Nearly 50 years after he was trained there, a 50x50m portrait has been created of the legendary Red Rum on Ainsdale Beach.
Sand artist Sean Corcoran used a garden rake to recreate Rummy in the sand on which he galloped in preparation for his three Grand National victories.
Bookmaker Coral commissioned the portrait in memory of the Ginger McCain-trained superstar, who won in 1973, 1974 and 1977. It was also in celebration of the fact Red Rum came top of a public poll to find the most popular Grand National winner of all time, ahead of this year’s race (9 April).
Coral’s David Stevens said: “It may be 45 years since that historic third Grand National triumph, but four and a half decades on, Red Rum is still the most popular winner of the world’s most famous race, and the portrait of Rummy on the beach where he was trained was our tribute to the legend ahead of this year’s renewal.”
More than 700 people took part in the poll, in which two-time winner Tiger Roll came second, and Aldaniti, who recovered from a career-threatening injury to win in 1981 under Bob Champion, who had recovered from cancer, third.
Many Clouds and Hedgehunter were voted fourth and fifth, with 100-1 2009 winner Mon Mome sixth, followed by Don’t Push It, Rhyme ‘N’ Reason, West Tip and Red Marauder.
Artist Mr Corcoran, who took six hours to create the portrait using an adjustable rake, working against the tide, said: “Like everyone, I love the Grand National and Red Rum is a true sporting legend. I couldn’t think of a better way to pay tribute to him than by recreating a portrait on the beach on which he trained.”
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