The Grand National trophy awarded to jockey Bob Lyall for his 1931 National win ‘Grakle’ will be sold at Auction today. The Trophy is coming up for sale at Rowley’s Fine Art Auctioneers at Newmarket and is expected to fetch more than £1,000.
The trophy is a silver gilt twin handled cup, made in London around 1930, the ebonised plinth base with silver plaque inscribed Rider’s Cup, Grand National Steeplechase 1931, won by Mr C Taylor’ Grakle, time 9 minutes 32 and 4/5th seconds, ridden by R.V. Lyall.
Rowley’s senior valuer, Will Axon, said: “The Grand National is a race which has always captured our imagination from Red Rum’s victories in the 1970s to Bob Champion’s extraordinary win with ‘Aldiniti’ in 1981 which he achieved after battling ‘terminal’ cancer.
“The race was just as captivating in the 1930s, but the course which has been modified in recent years to try and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities, must have been very difficult and challenging in 1931. “The fact that Lyall’s career ended so shortly after this win makes it even more poignant.”
Famously Grakle was a beast of a horse who required expert handling, in fact the ‘Grakle’ noseband (sometimes called a figure of eight) was name after him, It was designed to try to control him as he would pull so hard during a race. Grakle was heavily backed on the day as his owner & trainer were both Liverpudlians!
I have noticed that the horse Grakle is sometimes also spelt ‘Grackle’, Aintree have the horse listed as ‘Grakle’ but other sources spell it ‘Grackle’.
Below is a video link where you can watch the 1931 Grand National.