This is the final share of my article in regards to perchance the most famous race horse of all time, the outstanding Red Rum.
With two Grand National victories beneath his belt, Red Rum was aiming to put himself on the widely known and esteemed race horse map with a third Grand National victory, but would he succeed?
The third of Red Rum’s classic Grand National victories came in 1977, when the now outstanding horse was 12 years old. Ginger McCain had meticulously prepared and trained particularly for this race and Red Rum did not disappoint, putting in another vast performance.
He showed all around that he was in perfective form for this race, and just after second Becher’s he took the lead and continued on to win in style. No horse since has come close to emulating the feat of winning a hat trick of Grand Nationals, which was made more unbelievable giving careful consideration to his well documented foot problems.
In fact, very few would have imagined that Rummy would become the famous race horse that he became due to the severity of his condition, nevertheless his courage saw him get over that obstacle as with great success as he would jump over the barriers at his favourite Aintree course.
Most experts were convinced however, that his enforced unorthodox training grounds on Southport sands (in the absence of proper gallops) helped him win a victory over a condition that had plagued him for the duration of his early years.
To special and significant stress the consistency of this famous race horse consider this;
Red Rum won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977 however, it will have to also be noted that in the 1975 and 1976 Grand Nationals, this splendid horse came second on both occasions. Can you imagine that with a little bit more luck Rummy could’ve had beaten L’Escargot (1975) and Rag Trade (1976), and then we’d be looking the even more spectacular feat of five successive Grand National wins.
Injuries Finally Caught Up With The Great Horse
Red Rum was entered in the Grand National in 1978, and he was working well in the build up to the race. Unfortunately, in an unlucky twist of fate he was declared a non-runner the night before due to lameness. He was later found to have a hairline fracture and would never race again, bringing with regards to his retirement.
It was not a surprise that his withdrawal from the National in 1978 overshadowed all the news. It was a testament to this widely known and esteemed race horse’s enormous public following and though his injury ruled him out of competing, that day the Liverpool crowds were not to be disappointed.
He would make an aspect by leading the pre-race parade, an engagement that would later became an annual event. Red Rum’s retirement was declared by his trainer Ginger McCain on Friday 31 March 1978. During his retirement it seemed that Rummy was still as ordinary as he had been allround his racing career.
During his retirement he made a good deal of public appearances, most memorably walking calmly on stage for the BBC Sports Review of the Year. Red Rum sadly passed away on Wednesday 18 October 1995 aged 30, having enjoyed a long and happy retirement to follow his long, happy and successful racing career.
He was in the end put to sleep having suffered a heart attack, and was fittingly laid to rest in the shadow of the winning post at Aintree, the course he had made his own. Red Rum won a total of 27 races for the duration of his career, amassing over £100,000 in prize cash (which was a record for a jump horse at the time).
Throughout his turbulent career he had a good deal of jockeys, but Tommy Stack who rode him as a five, six and seven year old, and again in his later years (including his final two Grand Nationals) remains his most successful partner.
Many will however, think of Brian Fletcher as his regular jockey. Particularly given the amazing cooperative relationship they formed to win the 1973 and 1974 Grand Nationals and who could forget his introductory victory in the race when beating the outstanding Australian Crisp, in what is still considered by a good deal of to be the greatest ever Grand National.
From Bookmarks MagazineWith clever nods to Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and Tom Wolfe, Faulks combines a sharp eye for detail with an astute understanding of humane nature to create a rich, humane novel of contemporary manners. Though he provides a captivating account of London, the Los Angeles Times mused that, with a few minor changes, the characters could have been the denizens of any major city, so pervasive are the dilemmas they face. Moreover, critics pointed out that a good deal of of Faulks’s characters and subplots are “undercooked” (Washington Post) and the glut of financial detail weighs down the narrative. However, it is a testament to Faulks’s skill that, in spite of these missteps, A Week in December is for the most part a compelling and sympathetic critique of innovative life.
From BooklistIn London, three weeks before Christmas 2007, the lives of various characters intersect and intercut each other. With savage accuracy, the story skewers (and explains) the banking industry and the subprime mortgage crisis while likewise touching on the evils of Islamic fundamentalism, the British school system, reality TV, role-playing computer games, and critics who delight in giving bad book reviews (a reputation perhaps added to make sure good book reviews?). Although the financial explanations are much appreciated, they do slow down the plot, as does the rather stereotypical exploration of why a Scottish-bred Muslim would become a fundamentalist terrorist. As in real life, a conception most of the characters have abandoned, Faulks’ best plotlines are those that implicate relationships amidst people. –Marta Segal Block
“A remarkable creation. . . . Truly moving. . . . richly humane novel [and a] grand portrait of a city.” —The Washington Post
“Ambitious, entertaining, and often scathingly angry.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A Week in December is a formally ambitious, intelligently entertaining, rather provocative novel of contemporary manners.” —Los Angeles Times
“Reflects the tumultuous present with both humor and a scathing sensibility. . . . This, at it is heart, is fiction in regards to folks, and it’s darned compelling.” —The Denver Post
“Vigorous, authentic and often hilarious. . . . Clever and convincing.” —Chicago Tribune
“The extreme urban novel. . . . A blistering social document.” —Seattle Times
“Delightful and witty. . . . A state-of-the-nation book, a satirical comedy of metropolitan literary life, a sweeping, Dickensian look at contemporary London, a severe examination of Islam and the reasons for radicalism amid young Muslims, a thriller, a satire . . . and a elaborated look at the sharp financial exercises that led to the collapse.” —The Guardian (London)
“Precisely what we need to aid us navigate these complex times. Chatrooms, blogs, reality TV: this is the landscape contemporary fiction must populate to stay relevant. Faulks’ does so with mastery.” —GQ
“[Faulks] handles his topics with witty verve.” —The New Yorker
“Guessing the real-life characters who might have inspired those in the novel adds an extra scoop of fun to this bewitching, well-observed snapshot of London life.” —Elle
“If you’re a fan of Charles Dickens, A Week in December reads like a vastly agreeably diverting new version of Our Mutual Friend, with a side order of Bleak House.” —NPR, “What We’re Reading”
“Eminently readable [and] cleverly plotted.” —The Times (London)
“Faulks . . . writes in a style that is always sophisticated and now and again satirical, but he never fails to draw in readers looking for a good story. . . . Deeply creative.” —BookPage
“A riposte to those who say the novel doesn’t deal with huge issues any more.” —The Telegraph (London)
“Well-plotted and gripping throughout.” —The Spectator
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Most helpful client reviews
42 of 49 humans found the following review helpful.
By Bathsheba Robie
This is a outstanding book, well written, poignant, funny. I don’t want to go into the details of the plot too much because it will spoil the book for readers. The characters range from a mixed race tube train operator, whose father abandoned her mother when she was 5, to a multibillionaire hedge fund manager, a second generation Pakistani boy wrestling with his identity and flirting with Islamofascism. Also a pompous negative Oxford educated book reviewer and a failed barrister thrown in for good measure. I am a lawyer and may tell you that the picture of the hedgefund manager and his shenanigans is spot on. Sebastian Faulks also wrote Birdsong, another wondrous book. One of the best books I have read in years and I read A LOT.
9 of 9 humans found the following review helpful.
By Lynne Perednia
Seven days, seven characters, seven lives that closely intersect but don’t rather — this is the way Sebastian Faulks tells his latest story. The main focus is on a cold reputation who manages a hedge fund, one of those shadowy capitalists who live only to make money. As with a great deal of characters of this ilk, he has a terrifi family that he neglects and no clue regarding what has real value in his life.
10 of 12 humans found the following review helpful.
Sharpo and Sophisticated
I have a queer fascination with books that move among multiple points of view, interweaving the characters’ mini-plots into one well-crafted whole. Overall, Sebastian Faulks’s latest novel, A Week in December, with great success does just that. With tongue with resolute determination in cheek, but likewise with a good amount of positive feeling of liking for all of his characters, Faulks gives us a well-rounded but satirical view of contemporary London society: the good, the bad, the ugly, the charming, and the misguided.
Two potentially disaster-creating characters–hedge fund owner John Veals and would-be terrorist Hassan al-Rashid–take center stage, and while their stories are without doubt fascinating, they push the others’ (some of which I found much more interesting) into the background. If the novel has one fault, it may be that there are a few too galore threads in the plot, and, as a result, a heap of characters get shorted. I wanted to know more regarding Jenni Fortune, the book-loving tube conductor who is addicted to an online role-playing game, and her blooming romance with barrister Gabriel Northwood; I wanted to learn more regarding Gabriel’s schizophrenic brother Adam; regarding the senior al-Rashids; when it comes to Spike, the Polish soccer player, and his girlfriend, Olya, who poses for online porn.
The novel also runs the reader through the full aroused gamut. Perhaps the most satisfying moments for me were those that reflect on books, reading, academia, and the world of competitory literary prizes. Faulks is at his satirical best here. As an educator, I was exceptionally amused by a little incident, the book reviewer R. Tantor being hired (undercover, of course) by a school to write remarks on students’ papers, a way of appeasing the parents who complained that the teachers themselves couldn’t even spell. And I was highly amused by Trantor’s observation that engineering science has managed to make ignorance not only worthy of acceptance or satisfactory but an asset. He’s a cranky old bird who gets his comeuppance in the end, but his perceptions are often times right on target.
A Week in December is sharp, entertaining, and complex. It’s one of those rare books that I will likely read again one day, because I feel that I might have missed something.
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