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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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 http://www.grosvenor-racing-club.co.uk