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The History Of Aintree Grand National

The first official races at Aintree were organised by a syndicate, headed by the owner of Waterloo Hotel in the northern city of Liverpool, Mr William Lynn. Lord Sefton was the owner of the land who then leased it to Mr.W. Lynn. The land was made into a course with a grand stand for all to enjoy. The 7th February ,1829 Lord Molyneux laid the foundation stone by placing a bottle full of sovereigns in the footings. The first Flat race was finally held five months later on July 7. When a horse called Mufti won the first ever opening race. Crowds of up to 40,000 people attended Aintree's three meetings every year.

Aintree Grand National

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Aintree Jumping

Later, in 1835 the course staged its first jumping race . The first winner of the Grand National was a horse named Lottery in 1839.The Grnd National race was quite different in those days when race horses had a stone wall to jump. The flat part of the race crossed a stretch of ploughed land and finished jumping over two hurdles. This race was called the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase.
Mr Edward William Topham(still a well known name in the racing industry), was one of the loyal members of Lynn's original syndicate. After the ill health of Lynn in the 1840's Mr.Edward Topham,who was a respected handicapper, began to take a greater influence over the National.

National Handicap

In 1843 Topham was responsible for turning the National into a handicap for the first time in four years. Topham took over the lease of Aintree and became Clerk of the Course. In 1949 the Tophams' bought the Aintree course outright from Lord Sefton.

Mrs Mirabel Topham was the person to bring the Aintree Racecourse upto modern standards, being the brains behind nearly everything. Soon she was to build a new course within the Grand National course called Lord Mildmay, who was a great jockey and a firm supporter of the Grand National. The Mildmay Course, which stages races over conventional fences and hurdles, opened in 1953.

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