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50-1 Longshot Wins Grand National at Aintree

March 31, 1985

Last Suspect, a 50-1 shot whose owner and trainer wanted him kept out of the race, won the Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool, England after jockey Hywel Davies insisted on riding the horse.

Davies, a 28-year-old Welshman, rallied with Last Suspect in the final furlong and caught Mr. Snugfit just before the finish to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

Corbiere, the 1983 winner, was third, three lengths farther back.

Last Suspect was the longest-priced winner since Foinavon in 1967.

Only 11 of the 40 starters finished the race. Among those who fell were 1984 winner Hallo Dandy, who unseated jockey Graham Bradley at the second of the 30 fences.

Last Suspect's trainer, Tim Forster, disclosed that neither he nor the horse's owner, the Duchess of Westminster, wanted the 11-year-old to run.

Forster said that after Last Suspect had pulled up in his previous race, it was decided not to enter the horse in the National. "When Hywel found out, he almost burst into tears, so we decided to let him ride," Forster said.

WBA cruiserweight champion Piet Crous of South Africa got off the canvas to stop American challenger Randy Stephens on a controversial decision in the third round at Sun City, Bophuthatswana.

Referee Viso Fernandez of Puerto Rico stunned the crowd when he stopped the fight during a flurry of blows 30 seconds before the end of the round.

The round started with Crous in command, but Stephens suddenly floored the champion. Crous got up and launched an attack that had Stephens in trouble, but not obviously beaten, when the referee stopped the bout.

Crous weighed 185 1/2, Stephens 188. Crous, 29, raised his record to 21-1-1. Stephens, 32, of Warren, Ohio, is 25-9.

WBA welterweight champion Donald Curry, fighting as a junior middleweight for the first time, was awarded a controversial decision over James (Hard Rock) Green in the second round of a non-title fight at Dallas.

Referee Dick Cole stopped the fight after he heard Green complain of being thumbed.

"He got hit with a left jab," Cole said. "Then he said, 'My eye, my eye,' dropped his hands and didn't defend himself. Curry backed off. He's lucky Curry isn't an animal, or he would have killed him."

Curry, 154, of Fort Worth is 22-0. Green, 153, of Irvington, N.J., is 20-5.

Darrell Waltrip pulled away at the end of the crash-filled Budweiser 200 Late Model Sportsman race for a victory at Bristol International Raceway in Bristol, Tenn.

Waltrip drove his new Chevrolet to a 12.8-second win over Rick Mast, averaging 74.372 m.p.h.

Despite a rash of accidents, including a violent crash by Morgan Shepherd, whose car momentarily burst into flames, there were no driver injuries reported.

Waltrip will be trying to win a record ninth Grand National race today on the Bristol track the Valleydale 500.

Names in the News

Quarterback Jim Hart, 40, of the Washington Redskins announced his retirement.

New Mexico basketball Coach Gary Colson said he has withdrawn his name from consideration as the new coach at the University of Washington.

Andre (Pulpwood) Smith, the leading rusher on Georgia's 1984 football team, has withdrawn from school. Smith, a fullback, was dropped from the team because of academic reasons.

Japanese race driver Toru Shimegi, 37, was killed Saturday when his March car crashed during practice for today's Fuji Grand Champion race at Gotemba, Japan.

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