Eight racing greats among Aintree “Legends”

  • Jenny Pitman and Sir Peter O’Sullevan are among eight Aintree racing greats to be named as “Grand National legends”.

    The eight “legends” are to be honoured in an awards ceremony at Aintree racecourse on Grand National day, Saturday 10 April.

    They will be inducted into the inaugural John Smith’s Grand National Legends Hall of Fame.

    A short list was created by a panel of racing experts and then voted on by the public.

    Five of the legends were selected by the public:

    Ginger McCain and Red Rum — who won the race three times in the 1970s

    Jenny Pitman — the first woman to train a national winner, Corbiere in 1983

    Sir Peter O’Sullevan — who commentated on 50 Grand Nationals

    John Buckingham and Foinavon — who won on their National debut in 1967 despite being 100-1 and famously avoiding a pile-up at the 23rd fence

    Manifesto — who ran in the national eight times in the late 1800s, winning twice, finishing third three times and fourth once

    Three were chosen by a racing panel:

    Edward Topham — whose who’s family dynasty led Aintree for 125 years

    Captain Martin Becher — who famously fell into the brook

    George Stevens — the jockey who won five times between 1856 and 1870.

    Aintree’s managing director Julian Thick said: “The John Smith’s Grand National always seems to produce a great story and we have been delighted by the public response to this vote.

    “We also felt it was important to recognise the contributions made in the very early days of the race, with Captain Becher and Edward Topham playing a huge part in creating the race we know today and George Stevens’ record as a jockey unlikely to be surpassed. We now look forward to celebrating these first inductees to Aintree on John Smith’s Grand National Day.”

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