Pick Of The Grand National Weights

It's no secret that horses who have to carry top weight for the Grand National don't always do particularly well in the event, no matter how good they are. In fact, only three horses, from the last 10 Nationals, won carrying more than 11-01. They were Many Clouds (11-09) in 2015, Neptune Collonges (11-06) in 2012 and Don't Push It (11-05) in 2010.

The average weight of a winning Grand National runner over the last ten renewals is actually 10-05 so a few pounds on either side of that is generally considered to be the sweet spot when the weights are revealed. So with this in mind it's very easy to see why Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is very happy that his main prospect, Vicente, has only been given 10-05. That is a full 12lbs less than the weight he carried when he won the Scottish National last April. He may only be eight years old but he has stamina in bucket loads and may just bag Nicholls his second Grand National title.

But it was Gordon Elliott who grabbed the headlines at the weights ceremony on Tuesday. No sooner was his charge, Outlander, given the dubious honour of top weighted, when Elliott advised he wouldn't be running in it anyway.

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Elliott said: “It's nice to have a few runners in the race and we will see what happens. I'm probably a little bit disappointed that a few of the top weights are carrying 2lb more in England than they would in Ireland.

“Outlander won't be running. Empire Of Dirt will run in the Gold Cup and we will see what happens after that.

“Don Poli definitely runs. He is in good nick at the moment and he's got solid Grade One form.

“We are planning to run him in the Gold Cup, then the Grand National.”

Not even 48 hours have passed since Elliott's summary of the weights and already all three are now looking doubtful. Eddie O'Leary, racing manager to Gigginstown, says Empire Of Dirt also won't run and Don Poli is “doubtful”.

Despite owning the 2016 winner, Rule The World, Gigginstown connections are clearly not happy with the way their horses have been handicapped.

O'Leary said “He (the handicapper) wants to compress the weights so better horses get more of a chance, and that's fair enough. Yet our three top horses got 2lb more from a guy who wants to compress the weights.

“A handicapper is meant to be impartial. What I'd call the National now is a pre-Brexit, post-Brexit handicap.”

While he may not have been able to make everybody happy, BHA Handicapper Phil Smith, did give James Moffatt's Highland Lodge a good boost. The 2015 Becher Chase winner narrowly missed out in 2016 but is back this year on a better rating, thanks to his consistency as well as his second place finish in the 2016 Becher Chase.

Moffatt said: “I’m very pleased. Obviously, it’s an opportunity for us now and I’m looking forward to it. He’s in great form and this season has just been about two races – the Becher and the National.

“He had a good summer out at grass. I genuinely think he’s a stronger, better horse.

“He looks great and we’re just building towards the National.

“We’re pretty confident and we dare to dream. I have respect for all the other horses, of course I do, but I don’t fear any of them.”

The Last Samuri, who was runner-up last year, saw his weight go up which is no great surprise. He'll run off 11lbs more than in 2016 and even then, with Outlander all but withdrawn, that weight looks set to increase further.

Kim Bailey accepted the weight but added: “He’s only a small horse, so it won’t be easy for him.”

Picture by: David Davies PA Archive/PA Images

Grand National Weights Announced

The weights for the 2017 Grand National have been announced at the V&A tonight. The BHA's senior handicapper Phil Smith has the unenviable task of framing the weights for the world's greatest race. His task is to solve the eternal puzzle of exactly how good a horse is.

The aim of the handicapper is to give each horse a fair chance of winning by allotting them more or less weight to carry. The good horses get more weight to carry than those considered less able. In theory the field of runners should all cross the finishing line together if the handicapper has it 100% correct. But of course that never happens in reality.

The most any horse can carry in the Grand National is 11st 10lbs and the weights descend from there. For now the weights are as follows…

No. 1 – Outlander – 11-10
No. 2 – Champagne West – 11-09
No. 3 – Empire of Dirt – 11-08
No. 4 – Don Poli – 11-07
No. 5 – Carlingford Lough – 11-06
No. 6 – The Last Samuri – 11-05
No. 7 – Alary – 11-04
No. 8 – Alechi inois – 11-03
No. 9 – Minella Rocco – 11-02
No. 10 – Devils bride – 11-01

No. 11 – More Of That – 11-01
No. 12 – Lord Scoundrel – 11-00
No. 13 – Perfect Candidate – 11-00
No. 14 – Saphir De Rheu – 11-00
No. 15 – Shantou Flyer – 11-00
No. 16 – Road To Riches – 10-13
No. 17 – Sausalito Sunrise – 10-13
No. 18 – Caroles Destrier – 10-12
No. 19 – Clarcam – 10-12
No. 20 – Foxrock – 10-12

No. 21 – Roi Des Francs – 10-12
No. 22 – Wonderful Charm – 10-11
No. 23 – Wounded Warrior – 10-11
No. 24 – Blaklion – 10-10
No. 25 – Drop Out Joe – 10-10
No. 26 – Tenor Nivernais – 10-10
No. 27 – Tiger Roll – 10-10
No. 28 – A Toi Phil – 10-09
No. 29 – Le Mercurey – 10-09
No. 30 – The Game Changer – 10-09

No. 31 – Cause Of Causes – 10-08
No. 32 – Maggio – 10-08
No. 33 – Regal Encore – 10-08
No. 34 – The Young Master – 10-08
No. 35 – Definitly Red – 10-07
No. 36 – Double Shuffle – 10-07
No. 37 – Houblon Des Obeaux – 10-07
No. 38 – Pleasant Company – 10-07
No. 39 – Ucello Conti – 10-07
No. 40 – Vieux Lion Rouge – 10-07

No. 41 – Ballynagour – 10-06
No. 42 – Highland Lodge – 10-06
No. 43 – Junction Fourteen – 10-06
No. 44 – O'Faolains Boy – 10-06
No. 45 – One For Arthur – 10-06
No. 46 – Vivaldi Collonges – 10-06
No. 47 – Bishops Road – 10-05
No. 48 – Lord Windermere – 10-05
No. 49 – Saint Are – 10-05
No. 50 – Vicente – 10-05

No. 51 – Vics Canvas – 10-05
No. 52 – Ziga boy – 10-05
No. 53 – Just A Par – 10-04
No. 54 – Measureofmydreams – 10-04
No. 55 – Raz De Maree – 10-04
No. 56 – Stellar Notion – 10-04
No. 57 – As De Mee – 10-03
No. 58 – Cocktails At Dawn – 10-03
No. 59 – Pendra – 10-03
No. 60 – Rouge Angel – 10-03

No. 61 – Seventh Sky – 10-03
No. 62 – Shutthefrontdoor – 10-03
No. 63 – Gas Line Boy – 10-02
No. 64 – Goodtoknow – 10-02
No. 65 – The Romford Pele – 10-02
No. 66 – Thunder And Roses – 10-02
No. 67 – Triolo D'Alene – 10-02
No. 68 – Vieux Morvan – 10-02
No. 69 – Doctor harper – 10-01
No. 70 – Gallant Oscar – 10-01

No. 71 – La Vaticane – 10-01
No. 72 – Bless The Wings – 10-00
No. 73 – Tour Des Champs – 10-00
No. 74 – Knock House – 9-13
No. 75 – Hadrians Approach – 9-12
No. 76 – Benbens – 9-11
No. 77 – Potters Cross – 9-11
No. 78 – Sabremont – 9-11
No. 79 – Straidnahanna – 9-11
No. 80 – Viva Steve – 9-11

No. 81 – Cloudy Too – 9-10
No. 82 – Lamb Or Cod – 9-10
No. 83 – Milansbar – 9-10
No. 84 – Polidam – 9-10
No. 85 – Dromnea – 9-09
No. 86 – Streets Of Promise – 9-09
No. 87 – Vyta Du Roc – 9-09
No. 88 – Beeves – 9-08
No. 89 – Royale Knight – 9-08
No. 90 – Alfie Spinner – 9-07

No. 91 – Emperor's Choice – 9-07
No. 92 – Goulanes – 9-07
No. 93 – Lessons In Milan – 9-07
No. 94 – Mountain King – 9-07
No. 95 – Out Sam – 9-07
No. 96 – Sizing Coal – 9-07
No. 97 – Dare to Endeavour – 9-06
No. 98 – Father Edward – 9-06
No. 99 – Samingarry – 9-06
No. 100 – Silver Man – 9-06

No. 101 – Alvarado – 9-05
No. 102 – Milborough – 9-05
No. 103 – The Crafty Butcher – 9-04
No. 104 – Waldorf Salad – 9-04
No. 105 – Katenko – 9-03
No. 106 – Federici – 9-02
No. 107 – Gone Too Far – 9-01
No. 108 – Racing Pulse – 9-01
No. 109 – Killer Crow – 9-00

Through the next few declaration stages, potential runners will either remain in contention or get withdrawn. If the top weighted horse, which this year is the Gordon Elliott trained Outlander, gets taken out, the next horse on the list, Champagne West, will see his weight increase, as will all of the other horses below him. Essentially the top weighted horse MUST carry 11-10.

Gordon Elliott has already mused that Outlander won't run in the Grand National 2017 which means it's already very likely that all runners will have their weight increased by 1lb, if he goes.

Based on his handicap marks, Phil Smith of the BHA, reckons that those on around 144 should make the cut this year – that's any horse at number 68 or less – for those of you who fancy an early ante-post bet!

Goodtoknow Could Be Headed To The National

The Kerry Lee trained horse Goodtoknow is on a roll and with a win at Hereford two weeks ago, his chances of making the cut for the Grand National 2017 have definitely been given a boost. It was a great performance in the Handicap Chase for the nine year old chaser and his trainer is more than pleased with its potential effect at Aintree.

Both Goodtoknow and his stablemate Mountainous put on a show during the race, with Goodtoknow leading home the latter horse. Lee has been having an amazing season so far, following up a season of success from last year.

She managed to finish last season with a Welsh National win and a Warwick’s Classic chase win and for a trainer who only made her debut last season, this is impressive to say the least. Lee is very quickly making a name for herself in this industry and is sure to have another successful season if Hereford is any indication.

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There were a total of 11 runners in the Handicap Chase at Hereford but because of the conditions only three of them managed to make it to the finish. Mountainous and Goodtoknow led the pack, with Streets of Promise coming in third. Streets of Promise has been fair to middling in his races so far this season, with a smattering of third and fourth places being earned.

It wasn’t a close race by any stretch of the imagination but it was a good one none the less for the two Lee horses. The ground was soft but heavy in parts, making for difficult conditions for the horses and jockeys alike. Navigating the track was a battle in itself and it was clear to see from the start that all of the runners would not be making it to the finishing line.

Lee herself stated that the two had been in peak form during the race and that their jockeys served them well. She’s right in this regard as Richard Patrick and Jake Greenall both handled the tough conditions well, giving plenty of guidance to the horses. It was a nail biting finish for Lee, as she stated she just couldn’t tell which of the two would win.

Joking after the race, Lee stated that pundits were asking which horse she would bet upon that morning. Her advice was a reverse exacta as there was no way she could pick from the two that had been on such top form. She now has her fingers crossed that the win will be enough for the BHA Handicapper to take notice of Goodtoknow when it comes to revealing the weights for the 2017 National – but it will still be a close call.

But before the Grand National in April, plans are to send Goodtoknow to Haydock on Saturday for the upcoming Grand National Trial for which he has odds as short as 10/1, with Betfair. That's a far cry from the current ante-post Grand National odds of 66/1 which will probably drop like a stone if he is successful at Haydock.

Undoubtedly, Goodtoknow will once again be partnered with jockey Jake Greenall who avid racing fans may recognise as the son of former chairman of Aintree, Lord Daresbury which may just give him an edge when it comes to knowing his way around the course.

However it all pans out for connections, Lee’s horses are definitely ones to watch in the run up to the Grand National and they may just surprise us further in their next races.

Vicente the Top Pick of Trainer Nicholls

Currently top of the Trainers Championships and heading for his 11th trainers’ title, Paul Nicholls is hoping that a win in the upcoming Grand National will bring it home for him and while he's clearly eager to see all of his horses do well, he feels that one of them has a slightly higher chance of winning the title for him.

On a rating of 147, and very likely to make the cut this year, Vicente is the one that he feels will be most likely to bring a Grand National victory on April 8th. Despite not regaining the form that saw him win the Scottish National last April, the eight year old put in a valiant effort in the Coral Welsh National to finish in sixth place before heading to Doncaster last time out to also finish in sixth place. A good finish in the Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday 18th would give his National credentials a real boost. At the moment he is a general 33/1 antepost for the Grand National 2017 win.

In total, Nicholls has a grand total of seven horses entered into the running for the Grand National, two less than in 2016. This seasoned trainer has proven time and again that his horses have the grit and training needed to win and he is no doubt hoping for a repeat success of 2012 when Neptune Collonges won it for him.

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Pundits are speculating that some of Nicholls’ horses are just too young to be in the race as from the seven entered two are just seven years old while another three are just eight years old including Vicente and Saphir Du Rheu. Whether he’s really up to the hardest race in the world is yet to be seen as he’s a largely untested horse in this regard. He has had three starts at 3m3f or more and only won one – the Scottish National. The bulk of his races have been run at shorter distances but then again that's true for many of the potential Grand National runners this year.

So what makes Vicente a favourite for Nicholls? Speaking to the Racing Post, Nicholls said “He's always been a spring horse and wants good ground.

“He ran okay at Doncaster the other day. Three miles is a bit sharp for him and it looked like he'd be tailed off, but he flew up the straight.

“You're getting runs into them to keep them sharp and he's been trained with that mind.

“He might go straight there as it's not easy to find races for horses rated like him and Cheltenham is close enough to Aintree. He's fresh and has won a Scottish National so it might suit. He'd be our one for that.”

Speaking on the inexperience of Saphir Du Rheu, Nicholls said that he will definitely run in the Grand National, it just might not be this year.

With trainers like Colin Tizzard and Nicky Henderson gaining speed on this top trainer, he’ll be fighting hard to keep his place in the elite of the game. His horses have brought in millions so far and by the numbers, he’s one of the best trainers in the world. It will certainly be exciting to see his seven entries and their progress.

Alvarado Pins National Hopes On Handicapper

Historically if your horse is within the first 75 when the weights are announced by the BHA Handicapper, you have a pretty good shot at making the line-up for the Grand National.

This is largely in part to horses getting multiple race entries, such as at both Aintree and Cheltenham, and connections opting for the latter and bypassing the Grand National Festival.

Horses get entered but subsequently get injured, they also get withdrawn if the weight they are allocated is deemed to high for them to take the chance over such a long distance and for some, much closer to the day, the ground doesn't go their way and trainers opt for alternative races such as the Scottish Grand National which takes place a couple of weeks later.

For those reasons, and probably a few more, the number of horses originally entered into the National gets whittled down and as those at the top half of the list are taken out those on the lower weights get moved up the pecking order and closer to the final forty that will compete on the day.

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In 2013 84 horses got an entry. Viking Blond was at number 76 when the weights came out having been allocated 9-07. He ultimately made it into the top 40, was bumped up to 10-00, the minimum you can run off in the Grand National. Likewise in 2014 when 115 were entered and Swing Bill was given 10-01 and found himself in spot number 79. He too ultimately made the cut.

In 2015 the number of entries dropped slightly to 98 of which Royale Knight was at number 68 after the weights were announced. A higher calibre of entries meant the Official Rating of the runners had also gone up and now 138 was the lowest OR of the forty National runners – up from 131 in 2013.

In 2016 things changed again. With some spectacular entries such as Don Poli, Many Clouds, Silviniaco Conti and Valseur Lido all potentially in the running and a bumper crop of entries at 126, many assumed it would be par for the course when it came to defections and that those who found themselves somewhere in the middle of the table would still have a decent shot of making the final cut. However, fewer than expected were withdrawn, only 19 in total which meant that the Romford Pele was the last to book his place on a staggering official rating of 145.

So now it's 2017 and the likes of Alvarado find themselves in very precarious positions when it comes to this year's renewal of the Grand National. A runner that finished fourth in both the 2014 and 2015 runnings, he missed the cut in 2016. Clearly a horse still in his prime he went to the Scottish Grand National where he finished in second place behind Vincente.

His problem this season is that he is currently running off a handicap of around 135 and based on last year, this is not high enough to secure him a place. His opportunity to be viewed more favourably by the BHA Handicapper suffered a set back when he fell in the Becher Chase back in December and his chance to boost his credentials, before the weights are revealed next Tuesday, didn't go to plan when he could only manage 6th place at Musselburgh in the bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase last Saturday.

Trainer Fergal O'Brien remains optimistic though saying: “His handicap mark is not something we worry about and if he misses out hopefully he can go one better in the Scottish National.”

It would be great to see Alvarado back around the National course and maybe if the declaration stages go his way we might just see him there again on April 8th. For now though his best chance is with the Handicapper.

Ziga Boy Wins at Doncaster and will be Running at Haydock

Connections of Ziga Boy are looking ahead to possible Grand National qualification as they gear up for Haydock. The eight year old has been in his element recently, slamming the competition in the run up to Aintree with his recent big win in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster and with his place booked in the upcoming Grand National Trial at Haydock, it could be the boost his credentials need if he wants to line-up at Aintree on April 8th.

Trainer Alan King will be hoping for him to do well at the upcoming National trial on the 18th of February, at least as well as he did at Doncaster which will have hopefully raised his rating enough to allow him to make the cut when the BHA Handicapper reveals the weights on February 14th.

Prior to the Doncaster win his rating was 137. Last year, when he was entered into the National he was given 141 and that still wasn't enough to qualify when no horses below 145 made the cut. Thankfully the handicapper has given him a helping hand in the race to make the cut for the Grand National by raising his rating to 147. Incidentally, those on an OR of 147 ran off 10-06 in 2016 so definitely an advantageous weight.

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Dan Downie, the racing manager for Ziga Boy’s owners, said that the horse was doing well after Doncaster, with no injuries or warnings to speak of. He said that Ziga Boy had basically mirrored the performance of last year and that it had all just fallen into place for the horse. With the entry into the Grand National Trial at Haydock being received, they’ll need to think about whether they’re ready for this horse to go for the toughest race.

Ziga Boy is owned by Axom, a syndicate that is notorious for being selective about the horses that they offer to their members and only ever have a few of them at a time. Their members will be watching patiently while the Grand National Trial takes place, with more than a few of them likely to be at the edge of their seats.

Historically, Ziga Boy has always done well in Doncaster, having won at the race last year too so this was a record breaking moment for as he was the first to clinch a double victory in the history of the race. He smashed the 71 year record and has set himself up well for the rest of the season.

This significant change in the rankings could have a knock on effect with regards to the 40 runners we see in the Grand National. If Ziga Boy manages to make it there, he might just unseat a more favoured pick to do so. With Haydock fast approaching, the battle for a place in the Grand National is likely to heat up shortly.

14 Year Old Vics Canvas to Compete in the Grand National

This April, Vics Canvas will try to become the oldest winner of the Grand National in more than 150 years. The Dermot McLoughlin trained chaser will be 14 years old but his track record shows that he's got just as much chance as anybody, the only issue is that he hasn't actually run this season.

A leg injury has prevented him from having run outs so far this season with his trainer describing the injury as a knock on the joint with a small crack, nothing overly concerning but cause for a rest for the horse.

As a younger horse, his career didn’t get off to the best start because he suffered from stomach ulcers. This led to slow start and it wasn’t until the age of seven that he actually gained any momentum. He did well in the Cork Grand National back in 2014 and his trainer believes he still has a lot of potential despite his age.

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He ran in last year's National and got off to a spectacular start but bad luck hampered his chances when he had a minor stumble. Despite that, he still managed to get around and finish in third place, which is a great achievement though, understandably disappointing for his trainer and connections.

McLoughlin is a prolific trainer and has the eye for horses that are still willing to race. He said that although Vics Canvas is getting on in years, he’s not a heavily raced horse. He’s also never sustained a major injury that has taken longer than a few weeks to recover fully from. As a chaser he's had 11 chase starts returning a win and five places which, for his age, isn't as many as you would expect.

His trainer described him as being in good condition and enthusiastic about racing and is hoping this continues to be the case come April.

This horse may be a bit older than many other of his fellow entrants but he definitely shouldn’t be counted out of the race. Last year he went off at 100/1 which would have been a huge win for those who backed him each way but he would have to make history on April 8th as he would be the only horse to win the race at the age of 14, though one 15 year old has one it in the past.

Peter Simple is the oldest ever winner of the Grand National, though things were rather different when he won back in 1853. The advantage that this horse had was that he’d already won the race a few years prior, something that Vics Canvas has not.

The pundits don’t really know how to take this entry into the race, with bookmakers taking a wide range of bets on him. Although he is older, he does have a number of selling points that could place him above others in the race. Just last he smashed records as the only 13 year old to run in the Grand National since 1969. Add to this the fact that he won’t be raced before then and readers can see why he’s hard to place.

The BHA will also need to sign off on Vics Canvas before he heads to the starting gate. Depending on the rating and weight he is given by the BHA Handicapper next week, he might not even make the cut but if he does, he’ll still be inspected on the morning of the race.

Prior to that he could even be pulled at one of the declaration stages as it's up to the BHA to certify that horses are safe to compete in what is steeplechasing’s most difficult race. They have a duty of care to the horses and they won’t hesitate to pull the racer if he proves not to be up to the task.

But should he be given the green light then keep him in mind as a stalwart who can get around the course with the potential to cause an upset.

110 Confirmed Entries For Grand National 2017

It has has just been announced that 110 entries have been confirmed for the Grand National which is set to take place at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 8th 2017.

That number is a decrease of 16 on the number entered last year when 126 got the green light.

This year marks the 170th running of the Grand National, arguably the world's greatest and one of the most valuable chases, and with a million pounds prize money up for grabs, it's no wonder that so many have put themselves in the running.

A maximum field of 40 can line up for the Randox Health Grand National, which is broadcast for the first time on ITV.

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Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Chief Executive of Randox, said: “The entries revealed today promise a tremendous race at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 8, when Randox Health sponsors the Grand National for the first time.

“We are looking forward to a great week of racing and are excited to share our message of preventive health with the 600,000,000 viewers of the event worldwide.

“We're already counting down the days until the start of the three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree on Thursday, April 6.”

So are there any surprises with the entries? There are no obvious entries that come as a shock but given that Native River was an ante-post favourite on odds of around 14/1 last week and he hasn't received an entry, that may surprise a few – especially those who backed him!

Of the 110 entries, Ireland accounts for 37 of them with Gordon Elliott the trainer who leads with the highest number, 14 of them including A Toi Phil, Bless The Wings, Cause Of Causes, Clarcam, Don Poli, Empire Of Dirt, Killer Crow, Lord Scoundrel, Mountain King, Outlander, Roi Des Francs, The Game Changer, Tiger Roll and Ucello Conti.

The trainer with the next highest number of entries is Paul Nicholls who has submitted As De Mee, Just A Par, Le Mercurey, Saphir Du Rheu, Vicente, Vivaldi Collonges and Wonderful Charm.

Owner Gigginstown Stud has entered a staggering 16 horses for consideration and the line-up is more than impressive with the likes of Don Poli, Empire Of Dirt, Road To Riches and the 2016 Irish Grand National hero Rogue Angel who is also trained by last year's winning trainer Mouse Morris.

Here is the full list of horses entered into the Randox Health Grand National 2017:

Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
A TOI PHIL (FR)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
ALARY (FR)
7
Ann & Alan Potts
Colin Tizzard
ALELCHI INOIS (FR)
9
L McMahon/Mrs F Murphy/F Mangan
Willie Mullins IRE
ALFIE SPINNER (IRE)
12
Alan Beard & Brian Beard
Kerry Lee
ALVARADO (IRE)
12
William & Angela Rucker
Fergal O'Brien
AS DE MEE (FR)
7
The Stewart Family & Judi Dench
Paul Nicholls
BALLYNAGOUR (IRE)
11
Allan Stennett
David Pipe
BEEVES (IRE)
10
Paul & Clare Rooney
Jennie Candlish
BENBENS (IRE)
12
S Such & C G Paletta
Nigel Twiston-Davies
BISHOPS ROAD (IRE)
9
Alan Halsall
Kerry Lee
BLAKLION
8
S Such & CG Paletta
Nigel Twiston-Davies
BLESS THE WINGS (IRE)
12
Adrian Butler/S P O'Connor
Gordon Elliott IRE
CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE)
11
J P McManus
John Kiely IRE
CAROLE'S DESTRIER
9
Mrs C Skipworth
Neil Mulholland
CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA)
9
J P McManus
Gordon Elliott IRE
CHAMPAGNE WEST (IRE)
9
Roger Brookhouse
Henry de Bromhead IRE
CLARCAM (FR)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
CLOUDY TOO (IRE)
11
Formulated Polymer Products Ltd
Sue Smith
COCKTAILS AT DAWN
9
Robin Geffen & Sir John Ritblat
Nicky Henderson
DARE TO ENDEAVOUR
10
Aidan J Ryan
Eric McNamara IRE
DEFINITLY RED (IRE)
8
P J Martin
Brian Ellison
DEVILS BRIDE (IRE)
10
Gigginstown House Stud
Henry de Bromhead IRE
DOCTOR HARPER (IRE)
9
The Johnson Family
David Pipe
DON POLI (IRE)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
DOUBLE SHUFFLE (IRE)
7
Crossed Fingers Partnership
Tom George
DROMNEA (IRE)
10
Mrs A M Daly
Mouse Morris IRE
DROP OUT JOE
9
The Jesters
Charlie Longsdon
EMPEROR'S CHOICE (IRE)
10
The Bellamy Partnership
Venetia Williams
EMPIRE OF DIRT (IRE)
10
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
FATHER EDWARD (IRE)
8
Fergus Wilson
David Pipe
FEDERICI
8
Jon Glews
Donald McCain
FOXROCK (IRE)
9
Barry Connell
Ted Walsh IRE
GALLANT OSCAR (IRE)
11
J P McManus
Tony Martin IRE
GAS LINE BOY (IRE)
11
The Three Graces
Ian Williams
GONE TOO FAR
9
Fergus Wilson
David Pipe
GOODTOKNOW
9
Burling Daresbury MacEchern Nolan Potter
Kerry Lee
GOULANES (IRE)
11
Roger Brookhouse
Neil Mulholland
HADRIAN'S APPROACH (IRE)
10
Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
Nicky Henderson
HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE)
11
Bowes Lodge Stables
James Moffatt
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR)
10
Mrs Julian Blackwell
Venetia Williams
JUNCTION FOURTEEN (IRE)
8
Martin St Quinton & Tim Syder
Emma Lavelle
JUST A PAR (IRE)
10
Paul Barber & The Late Graham Roach
Paul Nicholls
KATENKO (FR)
11
Andrew Brooks
Venetia Williams
KILLER CROW (IRE)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
KNOCK HOUSE (IRE)
8
Tim Leslie
Donald McCain
LA VATICANE (FR)
8
Maria Bukhtoyarova
David Pipe
LAMB OR COD (IRE)
10
Terry Warner
Philip Hobbs
LE MERCUREY (FR)
7
Chris Giles & Colm Donlon
Paul Nicholls
LESSONS IN MILAN (IRE)
9
Trevor Hemmings
Nicky Henderson
LORD SCOUNDREL (IRE)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
LORD WINDERMERE (IRE)
11
Dr Ronan Lambe
Jim Culloty IRE
MAGGIO (FR)
12
Douglas Pryde/James Beaumont
Patrick Griffin IRE
MEASUREOFMYDREAMS (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Noel Meade IRE
MILANSBAR (IRE)
10
Robert Bothway
Neil King
MILBOROUGH (IRE)
11
Helen Cross
Ian Duncan
MINELLA ROCCO (IRE)
7
J P McManus
Jonjo O'Neill
MORE OF THAT (IRE)
9
J P McManus
Jonjo O'Neill
MOUNTAIN KING
8
Jack McKay/Paul McKay/Mark McKay
Gordon Elliott IRE
O'FAOLAINS BOY (IRE)
10
Trembath, Hyde, Outhart & Hill
Rebecca Curtis
ONE FOR ARTHUR (IRE)
8
Two Golf Widows
Lucinda Russell
OTAGO TRAIL (IRE)
9
Marie Shone
Venetia Williams
OUT SAM
8
Swanee River Partnership
Warren Greatrex
OUTLANDER (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
PENDRA (IRE)
9
J P McManus
Charlie Longsdon
PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE)
10
ISL Recruitment
Fergal O'Brien
PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE)
9
Malcolm Denmark
Willie Mullins IRE
POLIDAM (FR)
8
Simon Munir/Isaac Souede
Willie Mullins IRE
POTTERS CROSS
10
Conyers, O'Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman
Rebecca Curtis
RACING PULSE (IRE)
8
Carl Hinchy
Rebecca Curtis
RAZ DE MAREE (FR)
12
James J Swan
Gavin Cromwell IRE
REGAL ENCORE (IRE)
9
J P McManus
Anthony Honeyball
ROAD TO RICHES (IRE)
10
Gigginstown House Stud
Noel Meade IRE
ROGUE ANGEL (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Mouse Morris IRE
ROI DES FRANCS (FR)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
ROYALE KNIGHT
11
C E Stedman & R J Corsan
Dr Richard Newland
SAINT ARE (FR)
11
D W Fox
Tom George
SAMBREMONT (FR)
7
Shanakiel Racing Syndicate
Willie Mullins IRE
SAMINGARRY (FR)
10
Nigel Hawke Racing Club & Partner
Nigel Hawke
SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR)
8
The Stewart Family
Paul Nicholls
SAUSALITO SUNRISE (IRE)
9
Diana Whateley
Philip Hobbs
SEVENTH SKY (GER)
10
Fidelma Toole
Charlie Mann
SHANTOU FLYER (IRE)
7
Carl Hinchy
Rebecca Curtis
SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR (IRE)
10
J P McManus
Jonjo O'Neill
SILVER MAN
10
John Wardle
Jo Hughes
SIZING COAL (IRE)
9
Alan & Ann Potts Partnership
Jim Dreaper IRE
STELLAR NOTION (IRE)
9
Roger Brookhouse
Henry de Bromhead IRE
STRAIDNAHANNA (IRE)
8
M B Scholey & R H Scholey
Sue Smith
STREETS OF PROMISE (IRE)
8
Gempro
Michael Scudamore
TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR)
10
Boultbee Brooks Ltd
Venetia Williams
THE CRAFTY BUTCHER (IRE)
10
P Byrne/P W Mullins/D Ryan/I Madigan
Willie Mullins IRE
THE GAME CHANGER (IRE)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
THE LAST SAMURI (IRE)
9
Paul & Clare Rooney
Kim Bailey
THE ROMFORD PELE (IRE)
10
Trembath & Outhart
Rebecca Curtis
THE YOUNG MASTER
8
Dajam & The Old Masters
Neil Mulholland
THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Mouse Morris IRE
TIGER ROLL (IRE)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
TOUR DES CHAMPS (FR)
10
Prestbury Racing Club
Samuel Drinkwater
TRIOLO D'ALENE (FR)
10
Mr & Mrs Sandy Orr
Nicky Henderson
UCELLO CONTI (FR)
9
Simon Munir/Isaac Souede
Gordon Elliott IRE
VICENTE (FR)
8
John Hales & Ian Fogg
Paul Nicholls
VICS CANVAS (IRE)
14
Bodeen Bandits Partnership
Dermot McLoughlin IRE
VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR)
8
Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent
David Pipe
VIEUX MORVAN (FR)
8
N H Bloodstock Ltd
Isabelle Pacault FR
VIVA STEVE (IRE)
9
Paul & Clare Rooney
Fergal O'Brien
VIVALDI COLLONGES (FR)
8
The Gi Gi Syndicate
Paul Nicholls
VYTA DU ROC (FR)
8
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nicky Henderson
WALDORF SALAD
9
Alan Parker
Venetia Williams
WONDERFUL CHARM (FR)
9
Robin Geffen & Sir John Ritblat
Paul Nicholls
WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Noel Meade IRE
ZIGA BOY (FR)
8
Axom LI
Alan King

Randox Health Grand National Trophy Hallmarked

The Grand National Trophy design has been finalised and the sculpture has been taken to be hallmarked today. It is the first to be redesigned in a number of years and as a result it's sure to make a splash. Undoubtedly, getting their hands on it will be the goal for many of the jockeys in the race as they vie for the title that goes along with it in April.

The Grand National trophy itself is in the last stages of its creation as it gets hallmarked at Goldsmith’s in London. This is the final seal of approval in the process and it will mean that the design will be on its way to that lucky jockey come April 8th. There has been a period of contention over the trophy in the last few months, with industry specialists weighing in on the design prior to the big day.

It will be hallmarked at the Assay Office in the City of London, a memorable place for the ceremony to be held. This is the first time in the history of the Grand National that the design of the trophy will be set to change each year. Randox Health, a global diagnostics company, are sponsoring the design for the foreseeable future and will change it each year that they add their name to the event.

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The very first of these trophies will be shown at the Weights Evening Reception which will be held at the V&A Museum. This London based museum will be home to the trophy from Valentine’s Day, so if you're an avid fan you can head there to see it for yourself.

Over the next two weeks, we can expect to see teaser pictures of the trophy revealed, though the full design won’t be available just yet which is understandable as organisers want to create some hype around the trophy and ignite fresh interest in the race itself. But they did release a video to give us a little inkling of the trophy as it gets made. I must admit, it's not the world's most exciting video but I suppose they were limited as to what they could show. That said, if you fancy watching it, check it out below.

The reasoning behind creating a new Randox Health trophy each year is that each winner will hold an entirely different trophy and they will each be totally unique.

Dr. Peter FitzGerald, the Managing Director of Randox Health, has stated that these trophies stand as a testimony to those that have won them and the commitment that they have made to the sport to do so. They are created with the ethos that every winner is different and that their trophy should also reflect that.

The smith that worked on the Grand National trophy, Shannon O’Neill, has said that this year’s version is a true work of art. It has images that show the speed and excitement of racing and really serve to show what these racers are capable of. The work was created at Burghley House, a highly interesting and historic place.

O’Neill has said that he was delighted to be offered the smith’s position for the trophy and he appreciates just how important this is to the racing world. He said that he understands that each piece is its own work of art and deserves a place in the history books.

Overall it seems that the spirit of racing is very much alive in these trophies, with each winner deserving something totally new. We’re excited to see what this design looks like and with four more to come, this trophy is bound to keep getting better.

Grand National Champion Many Clouds Passes Away

The racing world was shocked last weekend when the 2015 Grand National winner, Many Clouds passed away. The sad loss of the popular Oliver Sherwood trained horse came moments after he had beaten the much fancied Thistlecrack in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.

The pinnacle of Many Clouds’ career came with his 2015 Grand National win. He was partnered with Leighton Aspell for his famous victory at Aintree that day, and it was Aspell who also guided him to a thrilling win over Thistlecrack on Saturday.

King George winner Thistlecrack had been the pre-race favourite but Many Clouds was able to take him on and ultimately outstayed the Colin Tizzard trained horse. Shortly after the race, Many Clouds started to display symptoms of being unwell and was immediately treated by the on-course vets but they could not to save him.

Health checks were conducted on all the horses prior to the race, as is standard, and Many Clouds was passed fit to race. Jockey Leighton Aspell stated that his ears were pricked, eyes bright and that if the horse had been dull eyed or lethargic they would have immediately called the vet for further checks before racing.

A post mortem has revealed that Many Clouds suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage, which can be sudden and show no sign of occurring beforehand. Tony Welsh, acting chief veterinary officer of the British Horseracing Authority, has confirmed that this type of health issue could not have been prevented and it was an underlying problem that would not have been detected.

Many Clouds had suffered with overheating problems in the past but the BHA have cleared those responsible for his health, citing an undetectable blood clot. In November of last year, the horses heart was checked and there were no suspicious results.

As the tragic news of Many Clouds loss was relayed to fans at Cheltenham and those watching at home it was a sombre Colin Tizzard who said: “We were just beaten by the better horse on the day, two fantastic horses ran right to the line.

“Poor old Many Clouds. My initial thought when we got beat was that I was disappointed but it's as sad as can be, he was a lovely horse and he beat us on the day.”

Unsurprisingly, owner Trevor Hemmings and his staff have been inundated with messages of sympathy after the death of his Grand National winning star Many Clouds.

A clearly saddened Mr Hemmings advised that the horse’s ashes will be coming home to the Isle of Man.

Hemmings said: “We called him the Manx horse. He was like a member of the family and my staff are all devastated.”

Groom CJ Jerdin, who looked after Many Clouds since his arrival in Oliver Sherwood's yard, was clearly devastated by the loss and speaking to James Burn at the Racing Post said:

“It took us five minutes to get him into Cheltenham because people wanted pictures as he came off the box. I've never had a horse with so much public affection like he had.

“He wanted for nothing and meant everything to me.

“He was the reason I enjoyed going to work, now it's going to be very difficult, but he won't be forgotten”