Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle provided a detailed account of the race on Saturday 12th March 1870, the article forming the backbone of the information shown below.
Racing newspapers of the day recognised the anticipation associated with the Grand National well before race day by reporting, ‘Opinions are unanimous in racing circles that the Grand National has not excited so much heavy wagering for many years past as on the present anniversary’. The start was effected at 3.05pm, the field getting away together led by Gardener in advance of Primrose, Karslake and Cinna. After 200 yards the lead had changed hands many times until, at the first fence, Traveller fell leaving The Elk and Primrose to the fore. At the third fence Fan broke the rail on the take-off side and tumbled into the ditch, while over Beecher’s Brook The Elk took the advantage from Primrose and Guy of Warwick. At the post and rails before Valentine’s Middleton swerved the wrong side of the flag to put paid to his chance. As the field approached the made fence before the Stand Water, Guy of Warwick pulled himself to the front, closely followed by The Elk. Onto the second circuit there was little change up front until Beecher’s, where Karslake assumed the lead from Cristal and Survey, but by the time the large ploughed field was reached Survey had taken over. Before the field reached the canal bridge Survey was joined by Primrose, QC pressing closely on their heels. Two fences from home Survey hit the flag, passing the advantage to Primrose, from The Colonel, Pearl Diver and The Doctor who was hugging the rails on the inside, the front four covered by no more than 2 lengths. Over the final timber there was little to choose between Primrose and The Colonel, but after a stroke of the whip the favourite took control to win by a neck from the fast finishing The Doctor. The brave Primrose was 3 lengths back in third, Survey in fourth, Keystone was fifth and Gardener sixth.