The 1986 Grand National was won by West Tip in a time of 9 minutes and 33 seconds. The 9 year old West Tip, was owned by Mr P Laff, trained by M Oliver and ridden by Richard Dunwoody. The turf on the day was ‘good to soft’ and ‘Tippy’ as he was affectionately nicknamed earned his owner a prize of £57,254.
Mr Snugfit started the race as favourite at 13/2 with West Tip popular and the second favourite, priced at 15/2. Richard Dunwoody had partnered West Tip in the previous years race when they had both made their debut at Aintree. The horse had run remarkably well, jumping Aintree’s daunting fences with ease until he stumbled on landing at Becher’s, was hit from behind by a loose horse and fell. Dunwoody was suitably impressed and said at the time ‘We’ll come back next year and win’, his crystal ball must have been working overtime!
Two weeks before the 1986 Grand National he won a chase at Newbury and seemed to be peaking at just the right time.
During the race Dunwoody stuck to his pre-race plan and rode patiently steering a middle course during the first circuit. In a prominent position on the second circuit he had moved into sixth place by Becher’s. Only three horses could maintain the quickening pace, West Tip, Classified and Young Driver left the rest of the field well behind.
At the last, Young Driver was leading by a length and as they approached the Elbow, Dunwoody launched his perfectly timed challenge. West Tip steamed smoothly ahead and held on to win by 2 lengths from Young Driver with Classified third and Mr Snugfit in fourth position.
‘Tippy’ made four more Grand National appearances, finishing second to Little Polveir in 1989 and in 1990 at 13 years of age, he finished in tenth position. In his autobiography ‘Obsessed’, Richard Dunwoody said “Sometimes he sees things before I do and fills me full of confidence. He is an intelligent horse who doesn’t want to fall”.
West Tip set an all time record for making nine consecutive appearances at the Cheltenham Festival, he died in 2001 aged twenty four.
Pos | Name | Jockey | Age | Weight | SP
1st | West Tip | Richard Dunwoody | 9 | 10-11 | 15/2
2nd | Young Driver | Chris Grant | 66/1
3rd | Classified | 23/1
4th | Mr Snugfit | 13/2 F
5th | Sommelier
6th | Broomy Bank
7th | Monanore
8th | Greasepaint
9th | The Tsarevich
10th | Northern Bay