Sport: Luck of the Irish

Nature has seldom devised a more demanding steeplechase than the Grand National at England's Aintree with its 4½-mile course and 30 jumps over brush, fence, rail and water, including famed, treacherous Becher's Brook. Last week a crowd of 250,000, including a big contingent of Irishmen and a flock of hopeful holders of Irish Hospital Sweepstakes tickets, turned out to watch the 108th running of the Grand National and shudder at the spills. The footing was soggy and spills came early: three horses went down at the first jump, two at the second. Only nine of the 29 starters finished, and four...

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