L’Escargot – 1975 Grand National Winner
L’Escargot was twelve years old when he won the Grand National. He was owned by R.R. Guest and trained by Dan Moore.
L’Escargot made four Grand National appearances, his first in 1972 when he unfortunately fell. The next few years saw him improve his finishing position in the race and in 1973 he was placed 3rd, in 1974 2nd, culminating in his win in 1975, ridden by Tommy Carberry.
1975 was not the most exciting year to achieve your goal of winning the Grand National as that year would see the smallest crowd of spectators in living memory, this was attributed to the new owner of Aintree tripling the admission prices.
This was the year that the legendary Red Rum was looking for his third consecutive win however, he was beaten into second place by L’Escargot who was priced at 13/2. It would be another two years before Red Rum would achieve his record three wins and become an Aintree legend.
Tommy Carberry who was five times Champion National Hunt jockey and twice overall Champion Irish jockey had previously ridden L’Escargot to victory twice in The Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1970/71.
Carberry retired from racing in 1982 and began training and in 1998 with his son Paul riding he won the Irish Grand National. In 1999, twenty four years after his winning ride on L’Escargot, his horse Bobby Jo won the Aintree Grand National.
After his Grand National victory in 1975, L’escargot was immediately given a well deserved retirement by his American owner and presented as a gift to trainer Dan Moore’s wife Joan. He did however run once more, following a misunderstanding, when narrowly beaten in the Kerry National. Guest was so upset that he flew the horse back to his home in America where L’escargot sadly passed away at the age of 21 in June 1984.