Morris has never seen Grand National winner Rule The World look better

Mouse Morris will never forget Saturday, April 9, 2016 as that was the day when Rule The World, incredibly a maiden over fences beforehand, won the £1-million Grand National at Aintree.


The Irish trainer reflected on that feat at his County Tipperary stables on a beautifully sunny morning in the countryside just to the south of Fethard.


Rule The World, who retired to his owner’s Gigginstown House Stud after running at Punchestown in late April, paraded around the yard, which he had returned to for the first time since.


Morris said: “I have never seen Rule The World look better ever – credit to the team up in Gigginstown. I might even bring him back! No, seriously, we won’t.


“He is only nine, but he had had so many problems and where do you go after winning the Grand National? Anyway, he retired at the top.


“He had been running in Grade One races but had been second, second and second. He finished second in the Irish National (2015) – he was a class horse before his fractures. He did not reach his full potential and may have won a Gold Cup if he had.


“There is no point in sleeping if you don’t dream – to win the Grand National with him was a dream come true. In my day (as a jockey) the fences were bigger and harder – nowadays you need a class horse to win – it is still special and quite spectacular but they have compromised on the fences and Aintree have done a good job.


“Everybody knows about the Grand National – it is worldwide – nearly 600 million people watch it – only 60 million watched Trump. I had letters and emails from all around the world.”


Please see the Rule The World factfile below


Morris hopes to run Rogue Angel, the 2016 Irish Grand National winner, in the 2017 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in 2017 and is planning to give the horse a first taste of the Grand National fences in the £140,000 Betfred Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday (December 3).


Morris explained that Rogue Angel had had a wind operation since his latest outing the in the Cork Grand National on November 6.


He declared: “Rogue Angel would be a real National horse – we have won it once and everything else would be a bonus.


“He will run in the Becher on Saturday, everything being equal. If they are down at the start, they all have a chance.


“Rogue Angel had a slight wind problem and just wasn’t getting home so he had a small operation and that seems to have made a difference.


“We will see how he gets on at Aintree on Saturday. He will probably have another run and then we would plan to keep him fresh for the Grand National. I would love to win another Grand National.”


Please see factfile for Rogue Angel below.


Great racing in prospect on Betfred Becher Chase Community Day at Aintree on Saturday


The Last Samuri (11st 12lb, Kim Bailey), runner-up to Rule The World in the 2016 Grand National, heads 33 acceptors for the £140,000 Betfred Becher Chase (1.35pm), the first of two races over the famous Grand National fences at Aintree on Betfred Becher Chase Community Day, Saturday, December 3.


The Grade Three contest is staged over three and a quarter miles and has a maximum permitted field of 30.


Betfred make The Last Samuri 10/1 co-second favourite for Saturday’s contests alongside Viconte Du Noyer (11st 7lb, Colin Tizzard), successful on his first run for the all-conquering Tizzard team in a Grade Three handicap chase at Cheltenham on November 12 and Alvarado (10st 2lb, Fergal O’Brien, 12/1), fourth in both the 2014 and 2015 Grand Nationals. Ucello Conti (11st 1lb, Gordon Elliott IRE), who was sixth in the 2016 Grand National, is Betfred’s market leader at 8/1.


Other contenders prominent in the market include The Young Master (11st 3lb, Neil Mulholland, 12/1), winner of the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park in April and Vieux Lion Rouge (10st 9lb, David Pipe, 12/1), last seen when seventh in the Grand National.


The first two horses home in the 2015 Betfred Becher Chase are both set to go again – Highland Lodge (10st 4lb, Jimmy Moffatt, 16/1) and Dare To Endeavour (10st 2lb, Eric McNamara IRE, 20/1). If successful on Saturday, Highland Lodge would become the first horse to win back-to-back renewals of the Betfred Becher Chase.


The Betfred Becher Chase has gone to Ireland three times since its inception in 1992 and there are a total of seven Irish-trained acceptors. In addition to Ucello Conti and Dare To Endeavour, the Irish challenge could also include Grade Two scorer Wounded Warrior (11st 6lb, Noel Meade, 16/1), Sizing Coal (10st 3lb, Jim Dreaper, 14/1), an impressive winner at Sligo when last seen in September and last season’s Irish Grand National victor Rogue Angel (10st 12lb, Mouse Morris, 25/1).


Nigel Twiston-Davies is the most successful trainer of all-time in Betfred Becher Chase with five wins and has left in recent Hennessy Gold Cup third Double Ross (11st 2lb, 20/1) and Cogry (10st 1lb, 16/1), third in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in March. Champion trainer Paul Nicholls also boasts an excellent record in the contest with three winners and his one possible starter in 2016 is Ruben Cotter (10st 9lb, 14/1), fifth in the 2015 Topham Chase over the Grand National fences.


The final field for the Betfred Becher Chase will be known on Thursday, December 2.


Betfred Becher Chase, Betfred Bet: 8/1 Ucello Conti; 10/1 The Last Samurai, Viconte Du Noyer, Alvarado; 12/1 The Young Master, Vieux Lion Rouge; 14/1 Ruben Cotter, Sizing Coal; 16/1 Silvergrove, Saint Are, One For Arthur, Highland Lodge, Gas Line Boy, Cogry, Ziga Boy, Wounded Warrior; 20/1 Double Ross, Beeves, Seventh Sky, Knock House, Dare To Endeavour; 25/1 Midnight Prayer, Clarcam, Straidnahanna, Rogue Angel, Smooth Stepper, Portrait King, Milborough; 33/1 Beforeall, Bob Ford, Aachen; 40/1 Howlongisafoot, Financial Climate

EW: 1/4 1, 2, 3, 4


The other race over the Grand National fences on Betfred Becher Chase Community Day is the two mile and five furlong Betfred Grand Sefton Chase (3.15pm) for which there are 23 acceptors.


8/1 co-favourites with Betfred are last year’s winner Bennys Mist (11st 8lb, Venetia Williams), Valadom (11st 4lb, Richard Hobson), successful in a competitive handicap chase at Bangor earlier this month and recent Musselburgh scorer Seefood (10st 11lb, Dr Richard Newland).


Betfred Grand Sefton Chase, Betfred Bet: 8/1 Bennys Mist, Valadom, Seefood; 10/1 La Vaticane; 12/1 As De Mee, Go Conquer, Astracad, Rathlin, Troika Steppes; 14/1 Henryville, More Buck’s, Seventh Sky, Ruben Cotter; 20/1 Beeves, Vintage Vinnie, Federici; 25/1 The Italian Yob, Lord Wishes, Milgen Bay; 33/1 Rouge Et Blanc, Howlongisafoot, Witness In Court; 50/1 Voyage A New York

EW: 1/4 1, 2, 3, 4


Betfred Community Day sees the official unveiling of the Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub in Paddock Lodge next to the parade ring at Aintree Racecourse.


Aintree’s award-winning Community Hub was introduced in December, 2014, giving free access to the local community and the programme has been going from strength to strength, including the Beacon Racecourse schools’ activity, dementia tours, working with military veterans, disabled riding sessions, the annual Alder Hey jockeys’ visit and much more.


Sir A P McCoy plus the Mayor Of Sefton and Aintree’s chairman Rose Paterson will officially open on Saturday morning the hub which is being supported by the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust.


The Betfred Becher Handicap Chase

Grade 3, £140,000 total prize fund. Three miles and two furlongs (3m 1f 188y) over the Grand National fences, 1.35pm, Saturday, December 3, 2016. For six-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after November 20, a winner of a chase 3lb; no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed November 15 (59 entries), weights revealed November 23. Five-day confirmations November 28 (33 confirmations), final declarations 10am, Thursday, December 1. Maximum field size 30 runners plus two reserves.

Horse Age Horse Owner Trainer
THE LAST SAMURI (IRE) 8 11-12 Paul & Clare Rooney Kim Bailey
CLARCAM (FR) 6 11-08 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
VICONTE DU NOYER (FR) 7 11-07 Ann & Alan Potts Colin Tizzard
WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE) 7 11-06 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
THE YOUNG MASTER 7 11-03 Dajam & The Old Masters Neil Mulholland
SEVENTH SKY (GER) 9 11-02 Exors of the Late Mr John Heron Charlie Mann
DOUBLE ROSS (IRE) 10 11-02 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies
AACHEN 12 11-01 Tony Bloom Venetia Williams
UCELLO CONTI (FR) 8 11-01 Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Gordon Elliott IRE
SAINT ARE (FR) 10 11-00 D W Fox Tom George
ROGUE ANGEL (IRE) 8 10-12 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR) 7 10-09 Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent David Pipe
RUBEN COTTER (IRE) 10 10-09 Exors of the Late Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
KNOCK HOUSE (IRE) 7 10-08 Tim Leslie Donald McCain
SILVERGROVE 8 10-05 Nicholas Piper & Claire Piper Ben Pauling
MIDNIGHT PRAYER 11 10-05 The Legends Partnership Alan King
ZIGA BOY (FR) 7 10-04 Axom LI Alan King
BEEVES (IRE) 9 10-04 Paul & Clare Rooney Jennie Candlish
HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE) 10 10-04 Bowes Lodge Stables James Moffatt
ONE FOR ARTHUR (IRE) 7 10-04 Two Golf Widows Lucinda Russell
SIZING COAL (IRE) 8 10-03 Alan & Ann Potts Partnership Jim Dreaper IRE
GAS LINE BOY (IRE) 10 10-03 The Three Graces Ian Williams
ALVARADO (IRE) 11 10-02 William & Angela Rucker Fergal O’Brien
MILBOROUGH (IRE) 10 10-02 Helen Cross Ian Duncan
BOB FORD (IRE) 9 10-02 The JJ Partnership Rebecca Curtis
STRAIDNAHANNA (IRE) 7 10-02 M B & R H Scholey Sue Smith
DARE TO ENDEAVOUR 9 10-02 Aidan Ryan Eric McNamara IRE
COGRY 7 10-01 Graham and Alison Jelley Nigel Twiston-Davies
PORTRAIT KING (IRE) 11 9-11 James Beaumont & Douglas Pryde Patrick Griffin IRE
HOWLONGISAFOOT (IRE) 7 9-10 D S Dennis Chris Gordon
SMOOTH STEPPER 7 9-08 Aafke Clarke Sue Smith
BEFOREALL (IRE) 8 9-02 Beforeall Partnership Oliver Sherwood
FINANCIAL CLIMATE (IRE) 9 8-08 Sara Fillery & Friends Oliver Sherwood


33 five-day confirmations, 7 Irish-trained


The Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase

Class 2, £70,000 total prize fund. Two miles and five furlongs (2m 5f 19y) over the Grand National fences, 3.15pm, Saturday, December 3, 2016. For six-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after November 20, a winner of a chase 3lb; no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed November 15 (36 entries), weights revealed November 23. Five-day confirmations November 28 (23 confirmations), final declarations 10am, Friday, December 2. Maximum field size 25.

Horse Age Wgt Owner Trainer
SEVENTH SKY (GER) 9 11-12 Exors of the Late John Heron Charlie Mann
BENNYS MIST (IRE) 10 11-08 Mezzone Family Venetia Williams
RUBEN COTTER (IRE) 10 11-05 Exors of the Late C G Roach Paul Nicholls
HENRYVILLE 8 11-04 R P B Michaelson & E M Thornton Harry Fry
VALADOM (FR) 7 11-04 Richard Hobson Richard Hobson
WITNESS IN COURT (IRE) 9 11-03 Tim Leslie Donald McCain
VINTAGE VINNIE (IRE) 7 11-01 Trembath, Hyde, Outhart & Hill Rebecca Curtis
LA VATICANE (FR) 7 11-01 Maria Bukhtoyarova David Pipe
RATHLIN 11 11-01 Masters Of The Hall 2 Micky Hammond
BEEVES (IRE) 9 11-00 Paul & Clare Rooney Jennie Candlish
AS DE MEE (FR) 6 11-00 The Stewart Family & Judi Dench Paul Nicholls
FEDERICI 7 10-13 Jon Glews Enda Bolger IRE
GO CONQUER (IRE) 7 10-13 Paul & Clare Rooney Jonjo O’Neill
LORD WISHES (IRE) 9 10-12 Leeds Plywood and Doors Ltd James Ewart
SEEFOOD (IRE) 9 10-11 C Stedmand & J Provan Dr Richard Newland
ASTRACAD (FR) 10 10-11 Nigel Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
HOWLONGISAFOOT (IRE) 7 10-06 D S Dennis Chris Gordon
TROIKA STEPPES 8 10-05 William Williamson Fergal O’Brien
MORE BUCK’S (IRE) 6 10-04 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
ROUGE ET BLANC (FR) 11 10-04 O Sherwood & Tim Syder Oliver Sherwood
THE ITALIAN YOB (IRE) 8 9-13 The Macaroni Beach Society Nick Williams
MILGEN BAY 10 9-11 James & Clare Luck Oliver Sherwood
VOYAGE A NEW YORK (FR) 7 9-03 J Fyffe Lucinda Russell


23 five-day confirmations, 1 Irish-trained


Rule The World

Factfile of the 2016 Grand National Winner

Breeding: 9 b g Sulamani – Elaine Tully (Persian Bold)

Breeder: Mrs P G Wilkins & R J McAlpine

Born: Mar 30, 2007

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Trainer: Mouse Morris

Jockey: David Mullins

Form: 12112P/14216/225222/6S3225416-

*Won the 2016 Grand National by six lengths from The Last Samuri, giving the owner, trainer and jockey their first victory in the world’s greatest chase.

*Remarkably, the Grand National was Rule The World’s first chase victory. He had finished second seven times, including to Thunder And Roses in the 2015 Irish Grand National, and to No More Heroes in a Grade One novices’ contest at Leopardstown in December, 2015.

*The last horse to win the Grand National having not won a race over fences was Voluptuary in 1884.

*Ran once more after his famous Aintree triumph when finishing sixth in the G1 Growise Champion Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival on April 26.

*Retired after his Punchestown run and announcing Rule The World’s retirement in May, 2016, Gigginstown House Stud’s Racing Manager Eddie O’Leary said: “At nine years of age, and now the Grand National winner, we feel Rule The World has nothing left to achieve. Having suffered two pelvic injuries over the last four years, our first concern must be for the wellbeing of the horse, and we feel it would be unfair to run him next season as a 10-year-old, asking him to carry heavier weights. Mouse [Morris, trainer], Bryan [Cooper, Gigginstown’s retained rider], and I feel the right thing to do is to retire him now, having just won the Grand National, and giving us all one of the best days of our lives.”

*Rule The World is enjoying a well-deserved retirement in the paddocks at Gigginstown along with War Of Attrition, Last Instalment, and other distinguished retirees.

Race record: Starts 26; Wins 6; 2nd 10; 3rd 1. Win & Place Prize Money: £763,840      


Gigginstown House Stud

Gigginstown House Stud, covering 1,000 acres at Delvin near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland is the residence of Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline. O’Leary was born on March 20, 1961, the second of six children, and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare before reading business studies at Trinity College Dublin. He was a tax consultant at accountants KPMG (1984-86) and became financial adviser to Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair. He progressed to be Ryanair’s deputy chief executive in 1991 and chief operating officer in 1993. He has overseen the rapid development of Ryanair since 1994 when he became chief executive, and his worth was valued at £708 million in the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, thanks mainly to his significant shareholding in Ryanair. O’Leary started off with horses in training on the Flat with David Wachman and Mick Halford, but he has rapidly become a major Jump owner with a string only rivalled by J P McManus. His team of over 170 horses in training is split between a range of trainers in Ireland and his racing enthusiasm was boosted when one of his first horses, War Of Attrition, won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. His 15 Cheltenham Festival winners also include the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack. 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 Sir Des Champs in the 2012 JLT Novices’ Chase. He won the Grand National in 2016 with Rule The World. O’Leary’s brother Eddie, based at Lynn Lodge Stud in Mullingar, oversees the Gigginstown racing operation; the young horses are brought along at Pat Doyle’s County Tipperary stables and in point-to-points. Bryan Cooper is the retained jockey for Gigginstown. O’Leary married former banker Anita (Farrell) in 2003 and they have four children.

Randox Health Grand National Record: 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th); 2014 Quito De La Roque (PU 21st); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd), Sir Des Champs (Fell 15th)

Michael (Mouse) Morris IRE (Fethard, Co Tipperary)

Born: April 4, 1951 Background: Michael Morris has been known as Mouse since his early days as an amateur rider. His late father, Lord Killanin, was president of the International Olympic Committee (1972-1980), while his brother Redmond’s credits as a film producer include The Reader. As a youngster in Ireland, Mouse showed little enthusiasm for school, preferring to spend his mornings riding out for a local trainer and he did not enjoy his time when sent to the Catholic boarding school, Ampleforth College, in Yorkshire. He served his apprenticeship at the celebrated Frenchie Nicholson jockey academy in Cheltenham for two and a half years alongside Pat Eddery, Tony Murray and Michael Dickinson. Back in Ireland, he rode principally for Edward O’Grady. His biggest success as an amateur rider came on Mr Midland, trained by O’Grady, in the 1974 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He subsequently turned professional and won the Irish Grand National on the Adrian Maxwell-trained Billycan in 1977 and Cheltenham’s Queen Mother Champion Chase on the Brian Lusk-trained Skymas in both 1976 and 1977. His best performance in the Grand National came on Rough Silk, fifth in 1974.

Training Career: He took out a trainer’s licence in September 1980 and soon established himself as one of Ireland’s leading Jump trainers. Morris has seven Cheltenham Festival wins to his credit, the best being Buck House’s victory in the 1986 Queen Mother Champion Chase and War Of Attrition’s 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup success. He won his second Irish Grand National in 2016 with Rogue Angel – his first came with Hear The Echo in 2008. He saddled First Lieutenant, the 2011 Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival, to take the 2013 Betfred Bowl at Aintree. Morris trains at Everardsgrange, Fethard, in Co. Tipperary. In 1984, Door Step became his first Randox Health Grand National runner, but fell at the 18th fence. Rule The World gave him a first Grand National victory when successful in 2016.

Randox Health Grand National Record: 1984 Door Step (FELL 18th); 1987 Attitude Adjuster (8th), Hi Harry (Ref 19th); 1988 Attitude Adjuster (5th), Lastofthebrownies (FELL 28th); 1989 Lastofthebrownies (4th), Attitude Adjuster (12th), Cranlome (FELL 2nd); 1990 Lastofthebrownies (5th); 1991 Mick’s Star (13th); 1992 Rawhide (UR 1st); 1995 For William (15th); 1996 Three Brownies (6th); 1997 New Co (15th); 2004 Alcapone (PU 25th); 2008 Baily Breeze (8th); 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd)


David Mullins

Born: June 6, 1996 Background: David Mullins is the son of the trainer Tom Mullins and the nephew of the 11-time Ireland champion Jump trainer Willie. The Mullins are a racing dynasty and his late grandfather, Paddy, is best known for training the great racemare Dawn Run, who still remains the only horse to win both the Champion Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Being born into such a racing family, there is no surprise the path he chose. He tasted success at the top-level when Nichols Canyon, trained by his uncle Willie, landed the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle at Leopardstown in 2015, overcoming the previously unbeaten Faugheen. He enjoyed a dream first ride in the Grand National when successful on Rule The World in 2016. Mullins is having another good season in 2016/17 with four Graded victories so far.

Randox Health Grand National record: 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON)


Mouse Morris – Betfred Becher Chase entries


Rogue Angel (IRE)

Breeding: 8 b g Presenting – Carrigeen Kohleria (IRE) (Luso)

Breeder: Mrs R H Lalor

Born: April 22, 2008

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Trainer: Mouse Morris

Form: 1d/13P32/F34314740/2B0P2PU/P541216P41-080

*Finest hour to date came in the Irish Grand National (3m 5f) at Fairyhouse in March, when he made most of the running before rallying to beat Bless The Wings by a short-head in a thrilling finish.

*Also successful by a short-head in the Kerry National (3m) at Listowel in September, 2015.

*Has made two appearances this autumn, finishing eighth in the Munster National (3m) at Limerick on October 9 and 12thin the Cork Grand National (3m 4f) at Cork on November 6.

*Entered in the G3 Betfred Becher Handicap Chase (3m 2f) at Aintree on December 3.

Race record: Starts: 35; Wins: 5; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £252,290


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