1973 Grand National
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1973 Grand National

1973 Grand National
Grand National
LocationAintree
Date31 March 1973
Republic of Ireland Red Rum
Starting price9/1 JF
JockeyEngland Brian Fletcher
TrainerEngland Ginger McCain
OwnerEngland Noel Le Mare
← 1972
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External video
video icon The 1973 Grand National in full (BBC)

The 1973 Grand National was the 127th renewal of the Grand National horse race that took place at the Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England, on 31 March 1973.[1]

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[1] 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.[3]

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!"[4]

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).[1]

The third horse, L'Escargot, who would win the National two years later, was 25 lengths adrift at the finish.[5]

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.[5]

Finishing order

Position Name Jockey Age Handicap (st-lb) SP Distance
01 Red Rum Brian Fletcher 8 10-5 9/1 ¾ Length
02 Crisp Richard Pitman 10 12-0 9/1 25 Lengths
03 L'Escargot Tommy Carberry 10 12-0 11/1
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
08 Prophecy Bob Davies 10 10-3 20/1
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
16 Go-Pontinental Jimmy McNaught 13 10-4 100/1
17 Mill Door Peter Cullis 11 10-5 100/1 Last to finish

Non-finishers

Fence Name Jockey Age Handicap (st-lb) Starting price Fate
01 Richeleau Neil Kernick 9 10-0 50/1 Fell
03 Ashville Jeff King 8 10-4 14/1 Fell
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 Glenkiln Jonjo O'Neill 10 10-7 33/1 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

[6] [7] [8]

Media coverage and aftermath

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.

References

  1. ^ a b c d "History". Grandnational.org.uk. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "BBC SPORT | Special Events | 2001 | Grand National | Red Rum - a life in pictures". BBC News. 30 March 2001. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "The Independent | 404". The Independent. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ a b Wood, Greg (3 April 2009). "The Joy of Six: great Grand National moments | Sport". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ "1972 & 1973 - The Grand National & Aintree 1970-79". Seventiesnationals.webs.com. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ The Grand National : the history of the Aintree spectacular, by Stewart Peters & Bernard Parkin, ISBN 0-7524-3547-7
  8. ^ "Grand National Anorak |". freewebs.com. Retrieved 2014.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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