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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 April, 2004, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
McCain visits Rum grave
Ginger McCain
Trainer Ginger McCain made a lone pilgrimage to Red Rum's grave at Aintree after his charge Amberleigh House won the Grand National.

The 73-year-old, who trained Red Rum to three Grand National wins, said he left the festivities to others and wandered down the track in the rain.

And he admitted speaking to Red Rum, buried on the Aintree finish line.

"[Rum] said, 'let him win it twice more and he might be nearly as good as me'," McCain told BBC Five Live.

"It's just lovely to know he's buried where he is on the line and every time a horse goes across to win you can hear him saying 'well done, but you're not as good as me'. He was like that."

The Cholmondley-based trainer said Amberleigh House was feeling no ill effects from his heroic battle on the run-in with co-favourite Clan Royal.

"He's been out this morning and he's just great," said McCain.

"The vets examined him after the race and they were amazed how slow his heart beat was.

"He's a grand little horse and it was very satisfying indeed.

Red Rum's grave at Aintree
Red Rum is buried on the Aintree finish line

"But you have to have a little bit of luck. It sluiced down with rain on Saturday night - if it had done that on Friday we wouldn't have won the National."

McCain admitted that Amberleigh House would be withdrawn from the Irish National and rested until next season.

"He'll be put on ice now," he said. "He'll go for the Becher Chase and then the same programme as next year."

But McCain suggested that back-to-back Grand National victories would be beyond the horse.

"He's 12 now and he had a hard time in Ireland as a young horse," he said.

"And we'll be battling the handicapper. He's not a big horse."

Winning jockey Graham Lee was brought down to earth after an evening of celebrations at the Grand National party.

Lee has six rides at Hexham on Sunday, none of which he has ever heard of.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Amberleigh House trainer Ginger McCain
"I thought I'd never win another National"




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