The Aintree Grand National: The Most Memorable Moments

Red Rum Statue at Aintree -Photo Credit Bilal Khan
Red Rum Statue at Aintree -Photo Credit Bilal Khan

1. Bob Champion wins on board Aldaniti in the 1981 Grand National.

Bob Champion was told he would be dead within eight months in 1981 unless he signed up to cancer treatment with a 35-40% success rate. Champion survived the cancer scare and went onto win the 1981 Grand National on a horse called Aldaniti who was so badly injured in one of his races that the vet suggested a bullet was the only answer. Bob Champion’s story was later captured in the  1983 film “Champions”.

2. Red Rum becomes the one and only horse to win the Grand National three times in 1977.

The legend that is Red Rum is the only horse to win the Grand National on three occasions, the last being in 1977 with Tommy Stack on board. He also finished 2nd on two occasions and is the greatest horse ever to ride the famous race.

Red Rum Statue at Aintree -Photo Credit Bilal Khan
Red Rum Statue at Aintree -Photo Credit Bilal Khan

 3. Foinavon wins at 100/1(The longest price horse in the history of the race to win it) in the 1967 Grand National after the famous pile-up at the 23rd fence after Beeches Brook.

A pile up  2nd time round  at the 23rd fence caused most of the horses to fall or refuse to jump, but out of the shadows emerged the 100/1 shot Foinavon with jockey John Cunningham on board and saddle for home as the winner.

4. The race that never was 1993 Aintree Grand National

After two false starts a majority of jockeys(30 out of the 39) didn’t see the 2nd red flag raised, and so the horses continued with Esha Ness crossing the finishing post first with heartbroken John White on board believing he had won the famous race that never was.

5. Papillon wins the 2000 Grand National  & marks the first father and son combination to win the race.

Ted Walsh and Ruby Walsh wrote themselves into the history books in 2000 as the first father and son combination to the win the worlds most famous race with Ted as trainer and Ruby as jockey on board the french horse Papillon.

6. Lord Gyllene wins the 1997 Grand National  but it was mainly remembered for two other events.

The first scheduled running of the race was abandoned due to an IRA bomb threat and seoncdly  It also marked the 50th and final commentary on the race by the legendary BBC commentator Sir Peter O’Sullivan.

7. Tony McCoy wins the 2010 Grand National for the first and only time on board Don’t Push It

A.P. McCoy is the most successful jockey in the history of horse racing with over 4,000 winners. Up until 2010 McCoy had won every major race apart from one coveted race “The Aintree Grand National”. In 2010, McCoy’s day in the sun came on board Don’t Push It in the colours of J.P. McManus. McCoy retires in 2015 as the undisputed king of jump jockeys.