Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle provided a detailed account of the race on Saturday 29th March 1873, the article forming the backbone of the information shown below.
This year, for the first time, the racing papers mentioned important trials leading up to the big race, reporting ‘Everything done in the racing world within the last two months strengthened the inference that this year’s Grand National would prove the most successful on record. All the steeplechases, especially at Rugby, Croydon and Bristol, received great patronage, so that from the day the weights appeared betting became frantic’. Once race time arrived the flag fell without a hitch, a few minutes behind the appointed time, and Rhyshworth led the field, followed by New York, Congress, Crawler and Cecil. At the first fence New York took charge, although Rhyshworth regained the lead at the second, where Casse Tete came to grief. At the third Ismael refused and interfered with both Cinderella and Reugny. Reaching Becher’s Brook for the first time Rhyshworth bore to the left causing Cecil to check so badly that he became suspended across the fence. The leaders continued to be New York and Rhyshworth by the time Valentine’s was reached, with Congress, Solicitor and Star and Garter in their slipstream. No immediate change in the order took place canal side, nor when the leaders reached the racecourse proper, but at the Stand Water jump Solicitor rushed through to head the field. Out into the country the favourite appeared full of running until he collided with ‘two louts’ on the course putting paid to his chances. Worse was to come because New York and Lingerer rolled over him, while Footman was brought down in the confusion. Reaching Becher’s for the second time the field was severely depleted, being led by Columbine who was pursued by Rhyshworth, Alice Lee and Disturbance. Fully a mile and a half from home the race appeared to rest between these four horses. Crossing Valentine’s Columbine held a 6 length lead over Rhyshworth, but that lead had been whittled down at the canal side. Passing the five furlong post the trio of leaders, Columbine, Rhyshworth and Disturbance were bunched together having dropped Alice Lee. At the first flight of hurdles in the home straight Disturbance took command from Rhyshworth, so that at the distance flight he was able to surge ahead to win in a canter by 6 lengths, with Columbine a further 10 lengths behind Rhyshworth in third. Master Mowbray caught Alice Lee for fourth, while Stand and Garter finished sixth.