A nostalgic Grand National tour: which are your favourite Aintree memories?

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  • With this year’s Grand National abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic, H&H takes a look back at some memorable Aintree heros.

    2018/19 – Tiger Roll

    The National Hunt star raced into the history books in 2019 when winning back-to-back Grand Nationals. Trained by Gordon Elliott and owned by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud, the diminutive gelding, who was bred to be a Flat racehorse, claimed the impressive double under Davy Russell.

    2001 – Red Marauder

    The year when foot-and-mouth disease wreaked havoc with racing fixtures with the Cheltenham Festival abandoned, the Grand National went ahead, but was run in terrible weather conditions owing to high winds and rain. Only four horses completed the race successfully – two having been remounted – due in part to the bad conditions and because of loose horse Paddy’s Return causing mayhem at the Canal Turn. The 33/1 chance Red Marauder was victorious under Richard Guest.

    2009 – Mon Mome

    Ridden by Liam Treadwell and trained by Venetia Williams, Mon Mome won the Grand National at a huge price of 100/1 and was the largest-priced winner since 1967.

    2015 – Many Clouds

    The popular chaser, who was trained by Oliver Sherwood, helped jockey Leighton Aspell to win back-to-back Grand Nationals. Sadly, in January 2017, the gelding collapsed and died after crossing the finish line at Cheltenham, having narrowly beaten Thistlecrack to the post.

    2010 – Don’t Push It

    The JP McManus-owned and Jonjo O’Neill-trained gelding helped multiple champion jockey AP McCoy to his first Grand National win in 2010.

    1973/74/77 – Red Rum

    Without doubt the greatest horse to grace the Aintree turf, Red Rum loved the big fences at the Merseyside track and still holds the record for winning the Grand National on three occasions – two of which were consecutive. Jockey Brian Fletcher was on board for the first two victories, while Tommy Stack took the reins to win in 1977.

    1997 – Lord Gyllene

    Jockey Tony Dobbin partnered the Steve Brookshaw-trained Lord Gyllene to the rescheduled 1997 Grand National. That year’s renewal was postponed by two days following an IRA bomb threat on the initial Saturday.

    1990 – Mr Frisk

    The Kim Bailey-trained Mr Frisk won the 1990 contest under amateur jockey Marcus Armytage, who is now H&H’s racing correspondent and a writer for the Telegraph.

    1967 – Foinavon

    The 100/1 shot was the only horse to survive carnage at the 23rd fence, when the rest of the field either fell, refused or were hampered and brought down thanks to a loose horse. The outsider was ridden by journeyman jockey John Buckingham, and the fence was officially named after Foinavon in 1984 by Aintree Racecourse.

    1981 – Aldaniti

    Jockey Bob Champion and the Josh Gifford-trained gelding were victorious in 1981. The winning jockey was making a comeback having successfully battled cancer, while Aldaniti had also bounced back from injury.

    Don’t miss the virtual Grand National, being shown on ITV on 4 April at 5pm.

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