Sad farewell to Ginger

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With the Ladbrokes St. Leger Festival now firmly behind us for another year here at Doncaster Racecourse, the break from fixtures has given me the opportunity to keep a closer eye on what’s happening elsewhere in the racing world.

We started the new week on a sad note with news of the death of Aintree legend Donald “Ginger” McCain just days from his 81st birthday. The word “legend” is used all too often these days but with Ginger there can be no other word to describe the four-time Grand National winner and Red Rum trainer.

Famous for his victories in the great race in 1973, 1974 and 1977 with Red Rum, Ginger took the glory at Aintree again in 2004 when his Amberleigh House came with a late run under Graham Lee to win.

The 2012 National won’t be the same without him, but he has passed on his training abilities to his son Donald who has already tasted Aintree success with Ballabriggs in last year’s race.

On a more positive note, the weekend saw some great racing action. Saturday’s big race was the Ayr Gold Cup which saw Our Jonathan, ridden by Franny Norton, bolt home ahead of his 25 rivals much to the delight of owner Dr Marwan Koukash, a great supporter of racing, and trainer Kevin Ryan. Ryan is experiencing a fantastic year so far with over 100 wins under his belt. Eton Rifles was the punters’ pick for this £74,000 dash but finished second, two lengths adrift of Our Jonathan

Off the track we’re gearing up for some spine-tingling family fun as the popular Spooky Firework Spectacular makes a welcome return on 29 October. Revellers will enjoy family entertainment and live music from some X-Factor favourites. It promises to be a great evening out to be enjoyed by big and little ghouls alike!

For more information about Doncaster Racecourse or to book tickets go to or call 01302 304200.