The Grand National of 1967. The year of my first bet. When was yours?

The Grand National of 1967. The year of my first bet. When was yours?

foinavon wins the 1967 grand nationalIt is lost in the mists of time as to why I asked my Dad to put my pocket money on a horse called Honey End. Perhaps I had yet to outgrow my love for Winnie the Pooh.

The year was 1967. The scene was Aintree and the race, the Grand National. One of my three elder brothers was more ambitious. He had an each way bet on a 100/1 outsider called Foinavon.

My late father grew up surrounded by horses in Ireland. His father and his father before him had been Master of the Hunt. The four brothers Grant sat down in front of our rented black and white television to watch the Grand National. Mum was probably enjoying the peace and quiet of the shops in Hounslow High Street.

Foinavon left clear six fences from home in the Grand National

Foinavon – with only himself to beat!

What unfolded up at Aintree is etched in the memory of anyone old enough to have watched the race. Indeed those watching on television had a much better view of things than those on course.

I was taking an early price even 49 years ago, so I did not lose out with my each way bet on Honey End. My Dad gave me back more than I gave him – but then he might have topped up my returns!

1967 was the year of my first Grand National bet. What was yours? Did you win?

Next year it will the 50th anniversary of what became known as the Foinavon Grand National.

In this much shorter version of our original at length interview, the writer and author David Owen tells me about what went wrong at Aintree that day and about an outsider who became so famous, they named a fence after him.

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