Marcus Armytage will remembered, even when he's long gone, for winning the 1990 Grand National on Mr Frisk in a record time of 8m 47.8sec. It was and remains the only sub nine minute National smashing Red Rum's previous record by some 14 seconds. Two decades later he remains the last amateur to win the race.
Mr Frisk and Marcus went on to complete the unique National-Whitbread Gold Cup double at sandown three weeks later. The same year, 1990, he was Fegentri European Champion Amateur. In 1992 he repeated a feast achieved by his sister Gee in 1988 by riding a double at the Cheltenham Festival, winning the Kim Muir on Tug of Gold and National Hunt Chase on Keep Talking. His third Festival winner was on Christmas Gorse in the National Hunt Chase in 1994. He retired in 2000 after riding his 100th winner - in Dubai.
Marcus was born in Oxford on 17th July 1964. Son of Roddy, a racehorse trainer based in East Ilsley, near Newbury, and Sue, who as Sue Whithead was an international showjumper. His younger sister Gee became the ‘darling’ of National Hunt racing while Marcus was still getting buried round Plumpton.
He attended Eton College in same generation as politicians Boris Johnson and David Cameron.He used to slip out of college to ride at Windsor Races as a fledgling amateur jockey. He went on to attend the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, (irregularly) before graduating with a diploma in Rural Estate Management.
He started writing while at agricultural college for the Newly Weekly News . He joined the Racing Post as Newmarket correspondent in 1990 and left to join the Daily Telegraph racing team in 1993 and remains a racing correspondent there. He also contributes a column to the Horse & Hound. He was champion tipster for thr 2008/09 jump season.
He married Amber in 2003. They have a young son, Arthur, 28 Sept 2004, Molly, 14 Feb 2006 and Arabella: 26 April 2011.