horse racing

No Snail: The Story of L’Escargot…

L’Escargot… one of only two horses to have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National…

L’Escargot and Golden Miller… that’s it… the only two to have both the Gold Cup AND the Grand National on their CV…

L’Escargot was actually a dual Gold Cup winner… he also finished third in the Red Rum v Crisp National in ’73… second in the race the year after… and then stopped Red Rum winning three Nationals on the bounce by winning the ’75 National…

Despite all that, I must confess I didn’t know all that much about the horse… I knew the name… knew he was a Gold Cup and National winner… but apart from that… 🤷‍♂️

Turns out, however, no-one had bothered to write a book-length account of his career… until now that is… step forward Mr David OwenI had previously read David’s book on Foinavon (an excellent piece of work)… so I had high hopes for his latest offering… and it didn’t disappoint 👌

David digs deep into the career and life of not only L’Escargot but also into the lives of the many people that were directly and indirectly involved with the Irish trained, American owned ‘wonder horse’. From his brief spell on the flat as a youngster all the way through to his ‘party pooping’ day at Aintree, when he foiled Red Rum and his bid for an Aintree Grand National hat-trick (and then his slightly unexpected comeback appearance in the Kerry National for one last spin round a racetrack).

In between the start and end point of the gelding’s career there was a hell of a lot taking place, notably his jaunts over to America, which resulted in him being named the ‘American Champion Steeplechase Horse’  in 1969… who knew?! (not me anyway!)

Like with Foinavon, David has meticulously studied the life and times of L’Escargot and produced a smoothly written account of one of the best horses ever to grace the National Hunt game, giving the reader a significantly greater understanding of the dual Gold Cup winner.

And it turns out I was actually wrong in saying that ‘I didn’t know all that much about the horse‘… in actual fact I barely knew ANYTHING about the horse!! 

Thanks to David that is now not the case…

Ginger McCain probably said it best…

“For me, L’Escargot never properly received the credit he deserved.”

David Owen goes a long way to putting some much needed respect on the name of L’Escargot in No Snail

Get it, read it and let’s all start giving L’Escargot the credit he richly deserves (and David for realizing the need for a book such as this 👏)

You can purchase ‘No Snail – The Story of L’Escargot, the horse that foiled Red RumHERE>>>

*Note – No Snail has been proving extremely popular and the hardback copy was close to being sold out on Amazon… so you may be best visiting David on Twitter for updates on availability and for other purchase options…
About author David Owen
David Owen is a former sports editor of the Financial Times, for which he worked for twenty years in the USA, Canada, France and Great Britain. A leading authority on the Olympic movement, he contributes regularly to the website. His previous horseracing book, Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National’s Biggest Upset, won the Dr Tony Ryan Book Award. His other books include Thomi Keller: A Life in Sport, Rain Starts Play and A Short History of Cricket at Everdon Hall.
>>>No Snail – The Story of L’Escargot, the horse that foiled Red Rum

One response to “No Snail: The Story of L’Escargot…”

  1. Hi Ben, just about the first day I ever went to Cheltenham, and certainly the first I clearly remember was the day L’Escargot won the Gold Cup.

    It was a filthy day and if I am correct came on to snow or whether it was before or after the race I’m not sure. I was there with some Irish friends of the family who would not hear of defeat and we celebrated long and hard after the race in the old timber main stand which I recall being quite cosy.

    I doubt there were more than 6 or 7,000 there.

    A day to remember!

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