Tribute to trainer Ginger McCain
Tribute to trainer Ginger McCain

Click above to watch a tribute to Ginger McCain

(Image : The Sun - Footage : Birmingham Post)

Donald “Ginger” McCain

21 September 1930 - 19 September 2011

Ginger McCain, the legendary trainer of Red Rum, died in the early hours of Monday morning at his home in Cholmondeley in Cheshire, following a short illness. He was 80.

McCain trained Red Rum to win the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977, and also won the race with Amberleigh House in 2004, when his son Donald Jnr was assistant. Ginger handed over the licence to his son in 2006 and was on hand to witness the McCain name going down on the Grand National roll call again when Ballabriggs (Presenting) won the Aintree showpiece this year. He is survived by his wife Beryl, his son Donald Jnr and his daughter Joanne.

McCain’s feat in training Red Rum to run in five consecutive Grand Nationals, being never out of the first two, was all the more remarkable because not only was he at the time a car dealer and taxi driver to help pay for his training, but also Red Rum had very poor feet. It was this reason that he trained the horse on the beach and kept walking through the salt water that helped to keep the horse sound. Red Rum also won the Scottish Grand National a week after his second victory at Aintree. McCain, as a man, was larger than life, often controversal and rarely politically correct, but he had great charm, a very large heart, a passion for the Grand National and traditional steeplechasing and not least a formidable brain and had a quality of showmanship that was important in preserving the Grand National. He once remarked that Red Rum had made more money since he retired than he had on the racecourse, which was typical of the shrewdness which was often hidden by his bluff appearance.

Extract from European Bloodstock News