All the news from Grand National Day 2019

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

Going News at 9.00am on Grand National Day

 

The going for the third and final day of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National Festival, Grand National Day, Saturday, April 6, is:

 

Grand National Course – Good to Soft, Soft at Canal Turn (from Good to Soft)

 

Mildmay and Hurdle Courses – Good to Soft, Good in places (from Good to Soft)

 

All landings on the Grand National Course have been watered overnight.

 

Andrew Tulloch, Clerk of the Course at Aintree, said: “It has just dried out since yesterday. We have had a dry night.

 

“We have watered all of the landings on the Grand National course.

 

“The Grand National Course is Good to Soft, Soft at the Canal Turn. The Mildmay and Hurdle courses are Good to Soft, Good in places.

 

“I think going forward, I can see it drying out a bit. It is forecast to be a dry day with temperatures of up to 13 degrees Celsius, some sunny spells and not much of a breeze.

 

“The ground may just quietly dry out, especially towards the Randox Health Grand National, as it is due off at 5.15pm

 

“I am looking forward to a great day.”

 

All bends and hurdles have been moved in a minimum of four yards to provide fresh ground.

 

 

NON-RUNNERS

 

1.45pm Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Class 1) (Grade 3)

22 Maximiser (IRE) (Vet’s Certificate, Blood Analysis Not Normal)

 

5.15pm Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

25 Mall Dini (IRE) (Self Certificate, Lame) – replaced by first reserve Just A Par (IRE)

 

6.20pm Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ and Amateur Riders’ Race)

3 All Yours (FR) (Self Certificate, Temperature)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1.

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

Alder Hey Children’s Charity to line up as honorary 41st runner in today’s Randox Health Grand National

 

 

An honorary 41st place in the world’s greatest and richest chase, today’s £1-million Randox Health Grand National, has been awarded to Alder Hey Children’s Charity.

 

Alder Hey Children’s Charity raises vital funds to help make Alder Hey Children’s Hospital a truly world-class, patient-friendly hospital for the 275,000 patients and families we care for every year.

 

Since October 2013, over £35m has been raised for a range of life-saving medical equipment and facilities that are making a real difference to families every day.

 

The charity helps fund a range of activities and projects which are designed to enhance and improve the lives of our amazing patients. This includes funding special projects such as play specialists and ward-based chefs as well as supporting research. Money raised will also be used to help Alder Hey continue to develop the new healthcare campus next to the hospital, to fund distraction technology designed to reduce pain and anxiety in patients and to buy specialist medical equipment.

 

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is the busiest children’s hospital in the UK caring for over 275,000 young patients each year. Alder Hey is a Centre of Excellence for children with cancer, heart, spinal and brain disease and a National Centre for head and facial surgery, we are one of only four centres nationally to provide epilepsy surgery and one of two accredited major trauma units for children in the North West – its A & E department treats nearly 60,000 children every year. It is there for every child every day, providing remarkable care with excellence and dedication.

 

In October, 2015, it moved into a brand new world class hospital, Alder Hey in the Park, the only hospital in Europe built entirely in a park. Consisting of six standard wards, each with 32 beds, and 48 critical care beds for patients in ICU, HDU and Burns, Alder Hey in the Park has 16 operating theatres and is the most sustainable 24-hour hospital ever built.

 

75% of the hospital’s 270 beds are in single-bed occupancy rooms with en-suite facilities and a dedicated chef on every floor prepares fresh evening meals for patients as and when they want them.

 

There are play areas within every ward and easy access to external play areas and gardens. There are also additional areas for parents and families including parent rooms, a 150-seat restaurant facility, gardens and a spiritual area.

 

Alder Hey Children’s Charity raises funds to support the hospital’s pioneering work and aims to improve the quality of life for not only the young people we treat each year, but through innovations and research into childhood diseases, the quality of life for children in hospitals across the world.

 

Every donation Alder Hey Children’s Charity receives enables it to make a difference to our patients and their families; your vital donations help us to fund research and innovation, provide specialist equipment, enhance patient experience through digital innovations and play equipment and create a better environment and facilities for families.

 

For further information and to donate, please go to https://www.alderheycharity.org

 

Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) first created the honorary berth in 2017 for five-year-old Neuroblastoma campaigner Bradley Lowery, who sadly died in July, 2017. JCR has continued to work with closely with the Bradley Lowery Foundation since Bradley’s death.

 

Last year, the 41st place was taken by three-year-old Edie Molyneux, who suffered from a rare brain tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). “Spider-Ede” as she was affectionately known due to her love of Spiderman, sadly passed away in October last year.

S3.


 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

DANIEL BELL IS THE JOCKEY FOR ALDER HEY CHILDREN’S CHARITY – THE HONORARY 41st RUNNER IN TODAY’S RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL

 

As mentioned earlier today, Alder Hey Children’s Charity line up in today’s Randox Health Grand National as the honorary 41st runner.

 

The honorary jockey for Alder Hey Children’s Charity is Daniel Bell.

 

When Daniel was three, he had been unwell for a couple of months and was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

 

He was taken to hospital in an ambulance and subsequently directed straight to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

 

Following a three-hour operation, he had brain fluid drained. Professor Conor Mallucci then operated on him for approximately nine hours, removing the tumour from his brain. Daniel was then monitored in the hospital for a long time.

 

Daniel is now aged eight and doing brilliantly following the amazing treatment he received at Alder Hey.

 

Some facts about Daniel……

Favourite superhero – Professor Conor Mallucci

Nickname – Oli

Favourite sports team – Ever-pool

 

Favourite musician – David Bowie

Favourite horse – Neptune Collonges

 

Daniels’ mum and dad are Rosalind and Colin

One of his favourite Alder Hey people is Amanda Walker, a Play Specialist

 

 

 

 

S9.

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

GOING CHANGE

 

Following a dry and sunny morning, the going for the third and final day of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National Festival, Grand National Day, Saturday, April 6 has been changed at 11.15am to:

 

Grand National Course – Good to Soft (from Good to Soft, Soft at Canal Turn)

 

Mildmay and Hurdle Courses – Good, Good to Soft in places (from Good to Soft, Good in places)

JOCKEY CHANGES

 

1.40; 8 FORZA MILAN  will be ridden by MARK WALSH

 

 

3.40; 10 UNOWHATIMEANHARRY will be ridden by MARK WALSH

 

5.15; 1 ANIBALE FLY will be ridden by MARK WALSH, 17 REGAL ENCORE will be ridden by JONATHAN BURKE

 

Mark Walsh has been confirmed as replacing the injured Barry Geraghty on Randox Health Grand National top-weight Anibale Fly (5.15), and earylier on Forza Milan (1.40) and Unowhatimeanharry (3.40).

 

Jonathan Burke replaces Walsh on Regal Encore in the Grand National.

 

Geraghty, owner J P McManus’ principal retained rider and a former Grand National winner on Monty’s Pass in 2003, broke a leg yesterday when his mount Peregrine Run fell at the third-last in the Randox Health Topham Chase.

 

Walsh stood in for him afterwards on the Grade 1 novice hurdle winner Champ.

 

TIGER WEAK AS RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL LOOMS

 

The day has finally arrived. The 172nd running of the £1-million Randox Health Grand National takes centre-stage at 5.15pm this afternoon ahead of a worldwide television audience of 600 million and a place in racing folklore up for grabs.

 

The build-up to this year’s renewal of the world’s richest and most famous chase has rightly centred on the Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll (Davy Russell, 11st 5lb) who bids to become the first horse since Red Rum (1937, 1974 & 1977) to win multiple renewals of the four and a quarter-mile handicap chase.

 

However, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding has drifted throughout the week. The 4/1 favourite on Monday, Tiger Roll still heads favouritism at 5/1 with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, but sustained each-way support for a plethora of his rivals has left Betway keen to take on the nine-year-old son of Authorized.

 

Below is Betway’s latest Randox Health Grand National market (at 10am). Betway is paying out on the first six home for each-way purposes in this year’s Randox Health Grand National (one fifth the odds).

 

Randox Health Grand National – Betway bet: 5/1 Tiger Roll; 9/1 Rathvinden; 14/1 Anibale Fly, Pleasant Company, Vintage Clouds; 16/1 Jury Duty, Rock The Kasbah; 18/1 Joe Farrell, Lake View Lad; 22/1 Ramses De Teillee; 25/1 Dounikos, Step Back; 28/1 One For Arthur, Walk In The Mill; 33/1 Tea For Two, Up For Review; 40/1 Ballyoptic, General Principle, Go Conquer, Livelovelaugh, Minella Rocco; 50/1 Monbeg Notorious, Noble Endeavor, Singlefarmpayment, Ultragold, Vieux Lion Rouge; 66/1 A Toi Phil, Captain Redbeard, Folsom Blue, Mala Beach, Regal Encore; 80/1 Bless The Wings, Valseur Lido, Valtor, Warriors Tale; 100/1 Blow By Blow, Don Poli, Magic Of Light, Outlander; 125/1 Just A Par **1/5 1-2-3-4-5-6**

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL BETTING SPECIALS

 

The £1-million Randox Health Grand National takes place at 5.15pm and the race that stops a nation is also the most competitive betting heat of the year.

 

With that in mind, Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, have provided punters with a number of Grand National specials which they bet on.

 

County Meath trainer Gordon Elliott saddles 11 runners in the 172nd running of the world’s most famous chase courtesy of Tiger Roll, Jury Duty, Dounikos, Bless The Wings, General Principle, Folsom Blue, Noble Endeavor, A Toi Phil, Blow By Blow, Mala Beach and Monbeg Notorious.

 

Last year’s winner Tiger Roll is the 5/1 favourite with Betway for the four and a quarter-mile handicap chase, but punters can get 7/4 about Elliott training the winner of the Aintree showpiece.

 

Other specials include all 40 horses to clear the first fence at 6/4 and an Irish 1-2-3 in the race, something which happened last year, at 3/1.

 

Below is the full list of Betway’s Randox Health Grand National specials:

 

All horses to clear the first fence: 6/4

 

Gordon Elliott to train the winner: 7/4

 

Irish 1-2-3: 3/1

 

Female to train or ride the winner: 5/1

 

All horses to jump the first four fences in the Grand National: 20/1

 

False Start: No: 1/2 and Yes: 6/4

 

Winner to be leading at the first: Yes: 1/2 and No: 6/4

 

Winning distance: three to nine lengths inclusive: 6/4; Over nine lengths: 15/8; Under three lengths: 2/1

 

Winning weight: 11st or more: 8/11; Less than 11st: 11/10

 

GRAND NATIONAL LANDMARKS

 

Oldest jockey: Richard Johnson, the current champion Jump jockey and rider of Rock The Kasbah, is 41. The oldest jockey to win the Randox Health Grand National was Dick Saunders, who was 48 when he triumphed on Grittar in 1982.

 

Youngest jockey: James Bowen, who rides Outlander, is 18. The other teenager riding in this year’s race is Jack Kennedy, 19 (Dounikos). The youngest jockey to be successful in the Randox Health Grand National was 17-year-old Bruce Hobbs (Battleship, 1938).

 

Oldest trainer: Jessica Harrington, trainer of Magic Of Light, is 71.

 

Youngest trainer: Richard Spencer, 30, officially the trainer of Outlander, who was bought out of Gordon Elliott’s yard at the Goffs Aintree Sale after racing on Thursday for £165,000.

 

Most runners: trainer Gordon Elliott has 11 runners in the race. Prior to Thursday evening he had 13, but both Don Poli and Outlander were sold at the Goffs Aintree Sale after racing that day and will represent Phil Kirby and Richard Spencer respectively. The previous record was 10, held by Martin Pipe (2001).

 

Oldest horse: 14-year-old Bless The Wings, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Robert Dunne, is the oldest horse in this year’s Randox Health Grand National. If he wins, he will become the second oldest winner in the history of the race, following 15-year-old Peter Simple in 1853.

 

Youngest horse: there is one seven-year-old in the race, Ramses De Teillee, trained by David Pipe and ridden by David Noonan.

 

First-time jockeys: Andrew Ring (Blow By Blow), Luke Dempsey (Folsom Blue), Paddy Kennedy (Magic Of Light), Lizzie Kelly (Tea For Two), Danny Mullins (Up For Review). The last time a jockey riding in the race for the first time was victorious was 2017 (Derek Fox on One For Arthur).

 

First-time trainers: Jessica Harrington (Magic Of Light), Nick Alexander (Lakeview Lad), Richard Spencer (Outlander), Jane Williams (Tea For Two), Robert Walford (Walk In The Mill), Phil Kirby (Don Poli).

 

Most experienced jockey: Richard Johnson’s ride on Rock The Kasbah will be his 21st in the race – a record. He has yet to win it, but has finished second twice (2002 What’s Up Boys, 2014 Balthazar King).

 

Most successful current owner: Trevor Hemmings has won the race three times (Many Clouds, 2015; Ballabriggs, 2011; Hedgehunter, 2005). He has three runners in today’s race – Lakeview Lad, Warriors Tale and Vintage Clouds – and, if one of them is victorious, Hemmings will become the winning-most owner in Randox Health Grand National history.

 

SEVEN FORMER CHAMPIONS TO PARADE

 

Aintree welcomes back seven legendary Randox Health Grand National winners to its popular Parade of Champions today. They will appear in the parade ring at 12.20pm, and will then parade on the track at 12.50pm.

 

Six of these great favourites have paraded on each of the past two days – Grand National Thursday and Ladies Day – with Don’t Push It joining them today. The horses know they are back at the scene of their great triumphs and relish being the centre of attention again.

 

Aintree Racecourse would like to thank all the owners and connections of the horses for making this annual parade possible. The seven Grand National winners on show are:

 

BINDAREE (2002), 20/1 winner, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, ridden by Jim Culloty

Now 25, “Bindy” still lives happily at trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard in Gloucestershire, watching the world go by from the paddock he shares with other retired favourites. He has been an ever-present in the Parade of Champions since 2006.

 

SILVER BIRCH (2007), 33/1 winner, trained by Gordon Elliott, ridden by Robbie Power

Described as “a legend” by staff at Gordon Elliott’s yard in Ireland, 22-year-old Silver Birch divides his time between owner Brian Walsh’s farm and Elliott’s stables. He took part in the homecoming celebrations for triumphant stable mate Tiger Roll after last year’s Randox Health Grand National.

 

MON MOME (2009), 100/1 winner, trained by Venetia Williams, ridden by Liam Treadwell

“Monnie” spends his retirement days hacking and being a bad influence on Sarah McQueen’s point-to-pointers with whom he lives in Herefordshire. Sarah, who adores the 19-year-old, says he is the diva of the yard, always causing trouble and acting like a five-year-old.

 

DON’T PUSH IT (2010), 10/1 winner, trained by Jonjo O’Neill, ridden by A P McCoy

Don’t Push It is now 19 and spends a happy retirement at his owner J P McManus’ Martinstown Stud in Ireland grazing in a paddock he shares with his pal Sweeps Hill. He is a “day tripper” to Aintree this year, making the journey specifically for today’s parade.

 

NEPTUNE COLLONGES (2012), 33/1 winner, trained by Paul Nicholls, ridden by Daryl Jacob

Winner by a nose of the closest renewal of the Grand National in history, 18-year-old “Nipper” was retired immediately after his 2012 Aintree success and lives happily in Shropshire with his companion Al Ferof at the yard of owner John Hales’ daughter Lisa. He has raised thousands of pounds for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where he visits every year at Grand National time.

 

AURORAS ENCORE (2013), 66/1 winner, trained by Sue Smith, ridden by Ryan Mania

17-year-old “Auroras” still lives at Sue Smith’s yard in West Yorkshire and enjoys life out in the open air near Ilkley Moor with his friends. He is a very laidback and chilled character in the field, but when he comes to Aintree and feels the atmosphere, he gets very excited again.

 

PINEAU DE RE (2014), 25/1 winner, trained by Dr Richard Newland, ridden by Leighton Aspell

16-year-old “Peenie Weenie” is still very active as, apart from parading and hunting, he is successfully evented by Lizzie Doolittle. Lizzie says he is a very clever horse, has a brilliant attitude and could have reached the very top in eventing had he not been a racehorse.

 

2019 RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL TO PLAY BIG PART IN DETERMINING CHAMPION SIRE

 

There was a time when the prize money for the Grand National so dwarfed the rest of the Jump season that the sire of the winner was pretty much guaranteed to be champion sire, no matter what happened elsewhere.

 

For instance, the sole winners during the season for 1920s champion sires General Symons, Day Comet and Marco were their National winners, respectively Sergeant Murphy (1923), Double Chance (1925) and Sprig (1927).

 

The most recent extreme example came in 1962, when the £20,238 earned by Kilmore gave his sire Zalophus the championship, ahead of top-class stallions Fortina and Vulgan. That season Kilmore was the only winner for Zalophus (who stood in Co Tipperary), and the National the only race he won.

 

As the Jump season began to develop and expand, and top prizes became more evenly spread, the Grand National’s influence on earnings (by which stallions are ranked) began to decline. The 1975/76 champion Menelek would have won his title even without Rag Trade’s £37,420 contribution, and after that it was not until the 2007/08 season that a champion sire also supplied the National winner, Old Vic with Comply Or Die.

 

Old Vic needed Comply Or Die’s £450,640 Aintree prize to see off Presenting, as did Presenting in 2010/11, when Ballabriggs won £535,135 to help keep his sire ahead of runner-up Oscar.

 

The £1 million purse for this year’s Randox Health Grand National, the world’s richest and greatest chase, could be the key to the Jump sires’ title. The first prize for the famous race is £500,000, and the top six in a tight race for the crown – Oscar, Presenting, King’s Theatre, Beneficial, Milan and Flemensfirth – are currently split by less than that.

 

All have Randox Health Grand National representatives, some more fancied than others.

 

Oscar is responsible for Lake View Lad; Presenting for Pleasant Company, Joe Farrell and Up For Review; King’s Theatre for Regal Encore; Beneficial for Livelovelaugh and Mala Beach; Milan for Monbeg Notorious, One For Arthur, and Singlefarmpayment; and Flemensfirth for Magic Of Light and Noble Endeavor.

 

Do you share your birthday with a Randox Health Grand National runner?

 

February

24 One For Arthur

24 Blow By Blow

 

March

2 Vieux Lion Rouge

13 Rock The Kasbah

14 Tiger Roll

14 Livelovelaugh

16 Mala Beach

16 A Toi Phil

19 Lake View Lad

19 Warriors Tale

24 Bless The Wings

28 Minella Rocco

 

April

5 Just A Par

6 Outlander

6 Folsom Blue

8 Ramses De Teillee

8 Up For Review

8 Valseur Lido

12 Go Conquer

15 Pleasant Company

15 General Principle

21 Don Poli

22 Ballyoptic

23 Step Back

24 Dounikos

24 Magic Of Light

25 Noble Endeavor

25 Vintage Clouds

30 Captain Redbeard

 

May

8 Tea For Two

11 Walk In The Mill

12 Regal Encore

13 Valtor

18 Monbeg Notorious

20 Rathvinden

22 Ultragold

25 Jury Duty

25 Singlefarmpayment

25 Joe Farrell

28 Anibale Fly

 

It’s in the stars – which horse has the best horoscope?

 

Pisces

One For Arthur 24 Feb

Blow By Blow 24 Feb

Vieux Lion Rouge 2 Mar

Rock The Kasbah 13 Mar

Tiger Roll 14 Mar

Livelovelaugh 14 Mar

Mala Beach 16 Mar

A Toi Phil 16 Mar

Lake View Lad 19 Mar

Warriors Tale 19 Mar

 

Aries

Bless The Wings 24 Mar

Minella Rocco 28 Mar

Just A Par 5 April

Outlander 6 April

Folsom Blue 6 April

Ramses De Teillee 8 April

Up For Review 8 April

Valseur Lido 8 April

Go Conquer 12 April

Pleasant Company 15 April

General Principle 15 April

 

Taurus

Don Poli 21 April

Ballyoptic 22 April

Step Back 23 April

Dounikos 24 April

Magic Of Light 24 April

Noble Endeavor 25 April

Vintage Clouds 25 April

Captain Redbeard 30 April

Tea For Two 8 May

Walk In The Mill 11 May

Regal Encore 12 May

Valtor 13 May

Monbeg Notorious 18 May

Rathvinden 20 May

 

Gemini

Ultragold 22 May

Jury Duty 25 May

Singlefarmpayment 25 May

Joe Farrell 25 May

Anibale Fly 28 May

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

UPDATED NON-RUNNERS AT NOON

 

1.45pm Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Class 1) (Grade 3)

22 Maximiser (IRE) (Vet’s Certificate, Blood Analysis Not Normal)

 

5.15pm Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

25 Mall Dini (IRE) (Self Certificate, Lame) – replaced by first reserve Just A Par (IRE)

 

6.20pm Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ and Amateur Riders’ Race)

3 All Yours (FR) (Self Certificate, Temperature)

9 Normal Norman (Vet’s Certificate, Lame)

15 Kuiper Belt (USA) (Vet’s Certificate, Lame)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S14.

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

The late Hugh McIlvanney inducted to Aintree’s Grand National Hall of Fame

 

Leading sports writer Hugh McIlvanney, who died in January aged 84, was today inducted to Aintree’s Grand National Hall of Fame.

 

McIlvanney was the pre-eminent sports writer of his era writing for The Sunday Times, for 23 years mostly as chief sports writer, and The Observer.

 

He was voted sportswriter of the year an unprecedented seven times at the British Press Awards and was the first sports writer to win journalist of the year. According to The Sunday Times, he never once filed a piece for the paper that included a spelling mistake.

 

He covered some of the most significant sporting moments of the 20th century from England’s World Cup triumph in 1966 to Muhammad Ali’s battle with George Foreman, the Rumble in the Jungle.

 

He was a loyal supporter of horseracing, especially the Grand National and Aintree. In The Sunday Times “salute” to McIlvanney’s talents his coverage of Aintree’s 1997 bomb scare was selected as one of his epic pieces of writing.

 

McIlvanney’s widow Caroline North McIlvanney was at Aintree for the presentation by Aintree’s Chairman, Rose Paterson.

 

Paterson said: “It is a great honour to be inducting the late Hugh McIlvanney into the Aintree Legends. Hugh was arguably the greatest-ever sports writer and enjoyed a 60-year career. His work gave wings to our passion for our sport. He was a huge friend of Aintree and the Grand National and the whole racing industry.

 

“I’d like to share with you one sentence of his that I feel is particularly appropriate for Grand National day: ‘Anyone immune to the delicious lunacy of horseracing is suffering a deprivation which mere solvency can not compensate.’”

 

Caroline North McIlvanney said of her late husband: “Hugh loved horseracing and the Grand National, he covered the race for well over 50 years. Of all the races that he saw, he loved those in which history was made.

 

“Hugh would have been deeply honoured by his induction today into the Hall of Fame at the home of the Grand National, it was a race he described as an ‘annual blood-quickening blend of the epic and the personal’. He would also have been astonished, as an outside observer of events on the racecourse, to see his name immortalised alongside those of so many of the great champions, equine and human, who have thrilled us all with their heroic feats at Aintree.

 

“Hugh saw horseracing as a rich seam of material for sportswriters. ‘Racing doesn’t just generate excitement,’ he said. ‘It creates lore.’ For him, the Grand National had the resonance of a saga in which every owner, trainer and jockey was a story. He was always touched by the warmth and generosity with which racing people responded to how he wrote those stories.

 

“It is a unique privilege for me to be present today to see Hugh join a gallery of Aintree Legends that includes such illustrious figures as Vincent O’Brien, Tony McCoy, Red Rum and his own dear friend Sir Peter O’Sullevan. Hugh’s family and I extend our sincere thanks to Rose Paterson and the directors of Aintree for continuing to demonstrate the warmth and generosity of racing people by choosing him for such a rare accolade.

 

“If he could be here himself, he would probably say that if the racing world thinks he has added by the tiniest sliver to their enjoyment and appreciation of their sport, he is gratified to the core.”

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

FROM RUM TO ROLL FOR THE PRESS

 

It is hard to remember a Randox Health Grand National which, in media terms, has been so dominated by one horse.

 

Tiger Roll is not the first to attempt back-to-back success in the famous steeplechase, but he returns in better form than most, and he was made a short-priced favourite after a romping win in Cheltenham’s Glenfarclas Chase. He’s small in stature, big in heart, and his owner, Michael O’Leary, is good for a quote. As horses go he is a media luvvy, and the perfect headline maker in today’s press.

 

‘Roll up! Roll up!’ is the Daily Mail’s entrée to its racing pull-out, which depicts Tiger Roll’s trainer, Gordon Elliott – who saddles a record 11 runners – as Aintree’s circus ringmaster. ‘Eye on the Tiger’ is the Racing Post’s cover headline, which depicts the mighty atom in a graphic alongside legend Red Rum, the most-recent double winner of the race (1973/74) and one whose name permeates homes nationwide.

 

The Sun’s ‘Roll Of Honour’ headlines a similar mock-up of ‘Rummy’ and ‘Rolly’ leaping the fences – the Daily Express follows suit – while Gordon Elliott tells the Daily Mirror’s David Yates: “Just for Tiger Roll to be spoken of in the same breath as Red Rum is amazing.”

 

‘On a Roll’ is the cover headline on The Times’ racing pull-out alongside a riveting shot of Tiger Roll clearing a fence during last year’s race, the eyes of his jockey, Davy Russell, looking far ahead to the awaiting winning post. ‘It’s the size of the engine that counts’, is Russell’s appraisal of his small-scale partner, in a Chris Goulding interview for the Daily Star.

 

Aintree’s Randox Health Grand National Festival cannot be caged in the racing pages alone, and every newspaper carries colourful shots of racegoers enjoying yesterday’s Ladies’ Day. The Guardian carries a striking front-cover shot of a female visitor alongside the headline, ‘Racing ahead – Aintree gets ready for today’s Grand National’, while a page 7 focus on the race by Greg Wood opens with the words: “Tiger Roll is not the best horse in Ireland. He is not even the best horse in Gordon Elliott’s stable, but he is beyond reasonable doubt the most popular racehorse on the planet.”

 

A Marcus Armytage-written, two-page spread in The Daily Telegraph is a must-read for Tiger Roll fans, who will learn his first race was for Devon trainer Nigel Hawke. Given that Hawke rode Seagram to National victory in 1991, and knows the form, it is perhaps surprising he sold the horse as a three-year-old, kissing goodbye to a National winner who has earned £867,000 to date. Hawke bought Tiger Roll for £10,000 and sold him for £80,000, making “a £70,000 profit in three months”. Hmm, not such a loser after all.

 

After Tiger Roll the next best media angle would be a first win by a woman rider, or maybe Richard Johnson, the champion jockey who has yet to win the National. The Racing Post highlights his chance on Rock The Kasbah, his 21st ride in the race, a record, and quotes him saying: “I won’t have sleepless nights at the end of my career if it doesn’t happen, but it would be lovely to do so having gone close twice.” In a column in The Times, Johnson writes: “I’ve had 20 failures but still dream of finishing first.”

 

A win for Just A Par would be entertaining – his Liverpool-born owner Mark Scott, a large lad it would be fair to say, tells Chris Wright of the Liverpool Echo: “If I win I will do the Steven Gerrard slide on my knees . . . I’ll need a few people to give me a push.” Given that his horse is the outsider of the field at around 150/1 the bookies will be queuing to slide, too. The same paper devotes forests of pages to the National build-up, with one spread being headlined: “Glorious hats top off a great day at the races.”

 

So who wins? Rathvinden is the choice of Templegate of The Sun, Chris Cook of The Guardian, Jon Freeman of the i and Rob Wright of The Times. Marlborough of The Daily Telegraph tips Jury Duty, the Daily Mirror’s Newsboy nominates Lake View Lad, Stan Turner of the Daily Mail opts for General Principle, but the Daily Express’s The Scout is a Tiger Roll fan. It is Vintage Clouds for the Daily Star’s Jason Heavey.

 

Racing Post tipster Paul Kealy tips Step Back and Dounikos, while the paper’s guest columnists, Sam Twiston-Davies and Willie Mullins, give insights on their big-race hopes.

 

Yesterday’s racing was highlighted by a masterclass of precision steeplechasing by Min, winner of the JLT Chase under Ruby Walsh. In a large-scale shot by John Grossick in the Racing Post, the pair are seen gliding past the winning post, Walsh saluting the crowd in trademark style.

 

Forty jockeys will be hoping to experience a similar feeling at around 5.25pm this afternoon.

 

BOOKMAKERS FACING THE RATH OF MULLINS

 

Bookmakers have reported brisk business ahead of the biggest betting heat of the year, the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at 5.15pm.

 

The Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll, the ante-post favourite for the race, has of course captured the attention of the public as he bids to become the first horse since Red Rum (1973, 1974 and 1977) to win multiple renewals of the four and a quarter-mile handicap chase.

 

Tiger Roll has proved a weak favourite in recent days and has been pushed out to 5/1 from 9/2 with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.

 

Betway are keen to take on the favourite and the Willie Mullins-trained Rathvinden (11st) winner of last night’s Virtual Grand National shown live on ITV4, is proving the chief market rival. Set to be partnered by Ruby Walsh, the 11-year-old son of Heron Island was a facile winner of the G3 Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February on his seasonal debut and is officially 8lb well-in for the 172nd running of the Aintree showpiece. Rathvinden is a 10/1 shot from 12/1 with Betway.

 

Closutton handler Mullins has four runners in the world’s most famous chase and Livelovelaugh (David Mullins, 10st 4lb) is another horse for money. The nine-year-old son of Beneficial was 12th in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but is a 33/1 shot from 50/1 with Betway.

 

Elsewhere, Lizzie Kelly is bidding to become the first female jockey to win the Randox Health Grand National. She partners Tea For Two (10st 9lb), trained by her mother Jane Williams. The 10-year-old son of Kayf Tara, a dual G1 winner, unseated his rider in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase behind Tiger Roll at the Cheltenham Festival last time out. He has been the subject of strong each-way support, constricting in price to 33/1 from 40/1 with Betway.

 

Betway’s Alan Alger said: “After weeks of unrelenting support, the money for Tiger Roll has finally started to dry up and he’s been eased out to 5/1 – the biggest price he’s been since romping home in the Glenfarclas Chase. It’s nothing too concerning, as the lack of support seems to be purely price based, but it certainly goes to show that punters are more interested in seeking out the value in the race.

 

“With six places on offer and 40 fences to be navigated, there’s some very strong each-way money flying around, and Tea For Two has been one of the main ones they’ve latched onto. Lizzie Kelly’s mount is 33/1 from 40/1, while Livelovelaugh has also been backed into 33/1 having started the day as big as 50/1.”

 

Randox Health Grand National Market Movers with Betway:

 

Rathvinden (10/1 from 12/1), Tea For Two (33/1 from 40/1), Livelovelaugh (33/1 from 50/1)

 

Betway is paying out on the first six home for each-way purposes in this year’s Randox Health Grand National (one fifth the odds).

 

Randox Health Grand National – Betway bet: 5/1 Tiger Roll; 10/1 Rathvinden; 12/1 Pleasant Company; 14/1 Vintage Clouds; 16/1 Anibale Fly, Jury Duty, Rock The Kasbah; 18/1 Lake View Lad; 20/1 Joe Farrell; 22/1 One For Arthur; 25/1 Dounikos, Ramses De Teillee, Step Back; 28/1 Walk In The Mill; 33/1 Go Conquer, Livelovelaugh, Tea For Two; 40/1 Ballyoptic, General Principle, Minella Rocco, Up For Review; 50/1 Noble Endeavor, Singlefarmpayment, Ultragold, Vieux Lion Rouge; 66/1 A Toi Phil, Bless The Wings, Captain Redbeard, Folsom Blue, Mala Beach, Regal Encore; 80/1 Blow By Blow, Valseur Lido, Valtor, Warriors Tale; 100/1 Don Poli, Magic Of Light, Outlander; 125/1 Just A Par

**1/5 1-2-3-4-5-6**

APPLE’S LOOKS TO BITE BACK FOR PUNTERS

 

The £1-million Randox Health Grand National (5.15pm) is the biggest betting race of the year, but punters have looked to bolster their coffers for the 172nd running of the world’s most famous chase by backing a number of horses in the preceding races before the Aintree showpiece

 

In the opening race on the final day of the Randox Health Grand National, the £75,000 G3 Gaskells Handicap Hurdle, Ben Pauling’s Nestor Park has been the subject of strong support. The six-year-old son of Walk In The Park captured a novices’ hurdle at Newcastle on his latest start and is 15/2 shot from 10/1 with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.

 

The first G1 contest takes place at 2.20pm courtesy of the £100,000 Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs. The Nicky Henderson-trained Angels Breath was a disappointing seventh in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, but has been well-supported to make amends this afternoon under Nico de Boinville, heading the market at 5/2 from 11/4 with Betway.

 

The Kayley Woollacott-trained Lalor was pulled-up in the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase on his latest start, but is bidding for a third win in succession at the Randox Health Grand National Festival in the £100,000 G1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase. Successful in the 2017 G2 Weatherbys Private Bank Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race and the G1 2018 Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle, the seven-year-old son of It’s Gino is a 7/2 chance from 4/1 with Betway.

 

The best backed horse of the day is the Gordon Elliott-trained Apple’s Jade. She was a bitterly disappointing sixth in the G1 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival over two miles and steps back up in trip to three miles for the £180,000 G1 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle. Trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Jack Kennedy, the seven-year-old daughter of Saddler Maker

 

Betway’s Alan Alger said: “There’s plenty of money around on the undercard too, with Nestor Park now no bigger than 15/2 having rated as a 10/1 chance for the opener earlier this morning. Angel’s Breath is very solid in the Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle and both Ornua and Lalor are being backed against the favourite, Us And Them, in the Maghull Novices’ Chase.

 

“Despite disappointing at Cheltenham, punters are very sweet on Apple’s Jade in the Stayers Hurdle. She’s a rock-solid 6/4-shot in a 15-runner field and would be a very costly result ahead of the National.”

 

Betway market movers

1.45pm Gaskells Handicap Hurdle – Nestor Park (15/2 from 10/1)

2.25pm Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle – Angels Breath (5/2 from 11/4)

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

SKELTON SCORES IN THE OPENER

 

Aux Ptits Soins and Tommy Rapper gave trainer Dan Skelton a one-two in the G3 Gaskells Handicap Hurdle, the opening race of Randox Health Grand National Day.

 

Grey nine-year-old Aux Ptits Soins, ridden by Skelton’s brother Harry and owned by John Hales, in whose colours Neptune Collonges won the Randox Health Grand National in 2012, won by four and a half lengths at 11/1. Tommy Rapper, ridden by Bridget Andrews – Harry’s girlfriend – was a 20/1 chance.

 

Dan Skelton said: “I’m in a spot of bother with my landlord [Dan’s father, double Olympic gold medal-winning showjumper Nick, who part-owns Tommy Rapper with Judy Craymer], who was second!

 

“We deliberately left Aux Ptits Soins away from Cheltenham, because he’s a competitor in those Grade Ones and Grade Twos, but he’s a lot more comfortable in handicaps. I knew that if I left him fresh for here, we’d give ourselves the best chance. I did fancy him a bit, and I fancied Tommy Rapper to run well as well. I think with a bit more rain, Tommy Rapper would have been even closer, but it’s a great team performance; the pair of them have run their socks off there.

 

“If you watch the race back, you’ll see that Aux Ptits Soins professionally negotiated two obstacles – the rest was pretty hairy, but it’s about getting over them and surviving, and he did that well.

 

“He’s always been a high-class horse. He underachieved in the Cleeve Hurdle, having given us a good day on New Year’s Day [when he won at Cheltenham], but you don’t want to be fancying him with anything less than six weeks between his runs.

 

“Bridget rides him [Aux Ptits Soins] every day, so it was a bit of a tough pill for her to swallow today, being on the runner-up, but she’s a big part of the team. It takes everybody to get them to this point.”

 

CLASS ACT AUX PTITS SOINS GETS SKELTONS OFF TO A GREAT START

 

Aux Ptits Soins (11/1) confirmed himself a class act when travelling strongly throughout and quickening four and a half lengths clear of stable companion Tommy Rapper (20/1) off a mark of 149 in the extended three-mile Gaskells Handicap Hurdle.

 

It was a second win of the season for the injury prone nine-year-old grey, who won the Coral Cup four years ago for Paul Nicholls before being switched to Dan Skelton by owner John Hales and had added a further success in a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day .

 

Jockey Harry Skelton said: “He travelled like a proper horse. I had that feeling once before at Cheltenham and we probably just ran him a bit quick back there in the Cleeve. I’m not saying he’s a Grade 1 horse, but he went round like one in that handicap and my job was very easy as when you are travelling like that all that gaps appear and everything happens for you.

 

“I knew once I let him roll from two out that he would take some catching. He’s got a touch of class. He’s a good horse and we are very lucky that Mr and Mrs Hales very kindly put him with us after he won the Coral Cup for Paul.

 

“John was saying that we need to have a think now but I said to him: ‘John, you don’t need to think, you just enjoy it!’. He puts an awful lot into horseracing and has put an awful lot of support into us as a family, going back to when dad rode Arko for him in his showjumping days.”

 

Hales, who had enjoyed seeing his 2012 Randox Health Grand National winner Neptune Collonges – another grey – parade before racing, said: “Aux Ptits Soins is a class act and always has been. He’s had his problems, but when you get him 100 per cent right he’s a complete class act and he showed that today. That was a beautiful win and I love him to death. I’m overjoyed.”

 

BEATEN ANDREWS SO SWEET ON SOINS

 

Jockey Bridget Andrews finished second on Tommy Rapper in today’s Gaskells Handicap Hurdle, but she needed no introduction to winner Aux Ptits Soins.

 

“I ride him every day, and said he would win,” said Andrews with a shrug, after watching her fiancée, jockey Harry Skelton, return to the no.1 spot on the winner. He formed part of a one-two for trainer Dan Skelton, who also trains Tommy Rapper.

 

Aux Ptits Soins (11/1) beat Tommy Rapper (20/1) by 4½l, and there was a further 1½l back to third-placed Keeper Hill (25/1). He was 7l up on the fourth home, Burbank (25/1).

 

Twenty-one horses lined up for the race, but Andrews and Harry Skelton were able to compare their progress on the final bend. Andrews said: “We were nearly upsides turning out of the back straight, when Harry said he was going really well and I said I was going well, but Aux Ptits Soins is in a different league on his day, and he was very good today.”

 

Of Tommy Rapper, she said: “We tried chasing him this year, but he’s never been a natural over hurdles, and we just hoped he would take to fences. We had two goes, but we couldn’t get a clear run with him in training, and it wasn’t going to plan, so we decided to go back to hurdling for the rest of the season and try again next year. He’s a good horse for sure.”

 

Jerry McGrath, who rode fourth-placed Burbank, said: “The first-time blinkers definitely helped him, particularly towards the second half of the race. He stayed on very strongly up the straight, and while he was never going to reach the first three, he ran well and there is plenty to work with.”

 

KEEPER HILL A FINE THIRD IN THE GRAND NATIONAL DAY OPENER

 

The Gaskells Handicap Hurdle over three miles and half a furlong, the opening race on Randox Health Grand National day 2019, saw the Warren Greatrex-trained eight-year-old gelding Keeper Hill (25/1) finish a good six length third, just run out of second by Tommy Rapper in the last furlong.

 

“He ran really well and am delighted with him,” said jockey Richard Johnson, who rides Rock The Kasbah in today’s Randox Health Grand National. “He was back in a handicap today having run in the better class Stayers’ Hurdle last time.

 

“The ground is drying out all the time, it is good to soft at the moment but it is getting quicker.”

 

Keepers Hill did not return to the winner’s enclosure for his third placing, but nothing was amiss. “He was just a bit hot so we left up at the top of the straight under the fans,” added Johnston.

 

Lambourn-trained Greatrex said: “He is a very straight-forward horse, and he is one of my favourites in the yard. He’s run a great race again. The owners wanted to have a go at a big one hence his run in the Stayers’ Hurdle last time and he struggled a bit in that, but it put him right for this.

 

“I am chuffed to bits with this run. He’ll go novice chasing next autumn. He is fine now, just a bit tired.”

 

GOING AFTER THE FIRST

 

Harry Skelton, rider of the  11/1 winner Aux Ptits Soins (4/½l), said: ”On the slow side.”

 

Bridget Andrews, partner of the 20/1 second Tommy Rapper, said: “Good to soft.”

 

Richard Johnson, on the third home Keeper Hill (25/1), said: “Good to soft- getting better.”

 

Jeremiah McGrath, on board the fourth Burbank (25/1), said: “Good to soft and a bit slow. Amazing with the amount of rain we have had.”

 

Jonjo O’Neill Jr, partner of Sire Du Berlais, said: “It is a bit dead.”

 

Tom Bellamy, partner of Nadaitak, said: “Dead and tacky.”

 

Paddy Brennan, rider of Coolanly, said: “Good.”

 

Fergus Gregory, partner of Red Indian, said: “It is tacky.”

 

Mark Walsh, on board Forza Milan, said: “On the slow side.”

 

Harry Cobden, jockey of Coole Cody, said: “Good to soft.”

 

Adam Wedge, rider of Gunfleet, said: “Good, good to soft.”

 

Tom Scudamore, partner of Poker Play, said: “Good to soft.”

 

Aidan Coleman, jockey of Flemcara, said: “On the slow side.”

 

Ciaran Gethings, on board Theclockisticking, said: “It is a bit quicker than yesterday.”

 

Henry Brooke, partner of Knock House, said: “Good to soft and a little dead.”

 

Charlie Deutsch, jockey of Burrows Park, said: “A little dead.”

 

Nico de Boinville, on board Nestor Park, said: “Fairly soft.”

 

Harry Bannister, rider of Vive Le Roi, said: “On the dead side.”

 

Jack Quinlan, jockey of Canyon City, said: “Good – nearly good to soft.”

 

Max Kendrick, partner of First Drift, said: “Good ground.”

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

TANK HAS PLENTY LEFT IN RESERVE

 

20/1 shot Reserve Tank continued a fine week for trainer Colin Tizzard with an eye-catching success in the G1 Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.

 

Ridden by Robbie Power, recording his third G1 success of the week at Aintree, the five-year-old son of Jeremy showed a smart turn of foot in the closing stages to repel the sustained challenge of the Olly Murphy-trained Brewin’upastorm (100/30) to score by three and a quarter-lengths.

 

Tizzard and Power teamed up yesterday to land the £100,000 G1 Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase with Lostintranslation and the Sherborne handler was delighted to record another big-race success.

 

Tizzard said: “Reserve Tank has only just come into his coat now. He has ulcers at Christmas and wasn’t going anywhere, but now he has won three on the trot. You never know where this improvement comes from sometimes.

 

“He has improved leaps and bounds in his last three runs.

 

“It was a beautiful ride from Robbie. He is a strong stayer and did everything right. They can get caught after the last quite easily here but he is strong stayer. In the end, he won it well and was going away at the line.

 

“We might take him to Punchestown. I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t really consider it because he has won his last three and is only a novice this season, so we might well go.

 

“I am sure that we will run him over two and half chasing next year but he is a stayer and will be a three-miler in time.”

 

AINTREE GRADE 1 THREE TIMER FOR JOCKEY ROBBIE POWER

 

Two years ago jockey Robbie Power rode a Grade 1 three-timer at the Randox Health Aintree Grand National meeting, and the Irish jockey has repeated the feat again this year.

 

Earlier this week he won on Lostintranslation (Betway Mildmay Novices’ Hurdle) and Supasundae (Betway Aintree Hurdle) – this year’s third victory came today on aboard the Colin Tizzard-trained Reserve Tank in the G1 Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle. The son of Jeremy was sent off a 20/1 chance and won by three and a quarter lengths.

 

“Fair play to Colin Tizzard and [son] Joe, this horse has improved so much as the year has gone on,” reported Power. “He has surprised me a bit. He was a big, weak baby when I won on him at Sandown, but he has just improved and improved all season.

 

“We didn’t go mad and it was steady away. He loved that drying ground and, when I asked him three out, he actually quickened up very well. I have always thought that three miles would be his trip but he showed me a gear today that I didn’t think he had. He stays well.

 

“He is going to make a lovely chaser next year – he jumps his hurdles really well, so neat – and I would imagine he will definitely be going staying chasing next season.”

 

Power has already ridden a Grand National winner, taking the race on the Gordon Elliott-trained Silver Birch in 2007. He has completed the race every year since 2015 finishing 13th on Owega Star in 2015, fourth on Gilgamboa in 2016, eighth in 2017 on Regal Encore and tenth on Raz de Maree last year.

 

Power rides Jury Duty in today’s Randox Health Grand National and said: “If he gets the trip he has a huge chance. You don’t know how he’ll take to these fences, but he is a very good jumper. This sun is helping his chances.”

 

CHASING BECKONS FOR MURPHY RUNNER-UP BREWIN’UPASTORM

 

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle fourth Brewin’upastorm is finished for the season and is likely to go chasing straight away next term after ending his campaign with another fine effort at the top level.

 

Olly Murphy’s six-year-old (100/30) momentarily threatened to overhaul 20/1 chance Reserve Tank on the run-in, but the Colin Tizzard-trained winner appeared to outstay him and beat him by three and a quarter lengths.

 

Murphy said: “He ran a cracker, We were second best on the day and there are no excuses, but he’s going to be a gorgeous horse to go chasing with next season. I just thought he would pick up Colin’s horse from the last, and I don’t know if we’ve been outstayed again or whether it’s just the end of a long year, but he did nothing wrong.

 

“Of course you are a little disappointed he didn’t win, but he’s done us proud and has some big days to look forward to. One thing he won’t be doing though is going any further than two and a half miles.”

 

There was a dead-heat for third place between Angels Breath (11/4f) and One For Rosie (5/1). Nigel Twiston-Davies, the trainer of One For Rosie, said: “I’m delighted – he’s a really nice horse, the race wasn’t run to suit him and he will go chasing next season. He keeps improving and he’ll want three miles one day.”

 

Nicky Henderson, who trains Angel’s Breath, said: “He was looking nice and relaxed, and then the pace slowed and he got horribly keen. He has to learn to race more sensibly – he’s doing too much. He’s an eternal enthusiast – like me! He went to the start with ear plugs in, and perhaps we have to run him in a hood. We have a few bits of kit we can try in the future.

 

“He’s a chaser for the future. He won’t run again this season and we’ll probably try novice chasing next season. He’s a very good horse.”

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

PHELAN HIS WAY TO THE TOP WITH BUDGET-BUY ORNUA

 

John Phelan won a six-figure sum on an accumulator bet, and invested some of the money in buying Ornua, who won today’s G1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase.

 

The Henry De Bromhead-trained eight-year-old bounded clear turning for home and would not surrender the lead, passing the post 1¾l clear of runner-up Us And Them, his 3/1 jf at the off. The winner was ridden by Davy Russell, who will ride the favourite, Tiger Roll, in the Randox Health Grand National.

 

Phelan, who owns Ornua with Syed Momin, said: “I won the Scoop6 and thought easy come, easy go. I won about £130,000 but then I bought Ornua to a low budget. Henry picked him out and it’s just fantastic. You don’t expect to have a G1 winner on a low budget. I am speechless, really.”

 

De Bromhead said: “I’m thrilled for John, who has long been a great supporter. It was brilliant for the horse and Davy gave him a great ride.

 

“He got him jumping great and it is lovely to get a G1 winner here. He’s a horse that has become very good over fences. At Roscommon he beat Cadmium [the easy winner of yesterday’s Randox Health Topham Chase] and his form is good. He was unlucky at Cheltenham [when falling in the G1 Arkle Chase], but this track seems to suit. He was perhaps caught out by the hill at Sandown.

 

“He hasn’t been too busy this winter so we’ll take a look at the two-mile novice at Punchestown.”

 

De Bromhead runs Valseur Lido in the Randox Heath Grand National. He said of that horse, the mount of Rachael Blackmore: “He’s in good form and had a good run in the race last year. He’s a stone lighter in the handicap, which is not a good sign in one sense, but he’s a bit of an enigma now. If he’s on a going day and the fences get him going anything could happen.”

 

TIGER ROLL RIDER RUSSELL ENJOYS FIRST STRIKE OF WEEK ON ALL-THE-WAY WINNER ORNUA

 

Davy Russell does not lack confidence, but if he was looking for a boost before Tiger Roll’s bid for a historic second win in the Randox Health Grand National he got one when the Henry De Bromhead-trained Racing Post Arkle Chase faller Ornua (3/1 joint-favourite) made all and held his market rival Us And Them by a length and three-quarters in the G1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase over two miles.

 

Russell, who had not ridden Ornua since he was a novice hurdler, was delighted and said: “Ornua is quite quick, so I knew that I would able to lead but whether we were going too fast was the question. Henry and the lads do a great job – he is quite a handful but he is trained by a master – and it’s great to be riding these horses for these people.

 

“I tried to save as much as I could but he is quite exuberant in his way of running, so it is quite hard to know if you are going too quick or not. To be fair, the horse is very game and gutsy. He galloped to the last good and well and then on to the line. He is a good horse.

 

“These are championship races and this is where you want to ride winners. I am just delighted to have ridden one for Henry here.”

 

It was much the biggest win as an owner for John Phelan, who got into racehorse ownership following a big win on the Tote Scoop6 in 2010. He said: “I’ve dabbled in small shares with horses since then, but I’ve got 75 per cent of Ornua and this is my first Graded win.”

 

He added: “I was born in Waterford, but my parents came over when I was 18 months old and I’ve been in London so long that I thought that having a horse with Henry would give me a good excuse to go back now and again.”

 

 

ANOTHER GRADE 1 SECOND FOR US AND THEM IN THE MAGHULL NOVICES CHASE

 

Us And Them (3/1 joint favourite) collected his fifth second spot in succession when filling the runner-up spot in the G1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase. The son of Stowaway, who is trained by Joseph O’Brien, has now finished second in four Grade 1 novice chases and was beaten just a length and three-quarters today.

 

Irish jockey JJ Slevin said: “The winner is a very good horse and loved that ground. My lad went well, but the winner was very good today.”

 

Slevin rides General Principle (50/1 with Betway) for trainer Gordon Elliott in today’s Randox Health Grand National.

 

Dan Skelton, trainer of the third-placed Destrier (7/1), said: “We’re delighted with Destrier. He’s six years old and having his third run over fences. We were always going to come here – we don’t wish we’d gone somewhere else – but I think there’s a bit more to come.

 

“One of the owners lives in Ireland, so a run at Punchestown is a possibility. But I’m just delighted with the horse. Ever since he made his racecourse debut, he’s just improved. I love him. There’s a lot to come from that horse.”

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

BOWEN’S CAP CERTAINLY FITS

 

Jockey Sean Bowen scored his first Grade One win in the £180,000 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle aboard the Harry Fry-trained If The Cap Fits, who stepped up to three miles for the first time.

 

Seven-year-old If The Cap Fits got the best of a thrilling three-way finish with 5/6 favourite Apple’s Jade, eventual third, and runner-up Roksana (10/1). If The Cap Fits won by a head at odds of 7/1, with Apple’s Jade a neck behind Roksana.

 

Bowen said: “It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe it, it’s brilliant. Harry has obviously been great to me this season and it’s fantastic to repay him with a winner like that. It’s nice to get Noel [Fehily, who recently retired from race-riding] out the way as well!”

 

The son of Milan had previously been ridden by Fehily, who retired from race-riding at the age of 43 last month. Fehily was one of the first to congratulate Bowen.
Bowen continued: “If The Cap Fits has a lovely way of racing over three miles. He relaxed beautifully, travelled really well without being too keen and jumped really well, bar the last when I needed a good one. He missed that and I thought, ‘race over. I’ll wait a bit longer for my first Grade One winner’.

 

“There wasn’t a whole lot of room; he did very well to battle between two horses getting sandwiched like that, and the two mares were getting 7lb off him as well. He was tough from the back of the last and he’s a gutsy horse.

 

“Everywhere I went, I couldn’t have been happier with the way I was going. I was tracking the right two into the straight, and obviously the question mark was whether he would get the three miles, and he got it very well.”

 

FIRST GRADE 1 SUCCESS FOR IF THE CAP FITS, FIRST GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL WIN FOR FRY

 

If The Cap Fits (7/1) survives a last hurdle blunder and a three-way photo to collect the G1 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle by just a head and a neck from Roksana (10/1) and the 5/6 favourite Apple’s Jade.

 

If The Cap Fits is owned by Paul and Clare Rooney and it is the seven-year-old son of Milan’s first Grade 1 success. It is also trainer Harry Fry’s first victory at the Randox Health Grand National Festival.

 

“I thought the mistake at the last that was us cooked and he had every excuse after to give up – he didn’t have much room, the gap was closing, but he wanted it and he toughed it out,” said Fry, adding: “The step up in trip to three miles has worked and I am delighted – Paul and Clare are here today, it is a fantastic occasion.

 

“He has been a really consistent horse all season, we’ve always thought he that he is  high-calibre horse and now he is a Grade 1 winner!

 

“It has been a great team effort, these Grade 1s are pretty rare to win. Jockey Noel [Fehily], who has recently retired, always thought a lot of the horse. He put a lot of time into the horse and has been integral to bringing the horse to this point. Sean has been the beneficiary today and he is a fantastic young jockey – it is his first Grade 1 win and I am delighted for him.

 

“Last year If The Cap Fits was fancied for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but he had a set back and we had to miss that, but Paul and Clare said to just be patient and to give the horse a chance – I am delighted for them to get a big winner on this big day.”

 

Owner Paul Rooney was all smiles: “He was very tough out there. I thought up the straight we were running out of petrol, but he dug in and he got there. He stumbled at the last and did so well to get back up.”

 

Go Cconquer, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, runs for the Rooneys in the Randox Health Grand National.

 

ROKSANA SO GAME IN DEFEAT

 

Roksana (10/1) might have been lucky to have been presented with the G1 OLBG Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham when Benie De Dieux came down at the last, but there is no questioning her status as a proper Grade One filly after her head second to If The Cap Fits (7/1) in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle, which with front-running Apple’s Jade (5/6 favourite) only a neck away in third was unquestionably the finish of the week so far.

 

Trainer Dan Skelton said: “The winner’s knocked the last out of the ground and still got up, so fair play to him, but we were in front strides from the line and it was a fantastic run.

 

“She’ll go on holiday now, and then it will be one run before Cheltenham again and then come back here again. She’s been second in two Grade 1s here now (also second in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at this meeting last year). She was a fortuitous winner at Cheltenham obviously, but don’t be doubting her ability.”

 

Jockey Harry Skelton added: “She’s probably run a career best and really backed up her run at Cheltenham. She’s a good mare and we’ll be back again next year.

 

“It’s great to be part of such a good race. Three good horses, battling it out on the best day of the year. People should enjoy that. It’s what racing is all about and everyone should get behind it and all stand strong as a team.”

 

O’LEARY NEVER JADED BY APPLE’S

 

With seven runners in the Randox Health Grand National, and Apple’s Jade as favourite for the G1 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle which his company sponsors, racehorse owner Michael O’Leary was a man to envy at Aintree today.

 

He was philosophical after Apple’s Jade finished third – following a three-way battle that could become the race of the Festival – and he was unequivocal that Tiger Roll, who he also owns, has too much weight to win back-to-back runnings of the big race.

 

The Jack Kennedy-ridden Apple’s Jade (5/6f) was beaten a head and a neck by If The Cap Fits (7/1) and Roksana (10/1).

 

O’Leary said of Apple’s Jade: “That was a big improvement on her run at Cheltenham [when sixth in the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle], following which she scoped badly. She could have run terribly today, she could have run well – she was just jumping out to her right a little which may have cost her, and she didn’t do that over two miles at Leopardstown in February when they were going that bit quicker and she had less time to be fiddling them.

 

“Take nothing away from the winner, who is a fine horse, and well done to the Rooneys [Paul and Clare, who own If The Cap Fits]. I prefer my horses to win, but I struggle to win these Ryanair races [which he sponsors] and think they should change the sponsor!”

 

Of Tiger Roll, he said: “I’m nervous for him because he’s got to the stage where I just want to see him come home in one piece. I think he has too much weight. He’s a small horse, and barely scraped home last year. He’s got 6lb more to carry this time. I don’t think it’s his year and believe it will be won by a horse lower down the weights. If I can’t win it I’d love to see Rathvinden win for [owner] Ronnie Bartlett.

 

“Of my other horses, something down the weights like General Principle, Monbeg Notorious, Dounikos or A Toi Phil could run well, but history tells you horses that carry 11st 5lb or more don’t win the National. I don’t think Tiger Roll will win today. I just hope they all come home safely.”

 

Jack Kennedy who rode Apple’s Jade, said: “It’s disappointing to be beaten on these big days, but she’s run a cracker. She ran her heart out, and while she made a mistake at the last, the winner made a worse one – we’re happy enough.”

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

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GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

KILDISART LANDS THE SPOILS

 

The Ben Pauling-trained Kildisart (8/1) shouldered top-weight to land the £75.000 Betway Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong.

 

Having his first start over today’s trip, the seven-year-old son of Dubai Destination produced a smart leap at the last under Daryl Jacob and ran on strongly in the closing stages to score by five lengths ahead of the Colin Tizzard-trained Mister Malarky (11/2) in second.

 

Kildisart is owned by Isaac Souede and Simon Munir and previously finished fourth in the G1 JLT Novices’ Chase at last months Cheltenham Festival.

 

Pauling said: “That was good. He ran so well at Cheltenham but we were just lacking that gear coming down the hill and finished off very well.

 

“To carry top-weight around here is no easy feat, so maybe he is improving still, which is great.

 

“The step up to three miles has obviously worked. He has always been a lovely horse but he deserved a big one today and it’s great to get it in the bag for Simon, Isaac, Anthony (Bromley, racing manager)and everyone behind the scenes at home.”

 

GET READY FOR THE ABU DHABI ROAR

 

Racehorse owner Simon Munir will need throat lozenges if Valtor wins today’s Randox Health Grand National.

 

At Aintree today his racehorse-owning partner, Isaac Souede, said: “Simon could not be here today because he is at a wedding in Abu Dhabi, but if Valtor wins the National we’ll hear his roar. There is going to be a sonic boom, because Valtor is really his project.

 

“Nicky hasn’t said anything about the horse’s chance, but judged on the way he ran in France we think he’s got a shot.”

 

Souede was speaking after top-weight Kildisart, who he owns with Munir, won the Betway Handicap Chase under Daryl Jacob for Ben Pauling’s stable. The owner continued: “I’m really pleased for Ben that the horse has run as well as he has, and I’m pleased for the horse – that’s more important than where it happened.”

 

Kildisart (8/1) beat Mister Malarky (11/2) and Oldgrangewood (7/1) by 5l and 4l, with Gold Opera (50/1) taking fourth.

 

Jacob said of the winner: “It was a massive performance. I thought he might have been high enough in the handicap coming into a very competitive race like this, but he is an improving horse.

 

“I thought his run in the JLT [at Cheltenham, when fourth] was very good – he got outpaced coming down the hill but then really stuck to his guns coming up the hill and stayed on really well. I suppose his handicap rating was fair and he has probably improved a little bit from Cheltenham to today, so I am delighted.

 

“We have always felt that he wanted today’s sort of trip [three miles] and we were quite surprised when he was winning over two miles over hurdles. He surprised us but that just seems to be his nature – he has kept improving every year that we have had him. It’s a wonderful way for him to finish off his season.

 

“All our horses ran really well in the handicaps at Cheltenham, they were finishing second and getting beaten by short distances. It was a frustrating time but fair play to Simon and Isaac. I am delighted for those guys and for Anthony [Bromley, racing manager], who puts so much effort and hard work into placing the horses for us. We are very, very lucky people.”

 

TIZZARD EYES RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FOR MISTER MALARKY

 

Mister Malarky (11/2) has had a smashing season through 2018-19, winning three times, and today the son of Malinas added a second to his seasonal CV in the Betway Handicap Chase over three miles.

 

Trainer Colin Tizzard said: “I think that has been his best run this season, he is related to Dubacilla [second in the Gold Cup] and we always thought that fences would be his thing and you never know until you try them.

 

“He is a strong stayer now, and there were the two top-weights fighting it out. I thought going to the last we had a chance, but we clobbered it a bit and we got a bit tired.

 

“There is a big future for his young jockey [Jonjo O’Neill] and he gave him a lovely ride.”

 

Mister Malarky could be one to come back to Aintree next year for the big race itself.

 

“I just mentioned that possibility to Wendy [Hezel, owner] – I thought we’d sow the seed now! This horse has a lovely future, so has that jockey – I will try and get my hands on him!” laughed Tizzard.

 

Third, at odds of 7/1, was Oldgrangewood, trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by his brother Harry. The eight-year-old son of Central Park finished four lengths behind Mister Malarky.

 

Skelton said: “Another good run. He’d probably given his running by the time he came to the last and just hung on for third. We’d set out our stall quite early in the year that this was where we were going to come, and we knew what we had to do to beat the established horses, and we got beat by two that were fourth in the RSA Chase [Mister Malarky] and the JLT Chase [winner Kildisart] at the Cheltenham Festival.”

 

Craig Nichol, jockey of fourth-placed Gold Opera, returned to the winner’s enclosure on foot, but there was no problem with the horse. He explained: “He’s fine, but my saddle slipped at the second last. I might have been third otherwise.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

THE 2019 RANDDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL –

INTITIAL RESULT

 

 

1            TIGER ROLL (IRE) BL, TS 9 11-05 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE/Davy Russell 4/1 Fav

 

2            MAGIC OF LIGHT (IRE) P 8 10-11 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Jessica Harrington IRE/Paddy Kennedy 66/1

 

3            RATHVINDEN (IRE) 11 11-00 Ronnie Bartlett Willie Mullins IRE/Ruby Walsh 8/1

 

4            WALK IN THE MILL (FR) 9 10-04 Baroness Harding Robert Walford/James Best 25/1

 

Tote Win: £5.20 Places: £2.80; £18.40; £2.80; £7.60 Exacta: £652.90

 

TIGER ROLL BECOMES FIRST HORSE TO WIN BACK-TO-BACK GRAND NATIONALS SINCE RED RUM IN 1973 and 1974

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S37.

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

Preliminary update on the 2019 Randox Health Grand National

 

As a preliminary information update following the Randox Health Grand National, Aintree Racecourse can confirm:

 

• There are no major concerns reported regarding 38 runners

 

• General Principle (34) walked onto a horse ambulance for further assessment back at the stables with a cut

 

• Up For Review (2) fell at the first fence and sadly sustained a fatal injury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S39.

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

Update 2: Information update on the 2019 Randox Health Grand National

 

• There are no concerns regarding any of the 40 jockeys who rode in the race

 

• General Principle (34) has received treatment for a minor skin cut back at the stables, but there are no further concerns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S41.

 


 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

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GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

TIGER’S VICTORY ROLL

 

Trainer Gordon Elliott was overcome with emotion as Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell, returned after winning his second consecutive Randox Health Grand National.

 

Tiger Roll, a nine-year-old by Authorized carrying 11st 5lb, became the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win two Randox Health Grand Nationals. He was sent off the 4/1 favourite, and beat 66/1 chance Magic Of Light (Jessica Harrington/Paddy Kennedy) by two and three-quarter lengths.

 

Elliott, for whom it was a third Randox Health Grand National success – he also trained Silver Birch to win the 2007 renewal of the £1-million race, said: “We work very hard for this the whole time. I’ve got a brilliant team behind me, and all my family at home. Davy Russell’s mother died last year, and this was for her, and my uncle Willie Elliott died this year and this was for him.”

 

Asked to sum up his brilliant horse, who now has four Cheltenham Festival wins and two Randox Health Grand National victories to his name, Elliott shook his head and just said: “Tiger.”

 

Tiger Roll is owned by Gigginstown House Stud, the racing and breeding operation of Ryanair supremo Michael O’ Leary.

 

O’Leary said: “It’s just unbelievable. I thought that he genuinely had no chance today carrying that weight, but it was a beautiful ride and a phenomenal training performance by Gordon. It’s brilliant he keeps bringing this horse back to Cheltenham better than ever and Aintree better than ever. What a ride by Davy – fantastic!
“Tiger Roll has got a stage now where you just want to mind him. You run the risk every time he runs, you think ‘Oh my God, please don’t let anything happen to him’ and it is unbelievable to win two Grand Nationals. It’s incredible. It’s a great result for the punters; it’s fantastic.”

 

TIGER ROLL WINS THE RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL TWICE

 

After a false start, they were off at 5.19pm at the second attempt and 4/1 favourite Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Davy Russell, won the Randox Health Grand National for a second-year running in great style.

 

The nine-year-old chaser became the first horse since Red Rum in 1993/94 to win the world’s richest and greatest chase twice.

 

Elliott, in tears, reacted: “Everyone loves him. He is the people’s horse. I cannot believe it.”

 

Owner Michael O’Leary commented: “They don’t win for a second year in a row – the odds are so heavily against it. I don’t know what Gordon has done this year but Tiger Roll has come back stronger and better than ever.

 

“I was thinking Davy don’t go too early, so well was he going. It is just incredible – I thought we had absolutely no chance.”

 

Russell reacted: “What can I say, Tiger Roll is just an unbelievable horse. I was running away for most of the race. It was marvellous – he gave a couple of stumbles and I think the blinkers lit him up.”

 

 

 


 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

THE 2019 RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL –

FINISHING ORDER WITH ALL STARTING PRICES

 

1 TIGER ROLL (IRE) BL, TS 9 11-05 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE/Davy Russell 4/1 Fav

2 MAGIC OF LIGHT (IRE) P 8 10-11 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Jessica Harrington IRE/Paddy Kennedy 66/1

3 RATHVINDEN (IRE) 11 11-00 Ronnie Bartlett Willie Mullins IRE/Ruby Walsh 8/1

4 WALK IN THE MILL (FR) 9 10-04 Baroness Harding Robert Walford/James Best 25/1

5 ANIBALE FLY (FR) TS 9 11-10 J P McManus Tony Martin IRE/Mark Walsh 10/1

6 ONE FOR ARTHUR (IRE) TS 10 11-00 Two Golf Widows Lucinda Russell/Derek Fox 25/1

7 REGAL ENCORE (IRE) 11 10-12 J P McManus Anthony Honeyball/Jonathan Burke 66/1

8 SINGLEFARMPAYMENT H 9 10-06 Neal Griffith & Heather Haddock Tom George/Paddy Brennan 50/1

9 OUTLANDER (IRE) 11 11-04 Gowing’s Eleven Richard Spencer/James Bowen 66/1

10 VALSEUR LIDO (FR) 10 10-06 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE/Rachael Blackmore 66/1

11 LIVELOVELAUGH (IRE) 9 10-04 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE/David Mullins 25/1

12 A TOI PHIL (FR) TS 9 10-11 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE/Denis O’Regan 50/1

13 BLESS THE WINGS (IRE) P 14 10-03 Adrian Butler & Stephen O’Connor Gordon Elliott IRE/Robert Dunne 50/1

14 ULTRAGOLD (FR) TS 11 10-07 Brocade Racing John Romans Terry Warner Colin Tizzard/Tom O’Brien 50/1

15 VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR) TS, P 10 10-06 Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent David Pipe/Tom Scudamore 50/1

16 CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE) 10 10-03 Stuart Coltherd Stuart Coltherd/Sam Coltherd 66/1

17 FOLSOM BLUE (IRE) TS, P 12 10-04 Core Partnership Gordon Elliott IRE/Luke Dempsey 66/1

18 VALTOR (FR) 10 11-06 Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson/Daryl Jacob 66/1

19 DON POLI (IRE) P 10 11-03 Darren & Annaley Yates Philip Kirby/Mr Patrick Mullins 66/1

 

FELL 1 VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE) 9 10-04 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith/Danny Cook 11/1

BD 1 UP FOR REVIEW (IRE) 10 10-06 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE/Danny Mullins 33/1

PU 11 MONBEG NOTORIOUS (IRE) V 8 10-10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE/Sean Bowen 50/1

FELL 19 ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE) P 9 10-13 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson 16/1

FELL 19 GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE) TS 10 10-04 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE/J J Slevin 33/1

FELL 19 JURY DUTY (IRE) TS 8 10-11 Sideways Syndicate Gordon Elliott IRE/Robbie Power 10/1

PU 19 BLOW BY BLOW (IRE) BL, TS 8 10-06 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE/Andrew Ring 66/1

PU 21 MINELLA ROCCO (IRE) 9 11-01 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill/Richie McLernon 33/1

PU 25 STEP BACK (IRE) P 9 10-07 Cracker and Smodge Partnership Mark Bradstock/Nico de Boinville 25/1

FELL 26 BALLYOPTIC (IRE) 9 11-01 Mills & Mason Partnership Nigel Twiston-Davies/Tom Bellamy 25/1

UR 27 PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE) 11 11-01 Malcolm Denmark Willie Mullins IRE/Paul Townend 12/1

PU 27 LAKE VIEW LAD (IRE) 9 11-01 Trevor Hemmings Nick Alexander/Henry Brooke 14/1

PU 28 WARRIORS TALE TS 10 10-13 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden 66/1

PU 28 NOBLE ENDEAVOR (IRE) P 10 10-10 Chris Jones Gordon Elliott IRE/Mark Enright 50/1

PU 28 RAMSES DE TEILLEE (FR) TS 7 10-09 John White & Anne Underhill David Pipe/David Noonan 20/1

PU 28 JUST A PAR (IRE) BL 12 10-02 Mark Scott James Moffatt/Aidan Coleman 100/1

PU 29 GO CONQUER (IRE) TS 10 11-03 Paul & Clare Rooney Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies 33/1

PU 29 MALA BEACH (IRE) 11 11-02 Chris Jones Gordon Elliott IRE/Mr Jamie Codd 33/1

PU 29 DOUNIKOS (FR) 8 11-00 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE/Jack Kennedy 16/1

PU 29 TEA FOR TWO 10 10-09 Jane Williams & Len Jakeman Jane Williams/Lizzie Kelly 25/1

PU 29 JOE FARRELL (IRE) 10 10-02 Mark Sherwood, Nigel Morris & Rebecca Curtis Rebecca Curtis/Adam Wedge 14/1

 

Time: 9m 01.00s

Distances: 2¾, 2¼, 11, ½, 9, 2¼, ½, 3, 2, hd, 1¼, 1¼, 3¼, 3¼, 11, 7, 16, 41

The Worshipful Company Of Farriers In Conjunction With The Aintree Executive and The Jockey Club created a Best Shod Award

 

In 2016, the first time such an award had ever been presented on a racecourse in the world.

 

The award is in recognition of the farrier’s skill in shoeing and preparation of the horse’s feet, all of which contributes to the welfare of the horse which to all of us in the racing industry is of the utmost priority:

The winner of this prestigious award for 2019 and The Le Reve Trophy is: Tea For Two

Farrier; Andrew Bowyer (Also Farrier For British Show Jumping Team)

Tote Win: £5.20 Places: £2.80; £18.40; £2.80; £7.60 Exacta: £652.90

 

TIGER ROLL BECOMES FIRST HORSE TO WIN BACK-TO-BACK GRAND NATIONALS SINCE RED RUM IN 1973 and 1974

 

S49.

 

 

 

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

Winning jockey quotes, Randox Health Grand National

 

Davy Russell praised the “amazing” Tiger Roll after the diminutive nine-year-old became the first horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals since the great Red Rum in 1974.

 

The 39-year-old, who won his first Grand National on Tiger Roll 12 months earlier, said: “I can’t believe it. That’s the man there (gesturing to Gordon Elliott). He’s the man in charge and has done a great job, along with Karen and Keith, Michael and Anita, and Eddie. At my age now to be winning two Grand Nationals……

 

“He’s one hell of a horse. The O’Learys have been so good to me throughout my career, and Gordon too. What can I say.

 

“Tiger Roll is just an amazing hose. He travelled really well throughout the race. I was a little bit afraid the blinkers had lit him up a bit too much but Gordon knew what he was doing. I don’t think there’s been a horse winning blinkers in a long time, but he was so good.

 

“He gave a couple of stumbles at the back of a few fences but every time he gave a stumble he went and jumped the next one really well. He’d keep you on your toes the whole time.

 

“For some reason he met a lot of fences closer than normal, but he had an awful lot of respect for them. I feel the cross-country races really crowned him, as they’ve taught him how to use his feet a little bit better. He used to be a bit of a bulldozer in his early days but knows now that it’s a lot easier not to bulldoze them.

 

“I was a little bit worried when we were walking around at the start as he got a little bit anti, but Denis O’Regan on another horse of Gigginstown guided him back to the bunch and I knew once he was in the bunch he was happy.

 

“When he went to the front he was still quite strong on the bridle but he’s a bit of a show off. I’d been a bit worried going round that he was doing a little bit too much, so I was trying to cool myself down and to cool him down too, which helped him a little bit. I was just afraid he wouldn’t get a puncture if you know what I mean.”

 

Russell, whose father had travelled over for the race, added: “I just can’t wait to talk to Finn and Lily. They are just obsessed with it. And Adelle obviously.”

 

REACTION OF BEATEN JOCKEYS

 

Paddy Kennedy aboard second-placed Magic Of Light: “I’m delighted with her, she jumped and travelled everywhere. She came out of my hands at the Chair and I was lucky to survive that, but it was a great spin.”

 

Mark Walsh on Anibale Fly (fifth): “He jumped very well and got a bit tired, but it was great to be riding, he ran really well.”

 

Derek Fox, rider of One For Arthur (sixth): “I got into a bit of trouble on the way round. He jumped very well and I was going very well approaching three out, but I just got a bit tired after the second last. I had a great spin and it was great to be riding in it.”

 

Luke Dempsey, jockey of Folsom Blue (17th): “It was grand. I had a great ride round for most of the way before he got tired. The ground was a bit too quick for him.”

 

Jamie Codd, partnering Mala Beach (PU 29th): “He jumped brilliant, but he just never really got into the race.”

 

Patrick Mullins, aboard Don Poli (19th): “I had a good spin and he jumped well. He just got tired from three out.”

 

Sam Coltherd, on Captain Redbeard (16th): “I had a lovely spin, but he just didn’t stay.”

 

Aidan Coleman, on Just A Par (PU 28th): “I had a great spin, but the ground was just a bit quick for him.”

 

Denis O’Regan, riding A Toi Phil (12th): “I had a great ride, he jumped fantastic. I couldn’t have got a better ride and he will be even better.”

 

Tom Scudamore on Vieux Lion Rouge (15th): “I had my usual great ride off him, he just didn’t get home from the back of the last. He has run a great race.”

 

James Bowen, jockey of Outlander (9th): “It was a real buzz, I didn’t get very far in it last year. That’s the second time I completed the course in the Grand National and it was just a buzz to get round.”

 

Daryl Jacob, partnering Valtor (18th): “He jumped super and gave me a great ride. He probably just got a little bit tired and the weight also told. “

 

Sam Twiston-Davies, aboard Go Conquer (PU 29th): “I pulled up, had a great spin, but he just didn’t stay.”

 

Paddy Brennan on Singlefarmpayment (8th): “I’m really proud of the horse, I had a good spin and he jumped super.”

 

Jack Kennedy, rider of Dounikos (PU 29th) “I got a great spin, he just got tired, but ran well up to a point.”

 

Richie McLernon on Minella Rocco (PU 21st): “He jumped superbly, but just got tired and we pulled up.”

 

David Noonan, partnering Ramses De Teillee (PU 28th): “It was grand. I made a mistake at the Canal Turn and he is only a seven-year-old, but it was probably just a bit of an ask for him.”

 

Robbie Power, jockey of Jury Duty (Fell 19th): “I was getting into the race and still travelling very well when he made a mistake and we unseated rider.”

 

Lizzie Kelly, aboard Tea For Two (PU 29th): “It was a nice spin round, but I just couldn’t keep up with them, we ran out of puff.”

 

Tom Bellamy, riding Ballyoptic (Fell 26th): “I was going very well at the time when we fell. I wasn’t saying I would have won, but I might have finished in the first six.”

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

TRIBUTES TO TIGER FROM BEATEN RIVALS

 

Jessica Harrington joined the many who paid tribute to mighty Tiger Roll after her mare, Magic Of Light, finished second to him in today’s Randox Health Grand National.

 

Sent off at 66/1 under Paddy Kennedy, Magic Of Light was beaten 2¾ lengths, but finished 2¼ lengths clear of third home Rathvinden (8/1). Walk In The Mill was fourth at 25/1.

 

Harrington said: “Tiger Roll is an amazing horse, and much better this year than last year. He is the most gorgeous little horse and a joy to watch over these fences.”

 

Of Magic Of Light, who became the first mare to be placed in the National since Dubacilla in 1995, Harrington said: “Paddy said she was doing too much and just running away – she loved it. I didn’t expect her to run so well, and Robbie [Power, her first jockey] said don’t bring her here – take her to the Irish National because the Aintree fences are too big for her.

 

“Then I took her to the Curragh to give Sandymount Duke a lead over their spruce fences, and she jumped them so well I said ‘Sod it, I’ll run her’. I’m glad I did, especially with Sandymount Duke having to be withdrawn.

 

“All the way round I kept thinking, she’s going too easily, but then I saw Tiger Roll on her inside and I thought, oh no – yet she came back at him. She’s amazing, the only mare in the race and only eight.

 

“Paddy is Jack Kennedy’s older brother, and he rides out with me every morning and has ridden some good winners for me. He has his own breaking and pre-training yard. He is basically my second jockey, and when Robbie wanted to ride Jury Duty, who was owned by a friend of his who died, and our mare was a huge price, I said, yes, go ahead, and Paddy can ride the mare.”

 

Kennedy returned with a cut lip, and said: “At The Chair she came out of my hands and I nearly came out over her head – luckily my head hit her head and that stopped me coming off!

 

“I couldn’t believe how well she went, on my first ride in the National as well – she never missed a beat. She knew more than I did – she was grand. I saw Tiger Roll and I gave Davy a roar as he came past as he was going so much better than me. For a little bit at the Elbow I thought I might reel him in after what happened last year, but he was gusty and pulled out plenty.

 

“My horse she galloped all the way to the line, she is only an eight-year-old, she might be back here again.”

 

Robert Walford, who trained fourth home Walk In The Mill, said: “I’m delighted he ran so well and James [Best] gave him a great ride. It is fantastic,” while Best said of the horse: “He’s been a lot of fun round there and the team at home got him spot on for the day.

 

“I have no excuses, and what a star the winner is – it’s just magic to be in the top four and amongst it all. It was only my second ride in the National and I fell at the first before, so it was a great thrill, and I’m so grateful to the owner and trainer for letting me ride him.

 

“I just said to them, ‘We know where we’re heading next year’.”

 

RATHVINDEN RAN A “BLINDER”

 

The third-placed Rathvinden (8/1) was up in the vanguard of the runners for much of the Randox Health Grand National and was just beaten five lengths into third by the winner Tiger Roll.

 

Willie Mullins, trainer of Rathvinden, said: “I am delighted, Ruby said he made a bad mistake at Valentines, I missed that – I didn’t think he handled the water that well. He had every chance, he was up there galloping. Tiger Roll is fantastic,” added Mullins as the enthusiastic Aintree crowd roared Tiger Roll back to the winner’s enclosure.

 

Mullins trained Pleasant Company, who fell at the 27th fence today, to finish second in last year’s renewal of the Randox Health Grand National.

 

Ruby Walsh said: “Rathvinden ran a blinder and jumped well apart from Valentines, Tiger Roll was just going so much better than me! From Becher’s on I knew he was behind me and every time I saw him I could see Davy going so well.”

 

Ruby Walsh also finished third in 2009 on My Will, won and was second on Hedgehunter in 2005 and 2006, was fourth on Kingsmark in 2002, and won and finished fourth on Papillon in 2000 and 2001.

 

MORE JOCKEYS

Ruby Walsh, third on Rathvinden, said: “He travelled super, we made a few mistakes and that didn’t help in the end. But he has run a great race.”

 

James Best, on fourth Walk In The Mill, said: “It was amazing. I don’t know how it would be to win the race, but very exciting finishing fourth. Our worry was the first mile and a half of the race. I got a great start, I saw Ruby and thought if I follow him I can’t go too wrong. He knows his way around here well. I am very proud of the horse and all the connections – they have him spot on.”

 

Rachel Blackmore, 10th on Valseur Lido, said: “Ran a lovely race and jumped well – just wasn’t as good as Tiger Roll.”

 

Danny Cook, on Vintage Clouds (Fell 1), said: “I overjumped the first and fell.”

 

Sean Bowen, on Monbeg Notorious (PU 11), said: “He didn’t take to it at all.”

 

Richard Johnson, on Rock The Kasbah (Fell 19), said: “It frightened him early on but then he started to get into a rhythm, but then he got brought down. I wouldn’t say I was going to win, but he was starting to get into the race. It was much too early on into the race to tell how we were really going to end. It is amazing that Tiger Roll has done it again – he is an amazing horse. I will try again next year.”

 

Andrew Ring, on Blow By Blow (PU 19), said: “I was getting a good enough spin, but then he came down at the big ditch.”

 

J J Slevin, on General Principle (Fell 19), said: “We made a bad mistake, he wasn’t travelling on

the second circuit so we pulled up.”

 

Richie McLernon, on Minella Rocco (PU 21), said: “We travelled great. I was following all the right horses over the Melling Road, but we just didn’t have that finishing kick. It was a pleasure to ride for JP [McManus].”

 

Nico de Boinville, on Step Back (PU 25), said: “I had a great spin, but we probably did too much early doors. He was loving it and when I went out onto the second circuit, I thought I would get round again… Maybe we should have gone for the Topham.”

 

Henry Brooke, on Lake View Lad (PU 27), said: “The ground was just too quick for him. When we landed it was stinging him. I pulled up and looked after him – hopefully we will get a soft ground National.”

 

Mark Enright, on Noble Endeavor (PU 28), said: “He jumped great, but started to feel the ground after the first circuit.”

 

Adam Wedge, on Joe Farrell (PU 29), said: “The dead ground just caught him out down the back. He jumped well and gave me a fantastic ride.”

 


 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

TIGER’S BIGGEST FANS ARE DAVY’S KIDS

 

Davy Russell could not wait for the media interviews to finish after the Randox Health Grand National so he could phone his Tiger Roll-mad family at home in Ireland.

 

Russell said: “I’ve got four children and one on the way, and my son, Finn, who is three, is obsessed with Tiger Roll. He thinks this is so easy, because he’s watched two Grand Nationals in his life and I’ve won both of them on Tiger Roll.”

 

One of the few moments of concern for Russell came before the race when Tiger Roll dug his toes in on the way to the start. He said: “I don’t know what got into his head – he just got a little bit ‘antsy’ with himself. If he doesn’t want to do something he won’t, and he got a bit silly back at the start. Denis Regan came up and gave him a lead and he was fine when he was back among the others. For a moment, I was worried I wouldn’t get a good position when they lined up.

 

“[In the race] He travelled really well and at times I thought he was overdoing it, but he jumped so well and is so quick. I just kept getting him back because he was passing horses in the air. He’s a spectacular horse, an athlete, and he loves to run and jump.

 

“Keith Donoghue [who won the Glenfarclas Chase on Tiger Roll at the Cheltenham Festival] has spent a lot of time on Tiger Roll’s jumping and I think that’s why he has won two Grand Nationals. When he started chasing he used to be a bit of a bulldozer at the fences, but since he started jumping cross country fences he’s learned to be a bit more nimble.

 

“It was helter-skelter over the first couple of fences and got a bit tight at times – to be honest I can’t remember much about it – and I was chopped for a bit of room going down to the Canal Turn first time. I didn’t want to get into a row with anybody at that stage, because I knew that when we came to a jump and if he met it on a stride he would get by them.

 

“It’s unbelievable for me, because Presenting Percy [who he rides] has a very good following in Ireland, but people who have never seen a horse in their life know Tiger Roll. The people adore him – he’s not a big, fine, good-looking horse, but at home people walk past his stable and say hello to him as if he’s a human being. It’s just unreal.

 

“I know it’s silly, but I believe he knows his name. Going to the start, when we were parading, the commentator said his name and he stood up and put his chest out. Louise who was leading him up noticed it, too. He’s so intelligent.”

 

TIGER IS ELLIOTT’S HORSE OF A LIFETIME

 

After receiving his prize as winning trainer of the 2019 £1-million Randox Health Grand National – his third success in the race – Gordon Elliott talked further about Tiger Roll, who has followed up his 2018 victory with a two and three-quarter length defeat of 66/1 chance Magic Of Light and justified 4/1 favouritism in the world’s greatest race.

 

Elliott said: “It’s unbelievable. We had 11 runners in the race. When Silver Birch won [in 2007], I probably didn’t appreciate it enough, and when Tiger Roll won last year it was unbelievable. This year, if any of the 11 horses had won, it would have been great, but Tiger is a bit special. The stats were against him, and we were hoping and wishing and praying he could win, but I thought it was probably impossible, so for him to do it… Hopefully he will now get the recognition he deserves and go down as one of the greats.

 

“Michael [O’Leary, the winning owner] has two statues in his house, of War Of Attrition and Don Cossack [his Cheltenham Gold Cup winners] and he said he wasn’t about to put one up for this lad. If he doesn’t, I hope he stuffs him and keeps him!

 

“You are always hopeful more than confident. To be 7/2 or 4/1 to win it is lunacy. You’d want to be 10/1 to jump round, never mind win the race. Tiger wears his heart on his sleeve, he takes a chance at everything. He wants it more than anything. He’s a bit special. Tiger Roll’s a gentleman. He doesn’t do anything fancy – he just wants to please you the whole time. He is the horse of a lifetime, I suppose.

 

“Everyone who knows me knows I am easy enough going, and I would have been very happy if any of my horses had won, but Tiger is a bit special. My uncle passed away this year and if it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t even know what a horse was. He used to ride in point to points and had a few horses when I was a young lad. He will be looking down on me. My mum and dad are at home; I don’t have a flight home, but I’d ask Michael if he has a seat on the plane because I’d like to go home tonight to see my mother and father.

 

“You talk about legends. Tiger Roll has won two Grand Nationals and four races at the Cheltenham Festival [2014 G1 Triumph Hurdle, 2017 G2 National Hunt Chase, 2018 and 2019 Cross Country Chase] – he’s already a legend for me.”

 

Elliott admitted that when Tiger Roll turned up in his yard in the winter of 2013/2014, he wasn’t overly impressed with the little horse.

 

He said: “I wasn’t the number one trainer for Gigginstown, and there was a horse that I had recommended they buy and that I wanted. It went to another trainer, and that was probably the first and last time Michael and I had cross words – I threw my toys out of the pram a bit. Michael said, ‘enough’s enough, don’t say anything more about it.’ I got two horses, one of which won a race or two, and the other was Tiger Roll. The horse I wanted ended up being no good. If you don’t have luck on your side, you have nothing. The rest is history.”

 

More Randox Health Grand National winning quotes

 

Owner Michael O’Leary commented: “It’s just unbelievable. I thought that he genuinely had no chance today carrying that weight but it was a beautiful ride and a phenomenal training performance by Gordon. It’s brilliant he keeps bringing this horse back to Cheltenham better than ever and Aintree better than ever. What a ride by Davy – fantastic!

 

“Tiger Roll has got a stage now where you just want to mind him. You run the risk every time he runs, you think ‘Oh my Gold, please don’t let anything happen to him’ and it is unbelievable to win two Grand Nationals. It’s incredible. It’s a great result for the punters, it’s fantastic.”

 

His brother Eddie O’Leary, who manages Gigginstown House Stud’s horses, said: “He is now a superstar. It’s unbelievable and I am so thrilled for everyone, for Gordon and the lads, he is a special horse. He was bought for the Fred Winter! He is a marvellous horse and God bless him.”

 

39-year-old Davy Russell remarked: “I can’t believe it! At my age now, to win two Grand Nationals – it’s madness! He’s one hell of a horse. The O’Learys have been so good to me throughout my career and Gordon. What can I say?

 

“This horse is amazing and this place is amazing. People go one about certain sporting events but Liverpool and Aintree are just so far ahead. People come here in their droves to cheer on such a fantastic event and they can be so proud of what they have, it’s so well run. It touches so many people around the world and I am so proud to be part of it. I can’t believe it, I really can’t.

 

“Tommy Stack is a Tipperary man and I was in awe of Tommy Stack – I still am, he’s a marvellous man and I love spending time with him for the simple reason of this race.

 

“Myself and Gordon have soldiered a long way and dad is here today. I asked him if he had ever been to Aintree before and he said years ago. He booked his flight and hotel on Wednesday morning and said he was coming and that was it. It’s a marvellous thing.

 

“It was easy on Tiger Roll because he barely gets over the fences, he just flicks across the top of them. At times, you are thinking ‘Jesus, he wants to lift his legs a little bit’ but I can’t believe it, I really can’t.”

 

Gordon Elliott declared: “What a horse! What a horse! This is up there because we work very hard for this the whole time. I have a brilliant team behind me – my family are all at home. Davy Russell’s mother died last year, so this is for her today. My uncle died this year and I wouldn’t be in horses if it wasn’t for him and this is for him.

 

“He is unbelievable, the horse of a lifetime. For all my friends, for my family, my mother, my father, my brother and three sisters, and everyone in yard, from my head man Simon McGonagle to the last person who came to work for me, Summerhill, where I am from, it’s brilliant. They will all be enjoying it.

 

“From the last home, I was nervous again. He was travelling so well. He is named well – he is a tiger and he wants to win. As everyone knows, I don’t get too upset too often. I am a little emotional today but, for my whole yard and for everyone, this is what it is all about and you dream about this.

 

“To win three Grand Nationals. Gigginstown, Michael, Anita and Eddie, Wendy and Mags, who buy all the horses, Joe at home on the farm and everyone connected with the whole place. I am forgetting people, the vets, my own vet Eduardo and the team and Gerry Kelly – we all work together with this horse. I don’t wasn’t to sound like I am being patronising but it is unbelievable.

 

“There was no pressure. Pressure doesn’t really get to me and I had 11 runners in the race and, if anyone of them had won, I would have been very happy and delighted. But for Tiger to win, it’s a bit emotional. He is a star and I can’t wait to get home to Summerhill and Trim to see everyone.”

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

“IT WAS AN OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE!”

 

Tiger Roll’s owner Michael O’Leary in the press conference following the Randox Health Grand National.

 

“It really feels like an out-of-body experience. Last year was a wonderful surprise, but this year there was no pressure at all, frankly I didn’t think he had any chance of winning having gone up in the weights to 11 stone five pounds. I was much more worried that he would come back safely – he has got to the stage that I get more nervous watching him than I do of any of the other horses, less anything happens to him.

 

“The bizarre thing is that it seemed to be an easier, more comfortable ride and a better win than last year; he always seemed to be in the right place, he stumbled twice, and four from home that woke him up. There was never a moment’s worry, it was bizarre.

 

“You grew up as a kid in Ireland and the race you first become aware of is the Grand National, it is not the Gold Cup. We all had our first bet on the Grand National, I went into a bookmaker’s shop to put a bet on the Grand National without my mother knowing! To win once is a dream come true, to win three times is Trevor Hemmings-esque.  I hope Trevor wins it next year and takes the score to four-three!”

 

“Running Tiger Roll in the Grand National today was not a certainty. As you know he is not a big horse and he has gone up nine pounds in the handicap – if the ground had been soft today or Anibale Fly had come out we would not have run. I was asked outside if he will come back for the hat-trick and I think probably not – he will get another eight or nine pounds from the Cheltenham Cross Country win, he could be humping 12 stone [11 stone 10 pounds is the highest allotted weight] around here next year, I think it will be unlikely. Much more likely, if he is fit and well, we’ll aim him for the Cross Country at Cheltenham. If he could win that for a third time, I think we’ll retire him.

 

“He’ll be entered here, but he will be so heavily weighted – Red Rum won three times, but I don’t want to bring him back carrying  12 stone.

 

“Is he the best purchase I have every made? I was asked that outside, but I was standing by my wife so I said, ‘Yes after the engagement ring!’  He is probably the second-best purchase I have ever made in my life.

 

“Eddie my brother buys these horses and you look across the record he has over the last ten years – we’ve won two Gold Cups, three Grand Nationals, four Irish Grand Nationals, my brother is a genius, the clever one in the family at identifying these horses. All I have to do is write the cheques, which is straightforward. Eddie is delivering incredible success.

 

“But money couldn’t buy you days like this, it can’t buy you experiences like this – I have four children at home jumping up and down on the sofa cheering on Tiger Roll.

 

“When I was a child growing up I never dreamed you could own horses like Tiger Roll, the Irish didn’t have runners in the Grand National in the 60s and 70s, and now we are not just entering it, we are winning it as well.

 

“We are not tempted by the Gold Cup – he is a small horse, the Gold Cup is such an attritional race. He has won four times at Cheltenham, and if he were to go back and win five times at Cheltenham – what more do you want from the horse? I think at that stage I would mind every precious hair in his body.

 

“The Ryanair flight home last year ran 30 minutes late and there was a free bar on board – it will probably run another 30 minutes late again today and there will be another free bar on board. If the cost of winning the Grand National each year is a free bar on board on the flight from Liverpool to Dublin, it is money well spent!

 

“You look at the team we have – Eddie has a phenomenal record, he is buying very young horses and he makes silk purses out of sow’s ears. We first came across Gordon after he won the Grand National with Silver Birch and we thought who the hell is he? He also comes from County Meath and we are from Westmeath, and the people from Meath kinda look down on us as we are the poor peasants!

 

“There is a lot of criticism in racing of the big trainers and the big owners, and the answer I make all the time is Gordon Elliott. He started off with nothing, he has built an incredible training career (though he is too young to have a career!), an incredible training operation with nothing, only the sweat of his back. He didn’t have a background in racing, and he has built the second-most powerful training operation in Ireland behind Willie Mullins – you are still second behind Willie, but you get getting closer and closer!

 

“His record at Cheltenham, at Liverpool, he is an incredibly talented trainer and he is the answer to everyone else who says you need to have luck, or relations or money – proves you just need to work incredibly hard, which is what he does and he delivers extraordinary results.

 

“He also throws very good parties at Summerhill in County Meath and there will be one there tomorrow afternoon at about 2pm!”

 

FACTS AND FIGURES FOLLOWING TIGER ROLL’S VICTORY

 

 

Tiger Roll is the fourth shortest-priced favourite ever to win the Grand National at 4/1. He is the shortest-priced winning favourite since Poethlyn in 1919, who started at 11/4.

 

Tiger Roll became the 27th winner of the Randox Health Grand National to be trained in Ireland and he led home an Irish 1-2-3. However, this did not quite match the 2018 finish, which saw an unprecedented 1-2-3-4 for Irish-trained horses.

 

Tiger Roll is the fifth back-to-back winner of the Grand National following Abd-El-Kader (1850 and 1851), The Colonel (1869 and 1870), Reynoldstown (1935 and 1936) and Red Rum (1973 and 1974). Three others have won the race twice, namely Peter Simple (1849 and 1853), The Lamb (1868 and 1871) and Manifesto (1897 and 1899).

 

Gordon Elliott has become the eighth trainer in Grand National history to saddle three winners of the great race. The most recent trainer to have achieved this was the late Tim Forster who saddled the winners in 1972 (Well To Do), 1980 (Ben Nevis) and 1985 (Last Suspect).

 

Davy Russell has now won two Randox Health Grand Nationals in succession on Tiger Roll. He is the first jockey to do this since Leighton Aspell scored on Pineau De Re in 2014 and Many Clouds in 2015.

 

Davy Russell at 39 is one of the oldest riders to capture the Grand National in the race’s history. The oldest was 48-year-old amateur Dick Saunders on Grittar in 1982.

 

Tiger Roll became the 46th nine-year-old – the most successful age group – in the 172 runnings of the Grand National where the winner’s age was recorded.

 

Tiger Roll carried the third joint-highest weight to victory in the last 22 runnings, with his 11st 5lb emulated by Don’t Push it in 2010 and beaten by Neptune Collonges (2012, 11st 6lb) and Many Clouds (2015, 11st 9lb).

 

Gigginstown House Stud are now the joint most successful Grand National winning owners ever with three winners: Rule The World (2016) and Tiger Roll (2018 and 2019). Four other entities have won three Grand Nationals, most recently Noel Le Mare (Red Rum 1973, 1974 and 1977) and Trevor Hemmings (Hedgehunter 2005, Ballabriggs 2011 and Many Clouds 2015).

 

This was the 172nd running of the Randox Health Grand National, and for the 17th year in a row a sell-out crowd of 70,000 was witness to it.

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

AINTREE RACECOURSE NEWS RELEASE ON 2019 RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL

 

Tiger Roll created history today by becoming the first horse since Red Rum (1973, 1974) to win back-to-back renewals of the Randox Health Grand Health National. The crowd was a sell-out 70,000.

 

Dickon White, who runs Aintree Racecourse as North West Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

 

“The 2019 Randox Health Grand National has thrown up another incredible story. Millions of people will have watched Tiger Roll becoming the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back Grand Nationals. Our congratulations go to the Gigginstown team, Gordon Elliott, Louise Magee and Davy Russell. And what a race it was with the remarkable spectacle of so many runners still in contention so late into the race.

 

“Over three days of world-class Jump racing we’ve welcomed more than 150,000 people to Aintree, with millions tuning in live around the country on ITV, BBC Radio Five Live, Racing TV and in betting shops, and taking to social media. I’d like to thank them and our headline partner, Randox Health; it’s fantastic to stage an event that really does stop the nation.”

 

Up For Review

 

Following a fall at the first fence, Up For Review was immediately attended by veterinary professionals. Sadly, he had sustained a fatal injury.

 

Dickon White added: “As a sport of animal lovers, we wanted every horse to come home and sadly that’s not been the case with Up For Review.

 

“All of us at Aintree extend our sympathies to Andrea and Graham Wylie and the team behind the horse. You have to go back to 2012 since we lost a horse in the Grand National, thanks in part to the huge amount of effort and investment we put into horse welfare. However, while you cannot remove all risk from our sport, we will analyse what happened and leave no stone in doing so.”

 

Notes to Editors for information:

 

•99.47% of runners in British racing complete their race without incurring any long‐term injury. Moreover, the fatal injury rate has fallen by one third in the last 20 years to just 0.2%

• Faller rates during jump races have decreased to an all-time low of 2.53%. That is a decrease of 30% in the last 20 years as a result of initiatives to make racecourses and jump racing safer

• There had been no fatal injury in the Grand National since 2012, after which £1.5 million worth of changes were made to the Grand National Course including swapping the wooden cores of fences to an EasyFix plastic or natural birch

• Sport horses are at no greater risk of injury when running and jumping on a race course, than when turned out in the field – a study by Liverpool University found that 62% of traumatic injuries in sport horses occurred in the field, compared to 13% while being ridden

 

 

 

S54.

 

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

Scotty Brand Leading Jockey Award

Jockey    1st    2nd       3rd

Robbie Power        3       –       –

Ruby Walsh        2       1       1

Jack Kennedy        2       –       2

Davy Russell    2    –    –

Harry Cobden        1       3       1

Harry Skelton        1       1       3 

Rachael Blackmore      1       1       1

Mark Walsh        1       1       –

Nico de Boinville       1       –       1

Daryl Jacob        1       –       1

Sean Bowen    1    –    –

Mr Jamie Codd   1    –    –

Wayne Hutchinson       1       –       –

Jack Quinlan        1       –       –

Paul Townend        1       –       –

Miss Tabitha Worsley      1       –       –

Richard Johnson       –       2       1

Gavin Sheehan       –       2       –

Barry Geraghty       –       1       1

Bridget Andrews   –    1    –

Thomas Dowson       –       1       –

Paddy Kennedy   –    1    –

Mr Patrick Mullins       –       1       –

Mr Derek O’Connor      –       1       –

Darragh O’Keeffe   –    1    –

Jonjo O’Neill Junior   –    1    –

Charlie Price        –       1       –

J J Slevin    –    1    –

Sean Bowen        –       –       1

Mr David Dunsdon       –       –       1

Brian Hughes        –       –       1

Danny McMenamin   –    –    1

Mr Finian Maguire       –       –       1

Mr David Maxwell       –       –       1

Jonjo O’Neill Jr       –       –       1

Tom O’Brien        –       –       1

Sean Quinlan        –       –       1

Sam Twiston-Davies   –    –    1

 

 

 

 

S56.

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

TRM Ireland Leading Trainer Award

 

Trainer          1st    2nd       3rd

Gordon Elliott IRE       4     –       3

Willie Mullins IRE       3       1     1

Henry de Bromhead IRE     2       2       1

Nicky Henderson       2       1       1

Colin Tizzard        2       1      –

Paul Nicholls        1       3       1

Dan Skelton        1       2    3

Jessica Harrington IRE     1       1    –

Harry Fry    1    –    –

Alan King         1       –       –

Kelly Morgan        1       –       –

Amy Murphy        1       –       –

Paul Pauling    1    –    –

Warren Greatrex       –       2       1

Joseph O’Brien IRE      –       2       –

Philip Kirby        –       1       1

Olly Murphy    –    1    –

Pierce Power IRE       –       1     –

Jamie Snowden       –       1       –

Tim Vaughan        –       1       –

Richard Spencer   –    1    –

Dermot McLoughlin IRE     –       –       2

David Christie IRE       –       –       1

Rebecca Curtis       –       –       1

Brian Ellison    –    –    1

Paul Henderson       –       –       1

Ruth Jefferson       –       –       1

Jonjo O’Neill        –       –       1

Nigel Twiston-Davies   –    –    1

Harry Whittington        –       –       1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S57.

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

TRM Ireland Leading Owner Award

Owner          1st    2nd       3rd

Gigginstown House Stud     2       1       3

Supreme Racing Club partnerships 2       1       –

J P McManus        1       2       1

John Hales         1       1       –

Ann & Alan Potts Ltd      1       1     –

Paul & Clare Rooney   1    –    1

Cheveley Park Stud   1    –    –

Dingwall, Farrell, Hornsey & Murray  1       –       –

Frank McAleavy       1       –       –

Giraffa Racing        1       –       –

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede 1    –    –

Paul Murphy        1       –       –

Owners Group 031      1       –       –

Philip Reynolds       1       –       –

Taylor & O’Dwyer       1       –       –

John Phelan/Syed Momin  1    –    –

The Reserve Tankers   1    –    –

Susannah Ricci       1       –       –

Johnny Weatherby       1       –       –

Mr K Alexander       –       1     –

Mr & Mrs Paul Barber/Ged Mason/Sir Alex Ferguson –    1       –

Burnham P & D Ltd   –    1    –

Judy Craymer & Nick Skelton –    1    –

Sarah Faulks    –    1    –

Chris Giles/Mr & Mrs Paul Barber   –       1       –

Barbara Hester   –    1    –

Wendy & Malcolm Hezel  –    1    –

Sir Chips Keswick       –       1       –

Oceans Racing       –       1       –

Rebel Racing    –    1    –

Jane Sivills        –       1       –

The Spero Partnership Ltd     –       1       –

Mrs Julien Turner & Andrew Meriam  –       1       –

Tynan/MacLennan/Carthy/Shananhan/Magnier –     1       –

Ronnie Bartlett   –    –    1

Kate & Andrew Brooks     –       –       1

The Can’t Say No Partnership   –       –       1

Coldnell Ltd        –       –       1

Mrs P J Conway       –       –       1

D Gilbert, M Lawrence, A Bruce, G Wills –    –    1

Racing For Fun       –       –       1

Richard Collins       –       –       1

Chris & Sandra Giles    –    –    1

Harbour Rose Partnership     –       –       1

Sharon Kinsella       –       –       1

Mr David Maxwell       –       –       1

McNeill Family    –    –    1

The Rockbourne Partnership    –       –       1

Slattery Bloodstock Ltd     –       –       1

Three Celts    –    –    1

Walters Plant Hire & Ronnie Bartlett –    –    1

S58.

 

STEWARDS’ REPORT

 

Race 1 – 1:45pm G3 GASKELLS HANDICAP HURDLE

 

NESTOR PARK (FR) wore earplugs which were removed at the start. The Starter reported that GUNFLEET (IRE), unplaced, was keen to post and overshot the start and THECLOCKISTICKING (IRE), placed fifth, caught the running rail as it exited the canter down. Having been examined by the Veterinary Surgeon at the Start, both geldings were deemed fit to race. The performance of POKER PLAY (FR) which was pulled up, was considered. David Pipe’s explanation that the gelding was never travelling on the Good to Soft, Good in places going was noted. Following the race, Henry Brooke reported that KNOCK HOUSE (IRE), unplaced, hung right throughout and Nico de Boinville reported that NESTOR PARK (FR), which was pulled up, lost its action; the Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the gelding failed to reveal any abnormalities. Jonjo O’Neill reported that FORZA MILAN (IRE), which was pulled up, was unsuited by the sharp track on this occasion. The Veterinary Officer further reported that the winner, AUX PTITS SOINS (FR) and GUNFLEET (IRE), unplaced, were treated for post-race heat stress and BURBANK (IRE) placed fourth, lost its right fore shoe.

 

Race 2 – 2:25pm G1 BETWAY MERSEY NOVICES’ HURDLE

 

ANGELS BREATH (IRE) wore earplugs which were removed at the start. On the bend after the winning post going onto the final circuit, KATESON, placed seventh, edged slightly left, crowding UMBRIGADO (IRE), placed sixth, onto CHOSEN MATE (IRE), placed fifth, tightening ONE FOR ROSIE, which dead heated for third, on the rail but after viewing a recording of the incident, it was found that no riding offence was involved. Following the race, Nico de Boinville reported that ANGELS BREATH (IRE), which dead heated for third, ran too freely and the Veterinary Officer reported that COLONEL CUSTARD (IRE), was treated for post-race heat stress.

 

Race 3 – 3:00pm G1 DOOM BAR MAGHULL NOVICES’ CHASE

 

The Veterinary Officer reported that Kayley Woollacott, the trainer of LALOR (GER), was in possession of NAF Pink Powder and Clean Wind. The trainer, an employee of the trainer, the BHA Investigating Officer and the Veterinary Officer were interviewed. Being satisfied that the gelding had received only normal food and water by mouth on the day of racing, the Stewards allowed LALOR (GER) to run, and ordered the gelding to be routine tested. They further confiscated the substance, ordered that it should be tested, and referred the matter to the Head Office of the British Horseracing Authority. Following the race, Richard Johnson reported that LALOR (GER), placed sixth of seven, was never travelling.

 

Race 4 – 3:40pm G1 RYANAIR STAYERS HURDLE

 

Having reviewed recordings of the false start, the Starters were satisfied that no riders should be reported for contravening the starting procedures. APPLE’S JADE (FR), placed third, did not enter the Winner’s Enclosure on Veterinary advice. Approaching the line, ROKSANA (IRE), placed second, edged left bumping the winner IF THE CAP FITS (IRE), twice but after viewing a recording of the incident, it was found that no riding offence was involved. Jack Kennedy, the rider of APPLE’S JADE (FR) was suspended for 4 days for using his whip in the incorrect place in the closing stages.  Following the race, Thomas Dowson reported that NAUTICAL NITWIT (IRE), unplaced, was never travelling.

 

Race 5 – 4:20pm G3 BETWAY HANDICAP CHASE

 

Permission was given for SPRINGTOWN LAKE (IRE) to wear a hood in the Parade Ring only and WILLIE BOY (IRE) wore earplugs which were removed at the start. After jumping the second last fence, the saddle slipped on GOLD OPERA (IRE), placed fourth, and the gelding shifted right hampering the winner, KILDISART (IRE), but after viewing a recording of the incident, it was found that no riding offence was involved. An enquiry was held to consider interference on the bend going into the second circuit when MISTER MALARKEY, placed second, ridden by Jonjo O’Neill Jr. interfered with SPRINGTOWN LAKE (IRE), which was later pulled up, ridden by Richard Johnson, which interfered with REIKERS ISLAND (IRE), which was later pulled up, ridden by Tom O’Brien, which in turn caused interference to OLDGRANGEWOOD, placed third, ridden by Harry Skelton. O’Neill Jr. was suspended for 4 days for allowing his mount to drift left towards the rail when not clear of SPRINGTOWN LAKE (IRE) crowding that runner onto REIKERS ISLAND (IRE) which was badly tightened for room and stumbled, and also causing OLDGRANGEWOOD to be crowded against the rail. Following the race, the Veterinary Officer reported that WILLIE BOY (IRE), placed sixth, finished lame on its right fore. The Veterinary Officer further reported that MISTER MALARKY, placed second, lost its right hind shoe, DEBECE, unplaced, lost its left fore shoe, POLYDORA (IRE), unplaced, lost its right fore shoe and RED GIANT, which was pulled up, lost its left hind shoe.

 

Race 6 – 5:15pm G3 RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL

 

Permission was given for SINGELFARMPAYMENT to be mounted in the pre-parade ring prior to entering the parade ring. PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE), RAMSES DE TEILLEE (FR) and UP FOR REVIEW (IRE) wore earplugs throughout the race and VALTOR (FR), ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE) and TEA FOR TWO wore earplugs which were removed at the start. Having reviewed recordings of the start, the Starters were satisfied that no riders should be reported for contravening the starting procedures. Following the race, the representative of LAKE VIEW LAD (IRE), which was pulled up, reported that the gelding was unsuited by the Good to Soft, Soft in places going and would prefer a softer surface. The Veterinary Officer reported that BLOW BY BLOW (IRE), which was pulled up, finished lame on its right fore and ULTRAGOLD (FR), unplaced, finished lame on its right fore. David Noonan reported that his rein snapped on RAMSES DE TEILLE (FR), and so he pulled up; the rein was inspected and as it was found to be in a serviceable condition, no further action was taken.

 

Race 7 – 6:20pm PINSENT MASONS HANDICAP HURDLE

 

Permission was given for LOCKER ROOM TALK (IRE) and BEENO (IRE) to go early to post and FLASHING GLANCE wore earplugs which were removed at the start. Mr. J.J. Codd, the rider of the winner, CHIEF JUSTICE, was suspended for 7 days, and fined £200 for using his whip above the permitted level from the last hurdle. Darragh O’Keefe, the rider of THISTIMENEXTYEAR, placed second, was suspended for 9 days for using his whip above the permitted level from approaching the last hurdle.

 

 

 

RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL, AINTREE

RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE

GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019

 

JUSTICE LAYS DOWN THE LAW

 

Less than an hour after Gordon Elliott watched the mighty Tiger Roll capture a second Randox Health Grand National, he was back in the winner’s enclosure at Aintree courtesy of Chief Justice (13/2) who captured the final race of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, the £50,000 Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle.

 

Ridden by amateur jockey Jamie Codd, dubbed “The Coddfather”, the four-year-old son of Acclamation held on gamely to capture the extended two-mile event, defeating the fast-finishing Thistimenextyear (6/1), trained by Richard Spencer, by a head.

 

Codd said: “That was a great win by Chief Justice. The race went perfect. The plan was to drop in and we did that.

 

“He had good Graded form coming into this race. I needed the line and it was brilliant to have a winner.

 

“I maybe went a little too soon, but Chief Justice won and that is all that matters.

 

“Gordon Elliott is an incredible man and I’m delighted to be riding for him and to be part of the team.”

 

“Tiger Roll is a brilliant horse. It’s so special for him to emulate Red Rum and Davy Russell is just a fantastic character, he epitomises racing and I’m delighted for all concerned, it has been a great day for the yard.”

 

Elliott commented: “That was a good performance from Chief Justice. It was a great ride by Jamie and did it well.

 

“It has been a brilliant day.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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