Mr John Crickmere
| 28 February 1844|
The 1844 Grand Liverpool Steeplechase was the sixth annual running of a handicap steeplechase, later to become known as the Grand National Steeplechase, a horse race which took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool on Wednesday 28 February 1844 and attracted a field of 16 runners. It was won by the 5/1 co favourite, Discount, ridden by John Crickmere.
1844 Grand National Wikipedia
The race was run in heavy rain, making it difficult for the spectators and press in the stands to see the action in the country. The story of what happened to those who did not complete the course was sketchy and was relayed mostly by the jockeys as they returned after the race.
Fourteen horses completed the course but the last five of those either finished so far behind that they came in among the mounted spectators who followed the race or just bypassed obstacles when victory was beyond them. In order of finishing the five, who were not recorded as official finishers were Peter Simple, Wiverton, Heslington, Nimrod and Charity. The only two who did not complete the course were Robinson, who refused and did not continue and Teetotum, who was pulled up during the second circuit.
All of the horses returned safely but Rackley, the rider of Tom Tug, was so exhausted on returning to unsaddle that he had to be lifted from his mount.
Alan McDonough, on Nimrod, Tom Olliver, on Wiverton and Bartholomew Bretherton, on Marengo all took a record sixth ride in the Grand National this year.
The winning rider, John Crickmere was riding in his second National having finished third the previous year. he was twenty-two years old and would go on to have one further ride in the race before dying of consumption in 1846. The previous year he had been very unlucky to lose the race and commented on this to the winning rider, Tom Olliver who had responded by saying that he had stopped for a smoke to allow Crickmere's mount to catch up. This year Olliver failed to complete the course, prompting Crickmere to ask him where Olliver had stopped for a smoke this year to which Olliver replied with a smile that this year he had instead stopped for a drink in Kirby. On the official Aintree records published each year in the race card he is listed as either Mr Crickmere or H Crickmere.
The owner was a Piccadilly horse dealer by the name of Mr Quartermaine.
The winning horse was by Sir Hercules out of Minikin and was originally named Magnum Bonum.
The race was run in a time of 13 minutes 58 seconds, which was 1 minute and 28 seconds slower than the record for the race.
Discount won the race by fifteen lengths with the third horse a further length behind.