Grand National history goes under the hammer

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  • A piece of Grand National history goes under the hammer next week — the 1958 trophy, won by Mr What, will be sold at auction.

    Mr What powered to victory by a convincing 30 lengths, despite being an 18-1 chance novice chaser and carrying a jockey who was 6lbs overweight.

    His win, in gruellingly wet conditions, still stands as the longest margin since 1893.

    Mr What won his owner David Coughlan £13,744 — a fortune in 1958.

    And Irish bookies — the horse was trained by Tom Taafe in Rathcoole near Dublin — were still paying out two weeks later.

    The trophy will be sold at Biddle & Webb auctioneers in Birmingham on 8 December and has an estimate of £12,500 to £15,000.

    The 9ct gold cup was made by Boodle & Dunthorpe of Liverpool in 1957.

    Its attractive tapering shape is engraved with two racehorses and jockeys.

    Biddle & Webb’s managing director Jeremy Thornton believes it will attract a lot of interest from private collectors and collectors of racing memorabilia.

    He said: “The 1958 Grand National Trophy is a valuable item in its own right, but the provenance and racing history behind it makes it very desirable indeed.

    “The item is beautifully crafted and handling it is very exciting particularly as winning it is considered to be the very pinnacle of success for many race horse owners, trainers and jockeys.”

    For more information, visit www.biddleandwebb.co.uk.

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