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  Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
McCain blasts National officials
Red Rum winning the Grand National in 1977
Red Rum earned three wins for McCain's stable
Ginger McCain has hit out at the handicapping for the Grand National after his runner, Amberleigh House, was taken out of the starting line-up.

Amberleigh House had been due to run in the annual steeplechase but on Thursday was named fourth reserve for Saturday's race by the event organisers.

McCain, who trained Red Rum to three Grand National wins in the 1970s, insisted the race handicapper had made a mistake.


My mouth often beats my brain but I said they'd have to shoot him to keep him out of the top six
Ginger McCain on Amberleigh House
He told BBC: "It's the fault of the handicapper - he's a mathematician not a horseman. The handicapper is utterly out of order.

"There are two horses that have won over Grand National fences and they're both reserves and that cannot be right."

Amberleigh House has already won last year's Tote Becher Steeplechase.

And McCain still believes his runner was good enough to take the ultimate prize in Saturday's big race.

"My mouth often beats my brain but I said they'd have to shoot him to keep him out of the top six," he added.

Uncompetitive

"It's very rare that you get a horse that has a serious chance of winning the Grand National. But this horse has that.

"He's been prepared - the horse is full on. He's a horse that would come here and run a very big race indeed."

McCain also hit out at his fellow trainers for entering uncompetitive horses for event.

He added: "It's been taken out because a lot of trainers are running it to please their owners, not to win it."

Despite being fourth reserve, he insisted he would still battle to get his horse entered into the race.

"I hope the four horses [ahead of Amberleigh House in the race] come out," he said. "We're going to dig in right to the bitter bitter end."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Amberleigh House trainer Ginger McCain
"The fault is entirely and utterly the handicappers"
The world's most famous steeplechase

Bindaree's triumph

Our man at Aintree

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