Legends to be inducted into Grand National Hall of Fame

  • Bob Champion and Aldaniti are among nine racing greats who are to be inducted into the John Smith’s Grand National Legends hall of fame this year.

    The hall of fame, which was launched last year, celebrates the history of the race and an awards ceremony will be held on Grand National Day — Saturday 9 April.

    It has been 30 years since Bob Champion and Aldaniti’s emotional victory — and they this year topped the public poll to chose five Legends.

    A shortlist of Grand National Legends was compiled by a selection panel of racing experts who were asked to consider the star performers — equine and human — from the 1830s through to the present day.

    Thousands of racing fans placed their votes over the past few weeks. Those voted in by the public are Bob Champion and Aldaniti, 1986 winners West Tip and Richard Dunwoody, Red Rum’s jockey Brian Fletcher and trainer Vincent O’Brien.

    And four former racing figures selected by the panel are Tom Olliver who won three times as a jockey the 1840s and 50s, 1894 winning horse Karel Kinsky, three-time winning jockey Jack Anthony (1911,1915, 1920) and BBC radio commentator Peter Bromley.

    “The Grand National always seems to produce a great story, and in a year when we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Bob Champion’s victory on Aldaniti, it is very appropriate that the public has voted for him,” said Julian Thick, managing director at Aintree.

    Aintree is also searching for Grand National “People’s Legends” and is asking local communities to nominate those who make a contribution to the race.

    The first nominee for this year’s People’s Legends is Jaguar, an 18-year-old police horse.

    Jaguar (pictured) has been a serving police horse for Merseyside since January 1998. He has led in the Grand National winner several times — most recently Mon Mome in 2009 — and will be repeating that job again this year.

    According to Merseyside Police he “performs all aspects of his work willingly, is brave and uncomplicated and does whatever is asked of him without fear. He can also always be entrusted with new riders when they are starting out their mounted careers”.

    Nominations are open until March 25 at www.grandnationallegends.com

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