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Top 5 Grand National winners of all time

A statue of three-time Grand National winner Red Rum at Aintree racecourse

Many legendary horses have won the Aintree Grand National and ranking them is very difficult – but we have picked out our top five heroes of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

1) Red Rum

How can you possibly not have the three-time Grand National winner at the top of the list?

Red Rum is quite simply the most revered horse in British racing history for what he achieved on the track, rivalled only for fame – or notoriety, if you prefer – by the kidnapped Derby winner Shergar.

Trained on the Southport beach by Ginger McCain, ‘Rummy’ won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977 and was runner-up in the two intervening years. 

Essentially, his victories helped to save the Grand National by raising its profile at a time when the future of Aintree – and the race itself – was in serious doubt.

Red Rum leads the Grand National parade after his retirement 

2) Golden Miller

For sheer quality, you will not get better than this five-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner who completed the big race ‘double’ in 1934 under a weight of 12st 2lbs.

A seven-year-old at the time of his Aintree triumph and at the peak of his powers, Golden Miller had fallen at the Canal Turn the previous year but came back to win the Grand National in a record time.

Golden Miller's statue at Cheltenham racecourse 

3) Reynoldstown

Immediately after Golden Miller came Reynoldstown, who completed an Aintree double in 1935 and 1936 under weights of 11st 4lbs and 12st 2lbs, on the latter occasion ridden by legendary trainer Fulke Walwyn.

Until Red Rum he was the last horse to win more than one Grand National.

4) L’Escargot

Winning both the Gold Cup and the Grand National is notoriously difficult and while Golden Miller was the last to do both in the same year, L‘Escargot is on the roll of honour of both famous races.

Trained by Dan Moore, he won the Gold Cup in 1970 and 1971, then had his attention switched to the Grand National and his record got progressively better – fell (1972), third to Red Rum (1973), second to Red Rum (1974) and winner, gaining revenge on Red Rum (1975).

5) Neptune Collonges

There are numerous candidates for the final position on our list but it feels only fair to include a horse from the modern era, even though the Grand National is not as gruelling a test as it used to be with the fences having been made smaller and softer.

Corbiere, West Tip, Party Politics, Hedgehunter and Comply Or Die all have claims as they ran with credit in more than one Grand National.

Neptune Collonges only contested the race once, in 2012, but under 11st 6lbs he got up close home to beat Sunnyhillboy in the closest ever finish and was immediately retired.

A handicap mark of 157 is very difficult to defy in the Grand National and the fact Paul Nicholls’ grey also finished third and fourth to his brilliant stable companions Denman and Kauto Star during a halcyon period for the Cheltenham Gold Cup means he is worthy of inclusion.

Neptune Collonges

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Top 5 Grand National winners of all time

Many legendary horses have won the Aintree Grand National and ranking them is very difficult – but we have picked out our top five heroes of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

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