Which horse made eight appearances in the Grand National?

The revered Red Rum, of course, made five appearances in Grand National, winning in 1973, 1974 and 1977 and finishing second in 1975 and 1976. However, much earlier in the annals of the Grand National – in fact, in the decades around the turn of the twentieth century – Manifesto made eight appearances in the space of ten years.

Bred and originally owned by Irish solicitor Harry Dyas – who also rode him, albeit no further than the first fence, in the 1896 renewal of the National – Manifesto won twice, in 1897 and 1899, and finished in the first four on another four occasions, including on his debut, as a seven-year-old, in 1895. His second victory, in 1899 – by which time he had been sold to stockbroker John Bulteel and transferred to trainer Willie Moore – was notable for the fact that he carried 12st 7lb. So, too, was his highly creditable third, under an eye-watering 12st 13lb, behind Ambush II in 1900. Manifesto made his final appearance in the National, as a sixteen-year-old, in 1904, finishing eighth and last.

In which year was the Grand National first televised?

The Grand National was first broadcast on radio, by the BBC, in 1927, but was not televised until 1960. That year, the 114th renewal of the famous steeplechase was broadcast live as part of the ‘Grandstand’ sports programme, anchored by David Coleman. Commentary on the Grand National was provided by Peter O’Sullevan,

Clive Graham and Peter Bromley and the race was won by the favourite, Merryman II, trained by and ridden by Gerry Scott, who won by 15 lengths and 12 lengths from Badenloch and Clear Profit. The inaugural broadcast marked the start of a period of 53 years uninterrupted television coverage of the Grand National by the BBC; the final broadcast, in 2012, attracted a peak audience of 10 million, on average, representing an audience share of 59%.

What was the largest field ever assembled for the Grand National?

Nowadays, the safety limit for the Grand National is 40 runners, but the largest field ever assembled was 66 in 1929. A photograph of the start shows the record number of starters stretched out, in one long line, across the entire width of the Aintree track.

The 1929 Grand National was also notable as the first renewal after the filling in of the ditch that had previously preceded the Canal Turn, which had been the site of the biggest pile-up in National history the previous year. Indeed, one of the horses that contributed to the melee, Easter Hero, was sent off clear favourite at 9/2 in 1929, despite carrying the welter burden of 12st 7lb. In any event, Easter Hero finished second, beaten 6 lengths, by Gregalach, who became the second 100/1 winner in the history of the Grand National and, remarkably, the second consecutive 100/1 winner after Tipperary Tim in 1929.

Of the 66 starters, nine horses – including three 200/1 outsiders, Melleray’s Belle, Delarue and Kilbairn – completed the course. There was, however, one casualty; Stort, another 200/1 outsider, nearly unseated rider at the first fence, did so at the third fence, fell, when loose, at the Canal Turn on the first circuit and fell again, fatally, at the twelfth fence.

How many horses with colours in their names have won the Grand National?

Red Rum

Exactly how many horses with colours in their names have won the Grand National depends on whether or not your definition of colour is confined to the visible spectrum or, in other words, the colours of the rainbow. If it is, the answer is three, namely Red Alligator in 1968, Red Rum in 1973, 1974 and 1977 and Red Marauder in 2001. If, on the other hand, your definition of colour includes any distinguishable shade or tone, the answer is nine. Three horses with ‘Silver’ in their names, namely Ascetic’s Silver in 1906, Nicolaus Silver in1961 and Silver Birch in 2007, have all won the Aintree marathon, while the other ‘colourful’ winners were, in chronological order, the legendary Golden Miller in 1934, Nickel Coin in 1951 and Royal Tan in 1954.

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