Factfiles on all runners in the Crabbie’s Grand National

GNCOURSEThe following Factfiles are kindly provided by my good friend Mark Popham at Racenews. In order, for each runner, they feature facts on Horse, Owner(s), Trainer, Jockey

 

Factfiles for the 2014 Crabbie’s Grand National

 

 

Across The Bay (IRE) 10-10-11

Breeding: b g Bob’s Return (IRE) – The Southern (IRE) (Glacial Storm (USA)) Breeder: Noel McLoughlin

Born: April 9, 2004

Owner: Scotch Piper Syndicate

Trainer: Donald McCain

Jockey: Henry Brooke

Form: 3/14512/49312U2/PP1P8/782425P3/112710-581U

 

*Finished 14th after making a lot of the running in last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National.

*Won four times in Ireland when trained by Noel Meade.

*Joined current connections after selling for £10,000 at the 2011 DBS Spring Horses In Training Sale.

*Has scored three times over fences, all on heavy ground, for Donald McCain, most recently in a three and a half mile handicap chase at Haydock Park on December 30.

*Also captured the Grade Two Rendlesham Hurdle at the same course in February, 2013.

*Unseated his rider at the 16th when behind in the Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Haydock on February 15. Race record: Starts: 36; 1st: 8; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £142,642

 

Scotch Piper Syndicate

Background: The syndicate derives its name from the Scotch Piper pub at Lydiate north of Liverpool – dating back to 1320, it is said to be the oldest pub in Lancashire. The current Scotch Piper Syndicate comprises Lancashire-based Graham Worsley and the brothers Anthony and Kevin Coyne, while past members have included Graham’s brother Mike, and Ireland-based Frank Towey and Barry Brennan. The idea for racehorse ownership came together over a drink in the pub, and in 2008 the group travelled to trainer Noel Meade’s yard in Ireland, viewed half a dozen horses and bought an unnamed gelding for 25,000 euros – he turned out to be Across The Bay, one of three runners for the late Ginger McCain’s son Donald in this year’s John Smith’s Grand National. The syndicate came up with the name of their horse while taking lunch with Meade at a restaurant in Galway that looked ‘across the bay’. Initially their horse ran from Meade’s yard, but at Fairyhouse’s Irish Grand National meeting in April, 2011, the idea of moving him to Britain was discussed. With some syndicate members preferring to pull out it was decided to achieve the market value for Across The Bay at Doncaster Bloodstock Sales the following month. He was sold for £10,000 to Kevin Coyne, who was acting for himself and his brother, plus Graham Worsley and sent into training with Donald McCain. Worsley, whose interest in racing came from visiting the Grand National with his family, is chairman of St Helens-based GPW Recruitment. A chartered engineer, he joined the family engineering business after graduating in Liverpool with a degree in mechanical engineering. In his late 20s, Graham went on to become a director of Babcock International where he was involved in the design and development of fluidised bed hot gas generators. He spent 20 years as managing director, developing GPW Recruitment into one of the North-West’s leading providers of permanent and temporary recruitment services and became chairman in 2009. Kevin Coyne is a lawyer from Crosby and a partner in Coyne Learmonth LLP, which specialises in helping those who have suffered loss or personal injury due to any form of vehicle accident nationwide. He qualified as a solicitor in 1974. His brother Anthony is a dentist at Netherton near Bootle, close to Aintree. His practice is called Saving Faces. Born in Waterloo, Liverpool, Coyne qualified as a dental surgeon in 1985 at Sheffield University. From 1986-1991, he was surgeon lieutenant dentist with the Royal Navy. In 1996 he opened Old Roan Dental Practice, converting it to private practice in 2001 and the named changed to Saving Faces in 2005. The switch to Netherton was made in 2010. Dr Coyne has trained at Harley Street in London, the BICON Dental Institute in Boston, USA, and the University of Cartagena in Columbia. Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2013 Across The Bay (14th)

 

Donald McCain (Cholmondeley, Cheshire)

Born: June 13, 1970, Background: son of the late Ginger McCain, trainer of the legendary Red Rum, the only horse to win the Grand National three times (1973, 1974 and 1977) and also Amberleigh House, the 2004 victor. Ginger McCain died at the age of 80 on September 19, 2011. Donald learnt to ride on his sister Joanne’s pony Gambol and rode in his first race on the Flat aged 15 (his father told a few white lies so he could ride) at Haydock Park. Subsequently became a jump jockey, firstly as an amateur and then a professional, partnering around 40 winners under Rules. He rode several times over the Grand National fences, finishing fifth aboard Harley in the 1992 Fox Hunters’ Chase and 17th on Sure Metal in the 1996 Grand National. He also spent time working for trainers Luca Cumani, Sir Michael Stoute and Oliver Sherwood. Donald subsequently became assistant trainer to his father and played a significant role in Amberleigh House’s Grand National victory in 2004. He took over the licence from his father in June, 2006, with his first winner coming courtesy of Bearaway in a handicap chase at Newton Abbot on June 8, 2006. The highlight of his training career so far was when Ballabriggs won the Crabbie’s Grand National in 2011. He has made strong progress as a trainer and is one of the leading jump trainers in Britain. He sent out 100 British winners for the first time in the 2010/11 season and has topped that figure ever since, with 153 British scorers being his best total in 2011/12. Achievements: Has sent out six Cheltenham Festival winners and saddled 2011 Crabbie’s Grand National winner Ballabriggs. Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2007 Idle Talk (UR 19th); 2008 Cloudy Lane (6th), Idle Talk (14th); 2009 Idle Talk (12th), Cloudy Lane (UR 15th); 2010 Cloudy Lane (8th), 2011 BALLABRIGGS (WON); 2012 Ballabriggs (6th), Weird Al (Fell 26th); 2013 Across The Bay (14th), Weird Al (PU bef

25th), Ballabriggs (PU bef 24th)

 

Henry Brooke

Born Tadcaster, October 31, 1990 Background: Brooke was raised at Easingwold, Yorkshire, by his parents Glen and Julia Brooke, who now live in Middleham where Glen is a blacksmith, and Julia, who rode in point-to-points under her maiden name of Platts, runs a pre-training yard which also houses a veterinary clinic. They have another son, Danny, who takes part in pony races and rides out for trainer Philip Kirby. Henry’s first ride in a race – in a point-to-point – came on Pikachu Blue, a horse that was gifted to him as a birthday present by trainer Sue Bramall. He finished third on that debut, but it took him another two seasons before he broke his duck in points. He flirted with Flat racing and had 14 rides on the level in 2010 and 2011. He became a conditional jockey and is now in his fourth season with Cholmondeley-based Donald McCain. The move has been a great success, for Brooke rode 17 winners in his first season (2010/11), 42 in 2011/12, when he won the conditional jockeys’ championship, and 34 in 2012/13. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2013 Across The Bay (14th)

 

 

 

 

Alvarado (IRE) 9-10-02

 

Breeding: ch g Goldmark (USA) — Mrs Jones (IRE) (Roselier (FR)) Breeder: P Joyce

Born: March 23, 2005

Owner: William & Angela Rucker

Trainer: Fergal O’Brien

Jockey: Paul Moloney

Form: 21/0112P/111/R2/U156R3-51P

 

*Entered Crabbie’s Grand National picture when relishing the step up to just short of three and a half miles in the Grade Three Murphy Group Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November, scoring decisively by two lengths.

*Purchased privately by William and Angela Rucker after recording a three-timer over fences for northern handler Howard Johnson in March, 2011.

*Will be bidding to continue a brilliant record for the Ruckers in the Crabbie’s Grand National, who have had a horse placed in the last five renewals; State Of Play was fourth twice (2009 & 2011) and third in 2010, while Cappa Bleu was fourth in 2012 and second last year – all trained by Evan Williams.

*He was pulled up in a Cheltenham long-distance handicap chase run on very soft ground on January 1. Race record: Starts: 21; Wins: 8; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £60,239

 

William & Angela Rucker

Background: William Rucker, born on June 18, 1963, is chief executive of Lazard’s London operations and has been since June, 2004. He is also deputy chief executive of the European investment banking business at Lazard. The bank dates back to 1848 and is one of the world’s pre-eminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operating from 40 cities across 24 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. William joined Lazard in 1987, having previously qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen. He is also non-executive chairman of Quintain Estates and Development plc and Crest Nicholson Holdings Ltd, and was a non-executive director of Rentokil Initial from 2008 to March, 2013. His wife Angela is from a legendary point-to-point family, as the grand-daughter of Major Harold Rushton, who rode 86 winners, and the daughter of Pat Tollitt, who partnered 171 winners between the flags and was champion lady rider on six occasions. Racing interests: Amazingly, five of their six runners in the Crabbie’s Grand National have been placed. Angela herself is also a talented rider and trains pointers and the couple’s daughter Emily also rides in point-to-points. The Ruckers are based at Himbleton in Worcestershire and also have horses with Evan Williams and a variety of point-to-point trainers, including Sheila Crow, who trained their Cappa Bleu to win the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival. Horses that progress to run under Rules are principally sent to Evan Williams, who has been well supported by Angela’s family since he began training in 2003. Major wins: Hennessy Gold Cup (2006

State Of Play), Charlie Hall Chase (2008 State Of Play), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (2008 High Chimes),

Cheltenham Foxhunter Chase (2009 Cappa Bleu). Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2009 State Of Play (4th); 2010 State Of Play (3rd); 2011 State Of Play (4th); 2012 Cappa Bleu (4th); State Of Play (UR 5th); 2013 Cappa Bleu (4th)

 

Fergal O’Brien (Coln Saint Dennis, Gloucestershire)

Born Limerick, Ireland, August 19, 1972 Background: His father was a bus driver and he started riding at the age of nine, as his two older brothers, David and Brian, were keen on horses. Followed his brothers by working at Andrew McNamara’s yard at weekends and during school holidays, before spending two months at the age of 14 in England with Doug Francis, where Brian worked. After finishing his schooling in Ireland, he went to Newmarket’s British Racing School for a nine-week course in 1989 and shortly afterwards was sent to Tim Forster’s Oxfordshire yard, where he worked for three years. Joined private trainer Colin Cowley to pursue a career as a jockey, but, after two rides, realised it was not for him and switched to the Nigel Twiston-Davies team in Gloucestershire in July, 1992. Spent 19 years at Grange Hill Farm, including 17 as head lad. Successfully started training point-topointers in 2005, while working for Nigel and was champion point-to-point trainer in West Midlands area for four seasons. Took out his own licence in September, 2011, and has progressed each season, with the current one being his best. He is based at jockey Timmy Murphy’s Cilldara Stud near Fossebridge in Gloucestershire. Married to Jelly, with two daughters Fern and Daisy. No previous runners in Crabbie’s Grand National

 

Paul Moloney

Born: October 17, 1978, hailing from New Inn, close to Ballydoyle in Co Tipperary Background: Paul Moloney formerly shared a house in Newmarket with former champion Flat jockey Jamie Spencer and was heavily involved in both hunting and show jumping and rode his first point-to-point winner at Quin in 1996 for trainer Danny O’Connell. He spent school holidays with Jim Bolger, working alongside Tony McCoy and leading Flat rider Ted Durcan, and later joined Michael Hourigan, for whom he rode his first three winners. His initial success under Rules came on Vain Princess at Clonmel in June, 1995. Moloney was one of Ireland’s leading amateurs and shared the 1998/99 title with Philip Fenton. Moloney also spent time with Christy Roche while in Ireland. He came to Britain for tuition from Yogi Breisner before turning professional and relocated to Newmarket during the 2002/2003 season when he rode mainly for Ian Williams. He enjoyed big race success at Aintree in 2006 when he rode State Of Play to victory in a handicap chase and teamed up with the same horse to secure the biggest win of his career so far in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Newbury in November, 2006. He has finished fourth (2009 and 2011) and third (2010) on the same horse in the Grand National. For the past two years, he rode Cappa Bleu in the Crabbie’s Grand National, finishing fourth in 2012 and runner-up in 2013. He rides mainly for Evan Williams and his biggest wins include Deep Purple’s victory in the 2009 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and Tiger O’Toole’s victory in the Grade Two Holloways Hurdle at Ascot in January, 2011. Crabbie’s Grand National Record:2002 Iris Bleu (Fell 5th); 2004 Royal Atalza (PU bef 29th); 2007 Graphic Approach (Fell 2nd); 2009 State Of

Play (4th); 2010 State Of Play (3rd); 2011 State Of Play (4th); 2012 Cappa Bleu (4th), 2013 Cappa Bleu (2nd)

 

 

Balthazar King (IRE) 10-10-13

 

Breeding: b g King’s Theatre (IRE) – Afdala (IRE) (Hernando (FR))

Breeder: Sunnyhill Stud

Born: February 12, 2004

Owner: The Brushmakers

Trainer: Philip Hobbs

Jockey: Richard Johnson

Form: 6/01436422/F211242F06/1142511P/15P001/120P-1111

Balthazar King

*Set to make second appearance in the Crabbie’s Grand National after finishing 15th behind Auroras Encore in 2013.

*Has won all four starts this season. Started his campaign with victory in a Listed cross-country chase at Craon, France, in September before a comfortable success in a handicap chase at Cheltenham in October. Followed up with two wins over Cheltenham’s cross-country course, including a

game short-head verdict in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 12.

*Officially 9lb “well-in” at the weights, with his Cheltenham Festival success having come after the weights for the Crabbie’s Grand National were revealed on February 11.

*With its unique obstacles, including Grand National-style fences, Cheltenham’s cross-country course has proved a pointer to Crabbie’s Grand National success in the past. Silver Birch was runner-up in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase at the 2007 Cheltenham Festival before scoring at Aintree the following month.

Race Record: Starts; 41; 1st: 14; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 1; Win & Place prize money: £233,072

 

The Brushmakers

The Brushmakers is a Hampshire-based trio involving farmers David Rees, born in 1972, his wife Maggie, Chris Butler and Geoffrey Stevenson, who runs the Imperial Bathroom Company, and who Rees describes as ‘an old rugby-playing friend of mine’. They take their name from the Brushmakers pub at Upham near Winchester, in which Rees once owned a stake. When he subsequently moved to the other side of Winchester, to the village of Hursley, he discovered his new local was the Kings Head, but being unimpressed with it he bought that too. He describes himself as an “arable farmer who also milks cows and keeps pigs and poultry – one of the few truly mixed farms in Hampshire”. His interest in racing was derived through being a neighbour of the late trainer Bill Wightman, whose land Rees farmed. Wightman gave Rees a point-to-pointer and he has been involved in that sport ever since – one of his first buys was prolific winner Ball In The Net, and he also raced Upham Lord, who was subsequently sold to Lincolnshire-based Mike and Jill Dawson and in 2002 and again in 2003 became Britain’s champion between the flags based on wins. Rees says: “I have subsequently been involved in five or six horses trained by Philip Hobbs, including Tamango, who fell at The Chair in the Topham Chase [in 2006]. We bought Balthazar King privately from Diana Whateley [also an owner with Hobbs].” Imperial Bathrooms is the only independent British-owned bathroom company still manufacturing in the UK. Imperial was founded in 1987 by Geoffrey Stevenson, who is the chairman, and Imperial remains still a family-owned company and prides itself in supplying the highest-quality products to a worldwide marketplace. Situated in the heart of the ceramic industry in the West Midlands, Walsall-based Imperial produce original designs to the highest standards, each product undergoing rigorous testing.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2013 Balthazar King (15th)

 

Philip Hobbs (Bilbrook, Somerset)

Born July 26, 1955 Background: Philip was brought up surrounded by horses. His father Tony Hobbs farmed, and had a permit to train for many years, breeding several good horses to run in the family colours. After school at King’s College, Taunton, Philip went on to Reading University and achieved a BSc honours degree. He rode at Hickstead, show jumping as a junior, and gained several point-to-point winners and winners under National Hunt rules as an amateur before turning professional at the age of 21. Partnered 160 winners in a 10-year riding career including the Black and White Gold Cup at Ascot, the Killiney Novice Chase and the Midlands Grand National on such good horses as West Tip and Artifice. Hobbs made four appearances in the Grand National as a professional jockey in the 1980s and, although one of the best horses he rode was West Tip, he didn’t get the leg up on him in the National, with those four rides resulting in two falls, one ninth place and an 11th. He started training in August, 1985, with only six horses and was successful with his very first runner, North Yard at Exeter. He is now one of Britain’s top jump trainers. Philip’s wife Sarah, whom he married in 1982, is the daughter of Bertie Hill, who won a gold medal in three-day eventing at the 1956 Olympics at Stockholm. Achievements: has trained over 2,000 winners, including 18 at the Cheltenham Festival with two of them coming this year. Major Wins Include: BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster). Crabbie’s Grand National record: 1990 Gallic

Prince (13th); Joint Sovereignty (Fell 19th); 1995 Gold Cap (13th); 1998 Samlee (3rd); Greenhill Tare Away (UR 27th); 1999 Samlee (10th); Bells Life (PU bef 26th); Mudahim (UR 6th); 2000 Village King (Fell 20th); Stormy Passage (Fell 22nd); 2001 Village King (Fell 8th); 2002 What’s Up Boys (2nd); 2004 What’s Up Boys (BD 6th); 2005 Double Honour (UR 21st); 2007 Zabenz (PU bef 7th), Monkerhostin (Ref 7th); 2009 Zabenz (Fell 16th), Parsons Legacy (Fell 22nd); 2010 Dream Alliance (PU bef 24th); 2011 Quinz (PU

16th); 2012 Planet Of Sound (12th); 2013 Balthazar King (15th)

 

Richard Johnson

Born: July 21, 1977 Background: Attended Belmont Abbey School, the alma mater of Peter Scudamore, before leaving at 16 to take a job with then champion trainer David Nicholson. He was born and raised at Madley, Herefordshire, where his parents have a farm. Johnson comes from racing stock as his mother Sue holds a licence to train, while his father Keith, who won the 1982 Midlands Grand National on Bridge Ash, and his grandfather Ivor were both good amateur riders. Johnson is unlucky to be riding in the same era as Tony McCoy as he has finished runner-up to his rival in the jockeys’ championship on 14 occasions. He is one of a few jockeys to make the front page of The Sun (March, 2003) when his then girlfriend Zara Phillips kissed him after his Champion Hurdle victory on Rooster Booster and also appeared in the pages of Hello magazine (December, 2001) alongside Phillips. His first winner came at Hereford aboard Rusty Bridge on April 30,1994, and he has gone on to capture some of racing’s biggest prizes, notably the 2000 Gold Cup at Cheltenham aboard Looks Like Trouble and the 2002 Queen Mother Champion Chase on Flagship Uberalles, as well as Rooster Booster’s famous triumph in the Champion Hurdle. Other top-flight winners he has partnered include Florida Pearl, Anzum, Mighty Man, Detroit City, Planet Of Sound, Menorah, Landing Light, Menorah, Captain Chris and Reve De Sivola. He has a total of 20 winners at the Cheltenham Festival. He has a good record at Aintree and won the Crabbie’s Topham Trophy over the Grand National course in 2001 on Gower Slave. His best finish in the Crabbie’s Grand National came when What’s Up Boys finished second in 2002. The grey looked the winner at the elbow but, like many before him, Johnson’s mount was headed in the last 75 yards by Bindaree. In 2007 he married Fiona Chance, daughter of the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Noel Chance and they have three children – Willow, Casper and Percy. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1997 Celtic Abbey (UR 15th), 1998 Banjo (Fell 1st), 1999 Baronet (Fell 4th), 2000 Star Traveller (Pulled up bef 27th); 2001 Edmond (Fell 15th); 2002 What’s Up Boys (2nd); 2003 Behrajan (10th); 2004 What’s Up Boys (BD 6th); 2005 Jakari (PU bef 20th); 2006 Therealbandit (PU bef 27th); 2007 Monkerhostin (Refused 7th); 2008 Turko (Fell 25th); 2009 Parson’s Legacy (Fell 22nd); 2010 Tricky Trickster (9th); 2011 Quinz (PU 16th); 2012 Planet Of

Sound (12th); 2013 Balthazar King (15th)

 

 

 

 

Battle Group (GB) 9-10-10

Breeding: b g Beat Hollow – Cantanta (Top Ville)

Breeder: Juddmonte Farms

Born: Jan 15, 2005

Owner: Jolly Boys Outing

Trainer: Johnny Farrelly

Jockey: Brendan Powell

Form: 4146UF6/11R212344141/3092U20542/2265F0311-1PRP

 

*Bred, like Frankel, by Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms but did not race on the Flat and was sold for 35,000 guineas as a three-year-old at Tattersalls in Newmarket.

*Notched a remarkable double at last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National meeting when trained by Kevin Bishop, who was assisted by Johnny Farrelly, winning a Grade 3 handicap hurdle on the Thursday and a three mile, one furlong handicap chase on Grand National day. He maintained that run of form with success the following month at Haydock Park.

*Since changing stables, when Farrelly started training, he has failed to sparkle, pulled up in two of his three runs, including most recently at Ascot in December, and refused to race in the other.

Race record: Starts 42; wins 9; 2nd 7; 3rd 3. Win & place prize money: £169,060

 

Jolly Boys Outing

Background: Jolly Boys Outing is a syndicate consisting of Mike Fitzgerald, Jon Gwyther, Tony Price and James Langridge, who all work for J & G Fencing in Ashton Vale, Bristol, as well as their friend Peter Randall. J & G Fencing was founded in 2002 by Gwyther and Langridge. The company turns over more than £3 million a year. The group purchased Battle Group for £75,000 in the car park at Cheltenham Racecourse after he failed to make his reserve at an auction held at Home of Jump Racing after racing, January 1 in 2009.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: No previous runners

 

Johnny Farrelly (Bridgwater, Somerset)

Born: October 23, 1984 Background: Farrelly was a conditional jockey attached to the David Pipe yard and he rode over 100 winners for the trainer, including the Emma Lavelle-trained Pause And Clause in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival. He also won the Sky Bet Chase on An Accordion in 2008. He had a bad fall at Fontwell in December, 2011, when he was not only knocked unconscious but also lost two teeth and broke a collar-bone. Injury plagued his career. He took up training at the start of this season, following a spell assisting Kevin Bishop. During his time with Bishop, he looked after several horses and was credited for masterminding Battle Group’s unique double at Aintree last year, when he won the Grade Three Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle on the first day of the meeting and the Betfred TV Handicap Chase on Grand National day. Farrelly has 22 horses under his care at his Bridgwater base in Somerset, after completing three training modules as well as a NVQ in racehorse care and management. Battle Group will be Farrelly’s first runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National. Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Brendan Powell

Born: January 26, 1995 Background: The son of Crabbie’s Grand National-winning jockey and successful trainer Brendan Powell (who partnered the 1988 winner Rhyme ‘N’ Reason), Powell cut his teeth on the pony racing circuit in Ireland, making his debut in that sphere at the tender age of 14. He returned to England and turned professional in September, 2011 as a 16-year-old. Attached to the Colin Tizzard yard in Dorset, he quickly made a name for himself and had his first Cheltenham Festival winner in March, 2012 on Golden Chieftain in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase. He notched a unique double at the Crabbie’s Grand National meeting the following month, when he guided the Kevin Bishoptrained Battle Group to victory in both the Grade Three Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle on the first day and the Betfred TV Handicap Chase on Grand National day. He also won on Oiseau De Nuit in the Grade Three Silver Cross Red Rum Handicap Chase on the opening day of the same meeting. Powell recorded his second Cheltenham Festival winner this year when piloting Present View in the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase for trainer Jamie Snowden. Powell will be riding in the Crabbie’s Grand National for the first time this year on Battle Group. Major Wins include: Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (2012 Golden Chieftain); Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle (2013 Battle Group); Silver Cross Red Rum Handicap Chase (2013 Oiseau De Nuit); Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase (2014 Present View). Previous Crabbie’s Grand National rides: None

 

Big Shu (IRE) 9-10-08

 

Breeding: b g Milan – Straight ‘n Furry (Furry Glen)

Breeder: B Norton

Born: May 13, 2005

Owner: Hugh Duffy, Richard Robinson & Caroline Woods

Trainer: Peter Maher IRE

Jockey: Peter Buchanan

Form: 4/267/4/532618B1/F74211-23

 

*One of Ireland’s best hunter chasers and cross-country specialists.

*Bought for €15,000 as a three-year-old.

*Finished last season with victory in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the La Touche Cup at Punchestown.

*This season he has run twice. He was second back over the banks course at Punchestown in February and then produced his highest-rated performance when third to Balthazar King and Any Currency when defending his Cheltenham title.

Race record: Starts 16; wins 3; 2nd 3; 3rd 1. Win & place prize money: £60,829

 

Hugh Duffy & Richard Robinson & Caroline Woods

Big Shu runs for a three-way partnership who, like the horse’s jockey Peter Buchanan, all hail from Northern Ireland. Caroline Woods, from Donemana in County Tyrone, is the partner of trainer Peter Maher and is a physiotherapist who has looked after the Irish army and Northern Ireland’s soccer team. She was a useful amateur rider and finished 11th, albeit beaten 147 lengths, on Younowhat in the 2008 Fox Hunters’ Chase over the large fences at Aintree. Her father Lindsay trains in County Tyrone and he handled Big Shu’s ill-fated half-brother Big Boots. Derry-based Hugh Duffy, from a well-known bookmaking family, and Richard Robinson from Newcastle in County Down, who both coowned Big Boots, complete the partnership. No previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners

 

Peter Maher (County Kildare, Ireland)

Born: February 5, 1971 Background: Maher was born in Clondalkin, a small town just outside Dublin, and is from an influential racing family. His grandfather, Frank Latham, was responsible for Blackrath Stud which, in the 1960s and 70s, stood some of the best stallions in Ireland, including Le Bavard, Vulgan and Escart III, the sire of the 1975 Grand National winner L’Escargot. Maher is now the master of that particular stud, as well as Ashfield Stud near Donore in County Kildare, where he trains a team of 10 racehorses. He used to visit Blackrath Stud as a child during the summer holidays and first started in the local pony club before progressing to riding in point-to-points. He broke his back as an 18-year-old following a fall from his motorbike and was in a bodycast for nine months. After recovering from this, he went to work for trainer P P Hogan (where he developed his love of banks races), as well as Francis Flood, before heading back to Blackrath and Ashfield to start a training career alongside running the studs. Maher’s biggest success to date came at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013 when Big Shu won the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Handicap Chase and he also finished third in this year’s race. The horse has proven himself to be one of the best cross-country chasers of his generation, having also won the La Touche Cup at Punchestown in April, 2013. Maher was also responsible for Gerry Feilden winner Ifandbutwhynot (now with David O’Meara) earlier on in his career. Big Shu will be Peter Maher’s first runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National. Major wins include: Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (2013 Big Shu).

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Peter Buchanan

Born: August 6, 1978 Background: Hailing from Northern Ireland, he earned a degree in finance and accountancy at Trinity College Dublin before establishing his credentials as a professional horseman. He represented Ireland in the European eventing championships and when turning his attentions to point-to-pointing, a sphere in which his father and uncle enjoyed much success, he rode around 50 winners. The first of his nine winners under Rules in Ireland came on the Denise Foster-trained Polaris Flame in a hunter chase at the 2000 Punchestown Festival. He turned professional when a change in the Rules allowed jump jockeys to claim an allowance after they had reached the age of 26, which had previously been the cut-off point. He joined County Durham-based Howard Johnson in 2003, and that year recorded his first success in Britain on the now-disbarred trainer’s Teme Valley at Sedgefield on Boxing Day. He joined Lucinda Russell as first jockey in the summer of 2004, with Catch The Perk providing his first winner for his new boss at Hexham in March, 2004. Buchanan’s biggest successes have come in the Grand National Trial at Haydock, which he has won three times, in 2005 on the Richard Ford-trained Forest Gunner, on whom he had three months earlier won the Betfred Grand Sefton Chase over the National fences at Aintree, and in 2010 and 2011 on Russell’s charge Silver By Nature.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2005 Strong Resolve (17th), 2006 Tyneandthyneagain (Fell 1st); 2011 Silver By Nature (12th); 2013 Mr Moonshine (PU 27th)

 

 

Buckers Bridge (IRE) 8-10-10

 

Breeding: b g Pelder – La Fiere Dame (Lafontaine)

Breeder: M A Molloy

Born: Feb 27, 2006

Owner: Ann & Alan Potts Partnership

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead IRE Jockey: Andrew Lynch

Form: 111/15165-05103

 

*One of the least experienced in the field. The Crabbie’s Grand National will be his 13th start in a career that began in November, 2011.

*Qualified for the race at the most recent time of asking, when he finished third to subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up On His Own in the three-mile, one furlong Grade Two Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February.

*Before that, his best performance was to beat Oscars Well over two and a half miles at Gowran in November. He had also accounted for Twinlight at Navan earlier in the year.

Race record: Starts 12; wins 5; 2nd 0; 3rd 1 Win & place prize money: £52,211

 

Ann & Alan Potts Partnership

Alan Potts (born 1937) established the Derbyshire-based MMD Group in 1978 after the National Coal Board asked him for a way to prevent large lumps of coal blocking conveyor belts. Potts came up with a sizing machine that became the standard for all UK pits. Since then, MMD has branched out into increasingly sophisticated mining and quarrying equipment worldwide. The company is owned and run by Potts and his wife Ann. Potts was born in Great Houghton, South Yorkshire and started working at the age of 15 as a sweeper-up in the pit fitting shop at Houghton Main Colliery. He quickly progressed on the NCB’s apprenticeship and management schemes, meaning that by age of 40 he was area mechanical engineer with 14 mines under his supervision, and inventing machinery as he went along. Having been interested in racing since he was teenager, Potts teamed up with Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead in 2005 after reading an article in the Racing Post Weekender about the trainer. The best horse he has owned to date is seven-time Grade One Sizing Europe, winner of the Arkle Chase in 2010 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2011. He also won the Cross-Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with Sizing Australia in 2011. No previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners

 

Henry de Bromhead (County Waterford, Ireland)

Born: October 28, 1972 Background: De Bromhead is the son of former farmer and trainer Harry de Bromhead. He initially trained to be an accountant but left college after realising that this career was not for him. He took a job at Coolmore Stud and worked with Robert Alner in Dorset, as well as with his father, before joining Sir Mark Prescott’s Newmarket yard. He also worked at Tattersalls for three months before returning to Coolmore Stud in 1998. After his father had been incapacitated by a stroke in 1999, he took over the reins at the County Waterford yard and sent out his first winner with his very first runner when Fidalus won at Tramore on New Year’s Day in 2000. De Bromhead trained a stream of winners in his first few years – including Feeling Grand, River Clodagh and Whatareyouhaving – but his career was to take a different direction when he took a phone call from Alan Potts in 2004, who wanted to buy his smart pointer Oscar India. Although de Bromhead was reluctant to sell Oscar India, he did persuade Potts to buy two horses from him and, more importantly, keep them in his yard. The two that Potts bought had wretched luck (one died of colic and the other suffered a career-ending injury on the gallops) but Potts was undeterred and bought 14 horses in the summer of 2005 to send to de Bromhead. One of those horses, Sizing Europe, went on to propel de Bromhead into the big time. The son of Pistolet Bleu won the Grade One Irish Champion Hurdle in January, 2008, before embarking on a chase campaign which saw him progress into one of the best two-milers of his generation. He won the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March, 2011, as well as the Grade One Tingle Creek in December, 2011. De Bromhead also trained Special Tiara to win the Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April of last year. Buckers Bridge will be De Bromhead’s first runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National. Major wins include: Irish Champion Hurdle (2008 Sizing Europe); Irish Arkle Chase (2010 An Cathaoir Mor); Arkle Challenge Trophy (2010 Sizing Europe); Queen Mother Champion Chase (2011 Sizing Europe); Tingle Creek Chase (2011 Sizing Europe); Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (2013 Special Tiara).

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Andrew Lynch

Born: October 5, 1984, and raised in Ashbourne, Co Meath Background: Lynch made his debut as an amateur in a Fairyhouse bumper in April, 2001, and enjoyed a first success 13 months later when Tristernagh landed a novice hurdle at Downpatrick on May 18, 2002. But he struggled for winners over the next two years before a more productive 2004/05 campaign persuaded Lynch to turn professional at the end of July, 2005. He recorded a first Grade One success when scoring on the Jim Dreaper-trained Notre Pere in the Knight Frank Ganly Walters Novice Chase at Leopardstown in December, 2007. He posted a first big-race success in Britain in March, 2006, when he partnered the Ado McGuinness-trained Victram to success in the Imperial Cup at Sandown and he was also on board Notre Pere when he triumphed in the 2008 Welsh National at Chepstow. Lynch has enjoyed a pair of wins at the Cheltenham Festival in both 2010 and 2011, including the superb victories of Sizing Europe in the Arkle Trophy Chase and the Queen Mother Champion Chase. He also enjoyed three Grade One victories on Flemenstar for trainer Peter Casey. Lynch is also bidding to complete a notable Derby-Grand National double, having won the Amateur Derby on Tender Falcon at Epsom Downs in August, 2004.

Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2011 Vic Venturi (BD 2nd); 2012 Treacle (Fell 10th)

 

 

 

Burton Port (IRE) 10-10-08

 

Breeding: b g Bob Back (USA) – Despute (IRE) (Be My Native (USA))

Breeder: Thomas Meagher

Born: March 27, 2004

Owner: Trevor Hemmings

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill

Jockey: Brian Harding

Form: 113342/1211121/2/242/509P82

 

Burton Port

*High-class chaser, having finished second in the RSA Chase at The Cheltenham Festival in 2010 and chased home Diamond Harry in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury later the same year.

*Boasts an excellent record at Aintree, winning the Betfred Mobile Mildmay Novices’ Chase in April, 2010, and filling the runner-up spot in the Betfred Bowl at the same meeting in 2012, both on the Mildmay Course.

*Missed the whole of the 2012/2013 campaign with a tendon injury and moved from Nicky Henderson to Jonjo O’Neill ahead of the current season.  *Runner-up on most recent start in extended three and a quarter-mile veterans’ handicap chase at Newbury on March 1, by far his best form of the season with first-time cheek-pieces.

Race Record (under Rules): Starts: 23; Wins: 7; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 2; Win & Place prize money: £266,760

 

Trevor Hemmings CVO

Born: June 11, 1935 Background: Brought up in Woolwich Arsenal, South-East London, where his father worked at the Royal Ordnance factory. Was sent to Lancashire as a five-year-old during World War II and began life as a bricklayer’s apprentice after leaving school aged 15, before becoming involved in the Pontins holiday business. Eventually became the owner and sold it to Scottish & Newcastle in exchange for a significant shareholding in S & N (in 1989). Bought Pontins back in 2000 but retained a stake in S & N, which netted him £218 million when the company was sold in January, 2008. Sold Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens to the North West resort’s town council for £40 million in March, 2010. In 2012, agreed to sell his major shareholding in Arena Leisure Plc, which owned Folkestone, Lingfield, Southwell, Wolverhampton and Windsor racecourses and managed Doncaster and Worcester, to the Reuben brothers. Arena also has a major part of specialist broadcaster At The Races which owns some of British racing’s media rights. Owns a share of Preston North End FC and is chairman of the TJH Foundation, a charity which makes grants to organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Relief, St John Ambulance, Crimestoppers Trust, Royal National Lifeboat Association, the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and Racing Welfare. In 2011, he was appointed a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO) for his work as vice-president of the Princess Royal Trust Carers. In 2013, the Sunday Times estimated Hemmings’ wealth at £610 million. Also has eventers who are ridden by Zara Phillips – she rode the Hemmingsowned High Kingdom (whose stable nickname is “Trev”) when winning team silver in three-day eventing at London 2012. Racing Interests: Fulfilled one of his greatest ambitions when Hedgehunter carried his colours to victory in the 2005 Crabbie’s Grand National. After years of trying, Hemmings had finally emulated his mentor Fred Pontin, owner of the 1971 National hero Specify, with his 13th Grand National runner. Ballabriggs added a memorable second Crabbie’s Grand National success in 2011. First winner came on the Flat in 1985 but Hemmings now brings on young jumping stock at Gleadhill House Stud, near Chorley, Lancashire, managed by former trainer Mick Meagher, and at his Monymusk Stud in Co Cork. First tried to win the Crabbie’s Grand National with the Stan Mellor-trained Rubika, who finished 14th in 1992. Hemmings, who was made an honorary Jockey Club member in December, 2006, is based on the Isle of Man and is said to have paid £12 million for the Ballavoddan estate on the island where his retired horses live. Has enjoyed 11 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, headed by dual Ryanair Chase hero Albertas Run.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1992 Rubika (14th); 2000 The Last Fling (7th); Esprit De Cotte (Fell 22nd); 2001 The Last Fling (UR 5th), Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th); 2002 Goguenard (Fell 1st), Beau (UR 14th); 2003 Southern Star (14th), Chives (PU bef 12th); 2004 Arctic Jack (Fell 1st), Southern Star (PU bef 9th), Hedgehunter (Fell 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON), Europa (20th); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd), Juveigneur (Fell 1st), 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Billyvoddan (PU bef 19th); 2008 Cloudy Lane (6th), Hedgehunter (13th), Idle Talk (14th); 2009 Idle Talk (12th), Battlecry (16th), Cloudy Lane (UR 15th); 2010 Cloudy Lane (8th); 2011 BALLABRIGGS

(WON), King Fontaine (11th); 2012 Ballabriggs (6th); 2013 Ballabriggs (PU bef 24th)

 

Jonjo O’Neill (Jackdaws Castle, Gloucestershire)

Born: April 13, 1952. Background: Champion jump jockey twice (1977/78 and 1979/80) and set a then record for a season of 149 winners in his first championship year. The most sensational moment of his riding career came when he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Dawn Run in 1986 as the mare became the only horse to win that trophy after having previously taken the Champion Hurdle (1984), again with O’Neill in the saddle. This was one of nine victories at the Cheltenham Festival but, despite this successful riding career, he had a dreadful record in the Grand National and never completed the race in eight rides. He retired at the end of the 1985/86 season and, having survived lymphatic cancer not long after that, started training near Penrith, Cumbria, in 1987. Moved to his present base at Jackdaws Castle near Cheltenham when the yard was bought by owner J P McManus in 2001. In 2010, O’Neill finally broke his Grand National duck when saddling Don’t Push It to victory for McManus, who had been trying to win the race since 1982. Achievements: Has trained 25 Cheltenham Festival winners. Major wins include: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2012 Synchronised), Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2004 Iris’ Gift, 2014 More Of That), Lexus Chase (2008 Exotic Dancer, 2012 Synchronised), Ryanair Chase (2010 & 2011 Albertas Run), williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle (2002 & 2003 Intersky Falcon).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2003 Carbury Cross (7th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Joss Naylor (PU bef 19th); 2005 Simply Gifted (3rd), Shamawan (21st), Native Emperor (UR 9th), Clan Royal (CO bef 22nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th); 2007 Clan Royal (11th); 2008 Bob Hall (PU bef 19th), Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8t h); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (Fell 6th) Arbor Supreme (UR 10th); 2013 Lost Glory (PU before 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR 30th)

 

Brian Harding

Born: September 26, 1972, the son of a dairy farmer and point-to-point trainer in Co Cork. He is the oldest jockey riding in this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National. Background: rode in pony races from a young age but originally set out to be a Flat jockey, attached to Kevin Prendergast’s stable in Ireland. His brother Richard is a leading amateur in Ireland and landed a double at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival. After becoming too heavy to pursue a career on the level, Brian joined the late Gordon Richards’ stable at Greystoke in Cumbria in 1992. He still rides primarily for the Greystoke team, which has been under the care of Nicky Richards (Gordon’s son) since 1998 Big-Race Wins: He won three times on McGregor The Third over the cross-country course at Cheltenham, where his greatest win came when standing in for Tony Dobbin in the 1998 Queen Mother Champion Chase on One Man at the Cheltenham Festival. He won the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 1996 on Addington Boy and had a dream ride when third in the 2005 Crabbie’s Grand National on Simply Gifted. He is enjoying his best season since 1999/2000 at the age of 41, with 32 winners up to Tuesday, April

1. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1999 Feels Like Gold (5th); 2000 Feels Like Gold (14th); 2001 Feels Like Gold (Refused 8th); 2004

Luzcadou (Fell 1st); 2005 Simply Gifted (3rd); 2006 Inca Trail (8th); 2008 Idle Talk (14th); 2009 Idle Talk (12th)

 

 

 

 

Chance Du Roy (FR) 10-10-6

Breeding: ch g Morespeed – La Chance Au Roy (Rex Magna)

Breeder: Jean, Raymond and Jean-Claude Campos

Born: April 4, 2004

Owner: Miss Daphne Du Pre

Trainer: Philip Hobbs

Jockey: Tom O’Brien

Form: 714515/93/94411/7313P/125412/0F0498-1P4

 

*This will be his fifth run over the unique Aintree fences, though his first in the Grand National itself.

*On his latest visit to the track, he won the Betfred Becher Chase in November last year, staying on strongly to rally past Baby Run after the last. Previously he had finished ninth in the Crabbie’s Topham Chase at last year’s National meeting, fell in the Betfred Grand Sefton Chase in December, 2012 and beat all bar Always Waining in the 2012 Topham.

*Has raced only twice since his Becher Chase success, pulled up on heavy ground at Haydock in January and fourth to Restless Harry at Ascot in February.

*He cost €47,000 as an unbroken three-year-old.

*He is French-bred, as were two of the past five winners. In 2009 Mon Mome became the fourth French-bred horse to win a National (100 years after the third, Lutteur), swiftly followed by Neptune Collonges in 2012. Race record: Starts 33; wins 8; 2nd 2; 3rd 3. Win & place prize money: £182,991

 

Daphne Du Pre

Daphne Du Pre is a retired teacher who hails from Cam in Gloucestershire. She has been involved in racehorse ownership since the late 1980s and started owning horses in her own right at the turn of this century. Her horses have always been trained by the Philip Hobbs yard and her best runner to date has been Kalca Mome, who won 13 times in a 49-race career, including when beating former Champion Chaser Voy Por Ustedes in a handicap chase at Cheltenham. Her Crabbie’s Grand National runner, Chance Du Roy, is no stranger to the big Aintree fences having run over them four times before, including when winning the Betfred Becher Chase in December. Du Pre is not from a racing background but has had a lifelong interest in the sport and will be present at Aintree on Saturday with family and friends to watch Chance Du Roy in action.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Philip Hobbs (Bilbrook, Somerset)

Born July 26, 1955 Background: Philip was brought up surrounded by horses. His father Tony Hobbs farmed, and had a permit to train for many years, breeding several good horses to run in the family colours. After school at King’s College, Taunton, Philip went on to Reading University and achieved a BSc honours degree. He rode at Hickstead, show jumping as a junior, and gained several point-to-point winners and winners under National Hunt rules as an amateur before turning professional at the age of 21. Partnered 160 winners in a 10-year riding career including the Black and White Gold Cup at Ascot, the Killiney Novice Chase and the Midlands Grand National on such good horses as West Tip and Artifice. Hobbs made four appearances in the Grand National as a professional jockey in the 1980s and, although one of the best horses he rode was West Tip, he didn’t get the leg up on him in the National, with those four rides resulting in two falls, one ninth place and an 11th. He started training in August, 1985, with only six horses and was successful with his very first runner, North Yard at Exeter. He is now one of Britain’s top jump trainers. Philip’s wife Sarah, whom he married in 1982, is the daughter of Bertie Hill, who won a gold medal in three-day eventing at the 1956 Olympics at Stockholm. Achievements: has trained over 2,000 winners, including 18 at the Cheltenham Festival with two of them coming this year. Major Wins Include: BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), Stan James Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster). Crabbie’s Grand National record: 1990 Gallic Prince (13th); Joint Sovereignty (Fell 19th); 1995 Gold Cap (13th); 1998 Samlee (3rd); Greenhill Tare Away (UR 27th); 1999 Samlee (10th); Bells Life (PU bef 26th); Mudahim (UR 6th); 2000 Village King (Fell 20th); Stormy Passage (Fell 22nd); 2001 Village King (Fell 8th); 2002 What’s Up Boys (2nd); 2004 What’s Up Boys (BD 6th); 2005 Double Honour (UR 21st); 2007 Zabenz (PU bef 7th), Monkerhostin (Ref 7th); 2009 Zabenz (Fell 16th), Parsons Legacy (Fell 22nd); 2010 Dream Alliance (PU bef 24th); 2011 Quinz (PU 16th); 2012 Planet Of Sound (12th); 2013 Balthazar King (15th)

 

Tom O’Brien

Born: November 28, 1986 Background: set a record for the conditional riders’ championship in the 2006/07 season with 107 successes. His father Jim is a brother of the brilliant trainer Aidan O’Brien and plays a key role at the Irish champion’s Ballydoyle stable in Co Tipperary. From the age of 13, Tom rode out at weekends and in school holidays at Ballydoyle, aboard champions such as High Chaparral, Rock Of Gibraltar and Mozart. He joined Philip Hobbs’s stable as a 17-year-old, initially riding as an amateur and in point-to-points and had his first success aboard The Names Bond at Warwick on December 18, 2004. O’Brien also has an association with trainer Peter Bowen, for whom he finished second aboard McKelvey when having his first Grand National ride in 2007. He landed the Coral Welsh National in 2009 on Dream Alliance and has enjoyed one success at the Cheltenham Festival – Silk Affair in the 2009 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Aidan O’Brien still takes a keen interest in his nephew’s progress – “when he sits down to watch me ride, he often gets on the phone to give me a rollicking,” said Tom. He partnered the Peter Bowen-trained Always Waining to two of his record-breaking three successes over the Grand National fences at Aintree and also won the 2013 Betfred Becher Chase on the Hobbs-trained Chance Du Roy. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 McKelvey (2nd); 2008 McKelvey (UR 20th); 2009 Zabenz (Fell16th); 2010 Dream Alliance (PU Bef 24th); 2013 Always Waining (10th)

Colbert Station (IRE) 10-11-00

Breeding: b g Witness Box (USA) — Laurenca´s Girl (IRE) (Commanche Run)

Breeder: Mary Murphy

Born: April 25, 2004

Owner: J P McManus

Trainer: Ted Walsh

Jockey: Mark Walsh

Form: 364/46951177/413/5211U-03U0F

 

*Strongly fancied for last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National on the back of a decisive success in the three-mile Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown in December, 2012, but unseated A P McCoy at the 15th (The Chair).

*Has been mixing chasing and hurdling in five starts this season, with the best effort coming when third to Cootamundra in the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase over three miles at Navan in November.

*Fell on latest outing in the two mile and five furlong Carrickmines Handicap Chase at Leopardstown on March 2. Race record: Starts: 24; Wins: 5; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £145,061

 

J P McManus

Born: March 10, 1951 in Co Limerick, Ireland. Background: John Patrick ‘J P’ McManus attended the Christian Brothers school on Sexton Street, Limerick. He left his father’s plant hire business at the age of 20 to become a racecourse bookmaker, but then took the less well-trodden route of gamekeeper-turned-poacher when becoming a professional punter. McManus recalls one of his first bets as being on Merryman II in the 1960 Grand National when he was just nine, but the bet that changed his life was £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, the horse winning at 100/8. He had another £4 on when Linden Tree won the Observer Gold Cup at 25/1, and £5 each-way at 33/1 for the Derby, when the horse beat all bar Mill Reef. He was dubbed “the Sundance Kid” by journalist Hugh McIlvanney after landing a number of major gambles during the 1970s. McManus has a host of business interests including dealing on the financial markets from his Geneva, Switzerland, base and part-ownership of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, where he also has a house. With John Magnier, he bought a 28.7% stake in Manchester United through the Cubic Expression company before subsequently selling out to US tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005. He was in the news shortly after that because of his stake in the pub and restaurant operator Mitchells and Butler. In 2013, the Sunday Times estimated McManus’ wealth at £530 million, making him the 12th richest person in Ireland. Racing interests: McManus purchased his first racehorse, Cill Dara, at the age of 26 and is the biggest jump owner in terms of numbers in Britain, Ireland and France (some 300 horses spread over 50 trainers ran for him last season). He owns Jackdaws Castle, the Gloucestershire yard that Jonjo O’Neill trains from, and has invested heavily in improving facilities since purchasing the property in 2001. Mister Donovan provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival success in the 1982 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and since then McManus has enjoyed 40 other winners at the meeting. The mighty Istabraq is the most revered horse he has owned following three consecutive victories in the Champion Hurdle (1998,1999,2000), while he has also won a Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup with Synchronised (2012) and three Ladbrokes World Hurdles with Baracouda (2002 & 2003) and More Of That (2014). A full 28 years after his runner in the race, McManus finally achieved a long-held ambition when Don’t Push It won the 2010 Crabbie’s Grand National. He has also been British champion owner for the 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9, 2009/10, 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. Other interests: McManus does a lot of work for charity and his Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place every five years, has raised over 95 million euros. McManus is also a keen backgammon player and a big hurling fan. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1982 Deep Gale (Fell 1st), 1988 Bucko (PU bef 27th), 1992 Laura’s Beau (3rd), 1994 Laura’s Beau (Fell 6th), 1996 Wylde Hide (UR 24th), 1997 Wylde Hide (UR 22nd); 1998 Gimme Five (5th), 2002 Spot Thedifference (UR 27th); 2003 Youlneverwalkalone (PU bef 13th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Spot Thedifference (5th), Risk Accessor (UR 6th), Le Coudray (Fell 22nd); 2005 Innox (7th), Spot Thedifference (18th), Shamawan (21st), Clan Royal (CO 22nd), Le Coudray (PU before 21st), Risk Accessor (UR 2nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th), Innox (Fell 1st), First Gold (UR 23rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th), Clan Royal (11th); 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), L’Ami (Fell 2nd), Bob Hall (PU bef 19th), Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), L’Ami (PU bef 30th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th), King Johns Castle (refused to race); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Blue Sea Cracker (14th), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), Arbor Supreme (Fell 28th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (Fell 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th), Quiscover Fontaine (Fell 17th); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Colbert Station (UR

15th), Lost Glory (PU bef 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR last)

 

Ted Walsh IRE (Kill, County Kildare)

Born: April 14, 1950, Fermoy, Co Cork Background: Ted Walsh is a racehorse trainer, journalist and broadcaster with RTE and Channel 4. His father, Ruby, had a public house and kept a livery stable in Fermoy. In 1954 the Walsh family relocated to the United States, but came back to Ireland less than two years later and Ruby rented a yard at Chapelizod, Co Dublin. The family later moved to a farm in Kill, Co Kildare, which Ted has now extended to 60 acres. Walsh was Irish champion amateur jockey on 11 occasions, and rode four Cheltenham Festival winners, including the 1979 Queen Mother Champion Chase on Hilly Way. Walsh’s eldest son Ruby is the eight-time champion Jump jockey of Ireland, while another of his children Katie is also a successful jockey with two Cheltenham Festival wins to her name and a third on Seabass in the 2012 Crabbie’s Grand National (the highest finish to date by a female rider). Walsh’s other daughter Jennifer is agent to Ruby, while his other son Ted Jnr married leading jockey Nina Carberry on February 7, 2012. Achievements: Sent out Commanche Court to land the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 1997. Ted and Ruby combined to win the Crabbie’s Grand National with Papillon in 2000. They also teamed up to take the Irish equivalent 16 days later with Commanche Court. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1992 Roc De Prince (17th); 2000 PAPILLON (WON), 2001 Papillon (4th), 2006 Jack High (UR 15th), Rince Ri

(Ref 27th); 2007 Jack High (Fell 6th); 2009 Southern Vic (8th); 2012 Seabass (3rd); 2013 Seabass (13th), Colbert Station (UR 15th)

 

Mark Walsh

Born March 23, 1986 Background: Mark Walsh grew up surrounded by horses in Clane, County Kildare. Although not related to Ted and Ruby, Mark’s cousin David was also a successful jockey who rode Barton Bank to finish second to Mr Mulligan in the 1997 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Walsh began riding ponies and going hunting from an early age and soon progressed to race-riding on the pony circuit. He started to work for Christy Roche when he was 15 but enjoyed his first winner for permit holder Marcus Callaghan (who was also celebrating his maiden victory) when Shrug landed a handicap hurdle at Punchestown on September 29, 2002. His only other success that season was on the Roche-trained Allofasudden, who took a handicap hurdle at the 2003 Punchestown Festival, but he soon started firing in the winners, with 12 successes in 2003/04 and 19 victories the following season. But the winners were harder to come by in the following three seasons as he failed to reach double figures. That changed in the 2008/09 campaign when he hit 19 winners once again and enjoyed big-race success on the Tom Taaffe-trained Glenfinn Captain in the Grade Two Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park, and the Francis Flood-trained P’tit Fute, who won valuable handicap hurdles at Galway and Leopardstown. On his Aintree debut in 2004, Walsh partnered Puck Out to triumph in a handicap hurdle. Walsh has failed to get around the course in four attempts at the Crabbie’s Grand National. He has struck up a good relationship with several of J P McManus’s horses, such as Aranleigh and Captain Cee Bee and in 2012 won the Galway Plate and Dan Moore Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on Bob Lingo. He enjoyed Grade One success earlier this season when the Paul Nolan-trained Defy Logic landed the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2009 Reveillez (BD 3rd); 2011 Quolibet (UR 11th); 2012 Arbor Supreme (UR 10th); 2013 Lost Glory (PU 17th).

 

Double Seven (IRE) 8-10-11

 

Breeding: b g Milan — Bargante (IRE) (Phardante (FR))

Breeder: M Doran

Born: March 5, 2006

Owner: J P McManus

Trainer: Martin Brassil

Jockey: A P McCoy

Form: 4177/311100/62P8P47P0P-F111116

 

*Sold for 26,000 euros at the 2009 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale.

*Off the mark at the second time of asking in a two mile, two furlong Sligo maiden hurdle in September, 2010.

*Winless in three subsequent starts, but completed a three-timer in a Tipperary handicap hurdle in October, 2011.

*Made debut over fences at the same course in June, 2012, but failed to win in first 11 starts over the larger obstacles.

*Finally got off the mark in a two and a half mile handicap chase at Kilbeggan on June 24, 2013, and followed up in the competitive Gigginstown House Midlands National over three miles and a furlong at the same course on July 19. Brought up the hat-trick when dropped back to two and a half miles on August 10.

*Took a big step up the ladder when beating subsequent Cheltenham Festival hero Spring Heeled by two lengths in the valuable Munster National over three miles at Limerick on October 13.

*Winning run extended to five in the Listed M W Hickey Memorial Chase at Wexford on October 27, but the sequence came to an end when he was sixth in a handicap chase at Leopardstown over two miles and five furlongs on March 2. Race record: Starts: 27; Wins: 9; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £151,105

 

J P McManus

Born: March 10, 1951 in Co Limerick, Ireland. Background: John Patrick ’J P’ McManus attended the Christian Brothers school on Sexton Street, Limerick. He left his father’s plant hire business at the age of 20 to become a racecourse bookmaker, but then took the less well-trodden route of gamekeeper-turned-poacher when becoming a professional punter. McManus recalls one of his first bets as being on Merryman II in the 1960 Grand National when he was just nine, but the bet that changed his life was £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, the horse winning at 100/8. He had another £4 on when Linden Tree won the Observer Gold Cup at 25/1, and £5 each-way at 33/1 for the Derby, when the horse beat all bar Mill Reef. He was dubbed “the Sundance Kid” by journalist Hugh McIlvanney after landing a number of major gambles during the 1970s. McManus has a host of business interests including dealing on the financial markets from his Geneva, Switzerland, base and part-ownership of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, where he also has a house. With John Magnier, he bought a 28.7% stake in Manchester United through the Cubic Expression company before subsequently selling out to US tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005. He was in the news shortly after that because of his stake in the pub and restaurant operator Mitchells and Butler. In 2013, the Sunday Times estimated McManus’ wealth at £530 million, making him the 12th richest person in Ireland. Racing interests: McManus purchased his first racehorse, Cill Dara, at the age of 26 and is the biggest jump owner in terms of numbers in Britain, Ireland and France (some 300 horses spread over 50 trainers ran for him last season). He owns Jackdaws Castle, the Gloucestershire yard that Jonjo O’Neill trains from, and has invested heavily in improving facilities since purchasing the property in 2001. Mister Donovan provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival success in the 1982 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and since then McManus has enjoyed 40 other winners at the meeting. The mighty Istabraq is the most revered horse he has owned following three consecutive victories in the Champion Hurdle (1998,1999,2000), while he has also won a Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup with Synchronised (2012) and three Ladbrokes World Hurdles with Baracouda (2002 & 2003) and More Of That (2014). A full 28 years after his runner in the race, McManus finally achieved a long-held ambition when Don’t Push It won the 2010 Crabbie’s Grand National. He has also been British champion owner for the 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9, 2009/10, 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. Other interests: McManus does a lot of work for charity and his Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place every five years, has raised over 95 million euros. McManus is also a keen backgammon player and a big hurling fan. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1982 Deep Gale (Fell 1st), 1988 Bucko (PU bef 27th), 1992 Laura’s Beau (3rd), 1994 Laura’s Beau (Fell 6th), 1996 Wylde Hide (UR 24th), 1997 Wylde Hide (UR 22nd); 1998 Gimme Five (5th), 2002 Spot Thedifference (UR 27th); 2003 Youlneverwalkalone (PU bef 13th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Spot Thedifference (5th), Risk Accessor (UR 6th), Le Coudray (Fell 22nd); 2005 Innox (7th), Spot Thedifference (18th), Shamawan (21st), Clan Royal (CO 22nd), Le Coudray (PU before 21st), Risk Accessor (UR 2nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th), Innox (Fell 1st), First Gold (UR 23rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th), Clan Royal (11th); 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), L’Ami (Fell 2nd), Bob Hall (PU bef 19th), Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), L’Ami (PU bef 30th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th), King Johns Castle (refused to race); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Blue Sea Cracker (14th), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), Arbor Supreme (Fell 28th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (Fell 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th), Quiscover Fontaine (Fell 17th); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Colbert Station (UR 15th), Lost Glory (PU bef 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR 30th).

 

Martin Brassil

Born: August 2, 1956 Background: hails from the village of Newmarket-on-Fergus in County Clare – named by Lord Inchiquin after the racecourse in England – and rode as an amateur rider over jumps, enjoying around 40 winners until an ankle injury ended his career in the saddle in 1991. He had started working with ponies at the age of 19 and then spent a long time (1977-1986) with Mick O’Toole where he looked after the 1979 Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Dickens Hill before becoming head man at Neil McGrath’s Brownstown Stud before starting up on his own. He took out a trainer’s licence in 1994 and his first winner came with Nordic Thorn in a maiden hurdle at Killarney in May that year. Achievements: Sent out Numbersixvalverde to win the 2006 Crabbie’s Grand National. Major wins include: Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase (2009 Ambobo), An Uaimh Chase (2007 Nickname), Tied Cottage Chase (2007 Nickname), Normans Grove Chase (2007 & 2008 Nickname), Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase (2006 Nickname), Fortria Chase (2006 Nickname), Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Novice Chase (2006 Nickname), Irish Grand National (2005 Numbersixvalverde), Thyestes Chase (2005 Numbersixvalverde), Ballybrit Novice Chase (1996 Nordic Thorn) Crabbie’s Grand National Record:

2006 NUMBERSIXVALVERDE (WON); 2007 Numbersixvalverde (6th)

 

A P McCoy

Born Moneyglass, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland on May 4, 1974 Background: 18-time champion A P (Tony) McCoy is the greatest jump jockey of his era and many would argue of all time. He is the son of Peadar McCoy, who bred the 1993 County Hurdle victor Thumbs Up. McCoy started out with Billy Rock, riding out from the age of 12, before trying his luck as a Flat jockey with Jim Bolger and rode his first winner on Legal Steps at Thurles on March 26, 1992. Since growing too heavy and turning to jump racing, he has not looked back. He partnered his first British winner, Chickabiddy, at Exeter on September 7, 1994 and was champion conditional rider in Britain in 1994/5 with a then record 74 winners when attached to Toby Balding’s Hampshire yard. He took his first senior title the following season with 174 wins. His domination has brought 18 consecutive jump jockeys’ titles and he is currently well on course for number 19 this season. McCoy broke Peter Scudamore’s record of 221 wins in the 1997/8 season with 253 successes and broke his own record for the fastest 200 winners in the 1999/2000 season, ending up with 245 successes. In 2001/02 he beat by 20 the record of 269 winners in any season set by Flat jockey Sir Gordon Richards. He recently reached 200 winners for this season, his sixth double century, and in November achieved an amazing 4,000th career success. He has had a total of 30 Cheltenham Festival successes, including the Gold Cup on Mr Mulligan (1997) and Synchronised (2012) and the 2006 and 2010 Champion Hurdles with Brave Inca and Binocular. In April, 2004, he left Martin Pipe’s stable after accepting a reportedly huge retainer from J P McManus and rides for the owner’s principal trainer in Britain, Jonjo O’Neill. He scored a longawaited victory in the Grand National aboard Don’t Push It in 2010, his 15th ride in the race. That landmark win helped towards him being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year that December. McCoy also rides regularly for Nicky Henderson. His wife Chanelle gave birth to their daughter Eve late in 2007 and their son Archie last year. McCoy was made an MBE in the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and his achievements were recognised with a reception at Stormont, the seat of government in Northern Ireland, in August, 2009. In the 2010 Birthday Honours List he was made an OBE.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1995 Chatam (Fell 12th), 1996 Deep Bramble (PU bef 2 out); 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st); 1999 Eudipe (Fell 22nd); 2000 Dark Stranger (UR 3rd); 2001 Blowing Wind (3rd), 2002 Blowing Wind (3rd), 2003 Iris Bleu (PU bef 16th); 2004 Jurancon II (Fell 4th); 2005 Clan Royal (CO 22nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th); 2008 Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th): 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd); 2012 Synchronised (Fell 6th); 2013 Colbert Station (UR 15th).

 

Golan Way (IRE) 10-10-05

Breeding: b g Golan – Silk Daisy (Barathea)

Breeder: Lewis Caterers

Born: February 6, 2004

Owner: W R B Racing 58

Trainer: Tim Vaughan

Jockey: Michael Byrne

Form: 111140/2U1P4/1413/R81R/3-U1

 

*Sold for 15,000gns as a yearling to race on the Flat, then £13,000 as a four-year-old as a potential jumper.

*Failed to shine on the Flat – his sole success in 15 runs was a short-head victory in a Class 5 race at Wolverhampton – but took to jumping immediately, with four novice hurdle wins in a row, including at Grade Two level at Cheltenham. On his first try at Grade One level finished midfield behind Go Native in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

*Launched his career over fences with a victory at Ludlow, and scored again in his novice season at Huntingdon.

*His best victory came the following year, when he won a Listed three-mile chase at Sandown. Tried his luck in the King George VI Chase but refused when tailed off behind Kauto Star.

*Some of his better performances have come in defeat, notably when third to Quito De La Roque in the Grade Two Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2011, and third in the London National over three miles, five furlongs at Sandown two years ago.

*Missed the 2012/13 season and reappeared in February in a hunter chase. After unseating at the second, he easily won a similar contest at Warwick last month.

Race record: Starts 39; wins 10; 2nd 3; 3rd 5. Win & place prize money: £96,481

 

WRB Racing 58

WRB Racing (Wetherby Racing Bureau) has been syndicating horses since 1988 and has had over 200 winners for its members. They have had around 90 horses since their inception and their current trainers are David Nicholls, Tim Vaughan, David O’Meara, Sheena West, Harry Dunlop and Noel Wilson. Their first runner was in November, 1988 and their first winner, Rothko, trained by George Moore, was in April, 1989. Their best horses include Kylkenny (winner of 24 races), Gulf Shaadi (winner of £140,000 in prize money) and Golan Way (winner of a Grade Two hurdle at Cheltenham). The syndicate manager, Andy Bates, has been with WRB from their inception and has been organising racing partnerships for the past 25 years. Each syndicate is separate and this particular partnership has owned three horses in total with WRB. Their first horse, Kalmini, was a decent juvenile hurdler and won two races over jumps before suffering a career ending injury in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2006. The horse they bought to replace her suffered a heart attack on the gallops but the syndicate persevered and was rewarded when Golan Way made an immediate impact over hurdles, winning a Grade Two novice hurdle at Cheltenham in November, 2008. The 10strong syndicate includes members from all walks of life, including a businessman who lives on the Swiss border and works in France. The majority of the syndicate will be present at Aintree on Saturday to cheer on Golan Way and this will be their first runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National. They will also be hoping that the horse continues a unique record as he has won on his third start each season since he went jumping.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Tim Vaughan (Cowbridge, Glamorgan)

Born: August 25, 1979 Background: Tim Vaughan is one the brightest young training talents in Jump racing. The son of a car repair specialist and hobby farmer, Vaughan has ridden since the age of two, riding for his local pony club which included being a proud member of the Prince Phillip Cup Team, where he competed for Wales at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and the Horse of the Year Show at Wembley. He later showjumped and finished fourth in the Junior Foxhunters Final at the Horse of the Year Show and he also represented Wales’s Under 21 team at Muirmill, Scotland. At 16, he began his race riding career in point-to-points. Some of the highlights were being crowned Welsh men’s point-to-point champion rider in 2004 and 2007, as well as riding in the Fox Hunters’ at Aintree over the Grand National fences partnering 100 winners in point-to-points. Vaughan studied for a property management & valuation degree at Glamorgan University prior to becoming a qualified chartered surveyor. He then spent the next four years working for Knight Frank, prior to setting up a commercial department at regional estate agents, chartered surveyors and property auctioneers, Cowbridge-based Herbert R Thomas. His first runner as a permit trainer was Lonesome Man in a handicap chase at Aintree in June, 2005, who won by 22 lengths. He took out a full licence in 2006. Tim’s wife Abbi is his assistant and a successful point-to-point trainer in her own right. He has enjoyed feature race success at Aintree with Saint Are (Grade One novices’ hurdle 2011) and Stewarts House (Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase 2011), at Ayr with Beshabar (Grade Three Coral Scottish Grand National 2011) and at Punchestown with Spirit Of Adjisa (Grade One Cathal Ryan Memorial Champion Novices Hurdle 2011).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2012 Postmaster (PU 22nd), 2013 Saint Are (9th)

 

Michael Byrne

Born: April 16, 1988 Background: Byrne is a promising conditional jockey based with trainer Tim Vaughan in Aberthin, South Wales. He was initially attached to Peter Bowen’s yard and had his first ride in the 2009/10 season. He rode his first winner aboard Big Time Billy for the trainer in a National Hunt Flat race at Ludlow in March, 2010. He developed a good rapport with Bowen’s Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Take The Stand the following season, winning two hunter chases on board the gelding at Cheltenham and Aintree. He joined the Vaughan yard at the beginning of the 2011/12 season and has also ridden a number of horses for Neil Mulholland. The biggest winner of his career came in March of this year when he guided Carole’s Destrier to success for Mulholland in the Kempton Park Silver Plate. He will be having his first ride in the Crabbie’s Grand National on board the Tim Vaughan-trained Golan Way.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National rides: None

 

Goonyella (IRE) 7-10-01

 

Breeding: Presenting – Miss Fresher (Pampabird)

Breeder: Mrs C T and Miss S Berry Born: May 20, 2007

Owner: Ann and Alan Potts Partnership

Trainer: Jim Dreaper IRE Jockey: Paddy Brennan

Form: 8/12/F211133P1-3582

 

*Has graduated from the point-to-point and hunterchase field, in which sphere he won three in a row in November and December 2012.

*Scored his sole success in handicap company in a three mile, six furlong contest in heavy ground at the Punchestown Festival in April last year, staying on dourly to beat Vesper Bell a head in receipt of 18lb.

*Well backed for the Welsh National at Chepstow in December – he started 8/1 second favourite – but could finish only eighth. *Bounced back with second place over hurdles at Clonmel to Don Poli, subsequent easy winner of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

*Has been through an Irish auction ring twice, sold for €34,000 as a yearling and €55,000 as an unbroken three-year-old to his current connections.

Race record: Starts 16; wins 5; 2nd 4; 3rd 2. Win & place prize money: £29,651.

 

Ann & Alan Potts Partnership

Alan Potts (born 1937) established the Derbyshire-based MMD Group in 1978 after the National Coal Board asked him for a way to prevent large lumps of coal blocking conveyor belts. Potts came up with a sizing machine that became the standard for all UK pits. Since then, MMD has branched out into increasingly sophisticated mining and quarrying equipment worldwide. The company is owned and run by Potts and his wife Ann. Potts was born in Great Houghton, South Yorkshire and started working at the age of 15 as a sweeper-up in the pit fitting shop at Houghton Main Colliery. He quickly progressed on the NCB’s apprenticeship and management schemes a, meaning that by age of 40 he was area mechanical engineer with 14 mines under his supervision, and inventing machinery as he went along. Having been interested in racing since he was teenager, Potts teamed up with Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead in 2005 after reading an article in the Racing Post Weekender about the trainer. The best horse he has owned to date is seven-time Grade One Sizing Europe, winner of the Arkle Chase in 2010 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2011. He also won the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with Sizing Australia in 2011. No previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners

 

Jim Dreaper (Greenogue, Kilsallaghan, Co Dublin)

Born: January 30, 1951 Background: Dreaper comes from one of the most famous families in Irish racing. His father, Tom, trained the greatest steeplechaser of them all, Arkle, as well as Flyingbolt, who is seen as by many as the second-best. As a jockey, Dreaper rode Black Secret to second place in the Grand National, losing by a neck by Specify in 1971. Black Secret also finished third behind Well To Do when trained by Dreaper in 1972. He took out his training licence at the age of 20 and got straight to work, clocking up his first win just two months into his career in the Schweppes Gold Trophy with Good Review in 1972. He was champion jumps trainer in Ireland in each of his first five seasons and, in 1974, he trained Colebridge to win the Irish Grand National, winning with Brown Lad the following two years and again in 1978. He also trained the winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Queen Mother Champion Chase and World Hurdle in 1975 with Ten Up, Lough Inagh and Brown Lad respectively. Dreaper has an enviable list of wins to his name, having also won the Welsh Grand National, the Sun Alliance Chase, the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, the Martell Cup Chase, the Dr P. J. Moriarty Novice Chase and the Power Gold Cup. Ten Up landed the 1974 Sun Alliance Novices’ Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Brown Lad won the 1974 Sun Alliance Hurdle at Cheltenham, the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot and the Lloyds Bank Hurdle in Cheltenham in 1975. He became the only horse to win three Irish Grand Nationals in 1975, 1976 and again in 1978. The 1980s saw the arrival of the hugely talented Carvill’s Hill. While he was a troubled horse, he won the 1989 Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, the John Durkan Memorial Chase under Ken Morgan and the 1989 Vincent O´Brien Irish Gold Cup Chase among others before being sold to owner Paul Green, who transferred the horse to Martin Pipe. In recent years, the stable flag bearer has been Notre Pere, who won the Welsh National at Chepstow in December, 2008 and the Punchestown Gold Cup in April, 2009. Goonyella will be Dreaper’s first Crabbie’s Grand National runner since Hard Case fell in the race in 1988. He has had four runners in the race in total. Major wins include: Cheltenham Gold Cup (1975 Ten Up); Irish Grand National (1974 Colebridge; 1975, 1976, 1978 Brown Lad); Hennessy Gold Cup (1989 Carvill’s Hill); Durkan Punchestown Chase (1994, 1995 Merry Gale); Nas Na Riogh Novice Chase (2004 Jim); Welsh National (2008 Notre Pere); Punchestown Gold Cup (2009 Notre Pere).

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National record: 1972 Black Secret (3rd); 1981 Barney Maclyvie (Fell 1st); 1986 Kilkilowen

(13th); 1988 Hard Case (Fell 19th)

 

Paddy Brennan

Born: April 13, 1981, Ardrahan in Co Galway, Ireland Background: spent the summer of 1995 working for County Kildare handler Gerry Stack before embarking on a five-season apprenticeship with the leading Irish Flat trainer Jim Bolger, for whom he rode eight winners. The first of those came on Ivory Isle at Gowran Park in August, 1998. He became too heavy and tall for the Flat and moved to Paul Nicholls’ stable in England as a conditional jockey in 2001. He stayed there for two and a half years, riding winners for Nicholls and Jeff King, before joining Philip Hobbs in the 2003/04 season as one of that yard’s conditionals. Brennan also struck up a good rapport with Ashley Brook, on whom he won the Grade One Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2005, and enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival success that year aboard Shamayoun in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Brennan was appointed as retained rider to owners Andrea and Graham Wylie for the 2006/07 season after dropping into trainer Howard Johnson’s County Durham yard for a cup of tea and toast. He rewarded those connections when guiding Inglis Drever to victory in the 2007 Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham – the gelding’s second success in the race. Brennan left Johnson and joined Gloucestershirebased handler Nigel Twiston-Davies in the 2007/08 season. The 2010 victory aboard Imperial Commander in the Cheltenham Gold Cup provided Paddy Brennan with what he described as the best day of his life and he has ridden a total of six winners at the Cheltenham Festival. He has a good record at Aintree, including Ashley Brook’s win in the 2005 Maghull Novices’ Chase and Hakim’s victory in that year’s Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over the big fences. He was on Pettifour when taking the 2008 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle, rode Irish Raptor in 2009 when scoring over the National fences in the Crabbie’s Topham Chase, took the 2009 Manifesto Novices’ Chase on Tartak, captured the 2010 Aintree Hurdle on Khyber Kim and was successful on Nacarat in the 2011 Betfred Bowl. He left Twiston-Davies after four years to become a freelance in March, 2011. His best British tally of winners was 104 in 2007/8 and he was on 74 winners this season (up to Tuesday, April 1), when mainly riding for Tom George and Fergal O’Brien.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2005 Double Honour (UR 21st); 2007 Bewleys Berry (Fell 22nd); 2008 Fundamentalist (Fell 3rd); 2009 Knowhere (PU 25th); 2010 Irish Raptor (Fell 14th); 2012 Giles Cross (PU 11th)

Hawkes Point (GB) 9-10-06

 

Breeding: b g Kayf Tara – Mandys Native (Be My Native)

Breeder: Miss J L Egan Born: April 15, 2005

Owner: Graham Roach

Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Ryan Mahon

Form: 35/125/212P-426

 

*One of the least experienced in the field. The Crabbie’s Grand National will be the 13th start of his career under Rules. His first victory came in an Irish point-to-point in May, 2010.

*Has won once over fences, when he took a five-runner novices’ race at Exeter in January last year. His other victory, over hurdles at Chepstow in January, 2012, also came on heavy going.

*His best performance from three runs this season was when beaten a head by Mountainous in the Welsh Grand National on heavy ground at Chepstow in December.

*On his latest run, in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock in February, he finished sixth. Race record: Starts 12; wins 2; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 1. Win & place prize money: £42,415

 

Graham Roach

Graham Roach is one of the best-known owners in Jump racing and will always be associated with his dual Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, Viking Flagship, who died in retirement at the age of 13 in 2000. Roach, born on August 26, 1947, graduated from the hunting and point-to-point world to be a permit-holder from 1983 before taking a full training licence at the 200-acre Prideaux House overlooking St Austell Bay in Cornwall in 1989. He ceased training in 1991 when deciding his business must come first. He joined the family’s Cornwall-based meat processing company Roach Foods aged 15 and in 1999 the company merged with Dalehead to form Flagship Foods, a supplier of meats to supermarkets and caterers. Danish company Tulip merged with Flagship Foods in 2004, with Roach Foods a subsidiary company, which made Roach a reported £70 million. The best horse he trained was Prideaux Boy, while he has still to own a better horse than the 24-time winner Viking Flagship, hero of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 1994 and 1995, and also successful in the Melling Chase at Aintree in 1995, after a tremendous battle with Martha’s Son and Deep Sensation which will long be remembered by racegoers. Roach is a major spender at the sales, buying foals and yearlings who are raised at Prideaux House before being sent to trainer Paul Nicholls when three quarters fit, with notable graduates including Best Mate’s brother Cornish Rebel, who cost Ir£110,000 as a four-year-old, and Thisthatandtother, who both went on to Grade One glory. Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2003 Shotgun Willy (PU 22nd); 2006 Cornish Rebel (PU 19th); 2007 Thisthatandtother (PU 30th); 2011 The Tother One (Fell 6th)

 

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset)

Born: April 17, 1962. Background: Started out in racing as a jump jockey and partnered 119 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987). He struggled to keep his weight down and gave up race riding. Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to David Barons, who trained Broadheath and Playschool and sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National. Has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. Achievements: Seven-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 34 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including four victories in three of the meeting’s showpiece contests – the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). Also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby and Crabbie’s Grand National with Neptune Collonges in 2012. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU bef 2 out), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (Fell 14th); 1998 What A Hand (Fell 1st), Court Melody (Fell 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (Fell 1st), 2000 Earthmover (Fell 4th), Torduff Express (Fell 13th), Flaked Oats (Fell 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (Fell 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU bef 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU bef 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU bef 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (Fell 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (Fell 1st), Le Roi Miguel (PU bef 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU bef 19th), Silver Birch (Fell 15th), Le Duc (UR 8th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th); 2007 Royal Auclair (Fell 9th), Le Duc (UR 6th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU bef 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Mr Pointment (PU bef last), Turko (Fell 25th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (Fell 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (Fell 4th), The Tother One (Fell 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU bef 19th),

Harry The Viking (PU bef 26th)

 

Ryan Mahon

Born: July 4, 1987 Background: Ryan Mahon comes from a background steeped in point-to-point racing. His grandfather Jim Mahon was a hugely influential figure between the flags as he not only founded the Point-to-Point Owners’ & Riders’ Association but was also instrumental in introducing the first fixture to be run under Jockey Club Rules on a Sunday in Britain – at Ashorne, Warwickshire – on April 25, 1993. Jim also trained Blue Cheek to win the 1997 Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree. Ryan’s father Gabe holds a permit. Ryan’s two sisters, Ella and Lara plus his younger brother Leo have all ridden in point-to-points. Unsurprisingly, Ryan started off in the point-to-point world before joining the stable of Paul Nicholls in 2007. He registered his first success under Rules when partnering Foolish Myth to victory in a hunters’ chase at Newton Abbot on May 8, 2008, for Ditcheat handler David Staddon. After a promising start to his career, Ryan was banned for six months by the BHA in December, 2008, after he attempted to pass off a substitute urine sample at the British Racing School, Newmarket, in August of the same year. He continued to be supported by Nicholls and enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in the 2010/11 campaign, riding the likes of Silviniaco Conti and Woolcombe Folly to victory. He was champion amateur in 2010/11 before turning professional at the end of that season. His biggest successes have come on Pacha Du Polder in the Grade Three Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury in 2013 and on Rebel Rebellion in the Betfred Grand Sefton Chase over the Grand National fences, also in 2013. Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2011 The Tother One (Fell 6th); 2013 Harry The Viking (PU 26th)

Hunt Ball (IRE) 9-11-07

 

Breeding: b g Winged Love – La Fandango (Taufan)

Breeder: Michael Slevin

Born: March 1, 2005

Owner: Atlantic Equine

Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Andrew Tinkler

Form: 70/P4/111211113/P23413-686934

 

*Three seasons ago he earned fame as the most improved horse in training, starting off at Folkestone in November off an official rating of 69, and ending at the Crabbie’s Grand National festival at Aintree running off 154, a climb of more than six stone.

*His seven wins during that campaign, when trained by Keiran Burke, culminated in an eight-length triumph at the Cheltenham Festival in the two and a half-mile novices’ chase, under top-weight of 12st.

*His former owner Anthony Knott, a flamboyant character, once jumped up behind rider Nick Scholfield after a victory at Wincanton to ride his horse into the winner’s circle.

*After Knott had a bookmaker’s initials stencilled in green on the horse’s quarters at last year’s Cheltenham Festival as a publicity stunt, Burke asked Knott to remove his horse from his stables at Martock, Somerset.

*Soon afterwards Hunt Ball was sold to his present owners to race in North America, but he failed to adapt to the different regime and was sent back to Britain to join Nicky Henderson this season.

*In his two runs since, both at Grade One level, he has started to blossom again, following a third to Captain Chris in the Ascot Chase with a respectable fourth to Dynaste in the Ryanair Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.

*During his career, Hunt Ball has had seven trainers: Mick Easterby, David Easterby, Olivia Brookshaw, Pat Rodford, Keiran Burke, Jonathan Sheppard and Nicky Henderson.

Race record: Starts 25; wins 8; 2nd 2; 3rd 4. Win & place prize money: £161,648

 

Atlantic Equine Syndicate

Atlantic Equine is a transatlantic bloodstock agency, currently specialising in jumpers but branching out into Flat racing. One of its ownership syndicates has already had a Grand National victory, in the American version at Far Hills, Pennsylvania, with Black Jack Blues, trained by Rebecca Curtis before his transfer to the States. On this side of the Atlantic another syndicate came close to Cheltenham Festival success with Meister Eckhart, second in the Coral Cup last year before a third place in another prestige handicap at the Grand National meeting. Atlantic Equine is operated by US-based Nick Carter, formerly a conditional rider with Paul Nicholls, and Steve Price, who used to work for Nicky Henderson and now runs his own engineering company. The Hunt Ball syndicate comprises Charles Noell, Frank Bonsal, brothers Ben and Jay Griswold, Perry Bolton, George Tydings, Mary Parr and Guy Dove, all the members being wealthy and enthusiastic American horsemen and women. Baltimore-based Noell, who sold the San Diego Padres baseball team for a billion dollars two years ago, has Flat racing interests as Merriebelle Stables with another partner and was a major shareholder in the world-class Flat stallion Kingmambo. He also has property in Ireland and last year bought the stock of Kilfrush Stud, including Immortal Verse, later sold on for a record European broodmare price of 4.7 million guineas. No previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners

 

Nicky Henderson (Lambourn, Berkshire)

Born: Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950 Background: Henderson is the son of financier and amateur jockey John Henderson MBE, who founded the Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses. Nicky, who had Field Marshal Montgomery as a godfather, was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College. He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing. First made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown’s Imperial Cup in the same year. Recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978. He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn. Moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992. First winner as a trainer was Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978. Achievements: Has won the Jump trainers’ championships three times; in 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013, and is the most successful handler in history at the Cheltenham Festival, sending out 51 winners. Major wins include: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2011 Long Run, 2013 Bobs Worth), BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian’s Rainbow, 2013 Sprinter Sacre), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Stan James Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1979 Zongalero (2nd); 1980 Zongalero (Refused 20th); 1981 Zongalero (Fell 22nd); 1982 Sun Lion (Fell 3rd); 1983 Spartan Missile (Unseated 22nd); 1984 Spartan Missile (16th); 1985 Classified (5th); 1986 Classified (3rd), The Tsarevich (7th); 1987 The Tsarevich (2nd), Classified (UR 25th); 1988 The Tsarevich (7th); 1990 Brown Windsor (4th), 1991 Ten Of Spades (14th), 1991 Master Bob (PU bef 19th); 1992 Brown Windsor (Fell 6th); 1994 Henry Mann (Fell 1st); 1995 Tinryland (Fell 1st); 1998 Pashto (Fell 1st); 1999 Fiddling The Facts (Fell 22nd); 2000 Esprit De Cotte (Fell 22nd); 2001 Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th), 2002 Marlborough (Fell 1st), Goguenard (Fell 1st), 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2005 Fondmort (PU 28th); 2006 Juveigneur (Fell 1st), Iris Royal (PU bef 17th), 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009 Golden Flight (Fell 1st); Fleet Street (UR 18th); 2012 Shakalakaboomboom (9th); 2013 Roberto

Goldback (UR last)

 

Andrew Tinkler

Born: May 3, 1985 Background: His father Colin is a former jockey, who subsequently trained both in Britain and in Spain while his uncle, Nigel, is also a trainer. Tinkler junior spent his school holidays from Norton College in Malton riding out for the likes of Martin Pipe, Philip Hobbs, David Nicholson, Malcolm Jefferson and Ferdy Murphy, as well as working for Michael Dickinson. He took out an amateurs’ licence on his 16th birthday, landing his initial success at the first attempt a day later on May 4, 2001, aboard 100/1 chance Nafith at Musselburgh. He has also enjoyed success in point-to-points and he won the 2003 ‘Amateurs’ Derby’ at Epsom on Red Lion. He turned professional in May, 2003, and had a Cheltenham Festival success in 2006 aboard Greenhope in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase. He rides mainly for Nicky Henderson and had his best season with 48 British winners in 2011/12.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2004 Smarty (6th), 2006 Shotgun Willy (PU bef 18th); 2008 Naunton Brook (PU fef 19th), 2009 Fleet Street (UR 18th), 2012 The Midnight Club (11th)

 

Kruzhlinin (GER) 7-10-06

 

Breeding: ch g Sholokhov – Karuma (Surumu) Breeder: Gestut Kussaberg

Born: April 17, 2007

Owner: Paul & Clare Rooney

Trainer: Donald McCain

Jockey: Wilson Renwick

Form: 60221/11241P2-441103

 

*Twice a winner this season, on both occasions over three miles at his favourite course Kelso, in November and December last year.

*On his two runs this year he was a never-dangerous seventh behind The Rainbow Hunter at Doncaster, and then a distant third of five to Maggio and Mr Moonshine back at Kelso.

*He has been to Aintree twice in the past, finishing fourth over the conventional fences on the Mildmay course on his final outing last season and his first outing this.

*Only the second German-bred horse to take part, after Whispered Secret, who unseated behind Numbersixvalverde in 2006.

Race record: Starts 12; wins 2; 2nd 4; 3rd 1. Win & place prize money: £42,415

 

Paul & Clare Rooney

Paul Rooney is originally from London and currently spends his time between Sussex and St Boswells in the Scottish borders. He founded Rooney & Co. Estate Agents in 1981 which is now part of the Arun Estates network (worth an estimated £80 million). Rooney decided to start his own estate agency based on his own frustrations when trying to buy a family home in Horsham. He also has a house building business. Rooney, along with his wife Clare, has owned horses for five years and their horses are trained by Donald McCain in Cheshire. Kruzhlinin will be their first runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National, which will be exciting for the family as they have relatives who live in the Liverpool area. Their interest in horseracing was first sparked after they agreed to take a third share in a horse with their friends. Rooney and his wife have a number of charitable foundations (the Rooney Foundation being the biggest) which focus mainly on children’s disabilities and medical research. Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Donald McCain (Cholmondeley, Cheshire)

Born: June 13, 1970, Background: son of the late Ginger McCain, trainer of the legendary Red Rum, the only horse to win the Grand National three times (1973, 1974 and 1977) and also Amberleigh House, the 2004 victor. Ginger McCain died at the age of 80 on September 19, 2011. Donald learnt to ride on his sister Joanne’s pony Gambol and rode in his first race on the Flat aged 15 (his father told a few white lies so he could ride) at Haydock Park. Subsequently became a jump jockey, firstly as an amateur and then a professional, partnering around 40 winners under Rules. He rode several times over the Grand National fences, finishing fifth aboard Harley in the 1992 Fox Hunters’ Chase and 17th on Sure Metal in the 1996 Grand National. He also spent time working for trainers Luca Cumani, Sir Michael Stoute and Oliver Sherwood. Donald subsequently became assistant trainer to his father and played a significant role in Amberleigh House’s Grand National victory in 2004. He took over the licence from his father in June, 2006, with his first winner coming courtesy of Bearaway in a handicap chase at Newton Abbot on June 8, 2006. The highlight of his training career so far was when Ballabriggs won the Crabbie’s Grand National in 2011. He has made strong progress as a trainer and is one of the leading jump trainers in Britain. He sent out 100 British winners for the first time in the 2010/11 season and has topped that figure ever since, with 153 British scorers being his best total in 2011/12. Achievements: Has sent out six Cheltenham Festival winners and saddled 2011 Crabbie’s Grand National winner Ballabriggs. Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2007 Idle Talk (UR 19th); 2008 Cloudy Lane (6th), Idle Talk (14th); 2009 Idle Talk (12th), Cloudy Lane (UR 15th); 2010 Cloudy Lane (8th), 2011 BALLABRIGGS (WON); 2012 Ballabriggs (6th), Weird Al (Fell 26th); 2013 Across The Bay (14th), Weird Al (PU bef 25th), Ballabriggs (PU bef 24th)

 

Wilson Renwick

Born: September 17, 1980 in Hawick in the Scottish Borders Background: Wilson Renwick is one of the most respected jockeys on the northern circuit. He began his career as an amateur, riding 17 winners in the corinthian ranks. His first success came aboard Gem Og Holly at Sedgefield on January 26, 2000, and he rode his first treble at Carlisle on April 24, 2000, aboard Chadswell, Storm Call and Spartan Royale. He turned professional on May 22 of that year while attached to the late Colin Parker’s Lockerbie stable. A graduate of the Northern Racing College, Renwick suffered serious injuries in November, 2000, when a young horse he was riding at Alastair Charlton’s yard turned over on him, crushing his groin and fracturing both his knee and ankle. He returned the following May and went on to be a leading conditional rider. He left the Parker yard in May, 2001, and joined Andy Crook in Middleham. He also rode regularly for the late Scottish trainer Peter Monteith. This season he has ridden predominantly for Rose Dobbin and Martin Todhunter.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2008 Backbeat (Fell 2nd); 2010 Royal Rosa (UR 14th); 2013 Tarquinius (8th)

Last Time D’Albain (FR) 10-10-02

 

Breeding: b g Sassanian – Lightim (Lightning)

Breeder: Alexis Buillot

Born: June 17, 2004

Owner: Fontstown Syndicate

Trainer: Liam Cusack IRE

Jockey: Robbie Colgan

Form: 4F30/500/6126/0970213742/351433-009

 

*Has won just once over fences, when he took a two and a half mile handicap on heavy ground at Navan in December 2011.

*His latest victory, at Punchestown in October, 2012, came off a very handy mark in a handicap hurdle over the same distance, also on heavy ground.

*Has run once over the Grand National fences, when a staying-on third to Triolo d’Alene and Walkon in last year’s Crabbie’s Topham Chase. Had previously finished third to Colbert Station in a valuable handicap at Leopardstown.

*Off the mark at his ninth attempt in a Clonmel handicap hurdle; started his career with three runs in point-to-points.

*Acquired for 20,000gns as an unbroken three-year-old at Doncaster sales.

*He is French-bred, as were two of the past five winners. In 2009 Mon Mome became the fourth French-bred horse to win a National (100 years after the third, Lutteur), swiftly followed by Neptune Collonges in 2012.

Race record: Starts 27; wins 3; 2nd 3; 3rd 4. Win & place prize money: £57,772

 

Fontstown Syndicate

The Fontstown Syndicate comprises Michael Heery, Jane Tiffin and Liam Cusack, who trains Last Time D’Albain. Tiffin is Cusack’s partner and is a former flat jockey. She is an accomplished horse woman and rides in eventing competitions as well as dressage events. Heery (born 1946) has founded and owned several clothing companies in the past, including Diesel Clothing and TS Clothing Ltd. Heery has also owned several horses, including Petit Roque, Mabuya and Wilton Bridge. Cusack was a former jockey and is best known for his association with Ebony Jane, who finished fourth behind Miinnehoma in the 1994 Grand National. Following a brief spell buying and selling horses, he took up training in County Laois having bought Derrymore Farm during his time as a jockey. Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Liam Cusack (Mountrath, Co Laois, Ireland)

Born: June 27, 1967 Background: Cusack was a former jockey and is best known for his association with Ebony Jane, who finished fourth behind Miinnehoma in the 1994 Grand National. He took up training in County Laois having bought Derrymore Farm during his time as a jockey. After rearing store horses and breaking youngsters at the farm, Cusack decided to take up training and his first full season as a handler was in 2003/04. His first winner came with his very first runner at Gowran Park, where he saddled Kerrys Cross to win a hunter chase in April, 2004. Kerrys Cross had previously been in the care of Cusack’s brother, Gerry, who trained in County Kildare. His best horse to date has been Last Time d’Albain, whom Cusack bought at Arqana sales in December, 2006, for 20,000 euros. He trained Last Time D’Albain to finish third behind Triolo D’Alene in last year’s Crabbie’s Topham Chase. The Cusack family suffered tragedy earlier this year when Liam’s nephew, 17-year-old jockey Ryan Cusack, was killed in a farm accident in County Limerick.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Robbie Colgan

Born: January 7, 1982 Background: Colgan was initially associated with trainer Pat Martin and started off his riding career on the Flat, having his first ride in September, 1997 on Copper Glen in a claiming race for apprentices at Down Royal. However, he struggled to make an impact on the level and in early 1999, he took his first ride over hurdles and it would be over Jumps that he would make his mark over the next few years. Colgan finally got off the mark in April, 2002, riding the Oliver Brady-trained Flint Knapper to success in a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse in April and he rode a further eight winners that season. Included in those wins was his first success in Britain, on Stereo Heights at Sedgefield in September, and a memorable double at Down Royal on Boxing Day. He continued to enjoy similar levels of success for the next number of years, including a notable victory on the Ger Lyons-trained Royal All Star in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier at Leopardstown in January, 2004. He rode 12 winners in the 2005/06 season and in 2006/7, he joined Tony Martin’s yard. Colgan’s first big-race winner came courtesy of Newbay Prop in the valuable Porterstown Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse in December, 2006. This victory was supplemented by the success of Royal County Star in the valuable Ulster Bank Handicap Chase at the Punchestown Festival later that season. Colgan also rode Royal County Star to win the Troytown Chase at Navan the following season. He will be having his first ride in the Crabbie’s Grand National this year. Major wins include: Porterstown Handicap Chase (2006 Newbay Prop); Ulster Bank Handicap Chase (2007 Royal County Star); Troytown Chase (2007 Royal County

Star)

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National rides: None

 

Lion Na Bearnai (IRE) 12-10-10

Breeding: b g New Frontier – Polly Plum (Pollerton) Breeder: Mr & Mrs Frank Daly

Born: June 27, 2002

Owner: Lock Syndicate

Trainer: Tom Gibney IRE Jockey: Davy Russell

Form: 878052/008636054934F/6732/518511/PP-5714

 

*Sold by his breeder Frank Daly to trainer Tom Gibney for just €8,800 as an unbroken four-year-old.

*His finest hour came when he sprang a 33/1 surprise in the 2012 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, which followed another shock result, a 50/1 victory in a Grade Two chase at Navan.

*After a season restricted by illness to two pulled-up runs (in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and the Scottish

Grand National at Ayr) he has been in better form this season. Back at Fairyhouse he posted a victory in early February and finished fourth to subsequent Gold Cup runner-up On His Own in the Bobbyjo Chase later in the month.

*His name means “fill in the gaps” in Irish.

Race record: Starts 35; wins 4; 2nd 2; 3rd 3. Win & place prize money: £167,195

 

Lock Syndicate

The Lock Syndicate comprises seven members. County Meath native Tom Gilsenan, who is the head of the syndicate, went to school with trainer Tom Gibney and founded Dublin-based company Informa in 1993, which is “one of Ireland’s leading information solutions and service providers”. Gilsenan was approached by Gibney in 2005 with the idea of setting up a syndicate with the fledgling trainer. Gibney also recruited three of his cousins into the syndicate – Peter, Mick and Pat Farrelly, next-door neighbour and farmer Louis Leavy alongside Dublin residents Russell Gleeson and Declan Carolan. They paid 8,800 euros for the unraced Lion Na Bearnai (Gaelic for “Fill in the Gaps”) at the Tattersalls Ireland Flat Sale in December, 2006. The New Frontier gelding has more than repaid his owners already with four wins, headed by a superb victory in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April, 2012. The horse also has his own news page on the Informa website. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: No previous runners

 

Tom Gibney (Maynalty, Kells, Co Meath)

Born: July 26, 1973 Background: Gibney is based in County Meath and was an amateur jockey before he took up training. His most notable success in the saddle came at the Galway Festival on board the Noel Meade-trained Saving Bond and he also finished second on Marching Marquis in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. Having switched his attention to training, he saddled his first runner in May, 2007 but didn’t train his first winner until May, 2011 when Lion Na Bearnai won a handicap chase at Punchestown. The horse had been bought for just 8,800 euros by a group of Gibney’s friends and has proven to be a real money-spinner for the yard. He won a Grade Two novice chase at Navan in November, 2010 at 50/1 and was then put away until the Irish Grand National in April of the following year. The move proved to be a masterstroke as the son of New Frontier produced a fine round of jumping to score by four and a half lengths, despite being put up 27lb for his Navan victory. Although times have been hard for both horse and jockey since that victory, Gibney has steadily continued to build his reputation despite a virus ravaging the yard shortly after the Irish National. Gibney has only trained three winners since (including Lion Na Bearnai’s recent victory at Fairyhouse in February) and now has eight horses under his care. He will be saddling his first runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National this year. Major wins include: Irish Grand

National (2011 Lion Na Bearnai)

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Davy Russell

Born: June 27, 1979 Background: hails – like fellow National Hunt jockey Denis O’Regan – from Youghal in County Cork and progressed from pony racing to become one of Ireland’s leading point-to-point riders, winning the championship outright in 2001 and sharing the title with J T McNamara in 2002. His first Aintree success came in 2000 when he rode the Pat Fahy-trained Quadco to win the Champion National Hunt Flat Race at 33/1. The retirement of another one-time Irish point-to-point star, Adrian Maguire, saw him travel over to Britain as stable jockey to Ferdy Murphy and he turned professional on November 12, 2002, with his first success in that sphere coming on Inn Antique at Sedgefield on November 12. He enjoyed his first big success when Truckers Tavern won the 2003 Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock and the same horse went on to be second to Best Mate in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Russell lost his job as number one jockey to Murphy in January, 2004, after 14 months as he also wanted to continue riding in Ireland at weekends. He returned to Ireland and had a first Cheltenham Festival success in 2006 when Native Jack won the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase. Russell won the Irish jockeys’ championship in 2011/12 and 2012/13. He was retained jockey to Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, whose horses run in the maroon and white silks of Gigginstown House Stud, until January 1, 2014. However, he still rides regularly for O’Leary and has enjoyed several high-profile successes for the owner, including eight Cheltenham Festivals victories – Weapon’s Amnesty (2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle & 2010 RSA Chase), First Lieutenant (2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle), Carlito Brigante (2011 Coral Cup), Sir Des Champs (2012 Jewson Novices’ Chase), Tiger Roll (2014 JCB Triumph Hurdle) and Savello (2014 Grand Annual Handicap Chase). He enjoyed a fantastic treble on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival this year, winning on aforementioned Tiger Roll and Savello as well as landing the greatest victory of his career when landing the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Lord Windermere. He took the Crabbie’s Topham Chase on Cregg House over the Grand National fences in 2005. Crabbie’s Grand

National Record: 2003 Ballinclay King (PU bef 15th); 2004 Takagi (UR 15th); 2005 Arctic Copper (19th); 2006 Joes Edge (7th); 2007 Livingstone Bramble (UR 6th); 2008 Chelsea Harbour (9th); 2009 Hear The

Echo (Fell 30th); 2010 Cerium (11th); 2011 Becauseicouldntsee (Fell 2nd); 2012 Alfa Beat (Fell 7th)

 

Long Run (FR) 9-11-09

 

Breeding: b/br g Cadoudal (FR) – Libertina (FR) (Balsamo (FR))

Breeder: Marie-Christine Gabeur

Born: April 5, 2005

Owner: Robert Waley-Cohen

Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

Form: 21211113/1211113/311/2213/2132-54U1

 

Long Run

*Six-time Grade One winner in France and Britain, headed by victory in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, 2011, when he defeated Denman and Kauto Star, and a pair of successes in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, in January, 2011, and December, 2012.

*Bidding to become the third horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Crabbie’s Grand National following Golden Miller (who won both in 1934) and L’Escargot (Gold Cup in 1970 & 1971, Grand National 1975).

*Finished out of the first three for the first time of his career in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in November and also failed to sparkle in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on November 23 and the King George VI Chase on December 26.

*Successful on his most recent outing at Kelso on February 13, comfortably beating Knockara Beau by six lengths in a three and a quarter mile conditions chase.

*Bypassed the Cheltenham Festival (after running at the meeting for the previous four years) to go for the Crabbie’s Grand National.

Race Record: Starts: 30; Wins: 15; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 5; Win & Place prize money: £1,527,715

 

Robert Waley-Cohen

Born: November 10, 1948 Background: Son of former Lord Mayor of London Sir Bernard Waley-Cohen, 1st Baronet, and grandson of leading industrialist Sir Robert Waley-Cohen, who was a director of Shell. Robert’s older brother Sir Stephen is chairman of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) Council, who also runs several theatres in the West End of London, while he has two sisters – Joanna, a professor of history at New York University, and Rosalind, who is married to former New Zealand politician Philip Burdon. Robert was a stockbroker before working for Christie’s Auctioneers. Founded Alliance Medical, a supplier of scanning equipment to hospitals, in 1983, and the company was sold for £600 million in 2007. His son Tom died of cancer in July, 2004 at the age of 20, and Tom’s Ward at Oxford Children’s Hospital is named after him. He is married to Felicity and they have two other sons, Sam and Marcus, and a daughter Jessica. Racing Interests: Enjoyed his greatest day as an owner in March, 2011, when his amateur rider son Sam Waley-Cohen partnered Long Run to win the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, trained by long-time friend Nicky Henderson. He has enjoyed five winners at the Cheltenham Festival in total. Although he rode in point-to-points and hunter chases, he described himself as an incredibly bad amateur – “wrong shape, wrong weight, not fit enough – basically, just thoroughly incompetent”. Trains a few horses himself under permit and sent out Katarino to win the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree in 2005 and 2006, again ridden by Sam. A member of the Jockey Club since 1983, where he has been a steward. Has a small team of around 10 broodmares at Upton Viva Stud in Warwickshire and was a director of Cheltenham racecourse before becoming chairman when Lord Vestey stepped down at the end of the 2010/11 season. He has horses in training with Guillaume Macaire in France as well as Nicky Henderson.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd); 2013 Oscar Time (4th)

 

Nicky Henderson (Lambourn, Berkshire)

Born: Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950 Background: Henderson is the son of financier and amateur jockey John Henderson MBE, who founded the Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses. Nicky, who had Field Marshal Montgomery as a godfather, was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College. He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing. First made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown’s Imperial Cup in the same year. Recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978. He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn. Moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992. First winner as a trainer was Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978. Achievements: Has won the Jump trainers’ championships three times; in 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013, and is the most successful handler in history at the Cheltenham Festival, sending out 51 winners. Major wins include: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2011 Long Run, 2013 Bobs Worth), BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian’s Rainbow, 2013 Sprinter Sacre), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Stan James Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1979 Zongalero (2nd);1980 Zongalero (Refused 20th); 1981 Zongalero (Fell 22nd); 1982 Sun Lion (Fell 3rd); 1983 Spartan Missile (Unseated 22nd); 1984 Spartan Missile (16th); 1985 Classified (5th); 1986 Classified (3rd), The Tsarevich (7th); 1987 The Tsarevich (2nd), Classified (UR 25th); 1988 The Tsarevich (7th); 1990 Brown Windsor (4th), 1991 Ten Of Spades (14th), 1991 Master Bob (PU bef 19th); 1992 Brown Windsor (Fell 6th); 1994 Henry Mann (Fell 1st); 1995 Tinryland (Fell 1st); 1998 Pashto (Fell 1st); 1999 Fiddling The Facts (Fell 22nd); 2000 Esprit De Cotte (Fell 22nd); 2001 Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th), 2002 Marlborough (Fell 1st), Goguenard (Fell 1st), 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2005 Fondmort (PU 28th); 2006 Juveigneur (Fell 1st), Iris Royal (PU bef 17th), 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009 Golden Flight (Fell 1st); Fleet Street (UR 18th); 2012 Shakalakaboomboom (9th); 2013

Roberto Goldback (UR last)

 

Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

Born: April 15, 1982 Background: Father Robert is chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, a permit-holder and owner/breeder who has most of his horses in training with Nicky Henderson. Sam studied politics at Edinburgh University and lives in London. He has established his own dental company, Portman Healthcare and works full time running it. Married Annabel Ballin in Lambourn in June, 2011 – a ceremony that was attended by the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton. Waley-Cohen is a close friend of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and is widely credited with reuniting the pair following their brief break-up in 2007 and attended their wedding. The future Queen was at school with Sam’s brother, Tom, who died of bone cancer, aged 20, in 2004. In March, 2011, he became the first amateur rider to partner a Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner since Jim Wilson in 1981, when successful aboard Long Run, on whom he had also won the King George VI Chase at Kempton in 2011 and 2012. He started out on the point-to-point circuit and is now a high-profile amateur rider with several prestigious prizes under his belt. His first success under Rules came aboard Moscow Dancer in an amateur riders’ handicap hurdle at Kelso on December 1, 2003. Liberthine gave Sam a first Cheltenham Festival victory in the 2005 Mildmay Of Flete Handicap Chase and the jockey has recorded four wins in total at the prestigious meeting. His record at Aintree is the envy of many professional riders, with three wins over the Grand National fences, the runner-up spot in the 2011 Crabbie’s Grand National on Oscar Time and fourth on the same horse in 2013. His first triumph over the famous course came aboard his father’s Katarino in the 2005 Crabbie’s Fox Hunter’s Chase. The pair followed up in the 2006 Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase and Sam enjoyed a fantastic double as he also guided Liberthine to victory in the following day’s Crabbie’s Topham Chase over the big spruce fences. He enjoyed Grade One success aboard Long Run in the williamhill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park in 2009 and has since won five more top chases including three Grade Ones, the 2011 and 2012 William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton and the 2011 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009 Ollie Magern (Fell 2nd); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd); 2013 Oscar Time (4th)

 

 

 

Monbeg Dude (IRE) 9-10-09

Breeding: b g Witness Box (USA) – Ten Dollar Bill (IRE) (Accordion (IRE))

Breeder: Hilary O’Connor

Born: April 15, 2005

Owner: Oydunow

Trainer: Michael Scudamore

Jockey: Paul Carberry

Form: 26/45213P/U113P-3415

 

*He was purchased at a post-racing Brightwells auction at Cheltenham in January, 2010, for £12,000, although Mike Tindall, who was responsible for the winning bid, had never previously seen Monbeg Dude and had his back to the ring when the horse was offered for sale. James Simpson-Daniel and Michael Scudamore were with Tindall and each took a quarter-share. They phoned Nicky Robinson and he agreed to take the remaining 25 per cent. *He enjoyed finest hour to date when edging out Teaforthree by a half-length in a thrilling finish to the Coral Welsh National (nearly three and three quarter miles) on heavy ground at Chepstow in January, 2013.

*He also posted a pair of Grade Three staying chase wins at Cheltenham, capturing the Henrietta Knight Handicap Chase (just short of three and a half miles) in November, 2012, and the Majordomo Handicap Chase (three and a quarter miles) in December, 2013.

*He kept on in fifth, beaten 26 lengths in total, after getting behind on his latest appearance in the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles at Doncaster on March 1.

*The nine-year-old has his own Twitter handle – @MonbegDude – and his improved jumping this season has been attributed in part to schooling sessions with Zara Phillips, wife of part-owner Mike Tindall.

*Monbeg Dude has been aimed all season at the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 5, which is run over 30 fences and four miles, three and a half furlongs.

*The famous race is worth £1 million for the first time this year, the highest amount of money ever offered for a jump race in Europe.

*Monbeg Dude has been backed down to 12/1 (Wednesday, April 2) with Betfred, the official betting partner of the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival. He schooled over the replica Grand National fences at Lambourn in the middle of March.  Race record: Starts: 17; Wins: 4; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £122,245

 

Oydunow

The Oydunow syndicate consists of trainer Michael Scudamore plus three rugby union internationals – Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson. Mike Tindall MBE, who was born in Otley, West Yorkshire, on October 18, 1978, has represented England on 75 occasions and captained his country seven times. He currently plays centre for Gloucester RFC, having joined the club from local rivals Bath in 2005. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield, and, as well as representing England as a schoolboy, also had trials for the national athletics team as a highjumper. Tindall was offered a place at Durham University to read psychology but decided to play rugby professionally for Bath – he joined the club aged 18 in 1997. He earned his first England cap in 2000 and played outside centre in the 2003 World Cup Final at Sydney, in which England beat Australia 20-17 after extra time. His engagement to Zara Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, was announced in December, 2010, and the pair were married at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, on July 30, 2011 – a ceremony that was attended by all of the senior royals including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Prince William. Tindall and his wife became parents for the first time on January 17, 2014, with the arrival of Mia Grace Tindall, who is 16th in line to the British throne. Tindall was awarded an MBE for his services to rugby in the New Year’s Honours List in 2003. James Simpson-Daniel, who was born in Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham, on May 30, 1982, attended Sedbergh School in Cumbria – an educational establishment that has also produced fellow England internationals Will Carling and Will Greenwood. After representing his county and region while at school, Simpson-Daniel joined Gloucester in 2001 and has remained at the club ever since, primarily as a winger. He has played for England on 10 occasions but missed out on the 2003 World Cup-winning squad with a back problem. His older brother was initially given the nickname “Sinbad” after the character in Brookside, but the name has subsequently been passed down to James – the Sinbad Testimonial Chase was run his honour at Cheltenham in November, 2010. He succeeded Zara Phillips as president of Cheltenham’s 18-24 Club in 2005 and has spoken in the past of his desire to become a trainer when his rugby career ends. Simpson-Daniel set up sports nutrition company Kings Biltong along with his brothers Charlie and Mark, who also both played rugby professionally. He currently lives on the outskirts of Cheltenham with his wife Lucy and two sons. Nicky Robinson, who was born in Cardiff on January 3, 1982, has won 13 caps for Wales and currently plays fly-half for Bristol RFC, having joined the club at the start of the current season. He went to school at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf in Cardiff along with his older brother Jamie, who has also played rugby for Wales. Nicky started his professional career at Cardiff in 2003 before moving to Gloucester in 2009 and then to London Wasps in 2011. Robinson is married to Lynsey, the daughter of legendary Liverpool FC player and manager Kenny Dalglish. He was informed of his ownership of Monbeg Dude when Mike Tindall texted him a photograph of the purchase slip, accompanied with the message: “Congrats, you’ve got a leg of a horse”. If Monbeg Dude were to be successful at Aintree, he would not be the first Grand National winner to have a rugby connection – the 1979 victor Rubstic was owned by John Douglas, who played for Scotland in the 1960s, while the 1928 scorer Tipperary Tim was bred by Irish international John Ryan.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: No previous runners

 

Michael Scudamore (Bromsash, Herefordshire)

Born: February 24, 1984 Background: a son of eight-time champion jump jockey Peter Scudamore, who is assistant trainer to Scottish handler Lucinda Russell, and grandson of Michael snr, who rode Oxo to victory in the 1959 Grand National at Aintree and also was successful in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase. Mother Marilyn is a point-to-point trainer, while his brother Tom is a successful jump jockey with five Cheltenham Festival wins to his name, including three at the 2014 four-day meeting earlier this month. Michael grew up surrounded by horses in the Cotswolds – Peter was assistant trainer to Nigel Twiston-Davies when the trainer sent out Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002) to win the Crabbie’s Grand National. Michael was a keen pony rider as a child and enjoyed show jumping and one-day eventing, although he initially wanted to become a rugby player and played as a flanker for Gloucester Academy and Wales U-19s. He also spent two seasons playing professionally for Ebbw Vale as well as a spell with Gwent Dragons U-21s. Realising he wouldn’t make it at the highest level as a rugby player, he instead tried his luck as a point-to-point jockey, riding three winners in a season. As well as working with his father, he spent time with Dennis Caro, James Fanshawe and Martin Pipe. Michael became assistant to his grandfather in 2005 before taking over the reins at Eccleswall Court, Bromsash near Ross-On-Wye on April 30, 2008. Major Wins Include: Henrietta Knight Handicap Chase (2012 Monbeg Dude), Coral Welsh National (2013 Monbeg Dude), Majordomo Hospitality

Handicap Chase (2013 Monbeg Dude). Crabbie’s Grand National Record: No previous runners

 

Paul Carberry

Born: February 9, 1974, Background: Paul Carberry has inherited a wealth of riding talent from his father Tommy, who won the 1975 Grand National on L’Escargot. He followed in his father’s footsteps when partnering Bobbyjo, trained by Tommy, to a popular victory in the 1999 Grand National. That success came two years after he lifted the Topham Trophy over the big Aintree fences aboard Joe White. His brother Philip is also a successful rider, while his sister Nina is a leading amateur and assistant trainer to Noel Meade. For the last 20 years, Carberry has forged a reputation as one of the most stylish jockeys – a talent nurtured through hunting, show jumping and point-to-pointing in Ireland. He rides principally for Noel Meade and Gordon Elliott in Ireland Carberry was Irish champion in 2001/02 and 2002/03. Nicknamed ‘Alice’ in the weighing room, Carberry is a renowned party person and once suffered a bizarre injury when being head-butted in the stomach by a deer while out hunting. He has been successful aboard numerous highclass horses including Harchibald, Iktitaf, Direct Route, Dorans Pride, Beef Or Salmon, Limestone Lad, Go Native, Looks Like Trouble and Pandorama. He has partnered 14 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including Solwhit in last year’s Ladbrokes World Hurdle and Very Wood in the 2014 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Carberry made the headlines for the wrong reasons in 2006 when he was sentenced to two months imprisonment for setting fire to a newspaper on an Aer Lingus flight, although this was reduced to community service on appeal. In October, 2009, he failed a breath test for alcohol before riding at Naas and was banned from riding for 30 days. He then resolved not to drink again until his riding career was over and recorded the highs and lows of his life to date in the autobiography “One Hell Of A Ride”, which was published in October, 2011. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1994 Rust Never Sleeps (Fell 27th); 1996 Three Brownies (6th); 1997 Buckboard Bounce (4th); 1998 Decyborg (PU bef 27th); 1999 BOBBYJO (WON); 2000 Bobbyjo (11th); 2002 Ad Hoc (BD 4 out); 2003 Ad Hoc (UR 19th); 2004 Joss Naylor (PU bef 19th); 2005 Colnel Rayburn (Pulled up bef 27th); 2006 Sir Oj (Fell 22nd); 2007 Dun Doire (PU bef 27th), 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), 2010 King

Johns Castle (Refused to Race); 2011 Backstage (10th); 2012 Chicago Grey (BD 5th); 2013 Chicago Grey (PU bef 30th)

Mountainous (IRE) 9-10-7

Breeding: b g Milan – Mullaghcloga (Glacial Storm)

Breeder: Lady Melissa Brooke

Born: June 1, 2005

Owner: Walters Plant Hire & James and Jean Potter

Trainer: Richard Lee

Jockey: Jamie Moore

Form: P212/31175/21241-3315

 

*Had his glory day in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in December, where he held on gamely in the mud to beat Hawkes Point a head, with Tidal Bay close up third.

*Made an inauspicious start to his career when pulled up in an Irish point-to-point as a five-year-old. *Has been through a sale ring three times, most recently for £50,000 at Newbury in March, 2011, a month after his first point-to-point victory. *Shows his best form on soft or heavy ground.

*Has raced only once since his Chepstow victory, when an eased-down fifth and last in the West Wales National in early February at Ffos Las, his part-owner Dai Walters’ track.

*Has some high-class relations, notably the top-class staying hurdlers Bannow Bay and Mighty Moss. Race record: Starts 15; wins 5; 2nd 3; 3rd 3. Win & place prize money: £90,116

 

Walters Plant Hire Ltd, James & Jean Potter

Walters Plant Hire is part of one of Wales’ largest civil engineering companies, the Walters Group, which was founded by Gweirydd ‘Dai’ Walters in 1982 and now employs 700 people and turns over £80 million annually. A couple of the group’s highest-profile projects have been the Walters Arena motorsport complex, which forms part of the Wales Rally, and Ffos Las racecourse, built on the site of the country’s largest open-cast mine and opened in 2009. Cardiff-based Walters’ racehorse ownership career began in Ireland in 2001 with the useful novice hurdler Celtic Prince, who scored twice for Noel Meade before travelling to Britain to join Jonjo O’Neill. His string of over 30 racehorses spread around a variety of trainers has expanded significantly in recent years with his team based with the likes of Nigel TwistonDavies, Nicky Henderson, Tim Vaughan, Richard Lee, David Pipe, Tom George, Rebecca Curtis, David Evans and Peter Bowen. The best so far have been the Bowen-trained Snoopy Loopy, winner of the 2008 Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock, and the Henderson-trained Oscar Whisky, who fulfilled one of Walters’ ambitions when winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las. Oscar Whisky has also twice landed the Grade One Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle. James & Jean Potter are based at Welshpool. James Potter is managing director of the Potter Group, the biggest privately owned waste management company in Wales – operating out of a seven acre head office site at Welshpool on the Powys/Shropshire border.  Crabbie’s Grand National Record (Walter Plant Hire): 2011 Grand Slam Hero (Fell 13th)

 

Richard Lee (Byton, Presteigne, Herefordshire)

Born: June 4, 1947 Background: a qualified farrier, Richard Lee took out a training licence in 1986. Lee had spent time with the renowned Lambourn farrier John Ffrench and was also head lad to John Kempton, trainer of the famous shock 1967 Grand National winner Foinavon. Lee was the farrier to the great Fred Winter in Lambourn and both trained and rode point-to-pointers. Initially Lee made a good start to his training career and was touted by some as the new Michael Dickinson. After about five years Lee’s yard was hit by a virus and the number of winners fell quite dramatically. However, he recovered well with the likes of Samuel Wilderspin and Macgeorge, winner of the 1999 Betfred Bowl, leading the way. Among the best horses trained by Lee are Delius, Space Fair, Macgeorge, Super Coin and Samuel Wilderspin. Lee has won the Coral Welsh National for two of the past three years with Le Beau Bai (2011) and Mountainous (2013). He trains at Byton in Herefordshire and is married to Carol. They have a son Tom and a daughter, Kerry, both of whom work for Channel 4 Racing.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2002 Samuel Wilderspin (Fell 4th)

 

Jamie Moore

Born: January 31, 1985 Background: son of Sussex trainer and former jockey Gary and brother of three-time champion Flat jockey Ryan. Another brother, Josh, is currently a conditional jockey and sister Hayley has ridden as an amateur on the Flat as well as commentated on races. Originally attached to Martin Pipe’s stable but went freelance in July, 2005. Turned professional at end of 2002/03. Achievements: Champion conditional in 2003/04 with 48 wins. Enjoyed biggest success of career on Sire De Grugy in 2014 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Also won Grade One Tingle Creek Chase and Grade One Clarence House Chase on same horse. Successful over the Grand National fences in the 2007 Topham Chase on Dunbrody Millar and in 2009 Grand Sefton Chase on Dev.

Grand National Record: 2003 Royal Predica (13th); 2006 Le Duc (UR 8th), 2007 Thisthatandtother (PU 30th), 2011 Santa’s Son (PU 16th); 2012 Deep Purple (PU 19th); 2013 Mumbles Head (Ref 30th)

Mr Moonshine (IRE) 10-10-12

 

Breeding: b g Double Eclipse (IRE) – Kinross (Nearly A Hand) Breeder: Tom McIlhagga

Born: May 25, 2014

Owner: Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont & David van der Hoeven                         Trainer: Sue Smith

Jockey: Ryan Mania

Form: 2/16321600/113507-2360264P2-4573112

Mr Moonshine

*   Set to make his second appearance in the Crabbie’s Grand National, having been pulled up four fences out in 2013.

*Represents the same owner/trainer combination of Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont, David van der Hoeven/Sue Smith that captured the 2013 Crabbie’s Grand National with 66/1 chance Auroras Encore and they bought Mr Moonshine around the same time.

*   Finished third over the Grand National fences in the Grade Three Betfred Becher Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles on December 7, 2013.

*   Successful in handicap chases at Musselburgh (January 1) and Warwick (February 8), both at around two and a half miles, before filling the runner-up spot in the three-mile Listed Best Odds Guaranteed At totepool.com Premier Chase at Kelso on March 1.

Race Record: Starts: 31; Wins: 6; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 4; Win & Place prize money: £128,796

 

Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont & David van der Hoeven

Jim Beaumont and Douglas Pryde met at Aintree more than 20 years ago and have been partners in horses for a long time – the pair joined up with South African-born David van der Hoeven to purchase Auroras Encore in late 2012 with the aim of running him in last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National. Their plan paid off in spectacular style as the horse won at odds of 66/1. Aurora’s Encore was retired in January after being injured. Douglas Pryde is an independent financial advisor, originally from Musselburgh and now based in Linlithgow, west of Edinburgh. He played football for Scotland as a schoolboy and spent five years working in Liverpool between 1978 and 1983. He met Jim Beaumont on the roof of the County Stand at Aintree 25 years ago. Edinburgh-based Jim Beaumont was born in Liverpool and worked as a bell boy in the Adelphi Hotel at the age of 14 and remembers the celebrations in 1948 after Sheila’s Cottage won, before moving to the kitchens. From there, he carved out a career in the catering, hotel and restaurant business, including spells as manager at Gleneagles and at the George Hotel and Café Royal in Edinburgh, before owning restaurants. He retired seven years ago. He was first taken to the Grand National meeting at the age of five by his grandmother and attended every year as a child. South African-born David van der Hoeven, a director of Glasgow-based independent financial advisors Clark Gillone, missed the victory of Auroras Encore last year as he was on holiday with his family in Cyprus.

Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2011 Santa’s Son (owned by Douglas Pryde & Jim Beaumont) (PU bef 27th); 2013

AURORAS ENCORE WON, Mr Moonshine (owned by Mrs Strang Steel, Douglas Pryde & Jim Beaumont) (PU bef 27th)

 

Sue Smith (Bingley, West Yorkshire)

Born: February 23, 1948 Background: Became only the third woman to train the winner of the Crabbie’s Grand National in 2013 with Auroras Encore. Has developed a formidable training operation at Craiglands Farm, 1,000 feet up on the Yorkshire Moors at High Eldwick near Bingley, where she first took out a permit to train in 1990 and a full licence the following year. Raised on a Sussex farm, rode (as Susan Dye) in Britain’s first ladies’ race and her late father owned horses with Arthur Pitt. Brought up on show jumping, and met her future husband, the sport’s legend Harvey, at Hickstead. She moved north in 1989 to Craiglands, from which Harvey, born in the nearby village of Gilstead, has never lived more than three miles distant. The Smiths share the duties of their training operation, with Sue looking after the day-to-day training and the entries, and Harvey taking care of the gallops, feeding and driving the box to the races. Harvey Smith personally laid down 18 furlongs of all-weather training strips surfaced with a mixture that includes pig hair. Apart from Auroras Encore, their best horse has been Mister McGoldrick, winner of two Grade Two Castleford Chases and a Grade Three Racing Post Plate at the Cheltenham Festival. Sue Smith is enjoying an excellent season and could better the 74 winners she sent out in 2002/3. Major wins include: Cloudy Too (Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase 2013), Kildimo (totesport Becher Chase 1992), Ardent Scout (Becher Chase 2002), The Last Fling (Peter Marsh Chase, Red Square Vodka Gold Cup 2000), Himalayan Trail (Midlands Grand National 2008).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2000 The Last Fling (7th); 2001 The Last Fling (UR 5th), 2002 The Last Fling (Fell 24th), 2003 Goguenard (UR 19th); 2004 Ardent Scout (7th), Artic Jack (Fell 1st); 2006 Ross Comm (Fell 4th); 2013 AURORAS ENCORE WON, Mr Moonshine (PU bef 27th)

 

Ryan Mania

Born: December 23, 1989 Background: raised in Galashiels, Scotland. Parents Kevin and Lesley first sat him on a Shetland pony when he was three years old. At age 12 he started working with point-to-pointers under the care of Borders trainer Bill Hughes and rode two winners between the flags. Learned his craft on the common riding circuit in the Borders and attended the British Racing School. Joined Lothian trainer Peter Monteith as a conditional and rode a few times as a Flat apprentice in 2008 and 2009. His paternal grandfather emigrated from Poland to the UK and his name is correctly pronounced mah-nee-a rather than may-nee-a. He went 44 rides before breaking his duck and promptly made it a double, winning aboard Quicuyo and Millie The Filly at Ayr on March 8, 2008. Following the large number of abandoned meetings during the winter of 2011, Mania relinquished his licence but the lure of the sport was too much, but he was back in the saddle by the end of the year and has been associated with Sue and Harvey Smith ever since. Auroras Encore provided him with his biggest success in last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National last year but the jockey was literally brought down to earth with a bump the following day following a heavy fall at Hexham.

Crabbie’s Grand National rides: 2013 AURORAS ENCORE WON

 

 

 

 

One In A Milan (IRE) 9-10-02

 

Breeding: b g Milan – Kitty Star (Montelimar)

Breeder: Ms Cecily Purcell

Born: April 20, 2005

Owner: Paul Langford

Trainer: Evan Williams

Jockey: Adam Wedge

Form: 920/517233/3123-F3P465

 

*His first and only success over fences came in January last year, when he won a three-runner three-miler on heavy ground at Ffos Las, his second run for his current connections.

*Since then he has picked up four places, two in local Nationals. In the Midlands version in March last year he finished third and in December ran fourth in the Welsh Grand National behind Mountainous, Hawkes Point and Tidal Bay from 11lb out of the handicap.

*He warmed up for the Crabbie’s Grand National with two unplaced efforts at Chepstow over hurdles.

*Has been through a sale ring three times, for €10,000 as a foal and €14,000 as an unbroken four-year-old. He was acquired by his current trainer, as a seven-year-old in training, for £40,000 at Doncaster, sold from Robert Tyner’s yard with a hurdles win and three places from his then five most recent appearances.

Race record: Starts 19; wins 2; 2nd 3; 3rd 5. Win & place prize money: £32,220

 

Paul Langford

Paul Langford is a director of FD Hughes, who are meat wholesalers in the Old Swan area of Liverpool. The firm’s principal business is as a wholesaler to Chinese restaurants and Langford has worked his way up through the business for the past 60 years. He has owned One In A Milan, his first runner at Aintree and his first in the Crabbie’s Grand National, for the past two years but has owned horses with various trainers for the past 10 years. His first runner, Mickmacmagoole, won 10 times for the owner and he became hooked on racing. He describes having a runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National as a ‘dream come true’ and, although he wasn’t purchased as a National contender, he has developed into a potential Aintree horse and finished third in the Midlands Grand National. Langford lives in Prenton, The Wirral, and he will be present at Aintree on Saturday with family and friends, having taken two tables of 10 in one of the restaurants. As a wholesaler to the Chinese community, Langford is hoping it is a good omen that it is currently the ‘Year of the Horse’.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Evan Williams (Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan)

Born: April 3, 1971 Background: Unrelated to the winning jockey of the 1937 Grand National who bears the same name and also hails from the Cowbridge area of South Wales, Evan Williams was raised on his family’s farm above the village of Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan. He is the son of the late amateur jockey Rhys Williams. He used to get up at dawn to milk the cows before going to school. He took over the running of the farm full-time when he was 17, concentrating firstly on dairy farming and then beef when the price of milk dropped. He also started training a few point-to-pointers in 1997 but the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 decimated his herd and restrictions on the movement of livestock wiped out the point-to-point season. Williams sold his cattle at a loss after the outbreak and went to Ireland to buy 18 horses with the proceeds, going on to be champion point-to-point trainer and jockey in 2002. He rode and trained over 200 point-to-point winners. He took out his full training licence the following year and rode his first winner, Cherry Gold, in a hunters’ chase at Chepstow on April 22, 2003. Williams enjoyed his first big-race success at the same course in December of that year, when saddling Sunray to win the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at odds of 40/1. The winners continued to flow and Williams shot to national prominence with State Of Play, who followed up success in a handicap chase at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in April, 2006, with victory in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury seven months later. The chaser went on to triumph in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in 2008, while other big-race success has arrived courtesy of High Chimes, who gave Williams a first Cheltenham Festival winner in the 2008 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase, and Grade Two scorers Deep Purple and Simarian. In the 2009/10 season, Barizan emerged as a top-class juvenile hurdler, winning a Grade One at Punchestown after finishing second in both the JCB Triumph Hurdle and in the Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle at Aintree. Williams enjoyed his best season in terms of winners in 2010/11, with 90 successes and had 89 victories in Britain and Ireland in 2011/12. State Of Play did him proud in the Grand National – finishing fourth in 2009, third in 2010 and fourth the 2011 before unseating his rider in 2012 when Cappa Bleu ran fourth. Cappa Bleu gave him his best placing in the Crabbie’s Grand National when runner-up to Auroras Encore in 2013. Williams is assisted by top amateur James Tudor, who was champion point-to-point rider in 2007 and partnered High Chimes to his Cheltenham success. He is married to Cath who continued to train point-to-pointers after he took out his professional licence. They have three children William, Isabel and Ellie. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2009 State Of Play (4th); 2010 State Of Play (3rd); 2011 State Of Play (4th); 2012 Cappa Bleu (4th); State Of Play (UR 5th); Deep Purple (PU 19th); 2013 Cappa Bleu (2nd)

 

Adam Wedge

Born: August 11, 1989, and raised in Halesowen near Birmingham Background: Wedge is a fitness fanatic, and sunk his first wages into buying a mechanical horse. Later, while on a licensing course at the British Racing School, he set a record for fitness levels by achieving a 99 per cent test score. He comes from an eventing background – his mother, Pauline, is keen on that sport and currently teaches children to ride – but racing gripped his imagination as a schoolboy, and when referring to his time at college he says: “I quit after two days having gained the racing bug riding out for [former Kidderminster trainer] Martin Evans.” After a spell working for Evans he joined Gloucestershire trainer Richard Phillips and had a few rides as an amateur on the Flat, and then, in September, 2008, moved to Lincolnshire to join Chris and Antonia Bealby. He had already had a few rides in point-to-points – pulling up in his first four races – but the move to the Bealbys led to winners. His first success under Rules came on Picky at Towcester one month after he joined the yard, and the following March he scored his initial pointing successes when riding a double at North Carlton in Lincs. He remained an amateur for another season, during which he landed the valuable DBS Spring Sales bumper for Bealby on Di Kaprio, but in July, 2010, he joined Williams’ stable and turned conditional. He rode eight winners in his first professional season, 32 in 2011/12 and 20 last term. He has ridden 23 winners so far this season (up to Wednesday, April 2. Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2013 Viking Blond (PU 15th)

 

Our Father (IRE) 8-10-08

 

Breeding: gr g Shantou – Rosepan (Taipan)

Breeder: P Tierney

Born: April 9, 2006

Owner: The Ives and Johnson Families

Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: Denis O’Regan

Form: 122/10P/124-759

 

*One of the least experienced in the field. The Crabbie’s Grand National will be his 13th start in a career that began with victory over hurdles at Chepstow in January, 2011.

*Has won just once over fences, when he put up his highest-rated performance to beat Sire Collonges 20 lengths in a three mile, one furlong novices chase at Cheltenham in November, 2012.

*On the most recent of his three runs this season he finished ninth, wearing first-time blinkers, in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

*He would be the fourth grey winner, after The Lamb (1868,1871), Nicolaus Silver (1961) and Neptune Collonges two years ago. Race record: Starts 12; wins 3; 2nd 3; 3rd 0. Win & place prize money: £29,028

 

The Ives and Johnson Families

Background: Horses owned by the late David Johnson continue to run in his famous blue and green silks under the Johnson Family banner following his death from cancer on July 6, 2013. David was a self-made businessman and is survived by his wife Shirley, who he married in 1968, and two children – Stephen and Lisa. A docker’s son, born in 1944, from the East End of London, he began working at the Midland Bank in East Ham for £9 a week aged 16. He subsequently built up some very successful mortgage companies and established himself as one of the most innovative figures in the sector. Brothers Danny and Kenny Ives met the Johnson family through business interests and became great friends. The Johnsons introduced them to the Pipes and they subsequently owned horses with the yard. Racing interests: David formed a formidable partnership with Martin Pipe (now retired) and then his son David. He enjoyed 13 winners at Cheltenham Festival, headlined by four successes in the Racing Post Arkle Chase (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief & 2005 Contraband) and Our Vic’s front-running success in the 2008 Ryanair Chase. Johnson captured a first owners’ championship in 1997/98 and took the title again in 2001/2, 2002/3, 2003/4 and 2004/5. Comply Or Die’s victory in the 2008 Crabbie’s Grand National helped Johnson secure a sixth leading owner title, with over £1.4 million in prize money for that season. Danny and Kenny Ives have owned several horses with the Pipes, the most notable being Ronaldo Des Mottes, who finished second behind Get Me Out Of Here in the totesport Trophy in 2010. Crabbie’s Grand National

Record (David Johnson): 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st); 1999 Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th); 2002 Iris

Bleu (Fell 5th); 2003 Iris Bleu (PU bef 16th); 2004 Lord Atterbury (3rd), Jurancon II (Fell 4th), Montreal (Fell 6th); 2005 It Takes Time (4th), Lord Atterbury (Fell 1st); 2006 Therealbandit (PU Bef 27th), It Takes Time (PU Bef 29th); 2007 Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Vodka Bleu (PU bef 19th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Comply Or Die (PU bef 29); 2012 Swing Bill (10th); 2013

Swing Bill (6th)

 

David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)

Born: February 7, 1973 Background: son of 15-time champion jump trainer Martin Pipe. He started out riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to record 22 wins in his career over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette HeadMaarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling the likes of Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold, who went on to have successful careers under Rules when transferred to his father’s yard. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, with Well Armed successful 15 times. He took over the reins at Pond House in Somerset following the retirement of his father on Saturday, April 29, the last day of the 2005/6 jump season. Pipe Jnr made the best possible start to his training career under Rules with his first runner, Standin Obligation, scoring at Kelso on May 9, 2006. Achievements: Has recorded 11 wins (three this year) at the Cheltenham Festival, including two in the Ryanair Chase (2008 Our Vic, 2014 Dynaste). His greatest triumph came when he saddled Comply Or Die to win the 2008 Crabbie’s Grand National. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Madison Du Berlais (Fell 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU bef 19th), Joaaci (Fell 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (Fell 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (Fell 6th), Comply Or Die (PU bef 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (Fell 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th)

 

Denis O’Regan

Born: March 24, 1982, to Denis and Derleine O’Regan, in Youghal, Co Cork Background: O’Regan has no immediate family involvement in racing – his father runs Lombards Bar in Youghal. He rode out for his cousin John Crowley as a schoolboy before spending a summer with Francis Flood aged 16. He rode 13 winners as an amateur before turning professional in September, 2003. His first big victory came on Ansar in the 2005 Galway Plate for trainer Dermot Weld and a few months later he rode his first Cheltenham winner when the Michael Hourigan-trained Church Island won a novices’ chase at The Open meeting in November. In October, 2006, at Wexford, he rode his first treble and joined the powerful Co Durham stable of Howard Johnson in the summer of 2007. He enjoyed a great start for his new connections at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival, with Tidal Bay in the Arkle Trophy and Inglis Drever in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, which was a third triumph in the race for the great horse. O’Regan led the Grand National field with three to jump in the 2008 renewal but his mount, Bewleys Berry, ran out of steam and ultimately finished fifth. In November, 2008, O’Regan sampled victory over the Grand National course as he partnered Black Apalachi in the Betfred Becher Chase and his major successes at the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival include Killyglen in the 2009 Mildmay Novices’ Chase and Tidal Bay in the 2008 Maghull Novices’ Chase. O’Regan partnered Black Apalachi in both the 2009 and 2010 renewals of the Crabbie’s Grand National. Unseated at the 22nd when leading the field in 2009, O’Regan enjoyed another thrilling Crabbie’s Grand National ride when Black Apalachi led for much of the second circuit until headed at the last to finish second to Don’t Push It in 2010. O’Regan and Johnson parted ways on April 17, 2010, when the rider’s three-year retainer with the trainer’s main patron Graham Wylie came to an end. He now rides primarily for Newmarket-based John Ferguson and the pair enjoyed Grade One success at Chepstow in 2013 with Ruacana in the Finale Hurdle. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Ballycassidy (UR 24th); 2008 Bewleys Berry (5th); 2009 Black Apalachi (UR 22nd); 2010 Black Apalachi (2nd); 2011 King Fontaine (11th); 2012 Black Apalachi (Fell 8th); 2013 Big Fella Thanks (UR 8th)

Pineau De Re (FR) 11-10-6

Breeding: b g Maresca Sorrento – Elfe Du Perche (Abdonski) Breeder: Michel Hardy

Born: May 8, 2003

Owner: John Provan

Trainer: Dr Richard Newland Jockey: Leighton Aspell

Form: 2617/3/1232/61F540/90501621-60235F2713

 

*Already has a Grand National to his name, the three and half mile Ulster version at Downpatrick a year ago, which he won by 23 lengths.

*Victory in a veterans’ race at Exeter in January pushed his handicap mark high enough to guarantee a run in the Crabbie’s Grand National.

*On his latest run, he was a strong-finishing third, beaten a nose and a neck, in the Pertemps Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The 2010 National winner Don’t Push It used the same contest as a warm-up.

*He is the same age, 11, as the last two winners of the Aintree showpiece.

*His name refers to an aperitif wine produced in the Charente department in western France. Race record: Starts 34; wins 6; 2nd 6; 3rd 4. Win & place prize money: £98,406.

 

John Provan

Originally from Glasgow, John Provan is a former amateur jockey who rode on the Flat against Princess Anne on a couple of occasions. He worked in various racing yards, including those of Tommy Taylor and John Mackie, and rode out most mornings. He now runs a print and packaging business called Printcut Boxfast and lives in Derbyshire. He first met trainer Dr Richard Newland when he moved into the same village and the pair discovered a mutual love of racing. After picking Provan’s brain over a number of years, as well as owning various horses together, Newland decided to take the plunge into training and the pair has not looked back since. He currently has three horses in training with Newland and bought his Crabbie’s Grand National hope, Pineau De Re, in a private deal with Barry Connell in the summer of 2013 before the horse went through the sales ring. Provan admits that the horse isn’t the normal type of horse he buys, both Newland and himself saw a ‘window of opportunity’ with Pineau De Re and purchased him as a potential Grand National horse having seen him win the Ulster Grand National at Downpatrick in April of last year. Both Newland and Provan have attended the Crabbie’s Grand National for the past 20 years and this year will be the first time they have had a runner in the race. Provan will be present at Aintree on Saturday alongside family and friends and is quietly confident that Pineau De Re can hit the frame on his first attempt over the big National fences.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Dr Richard Newland (Claines, Worcsestershire)

Born: November 15, 1963 Background: Dr Richard Newland studied medicine at Cambridge University, followed by medical training at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London. He then undertook specialist training in general practice and, after qualifying, was appointed as principal GP at a practice in Sutton Coldfield, where he worked for 12 years. In 2004, together with Dr Bryan Fehilly, he established Newhall Medical Practice as Birmingham’s first private GP service. He has only just stopped doing surgeries in the past year. Newland has become a successful trainer and has been no stranger to big-race victories since taking out a licence in 2006 following success in the point-to-point sphere. He had owned horses with Philip Hobbs, Richard Lee and John Mackie before he, along with his wife Laura, decided to take the plunge into training full-time. He hit the ground running in his first full season as a permit holder when Overstrand won a Listed handicap hurdle at Sandown and Burntoakboy won the Grade Three Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. His other big-race successes include Act Of Kalanisi in a valuable handicap hurdle at Ascot in February, 2011 and Night Alliance, who won the Tommy Whittle Chase in December of last year. Pineau De Re will be Newland’s first runner in the Crabbie’s Grand National. Major wins include: Coral Cup (2007 Overstrand); Tommy Whittle Chase (2013 Night Alliance).

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Leighton Aspell

Born: June 12, 1976 Background: One of the few jockeys to have a dedicated fan club. Aspell, whose brother Paddy is also a successful jockey, came close to a fairytale first ride in the Crabbie’s Grand National in 2003 when finishing second aboard Supreme Glory and looked like going close again in 2006 when Ballycassidy took up the running at Valentine’s on the first circuit. The Peter Bowen-trained gelding jumped for fun in the lead under Aspell before taking a spectacular tumble at Valentine’s second time. Aspell began his racing life as an apprentice with noted tutor Reg Hollinshead. He rode winners on the Flat, the first of them coming on Prime Painter at Hamilton in May, 1993, and nine more followed before increasing weight forced him to switch to jumping. He joined the late Josh Gifford’s Findon yard and rode his first winner over jumps at Huntingdon in May, 1995, aboard Karar, trained by Gifford’s former stable jockey Richard Rowe. He has won the Welsh National twice, with L’Aventure (2005) and Supreme Glory (2001) and experienced Grade One success in the Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle at Punchestown on United in 2005. In July, 2007, Aspell announced his retirement for the saddle and went to work for Flat trainer John Dunlop at Arundel for an 18-month spell. However, he made a return to the saddle in April, 2009, stating that he missed the camaraderie of the weighing room and the thrill of race riding. He is currently enjoying his best season to date, with 60 winners on the board so far (as of 01/04/14). Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2003 Supreme Glory (2nd); 2004 Skycab (UR 6th); 2005 Take The Stand (UR 15th); 2006 Ballycassidy (Fell 25th), 2007 Billyvoddan (PU 19th); 2011 In Compliance (13th)

Prince De Beauchene (FR) 11-10-10

Breeding: b g French Glory – Chipie D´Angron (FR) (Grand Tresor (FR))                                                     Breeder: Raymond Bellanger

Born: March 23, 2003                                                                                                                                                                                         Form: 13311/321/271/U5351/51/12-3094

Owner: Andrea & Graham Wylie

Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE

Jockey: Paul Townend

 

Prince De Beauchene

*A half-brother to 2007 Welsh Grand National winner Miko De Beauchene and the 2013 Classic Chase scorer Rigadin De Beauchene.

*Three-time winner in France, having taken two AQPS bumper races and a chase.

*Subsequently joined Howard Johnson and won three times for the trainer, including a Listed handicap chase over three miles and a furlong at the 2011 Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.

*Following Johnson’s ban from training, was sent to Willie Mullins ahead of the 2011/12 season and won Grade Two Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February, 2012.

*Has been a leading fancy for the past two Crabbie’s Grand Nationals, but missed both races due to injury.

*Last seen out when fourth in Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on January 16.

Race Record: Starts: 20; Wins: 8; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £144,156

 

Andrea & Graham Wylie

Background: Multi-millionaire Graham Wylie made his money in the computer software industry. He is the son of Scottish parents – his father was a coalminer from Stirling and his mother a seamstress from Hawick, where Wylie was born in 1959. After graduating from Newcastle University in 1980 with a degree in computer science and statistics, founded Sage in 1981 with David Goldman, Phil Lever and Paul Muller, selling accountancy software. The company floated on the stock exchange in 1989. After stepping down as managing director of Sage in May, 2003, Wylie sold a number of his shares and gained over £120 million. A huge Newcastle United fan, he married his second wife Andrea Stone at Slaley Hall, Northumberland in May, 2003 – the event was described as the “north-east’s wedding of the decade,” and was attended by over 250 guests, including Alan Shearer and Sir Bobby Robson. Pop superstar Ronan Keating performed at the couple’s wedding (for a reputed £175,000), singing When You Say Nothing At All, from the 1999 film Notting Hill, which the couple saw on their first date. Graham Wylie founded a new company, Technology Services Group (TSG), in 2003. He owns Close House Country Club and golf course and Gosforth Shopping Centre, and was awarded a CBE for his services to industry in the 2004 New Year’s Honours list. Graham’s contribution to the North East region has been acknowledged by the award of honorary doctorates by both the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumbrian University, and the freedom of the city of Newcastle. The Sunday Times Rich List in 2013 estimated he is worth £185 million. The Wylies live close to Hexham in Northumberland and Andrea has also excelled at showing dogs (www.transcendshowdogs.com), another interest they share, winning the best of breed prize at Crufts this year with her Maltese dog Hi-Lite Come Dance With Me. The couple’s twin daughters Kiera and Zahra were born in December, 2009. Kiera was born with a defective heart, which has led the Wylies to fund raise for the heart unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital among other charitable endeavours. Racing Interests: Their first horse was Lord Transcend, named after Andrea’s hair and beauty salon in Hexham. Lord Transcend won at 33/1 on his debut at Newcastle in March, 2002, and went on to prove himself a high-class horse over hurdles and fences, winning six times in all, before a leg injury sustained at Haydock in January, 2006, cut short his racing career. Having caught the ‘racing bug’ through the success of Lord Transcend, Graham and Andrea Wylie invested millions of pounds and built up a large string in training with Howard Johnson. At Doncaster’s 2003 May Sale, Graham Wylie set a then record for a jump horse when paying 340,000 guineas for Royal Rosa, which was a wedding present for his wife. Howard Johnson was banned from racing for four years in August 2011, and as a result, the Wylies reduced their 60-strong string by half and sent 12 to British jump champion Paul Nicholls and seven to Irish jump champion Willie Mullins. Has seen his colours carried to victory at the Cheltenham Festival on eight occasions, most notably by three-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle victor Inglis Drever. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Bewleys Berry (Fell 22nd); 2008 Bewleys Berry (5th), Backbeat (Fell 2nd);

2010 Royal Rosa (UR 14th); 2011 Tidal Bay (UR 10th); 2012 On His Own (leased for the day) (Fell 22nd); 2013 On His Own (Fell 25th)

 

Willie Mullins IRE (Bagenalstown, County Carlow)

Born September 15, 1956 Background: Willie Mullins was six-times amateur champion rider in Ireland and his major successes in the saddle included the 1983 Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath when the also-rans were partnered by the likes of Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, and Aintree chairman Lord Daresbury, before taking out a training licence in 1988 and is now the country’s pre-eminent jump handler. As a jockey in the Grand National, his rides included The Ladys Master, who ran out in 1983, and Hazy Dawn, who fell at the sixth the following year. He hails from one of Ireland’s most famous racing families, being a son of the late Paddy Mullins, the outstanding all-round trainer whose most famous star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and 1986 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Training Achievements: Willie Mullins rode and trained Wither Or Which to win the 1996 Weatherbys Champion Bumper, the Cheltenham Festival race in which he has enjoyed eight winners (also Florida Pearl 1997, Alexander Banquet 1998, Joe Cullen 2000, Missed That 2005, Cousin Vinny 2008, Champagne Fever 2012 and Briar Hill 2013). Mullins’ best chaser to date has been Florida Pearl, who was placed in two Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the 1998 RSA Chase, the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 Irish Hennessy Cognac Gold Cups in Ireland as well as the 2001 King George VI Chase and the 2002 Betfred Bowl at Aintree. He trains the brilliant Hurricane Fly who has won the Stan James Champion Hurdle in 2011 and 2013. He has 33 saddled winners at the Cheltenham Festival, more than any other Irish handler in history, including the amazing Quevega who created history by becoming the only horse to win the same race in six consecutive years (the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle). Mullins has over 150 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow and his first Grand National runner as a trainer, Micko’s Dream, fell at the first in 2000. The loquacious Mullins, a former chairman of the Irish Trainers’ Federation, also suffered heartache in 2004 when Hedgehunter departed at the final fence in the Crabbie’s Grand National when looking assured of a place. He overcame bad luck in the race the following year when Hedgehunter came home 14 lengths clear of Royal Auclair. He has been champion Irish jump trainer for the past six seasons and is on course for a seventh title in 2013/2014. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2000 Micko’s Dream (Fell 1st); 2002 Alexander Banquet (UR 6th); 2004 Alexander Banquet (Fell 18th), Hedgehunter (Fell 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd); 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Homer Wells (PU bef 22nd), Bothar Na (PU bef 29th), Livingstonebramble (UR 6th); 2008 Snowy Morning (3rd), Hedgehunter (13th); 2009 Snowy Morning (9th), Irish Invader (11th); 2010 Snowy Morning (6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th); 2011 The Midnight Club (6th), Dooney’s Gate (Fell 6th), Arbor Supreme (Fell 28 th); 2012 The Midnight Club (11th), Quiscover Fontaine (Fell

17th), On His Own (Fell 22nd); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Quel Esprit (PU 24th), On His Own (Fell 25th)

 

Paul Townend

Born: September 15, 1990 Background: Grew up surrounded by horses in County Cork and spent his youth riding on the pony racing circuit. He was also involved in show jumping, but had his heart set on a career as a jockey and joined the powerful Willie Mullins stable as a Flat apprentice after leaving school. He made his debut in a maiden at Ballinrobe on May 2, 2007, coming third on Temlett, and enjoyed his first success the following month, partnering the Seamus O’Donnell-trained The Chip Chopman to victory in an apprentice handicap at Limerick on June 22. He finished 2007 with a winner on the final card of the year at Dundalk, giving him 10 victories for the year, and he continued to ride successfully on the level for the first half of 2008, before growing concerns over weight problems prompted a switch to Jump racing. He enjoyed almost instant success courtesy of the John Kiely-trained Indian Pace, as the pair landed the Galway Hurdle at the end of July, but Townend endured a barren three-month period immediately afterwards. His fortunes changed after Willie Mullins’ number one jockey, Ruby Walsh, sustained a serious injury at Cheltenham in November, 2008, giving Townend a host of plum rides, including successes on Hurricane Fly in the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse and Mikael D’Haguenet in the Barry & Sandra Kelly Memorial Novice Hurdle at Navan in mid-December. He was reunited with Hurricane Fly for further Grade One glory in the paddypower.com Future Champion Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. In 2010/11 he went from strength to strength and was crowned champion jockey in Ireland with 80 wins. Townend has also enjoyed Grade One success on Boston Bob, Arvika Ligeonniere and Champagne Fever. He partnered What A Charm to victory in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival. Crabbie’s

Grand National Record: 2009 Irish Invader (11th), 2010 Arbor Supreme (UR 15th); 2012 On His Own (Fell 22nd); 2013 Quel Esprit (PU

24th)

 

Quito De La Roque (FR) 10-11-1

Breeding: b g Saint Des Saints – Moody Cloud (Cyborg)

Breeder: Robert Mongin

Born: March 15, 2004

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Trainer: Colm Murphy IRE

Jockey: Brian O’Connell

Form: 122141/12111/113/336145-F475P

 

*Twice a Grade One winner over fences, having taken the Champion Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival three years ago and the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal six months later, beating two-mile star Sizing Europe.

*Has run at Aintree three times, winning the Grade Two Mildmay Novices’ Chase at the National meeting in 2011, finishing third to Wayward Prince in December, 2012, and fourth to First Lieutenant in the Grade One Betfred Bowl a year ago.

*He is French-bred, as were two of the past five winners. In 2009 Mon Mome became the fourth French-bred horse to win a National (100 years after the third, Lutteur), swiftly followed by Neptune Collonges in 2012.

*His last victory came in January last year, when he took the Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles. On the latest of five runs this year, he was pulled up in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse (won by Gold Cup runner-up On His Own) in February.

Race record: Starts 24; wins 9; 2nd 3; 3rd 3. Win & place prize money: £338,468

 

Gigginstown House Stud

Gigginstown House Stud, near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, is the residence of Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair. O’Leary was born in Mullingar on March 20, 1961 and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare before reading business studies at Trinity College Dublin. He has grown Ryanair to become one of Europe’s largest carriers and O’Leary was valued at £355 million in the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List. O’Leary started off with horses on the Flat with David Wachman and Mick Halford, but he has rapidly become a Jump owner with a string only rivalled by J P McManus. His team of well over 100 horses is split between a wide range of trainers in Ireland and his racing enthusiasm was kick-started when one of his first horses, War Of Attrition, won the 2006 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. His 11 Cheltenham Festival winners include a four-timer on the final day this year that included Tiger Roll in the JCB Triumph Hurdle and Very Wood in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Other Festival winners include Weapon’s Amnesty in the 2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and 2010 RSA Chase, First Lieutenant in the 2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle and last year’s Betfred Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs in the 2012 JLT Novices’ Chase. Other high-class performers include the 2008 Irish Grand National winner Hear The Echo. O’Leary’s brother Eddie, a famous pinhooker based at Lynn Lodge Stud in Mullingar, oversees the Gigginstown racing operation while his young horses are brought along at Pat Doyle’s County Tipperary stables and in point-to-points by Gordon Elliott. Bryan Cooper replaced Davy Russell as Gigginstown’s retained rider earlier this year.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2009 Hear The Echo (Fell after 30th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th)

 

Colm Murphy IRE (Killena, Gorey, Co Wexford)

Born: March 21, 1974 Background: Murphy was a successful amateur jockey and combined his riding career with working in the office at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard, dealing with entries, declarations and other important secretarial work. He rode several bumper winners for O’Brien but turned his attentions to training when his employer began to focus mainly on the Flat. He took out a training licence in 2000 and saddled his first runner in April of that year when Alottalady was unplaced at Listowel. It was just under two years before Murphy had his first success as a trainer when Anvil Lord scored in a handicap hurdle at Cork in March, 2002. Murphy announced himself on the big stage in February, 2004, when Brave Inca won the Grade One Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown and the same horse was responsible for the trainer’s first Cheltenham Festival success when he landed the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle from War Of Attrition in a nail-biting finish. Brave Inca made it a hat-trick of Grade One successes in his novice year by reeling in Royal Shakespeare in the Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in May, 2004. Brave Inca finished second in the following season’s Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, splitting Hardy Eustace and Harchibald in a memorable finish to the race and went one better in the Irish version at the Punchestown Festival. Brave Inca went on to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, 2006 by which time Murphy’s talents were well-known. The talented mare Feathard Lady improved with every run under Murphy’s care and was very impressive in the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day (run at Sandown in 2005). Sadly, she was injured before the Champion Hurdle and was retired unbeaten. As Brave Inca came to the end of his career, Murphy was in need of another stable star to take his place. Big Zeb had shown potential in bumpers and over hurdles but he really started to make his mark as soon as he was sent over fences. A victory in the Grade One Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival in May, 2008, hinted at bigger things to come and he quickly progressed to become one of the best two-mile chasers of his generation, winning the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2010, and the Irish equivalent at the Punchestown Festival in May, 2011. Murphy also trained the smart mare Voler La Vedette to win the Grade One Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December, 2011 and Quito De La Roque to win the Grade One Champion Chase at Down Royal in November, 2011. He will be saddling his first Crabbie’s Grand National runner this year in the shape of Quito De La Roque. Major wins include: Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Brave Inca); Irish Champion Hurdle (2005, 2006, 2009 Brave Inca); Christmas Hurdle (2005 Feathard Lady); Champion Hurdle (2006 Brave Inca); Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (2006 Brave Inca, 2011 Voler La Vedette); Queen Mother Champion Chase (2010 Big Zeb); JNwine.com Champion Chase (2011 Quito De La Roque); Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase (2008, 2010, 2011 Big Zeb).

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Brian O’Connell

Born: September 16, 1986 Background: Father Val was a talented jockey and trainer who is now chief inspector of courses for the Turf Club. Brian spent school holidays working for Jim Bolger and Aidan O’Brien and started with Philip Fenton as soon as his studies had finished. Rode first point-to-point winner aged 16 and enjoyed a first success under Rules when Shoot The Breeze landed a maiden hurdle at Down Royal on May 2, 2005. He partnered the Philip Fenton-trained Dunguib to victory in the 2009 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and has also partnered the same horse to victory in two Grade One novices’ hurdles. His biggest victory this season came on Last Instalment in the Grade One Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Previous Crabbie’s Grand National rides: 2012 Tharawaat (8th)

 

 

Raz De Maree (FR) 9-10-03

Breeding: ch g Shaanmer – Diyala III (Quart De Vin)

Breeder: Michele Juhen-Cypres

Born: March 13, 2005

Owner: James J Swan

Trainer: Dessie Hughes IRE

Jockey: Davy Condon

Form: 2332121/B50P/30615211-P0P3

 

*Already has two Grand Nationals to his credit, the Munster and Cork versions in October and November, 2012, the latter the latest of his three victories over fences.

*In the Cork version, over three and a half miles, he gave 15lb and a nine-length beating to runner-up Bundle Of Fun, but may have had luck on his side as he was left in front after the leader ran out at the last fence.

*After three disappointing runs this season, he showed more on his latest outing when third over three and a quarter miles at Downpatrick.

*The Crabbie’s Grand National will be his first run outside Ireland.

*Bought for £16,000 by his trainer as an unbroken four-year-old at Doncaster sales.

*He is French-bred, as were two of the past five winners. In 2009 Mon Mome became the fourth French-bred horse to win a National (100 years after the third, Lutteur), swiftly followed by Neptune Collonges in 2012. Race record: Starts 23; wins 5; 2nd 4; 3rd 4. Win & place prize money: £98,406

 

James Swan

James Swan is a farmer who hails from Co Meath. His first involvement in racehorse ownership came in 1994 when he had two horses with Colin Magnier, but he didn’t enjoy his first winner until September, 1997, when the Cecil Mahon-trained Persian Life won a beginners chase at Down Royal. Swan was at the centre of one of the largest betting coups in Irish history in 2001. He reportedly had £100,000 at 10/1 with an undisclosed offshore bookmaker that his eight horses would win six races between them before December 14. Prince Of Tara, trained by Stephen Mahon, sealed the extraordinary £1-million wager when annexing a maiden hurdle at Downpatrick on November 21, having already won a bumper at Navan. Persian Life, also trained by Mahon, scored in a handicap chase at Dundalk, while the Kevin Prendergast-trained pair of Arkaga and Baron De Feypo won three races between them on the Flat. Prince Of Tara was in the headlines again when capturing the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in 2005. Swan first had runners with Dessie Hughes during the 2009/10 season, but has scaled down in recent years and his only horse in training is Crabbie’s Grand National hope Raz De Maree. The nine-year-old is the best horse Swan has owned, recording victories in the 2012 Munster and Cork Grand Nationals.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Dessie Hughes IRE (Curragh, County Kildare)

Born: October 10, 1943 Background: A highly successful jockey, Dessie Hughes partnered Davy Lad to win the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup and returned to Prestbury Park three years later to ride Monksfield to victory in the Champion Hurdle. He had four rides in the Grand National, including Davy Lad in 1977, but never managed to complete the course. Having always had one eye on the future, Dessie prepared his yard for three years before finally taking out a training licence in 1980 and the winners soon started flowing, including a first Cheltenham Festival victory as a trainer when Miller Hall took the 1982 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. His yard was struck down by a persistent fungal problem in the late 1980s which resulted in Hughes enduring several years of poor form, but the trainer began churning out the winners again in the late 1990s, with horses such as Guest Performance, Rathbawn Prince and Grade One winner Colonel Braxton being standard bearers. But it would be Hardy Eustace who would provide Hughes with some of his finest hours as a trainer. Owned by long-standing patron Lar Byrne, the Archway gelding won the Grade One Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival before returning a year later take the Champion Hurdle under a superbly judged ride from Conor O’Dwyer. Hardy Eustace went on to victory at the Punchestown Festival and returned to Prestbury Park the following year for another victory in the Champion Hurdle, becoming the first horse since Istabraq to successfully defend his crown. Central House was another outstanding performer for Hughes, winning five Grade Two contests as well as a Grade One Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown. Schindlers Hunt emerged as another star, winning two Grade One events as a novice chaser and finishing the head runner-up in the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree in 2009. Black Apalachi has gone closest to giving him a Grand National winner, finishing second in 2010. Our Conor, routed the opposition in the 2013 JCB Triumph Hurdle to give his trainer a sixth training success at the Cheltenham Festival but tragically died in this year’s Champion Hurdle. Hughes also holds the notable feat of saddling a winner on nine consecutive racing days during the 2006 Christmas period, while his son Richard was crowned champion Flat jockey in Britain in both 2012 and 2013.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2008 Black Apalachi (Fell 2nd), 2009 Black Apalachi (UR 22nd); 2010 Black Apalachi (2nd), Vic Venturi (UR 20th); 2011 In Compliance (13th), Vic Venturi (BD 2nd); 2012 In Compliance (6th), Rare Bob

(BD 6th), Black Apalachi (Fell 8th), Vic Venturi (Ref 19th); 2013 Rare Bob (5th)

 

Davy Condon

Born: December 3, 1984 Background: Davy Condon, whose father Mick was a leading amateur and point-to-point rider, started his career in 2000 as a 15-year-old apprentice Flat jockey with Willie Mullins, had his first winner the next season and ended that year with five successes from 95 rides. In the next three seasons, he took his win tally up to 75 and his most notable association was with the Mullins-trained Holy Orders, whom he rode in 30 races across both codes, including when well beaten in the 2003 Melbourne Cup. As Condon’s weight increased, he looked to the jump world and rode his first winner over hurdles in November, 2004. He had his first, and so far only, Cheltenham Festival success aboard Ebaziyan in the 2007 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the following year moved from Ireland to become stable jockey to Nicky Richards’ Cumbrian yard following Tony Dobbin’s retirement, winning the 2008 Peterborough Chase on Monet’s Garden and 2009 Scottish Champion Hurdle on Noble Alan. He returned home in the 2009/10 season and struck up a good rapport with Go Native on whom he won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton although he missed out on his share of a potential £1 million bonus when the horse was beaten in the 2010 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. He has also enjoyed Grade One success in Ireland on the likes of Pandorama, Realt Mor and Morning Assembly while he won the Grade One Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’ Hurdle on Orsippus in 2010. Condon is a cousin of jockey Paul Townend.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Homer Wells (PU 22nd); 2010 Backstage (UR 20th); 2012 Becauseicouldntsee (Fell 8th)

 

 

 

 

Rocky Creek (IRE) 8-11-05

Breeding: b g Dr Massini (IRE) — Kissantell (IRE) (Broken Hearted)

Breeder: Colm Griffin

Born: March 28, 2006

Owner: The Johnson & Stewart Families

Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Noel Fehily

Form: /218/21113-22

 

*Brother to high-class Tell Massini and joined current connections after beating Rolling Aces by four lengths in an Irish point-to-point at Carrigtwohill in February, 2011.

*Scored once in three starts over hurdles, taking the Grade Two River Don Novices’ Hurdle over three miles at Doncaster in January, 2012.

*Won three of his first four starts over fences, including the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot in February, 2013, before finishing third to Dynaste in the Grade Two Betfred Mobile Mildmay Novices’ Chase at the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.

*Found only Triolo D’Alene too strong on his seasonal reappearance in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November, beaten two and three quarter lengths.

*Second to subsequent Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup third The Giant Bolster, who was in receipt of 5lb, in the Grade Two Argento Chase at Cheltenham on January 25.

Race Record: Starts: 10; Wins: 4; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £118,534

 

The Stewart Family

The Stewart Family comprises London-based husband and wife, Andy and Judy Stewart, and their two sons, Mark and Paul. The latter broke his back in a snowboarding accident in December, 2008, but has made tremendous progress to walk again and the family have sponsored several races at Cheltenham, including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the December Gold Cup for the benefit of Spinal Research. Andy Stewart, 62, went to Felsted School in Essex and bunked off to go point-to-pointing at Marks Tey. He would also hitchhike to Liverpool to attend the Grand National Festival. He began work aged 17 in the fixed-interest department of Simon & Coates, eventually becoming a senior partner at that stockbroking firm. He became chief executive of Chase Manhattan Securities when it took over Simon & Coates. He founded broker Collins Stewart in 1991 and was executive deputy chairman when it floated on the Stock Exchange in 2000 before leaving the business in 2003. He then founded Cenkos Securities, named after his first top-class racehorse, but resigned in 2010. Cenkos won 15 races and over £500,000 in prize money and was twice third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Racing interests: Andy was first involved with ownership in 1986 and the family enjoyed the first of six Cheltenham Festival successes when Celestial Halo won the JCB Triumph Hurdle in 2008. Outstanding staying hurdler Big Buck’s became the first horse to win four renewals of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in 2012 and broke Sir Ken’s record by winning his 17th consecutive race over jumps in the Liverpool Hurdle at the 2012 Grand National Festival. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th); 2008 Turko

(Fell 25th), 2009 My Will (3rd); 2010 My Will (Fell 4th); 2011 Ornais (Fell 4th); 2012 Tatenen (UR 8th); 2013 Tatenen (Fell 12th)

 

The Johnson Family Horses owned by the late David Johnson continue to run in his famous blue and green silks under The Johnson Family following his death from cancer on July 6, 2013. David was a self-made businessman and is survived by his wife Shirley, who he married in 1968, and two children – Stephen and Lisa. A docker’s son, born in 1944, from the East End of London, he began working at the Midland Bank in East Ham for £9 a week aged 16. He subsequently built up some very successful mortgage companies and established himself as one of the most innovative figures in the sector. Racing interests: David formed a formidable partnership with Martin Pipe (now retired) and then his son David. He enjoyed 13 winners at Cheltenham Festival, headlined by four successes in the Racing Post Arkle Chase (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief & 2005 Contraband) and Our Vic’s front-running success in the 2008 Ryanair Chase. Johnson captured a first owners’ championship in 1997/98 and took the title again in 2001/2, 2002/3, 2003/4 and 2004/5. Comply Or Die’s victory in the 2008 John Smith’s Grand National helped Johnson secure a sixth leading owner title, with over £1.4 million in prize money for that 2007/8 season. Crabbie’s Grand National Record (David Johnson): 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st); 1999 Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th); 2002 Iris Bleu (Fell 5th); 2003 Iris Bleu (PU bef 16th);

2004 Lord Atterbury (3rd), Jurancon II (Fell 4th), Montreal (Fell 6th); 2005 It Takes Time (4th), Lord Atterbury (Fell 1st); 2006 Therealbandit (PU Bef 27th), It Takes Time (PU Bef 29th); 2007 Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Vodka Bleu (PU bef 19th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Comply Or Die (PU bef 29); 2012 Swing

Bill (10th); 2013 Swing Bill (6th)

 

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset)

Born: April 17, 1962. Background: Started out in racing as a jump jockey and partnered 119 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987). He struggled to keep his weight down and gave up race riding. Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to David Barons, who trained Broadheath and Playschool and sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National. Has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. Achievements: Seven-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 34 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including four victories in three of the meeting’s showpiece contests – the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). Also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby and Crabbie’s Grand National with

Neptune Collonges in 2012. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU bef 2 out), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (Fell 14th); 1998 What A Hand (Fell 1st), Court Melody (Fell 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (Fell 1st), 2000 Earthmover (Fell 4th), Torduff Express (Fell 13th), Flaked Oats (Fell 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (Fell 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU bef 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU bef 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU bef 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (Fell 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (Fell 1st), Le Roi Miguel (PU bef 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU bef 19th), Silver Birch (Fell 15th), Le Duc (UR 8th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th); 2007 Royal Auclair (Fell 9th), Le Duc (UR 6th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU bef 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Mr Pointment (PU bef last), Turko (Fell 25th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (Fell 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (Fell 4th), The Tother One (Fell 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU bef 19th), Harry The Viking (PU bef 26th).

 

Noel Fehily

Born: December 24, 1974 in County Cork, Ireland Background: After gaining experience on the point-to-point circuit and in hunter chases in his home country, he began riding in Britain as an amateur and gained his first success on Ivy Boy at Plumpton on November 16, 1998. He rode 12 winners in that first campaign and turned professional after two successes in 1999/2000, which he ended with a score of 17. Has been dogged by injury throughout his career, but is currently enjoying his best season to date with 120 winners (up to Tuesday, April 1), with Charlie Longsdon providing nearly half of those successes. Fehily has enjoyed two Cheltenham Festival winners. Big Race Wins: Stan James Champion Hurdle (2012 Rocky On Ruby), King George VI Chase (2013 Silviniaco Conti), Champion Novice Chase (2008 Air Force One), Tingle Creek Chase (2010 Master Minded), Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (2012 For Non Stop). Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2001 Moral Support (Ref 8th); 2002 Celibate (6th); 2003 Good Shuil (PU bef 19th); 2004 Alcapone (PU bef 25th); 2005 Merchants Friend (Fell 10th); 2006 Risk Accessor (5th); 2007 Naunton Brook

(PU Bef 23rd); 2008 Bob Hall (PU Bef 19th); 2009 Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2012 State Of Play (UR 5th); 2013 Treacle (UR 8th)

 

Rose Of The Moon (IRE) 9-10-03

 

Breeding: gr g Moonax (IRE) — Little Rose (IRE) (Roselier (FR))

Breeder: Teresa Mulhacy

Born: March 14, 2005

Owner: Middleham Park Racing XXXIII & Partners

Trainer: David O’Meara

Jockey: Jake Greenall

Form: 2/142858/138/114P-01

 

*Bumper winner for trainer Milton Harris in October, 2010.

*Won once in seven starts over hurdles for same handler and David Pipe, with best effort coming when second to Bobs Worth at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day in 2011. Purchased by Middleham Park Racing shortly afterwards.

*Good strike-rate since joining David O’Meara during summer of 2012, winning three of his six starts over fences.

*Made his seasonal debut when 10th in Betfred Becher Chase on his first start over the Grand National fences on December 7, but got back to winning ways with nine-length success in a three-mile handicap chase at Wetherby on January 21.

Race record: Starts: 16; Wins: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £24,598

 

Middleham Park Racing

Background: Middleham Park Racing (MPR) was set up in 1995, starting out with two syndicates, and has established itself as one of the most successful syndication companies in the UK, enjoying more than 550 winners. Notable horses to have carried the MPR silks to victory include unbeaten champion European two-year-old of 2013 Toormore, dual Group Two winner Penitent, Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival hero Junior, and Scottish Grand National victor Beshabar. Tim Palin is the syndicate head, with Nick Bradley mainly responsible for sourcing the horses, and they have another 115 horses spread between 19 trainers on the Flat and over jumps including Richard Hannon, David Nicholls, Richard Fahey, Nigel Twiston-Davies and David Pipe. Achievements: 87 winners in 2013 – a British syndicate record. Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2011 Backstage (10th); 2012 Junior (Fell 2nd)

 

David O’Meara (Arthington Barn Stables, Nawton, Helmsley, North Yorkshire)

Born: February 3, 1977 Background: raised in Fermoy, Co Cork. Rode point-to-point winners in Ireland for Michael Hourigan before joining Philip Hobbs as an amateur in August 1998. The pair combined to win the Fox Hunters Chase over the Grand National fences with Bells Life in 2000. Turned professional and joined Tim Easterby soon after. Partnered over 120 winners under Rules. Took out a training licence in June, 2010, succeeding James Hetherton at owner Roger Fell’s stables near Helmsley in Yorkshire. Trains predominantly Flat horses, but does have a small string of jumpers headed by talented hurdler Ifandbutwhynot. The 25 Flat winners the first year grew into 136 in Britain last year. Major wins include: Henry II Stakes (2011 Blue Bajan), Joel Stakes (2012 Penitent), Sandown Mile (2012 Penitent) No previous runners in Crabbie’s Grand National

 

Jake Greenall

Born: April 13, 1992 Background: is one of the sons of Aintree Racecourse chairman Lord Daresbury who (as Peter Greenall) was champion amateur rider in 1976/77 and won the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase in 1982 aboard Lone Soldier. Jake is the youngest of four sons and brothers Tom and Oliver have both proven themselves to be fine amateurs, while Toby is also an accomplished jockey. Jake started his riding career in 2006 in pony racing and after excelling in that sphere for two seasons, he had his first ride in a point-to-point in 2008. He rode mainly for David Easterby (son of Yorkshire trainer Mick) and piloted several good horses to victory, including Hunt Ball. He was joint runner-up in the British senior mens’ Point-To-Point title and the next season, he decided to go professional – the first brother to take this step. He had his first winner as a conditional jockey in the 2010/11 season on Harsh But Fair at Market Rasen and rode a total of eight winners that term, having joined the Henry Daly yard. He is enjoying his best total of 22 winners this season (up to Tuesday, April 1). Rose Of The Moon will be his first ride in the Crabbie’s Grand National and he has a fine family tradition to uphold, as both his father and a brother have won over the National fences before – brother Tom on Trust Fund in the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase in 2009. Crabbie’s Grand National record: no previous rides

 

 

 

 

Shakalakaboomboom (IRE) 10-10-03

 

Breeding: b g Anshan – Tia Maria (IIRE) (Supreme Leader)

Breeder: Godfrey Moylan

Born: May 28, 2004

Owner: Liam Breslin

Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: David Bass

Form: 0252/311000/11229/(6)P0

 

Shakalakaboomboom

*Has completed on both previous starts over the Grand National fences, finishing seventh in the Crabbie’s Topham Chase in April, 2011, and coming home ninth in the 2012 Crabbie’s Grand National.

*Has recorded a pair of major handicap chase wins, scoring at the Punchestown Festival in May, 2011, and the Grade Three Majordomo Hospitality Chase at Cheltenham in December of the same year – a contest won by Grand National winners Rubstic and Mon Mome.

*Missed the entire 2012/2013 campaign with a leg injury.

*Has made one chase appearance this term, finishing 17th after being prominent for a long time in the Grade Three Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 11.

Race Record: Starts; 18; 1st: 4; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 1; Win & Place prize money: £80,572

 

Liam Breslin

Shakalakaboomboom’s owner Liam Breslin lives next to Punchestown Racecourse in County Kildare and commutes to London, where he works in the property business. He had a share with a few friends in Boomshakalaka when trainer Nicky Henderson told him that the horse’s three-parts brother was selling at Doncaster sales in May, 2008. “I said to bid for him if he didn’t make too much and Minty (bloodstock agent David Minton) got him for £20,000,” recalls Breslin. Shakalakaboomboom is the best performer that Breslin has had and he also has horses in Ireland with Arthur Moore, Bill Harney and Francis Flood, and on the Flat in Britain with Conor Dore.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: Shakalakaboomboom (9th)

 

Nicky Henderson (Lambourn, Berkshire)

Born: Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950 Background: Henderson is the son of financier and amateur jockey John Henderson MBE, who founded Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses. Nicky, who had Field Marshal Montgomery as a godfather, was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College. He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing. First made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown’s Imperial Cup in the same year. Recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978. He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn. Moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992. First winner as a trainer was Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978. One of Britain’s top trainers. Achievements: Has won the jump trainers’ championship three times; in 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013, and is the most successful handler in history at the Cheltenham Festival, sending out 51 winners. Major wins include: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2011 Long Run, 2013 Bobs Worth), BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian’s Rainbow, 2013 Sprinter Sacre), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Stan James Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular)

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1979 Zongalero (2nd);1980 Zongalero (Refused 20th); 1981 Zongalero (Fell 22nd); 1982 Sun Lion (Fell 3rd); 1983 Spartan Missile (Unseated 22nd); 1984 Spartan Missile (16th); 1985 Classified (5th); 1986 Classified (3rd), The Tsarevich (7th); 1987 The Tsarevich (2nd), Classified (UR 25th); 1988 The Tsarevich (7th); 1990 Brown Windsor (4th), 1991 Ten Of Spades (14th), 1991 Master Bob (PU bef 19th); 1992 Brown Windsor (Fell 6th); 1994 Henry Mann (Fell 1st); 1995 Tinryland (Fell 1st); 1998 Pashto (Fell 1st); 1999 Fiddling The Facts (Fell 22nd); 2000 Esprit De Cotte (Fell 22nd); 2001 Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th), 2002 Marlborough (Fell 1st), Goguenard (Fell 1st), 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2005 Fondmort (PU 28th); 2006 Juveigneur (Fell 1st), Iris Royal (PU bef 17th), 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009 Golden Flight (Fell 1st); Fleet Street (UR 18th); 2012 Shakalakaboomboom (9th); 2013 Roberto

Goldback (UR last)

 

David Bass

Born: June 30, 1988 Background: Bass grew up in Ringstead, Northamptonshire and went to Bishop Stopford School in Kettering. Bass hails from a musical family as his mother, Rowena, is a vicar who teaches and plays the harp and his father instructs viola and violin at schools in Northampton. His youngest sister Elizabeth also performs on the harp and was named Young Musician of the Year at the Oundle Festival of Music in 2009 at the age of 14. Bass could have followed in the family footsteps as he was a drummer with a punk band during his school days but got the racing bug after riding ponies as a youngster. He went to point-to-points with his father Philip and grandfather Albert. Following a trip to Stratford Racecourse at the age of 16, he contacted the British Racing School shortly afterwards. After completing a course at the Newmarket-based BRS, he was given a job at Richard Phillips’ yard near StowOn-The-Wold in Gloucestershire. Although attached to the Phillips yard, he rode his first winner for the late John Manners on Man From Highworth at Towcester in April, 2009. He joined Nicky Henderson shortly afterwards and scored on his first ride for the powerful stable when Scots Dragoon won at Sandown in November of the same year. His biggest winner to date came in the Grade Three Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park in May, 2010 when he guided Eradicate to success for owner Alan Spence. He won on Lifestyle n the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2012 Crabbie’s Grand National meeting and has ridden 23 winners this season (up to Tuesday, April 1). He has his first ride in the Crabbie’s Grand National when he partners Shakalakaboomboom for Henderson. Major Wins include: Swinton Handicap Hurdle (2010 Eradicate). Previous Crabbie’s Grand National rides: None

 

Swing Bill (FR) 13-10-01

 

Breeding: gr g Grey Risk (FR) – Melodie Royale (FR) (Garde Royale) Breeder: Maurice Veron

Born: May 9, 2001

Owner: Halewood International Ltd

Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: Conor O’Farrell

Form: F2101/434329/14425251375/82313P200P/P14406-50

 

*Regular participant in the Crabbie’s Grand National, having finished sixth in 2013 and 10th in 2012.

*Has run six times in total over the Grand National fences. Was also fifth in 2011 Crabbie’s Topham Chase, fourth in 2012 Betfred Becher Chase and fifth in 2013 Betfred Becher Chase. Only failed to complete the course when pulled up in the 2011 Becher Chase. *Last seen out when 11th in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 13. Was last successful in amateur riders’ handicap chase at Cheltenham in November, 2012.

*Was previously owned by the late David Johnson. Now runs in the colours of Halewood International Ltd, parent company of Grand National sponsor Crabbie’s.

Race Record: Starts: 40; Wins: 6: 2nd: 6; 3rd: 5; Win & Place prize money: £123,540

 

Halewood International Ltd

*Founded in 1978 by the late John Halewood (May 2, 1947 – October 15, 2011).

*Halewood International is one of the major UK independent producers and importers of wine, spirits and speciality drinks. Its brands include Sidekick, Tsingtao Beer, Lamb’s Rum, Willow Water, Lambrini, Lambrini Cider, John Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer and Lamb’s Spiced.

*John Halewood always dreamt of success in the Grand National and this was realised when Amberleigh House, trained by Ginger McCain, won in 2004. Halewood’s local connection was responsible for him being introduced to Ginger McCain in the Red Rum days when the trainer was based in Southport and he bought his first horse in 1983.

*Halewood’s widow Judy (who is chair of Halewood International Ltd) used to train (as Judy Eaton) and ran Harley, who finished 12th in the 1991 National. Her brother Peter Eaton is deputy chairman of the company.

* Currently have horses in training with Lisa Williamson (sister of Judy Halewood), Donald McCain and David Pipe.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1986 Dudie (Fell 6th – owned by John Halewood); 2001 Amberleigh House (Fell 8th);

2003 Amberleigh House (3rd); 2004 AMBERLEIGH HOUSE (WON), Kelami (BD 1st); 2005 Amberleigh House (10th),

2006 Amberleigh House (PU bef 21st), Inca Trail (8th), 2007 Kelami (PU Bef 29th); 2009 Kelami (PU bef 22nd)

 

David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)

Born: February 7, 1973 Background: son of 15-time champion jump trainer Martin Pipe. He started out riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to record 22 wins in his career over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette HeadMaarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling the likes of Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold, who went on to have successful careers under Rules when transferred to his father’s yard. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, with Well Armed successful 15 times. He took over the reins at Pond House in Somerset following the retirement of his father on Saturday, April 29, the last day of the 2005/6 jump season. Pipe Jnr made the best possible start to his training career under Rules with his first runner, Standin Obligation, scoring at Kelso on May 9, 2006. Achievements: Has recorded 11 wins (three this year) at the Cheltenham Festival, including two in the Ryanair Chase (2008 Our Vic, 2014 Dynaste). His greatest triumph came when he saddled Comply Or Die to win the 2008 Crabbie’s Grand National. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Madison Du Berlais (Fell 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU bef 19th), Joaaci (Fell 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (Fell 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (Fell 6th), Comply Or Die (PU bef 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (Fell 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th)

 

Conor O’Farrell

Born: July 27, 1989 Background: the son of Kilmoganny-based trainer Seamus O’Farrell and younger brother of Irish amateur J P O’Farrell. Conor did not sit on a horse until he was 15. He attended the Racing Academy & Centre of Excellence after a spell riding out for Joe Crowley and worked for Paddy Prendergast after graduating. He worked for Shark Hanlon before being appointed conditional jockey for David Pipe in October, 2010. His first winner came on Miss Latina, Gowran Park, July 8, 2007 while his first British winner was A Little Different, who scored at Perth on September 24, 2009. O’Farrell enjoyed success at the Cheltenham Festival on Buena Vista in the 2011 Pertemps Final, while other big race victories have come in the Midlands Grand National (2011 Minella Four Star) and the Betfair “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (2011 Dynaste).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2012 Swing Bill (10th); 2013 Swing Bill (6th)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaforthree (IRE) 10-10-12

Breeding: b g Oscar (IRE)-Ethel’s Bay (IRE) (Strong Gale) Breeder: M O’Sullivan

Born: June 6, 2004

Form: 3/421328/321P11/86203-928

Owner: Conyers, O’Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman

Trainer: Rebecca Curtis

Jockey: Nick Scholfield

 

Teaforthree

*Third, beaten nine and a quarters lengths by Auroras Encore, in last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National. Set to line up off a mark 2lb lower this year.

*Beaten half a length by Monbeg Dude when filling the runner-up spot in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow in January, 2013.

*Heads into this year’s race after coming home eighth in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on March 14.

*Successful in the Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2012.

*Was formerly leased to Sky Sports show Soccer AM, for whom he won a Ffos Las novices’ hurdle in November, 2010.

* Attempting to become first winner trained in Wales since Kirkland in 1905.

Race Record (under Rules): Starts: 21; Wins: 4; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 4; Win & Place prize money: £196,607

 

Conyers, O’Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman

When Soccer AM’s lease of Teaforthree, organised with the help of Racing For Change (RFC), ran out one of RFC’s executives was keen not to bid farewell to the horse. Nigel Roddis, now Betting Development Director (Betting) at RFC’s successor Great British Racing, got together a team of friends to form a partnership. Roddis, who hails from Yorkshire, is an avid Sheffield Wednesday fan and Teaforthree’s racing silks are inspired by the colours of The Owls. Roddis, 44, is a lawyer whose career began with city firm Olswang. He has specialised in the betting industry. He joined the Tote in 2000, originally to deal with legal issues surrounding its sale but he progressed to run the company’s pool business. In 2006, he joined At The Races as international director. After a brief time out of racing, he joined Racing For Change in late 2009. Roddis’s wife Hannah, who works for the Jockey Club, shares his stake in Teaforthree, John O’Reilly, head of interactive at Coral Bookmakers and previously a longstanding executive director at Ladbrokes, has a share with his wife Christine. The remaining partners are media lawyer David Zeffman, who worked with Roddis at Olswang and has specialised in racing, lobbyist and lawyer James Conyers, who oversees legal affairs at Sky as the company’s General Counsel. All four partners are based in London, although O’Reilly spends much of his time in Gibraltar.

Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2013 Teaforthree (3rd)

 

Rebecca Curtis (Newport, Pembrokeshire)

Born: April 1, 1980 Background: Grew up on Fforest Farm five miles from Fishguard on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, a place that has now become her training centre. Has been around horses all her life and started riding aged four, progressing to show jump for the Welsh junior team. Rode in point-to-points and her first job in racing was with nearby trainer Peter Bowen. Spent five years in America with trainers Richard Mandella and Dan Hendricks before coming home to take out a licence in 2008. First winner was Mango Catcher at Chepstow on April 5, 2008. Enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival winner when Teaforthree won the National Hunt Chase in 2012 and has had two further winners at the famous meeting – At Fishers Cross in the 2013 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (her first Grade One victory) and O’Faolains Boy in the RSA Chase this year. Curtis is assisted by her partner, bloodstock agent Gearoid Costelloe, and she uses her family’s private beach to exercise her horses.

Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2013 Teaforthree (3rd)

 

Nick Scholfield

Born: June 25, 1989 Background: son of British champion point-to-point rider Philip Scholfield. Brought up riding ponies in his native Devon and went to Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International to show Chiddock Over The Limit at the age of 15. He always wanted to be a jockey – his first mount under Rules was also his first winner, Lou Du Moulin Mas, in an amateur riders’ event at Newbury in November, 2006. By the end of his first season, Scholfield had ridden six winners from just 14 rides under Rules, and had gained the national novice riders’ title in point-to-points with a record 25 winners. His impressive strike-rate continued into the 2007/08 season as, backed by the powerful Ditcheat stable of Paul Nicholls, he became champion amateur with 20 victories to his name. Decided to turn professional immediately after the 2007/08 campaign and enjoyed success with his first ride as a paid jockey aboard Double The Trouble at Towcester on April 28, 2008. Appointed as retained jockey to the Andy Turnell stable in April, 2009. Second behind Rhys Flint in the conditional jockeys’ championship in 2009/2010, going down by four wins in a thrilling battle for the title. He has struck up a burgeoning partnership with trainer Jeremy Scott and guided Melodic Rendezvous to victory in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in January, 2013. He has partnered the same horse to three Grade Two wins this season.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2008 Cornish Sett (12th); 2009 Cornish Sett (17th); 2010 My Will (Fell

4th); 2011 Ornais (Fell 4th); 2013 Teaforthree (3rd)

The Package (GB) 11-10-04

 

Breeding: br g Kayf Tara — Ardent Bride (Ardross)

Breeder: Barkfold Manor Stud Born: March 22, 2003

Owner: The Johnson Family

Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: Tom Scudamore

Form: 1/2192P/362203/92312U5/5/4/14PP-3

 

*Talented chaser, but has only had three starts since January, 2013.

*One of the leading contenders for 2010 Crabbie’s Grand National following a head-second to Chief Dan George at the Cheltenham Festival, but unseated Graham Lee at the 19th.

*Won Badger Ales Trophy impressively at Wincanton in November, 2012.

*Warmed up for this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National with a staying-on third to Holywell in the extended three mile Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, beaten eight and three quarter lengths. Race record: Starts: 26; Wins: 4; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £143,778

 

The Johnson Family

Background: Horses owned by the late David Johnson continue to run in his famous blue and green silks under the Johnson Family banner following his death from cancer on July 6, 2013. David was a self-made businessman and is survived by his wife Shirley, who he married in 1968, and two children – Stephen and Lisa. A docker’s son, born in 1944, from the East End of London, he began working at the Midland Bank in East Ham for £9 a week aged 16. He subsequently built up some very successful mortgage companies and established himself as one of the most innovative figures in the sector. Racing interests: David formed a formidable partnership with Martin Pipe (now retired) and then his son David. He enjoyed 13 winners at Cheltenham Festival, headlined by four successes in the Racing Post Arkle Chase (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief & 2005 Contraband) and Our Vic’s front-running success in the 2008 Ryanair Chase. Johnson captured a first owners’ championship in 1997/98 and took the title again in 2001/2, 2002/3, 2003/4 and 2004/5. Comply Or Die’s victory in the 2008 Crabbie’s Grand National helped Johnson secure a sixth leading owner title, with over £1.4 million in prize money for that season. Crabbie’s Grand National Record (David Johnson): 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st); 1999 Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th); 2002 Iris Bleu (Fell 5th); 2003 Iris Bleu (PU bef 16th); 2004 Lord Atterbury (3rd), Jurancon II (Fell 4th), Montreal (Fell 6th); 2005 It Takes Time (4th), Lord Atterbury (Fell 1st); 2006 Therealbandit (PU Bef 27th), It Takes Time (PU Bef 29th); 2007 Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Vodka Bleu (PU bef 19th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd); 2010 Comply Or

Die (12th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Comply Or Die (PU bef 29); 2012 Swing Bill (10th); 2013 Swing Bill (6th)

 

David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)

Born: February 7, 1973 Background: son of 15-time champion jump trainer Martin Pipe. He started out riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to record 22 wins in his career over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette HeadMaarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling the likes of Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold, who went on to have successful careers under Rules when transferred to his father’s yard. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, with Well Armed successful 15 times. He took over the reins at Pond House in Somerset following the retirement of his father on Saturday, April 29, the last day of the 2005/6 jump season. Pipe Jnr made the best possible start to his training career under Rules with his first runner, Standin Obligation, scoring at Kelso on May 9, 2006. Achievements: Has recorded 11 wins (three this year) at the Cheltenham Festival, including two in the Ryanair Chase (2008 Our Vic, 2014 Dynaste). His greatest triumph came when he saddled Comply Or Die to win the 2008 Crabbie’s Grand National. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Madison Du Berlais (Fell 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU bef 19th), Joaaci (Fell 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (Fell 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (Fell 6th), Comply Or Die (PU bef 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (Fell 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th)

 

Tom Scudamore

Born May 22, 1982 Background: Tom Scudamore was appointed stable jockey to David Pipe in the 2006/2007 season, marking a return to Pond House in Somerset where he began his career as an amateur for Pipe’s father Martin, and where his own father Peter Scudamore, was also stable jockey. Tom comes from an illustrious line of jockeys. His great-grandfather Geoffrey rode winners as an amateur, grandfather Michael was Oxo’s pilot when winning the 1959 Grand National and his father was eight-time champion jockey with 1,677 successes but never won the Crabbie’s Grand National, achieving his best finishing position on third-placed Corbiere in 1985. Tom has made a big impression since leaving Cheltenham College after A-levels in 2000. He won the amateur riders’ title in the 2000/01 season and also landed the 2001 Flat amateurs’ championship. After 52 unpaid successes, he turned professional in October, 2001, and alongside the backing of Martin Pipe (to whom he was a conditional upon turning professional) he was supported by Nigel Twiston-Davies, to whom his father was formerly assistant. His biggest victories have come aboard Madison Du Berlais in the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Betfred Bowl at Aintree while he has enjoyed Grade One success on the tough staying hurdler Lough Derg. At the Cheltenham Festival, he has ridden a total of five winners, including a Grade One double this year on Dynaste in the Ryanair Chase and on Western Warhorse in the Racing Post Arkle Chase. He also rides for his brother Michael, who took over the family’s training licence from his grandfather in the 2008/09 season. Scudamore lives with his wife Charlotte and two daughters near Tiverton in Devon.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2001 Northern Starlight (UR 6th); 2002 Smarty (PU 9th); 2003 Blowing Wind (8th); 2004 Shardam (UR 3rd); 2005 Iznogoud (12th); 2006 Iznogoud (PU bef 27th); 2007 Puntal (8th); 2008 Madison Du Berlais (Fell 8th), 2009 Battlecry (16th), 2010 Madison Du Berlais (Fell 19th); 2012 Junior (Fell 2nd); 2013 Major Malarkey (11th)

 

 

The Rainbow Hunter 10-10-07

Breeding: b g Rainbow High — Sobranie (High Top)

Breeder: Michael Massarella Born: May 28, 2004

Owner: May We Never Be Found Out Partnership

Trainer: Kim Bailey

Jockey: Aidan Coleman

Form: 341S26/P41432202/FF204/311P4UP-261

 

The Rainbow Hunter

*He was sent to current trainer Kim Bailey in October, 2011, having been with Andy Turnell, and made his debut for the new yard in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton, but only got as far as the first where he fell.

*He also fell on his second start over fences for Bailey at Ascot which prompted a return to hurdles for his next three starts. Although he failed to win, the patient approach paid off as he recorded back-to-back victories over fences in May and November 2012. He was bought by his current owners, the May We Never Be Found Out Partnership, in between these two victories and they immediately cited the Crabbie’s Grand National as the horse’s long-term target.

*He shaped promisingly in his prep run for last year’s Grand National, finishing fourth in a competitive handicap chase at Ascot, and lined up at Aintree as a lively outsider. However, the Grand National dream ended when he unseated Aidan Coleman at the Canal Turn on the first circuit.

*After pulling up in the Bet365 Gold Cup on his final start last season, he returned with a second behind Wiesentraum in Fakenham handicap chase in October, but was only sixth on his next start at Haydock Park on November 23, after which the decision was made to give him a wind operation.

*It appeared to make all the difference as he recorded a smooth length and a half victory in the Listed Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster on January 25.

Race Record: Starts: 30; Wins: 5; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £86,340

 

May We Never Be Found Out Partnership

The May We Never Be Found Out Partnership comprises Dermot Clancy, Kevin Clancy and Stephen Cannon, three members of the Middlesex-based Clancy Docwra construction company, and Oli Bell, 26, who is a presenter for Racing UK after a spell working on a horseracing channel in Australia. Bell went to Oundle School with Kevin Clancy’s daughter and the quartet purchased The Rainbow Hunter after speaking to Kim Bailey at Royal Ascot in June, 2012. Bailey told them that the horse would not only win at Ascot over fences later on that year but could end up being the perfect type for the Crabbie’s Grand National. The Rainbow Hunter completed the first part of the bargain when obliging at odds of 16/1 in the Mitie Events & Leisure Handicap Chase at Ascot and has a live chance of fulfilling the second part of the deal.

Crabbie’s Grand National record: 2013 The Rainbow Hunter (UR 8th)

 

Kim Bailey (Thorndale Farm, Andoversford, Gloucestershire)

Born: May 25, 1953. Background: Bailey was bred for the jump game as his father Ken was a successful handler. Bailey currently trains at Thorndale Farm, Andoversford, Gloucestershire, having relocated from his native Northamptonshire in the summer of 2006, after beginning his training career at Old Manor Stables in Upper Lambourn. Following a low-profile riding career, he served as assistant to Humphrey Cottrill, Tim Forster and Fred Rimell, before recording his first win as a trainer with Shifting Gold on January 7, 1978, at Sandown in the Anthony Mildmay Chase, a mere six days after taking over the reins from his father. He has trained some top-class jumpers who have rewarded him with training’s highest accolades, notably the Crabbie’s Grand National (Mr Frisk, 1990), Cheltenham Gold Cup (Master Oats, 1995) and Champion Hurdle (Alderbrook, 1995). Achievements: Bailey is only one of two current trainers to have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Grand National. The other is Paul Nicholls. Mr Frisk was ridden to victory at Aintree by Marcus Armytage, the latest amateur to win the Crabbie’s Grand National. Mr Frisk’s course record of 8m 47.80s still stands today. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1983 Menford (Refused 19th); 1986 Late Night Extra (PU 11th); 1990 MR FRISK (WON); 1991 Docklands Express (Fell 1st), Mr Frisk (PU 22nd); 1992 Docklands Express (4th); 1994 Master Oats (Fell 13th); 1995 Romany King (6th), Master Oats (7th); 1996 Over The Stream (13th); 1997 Master Oats (5th), Glemot (Unseated 7th); 2000 Druid’s Brook (UR12th); 2001 Supreme Charm (UR 15th); 2002 Supreme Charm (5th); 2003 Wonder Weasel (Fell 3rd), 2004 Wonder Weasel (PU Bef 28th); 2007

Longshanks (7th); 2012 Midnight Haze (15th); 2013 The Rainbow Hunter (UR 8th)

 

Aidan Coleman

Born on August 17, 1988, and brought up in Cork, where his parents are both teachers, Aidan Coleman learned his trade on the Irish pony racing circuit, where he had over 100 winners. “It’s brilliant and you learn to deal with the nerves too,” he said. “There was a lot of betting and the owners always wanted them to win. I was 12 or 13 and had one owner who always told me how many grand he had on his horse, but I never let it get to me. I still don’t.” Although his brother, Kevin, had become a jockey in Ireland and was doing well (so well, in fact that in August, 2007 he won the Galway Plate on Sir Frederick), Aidan opted instead to work in England. Through Irish trainer John Murphy, Coleman got a place at Henrietta Knight’s yard, and it was her horse Silverbar that provided the young jockey with his first ride under Rules on December 23, 2006, at Hereford. At the end of the 2006/07 season, Coleman moved to Venetia Williams’ stable at King’s Caple and his first winner arrived in the shape of Tashkandi, who was successful in a selling hurdle at Uttoxeter in October, 2007. That victory put him on the fast track to success. In 2009, he partnered his first Cheltenham Festival winner when Kayf Aramis won the Pertemps Network Final. Coleman won on his first ride at Aintree as he partnered Stan to capture the Red Rum Handicap Chase and he rode the same horse in the following year’s Grand National, thus missing out on winning ride on Mom Mome. Coleman rode Stewarts House to success in the Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase in over the Grand National fences in December 2011. With the Venetia Williams yard in fine form this term, Coleman is enjoying his best-ever season with 94 winners (up to Tuesday, April 1).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2008 Mon Mome (10th); 2009 Stan (Fell 7th); 2010 Mon Mome (Fell 26th); 2011

Grand Slam Hero (Fell 13th); 2012 Mon Mome (PU 22nd); 2013 The Rainbow Hunter (UR 8th)

 

Tidal Bay (IRE) 13-11-10

Breeding: Presenting – Rare Vintage (IRE) (Germany (USA))                                                                 Breeder: John Dorgan

Born: May 12, 2001                                                                                                                                           Owner: Andrea & Graham Wylie

Trainer: Paul Nicholls                                                                                                                                         Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Form: 22/111221/111211/122345/24174/3226U/32541/121-1532

 

Tidal Bay

*Bidding to become the first 13-year-old to win the Crabbie’s Grand National since Sergeant Murphy in 1923 and the first top-weight to triumph after Red Rum in 1977.

*Failed to complete on only previous start in the race, unseating Brian Hughes at the 10th fence in 2011 when trained by Howard Johnson – the only time Tidal Bay has not got around in a race.

*Won the Racing Post Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2008 and followed up with victory in the Maghull Novices’ Chase on the Mildmay Course at Aintree the following month. Went on to further Grade One glory in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, Ireland, in December, 2012.

*Has produced outstanding efforts off top-weight in three of the country’s leading handicap staying chases – winning the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park in April, 2012, coming home second to future Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth (who was receiving 6lb) in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in December, 2012, and finishing a close third in the Welsh National at Chepstow in December, 2013.

*Runner-up on his latest start in the Grade One Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 9.

Race Record: Starts: 21; Wins: 4; 2nd: 8; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £54,085

 

Andrea & Graham Wylie

Background: Multi-millionaire Graham Wylie made his money in the computer software industry. He is the son of Scottish parents – his father was a coalminer from Stirling and his mother a seamstress from Hawick, where Wylie was born in 1959. After graduating from Newcastle University in 1980 with a degree in computer science and statistics, founded Sage in 1981 with David Goldman, Phil Lever and Paul Muller, selling accountancy software. The company floated on the stock exchange in 1989. After stepping down as managing director of Sage in May, 2003, Wylie sold a number of his shares and gained over £120 million. A huge Newcastle United fan, he married his second wife Andrea Stone at Slaley Hall, Northumberland in May, 2003 – the event was described as the “north-east’s wedding of the decade,” and was attended by over 250 guests, including Alan Shearer and Sir Bobby Robson. Pop superstar Ronan Keating performed at the couple’s wedding (for a reputed £175,000), singing When You Say Nothing At All, from the 1999 film Notting Hill, which the couple saw on their first date. Graham Wylie founded a new company, Technology Services Group (TSG), in 2003. He owns Close House Country Club and golf course and Gosforth Shopping Centre, and was awarded a CBE for his services to industry in the 2004 New Year’s Honours list. Graham’s contribution to the North East region has been acknowledged by the award of honorary doctorates by both the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumbrian University, and the freedom of the city of Newcastle. The Sunday Times Rich List in 2013 estimated he is worth £185 million. The Wylies live close to Hexham in Northumberland and Andrea has also excelled at showing dogs (www.transcendshowdogs.com), another interest they share, winning the best of breed prize at Crufts this year with her Maltese dog Hi-Lite Come Dance With Me. The couple’s twin daughters Kiera and Zahra were born in December, 2009. Kiera was born with a defective heart, which has led the Wylies to fund raise for the heart unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital among other charitable endeavours. Racing Interests: Their first horse was Lord Transcend, named after Andrea’s hair and beauty salon in Hexham. Lord Transcend won at 33/1 on his debut at Newcastle in March, 2002, and went on to prove himself a high-class horse over hurdles and fences, winning six times in all, before a leg injury sustained at Haydock in January, 2006, cut short his racing career. Having caught the ‘racing bug’ through the success of Lord Transcend, Graham and Andrea Wylie invested millions of pounds and built up a large string in training with Howard Johnson. At Doncaster’s 2003 May Sale, Graham Wylie set a then record for a jump horse when paying 340,000 guineas for Royal Rosa, which was a wedding present for his wife. Howard Johnson was banned from racing for four years in August, 2011, and as a result, the Wylies reduced their 60-strong string in half and sent 12 to British jump champion Paul Nicholls and seven to Irish jump champion Willie Mullins. Has seen his colours carried to victory at the Cheltenham Festival on eight occasions, most notably by three-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle victor Inglis Drever.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Bewleys Berry (Fell 22nd); 2008 Bewleys Berry (5th), Backbeat (Fell 2nd); 2010 Royal Rosa (UR

14th); 2011 Tidal Bay (UR 10th); 2012 On His Own (leased for the day) (Fell 22nd); 2013 On His Own (Fell 25th)

 

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset)

Born: April 17, 1962. Background: Started out in racing as a jump jockey and partnered 119 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987). He struggled to keep his weight down and gave up race riding. Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to David Barons, who trained Broadheath and Playschool and sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National. Has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. Achievements: Seven-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 34 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including four victories in three of the meeting’s showpiece contests – the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded), the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). Also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby and Crabbie’s Grand National with Neptune Collonges in 2012. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU bef 2 out), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (Fell 14th); 1998 What A Hand (Fell 1st), Court Melody (Fell 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (Fell 1st), 2000 Earthmover (Fell 4th), Torduff Express (Fell 13th), Flaked Oats (Fell 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (Fell 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU bef 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU bef 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU bef 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (Fell 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (Fell 1st), Le Roi Miguel (PU bef 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU bef 19th), Silver Birch (Fell 15th), Le Duc (UR 8th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th); 2007 Royal Auclair (Fell 9th), Le Duc (UR 6th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU bef 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Mr Pointment (PU bef last), Turko (Fell 25th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (Fell 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (Fell 4th), The Tother One (Fell 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU bef 19th), Harry The Viking (PU bef 26th)

 

Sam Twiston-Davies

Born: October 15, 1992 Background: Sam Twiston-Davies was still studying for AS-level exams at school in Gloucestershire when he had both his first Cheltenham Festival winner and first Grand National ride. The son of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and his estranged wife, Cathy, (who both rode as amateurs), Sam was successful in pony racing before starting in point-to-points in the 2008/09 season when becoming eligible at the age of 16. Within a few weeks, on December 28, 2008, he rode his first winner between the flags, taking a race at Cottenham in Cambridgeshire on Grenfell, trained by his mother. At Ludlow on February 18, 2009, he scored his first success under Rules when partnering Baby Run, owned and trained by Nigel, to victory in a hunter chase. A career that was bound to flourish gained added lift through Baby Run, for he and Sam went on to finish third in the following month’s CGA Foxhunter Chase at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival and later gained one of the season’s biggest prizes in the Champion Hunters’ Chase at the Punchestown Festival. Sam and Baby Run capped that in March, 2010, when returning to Cheltenham and running out easy winners of the CGA Foxhunter Chase at The Festival. Sam then went to Aintree and partnered Hello Bud into fifth on his Grand National debut. He turned professional shortly afterwards. Sam partnered Hello Bud to victory in the 2010 Betfred Becher Chase over the Crabbie’s Grand National course at Aintree and that same month gave Little Josh a brilliant ride to land the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Twiston-Davies is enjoying his best ever season. He rode his father’s The New One to win the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival in 2013 and partnered Big Buck’s to finish fifth in the legendary staying hurdler’s final start in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.  Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2010 Hello Bud (5th); 2011 Hello Bud (PU 29th); 2012 Hello Bud (7th); 2013 Imperial Commander

(PU bef 22nd)

Triolo D’Alene (FR) 7-11-06

Breeding: Epalo (GER) — Joliette D´Alene (FR) (Garde Royale)

Breeder: Louis Couteaudier

Born: May 8, 2007

Owner: Sandy & Caroline Orr

Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: Barry Geraghty

Form: 4541110/2P381-1310

 

*Won twice over fences in France for trainer Marcel Rolland before being sold privately in December, 2011.

*Joined Nicky Henderson in January, 2012, and instantly gave a return on investment for new owners, the Orrs, when winning a novices’ handicap chase at Ascot.

*Disappointed in 11th behind Hunt Ball when fancied for the 2012 Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and was also pulled up behind Al Ferof in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the same course in November, 2012.

*Hit the limelight in April, 2013, when running out the ready winner of the Crabbie’s Topham Chase over the famous Grand National fences at Aintree and two miles, five and a half furlongs.

*Confirmed himself a leading contender for the Crabbie’s Grand National when winning the Hennessy Gold Cup over an extended three and a quarter miles by two and three quarter lengths from Rocky Creek at Newbury on November 30.

*Did not run during the deep winter months because of soft ground and warmed up for the Grand National with 10th in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 14.

*Bidding to become the first Hennessy winner to win the Grand National.

Jump race record: Starts: 16; Wins: 6; 2nd: 1; 3rd 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £230,296

Sandy & Caroline Orr

Sandy Orr – Born: Oban in June, 1939 Background: Educated at Loretto School in Musselburgh, he studied arts and law at Edinburgh University, where he captained the cricket team. Has homes in Perthshire, Edinburgh and Chelsea. He received an OBE in the 2006 Birthday Honours for services to hospitality. His hobbies include cricket, yachting and the arts. Orr is a solicitor who has served as a director and investor in a myriad of different companies in sectors including hotels, restaurants, breweries, banks, radio, property, nursing homes and finance. He qualified as solicitor in 1962 and spent first 13 years working in Oban as senior partner in MacArthur, Stewart & Orr, where his work included acting for leisure clients. In 1983, he joined forces with financier Donald MacDonald and began his involvement in hotels and leisure facilities, via MacDonald Orr, initially raising funds for the likes of SECC and the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh. With son David and McDonald, he started City Inn Hotels in 1995 which became Mint Hotels in 2010. The company was sold to Hilton Hotels for £600 million in September, 2011. He has been a director of Caledonian Bank since 1992. He is the founding director of Macdonald Hotels and Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery. He was also the chairman of Scottish Opera between 1992 and 1999, the chairman of Radio Forth between 1989 and 1997, a non-executive independent director of Scottish Radio Holdings PLC between 1991 and 2005, and chairman of Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith between 2002 and 2012. He is also a former director of the Scottish Arts Council and a founder of Edinburgh Festival Theatre. He has also been a donor to the Scottish National Party. Racing interests: From 2004, the Orrs had horses with Len Lungo but following that trainer’s retirement, they were sent to Nicky Henderson. Their good horses include hurdler Shernando and Triolo D’Alene who won the 2013 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.

 

Nicky Henderson (Lambourn, Berkshire)

Born: Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950 Background: Henderson is the son of financier and amateur jockey John Henderson MBE, who founded Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses. Nicky, who had Field Marshal Montgomery as a godfather, was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College. He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing. First made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown’s Imperial Cup in the same year. Recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978. He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn. Moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992. First winner as a trainer was Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978. Achievements: Has won the Jump trainers’ championship three times; in 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013, and is the most successful handler in history at the Cheltenham Festival, sending out 51 winners. Major wins include: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2011 Long Run, 2013 Bobs Worth), BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian’s Rainbow, 2013 Sprinter Sacre), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Stan James Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular) Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1979 Zongalero (2nd);1980 Zongalero (Refused 20th); 1981 Zongalero (Fell 22nd); 1982 Sun Lion (Fell 3rd); 1983 Spartan Missile (Unseated 22nd); 1984 Spartan Missile (16th); 1985 Classified (5th); 1986 Classified (3rd), The Tsarevich (7th); 1987 The Tsarevich (2nd), Classified (UR 25th); 1988 The Tsarevich (7th); 1990 Brown Windsor (4th), 1991 Ten Of Spades (14th), 1991 Master Bob (PU bef 19th); 1992 Brown Windsor (Fell 6th); 1994 Henry Mann (Fell 1st); 1995 Tinryland (Fell 1st); 1998 Pashto (Fell 1st); 1999 Fiddling The Facts (Fell 22nd); 2000 Esprit De Cotte (Fell 22nd); 2001 Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th), 2002 Marlborough (Fell 1st), Goguenard (Fell 1st), 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2005 Fondmort (PU 28th); 2006 Juveigneur (Fell 1st), Iris Royal (PU bef 17th), 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009

Golden Flight (Fell 1st); Fleet Street (UR 18th); 2012 Shakalakaboomboom (9th); 2013 Roberto Goldback (UR last)

 

Barry Geraghty

Barry Geraghty (born September 16, 1979) is one of six children from a “horse-mad” family that hails from Drumree in Co Meath. His father ‘Tucker’ was a useful amateur and trains a few horses in addition to his riding school and livery yard while his now US-based brother Ross, who won the 2002 Irish National on The Bunny Boiler, and sister Jill, an amateur, are both jockeys. Like so many Irish jockeys, Geraghty has a background in pony racing, riding his last winner in that sphere in September, 1996, before becoming apprenticed to Noel Meade that month and having his first ride in October, 1996. He rode his first winner aboard Stagalier at Down Royal on January 29, 1997. It was for trainer Jessica Harrington that he first sprang to prominence, partnering her 1998 Midlands National winner Miss Orchestra. Geraghty will forever be associated with the great Moscow Flyer who provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival victory in the 2002 Arkle Chase and went on to add the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2003 and 2005, as well as a host of other championship races including the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree in 2004 and 2005. He crowned the 2002/03 season with victory in the Crabbie’s Grand National aboard Monty’s Pass, something which contributed to him being voted RTE Sports Personality of the year by Irish television viewers. He captured the 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup on the Tom Taaffe-trained Kicking King the day after Moscow Flyer’s emotional second Queen Mother Champion Chase triumph. Geraghty teamed up with Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson at the start of the 2008/09 season, splitting his time between Ireland and Britain. Geraghty’s association with Henderson has already yielded a Champion Hurdle victory in 2009 with Punjabi and he was top jockey at The Festival in 2012 with five successes including the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Finian’s Rainbow. In 2013 he won the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Sprinter Sacre at the Cheltenham Festival and also landed the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Bobs Worth, a horse that he had bought as a youngster. In total, he has enjoyed 31 victories at the Cheltenham Festival including three this season, headed by Jezki in the Stan James Champion Hurdle, who was trained by his old boss Jessica Harrington. Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2000 Call It A Day (6th); 2001 Hanakham (Fell 2nd); 2002 Alexander Banquet (Unseated 6th); 2003 MONTY’S PASS (WON); 2004 Monty’s Pass (4th); 2005 Monty’s Pass (16th); 2006 Puntal (6th); 2007 Slim Pickings (3rd); 2008 Slim Pickings (4th); 2009 Golden Flight (Fell 1st); 2010

Big Fella Thanks (4th); 2011 Or Noir De Somoza (Fell 6th); 2012 Shakalakaboomboom (9th); 2013 Roberto Golback (UR 30th)

 

 

 

 

Twirling Magnet (IRE) 8-10-05

 

Breeding: b g Imperial Ballet – Molly Maguire (Supreme Leader) Breeder: G Quirk

Born: March 30, 2006

Owner: Mrs Gay Smith

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill

Jockey: Richie McLernon

Form: 1/5125/841-2F125017U

 

*Has won three times over fences, most recently a three mile, one furlong novices’ chase at Cheltenham in October.

*In all bar one of his five victories he has been ridden by Tony McCoy.

*On his most recent run, in the Fulke Walwyn, Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he unseated at the second-last when starting to fade, after showing prominently for most of the race.

*Bought for €150,000 as an unbroken three-year-old; a half-brother to Grade One-winning hurdler Massini’s Maguire. Race record: Starts 17; wins 5; 2nd 3; 3rd 0. Win & place prize money: £38,347

 

Gay Smith

Barbados-based Gay Smith has enjoyed four Cheltenham Festival successes as although is best-known in racing through the exploits of her husband Derrick, a partner in the Coolmore horses. A former Ladbrokes trading director, who became involved in currency trading, Derrick Smith was said to be worth £565 million in the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List. Business interests include, with his racing partners John Magnier and Michael Tabor, Barchester nursing homes, pub group Mitchells & Butlers and the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados. Racing interests: in 2004, joined Coolmore as an investor and his purple silks with white seams, purple and white striped sleeves and purple cap have become a common sight atop such horses as 2012 Investec Derby winner Camelot and Investec Oaks heroine Was. Others to sport his silks include Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf and dual Investec Coronation Cup victor St Nicholas Abbey, Ascot Gold Cup winner Fame And Glory, Simply Perfect, Astronomer Royal, St Leger hero Leading Light, Mastercraftsman and the 2010 Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes winner Cape

Blanco as well as Australian import So You Think. The Smiths are also successful owners in Barbados while their son Paul owns Kingston Hill, winner of last season’s Racing Post Trophy, and a leading Classic contender this season. Gay Smith enjoyed a success at this year’s Cheltenham Festival when Holywell won the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase. No previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners

 

Jonjo O’Neill (Jackdaws Castle, Gloucestershire)

Born: April 13, 1952. Background: Champion jump jockey twice (1977/78 and 1979/80) and set a then record for a season of 149 winners in his first championship year. The most sensational moment of his riding career came when he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Dawn Run in 1986 as the mare became the only horse to win that trophy after having previously taken the Champion Hurdle (1984), again with O’Neill in the saddle. This was one of nine victories at the Cheltenham Festival but, despite this successful riding career, he had a dreadful record in the Grand National and never completed the race in eight rides. He retired at the end of the 1985/86 season and, having survived lymphatic cancer not long after that, started training near Penrith, Cumbria, in 1987. Moved to his present base at Jackdaws Castle near Cheltenham when the yard was bought by owner J P McManus in 2001. In 2010, O’Neill finally broke his Grand National duck when saddling Don’t Push It to victory for McManus, who had been trying to win the race since 1982. Achievements: Has trained 25 Cheltenham Festival winners. Major wins include: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2012 Synchronised), Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2004 Iris’ Gift, 2014 More Of That), Lexus Chase (2008 Exotic Dancer, 2012 Synchronised), Ryanair Chase (2010 & 2011 Albertas Run), williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle (2002 & 2003 Intersky Falcon).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2003 Carbury Cross (7th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Joss Naylor (PU bef 19th); 2005 Simply Gifted (3rd), Shamawan (21st), Native Emperor (UR 9th), Clan Royal (CO bef 22nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th); 2007 Clan Royal (11th); 2008 Bob Hall (PU bef 19th), Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8t h); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (Fell 6th) Arbor Supreme (UR 10th); 2013 Lost Glory (PU before 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR 30th)

 

Richie McLernon

Born: October 22, 1986 Background: Cork-born Richie McLernon grew up surrounded by horses, riding ponies and hunting. His parents, Philip and Betty, were both successful amateur riders while his uncle, Tommy Carmody, was a leading professional jockey, riding the 1986 Champion Chase winner Buck House and finishing second (1984) and fourth (1985) in the Grand National on Greasepaint. Another uncle, Bill McLernon, is one of Ireland’s winning-most amateur riders. After graduating from the Christian Brothers college in Cork in 2005, McLernon joined leading Irish point-to-point trainer Eugene O’Sullivan, striking up a great acquaintance with Arctic Times, whom he partnered to eight victories. He made the move to become a conditional jockey at Jonjo O’Neill’s stable in 2007 and rode five winners in his first season. In 2012, he rode his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival on Alfie Sherrin in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase and added a second in 2013 on Holywell in the Pertemps Final. Holywell gave him a third this year in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase. He came agonisingly close to winning the 2012 Grand National on Sunnyhillboy but Neptune Collonges denied the pair by a nose in closest finish in the history of the race.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2010 Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8th); 2011 Can Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd); 2013 Sunnyhillboy (UR 30th)

Vesper Bell (IRE) 8-10-05

Breeding: b g Beneficial – Fair Choice (Zaffaran)                                   Breeder: Adrian Harnett

Born: April 17, 2006                                                                                  Owner: Susannah Ricci

Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE                                                                        Jockey: Mikey Fogarty

Form: 1/42152/21372/21372-FU9

 

*Has won only once over fences, by 15 lengths in a three-mile novices’ contest at Punchestown in December, 2012.

*His best performance came in defeat, when he was beaten a head by Goonyella, conceding 18lb, in a three mile, six furlong handicap on heavy ground at Punchestown in April last year.

*Has run once over the Grand National fences, but fell at the first behind Chance Du Roy in the Betfred Becher Chase in December. *Unseated in the Classic Chase at Warwick in January and later in the month completed for the first time this season when ninth of 12 finishers to his stablemate On His Own in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.

*Sold by his breeder as a foal for €14,000. Race record: Starts 14; wins 3; 2nd 4; 3rd 1. Win & place prize money: £39,013

 

Susannah Ricci

Kent-based Susannah Ricci, 50, is the wife of American banker Rich Ricci, former co-chief executive of Barclays Capital and co-chief executive of corporate & investment banking. Rich Ricci, 50, gained a bachelors’ degree in finance from Creighton University in Nebraska. Through a friend, Pat O’Riordan, he met Willie Mullins and began owning horses in 2005 – initially racing as Double R Stables. His first horse was Scotsirish. He was inspired to own Jump horses by watching Clare Balding on television. The first winner in the Riccis’ name was Pomme Tiepy at Cork in December, 2007. They have enjoyed huge success in subsequent years. Vautour in the 2014 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was the Riccis’ fourth Cheltenham Festival winner. Their others are Champagne Fever (2013 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, 2012 Weatherbys Champion Bumper) and Mikael D’Haguenet (2009 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle). Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2011 The Midnight Club (6th); 2012 The Midnight Club (11th)

 

Willie Mullins IRE (Bagenalstown, County Carlow)

Born September 15, 1956 Background: Willie Mullins was six-times amateur champion rider in Ireland and his major successes in the saddle included the 1983 Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath when the also-rans were partnered by the likes of Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, and Aintree chairman Lord Daresbury, before taking out a training licence in 1988 and is now the country’s pre-eminent jump handler. As a jockey in the Grand National, his rides included The Ladys Master, who ran out in 1983, and Hazy Dawn, who fell at the sixth the following year. He hails from one of Ireland’s most famous racing families, being a son of the late Paddy Mullins, the outstanding all-round trainer whose most famous star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and 1986 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Training Achievements: Willie Mullins rode and trained Wither Or Which to win the 1996 Weatherbys Champion Bumper, the Cheltenham Festival race in which he has enjoyed eight winners (also Florida Pearl 1997, Alexander Banquet 1998, Joe Cullen 2000, Missed That 2005, Cousin Vinny 2008, Champagne Fever 2012 and Briar Hill 2013). Mullins’ best chaser to date has been Florida Pearl, who was placed in two Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the 1998 RSA Chase, the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 Irish Hennessy Cognac Gold Cups in Ireland as well as the 2001 King George VI Chase and the 2002 Betfred Bowl at Aintree. He trains the brilliant Hurricane Fly who has won the Stan James Champion Hurdle in 2011 and 2013. He has 33 saddled winners at the Cheltenham Festival, more than any other Irish handler in history, including the amazing Quevega who created history by becoming the only horse to win the same race in six consecutive years (the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle). Mullins has over 150 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow and his first Grand National runner as a trainer, Micko’s Dream, fell at the first in 2000. The loquacious Mullins, a former chairman of the Irish Trainers’ Federation, also suffered heartache in 2004 when Hedgehunter departed at the final fence in the Grand National when looking assured of a place. He overcame bad luck in the race the following year when Hedgehunter came home 14 lengths clear of Royal Auclair. He has been champion Irish jump trainer for the past six seasons and is on course for a seventh title in 2013/2014.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2000 Micko’s Dream (Fell 1st); 2002 Alexander Banquet (UR 6th); 2004 Alexander Banquet (Fell 18th), Hedgehunter (Fell 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd); 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Homer Wells (PU bef 22nd), Bothar Na (PU bef 29th), Livingstonebramble (UR 6th); 2008 Snowy Morning (3rd), Hedgehunter (13th); 2009 Snowy Morning (9th), Irish Invader (11th); 2010 Snowy Morning (6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th); 2011 The Midnight Club (6th), Dooney’s Gate (Fell 6th), Arbor Supreme (Fell 28 th); 2012 The Midnight Club (11th), Quiscover Fontaine (Fell 17th), On His Own (Fell 22nd); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Quel Esprit (PU 24th), On His Own (Fell 25th).

 

Mikey Fogarty

Born: January 8, 1990. Background: Hailing from Wexford, he quickly established himself as one of the top amateur riders in Ireland before turning professional in September, 2013. Fogarty got his first taste of racing in the point-to-point field, riding one winner during the 2006/7 campaign and five in the 2007/8 season. It was also during that latter season that Fogarty took his first ride on the racecourse, riding his cousin Willie Codd’s Kate’s Farm Shop in a bumper at Wexford on St Patrick’s Day in 2008. From the beginning of the 2008/9 campaign, Fogarty was kept notably busy and rode his first racecourse winner on the Colm Murphytrained Voler La Vedette in a bumper at Fairyhouse in October and doubled his tally on the same mare in a winner’s contest at Down Royal later that month. Unfortunately, Fogarty’s 2008/9 campaign ended on a low note, with him breaking a leg in an accident away from the racecourse. When he recovered from that injury, he decided to move to England to pursue opportunities with Paul Nicholls, but that move proved to be short-lived as he decided to return to Colm Murphy just a month later. While he took a couple of months to regain winning ways on the racecourse, he finished the 2009/10 season strongly, riding the most valuable winner of his career to that point on the Philip Rothwell-trained Divine Rhapsody in the Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival. Fogarty got the 2010/11 campaign off to the perfect start, enjoying a remarkable run of form in June, riding six winners from just 13 rides. The following September Fogarty again teamed up with Admiral Barry to win the inaugural Curragh Amateur Derby at the headquarters of Irish Flat racing. Since turning professional, Fogarty has attached himself to the Willie Mullins yard and enjoyed the biggest moment of his career at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, when he rode Don Poli to victory in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’

Handicap Hurdle. He will be riding in the Crabbie’s Grand National for the first time this year, when he partners Mullins’ Vesper Bell.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National rides: None

Vintage Star (IRE) 8-10-07

Breeding: b g Presenting – Rare Vintage (IRE) (Germany (USA))

Breeder: Gleadhill House Stud Ltd

Born: April 22, 2006

Owner: Trevor Hemmings

Trainer: Sue Smith

Jockey: Brian Hughes

Form: 232/1538213P/2212P-1262F

 

Vintage Star

*Set to represent connections with Grand National-winning form, with trainer Sue Smith having sent out Auroras Encore in 2013 and owner Trevor Hemmings having seen his colours carried to glory by Hedgehunter (2005) and Ballabriggs (2011). Jockey Brian Hughes has also enjoyed success over the Grand National fences, scoring on Always Waining in the Crabbie’s Topham Chase and Frankie Figg in the Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap, both in 2010.

*Twice successful in 10 starts over fences, easily winning a Catterick novices’ chase in January, 2013 and posting a neck verdict in a Carlisle graduation chase in November, 2013.

*Has run some excellent races in staying chases this season, including when going down by a neck in the Listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in November, sixth in the Grade Three Welsh National at Chepstow in December and runner-up, beaten a length and a half, in the Grade Two Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock Park on January 18.

*Fell at fifth fence on latest appearance in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at The Cheltenham Festival on March 11.

Race Record: Starts: 21; Wins: 4; 2nd: 8; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £54,085

 

Trevor Hemmings CVO

Born: June 11, 1935 Background: Brought up in Woolwich Arsenal, south east London, where his father worked at the Royal Ordnance factory. Was sent to Lancashire as a five-year-old during World War II and began life as a bricklayer’s apprentice after leaving school aged 15, before becoming involved in the Pontins holiday business. Eventually became the owner and sold it to Scottish & Newcastle in exchange for a significant shareholding in S & N (in 1989). Bought Pontins back in 2000 but retained a stake in S & N, which netted him £218 million when the company was sold in January, 2008. Sold Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens to the North West resort’s town council for £40 million in March, 2010. In 2012, agreed to sell his major shareholding in Arena Leisure Plc, which owned Folkestone, Lingfield, Southwell, Wolverhampton and Windsor racecourses and managed Doncaster and Worcester, to the Reuben brothers. Arena also has a major part of specialist broadcaster At The Races which owns some of British racing’s media rights. Owns a share of Preston North End FC and is chairman of the TJH Foundation, a charity which makes grants to organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Relief, St John Ambulance, Crimestoppers Trust, Royal National Lifeboat Association, the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and Racing Welfare. In 2011, he was appointed a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO) for his work as vice-president of the Princess Royal Trust Carers. In 2013, the Sunday Times estimated Hemmings’ wealth at £610 million. Also has eventers who are ridden by Zara Phillips – she rode the Hemmingsowned High Kingdom (whose stable nickname is “Trev”) when winning team silver in three-day eventing at London 2012. Racing Interests: Fulfilled one of his greatest ambitions when Hedgehunter carried his colours to victory in the 2005 Crabbie’s Grand National. After years of trying, Hemmings had finally emulated his mentor Fred Pontin, owner of the 1971 National hero Specify, with his 13th Grand National runner. Ballabriggs added a memorable second Crabbie’s Grand National success in 2011. First winner came on the Flat in 1985 but Hemmings now brings on young jumping stock at Gleadhill House Stud, near Chorley, Lancashire, managed by former trainer Mick Meagher, and at his Monymusk Stud in Co Cork. First tried to win the Crabbie’s Grand National with the Stan Mellor-trained Rubika, who finished 14th in 1992. Hemmings, who was made an honorary Jockey Club member in December, 2006, is based on the Isle of Man and is said to have paid £12 million for the Ballavoddan estate on the island where his retired horses live. Has enjoyed 11 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, headed by dual Ryanair Chase hero Albertas Run.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 1992 Rubika (14th); 2000 The Last Fling (7th); Esprit De Cotte (Fell 22nd); 2001 The Last Fling (UR 5th), Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th); 2002 Goguenard (Fell 1st), Beau (UR 14th); 2003 Southern Star (14th), Chives (PU bef 12th); 2004 Arctic Jack (Fell 1st), Southern Star (PU bef 9th), Hedgehunter (Fell 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON), Europa (20th); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd), Juveigneur (Fell 1st), 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Billyvoddan (PU bef 19th); 2008 Cloudy Lane (6th), Hedgehunter (13th), Idle Talk (14th); 2009 Idle Talk (12th), Battlecry (16th), Cloudy Lane (UR 15th); 2010 Cloudy Lane (8th); 2011 BALLABRIGGS

(WON), King Fontaine (11th); 2012 Ballabriggs (6th); 2013 Ballabriggs (PU bef 24th)

 

Sue Smith (Bingley, West Yorkshire)

Born: February 23, 1948 Background: Became only the third woman to train the winner of the Crabbie’s Grand National in 2013 with Auroras Encore. Has developed a formidable training operation at Craiglands Farm, 1,000 feet up on the Yorkshire Moors at High Eldwick near Bingley, where she first took out a permit to train in 1990 and a full licence the following year. Raised on a Sussex farm, rode (as Susan Dye) in Britain’s first ladies’ race and her late father owned horses with Arthur Pitt. Brought up on show jumping, and met her future husband, the sport’s legend Harvey, at Hickstead. She moved north in 1989 to Craiglands, from which Harvey, born in the nearby village of Gilstead, has never lived more than three miles distant. The Smiths share the duties of their training operation, with Sue looking after the day-to-day training and the entries, and Harvey taking care of the gallops, feeding and driving the box to the races. Harvey Smith personally laid down 18 furlongs of all-weather training strips surfaced with a mixture that includes pig hair. Apart from Auroras Encore, their best horse has been Mister McGoldrick, winner of two Grade Two Castleford Chases and a Grade Three Racing Post Plate at the Cheltenham Festival. Sue Smith is enjoying an excellent season and could better the 74 winners she sent out in 2002/3. Major wins include: Cloudy Too (Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase 2013), Kildimo (totesport Becher Chase 1992), Ardent Scout (Becher Chase 2002), The Last Fling (Peter Marsh Chase, Red Square Vodka Gold Cup 2000), Himalayan Trail (Midlands Grand National 2008).

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2000 The Last Fling (7th); 2001 The Last Fling (UR 5th), 2002 The Last Fling (Fell 24th), 2003 Goguenard (UR 19th); 2004 Ardent Scout (7th), Artic Jack (Fell 1st); 2006 Ross Comm (Fell 4th); 2013 AURORAS ENCORE WON, Mr Moonshine (PU bef 27th)

 

Brian Hughes

Born: June 27, 1985 Background: Raised in South Armagh. Started out in his native Ireland riding as a Flat apprentice. Having graduated from the Racing Academy and Centre of Education in Kildare in 2002, rode for trainer Kevin Prendergast who provided him with his first winner when Perugino Lady won an apprentice handicap at Downpatrick on October 9, 1992. After three seasons and 19 wins on the Flat, rising weight prompted a full-time switch to jump racing. He was connected to the James Lambe stable for the 2004/05 season but relocated to Britain and the County Durham yard of Howard Johnson for the 2005/06 campaign. His career flourished after becoming stable jockey at Alan Swinbank’s North Yorkshire yard, a move that saw him crowned champion conditional at the end of the 2007/08 season with 39 wins on the board, most of them for Swinbank and County Durham permit holder John Wade. Has an enviable record over the Grand National fences, having partnered Always Waining to success in the 2010 Crabbie’s Topham Chase and Frankie Figg to victory in the Betfred Grand Sefton Chase in November of the same year. Recorded a first Cheltenham Festival win this year on board the Trevor Hemmings-owned Hawk High in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2010 Beat The Boys (PU 19th); 2011 Tidal Bay (UR 10th); 2012 Viking Blond (Fell 1st)

 

Walkon (FR) 9-11-10

 

Breeding: gr g Take Risks – La Tirana (Akarad)

Breeder: Marquise Soledad De Moratalla

Born: March 4, 2005

Owner: McNeill Family

Trainer: Alan King

Jockey: Wayne Hutchinson

Form: 121121/207/1345P/22P52-U4

 

*Five years ago was a top-class juvenile hurdler, winner of four from six including two Grade 1 contests, the Finale Hurdle at Chepstow and the 4-y-o Novices’ Hurdle at the Grand National meeting, by 13 lengths. Also finished second in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.

*His latest victory, and only success over fences, came in December, 2011, when he beat old hurdles rival Zaynar in a novices’ chase at Exeter.

*He has produced some good efforts in defeat in chases against top-class opposition, including behind Cue Card, Bobs Worth and Al Ferof.

*He has raced once over the Grand National fences, beaten three-quarters of a length by Triolo d’Alene (giving him a stone) in last year’s Topham Chase.

*In the first of just two runs this year he returned to Aintree over the conventional fences for the Old Roan Chase in October, unseating when in contention, and then qualified for the National by finishing fourth to Harry Topper over three miles at Newbury in February.

* He is French-bred, as were two of the past five winners. In 2009 Mon Mome became the fourth French-bred horse to win a National (100 years after the third, Lutteur), swiftly followed by Neptune Collonges in 2012.

*He would be the fourth grey winner, after The Lamb (1868,1871), Nicolaus Silver (1961) and Neptune Collonges two years ago. Race record: Starts 28; wins 9; 2nd 6; 3rd 3. Win & place prize money: £300,961.

 

The McNeill Family

Max McNeill is founder and chairman of Ultima Business Solutions, based in Reading. He was born in 1962 in Blackburn, Lancashire, and moved around the country during his education, before gaining a HND in business studies. He moved to the south east in 1983 with a view to becoming an accountant, but decided it wasn’t the career for him and moved into IT sales, working for Digital and Rapid Recall before founding Ultima in 1990. Today, Ultima has 280 employees and achieved turnover of £67m to March 31, 2012. The independent company provides IT solutions and services – ranging from remote management to licensing – to private and public sector clients, which include The Daily Telegraph and Tarmac. Among its many technical awards, Ultima is a seven times Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. The McNeill family has owned several top horses, including Walkon, Mille Chief and Grumeti. Ultima is also a major Jump racing sponsor, sponsoring races at Cheltenham Festival and Newbury as well as leading trainer Alan King’s yard. McNeill is married with two children, lives in Sonning, Berkshire, and supports Blackburn Rovers. Previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners: None

 

Alan King (Barbury Castle, Wiltshire)

Born into a farming family in Lanarkshire on December 13, 1966, King was a member of a local pony club and also competed on the show jumping circuit before joining David Nicholson in Gloucestershire as an amateur jockey in 1985, having previously worked for John Wilson in his native Scotland. He finished third in a couple of hunter chases and served as assistant for 15 years to Nicholson, from whom he took over the licence at Jackdaws Castle stables near Temple Guiting on December 3, 1999. The following day, Mini Moo Min gave him a first success at Towcester. In that rookie season, King also saddled Relkeel to take a third Bula Hurdle at Cheltenham and won the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot with Anzum. He also sent out Go Ballistic to finish second behind See More Business in the King George VI Chase at Kempton. He was based at Jackdaws Castle, then owned by Colin Smith, until the end of that 1999/2000 season, when he moved (June 1, 2000) to the Barbury Castle estate near Marlborough, Wiltshire, owned by one of his principal patrons, Nigel Bunter. King’s first win at the Cheltenham Festival came in 2004, when Fork Lightning won the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase. Among the best horses King has trained are Katchit (2007 Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle, 2007 JCB Triumph Hurdle, 2008 Champion Hurdle), Voy Por Ustedes (2008 & 2009 Melling Chase, 2006 Arkle Trophy, 2007 Queen Mother Champion Chase), My Way De Solzen (2006 Ladbrokes World Hurdle, 2007 Arkle Trophy, 2005 Long Walk Hurdle), Blazing Bailey (2008 Liverpool Hurdle, 2008 Punchestown Champion Stayers’ Hurdle, 2007 Cleeve Hurdle), Penzance (2005 JCB Triumph Hurdle), Stromness (2002 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle), Spendid (2002 Long Distance Hurdle), Crystal D’Ainay (2004 Cleeve Hurdle), Walkon (2009 Matalan Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle), Nenuphar Collonges (2008 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle),Medermit (2011 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase), L’Unique (2013 Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle) and Godsmejudge (2013 Scottish Grand National). When Katchit won the 2008 Stan James Champion Hurdle, he was the first five-year-old to triumph in the championship race for 23 years. He has trained a total of 14 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including Midnight Prayer in this season’s National Hunt Chase. King and his wife Rachel were married in Antigua in 1998. They have a son, Henry, and a daughter, Georgia.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2000 Call It A Day (6th), Listen Timmy (PU 17th); 2001 Listen Timmy (PU 16th);

2004 Bear On Board (8th); 2007 Kandjar D’Allier (Fell 8th); 2007 Tikram (UR 1st); 2008 D’Argent (UR 27th); 2011 West End Rocker (BD 6th); 2012 West End Rocker (Fell 2nd)

 

Wayne Hutchinson

Born: February 25, 1981, the son of a postman Background: rode his first winner on the Flat at Salisbury aboard Whatevers Right on October 7, 1998. He originally planned to ride as a Flat jockey and spent 18 months with Mark Usher before deciding to trying his hand over jumps and took guidance from Stan Mellor and Jeff King. He joined Alan King’s stable in 2002 and partnered Halcon Genelardais to success in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow in 2006. Hutchinson had his first success at the Cheltenham Festival in 2009 on Oh Crick in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase and added a second in 2013 on Medinas in the Coral Cup. He also has also ridden a winner over the National fences, having partnered West End Rocker to victory in the Betfred Becher Chase art Aintree in December, 2011.

Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Tikram (UR 1st); 2009 Darkness (13th); 2010 Eric’s Charm (Fell 1st); 2012 West End Rocker (Fell 2nd)

 

Wayward Prince (GB) 10-10-13

 

Breeding: Alflora – Bellino Spirit (Robellino)

Breeder: Martin Kilroe

Born: March 17, 2004

Owner: John & Hilary Parrott

Trainer: Hilary Parrott

Jockey: Jack Doyle

Form: 61/22121/11134/P47P/21P76-52P7

 

*Sold as a foal by breeder Martin Kilroe for 16,500 guineas; bought by his present connections, John and Hilary Parrott, for £80,000 as a five-year-old winner of an Irish point-to-point.

*First trained by Ian Williams and proved a high-class novice over hurdles and fences. In his first season, he won twice over the smaller obstacles, most notably the Grade One Sefton Hurdle at Aintree in 2010. *As a novice chaser he scored four times, including beating Balthazar King and Cape Tribulation, before running third to Bostons Angel and Jessies Dream in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, going down by less than a length.

*After a dull third season he left Williams, entirely amicably, to join the small Parrott family string at their Gloucestershire farm.

*Recaptured some of his sparkle in top company with the change of scenery, finishing second in the last two runnings of the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, to Silviniaco Conti in 2012 and to Harry Topper, beaten only a neck, in November last year.

*Has raced four times at Aintree since his Grade One success. He finished fourth in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase in 2011, beat Across The Bay in a three mile, one furlong chase in December 2012, finished sixth to First Lieutenant in the Grade One Betfred Bowl at last year’s National meeting, and was pulled up in this season’s edition of the race he had previously won, all over the Mildmay Course. On that occasion. he did the splits after jumping into the back of a rival at the first fence.

*He schooled over the replica National fences at Lambourn last month.

Race Record: Starts 25; wins 7; 2nd 5; 3rd 1. Win & place money: £179,103.

 

Hilary Parrott (Redmarley, Gloucestershire)

Born: January 1, 1940 Background: Daughter of a Gloucestershire farmer, she has been involved with horses all her life, following the time-honoured route of pony club, hunting and point-to-pointing. She started her training career with pointers (of which the best was 18-race winner Galloping Duke), then a permit (which allows only family-owned horses), before taking out a full public licence during the early 1990s. She now again has a permit and trains half-a-dozen horses at the family’s Chapel Farm at Redmarley, between Ross-On-Wye and Tewkesbury. Her Grand National candidate Wayward Prince – joint-owned with husband John – is outstandingly the best of her small string, which has yet to yield a winner this season. Her best campaigns numerically under Rules have been 1989-90 and 1991-92, which both produced five victories.

No previous Crabbie’s Grand National runners

 

Jack Doyle

Born: June 21, 1989 Background: A promising conditional earlier in his career, Doyle forged a successful partnership with trainer Emma Lavelle as her stable jockey, partnering the likes of Crack Away Jack and Pause And Clause, on whom he finished third in the 2009 running of the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. Doyle suffered a bad injury to his leg following a fall from Kilbready Star at Hereford in November 2010, breaking both his tibia and fibula, but made a successful return to the saddle just three months later when guiding Highland Valley to success at Exeter in February, 2011. His association with Lavelle was compromised at the beginning of the 2012/13 season when he was replaced by Noel Fehily as stable jockey and he has mainly ridden for Devon-based trainer Victor Dartnall since, though he still rides occasionally for Lavelle when the opportunity arises. Doyle will be riding in the Crabbie’s Grand National for the first time this year when he partners Wayward Prince, on whom he has finished second in the past two runnings of the Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. The pair also won a Listed Chase at Aintree in December, 2012.

Previous Crabbie’s Grand National rides: None

 

 

About Steeplechasing

Writer, horse-racing fan, cyclist, consultant, entrepreneur. Worked at Aintree, SiS, The Tote, Ladbrokes. Created scoop6. Now run Gamtrain Ltd

Posted on April 3, 2014, in Crabbie's Grand National 2014. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have never witnessed more detail about anything in life, not just about a sporting topic Joe…..phenomenal post!

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