Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle provided a detailed account of the race on Saturday 24th March 1877, the article forming the backbone of the information shown below.
Once again this year there was some concern that the Lincolnshire Handicap and Grand National were in the same week, although the only difference this time was that the Lincoln fixture at Carholme extended to three days, while the Aintree one was reduced to a couple. However, no pains were spared to make the Liverpool bill attractive to owners and punters alike, the money not needed for a third day was spread across the principal races of the two days. Once the preliminaries were over the flag was lowered within a minute of the appointed time, leaving Regal to lead on the stand side for a hundred yards before giving way to Austerlitz and Chimney Sweep. Making their way into the country Zero had worked his way to the fore, positioning himself to take Becher’s first ahead of Citizen and Chimney Sweep. The field had settled, yet a clear gap had already emerged between the leaders and the stragglers which consisted of Liberator, Shifnal, Earl Marshall, Reugny, Pride of Kildare, Dainty and Gamebird who brought up the rear. Zero, seen as the pacemaker for his more fancied stable companion, led the way over Valentine’s from Citizen and Congress, and was still at the front as they entered the inner circle of the racecourse. The crowd viewing the Stand Water jump witnessed Zero, Congress, Citizen and Chimney Sweep take it together, the quartet leading the field back into the country again, although the pace had somewhat tamed allowing the field to cluster.
It’s now over the John Hanmer in the Stands for the rest of the commentary which is shown below.
At Becher’s second time around Regal and Reugny improved their positions behind Congress, but at the obstacle Regal collided with Austerlitz and began to drop back. Driving into the home straight, a good battle ensued between Chimney Sweep and Austerlitz, with Liberator three lengths off the pair. Over the penultimate hurdle Chimney Sweep and Austerlitz were neck and neck, with Liberator starting to look menacing, and although Jones was liberal with his whip on Chimney Sweep, it was Austerlitz who ran on the better of the pair. Liberator was not done with, proving a worthy opponent to Austerlitz over the distance timber which Austerlitz took the better. In the final 100 yards Austerlitz powered clear to win by 4 lengths, Congress catching Liberator on the line to win 100 sovereigns, while Liberator’s owner saved their stake in third; Chimney Sweep was fourth, Sultana was fifth and Regal sixth.