This took place on Tuesday 21st March 1871 on perfect going and the weather was sunny. The winner was owned by Lord Poulett, trained by Chris Green and ridden by Mr ommy Pickernell, winning by 2 lengths in 9 minutes 35 3/4 secs, with 4 lengths back to the third.


There were 111 subscribers at 25 sovereigns, with 300 sovereigns added, of which 100 sovereigns was awarded to the second, while the third saved his stake. There were 40 declared, of which 25 accepted, leaving a pot of £1555 (Equivalent to £128,000 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 THE LAMB Mr Thomas Pickernell Lord Poulett
2 DESPATCH G Waddington Mr Studd
3 SCARRINGTON Cranshaw Mr J Wilkinson
4 PEARL DIVER J Page Mr E Brayley
also TUSCULANUM Captain Smith Captain W H Cooper
also RUFUS Ryan Mr J F Montgomery
also THE COLONEL G Stevens Baron C Oppenheim
also SOUVENANCE Rickaby Duke of Hamilton
also THE DOCTOR Mr Crawshaw Duke of Hamilton
also SNOWSTORM Mr R Walker Mr J N Leighton
also PHILOSOPHER H Ellison Mr Gardener
also WILD FOX Murphy Captain Ainstie
also LORD RAGLAN Daniels Mr O Perry
also PURLBROOK Marsh Mr W Bingham
also MAGNUM BONUM Mr J M Richardson Captain Machell
also SCALTHEEN G Grey Lord Eglinton
also CASSE TETE J Rudd Mr E Brayley
also LADY GERALDINE Cunningham Captain Haworth
also CECIL R L'Anson Mr Etcher
also SCOTS GREY Welsh Major Browne
also St VALENTINE J Adams Lord Angelsey
also BOGUE HOMA Tomlinson Lord Angelsey
also ALCIBIADE Walters Mr B J Angell
also INON Captain Harford Captain Pigott
also DOG FOX J Potter Mr Mannington

Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle provided a detailed account of the race on Saturday 25th March 1871, the article forming the backbone of the information shown below.
The racing newspapers of the day were now of the opinion that the Grand National had become the race which warmed the hearts of punters through the long winter months in anticipation of what was to come in March. The main sporting paper reported, ‘There are few of the present generation of racegoers who cannot remember the time when it was possible to win a large fortune on the Chester Cup before the publication of the entries. Now, however, matters are altogether different with Mr Topham’s Handicap which, for the last 3 or 4 years, being the main topic of conversation throughout winter’. This year the race was moved to Tuesday, and if racing successes are synonymous with large attendances, it can be asserted that 1871 cast all preceding anniversaries into the shade. This year it was felt necessary to allocate a full hour to the weighing and other pre-race preliminaries but, as a consequence, the field arrived at the start promptly and got away at first flag fall. Despatch was given his head first, followed by Rufus, Inon, Wild Fox and Snowstorm. Before completing even 200 yards Rufus went to the head of affairs approaching the first fence, at which St Valentine fell. At the third The Doctor was interfered with, putting him at the rear by the time the leaders reached Beecher’s Brook, over which Rufus held a healthy lead from Purlbrook, The Lamb, Dog Fox and Despatch. At the next fence, a rail and ditch on the take-off side, Scots Grey cannoned into Cecil causing him to fall. Through the ploughed land by the canal side the immediate successors to Rufus were Purlbrook, The Lamb and Wild Fox. As the field approached the thorn fence preceding the Stand Water jump Purlbrook was passed for second place by The Lamb, Dog Fox and Alcibiade. Once the artificial brook was met, marking the half way stage, Souvenance joined Rufus in the lead, a length to the good over Wild Fox. Over Beecher’s and the canal bridge, Rufus stoutly held on to his place at the fore, but joining the course proper The Lamb and Despatch joined issue with the leader, the trio gaining a 4 length advantage over the remainder. Into the home straight The Lamb held a slight advantage over Despatch, while Rufus hit the next timber, effectively putting paid to his chances. Between the final two flights both leaders came under pressure, but it was The Lamb who responded better to win by 2 lengths, with Despatch claiming second some 4 lengths ahead of Scarrington who saved his owner’s stake. Pearl Diver was fourth, Tusculanum was fifth and the heroic Rufus sixth.

4/1 Pearl Diver
5/1 The Lamb
8/1 The Colonel
10/1 The Doctor
10/1 Despatch
10/1 Cecil
25/1 Souvenance
25/1 Purlbrook
25/1 Dog Fox
40/1 Snowstorm
40/1 St Valentine
50/1 Tusculanum
50/1 Magnum Bonum
50/1 Bogue Homa
60/1 Scarrington
60/1 Lord Raglan
60/1 Lady Geraldine
60/1 Casse Tete
60/1 Inon
100/1 Philosopher
100/1 Alcibiade
200/1 Scots Grey
200/1 Scaltheen
200/1 Wild Fox
200/1 Rufus
  Over Round 108%
Note that unquoted horses have been allocated 200/1.
I am very grateful to John Pinfold for the picture shown below. I can recommend Gallant Sport and An Aintree Dynasty, both written by John Pinfold. To purchase a copy of either book go to the Amazon Grand National store shown below.

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