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28 October 2014
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Reg Green - Grand National Historian

Southport beach
Red Rum training on Southport beach

Audio Listen to Reg Green talking about Rummy
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"The might and the aura of Red Rum one has to go back beyond 12 years when he won his first National, when he was a mere two year old in 1967.

His very first footsteps on a racecourse were at Aintree you know, a very humble and a very meagre two year old selling plate over five furlongs on the flat, and would you believe he actually won it. He shared in the victory because he did win with a horse called Curlicue.

And the jockeys that rode him - from Lester Piggott right through Pat Eddery and Tommy Stack who finally partenered him in his thrid victory.

Donald McCain and Red Rum
Donald McCain junior tempting Rummy with a treat

Tommy, at one time trained the horse when he became a jumper and the horse was written off as a cast off, he was of no further use, mainly because he’d perhaps become a bit ring rusty, all the races he had on the flat and over the sticks.

Suddenly a gentleman from humble, almost as humble as Rummy’s beginnings, a humble training establishment in Southport, behind a car showroom, the now great Ginger McCain bought the horse at Doncaster for what to him was a fantastic sum, six thousand pounds, when he got him home he found he was lame, "Oh my God what was I going to say to Noel Le Mare whose money I have spent".

With the care and love of Ginger MaCain, and the magical seas of Southport, the horse was restored to full health, in time for the 1973 Grand National.

The tragic thing about that race, as far as Rummy was concerned, as far as I was personally concerned was, Rummy did not get the full credit because the Australian horse, Crisp, the top weight, made every inch of the running from flag fall to within 50 yards of the winning post, and Rummy captured, caught him on the line. And the reason Rummy did not get the full credit was, Crisp was carrying 23 pounds in weight more. Crisp carried 12 stone, which is top weight, and people thought the weight has done it for this "no mark" from Southport so to speak. But the following year, by God he proved them all wrong, he carried top weight and he beat L’escargot.

Second in the following two years, 75 and 76 after running his heart out as usual and in 1977 who ever was there will never forget what happened. He came on the scene when the National, the Grand National was at its lowest ebb. The racecourse was up for sale, it was going to be built on, housing development, and factories and God knows what. Nobody wanted to know the Grand National. That horse inspired the British public, and the racing press and the media of this country, this race has got to be saved. The four legged creature that did most to save the Grand National and put it back where it belongs, at the summit of sporting achievement was none other than Red Rum."

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