Red Alligator

A nine year old when he won in 1968 carrying more than 10st. Owned by Mr J Manners, he was trained by Denys Smith in County Durham and ridden by Brian Fletcher, his S/P for the race was 100/7. Jockey Fletcher, was only 19 at the time and he would later go on to ride the legendary Red Rum to his first two victories in the Grand National.

In the previous years race Fletcher had also ridden Red Alligator but had been one of the many whose chances were thwarted by the infamous “Foinavon pile up” at the 23rd fence. The jockey had remounted but without a clear run up due to the melee took three attempts to clear the fence, he finished third to Foinavon.

Red Alligator's Grand National win was commemorated by a local brewery who renamed a pub near Denys Smith's farm outside Bishop Auckland in his honour. Smith was a regular in the popular pub/restauraunt and always had plenty of entertaining stories from his training days.

The stables which housed Red Alligator were within a few hundred yards of the pub but have since been demolished, however his photo's still feature plentifully and prominently in the pub named after him.