This took place on Wednesday 27th February 1856 on average going with the weather clear. The winner was owned by Mr W Barnett, trained by William Holman and ridden by George Stevens, winning by a length in 10 minutes 9.2 seconds, with half a length back to the third.


There were 51 subscribers paying 5 sovereigns each, of which 21 declared to run and paid 20 sovereigns each, with 100 sovereigns added. The nett value of the stakes was 720 sovereigns, but after the second saved his stake, and 25 sovereigns were allocated for expenses, the value to the winner was £675. (Equivalent to £66,500 in 2017).

GN1907.JPG (8122 bytes)

GN1908.JPG (8001 bytes)

GN1910.JPG (7999 bytes)

GN1911.JPG (7976 bytes)

GN1914.JPG (11652 bytes)

Pos. Horse Jockey Owner
1 FREETRADER George Stevens Mr William Barnett
2 MINERVA Sly Jr. Mr Davenport
3 MINOS R James Mr G Hobson
4 HOPELESS STAR W White Mr Tyler
also LITTLE CHARLEY T Burrowes Mr C Capel
also EMIGRANT C Boyce Mr G Hodgman
also SIR PETER LAURIE Sam Darling Mr William Barnett
also JEAN DU QUESNE Lamplugh Barron C Lamotte
also FRANC PICARD Wakefield Baron C Lamotte
also THE PASHA D Meaney Mr Hurley
also SEAMAN F Martin Mr A McDonough
also FOREST QUEEN J Thrift Mr Harper
also JUMPAWAY J Hanlon Mr Denison
also THE POTTER Kendall Mr Barber
also THE BRITISH YEOMAN Mr Goodman Mr T F Mason
also DAN O'CONNELL R Archer Mr J Tayleure
also BANSTEAD Mr W Beville Mr Dixon
also VICTOR EMMANUEL Seffert Mr Pickering
also STAMFORD C Green Mr Hodgman
also LIVERPOOL BOY McClean Mr H King
also HARRY LORREQUER Fowler Mr J Henderson

Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle provided a detailed account of the race on Sunday 2nd March 1856, the article forming the backbone of the information shown below.
This year Mr Topham was emboldened by his success last year and extended the meeting to two days, the feature Grand National being held on Wednesday 27th February 1856. The start took place at 3.20 and was accomplished at the first attempt. The early leaders were Jean du Quesne, British Yeoman, Forest Queen, Emigrant, Victor Emmanuel and The Pasha who jumped the first in a line, whence Forest Queen rushed into the lead. A chapter of accidents commenced at fence two when Victor Emmanuel fell and, despite his reins dangling about his neck, jumped the next few fences admirably. At Beecher’s Brook Harry Lorrequer joined the leaders, but by the time the field reached the turning flag Forest Queen held a commanding lead, Emigrant racing second over Valentine’s Brook, with the severity of the pace starting to tell on many in the rear division. There was no further change until crossing the lane near the canal bridge when the main body drew closer to Forest Queen. Arriving at the hurdle near the distance pole, her lead had diminished to 2 lengths, followed by The Potter and Jean du Quesne. Forest Queen charged the artificial water jump in front of the Stand, with The Potter in close attendance. As they crossed the lane into the starting field The Potter went up to Forest Queen, closely followed by Jean du Quesne and Seaman. Banstead blundered badly at the next, leaving just a small number in with a realistic chance of victory. The two leaders approached the headland to Beecher’s second time round together, but Forest Queen clipped a man trying to make his way up the bank, and began to tire. This left The Potter several lengths clear from Jean du Quesne, Freetrader and British Yeoman.
It’s now over the John Hanmer in the Stands for the rest of the commentary which is shown below.

9/2 Jean Du Quesne
5/1 Harry Lorrequer
7/1 Seaman
10/1 The Potter
12/1 Sir Peter Laurie
15/1 Forest Queen
15/1 Stamford
100/6 Emigrant
25/1 Freetrader
25/1 Minerva
25/1 Hopeless Star
25/1 Jumpaway
40/1 British Yeoman
40/1 Little Charley
40/1 The Pasha
50/1 Banstead
100/1 Victor Emmanuel
100/1 Minos
100/1 Liverpool Boy
100/1 Dan O'Connell
100/1 Franc Picard
  Over Round 111% Note that unquoted horses have been allocated 100/1

There was little further change until they reached the extreme turning flag, when Mr Goodman, aboard Yeoman, took a line to the left, using this short cut to get on terms with The Potter. They crossed Valentine’s in unison, but The Potter dropped his hind-quarters into the next ditch and his chances began to decline. Crossing the lane, Yeoman looked dangerous, but broke down in his off fore leg on the flat leaving Seaman, Emigrant, Minerva and Forest Queen to the forefront of the action, followed by the fast finishing Hopeless Star and Minos. Jumping the final hurdle Minerva overreached herself and became entangled in the hurdle, dragging it with her for a couple of strides. This left Freetrader to surge ahead and win by a length from Minerva, with Minos, who came with a tremendous rush in front of the Stand, to finish half a length behind in third; Hopeless Star was fourth, Little Charley a respectable fifth and Emigrant a bad sixth.

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
Download an order form
  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to