It’s Aldaniti in the lead but being pressed now by Spartan Missile. It’s Aldaniti from Spartan Missile and here comes John Thorne, 54 year old John Thorne putting in a storming finish. It’s Aldaniti from Spartan Missile. Aldaniti is gonna win it, at the line, Aldaniti wins the National!
It is remembered for the winning horse Aldaniti, who had recovered from chronic leg problems, and his jockey Bob Champion, who had recovered from cancer. Aldaniti's injuries dated back to 1976, while Champion had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1979. However, Aldaniti was nursed back to optimum form ahead of the race, and Champion overcame lengthy hospitalisation and chemotherapy to win the National by a distance of four lengths. In second place was the 8/1 favourite, Spartan Missile, ridden by 54-year-old amateur jockey and grandfather John Thorne.
The story of Bob Champion and Aldaniti was made into a film Champions, with John Hurt portraying Champion. The film is based on Champion's book Champion's Story, which he co-wrote with close friend and racing journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Powell.