Dancing Brave Defeated in Derby 1986

Dancing Brave Defeated in Derby 1986 The 80s gambling and sportings scene seems like another world now, light years away from online entertainment like https://www.bestusaonlinecasinos.com. Having won the Craven Stakes and the 2,000 Guineas with a minimum of fuss, despite stamina doubts over a mile-and-a-half, Dancing Brave was sent off well-backed 2/1 favourite for the Derby at Epsom in 1986. In the early stages, off a steady gallop, Dancing Brave was settled towards the rear of the 16-runner field by jockey Greville Starkey.

Approaching halfway, on the downhill run into Tattenham Corner, he was angled towards the outside and ridden along but, turning into the straight, Dancing Brave still only had two horses behind him. As the pace finally quickened, approaching the three-furlong marker, Dancing Brave started to make progress on the extreme outside. He continued to pick off rivals all the way up the straight, but inside the final furlong it soon became that the ‘bird’ – in the shape of second favourite, Shahrastani, who had struck for home under Walter Swinburn a furlong-and-a-half from home and wasn’t stopping – had flown.

Despite making up ground hand-over-fist in the closing stages, Dancing Brave had been set an insurmountable task and was still half a length behind at the line.Starkey had made the mistake – as later borne out by sectional timing – of lying too far out of his ground in a steadily-run race. He was widely pilloried for the defeat, which dogged him until the end of his career, so much so that, eventually, he refused to talk about the episode. Such a gesture seems rather tame in the context of today’s world. Nowadays we’d be too distracted with casinos online or angry tweets!

Jenny Pitman Wins Grand National 1983

Jenny Pitman Wins Grand National 1983 Still hailed as ‘First Lady of Aintree’, Jenny Pitman will always be remembered as the first woman to train the winner of the Grand National. She did so in 1983 with the eight-year-old Corbiere, owned by Bryan Burrough and ridden by Ben de Haan, who repelled the fast-finishing Greasepaint to win by three-quarters of a length.

A bright chestnut with a big white blaze, Corbiere, or ‘Corky’ as he was known at home, was apparently name after La Corbière Lighthouse on the island of Jersey. Although still in his first season over fences, Corbiere had demonstrated his Aintree credentials when winning the Coral Welsh National, over 3 miles 6 furlongs on soft going, at Chepstow the previous December. Consequently, despite shouldering st 4lb, he was sent off 13/1 fifth favourite, behind Grittar, Bonum Omen, Spartan Missile and Peaty Sandy, for his first attempt at the Grand National.

Once underway, Corbiere raced prominently throughout, jumping impeccably, and took the lead at the twenty-third fence, or ‘Foinavon’, as it is now known. He led again at the third-last fence and turning for home was one four horses still in serious contention. He jumped the final fence with a three-length lead over his nearest pursuer, Greasepaint, but in the end was all out to hold his rallying rival. Winning jockey Ben de Haan later said, ‘I knew there was another horse closing on the run-in, but I wasn’t worried; Corky picked up in the last couple of strides.’

Shergar Wins Derby 1981

Shergar Wins Derby 1981 Sadly, the racing career of Shergar will forever be overshadowed by events on the night of February 8, 1983, when the horse was kidnapped, at gunpoint, from the Ballymany Stud in Co. Kildare, Ireland and never seen again. Nevertheless, whatever his ultimate fate, it should not be forgotten that his winning margin of ten lengths – which could have been larger, had jockey Walter Swinburn eased down inside the final furlong – in the 1981 Derby remains a record for the Epsom Classic.

Indeed, so far clear was he that John Matthias, jockey of the remote second, Glint Of Gold, thought he had won the race.

Having won the Sandown Classic Trial, over a mile-and-a-quarter, and the Chester Vase, over a mile-and-a-half, by ten lengths and twelve lengths, respectively, Shergar arrived at Epsom with, far and away, the best form of any horse in the Derby field. Unsurprising, he was sent off odds-on favourite, at 10/11, and what followed was later described by Timeform as ‘arguably the most one-sided Derby of modern times’. Rounding Tattenham Corner, the sweeping, downhill turn into the straight at Epsom, fully half-a-mile from the winning post, it became clear that Shergar would win, and win easily. He took a two-length lead with three furlongs to run and went further and further clear, leading commentator to exclaim, ‘The Derby is a procession!’ and ‘You need a telescope to see the rest!’

Watch Shergar’s 1981 Derby Win

Red Rum Wins Third Grand National 1977

Red Rum Wins Third Grand National 1977 Famously trained by the late Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain on the sands of Southport Beach on Merseyside, northwest England, Red Rum won the Grand National for the first time in 1973. On that occasion, ridden by Brian Fletcher, Red Rum overhauled long-time leader, Crisp, who had been thirty lengths clear at one stage, in the dying strides to win by three-quarters of a length in a course record time of 9 minutes and 1.9 seconds.

Red Rum and Fletcher returned to Aintree for another crack at the celebrated steeplechase in 1974 and duly won again. Despite the welter burden of twelve stone, Red Rum came home seven lengths ahead of his nearest rival, L’Escargot. In so doing, he became the first horse since Reynoldstown, in 1936, to record back-to-back wins in the Grand National and – notwithstanding subsequent reductions in the maximum weight carried – remains the only horse since World War II to carry such a weight to victory. Red Rum finished second in the 1975 and 1976 renewals of the Grand National, in 1975 under Brian Fletcher and in 1976 under Tommy Stack, who replaced Fletcher after the latter made disparaging comments to the press about Red Rum and was informed by McCain that he would not be riding the horse again.

Stack was once again aboard Red Rum when he lined up, as a twelve-year-old, for the 1977 Grand National. Generally regarded as past his prime, Red Rum was, nonetheless, saddled with top-weight once again, albeit just eleven stone and eight pounds, and was sent off joint-second favourite at 9/1. He took the lead at the twenty-second fence, Becher’s Brook on the second circuit, following the departure of favourite Andy Pandy, and stormed home to his unprecedented third win in the race, twenty-five lengths clear of his nearest rival.

Watch Red Rum win the 1977 Grand National