In April 1972, over the pond the US Baseball Leagues were on strike, but at Aintree racing fans need not worry as forty two runners lined up for the Grand National.
The contest was taken by race debut horse Well To Do (Phebus – Princess Puzzlement) which Grand National breeding trend watchers should note was sired by a French Stallion. Pedigree betting systems often have a not unfounded prejudice against French breds (due to smaller typical statures), but Well To Do proves a notable exception!
The horse’s career was moderate for its first few years but showed some form in distance chases. The SP ended up at 14/1, having been backed from a “double carpet” (33/1) in no small part due to champion jock Graham Thorner being given the ride.
1972’s betting was headed by two times Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner L’Escargot (another French connection!) who was knocked over early on.
Well To Do won by two lengths, the second horse Gay Trip giving him 22lbs. He would go on to win a 3m race at Towcester (named after him) before retiring to a life of rest. The horse passed on in 1985 and is buried next to fellow winner Reynoldstown.
Starting Price: 14/1
Age: 9 years
Winning Distance: 2 lengths
Owner: Tim Forster
Jockey: Graham Thorner
2nd: Gay Trip
3rd: Black Secret
General Symons (dead-heat for third)