Fred Winter

Fred Winter Frederick Thomas “Fred” Winter CBE was a leading figure in British National Hunt racing for nearly four decades. Despite the fact that he “was not a natural steeplechase jockey”, at least not according to his brother, John, he rode 923 winners and became Champion Jockey four times. On his retirement from the saddle in 1964, Winter turned his attention to training and, in 24 seasons, saddled 1,557 winners and became Champion Trainer eight times. He also has the distinction of being the only man to have both ridden and trained two Grand National winners.

His first success in the National, as a jockey, came in 1957 aboard Sundew, trained by Frank Hudson. Sundew has run in the National in the two previous years, falling at the fourth last fence in 1955 and at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit, when ridden by Winter, in 1956. However, on their second attempt, Sundew and Winter made most of the running and drew away in the closing stages to win by 8 lengths.

Winter rode his second National winner, Kilmore, trained by Ryan Price in 1962. Ridden patiently, Kilmore made headway to chase the leader, Gay Navaree, at the fourth last fence. Winter produced the 12-year-old to lead jumping the final fence and he cleared away on the run-in to beat Wyndburgh – who, coincidentally, had also finished second to Sundew five years earlier – by 10 lengths.

Winter didn’t have to wait long to win the Grand National as a trainer. In fact, he did so at the first time of asking, with Jay Trump, ridden by American amateur rider Tommy Smith, in 1965. Amazingly, Winter won the National again in 1966, this time with Anglo, ridden by Tim Norman. The 50/1 chance jumped up into second place on the inside at Valentine’s Brook on the second circuit, took the measure of long-time leader Forest Prince jumping the last and strode right away to win by 20 lengths.

Winter later remarked on his good fortune, saying, “It was almost embarrassing standing in the winners’ enclosure again when you think of all the people who have been training horses for years and always had the luck go against them at Aintree.”

Fred Rimmell

Fred Rimmell Thomas Frederic “Fred” Rimmell was National Hunt Champion Trainer on four occasions, in 1960/61, 1968/69, 1969/1970 and 1974/75, but earned his place in the Grand National Hall of Fame by virtue of saddling four different horses to win the famous steeplechase. His winners were ESB in 1956, Nicolaus Silver in 1961, Gay Trip in 1970 and Rag Trade in 1976.

On the first occasion, ESB was, as jockey Dave Dick later admitted, “a terribly lucky winner”, after the leader, Devon Loch, inexplicably collapsed on the run-in at Aintree, just 50 yards from the winning post. Fortunate though he may have been, ESB still recorded the fourth fastest winning time in the history of the Grand National.

Five years later, Nicolaus Silver, ridden by Bobby Beasley, won what was, at the time, the richest ever National, worth £20,000 to the winner. On good to firm going, the eight-year-old was left in the lead when Fresh Winds unseated his rider at the first open ditch on the second circuit and was one of seven horses who pulled clear approaching the home turn. He and Merryman II, the previous year’s winner, were stride for stride between the last two fences, but Nicolaus Silver led over the final fence and drew clear on the run-in to win by 5 lengths. In so doing, he became the first grey to win the Grand National since the Lamb in 1871.

In 1970, Gay Trip, ridden by Pat Taafe, was noted “running away” by commentator Julian Wilson as the much-reduced field approached Becher’s Brook on the second circuit and, from the home turn, had only Dozo, ridden by Eddie Harty, for company. It soon became clear that Gay Trip was going, by far, the better and he duly strode away for a facile, 20-length win.

In 1976, Rimmell won his fourth, and final, Grand National with Rag Trade, ridden by Jimmy Burke. Red Rum, making his second attempt at an unprecedented third Grand National win, led crossing the Melling Road for the final time, but was tackled on the run-in by Rag Trade who, in receipt of 12lb, stayed on to win by 4 lengths.

Carl Llewellyn

Carl Llewellyn Nowadays, Carl Llewellyn is better known as assistant trainer to Nigel Twiston-Davies, to whom he was also stable jockey for 19 years. However, as a jockey Llewellyn rode 995 winners and won the Grand National twice, on Party Politics in 1992 and Earth Summit in 1988.

Trained in Lambourn by Nick Gaselee, Party Politics was a huge horse, standing 18.1 hands high, and had been ridden for most of his career by Andrew Adams. However, Adams had broken his wrist in a fall at Doncaster, so Party Politics was a chance ride for Llewellyn, who was just starting to make a name for himself after riding his second winner at the Cheltenham Festival the previous month. In the race itself, Party Politics was always prominent and, having take the lead from Romany King at the fourth last fence, ran on well under pressure on the run-in to beat that rallying rival by 2½ lengths. The eight-year-old proved a topical winner, too, his victory coming just two week before the General Election that year.

Earth Summit, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, was another chance ride for Llewellyn after regular partner Tom Jenks – who’d ridden him to victory in the Welsh National the previous December – broke his leg. Blessed with an abundance of stamina, the ten-year-old was in his element on the soft going. Having survived a mistake at the nineteenth fence, Llewellyn took up the running on Earth Summit at the fifth last and, along with Suny Bay, pulled clear of the remaining runners. It wasn’t until the final fence that Earth Summit took command but, as the 23lb weight concession took its toll on Suny Bay, he was ridden out to win by 11 lengths.

Reflecting on his two National victories, Llewellyn later said, “The first time I won it, I didn’t take it all in and it was a bit of a blur and I couldn’t really believe it had happened. I enjoyed the second win as I felt as confident as you can be with the ground and the horse.”