As we approach the 2023 Grand National, here is a look back through the history books at some of the most famous winners of the steeplechase from Aintree. These are the horses who have helped keep the race as one of the most popular around the world.
The undisputed best Grand National winner is Red Rum. He not only prevailed in 1973, 1974 and 1977, a feat which has yet to be matched, but he was runner-up in 1975 and 1976. In each of those runs, he had to carry a huge amount of weight.
Back-to-back winners of the Grand National are rare. Only one horse has managed it since Red Rum. Noble Yeats will attempt to add his name alongside those horses this year. He is one of the leading Grand National 2023 tips. The defending champion is second best in the betting at 8/1 to prevail.
Just before his success at Aintree, the Grand National was in danger of losing some of its appeal. Red Rum helped renew the interest, and he is often described as the horse who saved the race.
Talented chaser Golden Miller dominated the stayers’ chase division in the 1930s. He won the Blue Riband event of the Cheltenham Festival five times. In 1934, he became the first horse to complete the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National double. He remains the only horse in history to have won those two races in the same season.
Golden Miller had to carry 12st 2lb on his back at Aintree, which makes it the best performance of his career. Only one horse since then has carried that much weight to victory in the marathon race in Liverpool.
Irish horse Tiger Roll was successful in the Grand National in 2018 and 2019. He was denied the chance to match Red Rum’s hat trick in 2020 as there was no race at Aintree. The dual winner was very popular with horse racing fans as he achieved so much on the course, not just in this race, but also at the Cheltenham Festival.
One in a million. Enjoy your retirement, Tiger Roll! pic.twitter.com/HN151R7rab
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) March 16, 2022
Unlike most chasers, Tiger Roll was a small horse that enjoyed jumping fences. Despite his size, he had a huge heart, and that showed in the back end of his two Aintree wins when he battled hard to prevail.
Two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner L’Escargot finished third and second in the Grand National before his victory in the race in 1975. Like Red Rum, he was another horse who enjoyed the challenge of the bigger fences at Aintree.
At the back end of his career, L’Escargot ran in the United States. When he retired, he was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame. He was also named the American Champion Steeplechase Horse in 1969.
With so many highly regarded horses set to feature in the 2023 Grand National, it may not be long before another horse joins the above four legends in the history books of this race.