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Ginger McCain

Donald McCain (born 21 September 1930[1] in Southport, Lancashire), better known as Ginger, is a former National Hunt trainer, based in Cholmondley, Cheshire, perhaps best known for training the legendary horse, Red Rum.


Red Rum

When McCain bought Red Rum, he was working as a used car salesman in Southport. He applied for a training permit in 1953 and began training horses in 1962, using small stables behind the showroom. He bought a horse for 6000 guineas[2], which later turned out to be suffering from a bone debilitating disease. This horse turned out to be Red Rum.

Grand National

McCain trained the winner of the Grand National four times, thrice with Red Rum and once with Amberleigh House. Perhaps what is even more remarkable is that two of the victories were almost 30 years apart. Fred Rimell is the only other person to have trained four winners of the race.


  • 1973 Red Rum
  • 1974 Red Rum
  • 1977 Red Rum
  • 2004 Amberleigh House

In his final Grand National in 2006, McCain entered three horses; Inca Trail, who ran well for a long way until running out of stamina two fences from home and finishing in 8th place, Ebony Light (fell) and Amberleigh House (pulled up).


In 2005 McCain was involved in a sexism row after stating in an interview that he thought a woman jockey could never win the Grand National [3]. This angered Carrie Ford, the only female rider in that year's race. McCain retaliated by saying that he would allow people to kick his bare buttocks if Ford won the national.[4] This did not happen. However, Ford beat McCain's runner, Amberleigh House, who finished tenth.


Ginger McCain retired after the 2006 Grand National, handing over control of the stable to his son, also called Donald.


  • McCain married Beryl in March 1961, and has two children; Joanne and Donald. Both Ginger and Beryl enjoy the hospitality at the Midlands Grand National[5]
  • While working as a taxi driver, McCain once drove Frank Sinatra around in search of a hairbrush[5]


  1. Aintree enjoys Ginger tonic BBC Sport, 3 April 2004
  2. icSouthport
  3. McCain dismisses Ford Aintree bid BBC Sport, 23 March 2005
  4. Q&A: Ginger McCain BBC Sport, 5 April 2006
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ginger McCain: Mr Aintree The Independent, 8 April 2006

External links


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