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1853 Grand National: Peter Simple
Tue, Apr 7th, 2015

Sam Waley - Cohen rides 14 year old Oscar Time in the 2015 Aintree Grand National. As racehorses go this is old. No horse older than 12 has won the Grand National since 1923 and the last time a horse older than Oscar Time won was in 1853 when Peter Simple caused an upset.

Times were somewhat different as this race report from Heroes and Heroines of the Grand National shows.

1853 Grand National Report

The horses were sent on their journey at 4:23. Maurice Daley showing the way to the second  when he was passed by Bourton, who soon afterwards gave way to Peter Simple, who now took up the running.

At the third fence—a post and rails—Victim refused, and turning round interfered with The General, who lost a good deal of ground in consequence, whilst Betsy Prig, The Dwarf, and Poll all came down.

Nearing Becher's Brook, previous to reaching which Tasker and Victim had been pulled up, some thing running into Peter Simple caused him to swerve so much to the left, that but for Sir Peter Laurie, who was alongside, giving him a friendly " cannon," thereby keeping him straight, he must have gone the wrong side of the flag. As it was the two Peters jumped it abreast ahead of the rest. Peter Simple now resumed the lead, Carrig taking second place, and Abd el Kader third. No change now occurred until Valentines was reached when Abd el Kader, rushing past Peter Simple, look the field along at a great pace.

Along the grass headlands, he increased his lead to such an extent that he landed on the race-course a hundred yards ahead of the rest, jumping the water opposite the stand in grand style, Crabbs forty yards behind, heading the others, of whom Knight of Gwynne and Chatterbox were shortly after pulled up.

At this point the friends of Abd el Kader might well be excused for hoping their horse would win for the third time. They were not best pleased therefore when on re-entering the starting field they saw Peter Simple leave his companions and wrest the lead from him. No change occurred until the second fence from the lane, when Crabbs retired from sheer distress.

On landing on to the race-course Abd el Kader was beaten, Oscar and Miss Mowbray going on in hot pursuit of Peter Simple, with whom they drew level at the first hurdle, the trio being in the air simultaneously.

Peter Simple, however, soon resumed command again, and going on won by four lengths from Miss Mowbray, who was followed at a like distance by Oscar. Sir Peter Laurie was a bad fourth, Abd el Kader fifth. The General sixth, Carrig walking in seventh.

Time : 10 minutes 37.5  seconds.

Of the two cracks, Oscar and Miss Mowbray, the latter was universally preferred; whilst Peter Simple, who looked fit to run for his life, was pooh-poohed as "worn-out," and too "slow" to compete with such smart animals as Bourton, Miss Mowbray, and

Victim. About 2 o'clock a notice was posted up to the effect that Mr. Mason declared to win with Oscar, whereupon as little as 4 to 1 was freely taken about Miss Mowbray, and 9 to 1taken about Oscar, against whom two objections were lodged just before the race—one from Mr. Barnett, the owner of Sir Peter Laurie, on the ground ot wrong description ; the other from Mr. Cartwright, the owner of Maurice Daley, as being disqualified from having run at Leamington under a false description ; the latter gentleman informing the members of the press that he started his horse solely for the purpose of entering the protest.

That the winner was extremely lucky to get out as he did from the scrimmage at Becher's Brook the first time round, goes without saying ; moreover the moderate pace the race was run, owing to the heavy state of the ground, was all in his favour.

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