Racing says farewell to Ginger McCain in Liverpool cathedral

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  • A 1,000-strong congregation packed out Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral last week (15 November) to celebrate the life of Ginger McCain.

    Owners, trainers and jockeys past and present paid tribute to the man who won the Grand National four times.

    His relationship with Red Rum did much to rescue the race when it was in the doldrums in the1970s.

    Ginger’s widow Beryl said: “It was absolutely fantastic, memorable and wonderful. The cathedral was full.”

    His son Donald had been concerned that it was too large a venue. “When Aintree said they wanted to come here, the first thing I said was ‘Will enough people turn up?’

    “They told me off for being stupid,” he added.

    Richard Pitman gave an address, as did former commentator and Ginger’s old friend Jonathan Turner.

    As friends and family filed out, the organist played the Bob Hope song Thanks For
    the Memories.

    Channel 4 racing’s Alastair Down told H&H why he made the pilgrimage to Merseyside.
    Ginger was a living monument to political incorrectness and no loss to the diplomatic corps,” he said.

    “But his handling of Red Rum leaves lovers of the horse forever in his debt. In those five years [in which he won three times and came second twice], he reconnected the general public with the horse.”

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (24 November 2011)

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