Ginger McCain: Grand National Legend

Ginger McCain is one of only two trainers to have achieved four Grand National titles. McCain’s reputation was built largely at the Grand National and specifically on the achievements of the Grand National champion, Red Rum.

It is fitting that Ginger McCain’s first sporting memories are of watching the Grand National at Aintree when he was 10 years old. The young McCain saw little from his position in a barge on the canal, but was impressed by the rush of the horses as they leapt over the high gorse fences.

Ginger McCain, Grand National legend, started riding racehorses at the age of 14, and at the same time played football and race motorcycles. After school McCain took a job as a taxi driver, a job which once required him to drive Frank Sinatra to Blackpool in search of a hairbrush.

Despite the demands of working as a taxi driver, Ginger McCain did not abandon his love for horseracing. He opened a small stable behind a used car dealership and used the beaches of Southport to train his horses.

Ginger McCain was 35 when he got his hands on his first winner, the 14-year-old San Lorenzo. McCain purchased the horse knowing it was regarded as worn-out after having been run too hard and frequently in Ireland. Famously, McCain’s wife threatened to leave him when she saw the horse, but McCain stayed his ground and San Lorenzo went on to win a selling Chase in Liverpool.

Ginger McCain’s moment of destiny came when he first set eyes on Red Rum. The great racehorse had already passed through the hands of a series of trainers and jockeys, and was suffering from peritonitis. McCain took Red Rum out onto the Southport beach for training, and Red Rum recovered almost instantly in the salt water.

Red Rum went on to win for Ginger McCain in three Grand Nationals in the space of five years. Once Red Rum had retired, the Grand National legend had to wait another 27 years before finding another Grand National winner. In 2004 Amberleigh House won the Grand National for McCain.

In 2006 Ginger McCain, Grand National legend, passed on his training business to his son Donald. He remains a controversial commentator on horseracing and is infamous for his outrageous comments and efforts to keep horseracing tough and uncompromising.