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Red Rum’s legend lives on


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  • Fans of the legendary Grand National winner Red Rum are being invited to bid for a rare piece of his tail at a unique racing auction next month.

    Next months sees a rare opportunity for racing enthusiasts to own a lock of triple Grand National winner Red Rum’s tail hair, when it goes under the hammer at Sotherby’s Olympia salesroom in November.

    The lock of hair is contained in a 22cms square frame and is accompanied by a letter dated 25 April 1978 from Red Rum’s trainer Ginger McCain’s stable confirming its authenticity. It is expected to fetch between £500 and £800 at the sale on Wednesday 6 November.

    Other lots with an Aintree connection include the padded Barbour jacket worn by Phil Sharp, Suny Bay’s lad, when he stayed behind to look after the 120 racehorse at Aintree when the racecourse had to be evacuated due to a bomb scare in 1997.

    The jacket is one of six worn by Phil during his career. Each has the name of his charge embroidered or decorated on it. The 1997 Grand National “Suny Bay” jacket is expected to reach £300 to £500, as is the 1991 Grand National “Garrison Savannah” version.

    Legends of the racing world will also be being represented at the sale with lots including the gold watch presented to the top jockey of his time, Steve Donoghue. The watch was award to commemorate his six consecutive victories with “Brown Jack” in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot between 1929-34. It is expected to reach between £5,500 and £7,000.

    Other historical racing memorabilia includes a jockey’s whipbelonging to Fred Archer, a contemporary of W G Grace, who won 2,478 races, including many classics before committing suicide aged 29. The whip is estimated to be worth between £5,000 and £7,000.

    The top price of the sale of between £50,000 and £70,000 is expected to be raised by a life-size bronze of a mare and foal by former jump jockey turned successful sculpture Philip Blacker.

    Paintings on offer in the sale include:

    • ‘Blaydon Races’ by William C Irving
    • The 1885 Grand National – Valentine’s Brook by Edward Benjamin Herberte
    • Fox terrier Barrington Bridegroom by Arthur Wardle.
    • A 19th century album of hunting caricatures including Sir Watkin W Wynn

    A 30min guided tour of the sale exhibition will take place at 2pm on Sunday 3 November at Olympia. If you would like to take part contact (tel: 020 7293 6064) or email: Sundays@sotherbys.com

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