Richard Guest was a successful racing jockey and had a small amount of success on the big stage. The biggest day of his career came in 2001 when he steered Red Marauder to victory in the Grand National. There is a lot more to the story of this success than meets the eye, and although he doesn’t officially get credit for it, Guest is far more involved in that horse than many understand.
Born on July 10, 1965, Guest the jockey would win both big races during his career on horses deemed outsiders. He won the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 1989 aboard Beech Road at 50/1, and his win in the Grand National on Red Marauder came with an SP of 33/1.
He never managed to hit the big time as a jockey fully. Still, he remained in racing afterwards by becoming a racehorse trainer, something he did unofficially during his time as a rider, helping out in the yards where he rode.
Richard Guest Grand National Wins
- 2001 - Red Marauder trained by N B Mason
|2003||Chives||Fence 12 - Pulled Up||-||Henrietta Knight|
|2002||Paris Pike||Fence 1 - Fell||-||Ferdy Murphy|
|2001||Red Marauder||1||£310,000||N B Mason|
|2000||Red Marauder||Fence 6 - Fell||-||N B Mason|
|1999||Frazer Island||Fence 22 - Fell||-||Richard Rowe|
|1998||Yeoman Warrior||Fence 19 - Pulled Up||-||Richard Rowe|
|1996||Into The Red||15||-||J White|
|1995||Into The Red||5||£4,358||J White|
|1994||Romany King||Fence 4 - Fell||-||G B ‘Toby’ Balding|
|1992||Romany King||2||£37,469||G B ‘Toby’ Balding|
Winning The Grand National On Red Marauder
The actual race in 2001 is not one that too many people want to remember, with a lot of controversy surrounding it and Aintree racecourse coming in for a lot of criticism for running the contest. Firstly, there was the foot and mouth outbreak ripping apart the farming world in England at the time, with many events cancelled, including the Cheltenham Festival, which should have taken place a month earlier.
The Grand National was in doubt, but racing wanted to get back on, so they decided to put in extreme cleaning and safety measures around the stables so that they could run the race. When they did, the rain came on race day to turn this into one of the most gruelling Grand National’s we have ever seen. The time recorded by Red Marauder was the slowest for 100 years, giving you an idea of the conditions on the day. It wasn’t a case of being the best, it was pretty much last man standing, as just two horses managed to complete cleanly, four finished in total, but two of those were remounts.
With a 33/1 SP, Red Marauder wasn’t really a big fancy for many in the race and is seen as being fortunate for how the race played out. There were many fallers and a loose horse going around Canal Turn, which caused a number of runners to be taken out of the race. Then there was the conditions, Red Marauder simply handled these better than the rest, jumped round and handled the bad ground and managed to really grind and work hard to get to the finish line in the lead.
His win will go down as being one where the right horse was in the right place at the right time, rather than simply being the best horse in the race. That’s not to take anything away from the winner, and given that he won the race as an 11-year-old, he certainly deserves credit for being able to tough it out in the conditions when he was in the latter part of his career.
Unofficially Training A Grand National Winner
The big twist in the Red Marauder story is one that involves Richard Guest himself. Officially, anyone looking at the race result will see that Guest was the rider on the day, and he will forever go down as a winning Grand National rider.
However, unofficially, he was also the trainer of this horse, though did so under the license that was taken out by owner Norman Mason. His owner was involved in racing from a training perspective, but not with this horse, Guest would train him and get him ready for every race, doing all the duties a regular trainer would.
While not in the history books as this, Richard Guest was actually both trainer and jockey for Red Marauder when he won the 2001 Grand National.
Career As A Trainer After Riding
After retirement as a jockey, Richard Guest would go into training, and during the first part of his career, he took over the North East base owned by Norman Mason to train in the stables where Red Marauder was trained.
He would eventually move around the country elsewhere and was a dual-purpose trainer, looking after both flat and national hunt runners. He hasn’t hit the headlines by training many big winners during his time and is more known for lower grade racing during this part of his career.
Having said that, he does have something up his sleeve, even if the record books don’t show it. When he won the Grand National, Richard Guest was the trainer of Red Marauder, and while he can’t put it on his CV, those in racing certainly knew what he did with the horse.