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The 10 Most Iconic Horse Names at the Grand National

The Grand National is an opportunity for new legends to be created at Aintree.

Not all icons of the race over the years have been winners, but the winning post seems as good a place to start as any when we consider the great names that have gone before.

Only one horse has won the race three times – the legendary Red Rum, who triumphed in 1973, 1974 and 1977. The horse was as much a part of the Seventies as glam rock, Chopper bikes, space hoppers and the Bay City Rollers.

If Red Rum was the biggest serial winner, then the king of stayers among the top stayers’ race was Manifesto. The horseholds the record for the mostentries with eight and won twice, but you have to go back a while – to 1897 and 1899.

West Tip was an incredible horse who won the Grand National in 1986, but followed that with two fourth places in 1987 and 1988, a second-place in 1988 and finally, a 10th-place finish in 1990.

Among more recent names, the one that caused most fear among rivals was the Irish horse, Tiger Roll – who won back-to-back races in 2018 and 2019 with jockey Davy Russell.

Then, there have been the iconic names that earned their fame from one race. Take Mon Mome in 2009, who was the biggest outsider to win since 1967 when coming home at odds of 100-1.

Aldaniti won in 1981 and his name lives on due to the circumstances of that extraordinary victory.

The horse had been written off after a career-threatening injury, while jockey Bob Champion had recovered from treatment for cancer.

Yet, they came home as glorious winners in a story later told in the film, Champions.

Foinavon was afamous winner in 1967 when he won at odds of 100-1 after most of the field ahead of him pulled up or refused, after a pile up at the 23rd fence.

Before him, Tipperary Tim won in 1928 after 41 of the 42 starters fell.

Battleship deserves to be in any list of Aintree icons. His exploits may have happened almost a century ago, but he is the only hose to have won the American Grand National  in 1934 and then the UK Grand National in 1938.

Minella Times will always stand the test of time, too. In 2021, he won with Rachael Blackmore as jockey, the first female ever to win the race.

Mr. Frisk is another great name that many will recall after he won the 1990 Grand National in a record time of eight minutes and 47.80 seconds.

It’s a record that still stands, despite the race being shortened by 372 yards in 2013.

Then, there are the names forever synonymous with acts of heroic failure.

Devon Loch was the race’s most famous failure – crumpling to the ground in front of the grandstand when five lengths clear in 1956 after seemingly trying to jump an imaginary fence.

Then there was Crisp – an Australian horse nicknamed The Black Kangaroo – who was 15 length clear of Red Rum at the last, but tired badly and was overtaken on the line by his rival.

Commentator Peter O’Sullevan called it like this: “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!”

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