Last Suspect

Horses | Last ran in 1986
Dam - Laser Light
Sire - Above Suspicion
Dam's Sire - Fortina
Born - 1974

Last Suspect Grand National Wins

  • 1985 - ridden by Hywel Davies trained by Tim A Forster

Last Suspect was a two-time runner in the Grand National and tasted success in one of those. He won the 1985 Grand National for trainer Tim Forster and jockey Hywel Davies, staying on strongly in the closing stages to dramatically go past a tiring rival.

His second outing in the Grand National came a year later, but he was pulled up when under the same jockey at the 18th fence, unable to continue. When winning the National, he was a big outsider, with an SP of 50/1, and throughout his career, the horse was described as moody, unreliable and disinterested.

None of those were on show in 1985, when the gelding, who was foaled in 1975, would show great determination and guts to land the big race.

Full Results

Year Result Prize Money Handicap Jockey Trainer
1986 Fence 18 - Pulled Up - 11-2 Hywel Davies Tim A Forster
1985 1 £40,502 10-5 Hywel Davies Tim A Forster

Winner Of The 1985 Grand National

The 1985 Grand National was a fascinating betting heat, with plenty of horses fancied by the public. We had a great mix of previous winners, horses that had run very well without winning in previous years, and of course, intriguing newcomers to watch after showing good form.

It is fair to say that Last Suspect was none of these, hence his price of 50/1. However, of course, as the saying goes, the horse didn’t know what price he was and certainly ran like one of the fancied runners, keeping up with them.

A main group developed during the second circuit, and the winner was going to come from these runners. The likes of West Tip, Corbiere, Mr Snugfit and Greasepaint were all in this group, all of whom were at the head of the market.

Going best, without a doubt, was West Tip, though he would fall at Becher’s Brook to put an end to his challenge, he’s certainly a horse that went down as an unlucky loser this year. Corbiere was in the lead, but eventually, Mr Snugfit took over, and when jumping the last fence, with Corbiere and Last Suspect behind him, the race was his to lose.

The big weight on his back began to show, and with each stride up the Aintree run in, the horse started to tire. That gave Corbiere and Last Suspect hope. Both began to reel the leader in, but it was Last Suspect that was staying on the strongest, and eventually, he not only challenged but flew past Mr Snugfit in the final 100 yards to take the race. The winning distance was one and a half lengths, and after great drama in the closing stages, Last Suspect, Tim Forster and Hywel Davies had won the Grand National.

This was the first time that Last Suspect had run in the race, and the first time that Hywel Davies had actually completed, failing to do so in three years before this. For Tim Forster, though, this was something he had done before, as Last Suspect became his third Grand National winner.

After winning the race, his owner retired Last Suspect from racing. However, over the summer, they could see that he was still fit and well, so they reversed the decision and sent him back into training. He won two long-distance races in the build-up to the 1986 Grand National to justify the decision to bring him back but struggled in the big one before being pulled up. After that run, he was retired again, and this time didn’t return.

A Third Grand National Win For Tim Forster

While the focus after the race was on the horse for winning the Grand National, the attention was also on his trainer Tim Forster. He had recorded the third Grand National success of his career, following victories with Well To Do in 1972 and Ben Nevis in 1980.

Forster clearly knew what it took to win the Grand National and will no doubt have picked out Last Suspect as a potential winner and trained him with the contest in mind. That paid off again, allowing the yard a third, and what would be final, celebration after landing the Grand National, this time with Last Suspect landing the race for them.

Last Suspect’s Big Race Wins

Last Suspect had plenty of success over the years, but away from his Grand National win, he did nothing of much note at the higher levels of racing. The Grand National victory in 1985 was his biggest day and one that brought plenty of joy.

It is worth noting here that after coming back from retirement, he did win two marathon races, showing that he was still a capable horse, and the decision was right to bring him back. However, he ultimately failed in the 1986 race, retiring afterwards.

A horse not known for character, but one that certainly showed it in abundance up the Aintree run in in 1985 to win the Grand National.