Richard Dunwoody: Grand National Legend

Richard Dunwoody was born to a family passionate about horseracing. His father was a successful jockey and trainer with several Irish records under his belt. Dunwoody was introduced to the sport at an early age and won his first major race at Cheltenham when he was only 19.

Dunwoody’s career was a near instant success, and within a year had turned professional. Many riders wait for decades for a real chance to win the Grand National, but Dunwoody was fortunate to be partnered with a superb racehorse at his first Grand National – the legendary West Tip.

Dunwoody and West Tip’s outing at the 1985 Grand National was a failure. Dunwoody, Grand National legend, followed in the footsteps of the incomparable Captain Becher and on the final lap was tossed into Becher’s Brook. Fortunately in 1986 Dunwoody had a second opportunity to partner West Tip. This time around neither horse nor rider made any mistakes and West Tip claimed the title.

In 1986 Dunwoody joined the stable of the famous David Nicholson, starting a partnership that would be long and prosperous. Dunwoody claimed his second major title in 1988 winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Charter Party. Two years later Richard Dunwoody was paired up with one of the greatest steeplechasers in history – Desert Orchid.

Riding Desert Orchid, Dunwoody won some of the most coveted prizes in horse racing, including the King George VI Chase and the Irish Grand National. Dunwoody also raced several more Grand Nationals on West Tip but was unable to spur the horse on to a second victory.

Richard Dunwoody was awarded the title of Champion jockey for the first time in 1993. He topped off this achievement a year later by winning his second Grand National title whilst partnered with Martin Pipe’s Miinnehoma, becoming one of only a handful of jockeys to win the title twice.

Before his retirement due to a neck injury in 1999, Richard Dunwoody won several more prestigious races, including two more King George VI Chase titles. He also received two more Champion Jockey awards.

Dunwoody finished his career with 1,699 race wins, the second highest ever win total in hunt racing – a remarkable achievement for a man who many thought was too tall and too heavy to make a successful jockey.

At present Richard Dunwoody, Grand National legend, runs a horseracing betting advisory website and indulges in the odd polar expedition.