This took place on Friday 29th March 1878 on average going and the weather was clear. The winner was owned and trained by John Nightingall and ridden by J Jones, winning by 2 lengths in 10 mins 13 secs, with a distance back to the third.


There were 68 subscribers, with 1000 sovereigns added, although only 15 declared and only 12 accepted. After the second received 100 sovereigns, and the third saved their stake, the pot was £1540. (Equivalent to £128,200 in 2017)

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Pos. Horse Jockey Owner
1 SHIFNAL J Jones Mr John Nightingall
2 MARTHA Mr T Beasley Captain A Crofton
3 PRIDE OF KILDARE Mr J Moore Mr J Moore
4 JACKAL Jewitt Captain Machell
also MISS LIZZIE Hunt Captain Davison
also CURATOR Mr E P Wilson Lord Lonsdale
also BOYNE WATER J Adams Mr J Jessop
also VERITY Gregory Mr J Hefford
also HIS LORDSHIP R L'Anson Mr G Brown
also THE BEAR R Marsh Duke of Hamilton
also NORTHFLEET C Lawrence Mr T J Clifford
also TATTOO W Canavan Mr J G Blake

Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle provided a detailed account of the race on Saturday 30th March 1878, the article forming the backbone of the information shown below.
Newspapers reported this to be one of the tamest Grand Nationals to date, although it did not blame Mr Topham who had increased added prize money to four figures, and had published a programme ‘on a most liberal scale’. Furthermore, the Prince of Wales and his party had left the Lincoln meeting on the Wednesday afternoon as soon as the meeting concluded, Liverpool bound.  The reason for the ‘tameness’ was a dirth of entries from steeplechasers of quality. After the preliminaries had concluded, the field got away at 3.15pm after a couple of breakaways. Shifnal made the early play, accompanied by Miss Lizzie, Martha, Jackal and Curator, but as they made their way into the country Tattoo took to the front despite appearing lame. At the first he took it sideways, causing such confusion that The Bear and His Lordship both fell into the ditch, while Verity and Northfleet refused.
It’s now over the John Hanmer in the Stands for the rest of the commentary which is shown below.

9/2 His Lordship
5/1 Boyne Water
6/1 Pride of Kildare
100/13 Shifnal
12/1 Jackal
100/8 The Bear
100/7 Northfleet
20/1 Verity
20/1 Martha
25/1 Miss Lizzie
100/3 Tattoo
50/1 Curator
  Over Round 102%

A much reduced field were led to Becher’s by Shifnal, Miss Lizzie and Martha, but Martha had assumed control reaching the post and rails, where Jackal swerved the wrong side of the flag. The pace was pedestrian down the canal side, and continued at a steady gallop until Martha went over the Stand Water at the head of affairs, now showing 3 lengths to the good of Pride of Kildare and Shifnal. The lack of pace meant the field had clustered, less than 100 yards dividing first from last; Shifnal took over again at Valentine’s and led the field into the final mile. From the five furlong post Pride of Kildare ground her way towards Shifnal and Martha, and was seemingly going the best of the trio. At the second flight of hurdles from home her pride was humbled, allowing Martha and Shifnal to go on together. Shifnal seized an advantage at the distance hurdle and went on to win by 2 lengths from Martha, with Pride of Kildare a distance third; Jackal was fourth and Miss Lizzie was the only other to finish in fifth.

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652 pages

774 former courses

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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

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