How many horses with colours in their names have won the Grand National?
The Grand National may be less of a lottery than was once the case, but many once-a-year punters still rely on horses with significant or topical names, rather than the formbook, in their search for a winner. In many parts of the world, colours such as gold, silver and red are commonly associated with good fortune, wealth and prosperity, so it is no surprise that many racehorses have one or other of these colours in their names. As far as the Grand National is concerned, in 173 runnings so far, a total of 10 colourfully-named horses have graced the hallowed winners’ enclosure at Aintree.
‘Red’ has been far and away the most successful colour, with five winners, including the most successful National horse of all time, Red Rum, in 1973, 1974 and 1977. The other ‘Red’ winners were Red Alligator in 1968 and Red Marauder in 2001. ‘Silver’ is next best with three winners, namely Ascetic’s Silver in 1906, Nicolaus Silver in 1961 and Silver Birch in 2007. ‘Gold’ makes just one appearance on the roll of honour, but the 1934 winner Golden Miller remains the only horse in history to have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in the same season. Interestingly, the only Grand National winner with a colour other than red, silver or gold in its name was Royal Tan who, in 1954, was the second of three consecutive winners for Vincent O’Brien.