Crabbie’s Grand National
- Venue: AintreeRacecourse
- Date: Saturday, 5April
- Race time: 16:15BST
(Number, form, name, age, weight, trainer, jockey)
(IRE) 13 11-10
Veteran still thriving at the grand old age of 13 under the astute care of seven-time champion trainer Paul
Nicholls. Primed for a bold bid, although no top weight has won since Red Rum in the 1970s, and would be oldest winner for
nearly a century. His 21-year-old jockey, whose father trained two National winners – Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002)
- is a rising star who was aged just 14 when Tidal Bay won his first race in 2006.
(FR) 9 11-09
Born 5 April, 2005. Defeated equine greats Denman and Kauto Star when winning 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup but
patchy form this season. Horse owned by father of the jockey, who is an amateur but has best record over National fences of
any in race – having won other contests four times, plus a second, fourth and fifth in the big race. A friend of Kate
Middleton, he has initials etched in saddle in memory of brother Tom, who died aged 20 from cancer.
(IRE) 9 11-07
Champion trainer still seeking first Grand National win. Was most improved horse in training three seasons
ago and won at Cheltenham Festival for former trainer Kieran Burke but colourful ex-owner Anthony Knott later caused
controversy when running the horse with a bookmaker’s sign stencilled on his behind. Later sold to America, and has
shaped promisingly on return to UK although stable jockey has picked Triolo D’Alene.
(FR) 7 11-06
Won the Hennessy at Newbury, then disappointed in Gold Cup. Trainer holds record for number of victories at
Cheltenham Festival, but seven of his last 17 National runners have fallen at the first. Irish jockey one of the best around
and scored aboard Monty’s Pass in 2003. The old saying is ‘weight stops trains’ and question is whether the
French-bred has enough puff to see off rivals with a lower burden.
(IRE) 8 11-05
Runner-up to Triolo D’Alene in the Hennessy and highly regarded by trainer, who won the National with
Neptune Collonges in a photo finish two years ago. Rocky Creek has been hindered by a few niggles this season, including
piles and ringworm, but his form is solid. Bidding to become the first horse younger than nine to win the race since Bindaree
(who was also eight) landed the spoils in 2002.
QUITO DE LA ROQUE
(FR) 10 11-01
Colm Murphy IRE
Pulled up on last outing at Fairyhouse in February, but wouldn’t be first winner to save his best for
the big day. Has run well at Aintree before, winning the competitive Mildmay Novices’ Chase for County Wexford trainer
three years ago. Owned by Gigginstown House Stud, which was founded by airline boss Michael O’Leary. Jockey will be
hoping for a comfortable ride, with plenty of room and to arrive at the right time.
(IRE) 10 11-00
Ted Walsh IRE
Owned by wealthy Irish businessman JP McManus, nicknamed the Sundance Kid for his gambling exploits. He
retains 18-time champion jockey AP McCoy as rider of his horses. McCoy picked Colbert Station last year, and his mount
travelled well before departing at The Chair. Jockey has opted for Double Seven this time. Trainer is the father of sidelined
jockey Ruby Walsh. The pair triumphed with Papillon in 2000. Replacement Mark no relation.
(FR) 9 11-00
Likely to be popular with the red half of Liverpool, fond of the refrain ‘Walk On’ as a line in
the Anfield football club’s anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone. You never know, perhaps it might be fate, with the Reds
chasing a Premier League title and Aintree paying tribute to Hillsborough victims and campaigners 25 years on from the
tragedy where 96 fans died. Walkon has won at the Merseyside track before – a juvenile hurdle in 2009.
(IRE) 10 10-13
There would be few more popular winners in the jockeys’ weighing room than if perennial title runner-up
Richard Johnson finally landed the world’s most famous steeplechase at the 18th attempt. He was narrowly denied on
What’s Up Boys 12 years ago. Boasts a decent chance on Cheltenham Festival cross-country chase winner, who would relish
drying conditions and good ground.
Boasts some useful form, particularly when racking up a hat-trick of victories in the 2010-11 season, which
culminated in a close third in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival under AP McCoy for previous trainer Ian Williams.
Twice a winner in other races at Aintree and a Charlie Hall Chase runner-up to the talented Harry Topper earlier this season,
although subsequent runs have been more wayward than regal.
(IRE) 10 10-12
Represents same trainer, jockey and owners as last year’s 66-1 winner Auroras Encore. Scottish jockey
was taken to hospital the next day following a nasty fall at Hexham races. Now fully recovered, he will once again ride for
the trainer married to former showjumper Harvey Smith. Mr Moonshine was pulled up four fences from home last year but then
third to Chance Du Roy in the Becher Chase over the National fences in December, and has won twice since.
(IRE) 10 10-12
It’s easy to see Teaforthree being in the first three. Third last year, he was narrow runner-up to
Monbeg Dude in the 2012 Welsh National. Looked potential winner 12 months ago before being passed late on, but has 5lb less
weight to carry. Would be first Welsh-trained victor since Kirkland in 1905, but third in six years for a female trainer.
Prepared with run in Cheltenham Gold Cup, where the horse finished eighth.
ACROSS THE BAY
(IRE) 10 10-11
Ran well at the front for a long way last year before fading to finish 14th. Trainer won the race with
Ballabriggs in 2011, and his father Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain was successful four times (a 1970s treble for Red Rum
then Amberleigh House 2004). Jockey takes to the big stage after impressing producers with a moody performance in a TV
trailer for the National. Runs for a syndicate of Merseyside owners.
(IRE) 8 10-11
Martin Brassil IRE
Double Seven is number 14 on the racecard. How about that? Trainer won the 2006 National with
Numbersixvalverde. Double Seven racked up five wins earlier in the season and sure to be well backed with 18-time champion AP
McCoy booked. Jockey gained his sole success in the big race at 15th attempt aboard Don’t Push It four years ago and may
not have too many rides in the contest left. He turns 40 next month.
Secured a notable double at last year’s Grand National meeting when trained by Kevin Bishop, who was
assisted by his current trainer. Hasn’t sparkled since changing stables and refused to race on one occasion, so his
appetite for this test has to be taken on trust. However, if you believe in the adage ‘horses for courses’ you
might go into battle with this one. Jockey’s dad Brendan Sr rode Rhyme ‘N Reason to victory in 1988.
(IRE) 8 10-10
Henry de Bromhead IRE
Third at Fairyhouse in February ensured qualification. Trainer, whose stable includes former champion chaser
Sizing Europe, reports the horse schooled well over Grand National-style fences. But feeling this could be a bridge too far
as yet to win beyond two-and-a-half miles, and this test is nearly four-and-a-half.
LION NA BEARNAI
(IRE) 12 10-10
Tom Gibney IRE
Former winner of the Irish National, which has proved a profitable guide to this race in the past.
Approaching twilight of a career in which he has scored victories at big prices. Jockey won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on 20-1
chance Lord Windermere and is thriving after a nightmare start to the year when he was ditched by Gigginstown House Stud for
younger jockey Bryan Cooper.
PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE
(FR) 11 10-10
Willie Mullins IRE
Prominent in ante-post lists when ruled out with injury in both 2012 and 2013. Chance may have gone,
although should not be dismissed for Ireland’s dominant trainer, who won the National with Hedgehunter in 2005. Jockey
comes in for the ride after Ruby Walsh was sidelined following a fall at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
(IRE) 9 10-09
Winner of Welsh National in January 2013, owned by trainer along with rugby union internationals Mike
Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson. Liable to hit the odd obstacle, ‘The Dude’ has been sent for
schooling sessions, supervised by Tindall’s wife Zara, a leading equestrian rider and the Queen’s grand-daughter.
Jockey swung from rafters in old winner’s enclosure when triumphing with Bobbyjo in 1999.
(IRE) 9 10-08
Peter Maher IRE
Fine jumper who has specialised in cross-country chases. Marathon tip should pose no fear as CV includes a
victory over four miles and a furlong. Ran well again when third to Balthazar King at the Cheltenham Festival despite having
a head cold in the run-up, although this represents step into the big league. Thought to prefer good to soft ground so
trainer will be hoping for a few showers in the build-up to the race.
(IRE) 10 10-08
Nicely weighted based on his best form, including runner-up in the Hennessy. Was sidelined for 18 months
with tendon injury and switched stables. In eight rides over the National fences, 41-year-old jockey has completed the course
six times including a third place on Simply Gifted (2005). Respected trainer won the National with Don’t Push It in
(IRE) 8 10-08
Three career wins from 12 starts, including comfortable victory at Cheltenham in November 2012. One of four
greys in the race this year, along with Walkon, Rose Of The Moon and stablemate Swing Bill. Only two greys have won since the
1870s – Nicolas Silver in 1961 and Neptune Collonges two years ago. Pipe yard sometimes succeed with second string, but The
Package appears their main hope this time.
(IRE) 9 10-07
Winner of the Welsh National in December and seeking to become first horse since Corbiere in 1983 to
complete the Chepstow-Aintree National double. Would appreciate rain to soften the ground conditions. Jockey had biggest win
of his career when riding Sire De Grugy to victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on 12 March. Says he
would not swap the ride for any other in the race.
THE RAINBOW HUNTER
Second horse past the post last year, albeit without his rider, who says he took to the fences well before
he was unseated at the Canal Turn. Impressive Doncaster win last time out suggests pot of gold may be in reach for The
Rainbow Hunter. Jockey missed out on 100-1 winner Mon Mome in 2009 when choosing to ride Stan instead. Trainer scored with
Mr Frisk in 1990 and has enjoyed a revival in recent years after some leaner times.
(IRE) 8 10-07
Trainer, who won with outsider Auroras Encore last year, has been sounding positive about chances. Fell at
the Cheltenham Festival last month. Breeding suggests a dry spell and good ground would help. Jockey has yet to get round in
three attempts in the National, but says of his 2014 mount: “He’s a good ride to get. He’s big and gives me
the feel of a nice horse.”
CHANCE DU ROY
(FR) 10 10-06
Having his fifth run over the unique Grand National fences but first in the most famous steeplechase of all.
Was second in the 2012 Topham and won the Becher Chase in November. Somerset trainer consistently one of the top handlers and
has saddled more than 2,000 winners, although yet to win the National. Stable jockey has plumped for Balthazar King.
Welsh National runner-up, beaten by a head by Mountainous on heavy ground at Chepstow in December. Finished
sixth on latest run in Grand National Trial at Haydock in February. One of the least experienced runners – this will be his
13th run under National Hunt rules. Owner Graham Roach twice enjoyed success in the Queen Mother Champion Chase with Viking
(GER) 7 10-06
Bred in Germany, stabled with 2011 winning trainer (Ballabriggs), has scored twice this season at Kelso but
this is a much stiffer test. No seven-year-old has won since Bogskar in 1940. Horse owned by Paul and Clare Rooney. He
founded an estate agents in 1981 which is now part of the Arun Estates network, worth an estimated £80m. Scottish jockey has
completed the course once from three Grand National rides, when finishing eighth on Tarquinius last year.
PINEAU DE RE
(FR) 11 10-06
Dr Richard Newland
Trained by former GP, so victory would be just what the doctor ordered. Winner of the Ulster National has
been well backed in recent days. Formerly trained in Ireland by Philip Fenton, who faces a drugs case after banned steroids
were seized from his yard. He is expected to deny any wrongdoing. Horse’s name refers to aperitif wine produced in
western France. Jockey finished second on Supreme Glory to winner Monty’s Pass in 2003.
Made the switch to jump racing after winning only once from 15 runs on the Flat. Has scored nine times from
24 outings since making the switch. While he is not one of the likeliest victors, the 10-strong syndicate that owns the
gelding hope he continues a unique record – he has won on his third start each season since he went jumping.
(IRE) 8 10-05
For one of the so-called outsiders, the trainer seemed to have a little twinkle when interviewed in the
build-up. Has won three times over fences, including at Cheltenham in October. Barbados-based owner Gay Smith is the wife of
Derrick, who is part of the powerful Coolmore flat racing team, headed by John Magnier. Jockey lost by a nose on Sunnyhillboy
in the 2012 National won by Neptune Collonges.
(IRE) 8 10-05
Willie Mullins IRE
Has only won once over fences, when landing a three-mile novices’ contest at Punchestown in December
2012. Only run over the National fences ended at the first when he fell in the Becher Chase behind Chance Du Roy in December.
Irish jockey, 24, having his first ride in the Grand National for trainer who triumphed with Hedgehunter in 2005.
The Pipe family adore the National. Trainer’s father Martin fondly tells story of how street sweeper
saluted him when he went to London soon after training Miinnehoma, owned by comedian Freddie Starr, to victory in 1994. Son
David another National winner (Comply Or Die 2008), and The Package looks the complete package with handy weight and touch of
class. Owned by family of late David Johnson who died from cancer nine months ago.
RAZ DE MAREE
(FR) 9 10-03
Dessie Hughes IRE
Winner of two Nationals already – the Munster and Cork versions in 2012. After three disappointing runs this
season, was better when third last time out at Downpatrick. Jockey has not got round in the National from three attempts,
though trainer had Black Apalachi who was runner-up to Don’t Push It four years ago.
ROSE OF THE MOON
(IRE) 9 10-03
Good strike rate since joining trainer during summer of 2012, winning three of his six starts. Only 10th in
Becher Chase at Aintree on seasonal return but won at Wetherby in January. Jockey is a son of Aintree racecourse chairman
Lord Daresbury, who as Peter Greenall was champion amateur rider in 1976-77. Peter stands down, after 25 years at the helm,
after this year’s meeting and victory would be a fitting farewell.
(IRE) 10 10-03
Tried to boom, boom, shake the room when sent off 8-1 joint favourite two years ago and led four fences from
home before finishing ninth. Absent for the best part of two years before returning in January and has not convinced in three
starts since. Handicapper has given him a chance towards the bottom of weights, although stable jockey has chosen to partner
(IRE) 9 10-02
Last year’s winner was towards the bottom of the weights and largely unconsidered, and this is another
who could be well treated. Form of Cheltenham win in November bears close scrutiny when got the better of some good horses
including Monbeg Dude. Owners William and Angela Rucker have had a horse placed in last five runnings – State Of Play was
fourth twice and third, while Cappa Bleu was fourth and then second last year.
LAST TIME D’ALBAIN
(FR) 10 10-02
Liam Cusack IRE
Interesting piece of form is his third, when staying on, in last year’s Topham Chase over the National
fences to Triolo D’Alene and Walkon. French-bred racehorses traditionally had a poor record in the race but two of the
last five winners have hailed from France – Mon Mome (2009) and Neptune Collonges (2012). Trainer was fourth as a rider on
Ebony Jane behind Miinnehoma.
ONE IN A MILAN
(IRE) 9 10-02
Will One In A Milan prove one in a million? Not the most obvious winner, although Welsh trainer commands
respect. His horses have been placed five times from seven tries – State Of Play was fourth, third and fourth from 2009 to
2011, while Cappa Bleu was fourth in 2012 and runner-up last year, but is sidelined by injury this time.
(FR) 13 10-01
Sixth in the race last year, the grey got in as final runner this time after Lost Glory was withdrawn on
Thursday morning. Veteran who could well compete without troubling the major players. Owned by Judy Halewood, chief of the
race sponsors, whose late husband John was the owner of 2004 winner Amberleigh House. Trainer landed the big pot with Comply
Or Die five years ago and his father Martin scored with Miinnehoma in 1994.