Poetry Corner: Red Rum

For some people it’s meeting human icons that they treasure, for me it was the day that the magnificent Red Rum came to Dobbies at Eskbank. My Mum always says, good gear goes into small packages and in this instance is was true. What he lacked in height he sure made up for in stature. A delight to behold and a day which I’ll always remember.

Red Rum won his first ever race on this day in 1970, a novice event at Doncaster, with odds set at 100/7. Who would ever have thought he would become such a household name. Well…..Ginger McCain I reckon.



Red Rum

Purchased in 1965 for 400 pounds
as a 2 year old colt
with bloodlines to suggest
you would be a champion
of the flat racing kind

Early signs were encouraging
with a dead heat win
alongside stablemate “Curlicue”
of just 7 starts at Aintree Racecourse
4 were wins and the remaining 3 placing second

It was however the steeplechase
where you truly began to shine
and your story is nothing short
of pure equine legend

You won your first Grand National
in 1973 with a spirited
come from behind dash
surprising the equal favourite
an Australian horse called “Crisp”

In 1974 you lead the field
across the winning post again
joining the 1930’s champion “Reynoldstown”
as having won consecutive Grand National titles

In 1975 and 1976 you tried again
although not victorious
your legendary tough spirit
shone through with podium finishes
placing second on both occasions

Suffering from pedalostitis
your trainer Donald (Ginger) McCain
chose to adapt your training regime
running you through shallow surf
helped heal the wounds
and galloping on the sand
strengthened your stride

They say a true champion shines most
when faced with adversity
and as an 12 year old horse
racing in his fifth Grand National
many expected you were racing
merely to say goodbye

Old newspapers tell the story
that made you into a legend
by winning the 1977 Grand National
you became the only horse
ever to win it 3 times

Now the legend stands guardian
at the winning post he knew and loved
prime position to observe
the legends of the future
trying to emulate his greatness

Red Rum (1965 – 1995

Written by Errant Panther

Here is Red Rum winning his 3rd Grand National on 2nd of April 1977, trained by Ginger McCain and ridden by Tommy Stack.

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