Red Rum: The Life of a Grand National Winner

Red Rum
It's a race that captures the attention of the world. 

The Grand National 2018 - April 14th, 2018, 5:15pm. The greatest National Hunt Steeplechase. 

Four and a half miles. Thirty jumps. Two circuits of blood, sweat, tears, sometimes sadness and joy. 

The history of this race details the ultimate three-time winner Red Rum who triumphed over adversity. His trainer, Ginger McCain, nurtured his favourite horse to prove that with love, care, hope and joy anything is possible. 

From galloping at Southport beach to winning the Grand National

Victorious in 1973, 1974 & 1977. 

Over the years, the Grand National has been a medium for many remarkable stories.

Here is a brief biography of the horse synonymous with the Grand National.

Red Rum

A champion thoroughbred steeplechaser. Grand National winner 1973, 1974 & 1977. Scottish Grand National victory in 1974. 

Like so many champions, Red Rum came from humble beginnings. 

This Irish-bred bay gelding was sired by Quorum out of a mare called Mared. Foaled 3rd May 1965 at Rosennara Stud in Kells, County Kilkenny. His breeder, Martyn McEnery, gave Red Rum his name (the last three letters of the mare and first three of the sire). 

A horse bred to win over one mile, few would have guessed in those early years, that he would be a champion over four and a half miles. 

Many readers may not realise that Red Rum started his racing career on the Flat. He dead-heated in his first race over 5f at Aintree, which then held Flat racing fixture whereas today it is National Hunt. 

He ran eight times at two. A juvenile winner over 7f at Warwick alongside his victory at Aintree, and Doncaster at three in one of two races that season. 

Did you know? He was twice ridden by Lester Piggott and his stable lad was none other than comedian Lee Mack!

However, for all his early achievements, the best was yet to come when purchased by Ginger McCain for his new owner Noel le Mare for 6000 guineas. Two days later Red Rum was found to be lame. However, this didn't cut short the determination of man nor horse. McCain remembered seeing how sea-water helped rejuvenate old carthorses. This daily gallop helped Red Rum to be fit and ready for the greatest test of his life: The Grand National. 

In many ways, the rest is history. 

In 1973 he made his debut in the National beating the outstanding Australian chaser, Crisp who carried 23 pounds more. In truth, Crisp was one of the most astounding chasers in history. After being 30 lengths clear at the last fence, he tired and Red Rum won in a remarkable race. 

Red Rum retained his title in 1974. A year which saw him win the Scottish Grand National. The only horse to win both National in the same year!

1975 & 1976 saw him finish runner-up.  


The following year, Red Rum, now twelve, won for a remarkable third time. A historic moment never matched. 

While being prepared for his sixth National, he suffered a hairline fracture the day before the big day and retired. 

This equine celebrity didn't let the grass grow under his feet annually leading the Grand National parade. He opened supermarkets, adorned all manner of merchandising. 

Red Rum passed away on 18th October 1995 aged 30. His death made headline news across the world. 

Red Rum was buried at the finishing post of his beloved Aintree. The place of his first and last win. 

A three-time Champion of the Grand National. 

Pro Gambler Favourite Bets


There is one thing all pro gamblers have in common: they want to win money from bookmakers. However, from there many have conflicting ideas of what makes a good bet. See what these three yesteryear to modern-day professional gamblers had to say on this fascinating subject. What bet made them tick? Learn the secrets from the likes of Jack Ramsden, Alex Bird & Harry Findlay.    


MULTIPLE BETS
Jack Ramsden quit his job as a stockbroker in 1980 and made a name for himself as professional punter. His successful punting like so many other professionals was based around speed figures and race times.

Ramsden's advice on each way bets is to ditch them. He states: I analysed my betting a couple of years ago and found that if I had doubled my win stakes instead of having each way bets, I would have been much better off. I think all punters would benefit by cutting out all each-way bets and sticking to singles.

He was unusual in that he used his own bookmaker, Colin Webster. There relationship was indeed unique, Colin paid Ramsden £5,000 a year for his advice and also had the job of getting his bets on with other bookmakers. Another unusual trait of Jack Ramsden wass his liking for the multiple bet. His reasoning was that they are an extension of his policy to go for large prices and he reckoned that on 4 occasions he won over £200,000 on multiple bets.

PHOTOGRAPGH
Alex Bird was the original professional gambler who made a fortune after the war at Britain's racecourses. He learned his trade working for his father who was a bookmaker but soon decided that it would be more profitable to be on the other side. He had many different ways of beating the bookmaker, but probably his most famous was his success on betting on the result of photo finishes. Unlike today photo finishes would take about 5 minutes to develop so there was always an active betting market on the outcome. Bird very early on noticed that when horses crossed the line together an optical illusion meant that the horse on the far side invariably looked like he had won. He also discovered a simple technique which meant the illusion didn't occur. He stood at an elevated vantage point as near to the winning post as possible, he would keep very still, close his left eye and create an imaginary line across the track at the finishing line. He used this simple system for the next 20 years to make himself a fortune. With a reported 500 consecutive successful bets.

Another favoured method he used to make money was to use his influence in the ring to create a false favourite. He often placed huge bets often as much as £50K at a time however he couldn't get these sort of bets laid in the betting ring so he would employ an army of helpers around the country placing bets in off-course bookmakers. If Bird fancied a horse but felt the odds were to short he would place a bet of up to £10K on another horse in the race. He would then ensure that it was "leaked" that he had placed the bet. Prices would then dramatically alter as the "mug" money poured onto his horse. This meant that the price of the horse that he wanted to back heavily and clandestinely off the course would drift out in the market. His army of helpers would then back the horse off course all over the country.

These are Alex Birds Golden Betting Rules:

1. Never bet when there is a change in the going. There is nothing to upset form quite as much as a change in the going.

2. Be aware of the overrounds being offered by bookmakers and don't bet when they are unfair. At some smaller meetings bookmakers will sometimes create a book 40% or 50% in their favour.

3. Be an Each-Way thief. Do this by finding races with 8-10 runners which are not handicaps, and where there are only a few form horses in the race. Then oppose the favourite and combine the second and third favourites in each-way combination bets.

4. Look for up and coming apprentices. A good apprentice with a 7lb claim can be worth his weight in gold!

5. Never bet on the first show, you will find that the majority of runners increase in price. Taking second show prices will increase your winnings by 10% over a season.

6. Never bet in handicaps.

7. Never bet in 3year old maidens, particularly those only for fillies.



Harry Findlay, a flamboyant and highly successful gambler, gives the impression that he can hardly believe his luck in owning a horse as good as Denman, arguably one of the most talented novice chaser in its time. He said: "Denman had got that sort of thing about him, people either want to take him on or they like him, and that's the sort of person I am. There was no middle, grey area with Denman, there's no grey area with me. That's my type of character."

On gambling

"If you look up gambling in the dictionary, it doesn't say 'this means a sure way to make a steady profit over a period of time', it says 'gambling: a form of interest that can either ruin you or make you a fortune', and that's the way it is."

On Horse Race Betting he said: "There's no difference between getting 1-2 about a 1-4 chance and getting 4-1 about a 2-1 chance. People who say 'I won't bet odds-on', they're just idiots. When you want to bet an odds-on shot, you can get on - when you want to bet a big-priced one, you can't."

On why you shouldn't hedge

"When you pick a 20-1 shot to win the Grand National, don't have £200 at 20's and then go and lay £600 at 5-2 and, when it wins, get £2,500. If you believe that 20-1 shot, have £200 at 20's and then go and have another £300 at 14's and then £400 at 10's and then, when it goes off 5-2 or 11-4, don't hedge if you still fancy it."




Profitable Sports Gambling Begins With Discipline

An article I found from Ross Everett a freelance sports writer and respected authority on sports betting odds comparison. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and World Cup betting sites. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.


I get some of my best sports gambling concepts from non-sports gambling books. That’s not really surprising, since there are so few serious works addressing sports handicapping and gambling. Of all the various gambling related disciplines, sports gambling is perhaps the most complex. The paucity of written work on the subject is downright shameful in light of that fact. Since there’s so little specific literature available some of the best theoretical resources available to the serious sports gambler can be found in books written for the serious poker player.


Poker literature is especially applicable to the sports handicapper because both can be very profitable for a knowledgeable, experienced and skillful pro. Poker expert Bob Caro has noted that while there are a number of professional gamblers specializing in poker and sports wagering there’s not a single person who can honestly say they play roulette for a living.

The simple fact is that the house edge in roulette cannot be overcome by any combination of skill, experience and/or discipline. When you win, it is because you get lucky. When you lose, its because you didnt get lucky. To add another Caro concept to the equation, the decisions that the player makes when playing roulette simply dont matter”at least in terms of overcoming the theoretical edge enjoyed by the house. In the long term, it doesnt matter whether you choose red or black, odd or even, or certain numbers. You may get lucky with your choices or you may not, but these decisions do not impact the house edge one iota.

Caro stresses the paramount importance of discipline to a poker player’s long term success and profitability. It’s important to keep in mind that to succeed as a professional gambler that you need to approach a trip to the casino with a diametrically opposite mindset to that of the recreational gambler. A recreational gambler heads to the casino to *avoid* discipline and ‘unwind’. The professional uses discipline to his advantage.

Caro’s emphasis on discipline in poker is also true for the serious sports gambler. The foundation of a professional sports bettor’s long term success is to approach it with the same discipline, rigor and professionalism that he would any other job. If you continue to think about it in the same terms as the recreational gambler does, you’re in for a difficult road. The more seriousness that you bring to your sports betting, the higher the likelihood that you’ll be successful.

There’s nothing wrong with being a recreational sports gambler, or a recreational gambler of any sort. They’re vital to those of us who do this for a living since they’re what keeps casinos and sportsbooks in business. Ultimately, the best handicapping is pointless without a sportsbook to take the action.

If your goal is to bet recreationally, that’s great. Unless you have the dedication, desire and discipline to approach it at a profession a recreational approach to gambling is ultimately better for most people. You might benefit from some greater money management discipline, but at the end of the day as long as you don’t bet more than you can afford to lose it’s really no big deal.

Tips on making a profitable career from horse race betting

Win At The Races
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could follow your passion of only watching horses race and placing bets? After all, doing what you love is one of the secrets to a happy life.

Contrary to what most non-gamblers think, betting on horses is hard work. There’s the strain of the constant emotional ups and downs of victories and losses. There’s the nerve-wracking decision making process of which horse to back and how much to place on a bet, and much more. But what are the chances of turning this into a full-time job that’ll finance your mortgage and send your kids to college? With races such as the Kentucky Derby, and the 2017 Breeders Cup coming up perhaps you're tempted to try and follow suit.
Well the short and brutal answer is your chances are very low. Why? Because horses like people are very unpredictable and the likelihood of you winning as many bets as you need to remain financially stable is dependent far too much on the mercies of Lady Luck.
The most successful bettors and handicappers all support their passion for the races with a day job that pays the bills and provides them something to fall back on when things aren’t going too well on the track.


But there’s still hope

While I did say the chances of being a fulltime bettor were low, I didn’t say they were non-existent. If you insist on following your dream, below are just some of the things it would take to make a steady and dependable living from playing the races.
  • Finances
Well you can’t be a gambling man or woman if you don’t have the bankroll to finance your passion. The key to successfully gambling and not falling into debt is ensuring what you put into bets never exceeds what you currently have. But if you keep putting money into the races without winning, you’ll eventually be left penniless. Plenty pro gamblers often don’t earn profits of greater than 10% of what they’ve invested in races. Will that be enough to sustain you especially after you factor in your general life expenses?
  • Solid Handicapping
Handicapping is important because it points you in the direction of horses that are more likely to win. You could pay for handicapping services from a pro to help you place better bets, just make sure it’s giving you winning horses
  • Confidence and self-discipline
It’s very important you don’t let your emotions get the best of you while you are at the track. If you have a plan, stick with it and avoid being lured into playing with your prime bankroll at a race you have no genuine certainty on.
  • Money Management
There really isn’t one perfect way to manage your finances if you opt for gambling as your chosen line of profession, but you could try out the Kelly Criterion. This involves optimizing wager size on the perceived edge on a race based on fair odds assigned to your pick against the track odds.
Other management options you could pursue are the Percentage of Bankroll, and Fixed Wager Size.
  • Learn from your mistakes
There are rules to winning when betting but none of the rules are set in stone. If you try something today and it works, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work again tomorrow. So be prepared to be constantly learning and avoid making the same mistakes twice. This will save you from less regret and keep you ahead.
  • Hedging
If you are good at trifectas and exactas then hedging bets with a win bet can help you break even when other bets don’t work out like you expected.
  • Varying Exotic Wagers
Vary the amount staked in exotics depending on your expected payoffs. By doing this, you’ll be hedging your wagers for in case the favourites come in and make room for a reduced but profitable wager on longer shots.


Conclusion


Keep in mind that every successful gambler has their own winning formula which they update from time to time. If you have your own way of betting that works out perfectly for you and you are disciplined and smart with your money, I suppose you could head over to the Kentucky Derby and many more races to make a living. But just to be safe, don’t get too excited and quit your day job just yet.