Today, exactly 29 years after he won this race aboard a horse owned by his father, Louis (Paddy) Neilson III rode The Guinea Man to victory in the 84th running of the $15,000 Grand National steeplechase.
Neilson, who turns 44 Sunday, had not ridden in a National Steeplechase and Hunt Association-sanctioned race since 1977. But he appeared fit and well-prepared as he guided Broderick S. Munro-Wilson's 9-year-old brown gelding over a three-mile timber course, holding off John (Buzzy) Hannum Jr. aboard Our Climber a couple of lengths behind in 6:12 3/5 seconds.
Baltimore car dealer Charlie Fenwick Jr. rode Sugar Bee to third while his brother Bruce rounded out the field on Big Conoy.
"He hit the first four fences really hard and I had to smarten him up," said Neilson, who's been training the horse since February to run in next week's Maryland Hunt Cup. "But then he gave me a fantastic ride."
Anne Moran of Unionville, Pa., aboard Red Angle edged John M. Bosley aboard Quisitor by a nose in the final steps to win the 21st Benjamin H. Murray Memorial Steeplechase over three miles in 6:12 1/5.