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Brian Fletcher -- who guided Red Rum to two Aintree Grand Nationals -- dies aged 69

The English jockey was responsible for one of the all-time great Aintree finishes in 1973.

Fletcher and Red Rum (left) pip Crisp to the post at the 1973 Aintree Grand National.
Fletcher and Red Rum (left) pip Crisp to the post at the 1973 Aintree Grand National.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

THE JOCKEY RESPONSIBLE for one of the most memorable finishes in Aintree Grand National history has died.

Brian Fletcher, who twice rode Red Rum to victory for Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain, is understood to have died yesterday, aged 69.

Fletcher is the only jockey to have ridden three Aintree National winners since the turn of the 20th century after the then 19-year-old piloted Red Alligator to victory in 1968 before winning back-to-back on Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.

It his for his victory in 1973 that Fletcher will be best remembered.

15 lengths behind co-favourite Crisp coming to the last, Fletcher eased Red Rum up the 494-yard run-in as the front-runner began to tire and took the lead two lengths from home to claim the win.

Source: David Bates/YouTube

A falling out with McCain meant it was Tommy Stack who rode the legendary horse to a historic third Aintree triumph in 1977 but Fletcher wasn’t quite done the world’s most famous race and finished third on Eyecatcher in 1976.

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He retired later that year to farm sheep eventually moving to Wales where he lived out his days away from the limelight.

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Steve O'Rourke

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