The Grand National
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Grand National History 1839 - 1836

Aintree Grand National 1839

The Grand National moved to Aintree for Tuesday February 26th 1839 with 17 runners being a large improvement over 1838. The race favourite "Lottery" the 9 year old running in the Grand National for the first time ridden by James Mason won at 5-1 in an event that was much better organized than years past and saw over 50 runners entering with 18 holding the pace dropping to 17 when "Jerry" withdrew between weighing out and the start. The race also saw the infamous Captain Martin Becher fall from his horse "Conrad" into the brook while leading the race, beginning the name Bechers Brook which still retains it's name today.

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Aintree Grand National 1838

The 1938 Grand National was won by "Sir William" in a race that only saw 3 horses take the field, the smallest field ever to face a National starter. The final places saw "Sir William" rode by Alan McDonogh edge ahead of two time winner "The Duke" who finished third with "Scamp" in between in an event which didn't excite people beforehand, but if history proves accurate actually turned out to see an excellent finish with "Sir William" only taking the lead at the penultimate hurdle.

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Aintree Grand National 1837

Won by "The Duke" in a year that many believe to mark the very first Grand National in a year that saw only 4 runners line up on March 4th 1837 in a race that was surprisingly packed with incidents that saw all four runners encounter problems before completing the course. "The Duke" ridden by Henry Potts did however manage to win, after spending the start of the race chasing "Dan O'Connell" and even refusing to jump on the 1st circuit while the other three horses sped on. With a win seeming unlikely "The Duke" did receive a stroke of luck as "Dan O'Connell" fell while battling with "The Disowned" and "Zanga" bringing both down clearing the way for "The Duke" to catch up and with the 1837 Grand National.

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Aintree Grand National 1836

While it is known that the first Aintree Grand National was in 1839 there is much debate surrounding the very first Grand National. Two distinct sources claim the first ever race took place in 1837 and 1836. The first winner in any case was "The Duke" with both the first two races being run in Maghull if sources are correct. This would mean "The Duke" who won in 1837 would have been the first dual winner and not "Abl-El-Kader" who won in 1850 and 1851. There most common reason the Grand National in 1836 seems to be overlooked today is due to the fact it wasn't called the Grand National at this time and not before 1847 was Grand National it's official name.

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