Grand National winner dies

  • West Tip, who partnered Richard Dunwoody to victory in the 1986 Grand National has died at the age of 24

    West Tip, hero of the 1986 Grand National and the horse who set jumping’s winning-most jockey Richard Dunwoody on the road to stardom, has died at the age of 24.

    ‘Tippy’, as he was affectionately known, had enjoyed retirement at the Warwickshire farm of Becky Titterton since 1992. He passed away peacefully earlier this week.

    West Tip was something of an Aintree specialist and his accurate jumping made him a standing dish for the race.

    He finished fourth to Maori Venture in 1987 and fourth again to Rhyme n’ Reason the following year. In 1989 he was second to Little Polveir. On his fifth and final appearnce in the Grand National West Tip finished 10th behind Mr Frisk. Owner Peter Luff retired him the following year.

    “He was a very special horse,” said Peter. “He was talented and courageous, a horse that provided enormous pleasure and fun. He could not have had a better home or happier retirement.”

    West Tip was trained by Michael Oliver, who produced him in impeccable shape for each of his Aintree sorties. But it was a 22-year-old Dunwoody who rode to fame on the back of West Tip.

    Now retired after riding a world record 1,699 winners over jumps, Dunwoody told the Racing Post: “West Tip got me going and not only gave me a win in the world’s most famous race, but also gave me three other brilliant rides to finish placed.”

    The big, bold West Tip, who was by Gala Performance, also finished a close fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. “He was a tremendous performer and a great jumper,” added Dunwoody. “I will always remember him.”

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