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Aintree launches vote for Grand National legends

By Frank Keogh

Grand National greats are to be honoured in new awards launched by Aintree racecourse.

An initial shortlist of 10 was announced on Tuesday at the official launch of the 2010 National and the public can now choose which five to include in the Hall of Fame-style initiative.

Grand National at Aintree
Aintree is home to the world-famous Grand National in April

Members of the public can vote for their favourite via the official Aintree website.

Voting is open until 23 March and the five award winners will be announced on 10 April - the day of the John Smith's Grand National.

The shortlist was compiled by a panel of racing experts who were asked to consider the star performers - equine and human - from the 1830s through to the present day.

"The Grand National is a race steeped in history and has produced many stories and legends down the years," said Aintree managing director Julian Thick.

"We want to give people the chance to reflect and celebrate this, and vote for who those who they think should be further immortalised in Aintree history."

Aintree and the meeting's sponsors are also seeking nominations for 'People's Legends' - ordinary members of the public who have contributed to the famous race's history.


Ginger McCain & Red Rum

Red Rum is the only horse to have won the Grand National three times.

Ginger McCain and Red Rum (Photo: Racing Post)

Rummy completed the hat-trick in 1977 at the grand old age of 12, winning by 25 lengths despite carrying top weight of 11st 8lb.

Red Rum died aged 30 in 1995 and is buried by the winning post at Aintree, while McCain scored a fourth National win with Amberleigh House in 2004.


Manifesto has the second best record of any horse, after Red Rum, in the Grand National.


He won the race twice, in 1897 and 1899, and on the second occasion carried a weight of 12st 7lb (only four horses have carried this weight to victory).

In a total of eight National runs, he won twice, was third three times and fourth once.

Bob Champion & Aldaniti

Jockey Champion overcame cancer before winning the National in 1981.

Bob Champion (Photo: Racing Post)

His mount Aldaniti had been nursed back from a serious leg injury by trainer Josh Gifford, who feared at one stage he would never race again.

Their story was told in the 1983 film Champions, and Champion has continued to raise money for cancer research.

Fred Winter

Winter is the only man to have both ridden and trained two Grand National winners.

Fred Winter (Photo: Racing Post)

He was aboard Sundew in 1957 and Kilmore five years later, while he trained Jay Trump (1965) and Anglo (1966).

Champion jockey four times during the 1950s and leading trainer seven times in the 1970s, he was sometimes called 'Mr Grand National' for his knowledge of the course's unique challenges.

Sir Peter O'Sullevan

Hard to believe, but the 'Voice of Racing' will be 92 on 3 March.

Sir Peter O'Sullevan (Photo: Racing Post)

The 1997 Grand National, won by Lord Gyllene, was his 50th and final BBC commentary on the race in a remarkable career that included 36 years as racing correspondent of the Daily Express.

He has devoted a huge amount of time to the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust which works tirelessly for the protection of animals, particularly horses.

John Buckingham and Foinavon

Foinavon was the 100-1 winner of the 1967 Grand National - he was so unfancied that his trainer John Kempton did not attend Aintree and went to Worcester with another horse instead.

John Buckingham and Foinavon

Jockey John Buckingham, in his first National ride, profited from a pile-up at the 23rd fence which led to all but one of the runners falling.

Buckingham and Foinavon avoided the trouble and won with 15 lengths to spare.

Jenny Pitman

The 'first Lady of Aintree' was the first woman to train a National winner when Corbiere just landed the spoils in 1983.

Jenny Pitman

She repeated the feat in 1995 when Royal Athlete, shrugging off a history of injury problems, beat Party Politics by seven lengths.

And Pitman nearly had more success - Esha Ness finished first in the void race of 1993 and Garrison Savannah was a close second two years before that with Mark Pitman her son as jockey.

Tommy Carberry

Irish jockey Carberry rode L'Escargot to victory from Red Rum in 1975, completing a remarkable double for a horse that had already won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1970 and 1971.

Tommy Carberry

In 1999 he became one of an elite group who have ridden and trained Grand National winners when his son Paul rode Bobbyjo to victory.

Bobbyjo was the first Irish-trained winner of the race since L'Escargot 24 years earlier.

Fred Rimell

Rimell is one of the great Grand National trainers, winning four times with different horses - ESB (1956), Nicolaus Silver (1961), Gay Trip (1970) and Rag Trade (1976).

Fred Rimell

He was a four-times champion jockey who turned his attention to training horses after two heavy falls and a broken neck.

ESB won after Devon Loch bellyflopped near the winning line, while Rag Trade outgunned Red Rum.

Vincent O'Brien

Arguably the greatest racehorse trainer, O'Brien won four Cheltenham Gold Cups, three Champion Hurdles and three consecutive Grand Nationals.

Vincent O'Brien

He then turned his attention to the Flat and went on to take 27 Irish Classics, three Prix de l' Arc de Triomphes and 16 English Classics, including the Epsom Derby six times.

O'Brien took the 1953 Grand National with 20-1 chance Early Mist, followed up a year later with Royal Tan and completed the treble courtesy of Quare Times. O'Brien died in June 2009 aged 92.

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see also
Mullins trio pull out of National
03 Mar 10 |  Horse Racing
Great race with a Grand tradition
30 Mar 01 |  Grand National
Aintree legend bounces back
31 Mar 01 |  Grand National
Racing mourns Winter
05 Apr 04 |  Horse Racing
Broadcast legend reaches milestone
03 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing
The National's grand history
28 Mar 02 |  Grand National 2002
Pitman's winning lines
07 Nov 03 |  Horse Racing
Bobbyjo wins the National
10 Apr 99 |  Sport
Racing trophies stolen from widow
27 Oct 04 |  Hereford/Worcs
Racing great O'Brien remembered
01 Jun 09 |  Horse Racing
Horse Racing results on your mobile
15 Feb 10 |  Horse Racing

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