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Memorable Grand Nationals

The Grand National is a great British institution where every year the nation is caught up in the once a year opportunity to have a bet on a horse race where anything is possible.

Each year a unique story emerges that captures the imagination of the public. The Grand National has many such stories through the years that have touched the nation.

The team here at 'Free Bet on the Grand National' have delved into the history books and highlighted some of the most memorable Grand National races ever below.

Famous Grand National Races

One of the most famous of these stories was when Aldaniti won the Grand National in 1981.

In 1979, Bob Champion, the jockey of Aldaniti, was informed he had cancer and only months to live, not only that but the horse also was almost retired because of leg trouble.

The events of that year became a film called Champions, starring John Hurt.

Aldaniti died at the age of 27 in March, 1997. Bob Champion recovered from his cancer and went on to raise £3 million for cancer research.

In 1983, Jenny Pitman became the most popular women in the racing game by becoming the first women to train a winner of the Grand National with Corbiere.

Jenny had a second victory in 1995 with Royal Athlete and also trained the winner of the void race in 1993. The black and white television pictures of the 1967 National winner Foinavon remain very much to the fore of our memories of great nationals.

Nearly all the runners fell at the 23rd fence except for Foinavon who managed to scramble over the fence and go on to win the race at the odds of 100/1.

The Aintree executive named the fence in honour of the horse.

The late Captain Tim Forster, who received an OBE in the 1999 New Year's Honours List, saddled three Grand National Winners. His first success came in 1972 with Well to Do.

Forster, not renowned for his optimism declared to run with 15 minutes to spare as he was uncertain whether to risk the horse at Aintree.

Eight years later he won his second national with Ben Nevis.

Forster's final win came with Last Suspect, ridden by Hywel Davies, who only months before had been virtually brought back from the dead by first aid after a crushing racecourse fall.

The great Fred Winter achieved the rare feat of both riding and training a winner with Jay Trump's victory in 1965.

Winter had won the race as a jockey in 1957 on Sundew, in his first year as a Jockey and again the following year, 1966, with Anglo.

The Irish trainer Vincent O'Brien successful with jump and flat horses had great success in the 1950s with three successive Winners of the Grand National - Early Mist (1953), Royal Tan (1954) and Quare Times (1955).