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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Grand National: The big winners

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The Grand National is one of the most iconic and prestigious horse racing events in the world. Held annually at Aintree, the race is known for its gruelling 4-mile, 30-fence course and the excitement and drama it generates among racing enthusiasts.

Last year saw the return of a full-capacity crowd after a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the 2020 edition of the race being cancelled. But with stands once again packed out and punters assessing the latest horse racing betting odds, you will expect the atmosphere to be palpable on April 15 for this year’s race as racing fans try to decide which horse will make for the best Grand National bet.

Throughout its long and storied history, the Grand National has produced some of the greatest moments in racing history, with a number of horses standing out as the most successful in the race’s history.

One of the most legendary horses to ever grace the Grand National is Red Rum. Born in 1965, Red Rum made it a hat-trick of National victories — successive wins in 1973 and 1974, before the third arrived in 1977. He was trained by Ginger McCain and ridden by jockey Brian Fletcher. Red Rum was a true icon of British racing, and his success in the Grand National helped cement his place in the history books, with a statue in his honour at the track.

Another horse with an impressive record in the Grand National is Golden Miller. Born in 1927, Golden Miller won the race in 1934. He then went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup an incredible five times in a row from 1932 to 1936. Golden Miller’s success in both races made him a true legend of British horse racing, and his legacy lives on to this day.

In addition to Red Rum and Golden Miller, there have been several other horses who have achieved notable success in the Grand National over the years. These include Manifesto, who won the race twice in 1897 and 1899, and is still the oldest horse to win the race, and the 1967 and 1973 winner, Red Alligator. Other horses who have tasted success in the race include Foinavon, who won in 1967 when several horses fell victim to The Chair fence, falling at the same time, whilst Aldaniti, who won the 1981 edition of the National after making a comeback from injury against a lot of expectation.

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While the horses contribute a key role in their success in the Grand National, the jockeys and trainers who work with them are also instrumental. Some of the most successful trainers in the history of the National include Fred Rimell — training four Grand National winners, and Vincent O’Brien, with the Irishman picking up three across decades of racing. Jockeys who have ridden the winning horse multiple times include George Stevens, who rode the winner five times, and Tommy Carberry, who did so three times.

The Grand National continues to be one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the horse racing calendar, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the action each year. The race is known for its unpredictability, with underdogs rising, and thrilling finishes a common occurrence like last year’s 50/1 winner Noble Yeats. Despite the challenges of the course, the prestige of the event ensures that the best horses, jockeys, and trainers in the world continue to strive for victory in the Grand National.

The race captures the hearts and minds of racing enthusiasts around the world. The most successful horses, jockeys, and trainers in the race’s history have left an indelible mark on horse racing, and their legacies continue to inspire new generations of riders and horses to achieve greatness on the Aintree turf.  

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