On Monday, social activity resumes in England for the first time in 2021 and with many flocking to public houses, it seems only fitting to pay tribute to the best Grand National horse there ever was: Red Rum.
The most decorated National Hunt horse on Merseyside, ‘Rummy’ was a three-time winner of the race that saw its first-ever female winner on Saturday afternoon as Rachael Blackmore steered home the Henry de Bromhead trained Minella Escape to victory.
And with an alcoholic beverage being the biggest dilemma for a high majority of people up and down the country today, it seems only fitting to reflect on the titanic battle between Red Rum and Crisp back in 1973.
Of all his National outings, this would be Ginger McCain’s representatives lowest weight-carrying performance at Aintree – in what was his first appearance in the race.
With just 10st 5lbs on his back, Brian Fletcher’s mount appeared to have it all to do as the relentless Crisp and Richard Pitman poured on the pressure from the front, appearing to be in splendid isolation from the front heading over the last.
But Red Rum’s persistence would prove key as Fred Winter’s previous Champion Chase victor became weary in the closing stages as the elongated four-and-a-half mile trip and top weight of 12st began to tell.
A 9/1 joint-favourite, Rummy eventually nibbled at the deficit and got up on the line at Aintree to win by three-quarters of a length in a contest often regarded one of the greatest of all time.
An eight-year-old at the time, he would land the race again a year later under top-weight before finishing second in both 1975 and 1976, respectively.
With ease from the handicapper, he would complete the hat-trick in 1977 and is still the most recent horse to win the National as a twelve-year-old.