BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Special Events: 2001: Grand National  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Sunday, 8 April, 2001, 00:04 GMT 01:04 UK
Red letter day for Chinese
Red Marauder was one of only four finishers
Red Marauder on his way to victory at Aintree
BBC Sport Online's Frank Keogh rounds up the news from Aintree after a remarkable Martell Grand National day.

Red Marauder was a popular winner in China, where the race was being shown live on television for the first time.

The horse, one of only four finishers, earned his name from a visit to Canada by owner Norman Mason about 10 years ago.

Mason, visiting the Chinese quarter in Toronto, asked why so many of the buildings were red.

"I was told they are very superstitious and they think red is a very lucky colour, so I thought I'd try a few reds," he said of his penchant for names like Red Ark, who ran at the Aintree meeting on Friday.

Red Marauder and jockey Richard Guest
Red Marauder and jockey Richard Guest
While Red Marauder was not a popular 33-1 chance in the UK, he attracted support from internet punters in China because of the name.

Maybe the rest of us should have taken the hint.

Mason's colours are mainly red, with royal blue hoops. His horse Red Striker won at the meeting on Friday.

And Aintree is just a few furlongs from Anfield, the red home of Liverpool.

Mick Fitzgerald's recurring shoulder injury sparked a major hunt for a last-minute replacement jockey for Grand National mount Esprit de Cotte.

Fitz pulled out after the first race, and there was just over an hour to book a new rider in.

Simple enough, you might think. But first Anthony Ross revealed he would be unlikely to get down to the horse's allotted weight of 10 stone, and then the shout went out for Paul Flynn.

Tom Doyle gets that flying feeling
Stand-in Doyle gets that flying feeling
But despite two urgent announcements for Paul Flynn to report to the weighing room, he was not to be seen, and there was no answer on his mobile phone.

Young rider Tom Doyle eventually got the ride, and was doing well until a spectacular fall sent him flying through the air at the 11th fence.

At least his picture will be in the papers.

Simon Clare, the PR man for Coral Eurobet, had a double escape on Saturday after offering unusual odds to racing writers.

First, Clare was hit with a flood of cash on Friday after he made the National being postponed because of the weather a 16-1 chance.

Undeterred, he then suggested 16-1 about there being three finishers or less in the big race.

Tom Doyle tumbles off Esprit de Cotte
Doyle heads for earth
You can tell Clare works for a bookmaker, because he is a lucky man.

The National did go ahead despite major concerns over continiung downpours, and four horses finished after two were re-mounted.

For the Grand National, there is nothing like a bit of inside information to fill your wallet.

So a a late flurry of cash went the way of Paddy's Return after jockey Adrian Maguire allegedly told security men at one entrance that "he was very confident and the horse shouldn't lose".

And even better was the word that a certain gentleman rider had arrived specifically to steer home a beast called Posh Pearl in the last.

You know the rest. They were nowhere. Don't set up your own tipping line just yet, boys.


Audio/video section

News section

Sportstalk

Interactive guides

Photo galleries

BBC race coverage

Video replays

Grand National vote

Top jockey profiles

Internet link
Links to more Grand National stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Grand National stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales