Letter: Aintree repeat of 1849

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The Independent Online
Sir: Following Saturday's debacle at Aintree, I thought your readers might care to know that this has happened before in the fascinating history of the Grand National.

In 1849, in the 11th running of the Grand National, there was a similar false start to the race, which coincidentally also took place in rain and wind. The winner, Peter Simple, won the race from a false start. The decision was allowed to stand.

On that occasion, Lord Sefton called the horses back but the leaders had gone on and the others followed suit.

The starter, finding the field gone beyond recall, lowered his flag. In the shambles which followed, three horses died and Peter Simple, with a jockey called Cunningham on board, went on to win the race.

Knowing that it has happened before might be of slight comfort to Mr Brown and other Aintree officials. At the very least, the parallel events of 1849 should be of interest to historians of the turf.

Yours sincerely,




5 April