RESEARCH by Wem racing historian John Pinfold has led to red faces at the National Heritage Centre for Horse Racing and Sporting Art.

In 2007 the museum bought a set of scarlet silks at a sale of public memorabilia collected by the Topham family, believing them to be those carried by Jem Mason when he rode Lottery to win the first Grand National in 1839. But Mr Pinfold, one of the world’s leading authorities on the National, has discovered a report in the Liverpool Mercury of March 1, 1839 which clearly states  Lottery’s colours that day were “blue jacket, black cap”.

“Lottery’s owner John Elmore had two sets of colours, and I’d always been a little suspicious about the red silks as a label attached to them was rather ambiguous,” said John.

Tim Cox, a trustee of the National Heritage Centre and a friend of Mr Pinfold, said: “We’re as certain as we can be that the silks we have are Mason’s, and we know Lottery was ridden by him wearing scarlet silks in some races.

“However, we now know he wore blue in the 1839 Grand National.”