Monday July 13th 1981



Trainer of four Grand National winners

Mr Thomas Frederic (Fred) Rimell, one of the most colourful and distinguished figures in National Hunt racing for over 40 years died yesterday at his home in Kinnersley, in Worcestershire. He was 68.

Rimell had earned himself the title of “Mr Grand National” being the only man in recent times to have trained 4 winners of the world's most spectacular steeplechase. They were ESB (1956), Nicolaus Silver (1961), Gay Trip (1971) and Rag Trade, who beat Red Rum in the 1976 running of the race.

He also won most of the other important events in the National Hunt calendar, including two Cheltenham Gold Cups with Woodland Venture and Royal Frolic, and the Champion Hurdle twice with Comedy of Errors in 1975 and 1977.

He began as apprentice to his father Tom Rimmell, who also trained at Kinnersley, and at the age of 12 rode his first winner on the flat at Chepstow in 1927. He later switched to jumping and was champion NH jockey on three occasions before a fall on Coloured Schoolboy in the 1947 Cheltenham Gold Cup, in which he broke his neck for a second time, ended his riding career.

Rimell was given his first trainers licence in 1945, and headed the list of National Hunt winning trainers five times being the first jumping trainer to earn his patrons £1m in prize money.

The hallmark of his horses, who were always immaculately turned out, was their perfect jumping; his novice steeple-chasers had an outstanding record of winning at the first time of asking. His last important winner was Gaye Chance who, ridden by Sam Moorshead, won the season's richest handicap hurdle, the Royal Doulton, at Haydock Park in May.

He also won some useful races on the Flat, his last winner in that category being Haven Cool in a six furlong sprint at Chester on Saturday.

Rimell was married to Mercy Cockburn, who assisted in running the stable. She and a son and daughter survive him.

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