Badges through the decades

Brief History


Earliest record of racing in the Liverpool area, with a meeting taking place at Crosby.


Record of race meetings taking place at Ormskirk.


Ormskirk races are abandoned after this date.


Evidence of organized racing in the vicinity of Aintree at Maghull.


The Tradesman’s Cup is run at Maghull and was later replaced by the Liverpool Summer Cup


Racing still takes place at Maghull, but there is also a race meeting at Aintree.


A Liverpool publican, William Lynn, leased the Aintree racecourse from Lord Sefton and organizes 3 meetings.. This effectively spelled the end of racing at Maghull.


A race takes place at Aintree over a cross-country course of about 5 miles. The race was won by The Duke, which is seen by many as the first Grand National winner.


One of the most famous incidents at Aintree occurred when Captain Beecher fell from his horse Conrad and landed in a brook adjacent to a fence. From this date the fence, the 6th and 22nd fence in the Grand National, became known as Beecher’s Brook. The race was won by an appropriately named horse called Lottery.


The Grand National becomes a handicap, being known as ‘The Liverpool and National Steeplechase’, and is won by Vanguard ridden by Tom Oliver. He had gained earlier success in the race in 1842 on Gay Lad, and went on to gain success in 1953 on Peter Simple, who had already won the race once in 1849. Edward William Topham becomes clerk of the course.


The great race finally becomes known as the Grand National Handicap Steeplechase.


Aintree racecourse is leased to the Tophams.


Jockey George Stephens gains his first success in the National and later went on to record 4 more successes to become the most successful jockey in the Grand National.


The 10-1 Emigrant wins the National but only after there were 7 false starts.


The Lamb becomes the first grey to win the National and repeats the success 3 years later.


The 40 length margin by which Cloister wins the National remains the widest margin. He had already managed to finish second on two previous occasions.


A horse called Manifesto runs in the National for the first time and finishes fourth.


Manifesto goes on to win the National for the first time.


Carrying a record breaking top weight of 12st 7 lbs, Manifesto wins the race for a second time.

Liverpool 1927.JPG (11243 bytes)



Ambush II wins the National to become the only Royal winner to date, being owned by the Prince of Wales.


Manifesto, by now a 14 year old, still competes in the National and has to carry 12st 8 lbs. Ridden by Ernest Piggott, the great horse still manages third place behind Shannon Lass.


Moifaa wins the National after surviving being thrown overboard on its journey from New Zealand. The water jump posed little threat given that it had swum 50 miles to reach the starting gate.


No steeplechasing at Aintree during the War years, but the National still takes place albeit at Gatwick.


Poethlyn, the 11/4 favourite, wins the post War National in the hands of Ernie Piggott, the grandfather of Lester Piggott.


Gregalach, at 100-1, wins the National and sees off the largest number of rivals in a field of 66.


Reynoldstown wins the National and repeats the feat in 1936.


The history of the Topham Trophy is a booklet written by Paul Davies and is available via

topham tcr.JPG (113233 bytes)


ESB wins the National at 100-7 ridden by Dave Dick, but it must have been one of the least popular winners given that Devon Loch mysteriously slipped in the shadow of the winning post when ridden by Dick Francis and was owned by the Queen Mother.


Nicholas Silver becomes only the second grey to triumph in the National.


The Spring Festival meeting is the only one held each year at Aintree for the next 20 years.


The first of Red Rum’s 3 famous National victories sees him catch the gallant top-weight Crisp on the line.


Although Cheers does not win the National he does complete the course in the hands of Geraldine Rees, the first lady rider to do so.


Ginger McCain waits 27 years before training his fourth Grand National winner Ashleigh House at 16-1.

Liverpool 1935.JPG (11339 bytes)

Liverpool 1947.JPG (12576 bytes)

Liverpool 1956.JPG (12268 bytes)
Liverpool 1997.JPG (19573 bytes)