A gold and black horse rug emblazoned ‘Red Rum Grand National Winner 1974′ that originated from the sale of a collection amassed by a former stable boy at Ginger McCain’s yard is set to come under the hammer at a Specialist Collectors’ Auction in Wolverhampton next week.
While there is some uncertainty as to whether the lightweight linen rug was lettered quickly with the great horse’s name after the race before being thrown over him in the winners’ enclosure – or it was produced later for use at his numerous publicity appearances – it remains a fascinating lot given its links to one of horseracing’s most enduring legends.
Foaled in 1965, the bay gelding’s record of three Grand National wins – in 1973, 1974 and 1977 – has never been matched, and he is still lauded as one of the greatest racehorses in history.
Until his death at the age of 30 in 1995, Red Rum was regularly paraded at racecourses up and down the country – including the site of his most famous victories, Aintree. The horse was trained on Southport beach by the late Ginger McCain, and the rug in question was originally sold in 1986 by a former stable boy at McCain’s yard before he emigrated to America.
Tom Waldron of Cuttlestones’ Auctioneers & Valuers, which is selling the rug, says: “Red Rum holds a very special place in the nation’s heart – even those who don’t follow racing know of his legacy.
“Whilst we cannot say for definite that this was worn by the famous horse at one of his most celebrated victories, the evidence suggests it may well have been and, for this reason, we expect this lot to generate interest from outside the traditional horseracing and sporting memorabilia collectors’ communities.
“In terms of what it could fetch the sky could be the limit – there will be a lot of people keen to own this piece of British sporting history.”
Carrying a guide price of £200-400, the rug will sell at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Auction Rooms on Friday, 11th October 2013. Viewing will take place the day prior to and on the morning of the sale and, for those unable to attend on the day, live online, telephone and commission bidding options are available. For further information call 01902 421985 or www.cuttlestones.co.uk