|Date||31 March 1973|
|Starting price||9/1 JF|
|Owner||Noel Le Mare|
|The 1973 Grand National in full (BBC)|
The race is best remembered for being the first of Red Rum's three Grand National wins; Red Rum also broke the record set by Reynoldstown in 1935, and in doing so staged a spectacular comeback to beat Crisp on the run-in after having trailed by 15 lengths at the final fence.
Just a furlong to run now, 200 yards now for Crisp, and Red Rum is still closing on him! Crisp is getting very tired, and Red Rum is pounding after him. Red Rum is the one who's finishing the strongest. He's going to get up! Red Rum is going to win the National. At the line Red Rum has just snatched it from Crisp!
Commentator Peter O'Sullevan describes the climax of the 1973 National
Before the off, Red Rum was 9/1 joint-favourite with Crisp to win the race. However, by the time the runners had reached The Chair the Australian chaser Crisp, who was carrying the top weight of 12 stone, had already built up a significant lead and appeared unstoppable. For much of the initial stages, Crisp's closest challenger was Bill Shoemark on Grey Sombrero, but he fell at The Chair, giving Crisp an even greater lead which had grown to 20 lengths by the end of the first circuit.
Crisp's jockey Richard Pitman later recalled that at Becher's Brook on the second circuit, fallen jockey David Nicholson shouted at him: "Richard, you're 33 lengths clear, kick on and you'll win!" At the same time, he heard the Tannoy commentator Michael O'Hehir declare: "And Red Rum is coming out of the pack, Brian Fletcher is kicking him hard!"
At the 30th and final fence, Crisp was still 15 lengths ahead of Red Rum, ridden by Fletcher and given 10 stone 5 lb by the handicapper. However, Crisp was beginning to tire badly on the 494-yard run-in, carrying 23 lb more than his nearest rival. Red Rum made up considerable ground, and two strides from the finishing post he pipped Crisp by a mere three-quarters of a length in a record time of nine minutes, 1.9 seconds (a record which would stand until 1990).
There was one equine fatality during the race when Grey Sombrero fell at The Chair whilst leading the pursuit of Crisp. He suffered a broken leg and was euthanised, becoming the first fatal casualty of the Grand National since Racoon in 1970. Grey Sombrero is one of three horses to have been fatally injured while jumping The Chair in the Grand National (the others were Land Lark in 1975 and Kintai in 1979).
1973 is often considered among the greatest Grand Nationals of all time, and the dramatic final-stretch battle between the two greats Crisp and Red Rum has also been described as one of the greatest sporting moments.
|01||Red Rum||Brian Fletcher||8||10-5||9/1||¾ Length|
|02||Crisp||Richard Pitman||10||12-0||9/1||25 Lengths|
|04||Spanish Steps||Philip Blacker||10||11-13||16/1|
|05||Rouge Autumn||Ken White||9||10-0||40/1|
|06||Hurricane Rock||Bob Champion||9||10-0||100/1|
|07||Proud Tarquin||John Oaksey||10||10-11||22/1|
|09||Endless Folly||Joe Guest||11||10-0||100/1|
|10||Black Secret||Sean Barker||9||11-2||22/1|
|11||Petruchio's Son||David Mould||10||10-5||50/1|
|12||The Pooka||Arthur Moore||11||10-0||100/1|
|13||Great Noise||David Cartwright||9||10-2||50/1|
|14||Green Plover||Mouse Morris||13||10-0||100/1|
|15||Sunny Lad||Bill Smith||9||10-3||25/1|
|17||Mill Door||Peter Cullis||11||10-5||100/1||Last to finish|
|Fence||Name||Jockey||Age||Handicap (st-lb)||Starting price||Fate|
|06||Beggar's Way||Tommy Kinane||9||10-1||33/1||Fell|
|06||Culla Hill||Norton Brookes||9||10-7||100/1||Fell|
|07||Mr Vimy||Johnny Haine||10||10-2||100/1||Pulled Up|
|07||Swan Shot||Martin Blackshaw||10||10-0||100/1||Refused|
|08||Nereo||Duke of Alburquerque||7||10-3||66/1||Pulled Up|
|09||Highland Seal||David Nicholson||10||10-6||20/1||Pulled Up|
|15||Canharis||Pat Buckley||8||10-1||16/1||Brought Down|
|15||Charley Winking||Derrick Scott||8||10-0||100/1||Fell|
|15||Grey Sombrero||Bill Shoemark||9||10-9||25/1||Fell|
|15||Proud Percy||Richard Evans||10||10-0||100/1||Fell|
|19||Fortune Bay II||George Sloan||9||10-3||66/1||Fell|
|19||Rough Silk||Tim Norman||10||10-0||66/1||Pulled Up|
|21||Tarquin Bid||J Bracken||9||10-0||100/1||Fell|
|22||Beau Parc||Andy Turnell||10||10-1||100/1||Pulled Up|
|26||Astbury||Jimmy Bourke||10||10-2||50/1||Pulled Up|
|27||General Symons||Pat Kiely||10||10-0||33/1||Pulled Up|
|27||Princess Camilla||Ron Barry||8||10-4||16/1||Refused|
|27||Rampsman||David Munro||9||10-0||100/1||Pulled Up|
David Coleman presented the BBC's coverage in a special edition of Grandstand. Grandstand would also show the international rugby union match between Scotland and The President's XV from Murrayfield, along with a preview of the big heavyweight bout from San Diego between Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton, that was shown later on BBC 1 in a Sportsnight special. Unfortunately, Grey Sombrero, who had fallen at the 15th fence was badly injured and had to be euthanized.