| 4 March 1846|
The 1846 Grand Liverpool Steeplechase was the eighth annual running of a Handicap Steeple-chase, later to become known as the Grand National Steeplechase Horse race which took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool on Wednesday 4 March 1846 and attracted a then record field of 22 runners. It was won by the unconsidered outsider Pioneer.
Veluti, ridden by Jem Mason, a rider who had previously won the race in 1839 was sent off as the 11/2 favourite to win while the top weight of 12 stone 8 lbs was given to Firefly, the mount of Larry Byrne.
1846 Grand National Wikipedia
The course for this race was incorrectly flagged with the result that as much as an additional half a mile was added to the distance.
Peter Simple led for the majority of the first circuit which three of the competitors failed to negotiate. Mameluke and Hornihihharriho failed to reach Becher's Brook for the first time when the pair collided at an early jump while Lancet's' rider, William McDonough, was knocked from his horse by a mounted spectator as the field were turning to enter the race course proper.
The second circuit saw many of the runners meet with accidents as Peter Simple fell to leave Culverthorpe in the lead. Last year's winner, Cure-All was pulled up by his rider when it became apparent that he would not repeat his success and Perambulator soon did the same, Golden Pippen bolted off the course and The Scavenger refused. Regalia, Troubadour, Carlow, Brenda, Tinderbox and Lady Grey all fell before the survivors came back into sight of the spectators in the stands.
Only eight runners remained in the race when they came back onto the race course and when the stated distance was completed Veluti led from Culverthorpe. Veluti broke down and had to be pulled up, leaving Culverthorpe to jump the final flight in the lead only to be caught on the run to the finish line by the rank outsider Pioneer.
Pioneer won the race by three lengths with Culverthorpe second, three lengths in front of Switcher in third. Pioneer was not quoted by the bookmakers who offered him to potential backers at any price they cared to offer, making him the second consecutive unquoted winner of the race. While unquoted on the course, Pioneer was quoted at prices inn excess of 30/1 in the gambling rooms of Manchester were most pre race bets were struck, making him the longest priced winner to date. He proved himself to be a very good horse by winning a prestigious race at Leamington Spa the following week. His rider, William Taylor was a twenty-seven-year-old vet and was one of nine riders making their Grand National debut while the owner, a Mr Adams had been very clear before the race that he would not risk a penny of his own money on his own horse and indeed had made no effort to have the horse trained for racing.
Tom Olliver took a record eighth ride in the race this year.
The Times Newspaper 5 March 1846 edition The Belfast Newsletter 5 March 1846 edition The Liverpool Mercury 5 March 1846 edition