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  Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 13:29 GMT
Celebrities enjoy winning ways
Minnehoma strides to victory in the 1994 National
Minnehoma strides to victory in the 1994 National
Several interesting, and even eccentric, characters have savoured success as racehorse owners at Aintree.

BBC Sport Online's Saj Chowdhury looks at four who have sampled Grand National glory:
Ricky George | Freddie Starr | Teasie Weasie Raymond | Sir Fred Pontin


Ricky George
Part owner of 1998 winner Earth Summit and Hereford United FC legend

Ricky George
George: Scored winner against Newcastle
It's not often lightning strikes twice, but it did for Ricky George - albeit 26 years apart.

George scored the goal for non-league Hereford that knocked First Division Newcastle out of the FA Cup in 1972.

Although archive footage since has tended to focus on Ronnie Radford's screamer, it was George's effort that won the game.

George, not content with cementing his name in FA Cup folklore, decided to buy a sixth share in a horse called Earth Summit.

And with jockey Carl Llewellyn on board, the horse - backed down to 7-1 favourite on his favoured soft ground - won the Grand National.

"I cried my eyes out there, but I never moved a muscle until he jumped the last and I didnt cheer or shout until he crossed the line," said George.

"Carl Llewellyn rode one of the most fantastic races.

"I got roped into it all (investing in horses) by mistake and my goal against Newcastle was a mistake too."

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Freddie Starr
Owner of 1994 winner Minnehoma and famous comedian

Freddie Starr
Starr: Did not eat a hamster, but won the National
"Freddie Starr ate my hamster," read The Sun headline.

Well, he didn't really, but perhaps almost as hard to believe was the fact he owned Grand National winner Miinnehoma.

The horse, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Richard Dunwoody, was victorious at Aintree in 1994.

It was a welcome relief for Starr, who in his autobiography "Unwrapped" wrote about his times with Liverpool's most notorious gangsters in the 1950s, his difficulty to speak as a child and his one-time addiction to valium.

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Teasie Weasie Raymond
Owner of 1976 winner Rag Trade, part owner of 1963 winner Ayala and celebrity hairdresser

Rag Trade roars to victory
Rag Trade roars to victory
If 'Teasie Weasie' Raymond reminds you of a character from the Dick Emery Show, then you'd be wrong.

If he reminds you of the owner of two Grand National winners then you would be spot on.

After winning with Ayala, Mr PB Raymond, as he was known in the racing world, put some of his money into Rag Trade - not the popular TV sitcom, but another horse.

And much to Teasie Weasie's pleasure he struck gold once more, as Rag Trade, who beat Red Rum into second, won the 1976 National.

Teasie Weasie, who learned his trade making false beards and moustaches in his father's barber shop, was also famous for describing the Duchess of Windsor's hair as "dogmatic".

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Sir Fred Pontin
Owner of 1971 winner Specify and holiday camp magnate

Sir Fred Pontin
Pontin was a shrewd businessman
Sir Fred Pontin created the rival to Butlins holiday camps, founded by Billy Butlin, and craftily called it Pontins.

He then expanded abroad and called his international venture, Pontinental and soon became a multi-millionaire.

Apart from raising a lot of money for the Variety Club of Great Britain, he invested his earnings in racehorses.

And in the 1971 National, he saw his horse Specify beat Black Secret by a neck.

Sir Fred died in 2000, but his holiday camp legacy lives on.

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The world's most famous steeplechase

Bindaree's triumph

Our man at Aintree

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