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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Your National memories
Tell us your favourite Grand National memory - and the best comments will feature during BBC TV's coverage.

Lucius wins the 1978 Grand National
Monty's Pass made the 2003 Grand National a memorable race for Barry Geraghty, but how did this year's showpiece compare to other Nationals?

Tell us your favourite race, and why that National was so memorable, by using the form on the right-hand side

The best comments will feature, alongside video footage, during BBC TV's coverage of the meeting.


I just wanted to say a huge congratulation to Monty's Pass and his connections. I won £375 on him - my first National winner since Earth Summit in 1998! It totally made my day and I guess my barren spell was well worth the wait in the end! What a great race it was, I cannot wait for Aintree 2004 now! My condolences go out to the connections of Goguenard though!
Gareth, Wrexham

What a tremendous race it was
Allister Webb, England

Ignoring Adele's statistics (below) she presumably plucked from the air, people such as herself completely miss the point of horse racing. Racehorses wouldn't be roaming around in fields if racing was scrapped. They wouldn't exist at all, or at least 95 per cent wouldn't.

Racehorses are treated like royalty throughout their lives and the tiny fraction that tragically die in their career is a worthwhile sacrifice for the pleasure and pampering the other 98 per cent receive, which they otherwise wouldn't.

In any case, the Grand National is no more dangerous than horse racing as a whole. If that goes, attention would move to the Gold Cup and even the Derby.
M Inoz, Essex

Firstly may I say what a tremendous race it was. As soon as I've written this, I'm going to collect my winnings from backing Amberleigh House each way. Secondly, it is always awful when a horse dies in this of all races but to suggest, as Mr Popple does below, that the National be scrapped because of it is ludicrous.

I believe, although I may be wrong, that Goguenard was the first National fatality for some years. If you scrap the National, you have to scrap horse racing as a whole, because horses die in other races too.
Allister Webb, England

I love the National, and sad though it is to see such beautiful horses hurt or killed, we should ask the question, why do so many riderless horses continue the course? It's in their blood, they love to run and jump.

I watch the race with tears in my eyes, but full of wonder at the ability of such superb animals.
J Allen, Berkshire

I bet on two horses, Monty's Pass and Supreme Glory. I had £1 each way on both; I just liked the look of them. I think I must have the magic touch! Shame I didn't put more on!
Rob Stringer, Liverpool

I was thrilled to see Gunner Welburn run so well
David Fitzgerald, England

I would just like to say I really enjoyed this year's Grand National even without winning. I love horses as much as I love betting on them and this year there was only one horse killed (which is still bad), it made the race extra special to see the horses safe and sound and enjoying the event.

With there being a lot of horses trained for the race, all we've got to figure out now is how to keep the jockeys on the horse. All the best to all the jockeys and the horses and thanks again for the one majorly enjoyable event we have each year.
Craig Hawkins, Stoke-on-Trent

I was thrilled to see Gunner Welburn run so well. He was so smart over his fences and was obviously enjoying every second of it; he gave everything but just got tired, Barry Fenton gave him a wonderful ride.

In response to Adele (below) who said "nearly 30 horses have died in this spectacle in the last five years", I would like to say that that is an extreme exaggeration with the figure in fact less than 10. That is still too many but safety measures have improved and the veterinary care the horses receive is first class.

It irritates me greatly when people like Adele come out once a year and make such ill-educated statements. They miss the point that the vast majority of horses really enjoy their racing, which the likes of Gunner Welburn, Montifault and of course, the winner evidently showed on Saturday.
David Fitzgerald, England

To Adele from Surrey (below), there have been "nearly 30 deaths" in this spectacle in the last five years? In fact it's closer to half a dozen. Where do you get your distorted figures from?
Ed, Stoke-on-Trent, England

I have not watched the Grand National, and I have tried to avoid hearing about it on the news, but having read the report on your website I fail to understand how you can report so casually on a most appalling catalogue of suffering.

Never mind the jockeys, they have a choice, the horses don't and I cannot believe that they would willingly put themselves through this terrifying experience. In a nation of animal lovers (so-called) this race should never have been started and should certainly be banned.

And what can it be but sheer hypocrisy for you to report scathingly on other forms of animal abuse and yet glorify this carnage and call it sport.
Marjorie Kemish, Hampshire

My favourite GN was 1998 because I picked the first three, all on each way bets. Mind you, every GN is brilliant.
Tina, England

Red Rum in 1977. What a race! Absolute magic!
Les Taylor, UK

As a child I was always allowed a pick and was quite lucky a few times to pick the winner. I remember getting really excited about Highland Wedding as my cousin had got married the week before, and to me it was like an omen.
Marion Lane, England

Red Rum in 1977. What a race! Absolute magic! I was there with my girlfriend and we couldn't believe it as a fairy tale came true. I still ask myself would he have won if Andy Pandy had stayed up at Beechers.
Les Taylor, UK

My favourite Grand National triumph has to be the king of Aintree Red Rum in 1977. He was quite simply the best. No other horse could have done what he did that day.

Tommy Stack thought the noise would stop him but it didn't. He just kept going all the way into history. It was a shame that he didn't win the sports personality of the year in 1977 because he surely deserved it. And having met Rummy he certainly had personality.
Caroline Berry, Cheltenham England

My favourite National memory belongs to 1993. It might seem odd - it was the race that never was. But I was only seven years old at the time, a non-racing fan, and the fiasco got me hooked.

The horse I had picked, Captain Dibble, became my favourite of the time, and from then on I had to know how he fared in his races.

And the rest is history to a now racing obsessed anorak like me!
Victoria Parker, UK

My best memory was 1969 - the year we married - I put £1 to win on Highland Wedding
Eileen Vile, Canada

Hurrah! I made 30 quid on Monty's Pass this year. I've been betting on it since 1991 when I won on Party Politics, and every year I've made money! Most was £100 profit on Miinehoma. I love this race!
Flash Wilson, UK

In 1973, I was eight when my Dad told me to come and watch this horse called Crisp win a race on telly. I thought that was a stupid name even for a horse, and asked what else was running. Dad gave me the paper and I pored over the list of runners and riders till I found a name I liked, RED RUM ...

I remember Aldaniti's win as I was in hospital at the time, and an elderly lady taught me how to read the race card. I picked Aldaniti because I liked the colours the jockey (Bob Champion) wore.
Siobhan, Ireland

My favourite race has to be Grand National 2001, simply because of Richard Guest and Red Marauder's expressions. Even though it was a long hard slog, with many fallers and injuries, that moment of sheer relief and unexalted happiness will always bring a tear to my eye. What the Grand National is about - realising one's dreams can come true.
Polly, England

My best memory was 1969 - the year we married - I put £1 to win on Highland Wedding. Do not remember how much the winnings were but we celebrated any way.
Eileen Vile, Canada

My family have always enjoyed a flutter on the National, but I could never persuade my girlfriend to join in the fun. Then one year she relented and agreed to back a few horses.

Her enthusiasm knew no bounds as she checked the form, picked a few horses, and eagerly awaited the start. Sadly, she was to be disappointed. The year was 1993 - "the National that never was". Despite that, she's joined in every year since.
Paul Dixon, UK

I regard Red Rum and Crisp to have been equal first in 1973
Dick Savage, England

My favourite race is Red Rum's third win, not only because he made history, but because of the memorable commentary from Peter O'Sullivan who captured the emotion of the moment so brilliantly.
Barry Naylor, England

1981 and Aldaniti / Bob Champion MBE. Inspiration to all in the face of adversity.
Kevin, Chester, UK

1973...Go on, break my heart again! But, I regard Red Rum and Crisp to have been equal first that year. BOTH gave superb performances. A dead heat would have been the ideal result in the record books.
Dick Savage, England

Something that I do every year when the Grand National weights are published at the start of February, is to buy the Racing Post and look at what the tipsters say. I got the 8-1 joint favourite CHIVES at 20-1! And well fancied 12-1 Monty's Pass at 33-1!! No guarantee that they'll win but if they do, my £10 bets in February will pay out a hell of a lot more than any £10 bet today!

Which takes me back to the 1998 national and Earth Summit at 25-1, which went on to win the best national for me. Anyone who bet on the day got no more than 10-1!! BARGAIN!
Andy Hayles, UK

I was stationed at Fazackerly in the WAAF the year that Airborne came in at 50-1. Our group certainly had a had a very good evening out on our winnings. I am 73 now but I will always remember that.
Pat, Canada

It has to be Aldaniti. All through the season I had followed John Thorne and Spartan Missile, and was still rooting for them until 200 yards before the line. But then I started cheering for Aldaniti.

It would have to be Minnehoma winning in 1994
Philip Greenwood, England

Seeing him and Bob Champion, both of them having come back from the dead, was something so special it made you both proud and humble to have witnessed it.
Pat Mansard, Belize

I first watched the Grand National, when Red Rum beat Crisp. It stayed with me forever, seeing poor Crisp worn down at the very end. But my favourite memories are having my first bet on the great race, when I placed a £1 bet each way on Corbiere and Greasepaint, and seeing them both come in, in the first three. I've never bet since, but the thrill!
V Young, England

It would have to be Minnehoma winning in 1994. It was the first National I saw and I was introduced to it at my friend's house. He and his father had a bet on Ebony Jane that lovely sunny afternoon, and the mare finished fourth.

I am so gripped by jump racing now, that I commentate on all the big races throughout the season on my Dictaphone.
Philip Greenwood, England

I've seen many Grand Nationals from 1959 till 1989. There were so many great races and horses, but one thing I will never forget is the fantastic commentary that Peter O'Sullivan always gave us.

I still don't know how he managed to say all those horses so fast and without a mistake. Thanks Peter and the BBC for the memories.
Ronald Lowe, Canadaive

My father picked out Tipperary Tim to bet his sixpence on when he was a little boy
Kate Brett, England

Red Rum's five great runs in the seventies are the main reason we still have the great race today. He was a real star. Thanks "Rummy".
John Taylor, Scotland

My favourite Grand National was in 1997 when my £1 to win bet on Lord Gyllene won at 14/1. It won very easily, it was a fantastic feeling, I couldn't stop jumping up and down.
Kered Roskell, UK

My father picked out Tipperary Tim to bet his sixpence on when he was a little boy (he was born in Tipperary). He tells me his father wouldn't place the bet because the animal was a rank outsider, and that my Grandpa was furious when it won!
Kate Brett, England

I was at Uttoxeter when Rag Trade won the Midlands National and immediately noted him as a future Grand National winner. I'd remembered him somersaulting at the last fence at the Cheltenham Festival a few weeks earlier and therefore discounted his chances at Uttoxeter, but such a tough horse was surely a future National winner and so it proved. Thank you - and it's Ad Hoc this year.
Harry Hughes, England

My favourite memory for the Grand National is when Royal Athlete won the big race, not only because I backed him to win at 40-1 but also because it couldn't have happened to a nicer racing personality than one Jenny Pitman!
Julian Broad, England

I work just around the corner from where Red Rum was stabled. I used to pass him every morning on his way down to the beach at Southport. The National each year brings back memories of that greatest of horses, he'd take some beating, even today.
Andy, UK

The Aintree staff were absolutely wonderful
Raymond Wilson, England

Would it be possible to send a belated thank you to the Aintree race course management on behalf of myself, my wife and three children.

A few years ago my family and I were on holiday in Cheshire during the summer months. We happened to be near Aintree racecourse and being a very keen Grand National fan since the age of twelve and never having been to Aintree, I couldn't resist the opportunity to see the course that gave me so many happy memories (albeit via the BBC coverage).

We called in totally unannounced, but the staff were absolutely wonderful and not only did we get to see the course, including the grave of Red rum situated near the winning line, but we had a preview of the new museum, the VIP boxes, the winner's enclosure, stables, weighing rooms, jockeys changing rooms and much more.

In this modern age I think sometimes the public find it easier to criticize than praise, and for the staff of the Aintree racecourse to spend their very valuable time on fulfilling the dream of a very small punter who loves the national, shows a true love of racing and in particular an understanding of racing fans. Once again thanks for the memory.
Raymond Wilson, England

Well, there's only two words to say: Red Rum, but you must not forget that Churchtown Boy won the Topham on the Thursday and then finished second to Rummy on the Saturday in the National.

Foinavon, the rank outsider, described by some as a carthorse and went on to win in spectacular style
Clare, UK
Please let's hear Sir Peter O'Sullivan's great commentary as he passes the post. Incidentally my cat Riff-Raff has picked out Southern Star, are there any other pet tips for this year's race?
Paul Cade, UK

Has to be last year's National when I had the first three home. As Bindaree chased down What's Up Boys I was riding along with Jim Culloty and nearly broke the settee!
Dave Stainton, England

My favourite national was Foinavon in '67. That excellent commentary from Michael O'Hehir was just brilliant.
Steven Powell, England

Having been brought up in Liverpool, the National was always a very special day for us. We were allowed to have a bet as soon as we were old enough to pick a horse.

It's hard to select one race as my favourite, but a very memorable one has to be 1967. Foinavon, the rank outsider described by some as a carthorse, was so far back of the field that it missed the carnage caused by loose horses, ploughed through the fence, and went on to win in spectacular style.

Some of us were lucky enough to have him in a sweepstake - I just wished I'd taken my parents advice to always bet on the horse you pick in a sweep! At the odds he was on, I think I'd have been able to retire early.
Clare, UK

It must be Aldaniti with Bob Champion on board, second would be Crisp versus Rag Trade.
Peter Edwards, UK

Grittar's National in 1982 was great for me: I was there, staying with a friend from University, and I had told everyone to back Grittar, having seen him in the Gold Cup (and followed him for 2 years). It was such a delight when he came home virtually alone.

It was an odd year, as the Falklands had just been invaded, and we were supposed to be preparing for Finals, but Grittar and Dick Saunders were very special.
Fr.Henry Everett, UK

For me, the most memorable national was in 1997, with Lord Gyllene. He led all the way and it was a great race, despite the fact that it had to be run on the Monday. It went from being an awful day for British racing on the Saturday to being a fantastic race on the Monday.
Rebecca Ede, UK

Every year for as long as I can remember my mum and dad and us kids always picked out a horse we liked the sound of and did a family sweepstake, the one whose horse came closest to winning, won the kitty.

In 1986 one of the TV channels here showed a summary of West Tip winning
Ingeborg Koster, The Netherlands

The national is the sporting highlight of the year. The true test of a champion. My favourite is the 1980 winner Ben Nevis. A little horse with a huge heart.
Gary Cannon, England

Only one mention of Aldaniti on the page! It was the one National when I not only picked the winner, but did it watching him win at Ascot in January !

My other memory isn't a great race - but 1967 when the ironically named Popham Down doing just that, to leave Foinavon standing to win at 100-1. I remember because it was my first ever bet - on Honey End and Josh Gifford who remounted to come second. The riches! An each way bet of 3s and 6d of my pocket money put on for me by my Dad still stick as an idelible memory!
Marilyn, UK

I always think it's a shame we see the wrong part of the 1973 race: Crisp carrying 12 stone, jumping like no horse has ever jumped the National fences. Richard Pitman must have had the greatest race ride ever known.

And for all that he says he got it wrong up the run-in, I get the feeling that Red Rum would have got up no matter what.
Drew Goldie, UK

I would really love to see the 1978 Grand National, won by Lucius.

The horse was ridden by my uncle, Bob Davies, and since the race was before I was born and we don't have a video of it, I have never seen it. Uncle Bob picked up the ride at the last minute when the original jockey was injured.
Jaci Davies, England

Can you show Lucius winning the 1978 Grand National. This was my first National winner and the first National I saw live - I was stood on the roof of the stand. If I remember correctly it was a photo finish.
Janet Twist, England

This went on forever and when we married our spouses joined in the fun. One year returning from a trip to Paris with my fiancée we were stopped at customs. As usual it came time to pick a horse and my fiancé had gone to the shop, race time was looming and he still wasn't back, so I had to pick one for him, looking through the names what else but 'Last Suspect' would stick out, so I put his name on that.

You can imagine the laughter when it came in first at 50 to 1; my only regret was not taking that bet to the betting shop!
Debbie, USA

Date of race - 1887
Below is part of a letter written to the Daily mail by Gordon Fergusson, Tarporley, Cheshire, owner of Sandy Brow Stables at Tarporley.

'Gamecock was given his final preparation on the Tuesday by being galloped four times around a mile gallop in Oulton Park with a fresh horse to take him on each time round.

On Wednesday he rested. On Thursday his lad led him by hand the best part of 30 miles to Aintree. And on Friday afternoon he won the Grand National when the fences were far more formidable and the course included a few furlongs of ploughed land.

The next day he won the Champion Steeplechase carrying 12st 12lb over another three miles of the Aintree fences. Gamecock's plate is on my office door as I write from what was his loose box.'

(There is no mention of whether the poor animal got home or not!)

Give my kind regards to Angus. We go back a long way, and remember the times we used to dash around the country backing Eric Cousins' horses in big handicaps when he was just a short-trousered kid, which were also trained at the above mentioned Sandy Brow Stables.
Jeff Cross, Winsford, Cheshire, UK

Being horse crazy all my life, I read about this great race and about it's most famous winner Red Rum when I was just a kid. It made me really curious to see this race just once.

When in 1986 one of the TV channels here showed a summary of West Tip winning, I was even more fascinated.

To my great joy we got cable TV in the next year, complete with two BBC channels. As a nice gesture my parents allowed me to watch the 1987 National. So I watched Maori Venture win his National.

Since that year I have been completely hooked. Making sure that on Grand National day nobody will disturb my afternoon of special delight...
Ingeborg Koster, The Netherlands

The moment that started my lifelong passion for horse racing was in 1960, the first ever Grand National to be televised
Terry Anderson, England

Being a big racing fan from an early age I used to write stories at school about horse racing. In early 1985 aged 11 I wrote about riding in the Grand National. The horses name in that story - the intended ride of my favourite jockey Hywell Davies - Last Suspect.

My dad put 10p each way on the horse for me that year to keep me quiet I think. The look on his face as Hywell came with that perfectly timed run on the so called no-hoper still stays with me today.
Simon, Stockton on Tees, England

Sitting in the local pub one stormy November evening the local 'Medium' was telling the girls their fortunes. When my mate and I had plucked up enough courage we challenged her to tell us the name of the (next) National Winner.

She declined at first saying that she would not use her 'gift' for gain, but after a lot of youthful persuasion and a couple of drinks thrown in she said "...it's something specific, ah, that's the horses name - Specify".

Three or four months passed and then the names of the horses appeared, Specify was amongst them. My mate and I bet seven and six each way on what was arguably the worst horse in the race.

The race began and very soon our horse was trailing the leaders, all the way towards (I think) the last fence when there was a tremendous pile-up. Specify altered course, cleared the fence and the fallen riders and came in the winner. I think the year was 1970 or 71. Spooky!
Tony Carr, UK

The moment that started my lifelong passion for horse racing was in 1960, the first ever Grand National to be televised. I was 10-years-old and had been in hospital for five months, they had put me in the men's ward of the Royal West Sussex Hospital in Chichester and I had saved some £2 over that time.

Most of the ward was having a bet so I asked if I could have a bet also, reluctantly the men agreed to have the runner place 5/- each way on Merryman II. Peter O'Sullevan commentated and I still remember that moment as Merryman passed the post.
Terry Anderson, England

I was at Aintree on the Monday in 1997 when Tony Dobbin won on Lord Gyllene. He had a fantastic race, but the one thing I'll never forget is the joy and exhilaration on the face of every single jockey to cross the line - most of them punching the air as they went. Just proves that the spirit of this great event can never be broken.
Suzanne, UK

My favourite National has to be 1986 when West Tip romped home
Steve, England

The 1994 Grand National will be special to me. The whole world watched with baited breath, in the hope that the ghost of the debacle the previous year was finally put to rest.

In heavy going and stamina sapping conditions, we witnessed a good old fashioned Grand National, with excitement, thrills and spills all through the race. Right up to the finish both MIINEHOMA and JUST SO, fought out a dual on the run in, worthy of any classic finish seen at Aintree. To top it all, no horse or rider were injured.
Mick Mutlow, England

My favourite National has to be 1986 when West Tip romped home. I was standing on the Fulwell End at Roker Park - now sadly gone - watching my team Sunderland, and listening to the climax of the race on a little transistor radio. West Tip won Sunderland probably didn't! Though I can't quite remember!
Steve, England

My best memory of the National is of the race which never was. I had only gone to the race to see Red Rum lead the parade. I had loved that horse since '73 when as I a nine-year-old child living in N. Ireland I won my first ever bet.

I had always wanted to see Rummy and when I grew up and moved to England I always planned to see the National but it took me many years to actually do it.

I still didn't see the race- in all the mayhem I managed to get into the stables and the head lad let me stay with Rummy while they went to sort out the chaos and retrieve their other horses. It was a dream come true for me though!!

The lad then gave me directions to go and visit Rummy at his own stables whenever I wanted and happily I did so on two more occasions before his death. He will always be 'King of Aintree' for me no matter what.
Diane Mc Kergan, England

My all-time favourite horse is Red Rum. In 1973 my dad allowed me to pick a horse I chose Red Rum, I remained faithful to Rummy until he was withdrawn in 1978.

A few years later I was lucky to meet Rummy in person.
Janette Penny, Blackburn Lancs. UK

I don't think I've ever seen a horse jump so well over the Aintree fences as Hallo Dandy
Roslyn Robertson, Scotland

1956 - my father used to allow us a shilling bet each-way on the Derby and the National, so I chose as usual a horse with a nice name - Devon Loch.

No TV yet, so we sat glued to the dining-room radio. Over the last fence he sailed, well ahead of the field. No-one ever seems to have worked out what happened next - "the great Devon Loch mystery", as the horse fell over and my winnings disappeared up the chimney.

Scarcely surprising that I've never picked the National winner since....
David Stieber, Switzerland

Sue Barber, England

For me, my favourite National belonged to Hallo Dandy in 1984.

He was almost invisible for the first half of the race, so much so that when the commentator finally spotted him making rapid progress at Becher's second time round I could hardly believe it!

The finish with Greasepaint was phenomenal, especially when he veered over to the stand rails.

I actually missed the end of the race because I hid my face behind a cushion until it was all over, it was just too nail biting!

I don't think I've ever seen a horse jump so well over the Aintree fences as Hallo Dandy did that day; only Mr Frisk comes anywhere close in recent years. A true hero!
Roslyn Robertson, Scotland

My favourite horse is Sunny Bay; he has to be the best horse never to win a National
Darren, England

My best and worst memory of the National is of the race which never was. I had picked the 'winner', Esha Ness out of the pub sweep and duly made my trip to the bookies to have a fiver each way as well.

Needless to say, I didn't win a penny, but at least the bookie gave me my money back.

The pub landlord refused to pay out, claiming that he would donate the proceeds to charity, but he left under a cloud a while later, so I doubt that he ever did! This was, and remains, the only time I had the horse which won the National.
Andrew Langmead, United Kingdom

My favourite Grand National must be my first clear memory of first watching the great race. It was the 1991 contest when that seasons Gold Cup winner Garrison Savannah under Mark Pitman was agonisingly collared up the run in by the fast finishing Seagram, who finished as a fresh horse.

Just as in 1973 with Red Rum and Crisp, when there is drama up the run in, it never fails to give you a tingle.
Alex Hyman, England

My favourite horse is Sunny Bay; he has to be the best horse never to win a National.

As for the best race my personal favourite was Rough Quest's win in '96 there was all the hype around the big favourite and he delivered brilliantly.
Darren, England

People thought with Crisp so far ahead of Rummy at the turn that I had the winner
Mike Creed, England

Papillion's win in 2000 was a truly great race! The massive gamble was fantastic for punters and I think that the best thing to see was Ruby Walsh's reaction as he crossed the line. He looked ecstatic to have won the race and showed the world just what it meant to him.

It was a true Irish family affair and an absolute joy to watch! Ruby gave the horse a fantastic ride and was remarkable as he was having his first ever ride in the race.
GH, UK

The 1980 Topham featured a thrilling finish between Arctic Ale and Abu in a hailstorm. I was there and have never seen this replayed; it would be great to see again.
David Barnes, England

At the run in between Red Rum and Crisp, I was there shouting and cheering for Crisp and all around me people thought with Crisp so far ahead of Rummy at the turn that I had the winner.

Then before my very eyes the master of Aintree, Rummy catches up and over takes and there I am still cheering, by now the crowd were a little bemused by my actions, but what they didn't know is I had £5 each way on them both! What a race!! What a win for me too!
Mike Creed, England

The year Red Marauder won and Smarty finished second, both my kids stuck pins into the newspaper to pick their horses, and as you've probably guessed they came first and second.

I put a bet on four horses at the bookies and none of them finished. Who's the expert now?
David Nealon, Ireland

Red Rum will always be etched in my childhood memories
Kevin Devonald, UK

I don't remember it (for obvious reasons) but the 1971 National has to be special for me because it was on Grand National Day 1971 that my mother first found out she was going to have a baby. 32 years later, that baby still gets reminded of this every April - Thanks Mum!!!
Steve, England

My favourite Grand National was 1998 the year Earth Summit won in the Aintree mud. But not because of the winner who was great on the day and fully deserved his victory but for the immensely brave run by the gallant second Sunny Bay ridden by Graham Bradley under a huge weight, he ran his heart out that day.
Peter King, England

Red Rum will always be etched in my childhood memories, and I remember him winning in 1977 when I had all my pocket money on him. Thanks to all involved for the memories, they're priceless.
Kevin Devonald, UK

The 2001 Grand National would be my pick. My father picked Red Marauder, his close friend Paul (who is notoriously unlucky at gambling) picked Smartie, and I picked Paddy's Return.

My father and I sat and watched the event-filled race together where the ground was swamp-like and horses were dropping like flies. Paddy's Return fell quite early on and since Red Marauder had not been mentioned by the commentator for sometime we both assumed he too had fallen.

However, Red Marauder had not fallen to our surprise and delight and was finally mentioned when there were only a few horses left. My horse Paddy's Return before that, without jockey and with no warning, veered left at a jump, causing utter mayhem and taking out half of the field.

My uncle Pat McCarron rode in the Grand National on a wonderful horse called Freddie
Dawn H., England

Finally Red Marauder and Smartie the only two horses who stayed on their feet fought the end out between them and as my father predicted with a shout "we've gotta win this, Paul's got the other horse."

Red Marauder pulled clear and came home a very tired but a very profitable 33/1 winner.
David Bryant, England

1965 race - perhaps the greatest national finish of all time... featuring Jay Trump (Tommy Smith) and Freddie (Pat McCarron). Please show this race, as Pat McCarron is my uncle and I have never seen the race! It would be lovely for the older members of my family to see it again. Many thanks Dawn & Family.
Dawn Hetherington, Guildford, Surrey

My most memorable Grand National was in 1975 when I was eight-years old my dad said he would put 50p on Red Rum for me and I said no I wanted L'escargot he gave me a smile and said you just lost your pocket money love and I said no dad I'm a winner.

Well you should have seen his face at the end of the race! Ever since then I have never missed a Grand National and it is my favourite event of the year, and one day I'll get my dream of actually attending on national day instead of always watching on the TV.
Dionne Noakes, England

My uncle Pat McCarron rode in the Grand National on a wonderful horse called Freddie. I was too young to see him riding at the height of his career but I have a copy of the book called "A Horse called Freddie".

Uncle Pat never won but was placed and apparently the 1965 race with the horse Jay Trump (Tommy Smith) was one of the greatest National finishes ever. It would be great to see that race (for us younger members of the family).

He also rode around the National course with Harvey Smith. Both commentating as they went around. I have very vague memories of this. Any chance of seeing that too?

Uncle Pat is doing well but has long since been out of the horse racing circuit - but we are all very proud of his achievements and for his great bond with a horse called Freddie.
Dawn H., England

The Grand National is a tradition for me and my friends. For the past 18 years we have congregated in the same seats in our local pub, clutching our betting slips.

The best moment of all in the Grand National was when Jenny Pitman trained Corbiere to win the National
Bernie Falla, Guernsey

The race I most remember was in 1998 when I willed Suny Bay to win with all my might - only to come second. I was slightly disappointed for the beautiful grey horse who deserved a win only to later realise I had also backed the winner and third placed. What a day!
Helen, Scotland

My best moment was winning an office sweep in, I think it was, 1973 when the winning horse was Gay Trip and the second was Vulture. I had both in the sweep but did not bet. Ah well it just wasn't to be.
Sheila Edan, England

I made a devastating error in 1992. I thought of backing Party Politics but thought it would be impossible for a horse with that name to win in a General Election year. What I forgot is that the National throws up coincidences like that, human interest stories if you like, year after year.

That's my tip. Look for the horse with a story behind it, the bit of luck or coincidence that would make its win a little special.
Phil Turton, Nottingham, England

The best National memory I have is of Earth Summit's slog home in 1998. Suny Bay was unlucky, but what an incredible performance by the winner. First he won the Scottish National, then the Welsh equivalent, before finally stamping himself as a jumping legend by winning at Aintree.
Sam Lawrie, England

For me, the best moment of all in the Grand National was when Jenny Pitman trained Corbiere to win the National. The cuddly one, as she was called, had proved that with devotion, passion and sheer guts and grit you'll get there in the end. There were few dry eyes after watching both the race and Jenny being interviewed afterwards, that for me is what the National is all about
Bernie Falla, Guernsey

It is always nice to see the 'class horse' win the Grand National. This happened in 1996 when Rough Quest got a thoroughly deserved success after being narrowly beaten in the Gold Cup.

Hopefully class will shine through again this year and either Kingsmark or Gunner Welburn can win.
David Fitzgerald, England

1981 brings back memories when Bob Champion fought back from cancer to win on Aldeniti.
Graham Perry, England

My favourite National was, after a long time in coming, last year! Six months before the race, I had watched Bindaree go first "off the bridle" in the Hennessey after about a mile, only to run on under strong driving for the remainder of the race and finish a very honourable fifth.

I went into work on the Monday and said "There is a horse crying out for 4 1/2 miles around Aintree" to anyone who would listen. And I never moderated my opinion at all for the remainder of the run-up.

Needless to say, being a racing fan, a lot of people took notice of me. I had a lot of friends come early April, and I will dine out on the story for years to come...
Robert Parkinson, UK

My favourite Grand National was the Cinderella story of Bob Champion and Aldaniti, in 1981
Manuel .V. Mendoza, USA

I love the Grand National, but two years stick out for me. One is when Hallo Dandy won, in 1984 I think. Me uncle told me of this horse long before the race and said it was a good bet. He died not long after but what made my choice definite was when I put a pin in the newspaper it landed on Hallo Dandy.

I still kick myself for the second one. I am a superstitious punter so with a general election coming up I thought that my money would be on Party Politics. I changed my mind and backed Romany king into second place - Doh!
Simon Tiernan, Sale

My favourite Grand National was the Cinderella story of Bob Champion and Aldaniti, in 1981. The great thing about this victory was Bob Champion overcoming cancer, and triumphing in what is said to be the greatest race in the world.
Manuel .V. Mendoza, USA

It's got to be the 2000 National when Papillon won. A group of us got up early to choose our winners by way of the 'magic pool ball' (rolling a cue ball over the paper and bet on whoever it lands on). I ended up with Papillon at 33-1 and a £20 to win bet. Needless to say I was well chuffed with the result.
Jenny, UK

Like Janette Sykes, my favourite Grand National memory is from 1966 when Anglo won. Anglo was part owned by Styart Levy (my great uncle). Stuart was part owner, with Nat Cohen, of the film company Anglo Amalgamated of 'Carry On' fame.

On that day, March 24th I proposed to my Irish girlfriend and was accepted. As we were both living in Brussels she decided to call home and announce to her family that we were engaged.

Her father, a gambling man, took the call, said "That's very nice, any tips for the National?" My wife to be told him about the family connection which he duly passed on to her five brothers along with the news of our engagement.

Anglo duly won at 50/1. The brothers each had their half crowns on the winner but my father-in-law to be did not bet on it as he didn't think it stood a chance. To this day I cannot understand how any father hearing that kind of news would not have placed, at least, a token bet on the tip. By the way, my wife and I are still happily married 37 years later.
Peter Levy, Belgium

This fantastic race brought me, a scouse railway worker, and a Lord together for that four-minute rush
Marcus Dunning, UK

My first memory of the National was 1973; I was eight-years-old and really only starting to take an interest in the sport. My father was on his way out to the bookies to put a bet on the race for himself and my mother, he turned to myself and my brother, who was five at the time and asked us to pick out a horse each and he would put 20p e.w. on them for us.

I picked Red Rum for no other reason than I just liked the name. Of course, everyone knows what happened next, he won and I collected my £2.50. I was on cloud nine. of course I stuck by the horse every year after that and remember being devastated to hear on the news the night before the 1978 race that he had injured a foot and was being retired.

Thanks to Rummy I am a Grand National addict and I still get goose bumps every time that tape goes up at 3.45 on Grand National Saturday. There is simply nothing to match the buzz of the race and it has rightly earned its title of the greatest steeplechase in the world, for me it's the greatest race in the world and always will be.

I don't think there is a greater buzz in sport than watching your selection cross the line first in the National. Can't wait for Saturday, I've been looking forward to the race since the entries came out in January, I have been like this every year since that day 30 years ago. What other sporting event in the world can do that to you? NONE!
Niall, Ireland

Reading Richard Pitman and Ginger McCain talk about Red Rum v Crisp in 1973 brought it all back for me. Rummy was a legend - but how unlucky was Crisp? An amazing finish.
Terry Dwyer, Lancashire

When Red Marauder won I had £20 each way on it. I was standing by the winning post with my friends, screaming and shouting as he come on the run-in. As he went past the post, I turned to the nearest person who was also jumping, and we hugged and screamed with excitement. I found out later that I was hugging a multi-millionaire Lord, who someone saw on the TV later.

My point is that this fantastic race brought me, a scouse railway worker, and a Lord together for that four-minute rush. Fantastic; the prince and the pauper come together for the greatest race in the world.
Marcus Dunning, UK

To me, the National will always be "my mother's race"
Anne Quarry, England

My late mother always backed horse number eight in the National as it was her wedding anniversary. In 1986 she died, and the National took place between the day she died and her funeral. I was determined to put her bet on for her.

I have never forgotten the tears that streamed down my face when Richard Dunwoody won on West Tip, wearing the number eight! I won a substantial sum, too!

Each year since I have backed number eight and it's won twice since: Miinehoma and Party Politics. To me, the National will always be "my mother's race".
Anne Quarry, England

Every Grand National is special but for me it has to be the 1998 race where Sunny Bay, carrying top weight of 12 stone, finished runner-up in bottomless ground that he hated.

He was a real star that day and only got beaten by a mud lark on a low weight, called Earth Summit. Needless to say, I was on both of them.
Shane, England

From a betting point of view my favourite Grand National was in 2000 when Papillon went past the finishing post ahead of Mely Moss. I had £5 each way on Papillon at the early morning price of 33-1.

I'd spent all week studying the form. Papillon's half a length second to Bobbyjo in the 1998 Irish Grand National whilst giving him 11 pounds had swung it for me, so I was very pleased with myself. My wife Debbie also had £1 each way, because she liked the meaning of the name of the horse!
Barney, England

Tim Brookshaw riding Wynburgh in 1959 to a close second with no stirrups
John Meighan, GB

My favourite Grand National Year has to be 1986, when West Tip beat Young Driver to give Richard Dunwoody his first Grand National win.
Alan Caddick, Birmingham, England

Tim Brookshaw riding Wynburgh in 1959 to a close second with no stirrups for most of the race. This must rank as the best horsemanship in the race at a time prior to the modifications of the fences. He later broke his back in a hurdle race - I believe at Aintree!
John Meighan, GB

My personal favourite Grand National was in 2000 when Papillon and Ruby Walsh were victorious. I had £1 each way at the early morning price of 16-1 and also had £1 each way on Brave Highlander who was fourth at 50-1.

He had been my National horse for three years and I am adamant he would have won in 2001 had a loose horse not ran in front of him at the 19th fence and caused him to refuse.

He was jumping beautifully as always and judging from the way that Red Marauder and Smarty finished the race he would have outstayed them.
Gary Lewis, Scotland

My favourite Grand National has to be the one in 1966, when Anglo won for ex-jockey and then new trainer Fred Winter. I was nine years old at the time, and my father asked me which horse I thought would win. I picked out Anglo, mainly because he was a flashy chestnut with a white blaze and socks.

I sent a letter of congratulation to Jenny Pitman, and received a lovely signed card
Tim Woolhead, Taplow

Even though we had a black and white television set at the time, he really stood out in the paddock. My father said I'd only picked him because he was first on the race card, and refused to put any money on him.

I knew better though, and Anglo strolled home at 50-1! As you can imagine, my father was not best pleased. I just wish I'd been old enough to place my own bet!!
Janette Sykes, Buxton, Derbyshire

The Grand National has always been my highlight of the year, ever since 1961. For a seven-year-old, seeing his parents going berserk when Nicolaus Silver landed a winning bet was memorable!

That is a lasting memory but my own personal favourite was the win of Corbiere. I had dreamt the night before that Corbiere would win. I was living in Australia at that time and thanks to BBC World Service had heard a preview of the race on the Friday.

I sent a letter of congratulation to Jenny Pitman, and received a lovely signed card with a photo of Corbiere, Jenny and Ben de Haan.

I have always been a fan of Chives and Kingsmark, and this year I hope either go one better for me than last year's bet on 'What's Up Boys'.
Tim Woolhead, Taplow, Buckinghamshire





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