The Longest Tennis Match in History (VIDEO)

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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. Of course more recently in 2021 another woman, Rachael Blackmore, confounded the latest Racing Odds by becoming the first female jockey ever to win the Grand National.

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.’

1983 Grand National (VIDEO)

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First Televised Nine-dart Finish

First Televised Nine-dart Finish Nowadays, the perfect, nine-dart finish is far more commonplace than was once the case but, even so, a televised nine-dart finish remains a rarity. In 2019, for example, a total of 47 players hit a nine-dart finish in Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) events, but just one them – Michael van Gerwen, during his second round win over Adrian Lewis in the Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals – did so in a televised event.

The first televised nine-dart finish was achieved on October 13, 1984 – long before the formation of the PDC, as the World Darts Council (WDC), in January, 1992 – during the MFI World Matchplay at the Fulcrum Centre, Slough. In a quarter-final match between John Lowe and Keith Deller, both former British Darts Organisation (BDO) world champions, Lowe hit six trebles in as many darts, followed by treble 17, treble 18 and double 18, to collect a record prize of £102,000. Lowe won the quarter-final 3-1 and went on to win the whole tournament, beating Cliff Lazarenko 5-3 in the final, for which he received a further £12,000.

Click to watch John Lowe’s televised nine dart finish