Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle provided a detailed account of the race on Sunday 8th March 1857, the article forming the backbone of the information shown below.
The pattern of a 2 day meeting, established last year for the first time, continued in 1857 when, on the second day Wednesday 4th March 1857, the Grand National attracted 28 runners. The start, which was preceded by 3 failures, took place at 3.26 when the early leaders over the first two fences were Garry Owen, Emigrant, Little Charley and Dangerous. This order continued virtually unchanged until Beecher’s Brook, after which Garry Owen began to establish a clear lead which he maintained rounding the extreme turning flag. Approaching Valentine’s Brook the pace was so severe that there was a long tail. Garry Owen led over the Brook, challenged by Little Charley and Hopeless Star, the 3 going on together across 3 successive fields of plough and seed. The pace gradually slackened a little reaching the field before the canal bridge, where Emigrant overtook Garry Owen, forging 2 lengths clear at the artificial bush fence near the distance post. Moving on to the final circuit Emigrant was followed by Westminster, Garry Owen, Little Charley and Jean de Quesne. At the next there was a ruck of at least a dozen horses all in a heap, Forest Queen scrimmaging with Star of the West, the latter being knocked over. Unfortunately, Albatross suffered a fatal accident as a result of the rough scrimmaging. Up front an exciting race developed between the 2 Epsom horses, Emigrant and Westminster, leading up to the artificial water jump, while Minos jumped it like a tired horse and came down. Reaching Beecher’s Brook Emigrant, who had put on steam, held a healthy lead over the Brook, rounding the turning flag and over Valentine’s second time around, doubling his lead across the fallow fields. Although Weathercock renewed his challenge as they made their way to the final hurdle located at the distance, Emigrant held him with some ease to win by 2 lengths, Weathercock beating Treachery and Escape in the race for the minor honours.