Seventy-two horses were entered for the Worlds greatest steeplechase and forty two lined up to start, the weights headed by the previous years winner, the incomparable Red Rum!
The betting public didn’t ignore Ginger McCain’s hero and the bookmakers returned him as third favourite at 11/1. The market was headed by Scout, which carried only 10stone and had won his previous three races; the Tommy Stack ridden horse was 7/1 favourite. One and a half points bigger in the betting, the second favourite (and eventual runner up) was L’Escargot, the wonder horse that had twice before won the Gold Cup, and would feature prominently in Grand National history!
The race was a little delayed due to some rodeo style bucking by the mare Princess Camilla, but when they eventually began their journey they all got over the first intact, with the sole exception of Lord Oaksey who became detached from Royal Relief. The field largely managed to clear a majority of obstacles until reaching the Canal Turn, at which point the races numbers were diminished by four.
Going a fast pace, Red Rum struck the front several fences out, and Brian Fletcher set Red Rum the task of putting them to the sword. Despite a messy jump at the 26th fence his mount made it all look a little easy, and was cheered home seven lengths ahead of the valiant L’Escargot.
Brian Fletcher had ridden the first horse to record back-to-back Nationals since 1936 and became only the second rider in the 20th Century to achieve a National hat trick.
Starting Price: 11/1
Age: 9 years
Winning Distance: 7 lengths
Owner: Mr Noel H. Le Mare
Jockey: Brian Fletcher
Weight Carried: 9st 12lbs
3rd: Charles Dickens