Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ginger House Party

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ginger House Party

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Hilton

Ginger mccain's place in racing history was sealed many years ago, but the sport's most famous pensioner trainer was basking in the limelight once again at the weekend after Amberleigh House won a hugely exciting running of the Martell Cognac Grand National.

The 73-year-old sent out the legendary Red Rum to win the world's greatest steeplechase in 1973, 1974 and 1977, but was a bit-part player in the great game afterwards. Twenty-seven years on, he is back in the big time.

The only other trainer to have won four Grand Nationals is Fred Rimell, who turned out a parade of champions from his Worcestershire base in an illustrious career, and McCain intends to keep going while a fifth triumph is possible.

"I'd have been delighted to have finished in the first six or eight, but he is just a great little horse," said McCain.

"I did think that if I won, I might let the lad (his son Donald) take over. Well, bugger it. Fred Rimell only trained four and I might just be able to squeeze in another one in the next couple of years!"

Northern-based jockey Graham Lee has become a high-profile jockey of late because of his riding of Graham Wylie's army of high-class recruits, and he described his season as "unbelievable".

He explained he had been determined to conserve Amberleigh House's challenge until as late as possible.

"After we had been beaten here by Clan Royal at the start of the season I went home and watched the video over and over and was really angry for going too soon," he said.

"It is the best day of my life by a long, long way. I still can't believe I have won the biggest race in the world. I am totally numb. All I want to do now is go home and watch a replay of the race to make sure it really did happen."

It was soon back to business for Lee as he rode the first winner at Hexham yesterday, Mister Arjay, and made it a double in the last on Dewasentah. …

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