Sunderland's links with Aintree and the Grand National

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Red and white links to the big race

The countdown is on to the biggest horse race in the UK calendar.

The Grand National returns at Aintree on Saturday, April 13.

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Saddle up for a look at some of the links between Sunderland and the race.

Three times winner of the race, Red Rum, drew in the crowds on a VIP visit to Sunderland in 1989.

The horse was in the Market Square and the crowds came to see the legend. Tell us if you were among them.

Red Rum in the Market Square in Sunderland in 1989.Red Rum in the Market Square in Sunderland in 1989.
Red Rum in the Market Square in Sunderland in 1989. | se

Sunderland-based Red Marauder won the 2001 Grand National at odds of 33-1.

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The red and white army at Aintree

The Sunderland Echo was there to capture his homecoming. Owner Norman Mason and jockey Richard Guest were there to join in the celebrations.

Red Marauder's champion return to Wearside after winning the Grand National.Red Marauder's champion return to Wearside after winning the Grand National.
Red Marauder's champion return to Wearside after winning the Grand National. | se

In 2013, Sunderland’s red and white colours were on show at Aintree.

A 66/1 shot called Forpadydeplasterer was in the race.

Trained in Tralee, Ireland, the then 11-year-old was owned by the Goat Racing Syndicate, headed by former part-owner of SAFC Charlie Chawke.

The 20-strong group became famous for their colourful following of their horse, with all of them donning a red and white Sunderland scarf whenever their charge took to the track.

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Our 2013 story on Forpadydeplasterer and his entry in the National.Our 2013 story on Forpadydeplasterer and his entry in the National.
Our 2013 story on Forpadydeplasterer and his entry in the National. | nw

"We were owners of Sunderland at the time we bought him, so that’s why he runs in the red and white, " said Charlie.

"We had three or four very happy years over there. We were very happy and we had a great time."

The horse pulled up at Foinavon on his debut in the National.

But Forpadydeplasterer’s best day came when he won the prestigious Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2009, in red and white.

Odds on for memories

The Echo was hoping to strike lucky in 2015.

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Bookmaker Ladbrokes, in the city’s Holmeside provided the paper with a £50 charity bet.

We hoped that a win would benefit the local charity Brothers in Arms, which supports serving and former armed services personnel.

We placed £25 each way on Rocky Creek - with odds of 10/1 - with a prospect of scooping £250 for the charity.

The horse battled to 17th place on the Aintree course.

Many Clouds won the famous steeplechase, followed by Saint Are, Monbeg Dude and Alvarado.

Tell us if you know of a Wearside link to the famous race by emailing [email protected]

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