In the 1985 Grand National, West Tip ridden by Richard Dunwoody was going conspicuously well when he fell at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit. Few would have thought the horse would go on to have such a tremendous Grand National record at that point – but his ever taking part in a horse race of any kind had looked even more doubtful just a few years earlier.
In 1982, he was injured in an accident involving a lorry just outside his stables and it was thought he may have to be put down. He had to have 80 stitches and, the following
year, he had a heart murmur, and broke down on both front legs in the Midlands National. But this strong son of Gala Performance was made of sterner stuff. He went on to a full recovery and was much-fancied for the 1985 National when Becher’s got the better of him. Nevertheless, he was back the following year and this time, he didn’t put a foot wrong – winning by two lengths at odds of 15/2 from Young Driver, with Classified in third and Mr. Snugfit fourth.
West Tip really was a traditional steeplechaser and a National hero. In the (Read more...)