Sunday 25 February 2018

Ginger's grand slams

Born: September 21, 1930

Married: to Beryl

Children: Donald and Joanne

Took out a permit to train: 1952

First trainer's licence: 1969

Stables: Bankhouse, Cholmondeley

National victories

RED RUM (1973)

The first and probably the most thrilling of Red Rum's Aintree triumphs. Run on fast ground, Red Rum looked booked for the runner-up spot from a long way out, with Crisp and Richard Pitman holding a seemingly unassailable lead. But Crisp tired in extraordinary fashion, allowing Red Rum and Brian Fletcher the chance to strike beneath the shadow of the post.

RED RUM (1974)

Carrying 12 stone, Red Rum would follow up 12 months on, becoming the first horse since Reynoldstown in 1936 to win back-to-back runnings of the world's most famous steeplechase. Once again handled by Fletcher, Red Rum was giving 1lb to Cheltenham Gold Cup hero L'Escargot, but it did not stop him coming out on top.

RED RUM (1977)

Having filled the runner-up spot in 1975 and 1976, Red Rum returned for an incredible fifth run in the four-and-a-half-mile contest. Ridden by Tommy Stack, the veteran hit the front a long way out and lasted home to complete a fantastic hat-trick. It proved to be Red Rum's final victory after he suffered a hairline fracture the day before the 1978 race.


For years it seemed inconceivable that McCain would add to his tally, but Amberleigh House, which had shown a liking for the giant fences when winning the Becher Chase in 2001 and finishing third in the 2003 Grand National, recorded a momentous success under Graham Lee.

Irish Independent

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