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Monday, 24 March 2014

Grand National Legends

Red Rum 1973 Grand National Winning Legend
The Crabbie's Grand National (Handicap) Grade 3 Class 1 race over 4m 3f 110y is a true racing spectacle. For National Hunt trainers it is the ultimate prize. Jockeys the accolade they all cherish. The winning horse immortalised in racing history. 

In 2009 John Smith's launched a poll to determine five personalities inducted into the inaugural Grand National Legends initiative, inscribed on a commemorative plaques at Aintree. 

They were:
  • Ginger McCain and Red Rum record three wins in the Grand National   
  • John Buckingham and Foinavon, the most unlikely winner in 1967 
  • Manifesto, who holds the record for the most runs in the race, eight including two victories
  • Jenny Pitman, the first woman to train the winner of the race in 1983 with Corbiere
  • Sir Peter O'Sullevan, the commentator who called home the winner of fifty  Grand Nationals on radio and television from 1947 to 1997. 
Three additional legends were selected 
  • George Stevens - record five times winning jockey between 1856-1870
  • Captain Martin Becher - who helped bring the National to Liverpool, winner of one of the first races in 1836, first to fall into the brook at the 6th fence, which took his name
  • Edward Topham - who devised the handicap weights system from 1847 and family played a part in the success of this race for 125 years
In 2011 nine additional legends were added:
  • 1981 Grand National winner - Bob Champion & Aldaniti   
  • 1986 West Tip - who raced in six consecutive Nationals and won once
  • Richard Dunwoody - who competed in 14 Nationals and placed eight times
  • Brian Fletcher - winning jockey three times including Red Rum's first victory in 1973
  • Vincent O'Brien - trained three consecutive winners in the 1950s
  • Tom Olliver - rode in 19 Nationals, 17 consecutive, 3 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third
  • Count Karl Kinsky - first International winner when riding Zoedone 1883
  • Jack Anthony - three time winning jockey 1911, 1915 and 1920
  • Peter Bromley - who covered 42 Nationals until his retirement (BBC Radio)  
In 2012 and 2013 additional legends were added.       

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