The Aldaniti Grand National story

copyright Pixabay

This year’s Grand National marks the 40th anniversary of one of the greatest sporting stories, Aldaniti and Bob Champion winning the famous race.

When they lined up at Aintree in 1981 for the world‐famous race, Aldaniti and his jockey Bob Champion had overcome incredible odds just to be there.

Bob had beaten cancer and his big‐race mount had recovered from a leg injury so severe the vets thought his racing days were finished.

Together they conquered the fearsome fences for the most emotional victory any racecourse is ever likely to see. It was so remarkable a film was made of their triumph over adversity.

When Bob was diagnosed with cancer, the one thing that got him through the debilitating treatment was the thought of riding Aldaniti in the Grand National.

The pair had finished third in the 1979 Cheltenham Gold Cup and trainer Josh Gifford had assured Bob the ride on Aldaniti, as well as the job as stable jockey, remained his…

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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