How many times did Richard Dunwoody win the Grand National?
Thomas Richard Dunwoody, who was awarded the MBE for services to horse racing in 1993, won the Grand National twice. Indeed, Dunwoody may well have won the celebrated steeplechase at the first attempt, in 1985, but for parting company with joint-favourite West Tip when disputing the lead at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit. Nevertheless, the partnership returned to Aintree in 1986 when, once again well-fancied at 15/2 second favourite, West Tip kept his feet to record a two-length win over 66/1 outsider Young Driver.
In fact, by his own admission, West Tip was the first horse that really set Dunwoody ‘on the way’. Dunwoody rode West Tip in three subsequent Grand Nationals, finishing fourth in 1987 and 1988 and second in 1989 – which was, in itself, a remarkable record – but it was not until 1994 that he won the Aintree showpiece again. By that stage of his career, Dunwoody had become stable jockey to Martin Pipe and won the National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship for the first time, in 1993.
His mount, Miinnehoma, who was owned by Liverpudlian comedian Freddie Starr and trained by Martin Pipe, was only co-fifth choice of the betting market at 16/1 but, having survived a mistake at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit, was one of only six of the thirty-six starters to complete the course. On the prevailing heavy going, Miinnehoma took over from the weakening favourite, Moorcroft Boy, who would eventually finish third, on the run-in and withstood a renewed challenge from confirmed mudlark Just So in the closing stages to win by 1¼ lengths.