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EDITIONS

  Saturday, 7 April, 2001, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Grand National win for Red Marauder
Richard Guest and Red Marauder win the Grand National
Richard Guest and Red Marauder led just four home
Result: 1. Red Marauder (33/1); 2. Smarty (16/1); 3. Blowing Wind (16/1); 4. Papillon (14/1).

Red Marauder won an amazing Grand National, with only four finishers coming home at Aintree.

Persistent rain in Liverpool in the days leading up to the race left the Aintree course very soft and the heavy going accounted for most of the 40-strong field.

Red Marauder, ridden by Richard Guest, was an unfancied horse at 33/1 after only making it as far as Becher's Brook last year.

Timmy Murphy brought Smarty home in second place, with Tony McCoy and Blowing Wind in third.


He (Red Marauder) just didn't want to go down
Winning jockey Richard Guest
Last year's winner Papillon under Ruby Walsh finished fourth.

The good news was that all the horses competing were reported fine after the race.

A delighted Guest said: "I've never run in worse conditions. I was in two minds whether we should be out there.

"He (Red Marauder) nearly went down five times."

The winner is owned and trained by Norman Mason, and naturally he went through a rollercoaster of emotions during the race.

"That was absolutely fantastic," said Mason. "I was in tears.

"I have never had such emotion in my life, apart from my wife having a baby.

"I have never seen a race like that in my 25 years of racing."

Chinese influence

Mason confirmed that Red Marauder had taken his name from the Chinese quarter of Toronto where all the buildings are red.

And the horse was sure to have plenty of support in China where the race was being screened live for the first time.

Red Marauder and Smarty were at one stage the only two horses running - and both riders sensibly eased the pace.


I looked up at the big screen and saw there were only two horses still racing. I shouted to Ruby, 'come on, lets get back up'
Tony McCoy

But as they approached the second last, Guest moved Red Marauder into the lead and went on to win by a distance.

Champion jockey Tony McCoy completed the National for the first time after remounting Blowing Wind, which had fallen at the 19th.

It was the same fence that accounted for Papillon - but Ruby Walsh responded in a similar fashion to McCoy by climbing back aboard.

"I looked up at the big screen and saw there were only two horses still racing," said McCoy. "I shouted to Ruby, 'come on, lets get back up'.

And the two riders stayed together to help each other around the course, until McCoy moved his horse away after the final fence.

McCoy added: "I enjoyed it but I'm gutted because I was travelling well. A loose horse brought me down and stopped me from having a chance of winning."

Highly-fancied pairing Beau and Edmond both fell when in the leading ranks.

The Chair, the 15th of the 30 fences, accounted for Edmond.

Jockey Richard Johnson revealed: "He got a little bit blind going into it and put his foot into the ditch."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie
"This was a remarkable race"
Red Marauder's trainer Norman Foster
"I was in tears"

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