What would *you* pick as the greatest finish?

16 08 2007

Red Rum at Castle Park, Bristol 1980, originally uploaded by Floyd Nello.

The online betting shop Blue Square has picked Red Rum’s 1973 Grand National win as #6 in their top ten list of the greatest sporting finishes:

The 1973 Grand National is probably the most replayed horse race in television history. Few who tuned in on the last Saturday in March will ever forget the race – it was pure sporting drama, played out over four and a half miles, over thirty formidable fences. Top class chaser Crisp carried top weight in the 1973 Grand National, and his bold jumping, front-running style ensured the ex-Australian star was well clear of his field for most of the race leading horse betting punters who had backed him thinking they had made a wise sport bet. Legendary race commentator Peter O’Sullevan took up the microphone as the leaders turned for home…

“Crisp is still well clear in the 1973 Grand National and this great Australian chaser Crisp with twelve stone on his back and ten stone five on the back of Red Rum, who’s chasing him and they look to have it absolutely to themselves. At the second last… Crisp is over. And clear of Red Rum who’s jumping it a long way back. In third is Spanish Steps then Hurricane Rock and Rouge Autumn and L’Escargot. But coming to the final fence in the National now… and it’s Crisp still going in great style. He jumps it well, Red Rum is about fifteen lengths behind him as he jumps it. Crisp is coming to the elbow he’s got two hundred and fifty yards to run.” Then, suddenly things changed…

“Crisp is just wandering off the true line now. He’s beginning to lose concentration. He’s been out there on his own for so long. And Red Rum is making ground on him. They have a furlong to run now, two hundred yards now for Crisp, and Red Rum is still closing on him, and Crisp is getting very tired, and Red Rum is pounding after him and Red Rum is the one who finishes the strongest. He’s going to get up! Red Rum is going to win the National! At the line Red Rum has just snatched it from Crisp! And Red Rum is the winner!

The race was run in a time 19 seconds faster than the previous record set by the immortal Golden Miller some fifty years earlier and proved that on the day both Red Rum and Crisp put up truly exceptional performances.

Well, you know me; this always has me weeping like a willow. What’s your pick?

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2 responses

18 11 2007
Jacob

The 1973 Grand national ranks up there, for sure.
Profitable Punting techniques are always good to know. But in such cases as the 1973 race.. I don’t think any formula could have prepared you.

26 11 2007
Steve Harrison

Just read your comments about Crisp and Red Rum. I remember it as if it were yesterday and can still hear Sir Peter’s commentary; very emotional, I still expect Crisp to win the race every time I watch it (which admittedly hasn’t been for a while.)

My favourite races? Apart from the ’73 National it would have to be (amongst others) Grundy/Bustino in the ’75 King George and Dawn Run’s Gold Cup (mainly because I loved Wayward Lad). Desert Orchid in the ’89 Victor Chandler Chase is another that instantly springs to mind. Fantastic memories.

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