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Horse Articles :: Red Rum - Famous Race Horse

Red Rum - Famous Race Horse

This is the final part of my article about possibly the most famous race horse of all time, the great Red Rum.

With two Grand National victories under his belt, Red Rum was aiming to put himself on the famous race horse map with a third Grand National victory, but would he succeed?

Mission Accomplished

The third of Red Rum's classic Grand National victories came in 1977, when the now great horse was 12 years old. Ginger McCain had meticulously prepared and trained especially for this race and Red Rum did not disappoint, putting in another tremendous performance.

He showed throughout that he was in perfect form for this race, and just after second Becher's he took the lead and continued on to win in style.

No horse since has come close to emulating the feat of winning a hat trick of Grand Nationals, which was made more incredible considering his well documented foot problems.

In fact, very few would have imagined that Rummy would become the famous race horse that he became due to the severity of his condition, however his courage saw him overcome that obstacle as successfully as he would jump over the fences at his favourite Aintree course.

Most experts were convinced however, that his enforced unorthodox training grounds on Southport sands (in the absence of proper gallops) helped him overcome a condition that had plagued him during his early years.

To emphasis the consistency of this famous race horse consider this;

Red Rum won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977 however, it should also be noted that in the 1975 and 1976 Grand Nationals, this magnificent horse came second on both occasions. Can you imagine that with a little bit more luck Rummy could've had beaten L'Escargot (1975) and Rag Trade (1976), and then we'd be looking the even more spectacular feat of five consecutive Grand National wins.

Injuries Finally Caught Up With The Great Horse

Red Rum was entered in the Grand National in 1978, and he was working well in the build up to the race. Unfortunately, in an unlucky twist of fate he was declared a non-runner the night before due to lameness. He was later found to have a hairline fracture and would never race again, bringing about his retirement.

It was not a surprise that his withdrawal from the National in 1978 dominated all the news. It was a testament to this famous race horse's enormous public following and although his injury ruled him out of competing, that day the Liverpool crowds were not to be disappointed.

He would make an appearance by leading the pre-race parade, an engagement that would later became an annual event.

Red Rum's retirement was announced by his trainer Ginger McCain on Friday 31 March 1978. During his retirement it seemed that Rummy was still as popular as he had been throughout his racing career.

During his retirement he made numerous public appearances, most memorably walking calmly on stage for the BBC Sports Review of the Year.

Red Rum sadly died on Wednesday 18 October 1995 aged 30, having enjoyed a long and happy retirement to follow his long, happy and successful racing career.

He was finally put to sleep having suffered a heart attack, and was fittingly laid to rest in the shadow of the winning post at Aintree, the course he had made his own.

Red Rum won a total of 27 races during his career, amassing over 100,000 in prize money (which was a record for a jump horse at the time).

Throughout his turbulent career he had many jockeys, but Tommy Stack who rode him as a five, six and seven year old, and again in his later years (including his final two Grand Nationals) remains his most successful partner.

Many will however, think of Brian Fletcher as his regular jockey. Particularly given the awesome partnership they formed to win the 1973 and 1974 Grand Nationals and who could forget his first victory in the race when beating the great Australian Crisp, in what is still considered by many to be the greatest ever Grand National.

About Author:
Cliff Thurston is the owner of Grosvenor Racing Club, which provides horse racing tips to its members. You can also read his renowned horse racing blog for up to date views and news. Cliff has also interviewed several high profile racing experts and these can be accessed via his sites.Please visit










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