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Horse Racing: Conquering Epsom with only one arm; 100 GREATEST RIDES The countdown of the 100 greatest rides in history continues with 30-21, including four Classic triumphs, three Grand Nationals and the day Arkle was robbed of the Hennessy.

Byline: by John Randall, Lee Mottershead, Tom O'Ryan, Nicholas Godfrey, Sean Magee and Colin Russell

21 Stan Mellor

Stalbridge Colonist in the 1966 Hennessy Gold Cup

What made it great

Arkle was beaten only four times over fences, and it was a masterpiece of opportunism by three-time champion Stan Mellor that enabled 25-1 outsider-of-six Stalbridge Colonist (left) to rob the greatest chaser of the 1966 Hennessy Gold Cup. Carrying 12st 7lb as usual, Arkle led from the start at Newbury, but approaching the last Mellor switched Stalbridge Colonist (10st) out from behind him, drove the apparently beaten grey into the fence, conjured a fine leap out of him, and took a narrow lead early on the run-in. Arkle, having his first race for eight months, could not recover the deficit and the verdict was half a length at the line. After Arkle's career-ending injury in the King George, the Ken Cundell-trained Stalbridge Colonist nearly won that season's Gold Cup, but even so 'Himself' would have succeeded in giving him 35lb in the Hennessy but for Mellor. JR

22 Kieren Fallon

Kris Kin in the 2003 Derby

What made it great

A superb Derby ride that established Kieren Fallon as the natural heir to the Epsom maestro on the back of a massive public gamble. Or, as alliteration lovers in the press had it, the 'Fallon factor' prevailed as 'King Kieren' took the 'Lester line' to victory. This was the indomitable Fallon at his best, taking a decisive grip on the race on a less-than-stellar Derby winner. Reportedly lazy at home, Kris Kin had to be pushed along to hold his place at halfway. Taking the shortest route, Fallon found a decent pitch turning for home after being buffeted down the hill, though still with ground to make up. As other horses rolled about, he got a clear run up the rail before pulling his mount out to overhaul The Great Gatsby 100 yards out, keeping Kris Kin busy with three firm cracks of the whip. It looked easy' it wasn't. It could have been Lester' it was Kieren. NG

23 Tony McCoy

Edredon Bleu in the 2000 Champion Chase

What made it great

"Of all the races in the world, this was the one I wanted to win most of all," was Tony McCoy's reaction after his memorable Champion Chase victory aboard Edredon Bleu, a victory that required a world-class effort from the man on top. No horse liked to blaze a trail more than Edredon Bleu, but McCoy was aware that in a fiercely competitive renewal of the Champion, to go too fast too soon would be to set the race up for his pursuers. Really setting sail for home only after the final ditch had been jumped, McCoy bravely fired his horse at the two downhill fences on the approach to the straight, from which point the champion jockey rode like a man possessed to force Edredon Bleu back in front after being headed by Direct Route close home. LM

24 Brendan Powell

Rhyme 'N' Reason, 1988 Grand National

What made it great

As recoveries go, this was something else. Anyone who can recall this particular renewal of the world's greatest steeplechase will surely agree that the abiding memory of the race is that Rhyme 'N' Reason, the winner, was virtually down and out at Becher's on the first circuit. Quite how Brendan Powell managed to stay with him when he slithered along on his belly before clambering back to his feet is one mystery. The other is how he still managed to triumph after being plum last of the 33 horses still left standing after that dramatic incident. Powering to the front before the fourth-last, Rhyme 'N' Reason forfeited his lead to Durham Edition with an untidy jump at the penultimate fence. But the determined Powell refused to give up and, galvanising his mount, the pair of them fought back to take the spoils in a truly remarkable victory. TO'R

25 Brian Fletcher

Red Rum, 1973 Grand National

What made it great

Red Rum and Crisp were joint-favourites for the 1973 National, but for most of the race were in different parishes as Crisp built his amazing lead - out on his own at the Canal Turn, 15 lengths clear at the Chair, 30 lengths at the second Becher's. From the second Canal Turn only Red Rum had any chance of catching him, and that looked forlorn enough as Crisp bounded merrily on. But Fletcher, maintaining a steady gallop, edged ever closer. At the Melling Road he gave Red Rum two smacks, felt an immediate response, and kept on pushing. Crisp was still 20 lengths ahead at the second-last but by now was running on vapours, and after the last could barely raise a canter, wandering about as Red Rum closed inexorably. Three strides from home Red Rum swung past for a three-quarters-of-a-length verdict. Crisp devotees have never got over it, but only the most churlish would not salute Fletcher's never-say-die ride. SM

26 Lester Piggott

Ribero in the 1968 St Leger

What made it great

Though renowned for his furious whip finishes, Lester Piggott was at least as effective using finesse, as he showed on Ribero. He had an affinity with temperamental sons of Ribot, achieving the Irish Derby-Doncaster St Leger double on both Ribocco (1967) and Ribero (1968), two brothers who were trained by Fulke Johnson Houghton for Charles Engelhard. Ribero upset Sir Ivor at the Curragh, but at Doncaster, even quirkier than usual because of a burst abscess in his mouth, he was mulish at the start and lost many lengths coming out of the stalls. Allowed to recover the ground in his own time, he led below the distance and got first run on Canterbury. With that Irish colt staying on strongly, Piggott coaxed the best out of Ribero with hands and heels, and nursed him home by a short head in a desperate finish in the mud. JR

27 Steve Cauthen

Reference Point in the 1987 Derby

What made it great

The clock in Steve Cauthen's head seldom lost a second. Never more effective than when riding from the front, he produced a masterly display here on Reference Point by dictating things to absolute perfection. Riding a horse who was occasionally prone to changing leads and becoming unbalanced, on such a tricky track as Epsom, was no easy task. But, typically, Cauthen, a fine horseman as well as a brilliant jockey, was always in control of the situation. Quickly securing the lead, he then collected his mount, brought him firmly back on the bridle and kept him on an even keel on the run down Tattenham Hill. No sooner had the famous Corner been negotiated than he set Reference Point alight and, keeping him expertly balanced, saw off one potential challenger after another before driving home to a thoroughly deserved Derby success - without ever seeing the tail of another horse. TO'R

28 Ruby Walsh

Hedgehunter in the 2005 Grand National

What made it great

It was easy but, at the same time, it wasn't. For while Hedgehunter was much the best horse in the 2005 Grand National, Ruby Walsh was also much the best jockey on the day, and he had to be. An exhausted final-fence faller the previous year, Hedgehunter went into his second National with his stamina unproven but with a different rider to help him last home. After surviving a scary mistake at the first fence that wasn't picked up by many observers, Walsh then got Hedgehunter into the most beautiful rhythm, a rhythm not interrupted by another terrible blunder at the tenth. Even after being left in front at the second Becher's Brook, Walsh resisted the temptation to ask his mount for any change of gear, only pressing the 'go' button at the Elbow. There have been few easier National winners and few more impressive National rides. LM

29 Fred Archer

Bend Or in the 1880 Derby

What made it great

Fred Archer, the greatest jockey of the 19th century, scored the second of his five Derby victories on Bend Or in 1880, in a masterpiece of courage, determination, dedication and brilliance in the saddle. One of his arms had been mauled by a savage horse, Muley Edris, on the gallops 25 days before, and was still almost useless' at Epsom he wore an iron splint. At Tattenham Corner, Archer saved ground on the rails by lifting his left leg on to Bend Or's withers. In the closing stages he dropped his whip, but still communicated to his mount his implacable will to win' the colt (left) got up on the line to triumph by a head from Robert The Devil, who was superior to Bend Or but whose jockey got him unbalanced. With the same disability, Archer had won the Prix du Jockey-Club by a short head on Beauminet three days before. After Epsom he rested for two months to allow his injuries to heal. JR

30 Adrian Maguire

Cool Ground in the 1992 Cheltenham Gold Cup

What made it great

Although it cost him a four-day ban for overuse of his whip, this was a remarkable performance by a young rider on his first ride in the Gold Cup. A year earlier, when still a 7lb claiming amateur, Maguire had burst on to the British scene on Omerta in the Kim Muir. His career had subsequently taken off, but this was one race that looked beyond him. Cool Ground was a soft-ground stayer, who was being aimed at the National. It was a late decision to go to Cheltenham, and his price of 25-1 was a fair reflection of his chance. However, in a race which featured the demise of the season's star chaser Carvill's Hill in controversial circumstances, Maguire came late, producing his mount (right) on the final turn before galvanising him after the last to get up in the last few strides to beat King George winner The Fellow by a short head. His rider went on to become one of the best never to win a championship. CR
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 31, 2007
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