Wednesday, February 4, 2015 – Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere headlines 98 entries for the £1-million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 11.
Trained in Ireland by Jim Culloty, the nine-year-old could bid to become the first horse since L’Escargot and only the third ever to win the Gold Cup and Grand National. L’Escargot won the Cheltenham showpiece in 1970 and 1971, and then denied Red Rum a hat-trick of wins at Aintree in 1975. Golden Miller won both races in 1934.
Culloty has also entered Spring Heeled who emerged as a potential Aintree contender when making most of the running to win the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Culloty partnered the 2002 Grand National victor Bindaree and if successful at Aintree on April 11 would join Algy Anthony, Tommy Carberry, Aubrey Hastings, Fulke Walwyn and Fred Winter – all of whom have ridden and trained Grand National winners since 1900.
Betfred, the official betting partner of the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival, makes Spring Heeled its 25/1 co-favourite of 11 alongside the likes of last year’s winner Pineau De Re (Dr Richard Newland), the 2014 runner-up Balthazar King (Philip Hobbs) and Hennessy Gold Cup hero Many Clouds (Oliver Sherwood). Seven of the first eight finishers from last year are entered again.
Alvarado is also among the market leaders but has not been seen since last year’s renewal. The Fergal O’Brien-trained 10-year-old was quietly fancied after an impressive victory at Cheltenham in November, 2013, and stayed on strongly from the last to snatch fourth under Paul Moloney.
O’Brien said: “Alvarado put his heart and soul into the National last year and he was a bit tired when he came back, so we gave him a long break.
“He has had no real problems – just a couple of niggly things – and the weather has conspired against us, which is why he hasn’t run yet.
“Aintree is plan A and we will work back from that. There is a veterans’ chase at Doncaster in the middle of February or there is another race at Warwick a week later. The plan would be to have one run around that time and then go straight to Aintree.
“I think he can do better than he did last year. I don’t think he would have won as the winner won very well, but he did not settle for a long time during the race and, consequently, Paul (Moloney) had to have him a long way back.
“Alvarado did not run between New Year’s Day and the National last year and Paul felt that if we had had a run in between, it might have taken the freshness out of him and made him settle better.
“You need loads of luck as well. We have watched the replay several times and there were two or three incidents where he could have been brought down. We had the luck last year and we need that again this year.”
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill took the spoils with Don’t Push It in 2010 and has four contenders, headed by Irish Grand National victor Shutthefrontdoor (25/1 with Betfred) and Hennessy Gold Cup third Merry King (25/1).
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has seven entries, the most of any handler, headlined by Rocky Creek (33/1) and Sam Winner (33/1) who have both placed in Grade One chases this season. The Somerset handler has also engaged Welsh National runner-up Benvolio (33/1) and the seven-year-old Unioniste (25/1), who carries the John Hales colours of 2012 winner Neptune Collonges.
Alan King’s sole entry is Godsmejudge (25/1), who came agonisingly close to recording back-to-back victories in the Scottish Grand National last year when just touched off by Al Co (40/1, Peter Bowen).
Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins saddled Hedgehunter to victory in 2005 and accounts for four of the 25 Irish-trained entries. His quartet features Back In Focus (25/1), who has only run once since landing the 2013 National Hunt Chase, and last year’s Grade One Melling Chase scorer Boston Bob (33/1).
Tony Martin also has four engaged, headed by recent Paddy Power Handicap Chase winner Living Next Door (33/1), while First Lieutenant (33/1) is an eye-catching entry for Mouse Morris.
Oscar Time (Robert Waley-Cohen) is a real Aintree specialist, having finished runner-up in the 2011 Grand National and fourth in 2013. He gained a deserved first win over the Grand National fences when taking the Betfred Becher Chase on December 6. Now a 14-year-old, he has to overcome the statistic that no horse of that age has triumphed in the history of the Grand National, although Peter Simple was 15 when successful way back in 1853. The oldest winner in the last 100 years was 13-year-old Sergeant Murphy in 1923.
Other notable contenders include Teaforthree (25/1, Rebecca Curtis), Bet365 Gold Cup victor Hadrian’s Approach (40/1, Nicky Henderson) and Monbeg Dude (33/1, Michael Scudamore).
Crabbie’s Grand National – Betfred bet: 25/1 Alvarado, Back In Focus, Balthazar King, Godsmejudge, Many Clouds, Merry King, Pineau de Re, Shutthefrontdoor, Spring Heeled, Teaforthree, Unioniste;
33/1 Across The Bay, Benvolio, Boston Bob, Dolatulo, First Lieutenant, Home Farm, Living Next Door, Lord Windermere, Monbeg Dude, Rebel Rebellion, Rocky Creek, Saint Are, Sam Winner, Sunnyhillboy;
40/1 Al Co, Ballycasey, Buddy Bolero, Carlingford Lough, Cause Of Causes, Chance du Roy, Corrin Wood, Court By Surprise, Gallant Oscar, Goonyella, Guess Again, Hadrian’s Approach, Katenko, Kruzhlinin, Portrait King, Prince de Beauchene, Roi du Mee, Rolling Aces, Royale Knight, Shotgun Paddy, Super Duty, The Druids Nephew, Theatrical Star, Wyck Hill;
50/1 Alderwood, Any Currency, Baileys Concerto, Broadway Buffalo, Burton Port, Cappa Bleu, Carlito Brigante, Cedre Bleu, Double Ross, Duke Of Lucca, Green Flag, Make A Track, Mon Parrain, Mountainous, My Murphy, Night In Milan, Oscar Time, Owega Star, Rajdhani Express, Raz de Maree, Renard, Rubi Light, Standing Ovation, The Package, Vintage Star;
66/1 Alpha Victor, Bob Ford, Gas Line Boy, Lackamon, Loch Ba, Poole Master, Rigadin de Beauchene, Rose Of The Moon, Soll, Sydney Paget, Tales Of Milan, The Rainbow Hunter, Tranquil Sea;
100/1 American Spin, Ballyoliver, Ely Brown, Glenquest, Harry The Viking, Ikorodu Road, Maggio, Mart Lane, Neptune Equester, River Choice;
200/1 Qulinton. ¼ 1-2-3-4
John Baker, Regional Director, The Jockey Club North West, commented: “We are delighted with the 98 entries received for the 2015 Crabbie’s Grand National.
“It is another bumper entry with many great stories lying in wait. A Betfred Gold Cup winner and this season’s Hennessy winner, plus last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National hero and this season’s Becher Chase winner are all engaged and so it goes on.
“The leading Jump trainers are well-represented which is terrific and, as ever, there is plenty of support from Ireland.
“We all now eagerly await Phil Smith’s verdict on February 17 when the weights are revealed.”
The weights for the Crabbie’s Grand National are framed by the British Horseracing Authority’s Head of Handicapping, Phil Smith, and will be unveiled at the Royal Opera House in London on Tuesday, February 17.
The Crabbie’s Grand National is the only handicap of the year where Smith has absolute discretion over the weights and can deviate from normal handicap ratings.
Entries for the Crabbie’s Foxhunters’ Chase and the Crabbie’s Topham Chase, which also take place over the famous Grand National course, close on March 24. All other races at the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival close at the five/six-day stage.
The Crabbie’s Grand National
Grade 3, £1,000,000 Total Prize Fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 11, 2015. Four miles, three and a half furlongs. For seven-year-olds and upwards who, up to and including March 23, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and which are allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 15. Horses who are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including February 15 would merit a minimum rating of 120. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 15. At the Handicapper’s discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. No penalties after publication of the weights. Entries closed February 3, entries revealed February 4 (98 entries). Weights revealed Tuesday, February 17. First scratchings’ deadline March 3. Second scratchings’ deadline March 24. Five-day confirmation stage April 6. Final declaration stage 10.00am, April 9.
|ACROSS THE BAY (IRE)||11||Scotch Piper Syndicate||Donald McCain|
|AL CO (FR)||10||Frank Lloyd||Peter Bowen|
|ALDERWOOD (IRE)||11||J P McManus||Thomas Mullins IRE|
|ALPHA VICTOR (IRE)||10||Denton, Kinsey, Osborne Hse, Wesley-Yates||William Kinsey|
|ALVARADO (IRE)||10||William & Angela Rucker||Fergal O’Brien|
|AMERICAN SPIN||11||George Collacott & R Gadd||Luke Dace|
|ANY CURRENCY (IRE)||12||Cash Is King||Martin Keighley|
|BACK IN FOCUS (IRE)||10||Andrea & Graham Wylie||Willie Mullins IRE|
|BAILEYS CONCERTO (IRE)||9||United Five Racing & Andrew Sayer||Dianne Sayer|
|BALLYCASEY (IRE)||8||Susannah Ricci||Willie Mullins IRE|
|BALLYOLIVER||11||Richard Britten-Long||Venetia Williams|
|BALTHAZAR KING (IRE)||11||The Brushmakers||Philip Hobbs|
|BENVOLIO (IRE)||8||Patricia Thompson||Paul Nicholls|
|BOB FORD (IRE)||8||The Bob Ford Partnership||Rebecca Curtis|
|BOSTON BOB (IRE)||10||Andrea & Graham Wylie||Willie Mullins IRE|
|BROADWAY BUFFALO (IRE)||7||Jo Tracey||David Pipe|
|BUDDY BOLERO (IRE)||9||Malcolm Denmark||Tony Martin IRE|
|BURTON PORT (IRE)||11||Trevor Hemmings||Jonjo O’Neill|
|CAPPA BLEU (IRE)||13||William & Angela Rucker||Evan Williams|
|CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE)||9||J P McManus||John Kiely IRE|
|CARLITO BRIGANTE (IRE)||9||06 Zoo Ltd||Karen McLintock|
|CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA)||7||J P McManus||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|CEDRE BLEU (FR)||8||Tangledupinblue||Charlie Mann|
|CHANCE DU ROY (FR)||11||Daphne Du Pre||Philip Hobbs|
|CORRIN WOOD (IRE)||8||Dermot Hanafin Robert Rose Ian Whitfield||Donald McCain|
|COURT BY SURPRISE (IRE)||10||Nick Mustoe||Emma Lavelle|
|DOLATULO (FR)||8||Chasemore Farm||Warren Greatrex|
|DOUBLE ROSS (IRE)||9||Options O Syndicate||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|DUKE OF LUCCA (IRE)||10||Lesley Field||Philip Hobbs|
|ELY BROWN (IRE)||10||Countrywide Vehicle Rentals Taxi Hire||Charlie Longsdon|
|FIRST LIEUTENANT (IRE)||10||Gigginstown House Stud||Mouse Morris IRE|
|GALLANT OSCAR (IRE)||9||Garrett Kelly||Tony Martin IRE|
|GAS LINE BOY (IRE)||9||Mick Fitzgerald Racing Club||Philip Hobbs|
|GLENQUEST (IRE)||12||Coolglen Syndicate||Stuart Crawford IRE|
|GODSMEJUDGE (IRE)||9||Favourites Racing||Alan King|
|GOONYELLA (IRE)||8||Ann & Alan Potts Partnership||Jim Dreaper IRE|
|GREEN FLAG (IRE)||8||John Adam||Lucinda Russell|
|GUESS AGAIN (IRE)||10||Malcolm Denmark||Tony Martin IRE|
|HADRIAN’S APPROACH (IRE)||8||Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes||Nicky Henderson|
|HARRY THE VIKING||10||Jim Beaumont, Douglas Pryde & Quona Thomson||Sandy Thomson|
|HOME FARM (IRE)||8||Chris Jones||Henry de Bromhead IRE|
|IKORODU ROAD||12||John Odell||Graeme McPherson|
|KATENKO (FR)||9||Andrew Brooks||Venetia Williams|
|KRUZHLININ (GER)||8||Paul & Clare Rooney||Donald McCain|
|LACKAMON||10||Sue Smith||Sue Smith|
|LIVING NEXT DOOR (IRE)||9||John Breslin||Tony Martin IRE|
|LOCH BA (IRE)||9||Peter Taplin, Susan Bunney & Partners||Mick Channon|
|LORD WINDERMERE (IRE)||9||Dr Ronan Lambe||Jim Culloty IRE|
|MAGGIO (FR)||10||Mike Deren||Patrick Griffin IRE|
|MAKE A TRACK (IRE)||9||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|MANY CLOUDS (IRE)||8||Trevor Hemmings||Oliver Sherwood|
|MART LANE (IRE)||10||Geoff Thompson||Sophie Leech|
|MERRY KING (IRE)||8||Frank Gillespie||Jonjo O’Neill|
|MON PARRAIN (FR)||9||John & Barbara Cotton||Paul Nicholls|
|MONBEG DUDE (IRE)||10||Oydunow||Michael Scudamore|
|MOUNTAINOUS (IRE)||10||Walters Plant Hire & James & Jean Potter||Richard Lee|
|MY MURPHY (IRE)||9||Hans Zindel||Liam Burke IRE|
|NEPTUNE EQUESTER||12||Jim Beaumont||Sandy Thomson|
|NIGHT IN MILAN (IRE)||9||Richard Collins||Keith Reveley|
|OSCAR TIME (IRE)||14||Robert Waley-Cohen||Robert Waley-Cohen|
|OWEGA STAR (IRE)||8||Anthony Callan/Siobhan Callan||Peter Fahey IRE|
|PINEAU DE RE (FR)||12||John Provan||Dr Richard Newland|
|POOLE MASTER||10||Geoff Thompson||David Pipe|
|PORTRAIT KING (IRE)||10||Marie Davis||Maurice Phelan IRE|
|PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR)||12||Prince & Paupers Syndicate||Willie Mullins IRE|
|QULINTON (FR)||11||Bob Whitby||Johnny Farrelly|
|RAJDHANI EXPRESS||8||Robert Waley-Cohen||Nicky Henderson|
|RAZ DE MAREE (FR)||10||James Swan||Sandra Hughes IRE|
|REBEL REBELLION (IRE)||10||Woodhouse, Sutton & Dobson||Paul Nicholls|
|RENARD (FR)||10||ROA Arkle Partnership||Venetia Williams|
|RIGADIN DE BEAUCHENE (FR)||10||Andrew Wiles||Venetia Williams|
|RIVER CHOICE (FR)||12||Fergus Wilson||Richard Chotard FR|
|ROCKY CREEK (IRE)||9||The Johnson & Stewart Families||Paul Nicholls|
|ROI DU MEE (FR)||10||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|ROLLING ACES (IRE)||9||David Martin, Paul Barber & Ian Fogg||Paul Nicholls|
|ROSE OF THE MOON (IRE)||10||Middleham Park Racing XXXIII & Partners||David O’Meara|
|ROYALE KNIGHT||9||Chris Stedman & Robert Corsan||Dr Richard Newland|
|RUBI LIGHT (FR)||10||Bill Hennessy||Robert Hennessy IRE|
|SAINT ARE (FR)||9||David Fox||Tom George|
|SAM WINNER (FR)||8||Angela Yeoman||Paul Nicholls|
|SHOTGUN PADDY (IRE)||8||Axom (XXXVI)||Emma Lavelle|
|SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR (IRE)||8||J P McManus||Jonjo O’Neill|
|SOLL||10||Derrick Mossop||David Pipe|
|SPRING HEELED (IRE)||8||Dr Ronan Lambe||Jim Culloty IRE|
|STANDING OVATION (IRE)||8||The Bravo Partnership||David Pipe|
|SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE)||12||J P McManus||Jonjo O’Neill|
|SUPER DUTY (IRE)||9||Brannon, Dick, Hernon & Holden||Ian Williams|
|SYDNEY PAGET (IRE)||8||Roger O’Byrne||Donald McCain|
|TALES OF MILAN (IRE)||8||Phil Middleton||Phil Middleton|
|TEAFORTHREE (IRE)||11||Conyers, O’Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman||Rebecca Curtis|
|THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (IRE)||8||The Stonehenge Druids||Neil Mulholland|
|THE PACKAGE||12||The Johnson Family||David Pipe|
|THE RAINBOW HUNTER||11||May We Never Be Found Out Partnership||Kim Bailey|
|THEATRICAL STAR||9||Brocade Racing||Colin Tizzard|
|TRANQUIL SEA (IRE)||13||Jean & Clemmie Shipp||Warren Greatrex|
|UNIONISTE (FR)||7||John Hales||Paul Nicholls|
|VINTAGE STAR (IRE)||9||Trevor Hemmings||Sue Smith|
|WYCK HILL (IRE)||11||J P McManus||David Bridgwater|