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Aintree legend Ginger McCain dies aged 80

BRITISH racing has lost one of its biggest names with the death on Monday morning of training legend Ginger McCain at the age of 80.

McCain died at around 2.45am at his home in Cholmondeley in Cheshire, following a short-illness. His family was at his bedside.

McCain saddled Red Rum to win the Grand National three times, in 1973, 1974 and 1977, before winning the world's greatest steeplechase for a fourth time with Amberleigh House in 2004.

He retired from training after saddling three runners in the 2006 Grand National, handing over to son Donald, who was successful with Ballabriggs in this year's race.

The sad news comes just two days before McCain's 81st birthday on Wednesday. As well as Donald jnr,McCain is survived by wife Beryl and daughter Joanne.

His son Donald said on Monday: "My dad passed away this morning and the family was with him.

"I would like to think he is a legend, and although it has just happened, I have been ringing round a few people and everyone has been fantastic, they only have good things to say about him.

"My mother Beryl and sister Joanne are okay although we are all a little raw at the moment. It wasn't unexpected. He hasn't been well for a week or so and while that hasn't made it easier to deal with, we were sort of prepared.

"He has been a massive help to me and we couldn't do what we are doing now without him. He's never questioned any improvements we wanted to make, we've got on and done it, and he's thoroughly enjoyed the way things are going. As a family we have only wanted to be around nice horses, and I like to think he's been absolutely over the moon with the way things have been going.

"If I can do half as much with my life as he fitted into his I won't have done too bad. He certainly had a very full life, a very enjoyable life and a very exciting one.

"The whole business has been built up by my dad, and I wouldn't be where I am without him so it would be great if I could keep the place going."

McCain said there would be a small family funeral followed at a later date by a memorial service.

He added: "Ilearned so much from my dad about Grand National horses and training, but the biggest thing he taught me was that if you are good, straight and honest you'll never come to too much harm."

A statement from Beryl McCain on Monday read: "Donald, Ginger as we all knew him, passed away peacefully in his sleep after a short illness this morning - he would have been 81 on Wednesday.

"There will be a private family funeral followed by a later memorial service, for which there will be more information in the coming weeks.

"Joanne, Donald jnr and I appreciate all the kindness we are being shown and, at this difficult time, would appreciate it if we were afforded some privacy."

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Michael Jarvis just died apparantly aswell... 2 in 2 days for Horse Racing.

Did they get shot in the face after breaking their legs?

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