1986 Grand National
|Date||5 April 1986|
|Winning horse||West Tip|
|Conditions||Good to soft|
|Replay of the 1986 Grand National in full YouTube|
The 1986 Grand National (known as the Seagram Grand National for sponsorship reasons) was the 140th renewal of the world-famous Grand National horse race that took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England, on 5 April 1986.
The race was won by nine-year-old 15/2 second favourite West Tip, ridden by jockey Richard Dunwoody. in a time of 9 minutes, 33 seconds for a prize of £57,254. The winner was owned by Mr Peter Luff and trained in Droitwich, Worcestershire by Michael Oliver.
Build-up, leading contenders and the race
One hundred and nine horses were entered the 1986 Grand National of which fifty six stood their ground and declared to run  For health and safety reasons only a maximum field of forty could take part so the sixteen entrants given the lowest handicap mark by handicapper, Captain Christopher Mordaunt  were forcibly withdrawn from the race. These included former competitors, King Spruce, Onapromise and Colonel Christy 
The previous year's runner up, Mr Snugfit was installed as the 13/2 favourite  despite having been injured for a time during the season and having run unimpressively in his last four starts. Phil Tuck took the mount, as he had done last year. with last year's favourite, West Tip was again heavily supported at 15/2 with many of his supporters feeling that he had been unlucky when falling at Becher's Brook while disputing the lead last year. His jockey on that occasion, Richard Dunwoody was released from his retainer on Port Askaig to take the mount on the second favourite. Four months before the National, West Tip had been defeated by the impressive chaser, Door Latch, considered by the racing press as owner, Jim Joel's best chance of winning the race in his almost thirty years of trying. Richard Rowe took the mount on the 9/1 chance trained by former champion jockey Josh Gifford. The remaining public support was placed in former winners, Corbiere and Last Suspect who would both set off at 14/1 in company of their riders in victory, Ben de Haan and Hywell Davies.
Aside from these main contenders the majority of the remainder of public support was placed with The Tsarevich, former twice runner up, Greasepaint and 1984 winner Hallo Dandy at 16/1. Mark Dwyer was considered to have the best chance of the seven riders taking part in their debut National on board 18/1 shot Knock Hill. Among the other six debut riders was future winner Steve Knight, riding Tracy's Special.
Unusually there were no riders taking part with experience of more than six previous rides in the race with Steve Smith Eccles, on board Classified and Paul Barton, on Fethard Friend both taking their seventh mounts 
Starter, Michael Sayers was starting his third National and had some difficulty communicating instructions to Czech rider, Vaclav Chalupka, on board the top weight, Essex who did not speak English  but still managed to dispatch the forty competitors at the first attempt.
Richard Rowe's race ended early when Door Latch exited at the first fence while Corbiere fell at the fourth. Last Suspect was always well to the rear before being pulled up at the eighteenth fence but both West Tip and Mr Snugfit were well in contention in a leading group of eight crossing the Melling Road towards the second last fence. West Tip had cruised up into second place at that point behind the 66/1 outsider, Young Driver with Classified, The Tsarevich and Sommelier the other challengers with Mr Snugfit having dropped back to eighth. West Tip moved upsides Young Driver after jumping the final fence and always looked comfortable on the run in despite only defeating the outsider by two lengths.
|1st||West Tip||Richard Dunwoody||9||10-11||15/2||Won by 2 lengths|
|2nd||Young Driver||Chris Grant||9||10-0||66/1||20 lengths|
|4th||Mr Snugfit||Phil Tuck||9||10-7||13/2 F|
|6th||Broomy Bank||Peter Scudamore||11||10-3||20-1|
|7th||The Tsarevich||John White||10||10-7||16-1|
|9th||Little Polveir||Colin Brown||9||10-3||66-1|
|11th||Northern Bay||Philip Hobbs||10||10-0||33-1|
|12th||Hallo Dandy||Neale Doughty||12||10-8||16-1|
|14th||Imperial Black||Reg Crank||10||10-0||66-1|
|16th||Why Forget||Ridley Lamb||10||10-7||35-1|
|17th||Gayle Warning||Mr Sandy Dudgeon||12||10-9||50-1||Last to complete|
|1||Door Latch||Richard Rowe||8||11-0||9-1||Fell|
|1||Port Askaig||Graham McCourt||11||10-5||35-1||Fell|
|2||Lantern Lodge||Tony Mullins||9||10-7||100-1||Fell|
|4||Corbiere||Ben De Haan||11||11-7||14-1||Fell|
|6 (Becher's Brook)||Dudie||Kevin Doolan||9||10-0||100-1||Unseated Rider (3) remounted & Fell|
|8 (Canal Turn)||Plundering||Simon Sherwood||9||10-1||25-1||Fell|
|9 (Valentine's Brook)||Mount Oliver||John Bryan||8||10-0||500-1||Fell|
|9 (Valentine's Brook)||Tracys Special||Steve Knight||9||10-6||150-1||Fell|
|10||Acarine||Robert Stronge||10||10-13||33-1||Brought Down|
|10||Another Duke||Paul Nicholls||13||10-4||200-1||Fell|
|10||Master Tercel||Dermot Browne||10||10-7||150-1||Fell|
|10||Ten Cherries||Adrian Sharpe||11||10-0||66-1||Fell|
|15 (The Chair)||Drumlargan||Tommy Ryan||12||11-6||40-1||Fell|
|15 (The Chair)||Essex||Vaclav Chaloupka||8||12-0||100-1||Pulled Up|
|17||Doubleuagain||Charlie Mann||12||10-0||500-1||Knocked Over|
|17||Late Night Extra||Mr Tim Thomson-Jones||10||10-2||500-1||Pulled Up|
|18||Last Suspect||Hywel Davies||12||11-2||14-1||Pulled Up|
|19 (open ditch)||Ballymilan||Colin Hawkins||9||10-0||50-1||Unseated Rider|
|19 (open ditch)||Tacroy||Andrew Stringer||12||10-1||200-1||Unseated Rider|
|23 (Foinavon)||Knock Hill||Mark Dwyer||10||10-1||18-1||Pulled Up|
|23 (Foinavon)||St Alezan||Craig Smith||9||10-2||150-1||Brought Down|
|26||Ballinacurra Lad||Graham Bradley||11||10-8||22-1||Fell|
|27 (open ditch)||Fethard Friend||Paul Barton||11||10-2||35-1||Pulled Up|
Media coverage and aftermath
The official attendance of 75,637 was an increase of over 10,000 on the previous year and 20,000 on the year prior to that. While the Aintree Executive pointed to this as a mark of the recent success in saving the racecourse from being closed, some elements of the press stated that these figures were still some way short of those estimated in the 1920s-50s. In doing so however the press failed to point out that spectators had been able to watch the race for free if they took position on the country side of the Melling Road in those days while they were now charged admission in the modern era.
The race was broadcast live by the BBC as part of its regular Saturday afternoon Grandstand programme in a Grand National special, as it had done every year since 1960. The commentary team for the fifteenth consecutive year was John Hanmer, Julian Wilson and lead commentator Peter O'Sullevan who was calling his forty-first Grand National on Radio or Television. The programme itself was presented by Des Lynam who also leased the horse Another Duke to run in his colours. This presented the prospect of him having to interview himself if the 200/1 outsider were to win, until they departed the contest at the tenth fence. Jockey, Paul Nicholls later commented that "He cleared Becher's like a dream then fell at a little one. We [He and Des Lynam] still have a laugh about it"  In addition to its Television coverage, The BBC also broadcast the race live on Radio Two as part of its regular Saturday Sports Programme, having broadcast every National since 1927 with Peter Bromley calling home the winner.
In the post race interview with Lynam, Richard Dunwoody explained how the horse had almost been killed years before in a road accident. "He needed 90-100 stitches and lost an awful lot of blood...It's a miracle he's here today, never mind winning the race." 
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