped up and fell, but his rider was quick to react and remounted the horse and the both did so well that coming to the home straight, when Jerry was fighting off renewed challenges from Valentine, Arthur was back up and close to the leaders.
Jerry kept to his task well but Valentine was one paced and was passed in the closing stages by Arthur. Jerry kept on and won by 4 lengths With Arthur second Valentine Third and the only other to finish The Sea in fourth.

Lottery, The Winner Jerry and Sailor all owned by Mr. Elmore

The Result Reads: -

1st Jerry Mr Villebois Mr Bretherton
2nd (remounted) Arthur Mr. Barry Mr a. McDonough
3rd Valentine Mr. A. Power Mr. A Power
4th The Sea Marquis of Waterford Marquis of Waterford
Fell Lottery Mr. J. Elmore J. Mason
Fell Cruikshank ? Guy
Fell The Nun Lord McDonald Mr. Powell
Fell Spolasco ? Rose
Fell Columbine Marquis of Waterford Mr. Won
Fell Hasty ? Rigg
Fell Seventy Four Sir George Mostyn T. Olliver
Fell The Augean ? R, Christian
Fell Weathercock ? Barker
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