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On this day:

Red Rum wins final Grand National

If I Get Gelded, Would I Go Faster?

Some of the most upsetting and sinister sayings in the English language tend to involve horses: ‘horsing around’ ‘horseplay’ and of course the terrible ‘horse’s business’. But not all horses are bad. One fine thoroughbred rose to the top of the steeplechase tree like some equine pegasus of yore. I speak, obviously, of Red Rum.

And it was on this day in 1977 that this be-saddled equivalent of Usain Bolt won his third and final Grand National race, considered one of the finest achievements in horse racing history. After previous wins in 1973 and 1974, the horse decided to ease up for a bit and allow others to have a go, coming second in ’75 and ’76.

But due to some smack talk from other nags round the back of the stables before the 1977 event, a fired up Rummie romped home at the age of 12. Which is old for a horse. He planned to run again the following year, but an injury led to retirement and subsequently the turning on of the Blackpool illuminations in 1977. What a horse.