65 go forward for Saturday’s Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree

 The line-up for the first £1-million Crabbie’s Grand National takes further shape today with the unveiling of the 65 six-day confirmations for the Aintree spectacular at 4.15pm on Saturday, April 5.

 

Tidal Bay (11st 10lb, 14/1 with Betfred, official betting partner of the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival), bidding to become the first 13-year-old to triumph since Sergeant Murphy in 1923 and the first to shoulder top-weight since Red Rum in 1977, heads the 65 horses going forward.

 

A maximum of 40 runners can go to post for the Crabbie’s Grand National, run over 30 fences and four miles, three and a half furlongs. The declared runners will be known on Thursday morning, along with four reserves.

 

Tidal Bay’s trainer Paul Nicholls, successful with Neptune Collonges in 2012, has also left in Argento Chase runner-up Rocky Creek (11st 5lb, 20/1), Welsh National secondHawkes Point (10st 6lb, 33/1) and London National winner There’s No Panic (9st 11lb, 40/1).

 

Teaforthree (10st 12lb, Rebecca Curtis) is the 8/1 favourite with Betfred, having finished a fine third last year. The 10-year-old was just touched off in a Listed handicap chase at Ascot in February and completed his Aintree preparation with eighth in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup earlier this month.

 

Hennessy Gold Cup hero Triolo D’Alene (11st 6lb, 20/1) also contested the Cheltenham Gold Cup, finishing 10th, and heads four contenders for champion jump trainer Nicky Henderson. The Lambourn handler is also planning to run six-time Grade One winnerLong Run (11st 9lb, 16/1), Shakalakaboomboom (10st 3lb, 33/1) and Hunt Ball(11st 7lb, 66/1) as he bids to break his Crabbie’s Grand National duck.

 

Hilary Parrott is delighted with the way her Crabbie’s Grand National candidateWayward Prince (10st 13lb, 50/1) adapted to his first sight of what he will face at Aintree on Saturday.

 

“We took him over to Lambourn to school him over the National fences they have built there,” she said. “Brendan Powell was kind enough to give me a lead horse and Wayward Prince jumped the fences four times, and very well.”

 

The 10-year-old will be Gloucestershire-based Parrott’s first National runner. “I’ve had the race in mind for him all season,” she said. “He hasn’t run over the big fences, but he seems to like Liverpool.”

 

Wayward Prince has won over hurdles (a Grade One novices’ contest four years ago) and fences (a Listed chase over three miles and a furlong of the Mildmay Course in December, 2012) at the track.

 

Jack Doyle, the gelding’s regular rider, partnered him in the Lambourn schooling session and will be in the saddle again on Saturday. “Jack’s a horseman and the National is a horseman’s race,” added Parrott.

 

Wayward Prince has run just four times this season. “It might have been five, but the horsebox broke down on the way to Wetherby,” explained the owner-trainer. “But he goes well fresh, and he’s flying at home. The ground should be fine for him; he doesn’t want it heavy, so we’re happy with good to soft.”

 

Philip Hobbs is also going for a first Crabbie’s Grand National success with Balthazar King (10st 13lb, 25/1), who captured the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and Betfred Becher Chase scorer Chance Du Roy (10st 6lb, 33/1), while Alan King will be relying on last year’s Crabbie’s Topham Chase runner-up Walkon(11st, 50/1).

 

David Pipe could send out four runners from his Somerset base with the quartet being led by The Package (10st 4lb, 33/1), who shaped nicely on his return from a break at the Cheltenham Festival. Pipe scored with Comply Or Die in 2008 and has also left inOur Father (10st 8lb, 40/1), last year’s sixth Swing Bill (10st 1lb, 66/1) and Standing Ovation (9st 10lb, 40/1).

 

Jonjo O’Neill, successful in 2010 with Don’t Push It, has five remaining contenders including Burton Port (10st 8lb, 20/1), Twirling Magnet (10st 5lb, 50/1), Lost Glory (10st 2lb, 66/1) and Alfie Sherrin (9st 11lb, 33/1).

 

Prince De Beauchene (10st 10lb, 20/1), who has been ruled out of the last two renewals through injury, headlines the 14 Irish-trained confirmations. His handler Willie Mullins was victorious with Hedgehunter in 2005 and has also left in Vesper Bell (10st 5lb, 50/1). Other leading Irish contenders include the J P McManus-owned pair ofColbert Station (11st, 25/1) and Double Seven (10st 11lb, 25/1), who are trained by Grand National-winning trainers Ted Walsh and Martin Brassil respectively.

 

Other notable confirmations include last season’s Welsh National hero Monbeg Dude(10st 9lb, Michael Scudamore, 16/1), Pertemps Network Final third Pineau De Re (10st 6lb, Dr Richard Newland, 20/1) and Sky Bet Chase winner The Rainbow Hunter (10st 7lb, Kim Bailey, 33/1).

 

Weather forecast unsettled ahead of National

 

The going description at Aintree is Good, Good to Soft in places on the Mildmay and Hurdle courses and Good to Soft, Good in places on the Grand National course ahead of the three-day Crabbie’s Grand National meeting which starts on Thursday.

 

Andrew Tulloch, Regional Head of Racing, North West & Clerk of the Course, Aintree said today at 1.30pm:

 

“The ground is lovely at the moment but we’re keeping an eye on the weather.

 

“We’ve had a dry couple of days which has seen a slight change to the going on the Mildmay and Hurdle courses which are now Good, Good to Soft in places while the Grand National course is now Good to Soft, Good in places.

 

“I had a walk round again with Chris Dennis (BHA Course Inspector) this morning and there is a lovely cover of grass and the course is in great shape.

 

“However, there has been talk of some showers this evening so we will monitor that closely and issue any updates on Tuesday morning.

 

“The forecast for the next few days is unsettled and a band of showers is meant to be arriving on Tuesday afternoon though the exact timing of the rain is uncertain.”

 

Teaforthree all the rage ahead of the National

 

Teaforthree (10st 12lb) has shortened at the head of the market for the Crabbie’s Grand National following the five-day declaration stage and Betfred, Aintree’s official betting partner, make last year’s third the 8/1 favourite (from 9/1).

 

The Rebecca Curtis-trained 10-year-old has been at the forefront of the betting since passing the post third behind Auroras Encore 12 months ago and is currently the biggest loser in Betfred’s book ahead of this year’s running.

 

“It’s all about Teaforthree at the moment and, although the majority of punters have yet to play their hand, it’s looking likely that he will go off favourite for this year’s race,” said Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths.

 

“He’s currently the biggest loser in our book at the moment and looks certain to be popular following his big run behind Auroras Encore last year.”

 

The Warrington-based bookmaker have also cut top-weight Tidal Bay (11st 10lb) for the race following today’s latest declaration stage and the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding is now 14/1 (from 16/1) as he bids to become the first 13-year-old since Sergeant Murphy in 1923 to land the Aintree spectacular.

 

Betfred have also cut the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Burton Port (10st 8lb) to 20/1 (from 25/1), who will be looking to give owner Trevor Hemmings his third Crabbie’s Grand National winner following Hedgehunter’s victory in 2005 and Ballabriggs’ success in 2011. They also make Teaforthree the 7/4 market leader in their ‘Who will start favourite?’ special ahead of Long Run, Monbeg Dude and Tidal Bay at 7/2.

 

Crabbie’s Grand National – Betfred bet: 8/1 Teaforthree; 14/1 (from 16/1) Tidal Bay; 16/1 Long Run; 16/1 Monbeg Dude; 20/1 (from 25/1) Burton Port; 20/1 Pineau De Re, Prince De Beauchene, Rocky Creek, Triolo d’Alene; 25/1 Balthazar King, Colbert Station, Double Seven, Goonyella; 33/1 Alfie Sherrin, Alvarado, Big Shu, Chance Du Roy, Hawkes Point, Lion Na Bearnai, Mr Moonshine, Night In Milan, Shakalakaboomboom, The Package, The Rainbow Hunter, Wyck Hill; 40/1 Across The Bay, Battle Group, Mountainous, Our Father, Raz De Maree, Rose Of The Moon, Soll, Standing Ovation, There’s No Panic, Vintage Star; 50/1 Baile Anrai, Buckers Bridge, Court By Surprise, Last Time d’Albain, Quito De La Roque, Tranquil Sea, Twirling Magnet, Vesper Bell, Victrix Gale, Walkon, Wayward Prince; 66/1 Any Currency, Golan Way, Gullible Gordon, Hunt Ball, Kruzhlinin, Lost Glory, Minella For Value, One In A Milan, Out Now, Quinz, Quiscover Fontaine, Saint Are, Storm Survivor, Swing Bill, Tour Des Champs, 100/1 Merlin’s Wish, Sir Du Bearn, Solix; 200/1 Sergeant Pink. ¼ 1-2-3-4 (Non-runner, no bet)

 

Crabbie’s Grand National Specials – Betfred bet: 3/1 Irish-trained winner; 6/1 Nicky Henderson-trained winner; 6/1 Paul Nicholls-trained winner; 9/1 Jonjo O’Neill-trained winner; 16/1 Willie Mullins-trained winner. Win Only

 

Crabbie’s Grand National: Who will start favourite? – Betfred bet: 7/4 Teaforthree, 7/2 Long Run, Monbeg Dude, Tidal Bay; 6/1 Prince De Beauchene. Win Only – Others On Request

 

Crabbie’s Grand National: Monbeg Dude specials – Betfred bet: 4/6 to complete the course; 4/1 to finish placed; 20/1 to win the race. Win Only 

 

The other races on Grand National Day, Saturday, April 5, 2014

 

1.30pm £75,000 Pertemps Network Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2), 2m 4f

A total of 29 entries for the Pertemps Network Mersey Novices’ Hurdleinclude Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle hero Lac Fontana (Paul Nicholls), Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle fifth Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King) and Irish raider Apache Stronghold (Noel Meade), who is two from two over hurdles.

 

Other interesting entries include Greatwood Hurdle scorer Dell’ Arca (David Pipe) and the Donald McCain-trained Diamond King.

 

2.05pm £110,000 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1), 2m

Grade One winners Hinterland (Paul Nicholls) and Trifolium (Charles Byrnes), who was third in the Racing Post Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, feature among 14 entries for the Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase.

 

Also engaged is Balder Succes (Alan King), Felix Yonger (Willie Mullins) and Dodging Bullets (Paul Nicholls), who have all captured Grade Two contests this season.

 

2.50pm £120,000 Silver Cross Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1), 3m 110y

The unbeaten More Of That is the headline act among 12 entries for the Silver Cross Stayers’ Hurdle. Jonjo O’Neill’s charge lowered the colours of star Irish mare Annie Power in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and could re-opposeZarkandar (Paul Nicholls) and Rule The World (Mouse Morris), who finished fourth and sixth respectively in that contest.

 

Grade One winner Melodic Rendezvous (Jeremy Scott) could step up to three miles for the first time, while Coral Cup victor Whisper (Nicky Henderson) is also engaged.

 

3.25pm £60,000 Betfred TV Handicap Chase (Listed), 3m 1f

Unioniste (Paul Nicholls) tops 28 entries for the Betfred TV Handicap Chase, which has been won in the recent years by Hennessy Gold Cup victor State Of Play and Don’t Push It, successful in the 2010 Crabbie’s Grand National.

 

Other notable entries include Gallant Oscar (Tony Martin), who is after a three-timer following an easy victory in the Leinster National, Paddy Power Gold Cup hero Johns Spirit (Jonjo O’Neill) and progressive novice Victor Hewgo (Keith Reveley).

 

5.10pm £40,000 Maxilead Metals Handicap Hurdle (conditional and amateur jockeys) 2m 110y

Betfair Hurdle winner Splash Of Ginge (Nigel Twiston-Davies) and Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle runner-up Katgary (Paul Nicholls) head 52 contenders for the Maxilead Metals Handicap Hurdle. Leopardstown handicap hurdle scorer Art Of Payroll (Dessie Hughes), the progressive Yorkist (Brian Ellison) and classy Flat performer Rainbow Peak (John Ferguson) could also line up in the extended two-mile contest.

 

5.40pm £30,000 Weatherbys Private Banking Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2) 2m 1f

Weatherbys Champion Bumper Shaneshill (Willie Mullins) features among 33 entries for the concluding Weatherbys Private Banking Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race, which could also feature facile Bangor winner Battle Born (Charlie Longsdon), Modus(Robert Stephens) and Ordo Ab Chao (Alan King).

 

About Aintree Racecourse

Aintree is home to The Crabbie’s Grand National, the most famous horse race in the world which is the climax to a three-day Festival meeting in April every year. The racecourse hosts five other fixtures and is a leading conference centre in the north west of England. More information is available at www.aintree.co.uk

 

2014 will be the 167th running of The Grand National race and the start of the new sponsorship with Halewood owned Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

 

Aintree Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club, which has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport, The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2012: £142.1m), courses (15) including those at Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, attendances (2012: 1.8m), total prize money (2012: £35.3m), contribution to prize money (2012: £16.5m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket and Lambourn; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing’s people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk

 

The Crabbie’s Grand National

Class 1, Grade 3, £1,000,000 Total Prize Fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 5, 2014. Four miles, three and a half furlongs. For seven-year-olds and upwards which, up to and including March 17, 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 9. Horses which 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 9 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 9. 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 January 28, entries revealed January 29 (115 entries). Weights revealed Tuesday, February 11 (114 remain). First scratchings’ deadline February 25 (100 remained). Second scratchings’ deadline March 18 (73 remained). Five-day confirmation stage March 31 (65 five-day confirmations). Final declaration stage 10.00am, April 3. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, March 30.

 

Form    Horse      Age/Wgt  Owner     Trainer/Jockey

1) 21-1532  TIDAL BAY (IRE)   13-11-10  Andrea & Graham Wylie Paul Nicholls/Sam Twiston-Davies

2) 32-54U1  LONG RUN (FR)   9-11-09  Robert Waley-Cohen   Nicky Henderson/Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

3) 606034  HUNT BALL (IRE)   9-11-07  Atlantic Equine   Nicky Henderson/Andrew Tinkler

4) 01-1310  TRIOLO D’ALENE (FR) 7-11-06  Sandy & Caroline Orr   Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty

5) 1113-22  ROCKY CREEK (IRE)  8-11-05  The Johnson & Stewart Families Paul Nicholls/Noel Fehily

6) 5-F405P QUITO DE LA ROQUE (FR) 10-11-01 Gigginstown House Stud Colm Murphy IRE

7) U-03U0F  COLBERT STATION (IRE) 10-11-00  J P McManus     Ted Walsh IRE

8) 2P52-U4  WALKON (FR)   9-11-00  McNeill Family    Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson

9) 0P-1111  BALTHAZAR KING (IRE) 10-10-13  The Brushmakers   Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson

10) 06-52P0  WAYWARD PRINCE  10-10-13  John & Hilary Parrott  Hilary Parrott/Jack Doyle

 

11) 503112   MR MOONSHINE (IRE) 10-10-12 Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont & David van der Hoeven Sue Smith/Ryan Mania

12) 203-020  TEAFORTHREE (IRE)   10-10-12   Conyers, O’Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman Rebecca Curtis/Nick Scholfield

13) 10-501U  ACROSS THE BAY (IRE)  10-10-11  Scotch Piper Syndicate  Donald McCain/Henry Brooke

14) 111116  DOUBLE SEVEN (IRE)  8-10-11  J P McManus    Martin Brassil IRE

15) 11-1PRP  BATTLE GROUP    9-10-10  Jolly Boys Outing   Johnny Farrelly/Brendan Powell

16) 5-05103  BUCKERS BRIDGE (IRE)  8-10-10  Ann & Alan Potts Partnership Henry de Bromhead IRE

17) PP-5014  LION NA BEARNAI (IRE)  12-10-10  The Lock Syndicate  Tom Gibney IRE/Davy Russell

18) 12-3004  PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR) 11-10-10  Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE

19) 3P-3415  MONBEG DUDE (IRE)  9-10-09  Oydunow   Michael Scudamore/Paul Carberry

20) 0211-23  BIG SHU (IRE)  9-10-08 Hugh Duffy/Richard Robinson/Caroline Woods Peter Maher IRE/Peter Buchanan

 

21) 500P02  BURTON PORT (IRE)   10-10-08  Trevor Hemmings   Jonjo O’Neill/Brian Harding

22) 124-050  OUR FATHER (IRE)   8-10-08  The Ives & Johnson Families David Pipe/Conor O’Farrell

23) 41-3315  MOUNTAINOUS (IRE)  9-10-07  Walters Plant Hire & James & Jean Potter Richard Lee/Jamie Moore

24) 4UP-261 THE RAINBOW HUNTER 10-10-07 May We Never Be Found Out Partnership Kim Bailey/Aidan Coleman

25) P-1262F  VINTAGE STAR (IRE)  8-10-07  Trevor Hemmings   Sue Smith/Brian Hughes

26) 400-1P4  CHANCE DU ROY (FR)  10-10-06  Daphne Du Pre   Philip Hobbs/Tom O’Brien

27) 12P-426  HAWKES POINT    9-10-06  Graham Roach   Paul Nicholls/Ryan Mahon

28) 441103  KRUZHLININ (GER)   7-10-06 Paul & Clare Rooney   Donald McCain

29) 5F2013  PINEAU DE RE (FR)   11-10-06  J A Provan  Dr Richard Newland/Leighton Aspell

30) R03/3-U1 GOLAN WAY     10-10-05 W R B Racing 58   Tim Vaughan/Michael Byrne

 

31) 25010U  TWIRLING MAGNET (IRE)  8-10-05 Gay Smith  Jonjo O’Neill

32) 302-FU0  VESPER BELL (IRE)   8-10-05  Susannah Ricci   Willie Mullins IRE

33) 4/14PP-3  THE PACKAGE    11-10-04  The Johnson Family   David Pipe/Tom Scudamore

34) 11-P0P3  RAZ DE MAREE (FR)   9-10-03  James Swan   Dessie Hughes IRE

35) 114P-01  ROSE OF THE MOON (IRE)  9-10-03 Middleham Park Racing XXXIII & Partners David O’Meara/Jake Greenall

36) 220/-6P0  SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM (IRE) 10-10-03  Liam Breslin    Nicky Henderson/David Bass

37) 6R3-51P  ALVARADO (IRE)    9-10-02  William & Angela Rucker Fergal O’Brien/Paddy Brennan

38) 433-000  LAST TIME D’ALBAIN (FR)  10-10-02  Fontstown Syndicate   Liam Cusack IRE

39) P-130PP  LOST GLORY (NZ)    9-10-02  J P McManus     Jonjo O’Neill

40) F3P465  ONE IN A MILAN (IRE)  9-10-02  Paul Langford     Evan Williams/Paul Moloney

 

41) P1-2502  GOONYELLA (IRE)    7-10-01  Ann & Alan Potts Partnership Jim Dreaper IRE

42) 4406-50  SWING BILL (FR)    13-10-01  Halewood International Ltd  David Pipe

43) 10-5405  SOLL       9-10-00  Derrick Mossop   Jo Hughes/Mark Grant

44) 121114  MINELLA FOR VALUE (IRE)  8-9-13   Maxilead Limited   John Butler

45) 2301P1  NIGHT IN MILAN (IRE)  8-9-13   Richard Collins   Keith Reveley/James Reveley

46) 000-04P  SAINT ARE (FR)    8-9-13   David Fox     Tim Vaughan

47) 2/0-P50P  OUT NOW (IRE)    10-9-12  Dermot Cox/Nelius Hayes  Edward O’Grady IRE

48) 50231P  TRANQUIL SEA (IRE)  12-9-12  No Dramas Partnership 1  Warren Greatrex

49) 3/304-40  ALFIE SHERRIN    11-9-11  J P McManus     Jonjo O’Neill

50) P0-33265  COURT BY SURPRISE (IRE)  9-9-11   Nick Mustoe     Emma Lavelle

 

51) B6-P51P  THERE’S NO PANIC (IRE)  9-9-11    The Stewart Family   Paul Nicholls

52) 0F-0300  QUISCOVER FONTAINE (FR) 10-9-10  J P McManus     Enda Bolger IRE

53) 111006  STANDING OVATION (IRE)  7-9-10   The Bravo Partnership  David Pipe

54) 03-00P16  WYCK HILL (IRE)    10-9-10  J P McManus     David Bridgwater

55) -3341201  BAILE ANRAI (IRE)   10-9-09  Massive     Dan Skelton

56) 2110F0  GULLIBLE GORDON (IRE)  11-9-09  Karen Bowen     Peter Bowen

57) P/4-P050  QUINZ (FR)      10-9-09  Andrew Cohen   Philip Hobbs

58) P53252  ANY CURRENCY (IRE)  11-9-06  Cash Is King     Martin Keighley

59) 5U024P  SIR DU BEARN (FR)   8-9-06   Mickey Bowen    Peter Bowen

60) 465430  SOLIX (FR)      8-9-06   Paul Vogt     Ian Williams

 

61) 13F652  STORM SURVIVOR (IRE)  8-9-06   J P McManus     Jonjo O’Neill

62) 013444  VICTRIX GALE (IRE)   8-9-06   Badgers Syndicate   Tony Martin IRE

63) 4-26P35  TOUR DES CHAMPS (FR)  7-9-04   Raymond Mould        Nigel Twiston-Davies

64) 22112F  MERLIN’S WISH    9-9-02   Rosemary Toppin    Martin Keighley

65) 13003U SERGEANT PINK (IRE)  8-8-11    Andrew Sayer    Dianne Sayer

 

65 entries remain after March 18 scratching deadline

14 Irish-trained

 

THE FOLLOWING 8 HORSES WERE NOT CONFIRMED: ROI DU MEE (FR), KATENKO (FR),BOG WARRIOR (IRE)MOSSEY JOE (IRE), GODSMEJUDGE (IRE)SAME DIFFERENCE (IRE), GOULANES (IRE)SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE)

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