The 1841 Grand National
The 1841 running of the race saw some changes to the course. The most significant was that the brick wall was replaced by a water jump that was 10 feet wide and 3 feet deep. There was also to be change to the conditions of the race. Up to this date the race was run with all horses having to carry the same weight 12 stone, but this year because Lottery was seen to be so much better than other horses that if he ran he would have to carry 18 lbs more than all his rivals. Although the race conditions did not refer to the horse by name it was clearly a way of trying to handicap the horse. It was felt that the betting public would prefer to have a more even match but despite making it impossible for Lottery to win the public still bet him to the 5/2 favourite for the race.
The entries for the race saw horses such as previous winner Lottery and also previous runners in the race like Seventy Four and the eventual winner Charity who had run in the 1839 race.
Charity a good horse in her day, was bred in Herefordshire by Mr.W.Williams and won some hunters and also flat races before being sold in 1837 to Mr. Vevers who was listed as the owner in 1839. however for this years race she is listed as being owned by Lord Craven although it is doubtful that the mare was every really in his ownership, indeed his next run in the race in 1844 she is again listed as owned by Mr. Vevers again. Mr. Vevers was remarkable charismatic figure who was a good rider in his own right and carried on race ridding later in life and his last race was when he won on his own horse Vengeance in 1849 aged sixty seven. Vagaries of ownership were not uncommon at this time nor was another which saw a horse called Peter Simple running in the race. This Peter Simple a grey horse who ran in the race 6 times until 1846 should not be confused with the Bay horse of the same name who ran in the race from 1849 to 1854 as was to become the first official duel winner of the race.
Race Conditions: -
A sweepstake of 20 sovereigns, 5 forfeit, with 150 sovereigns added; 12 stone each except for the winner of the 1840 Cheltenham Steeplechase who will carry an extra 18 lbs. Gentlemen riders; the second horse to receive 30 sovereigns and the third to save his stake, the winner to pay 10 sovereigns towards expenses; no rider to open a gate, or ride though a gateway, or more than 100 yards along any road footpath or drift-way.
The race was run without incident today with 7 of the 11 starers finishing, unfortunately Lottery was pulled up in the race. Two horses fell at Bechers brook Selim and Goblin with the latter remounting and finishing 7th.
Oliver Twist, Legacy and the remounted Goblin were the three horses still running that seemed without a chance of winning, however by the time the final two hurdles was jumped there were three horses in contention Cigar, Peter Simple and Charity with the first two battling out for the lead when Charity with a strong run in passed both challengers and won by a comfortable 2 lengths.
The Result: -