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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By HRI Foreign Staff — Often we see a lot of praise going to winning horses and winning jockeys, but not often enough we see headlines of the winning trainers.

We see this more so with novice horse racing audiences that simply just bet on big races like the Grand National, as they enjoy the hype around it.

If you consider yourself a bit of a novice when it comes to horse racing and you want to delve further into the sport, knowing who the best horses, races and trainers are, then this article will help you.

We take a look at the most successful Grand National trainers, ones you should keep your eyes peeled for. These trainers can certainly affect the horse racing odds.

Fred Rimell

Fred Rimell is actually joint top of the Grand National charts for most successful horse trainers, having won the race a total of 4 times. What is even more impressive for Fred Rimell, which no one else can say, is that he has won the race 4 times with 4 different horses. His 4 race successes came in 1956, 1961, 1970 and 1976.

ESB snatched the victory in 1956 after Devon Loch collapsed during the race. It was Nicolaus Silver who became the second grey to win the National in the whole of its history. This was a great achievement in horse racing. The third National success for Fred Rimell was from Gay Trip in 1970.

However, arguably the most important came in the 4th Grand National victory. Rag Trade managed to beat the infamous Red Rum to land the fourth National win for Rimell, a joint record which he still holds to this day. However, you could argue this is more impressive as it was done with 4 different horses.

Ginger McCain

One of the biggest names in the Grand National, in terms of trainers, is Ginger McCain. He is the trainer that is joint top with Fred Rimell with 4 Grand National victories, an astonishing achievement.

Ginger McCain, whose real name is actually Donald, purchased one of the most famous Grand National horses, Red Rum. He paid 6000 Guineas at an auction back in 1972.

At first it seemed a big risk as the horse was suffering from a bone disease when purchased. This horse raced brilliantly in a number of Grand Nationals, giving Ginger McCain his first win in the national. Red Rum also won it the year after and then after that, came second 2 years in a row. 

This horse was a risk that certainly paid off for Ginger McCain. His 4th victory however, came with a different horse, Amberleigh House in 2004. Not long after ,he retired as a trainer.

Vincent O’Brien

Despite not being the most successful trainer in the grand national, research does suggest that Vincent O’Brien is one of the best and most appreciated trainers in the sport. Vincent has had a lot of success in the sport, having trained winning horses in a range of very important and popular races around Europe.

Vincent won his first ever Grand National in 1953, with Early Mist, who bookies had labeled at 20/1. The year after, Vincent won it again, with a different horse, called Royal Tan. The third and final victory for Vincent was then completed in 1955, with Quare Times being the winning horse on that occasion.

Winners That Didn’t Make It Into Our Top 3

Our top 3 consists of Vincent O’Brien, Ginger McCain and Fred Rimell. However, there were more Grand National greats who managed to win on more than one occasion. In fact, trainers such as Tim Forster and Neville Crump won the National 3 times, just like Vincent.

Nevile won one of the races with his horse valued at 50/1 odds and the same goes for Tim. That’s part of the magic with the Grand National, despite there being favorites, nothing is guaranteed and often, a long-shot could do really well in the race.

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