Thursday 30 March 2017

'Golden oldies' back Champion

Bob Champion will be joined by a star cast of other retired National Hunt jockeys in the Bob Champion Aintree Legends Charity race on Grand National day next year.

Champion starred in a real-life fairytale in 1981 as he recovered from testicular cancer to guide Aldaniti, which was recovering from a serious leg injury, to glory in the world's most famous steeplechase.

Joining him in the charity Flat race at Aintree on April 9 will be Grand National-winning jockeys such as Brendan Powell (1988, Rhyme 'N' Reason), Jimmy Frost (1989, Little Polveir), Carl Llewellyn (1992, Party Politics & 1998, Earth Summit) and Tony Dobbin (1997, Lord Gyllene).

Eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore never won the National, but will still be taking part, as will 10-time Irish champion Charlie Swan, winner of a similar race at Doncaster earlier this year.

The race will be run in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, which was founded in 1983 and which has so far raised £12m.

"The 1981 Grand National was a remarkable day, not just for me, but all of those around the world who gained hope from my victory in their personal battles against cancer," said Champion.

"Thirty years on and with the money this race raises, I want to continue to reduce the odds against cancer.

"I would also like to publicly thank Aintree and John Smith's in advance as without their enthusiasm and support, this exciting race would not be possible."

Irish Independent

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