ANNE HOLLAND    Book Number: 89171    Product format: Hardback

The Grand National is one of the most famous horse races and an outstanding sporting event which challenges men, women and diverse thoroughbred horses every year. The race was a spectacle, from the 1839 debut race at Aintree where attendees rode to the event in carriages and carts or on foot or by horseback, to now, when a global television audience of 600 million viewers in 140 countries cheer and commiserate over the results of the race. This brilliant history charts the adaptations to the beloved race, how the famous fences have been made safer by making the solid inner core more flexible and reducing the drop at Becher's. It also charts how times have changed, including the days of a victor being 12 stone 7 pounds with now only a maximum top weight of 11 stone 10 pounds. The last horse carrying 12 stone was the iconic Red Rum. Anne Holland is an excellent guide through this history, previously a successful point-to-point rider and one of the first to compete and win under National Hunt rules once the law changed, and she has authored many books on horse racing. The chapters are in chronological order, exploring the history of the event through the lives of jockeys, trainers and horses, from Cloister's largest winning margin during the event at 1893 and Bruce Hobb's title as the youngest winning rider in 1938, to Charlotte Brew's title as the first woman to ride in 1977, the bomb scare National in 1997 and Tiger Roll's consecutive wins in 2018 and 2019. Learn how the horse, Reynoldstown was the most famous dual winner in the 20th century and the second win was down to good luck as Golden Miller fell at the start, Avenger broke his neck at the next fence and Davy Jones struggled with the reins. Discover how Jenny Pitman, the first winning woman trainer with Corbiere in 1983, nearly gave up horses to work in a shoe shop as she was unable to make a living after her marriage with jockey Richard Pitman broke up. Marvel at the extraordinary 100-1 winners, from Tipperary Tim in 1928 who beat Billy Barton who fell at the last fence and Caughoo whose jockey, Eddie Dempsey, arrived at the course not only unfamiliar with the huge fences but also unfamiliar with England. The horses and their companions are not only chronicled but also shown in technicolour detail. The book includes action shots of Grand Nationals across the years such as Neptune Collonges who was only the third grey to win in the first 180 years of the race (beating Sunnyhillboy by a nose), 100-1 winners including Foinavon in 1967. Illus of the Grand National also add more to the history, for example, Holland shares an early map of the course at Aintree as well as drawings of Lottery, the winner of the first Grand National in 1839 and the dual grey winner, The Lamb, jumping over two loose horses on his way to victory in 1871. Colour and b/w images, 306pp.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £7.00

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ISBN 9781474611985
Browse this category: Sport

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