The Grand National has showcased many legendary horse and jockey teams throughout history. Victories snatched at the last second, outsiders surprising the nation – there is rarely a sure thing at the National.
When an exceptional horse meets and exceptional jockey, magic can happen.
Red Rum and Brian Fletcher
No tale of legendary Grand National winners can forget Red Rum, the greatest Grand National winner of all time. Red Rum holds the record for the most Grand National wins of any horse, storming to victory in 1973, 1974 and 1977 and coming in second in the intervening races.
Ridden to victory by Brian Fletcher in 1973, Red Rum pulled off one of the most spectacular wins in race history as he came from fifteen lengths behind at the last fence to beat Crisp by three-quarters of length.
Fletcher again rode Red Rum to victory the following year, although for his historic third win Red Rum was partnered with jockey Tommy Stack after Fletcher had a disagreement with trainer Ginger McCain.
Glenside and Jack Anthony
In 1911, gelding Glenside was entered for the race and given a price of 20/1. Very few punters thought the horse had much chance of success, being blind in one eye and described as ‘broken-winded’ the previous year.
Torrential rain made for a treacherous course and caused many falls, but young jockey Jack Anthony kept Glenside up and running. Glenside came from behind and managed to win by a fairly comfortable 20 lengths.
Jack Anthony would go on to become one of the most celebrated jockeys of his day and win the National two further times, on Ally Sloper in 1915 and Troytown in 1920.
The Colonel and George Stevens
By the time he came to ride The Colonel, jockey George Stevens was already making a name for himself as one of the greatest Grand National jockeys of all time.
Stevens came to the field in 1869 with three previous wins under his belt, on Freetrader, Emblem and Emblematic in 1856, 1863 and 1864 respectively. Partnering The Colonel, George Stevens cemented his position as in Grand National history as he rode the horse to victory in two consecutive years, 1869 and 1870.
To this day Stevens remains the record holder for the most Grand National wins for any jockey ever.
The duo completed the race in just 8 minutes and 47.8 seconds, and were the only team to win the race in under nine minutes ever until Many Clouds just scraped in at 8 minutes and 56.8 seconds in 2015.
Mr Frisk and Armytage went on to take home the Whitbread Gold Cup just three weeks after their National win.
As one of the most prestigious events in the racing calendar, it is no wonder that the Grand National has attracted some of the most dynamic horse-and-jockey duos in the business over the years.