What made Red Rum one of the greatest racehorses of all time?
Red Rum is by far one of the most iconic racehorses that have ever lived. Regarded as one of the most popular horses of the twentieth century, his legacy has yet to fade.
Red Rum is remembered for iconic wins, enviable talent and for being a great Grand National contender. His victories have never been beaten.
Red Rum’s Early Life
Irish born Red Rum was foaled in 1965 at Rossenarra Stud in County Kilkenny. The name Red Rum came from his sire and dam’s names which were: Quorum out of Mared.
Red Rum was born an average size and early breeding set him up to be a sprinter on flat ground. Once Red Rum became a yearling he was sold to Manchester manufacturer Maurice Kingsley. His racing career started soon after.
It began with low-value races which saw Red Rum finish in a dead heat at his first Aintree appearance. From this, he went onto race more and more and his successes quickly began to pile up. Races at Warwick and Doncaster saw him win over seven furlongs at just the tender age of two years old.
Initially, in the early stages of his life, the horse was passed from trainer to trainer. Foot injuries and “lack of promise” led to him being sold to Ginger McCain for 6000 guineas. This is where Red Rum found his footing. The pair famously trained at Southport beaches and got on well from the offset.
Grand National Victories
In 1973 Red Rum started the Grand National race at Aintree with a 9-1 lead. Ridden by the previous winner Brian Fletcher, the race was destined to be a success. Red Rum went onto to achieve his first Aintree Grand National win with three-quarters of a length lead against favourite Crisp. He also managed to beat the 1935 record set by Reynoldstown.
The first lap of the race, however, would have predicted a different outcome. Crisp had a significant lead right from the outset with his closest competitor being Grey Sombrero. However, his lead went onto increase further when Grey Sombrero fell at The Chair giving Crisp a 20 length lead.
Red Rum was not far behind though and quickly broke away from the pack. At the 30th fence Crisp was a huge 15 lengths ahead, however, he quickly began to tire. Red Rum was able to make up considerable ground allowing him to beat Crisp in a record-breaking time of nine minutes.
The dramatic final length between Red Rum and Crisp has been regarded as one of the sports greatest moments of all time.
Red Rum and Brian Fletcher managed to secure a second Grand National win in 1974. All of which despite carrying the top weight of 12 stone. Red Rum just missed out on the title for his following two Grand National appearances. Yet in 1977 we saw an unimaginable comeback.
The 1977 Grand National race was highly anticipated throughout the world. With many flocking to Aintree to see if the great horse could make it third time lucky. This time rode by jockey Tommy Stack the pair captured the nation with an impressive finish. The nation’s favourite “Rummy” secured his final Grand National victory with a huge 25 length lead.
Horse Racing Trainer: Ginger McCain
The bond between Ginger McCain and Red Rum was something truly special. Ginger McCain was an eccentric trainer who’s love of Aintree was infectious. In an interview following the passing of Red Rum McCain spoke of how Red Rum started out as a villain to many. His defeat against Crisp was described to closely resemble the story of the hare and the tortoise. People had backed Crisp and were behind him and Red Rum came to steal the victory.
However, as time went on it was clear that Red Rum had captured the imaginations of the nation. McCain spoke fondly of Red Rum stating there will never be another horse like him. He spoke how the horse thrived off the atmosphere at Aintree and how the pair made it their home.
They were both good for each other and the legacies they achieved will long be remembered.
Retirement and Legacy
Red Rum retired from horse racing in 1978 which led to an influx of public appearances. From Christmas light turn on’s to TV appearances Red Rum was in high demand. A highlight was his 30th birthday celebrations at Aintree. This attracted a huge crowd which went onto highlight how loved the great horse was.
In 1995 he sadly passed away which devastated the country. His passing was covered on the front pages of all the national newspapers. His legacy, however, continues to live on. His victories are unlikely ever to be beaten and the lasting memories will never fade. Buried at the winning post at Aintree seemed most fitting and his tribute plaque reads:
Respect this place
This hallowed ground
A legend here
His rest has found.
His feet would fly
Our spirits soar
He earned our love
The love and admiration for Red Rum will never fade. He really is a true icon of the sporting world.
Randox Health Grand National
It’s fascinating to see how the victories of past icons still impact sport today. The Grand National still continues to provide nail-biting action and triumphant wins year on year. Capturing a nation’s attention and viewers from all over the world. At Eventmasters we believe everyone should experience the buzz at Aintree during the Grand National meeting.
With the 2019 Grand National shortly upon us, there is no better time than to think about attending. Our VIP tickets and unforgettable hospitality will ensure you and your guests have an experience like no other.
Experience all the magic of Aintree in true style with our luxurious corporate hospitality. Between races, you can enjoy fine dining, sumptuous afternoon tea and plenty of drinks at the complimentary bar.
We provide hospitality packages throughout the meeting for Grand Opening Day, Ladies Day and Grand National Day. In a wide range of exclusive facilities including Silks Restaurant, The Corbiere Suite and The Bob Champion Suite. There’s no better way to experience the Randox Health Grand National.