The Grand National

The Worlds Greatest Steeplechase



The Grand National or the worlds greatest steeplechase as it is often referred to as is a horse race run over steeplechase fences at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool..

The distance run in this race is 4 miles 4 furlongs and is the longest race run in the UK today.

This race is a unique test or horse and rider and the 30 fences that are jumped are a real test of bravery. Unlike most racecourses in the uk the fences are varied in height, width and depth and also the landing side on many of the fences is lower than the take off side and therefore do not offer a view of the landing to the horse.

There are 16 fences and 14 of then are jumped twice, the exceptions being the water and The Chair jumps. This make a total of 30 jumps to be made.

More information


Synchronised 9 11-10 Jonjo O'Neill A P McCoy

A horse thought of as a slow long distance plodder who proved everybody wrong when he smartly won the Cheltenham Gold Cup a few weeks ago.
An out and out stayer who looks the real national type and as he is rated the best in the line up and therefore is set to carry the top weight of 11st 10 lbs. A previous winner of the Midlands National in 2010 and also winner of the 2009 Welsh National where he beat Giles Cross by 2 and a half lengths giving away a stone and four pounds.
Very much a long distance chaser with a good cruising speed loves soft ground but handles good ground. Good ground may be an advantage for the horse this year as the burden of top weight in the soft ground after a long season may just be too much. If the weights were to be sets now he would also have to give away more weight so that's in his favour. The connections also have won this race in 2009 with Don't Push it.
There is a lot to like about this horse but there are also many stats against. Very few horses are able to carry top weight to win this marathon with the last being Red Rum in 1974. Also Gold cup winners rarely win the national in the same season as their gold cup win with the only horse ever to do this was Golden Miller in 1934 who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup 5 times and when he did win the National he set a record time that lasted 40 years until Red Rum beat it.
So although this is a great horse there are too many ticks in the against list to strongly recommend him but there is no doubt that there would be fewer more popular winners.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

Ballabriggs 11 11-9 D McCain Jnr J M Maguire

Last years winner returns again to try and be the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win back to back Grand Nationals. A really good winner last year and has had his season set out with this race in mind with only one prep race early last month to put him spot on for the race. Set to carry 9 lbs more this year but is a horse that likes good ground and add to that the way he ran last year suggests that he could be the type to carry the extra weight without too much trouble.
Has the stat of past winners not winning again to overcome but looks a strong contender in the race and has not been weighted out of the race which sometimes happens to previous winners.
Having ether won or been placed in 10 of his 14 chase starts and given his good jumping he is one that is sure to give his supporters a run for their money.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

WEIRD AL (IRE) 9-11-08 D McCain Jnr T J Murphy

A nine-year-old chaser from the Grand National winning yard of Donald McCain. In the nine completed races of the 11 races that this horses run in he has finished six times first, twice in the frame and once 8th to Diamond Harry in the Hennessy Gold cup Chase at Newbury. A previous winner of the bet 365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby over 3 miles and 1 furlong in good ground. That day he had time for Rupert, Chicago Gray and Nacarat all in behind. Tried in last year's Gold cup and then again this season and was pulled up in both races breaking a blood vessel on both occasions this is a worry for any horse that has to extend themselves over this marathon distance and although this horse has really good form it is difficult to recommend him with this problem especially as it has occurred on more than one occasion. The horse also has to carry 11 stone and 8 pounds which although the weight of the national winner has been increasing over the last few years no winner has carried more than 11 stone five pounds to win the race for some time.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

NEPTUNE COLLONGES (FR) 11-11-06 P F Nicholls D A Jacob

Really good chaser who is now well exposed. Four times runner in the Cheltenham gold cup and never disgraced with figures of 8,3,4,8 and his best run when 3rd behind Denman and Kauto Star.
Past two times winner of the Grade 1 Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup, winner of the Grade 1 Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Punchestown. Was tried in the Scottish National last season and finished a creditable 6th. At 11 years old there can't be any improvement to come but this horse has got more talent than most of the runners here but can he give weight to many of them over this marathon distance? That's the question but he certainly would not be a surprise first winner for his Champion trainer Paul Nicholls. Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

CALGARY BAY (IRE) 9-11-06 Miss H C Knight D Elsworth

Good young horse who comes here in the form of his life. Winner of his last two races, The first in a grade 3 2m4f chase at the Festival and then last in the Great Yorkshire Chase beating Shakalakaboomboom by 7 lengths over 3 miles.
Fell at 4th fence last year but should go better this year but not a certain stayer but young enough for more improvement and has got a reasonable weight.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Good/Soft.

ALFA BEAT (IRE) 8-11-05 J J Hanlon D N Russell

A young Irish trained horse trying the Grand National for the first time.
Was tried at the Cheltenham Festival last season in the 4 mile National Hunt Chase challenge cup. That day he finished fourth behind the smart Chicago Grey but was weakening towards the end of the race. Now a year older and surely his connections feel that he can get this extended four the half mile race. The horse has been racing regularly through the summer with a race last May, two during July, before winning the Kerry National over 3 miles at Listowel in September. The ground that day was soft to heavy and the horse was in touch throughout the race and stayed on well to win. The horse was then given a break and was not seen until 29 January this year where he was tried in a hurdle race (this is often done to try and keep the horses handicap down) and he unseated his rider. The only other time he has run was in the BobbyJo Chase at fairyhouse where he was pulled up. This horse is another with some good form but the recent poor last two runs may be a worry however any shortening in the price should not be overlooked.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Firm to Soft.

PLANET OF SOUND 10-11-05 P J Hobbs R Johnson

A really good novice who has not done much wrong but seems to not quite have fulfilled his potential since his novice season. A past winner of the Grade 1 Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup this time last year. Has been running in good races behind the likes of Long Run and Kauto Star etc. and therefore perhaps his good runs have been overlooked.
Not without a chance of making the frame but has plenty of weight for this marathon.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

BLACK APALACHI (IRE) 13-11-03 D T Hughes D F O'Regan

A really good long distance chaser who even at 13 perhaps has the class and the style to make the frame. This horse is one that I have fancied on previous years to win the race however at 13 he has the stats against him, as the last 13-year-old to win the race was Sgt Murphy in 1923 Trying this race for the fourth time this year, his first run was in 2008 when he fell at the second fence. He was then tried a year later but unfortunately blundered and unseated his rider at the 22nd fence (Bechers). In 2010 he put up a fantastic performance when coming second to "Don't Push It" where he overcame a mistake three out and simply could not chase down the winner from the elbow on the run-in. Did not race at all last season and has only had one run this season in February where he put up a really good performance in the BobbyJo Chase where he finished second to Prince Du Beauchene who has been favourite since that race however he has subsequently been pulled out of the race. Despite being 13 he could make the frame as he does look the right sort of horse for this race but surely his best chance is now behind him.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to Heavy.

DEEP PURPLE 11-11-03 Evan Williams J E Moore

The 11-year-old deep purple comes from the Welsh yard of Evan Williams. He was a good hurdler and also a good novice chaser and is turning out to be a good chaser. A previous winner of the bet 365 Charlie Hall Chase and also a past winner of the Peterborough Chase both in 2009. He was pulled up later that year in the King George the sixth Chase when he broke a blood vessel. Tried the Peterborough Chase the following year in December 2010 and was in rear when he was interfered by a loose horse and unseated his rider. He has only had two runs this season presumably with this race in mind. He was the winner first time out at Sandown back in December in the London National over 3 miles five furlongs. Although most of his opponents that day were not as good as he will face today he did it well and won by a good margin. His last run was in the grade three Racing Plus Chase where he lost his place and then fell. Set to carry 11 stone three today and will be an interesting runner.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Firm to Good / Soft.

Junior 9 11-2 D Pipe T Scudamore

Young chaser from the David Pipe stable who are passed winners with Comply or Die.
A good duel rules runner who has had a few good runs on the flat as well as good runs over fences. Winner of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the festival last season the horse has sidestepped the festival this year in preparation for this race.
Second in the Grimthorpe Chase on his last outing in March will have put him spot on for this race. Junior has had plenty of supporters in the betting market and should go well. Is one of the few horses who will go on good ground and if the going is slightly firmer this would increase his chance further.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good/Firm to Soft.

Chicago Grey 9 10-13 G Elliott P Carberry

Irish raider who won the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham festival last season over 4 miles. He then went on to run in the Scottish National and ran well enough to finish 8th.
Gave Cheltenham a miss this season to come here and he is fancied for the race of a good weight.
He is likely to stay this extreme distance and acts on any ground, a strong move in the market would be a good market to this horses chance.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Firm to Heavy.

TATENEN (FR) 8-10-13 R Rowe A Thornton

An interesting eight-year old runner who normally runs better in races at around 2 1/2 miles indeed this horse has not won a race over 2 1/2 miles. There is a theory that 2 1/2 mile chasers get the marathon 4 1/2 miles around the Grand National course by racing prominently then getting a breather and coming on a second time. At sometime this must have been the case however it has been a long time since any winner of this race had not one at the distance of 3 miles previously and therefore this horse has a lot to prove today.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Soft to Soft.

SEABASS (IRE) 9-10-12 T M Walsh Ms K Walsh

This seasons form figures are impressive with 5 wins on the bounce and two at the end of last season means the horse comes here with 7 wins in the last 7 races. Most of those races have been at distances less than 3 miles but one was a point to point (3miles).
A good jumper who travels well in the race the only doubt might be the distance. Comes from the Ted Walsh stable and if his son Ruby decides to ride this horse then that would be a great marker for the chances of the horse. The father and son combination have won this race before in 2000 with Papillon. An interesting runner.
Update jockey booked is the trainers daughter Katie Walsh who is a good young jockey!
Wins have come on ground ranging from Yielding to Heavy.

SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM (IRE) 8-10-12 N J Henderson B J Geraghty

A really good consistent progressive chaser from the powerful Nicky Henderson yard. Winner when staying on in a grade 3 chase at Cheltenham in December then just beaten by Calgary Bay in the Great Yorkshire Chase in January. Did not run at the festival but instead had a prep race in a hurdle.
Certainly not without a chance and should run well but maybe would be better with another years chasing experience but next year could be much higher in the weights.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Good/Soft.

WEST END ROCKER (IRE) 10-10-12 A King W Hutchinson

A good horse who can make jumping mistakes he was brought down at Bechers on the first circuit in last seasons race. That said his only run this season was over these fences in the Bechers chase in November. He ran extremely well in the race and was a very impressive winner by 22 lengths. A winner at Warwick over 3 miles 5 furlongs on heavy ground so staying this distance should not be a problem. If he jumps without making too many mistakes in the later stages of the race he has a real live chance.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

ACCORDING TO PETE 11-10-12 J M Jefferson Harry Haynes

Another well exposed the 11 year old chaser is another trying the National for the first time. He is a horse that runs well consistently just finding one or two too good for him in his races however he comes here this year on the back of two very smart wins the first in the Roland Meyrick Chase over 3 miles at Wetherby where he made all and stayed on. He also won the Peter Marsh Chase in January this year, this was over 3 miles in heavy ground where he was always in touch and was driven out at the end of the race to win by 3 1/2 lengths. Looks the type that could do well in the national and is having a good season and not without a chance of making the frame.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

ON HIS OWN (IRE) 8-10-11 J M Jefferson Harry Haynes

A nice young horse from the powerful Willie Mullins yard. Has shown a tendency to jump to the right and that would be a worry on this left handed course and he also can hit a fence in running but he does stay on and has won 3 of the 4 chase races that he fininished being BD and PU on two more. Not without a chance but if he takes to the fences he may be better with another years chasing experience under his belt.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

ALWAYS RIGHT (IRE) 10-10-10 J Wade J Reveley

Consistent and progressive ex pointer who rana good 3rd in the Scottish National last season and stayed on well.
Done little wrong in his chasing caarear until last two runs when he was pulled up on both occasions. In both races he stopped quickly so is a bit of a worry for this horse but if back to his best should run well and is one of the few horses that would not mind firmer going.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good/Firm to Soft.

Cappa Bleu 10 10-10 Evan Williams Paul Moloney

A lightly raced ex-pointer who ran a really good race this seasons Welsh National where he finished 3rd behind Le Beau Bai and Giles Cross. He made a few jumping mistakes that day which probably cost him from being closer than the 22 lengths behind the winner.
Likes some cut in the ground to show his best and does have some talent but he seems prone to the odd mistake in a race, this could cost him in this race but if he could take to these unique fences where a horse can brush through the top.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft to heavy.

RARE BOB (IRE) 10-10-09 D T Hughes Bryan J cooper

An Irish raider from Dessie Hughes's yard. A reasonable horse, although not a prolific winner, he has run well in some good races. Third last May in the grade one Guinness Gold cup over 3 miles and a furlong. Third last time out on soft ground at Naas. Tried in the Becher Chase last December and was 5th so it would appear that he takes to this course as that race is run over the Grand National fences albeit only one circuit. However he was 59 lengths behind the winner. This suggests he has plenty to make up in this race.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to Soft / Heavy.

ORGANISEDCONFUSION (IRE) 7-10-08 A L T Moore Miss N Carberry

Last years impressive Irish National winner staying on at the end of 3m 5f to win by 5 lengths. Looks like he should have no problem with the distance here and although not tried at this course before he jumps well so could well handle the course.
The main problem with this horse is that he is 7 years old. This race is usually won by more experience grown up type of horse. No 7 year old has won the race since 1940 and the stats are against him today.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

TREACLE (IRE) 11-10-08 T J Taaffe A E Lynch

Previous winner on the Munster National in Limerick this horse is another Irish runner.
Has had a good season to date opening his account with a good 5th over 3m6f at Punchestown. Then won a three mile chase also in Ireland before finishing 4th in the Veterans chase at this course in October. Continued with a good second in the Paddy Power Chase and then third in the grade 1 Hennessy Gold Cup both at Leopardstown.
Well exposed but good recent form.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

THE MIDNIGHT CLUB (IRE) 11-10-08 W P Mullins P Townend

Started favourite for this race 12 months ago off a weight of 10 stone 13 he ran well for a long way and was badly hampered four from home however he did stay on that day and finished a creditable sixth. A previous winner of the BobbyJo Chase there is a lot to like about this horse has run four times this season since 29 December his last race was in the Cheltenham Gold cup where he finished ninth he was always behind that day and seemed to take a little while to get into his stride perhaps the pace of the Grand National although furious at the start can be a little more steady than the championship pace of the Gold cup, this may suit the horse better as it did last year. Not without a chance especially if if you consider that he is carrying five pounds less this year. Odds currently at 33 to 1 as opposed to his 15 to 2 last year he definitely looks a value bet and could be one of the forgotten horses in the race. Any significant shortening of the price close to the off should be taken strongly into consideration especially as this horse needs soft ground to show his best and with recent rain the going may change on the day..
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to Heavy.

MON MOME (FR) 12-10-08 Miss V Williams Aidan Coleman

A previous winner of this race in 2009 at the surprising price of 100 to 1 this extremely high price although welcome to the punters who bet the horse, but subsequently was said by many that it was an insult to the horses real chance. Prior to winning this race if he had run well in the Welsh National and also a Scottish National. However like many other Grand National winners he has failed to win a single race since that great day in 2009. That said he did put up a good performance in the 2010 Cheltenham Gold cup. Where he only had Imperial Commader and Denman in front of him. Took his chance last year but fell at the 26th fence however he was not out of touch with the leaders at the time. His runs this year have been a little hit and miss he started the season at Haydock Park in a hurdle race his next race was the best performance when second in a handicap Chase at Cheltenham where he had only the smart "Mostly Bob" in front of him. His next two runs at Haydock in the Peter Marsh Chase and the Betfred Grand National trial saw him pull up in both races. His only other start was at the Cheltenham Festival where he finished in 12th position and was tailed off. It is always difficult to completely write off past winners as you know they stay the distance and act on the course however at 12 years old I think he is at best running for place prize money
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft / heavy.

ARBOR SUPREME (IRE) 10-10-07 Jonjo O'Neill M P Walsh

A nice 10-year-old from the Gold cup winning Jonjo O'Neill stable. Trying the National for the third time today but his last two runs in this race cannot give any cause to support him. Unseated his rider in 2010 at the biggest fence in the national "the chair" and then last year fell 3 from home when not in contention. He has been running in hurdle races this season with this marathon in mind. Racing off a good racing weight with 10 stone 7 however if this was the stables best chance of winning the race again you would think that perhaps the stable jockey Tony McCoy would be riding. Looks to have plenty to do and getting around would seem to be the first priority. Difficult to fancy on previous form but also difficult to assess should he get a clear round.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft / Heavy.

SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE) 9-10-05 Jonjo O'Neill R P Mclernon

Impressive winner of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham festival last time out over 3m 1f. That race may not have taken too much out of this horse who jumps well and looks the type to stay.
3rd in last seasons Irish National only 6 lengths off the winner.
This horse has taken a drift in the exchange market just recently and the trainer states that he does not know any reason for this but this is a bit of a worry. Something of a dark horse and any significate shortening of the price should not be ignored.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

KILLYGLEN (IRE) 10-10-04 S R B Crawford R M Power

Good chaser who was tried in the Scottish national in 2009. He went really well for a long time before getting tired at tail end of the race on perhaps ground that was not soft enough. Ran well for a long time in last seasons race and was up with the pace before falling three from home.
A winner of a three mile two furlong handicap chase at Down Royal on last outing last month so could be running into a little form but that was his first win for two years. Running off a very low weight 6lbs lower that last year so could be better this year and not without a chance of making the frame and who knows!
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

QUISCOVER FONTAINE (FR) 8-10-04 W P Mullins D J Casey

Something of an enigma this horse, does most of his running around two and a half miles and runs well enough but was tried in the Irish National last season and finished 4th without this run I would give him little chance in this race but that possibly gives him something of a chance. He is also trained by Willie Mullins who is the top training in Ireland. Difficult to fancy but just could be one of those dark horses. Watch the betting market!
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

THARAWAAT (IRE) 7-10-04 G Elliott B T O'Connell

a good seven-year-old Irish raider from the Gordon Elliott stable. Has won over 3 miles but runs more consistently at shorter distances. Looks to have plenty on his plate in this race today and is another seven-year-old and as stated before seven-year-olds do not win Grand Nationals or at least haven't done so for a long time.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to Heavy.

***** NON-RUNNER ******* ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) 11-10-03 Mr & Mrs Peter Douglas Peter Bowen

Another runner from a Welsh trainer this time Peter Bowen in South West Wales. Peter often does really well with good old-fashioned chasing types. This 11-year-old has been a good servant to his connections as he has run 70 times in races under rules and has won 14 of them. Past winner of the John Smith's Topham Chase at this course in 2010 and was 6th in the Grand Sefton handicap in the same year. Won the Topham Chase for the second year in succession this time last year. Runs well in the spring and likes this course. 4th in this season's Becher Chase but was 55 lengths behind the winner. Not without a chance of making the frame and would be a very popular winner.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Firm to Heavy.


Fell at the second fence in last years race when he set off far too keen and paid the price that so many horses do early in the race
This is a consistent horse who runs well in his races but always seems to find one or two too good. Comes here in good form after a really good 2nd in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase . Not without a chance as the horse has talent but with only 1 chase win and 1 point to point win there are other that have more appeal.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

****** NON RUNNER ********* LE BEAU BAI (FR) 9-10-03 Glass Half Full Richard Lee

A nice young chaser who must have soft ground to show his best, indeed his trainer has stated that if the ground is not soft enough the horse will not take his chance today. It is easy to see why that might be the case because his only run on good ground was well below par when 11th of 13 in a handicap Chase at Chepstow where he was in behind all the way and was weakening from a long way out. If he does take his chance then he has some good form. He was third when favourite in the 2009 Welsh Grand National. He missed the 2010 running of the Welsh National (this race was actually run in January 2011 due to being postponed for bad weather) but put up a great performance in this seasons Welsh National on heavy ground beating Giles Cross by seven lengths and Cappa Bleu by 22 lengths. Looks to have all the credentials for a Grand National winner, if allowed to take his chance. Never yet been tried at Aintree or over the Grand National fences but in his 16 runs he has never fallen or unseated his rider so while perhaps not the fastest horse in the race he looks certain to get around should the ground be soft enough. Is set to carry 10 stone one which is a very good racing weight for this race especially on the ground if it turns up soft. Looks likely to make the frame at a big price.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Soft to Heavy.

STATE OF PLAY 12-10-03 Evan Williams N Fehily

This 12-year-old is trying the Grand National for the fourth time. His first run was in 2009 when he finished fourth. The next year he was only given one prep race in the Hennessy Gold cup where he was pulled up. He then went to the Grand National and put up possibly his best performance and finished third behind "Don't Push It"and "Black Appalachi". Last year he went to the race with out any preparation and finished fourth in the race. This year he is doing the same thing, that is going to the race without a prep however this year he will be running of the lowest weight that he has carried in the race. In 2009 he was asked to carry 11 stone 2 in 2010 he had to carry 10 stone 11 and last year he was set to carry 10 stone 6 this year he will be running off 10 stone 3 however at 12 years old it is unlikely that the horse will find any improvement however he loves this track, stays the distance and seems to do well with just one marathon run in a season. Not without a chance and could well make the frame especially off this lower weight however his best chance may have passed him by.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Firm to Soft.

SWING BILL (FR) 11-10-03 D Pipe Conor O'farrell

A reasonable well exposed chaser who has tried this track once before in this seasons Beecher Chase. He was not fluent in the race and was then hampered at the 9th fence, he was always behind from then and weakened in the race and was pulled up before two from home. He would have two show much improvement on what we have seen so far to give himself a chance in this race. He comes from the powerful yard of David pipe who has won this race before with comply or die. Although running well he looks below this class.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Firm to Heavy.

POSTMASTER 10-10-02 D Pipe Conor O'farrell

A reasonable 10-year-old horse who has only won once at a distance greater than 3 miles and looks a better horse at slightly shorter distances. Not a certain stayer but comes from the smart stable of Tim Vaughan the trainer who has done so well with state of play in the past. Looks to have plenty to do and will need to improve on his past races to take part in the Finish here. Difficult to see at 10 years old where that improvement should come from and looks a little below this class.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Firm to soft.

GILES CROSS (IRE) 10-10-01 V R A Dartnall P J Brennan

A great horse and my idea of a perfect Aintree horse. Loves long distance chases as he stays all day, he jumps well and is in form.
Second in the last two years Welsh National putting in great performances. Winner of the Southern National over 3m 4f in November and won the grand National Trial at Haydock in February.
The only worry for this horse would be if the ground was too firm as all wins have come with cut in the ground. A lot of rain would be perfect for this horse but in any case Aintree will attempt to keep the ground good if they have to water the track. The only time this horse was tried on good he was pulled up at this track in April 2009. If his connections let him run he must have a reasonable chance and if there is any cut in the ground he would have a great chance.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to Heavy.

Midnight Haze 10 10-0 K C Bailey S Quinlan

An ex point to pointer that has run well in low grade events at around 3 miles however showed improvement in the cross country Chase over 3 miles and seven furlongs at the Cheltenham Festival finished in sixth position but it is true to say that he did fade in the closing stages but nevertheless was prominent throughout and seemed to enjoy the variety of fences. His trainer Kim Bailey won the Grand National in 1990 with Mr Frisk. He would be a surprise winner on all known form.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

Vic Venturi 12 10-0 D T Hughes Harry Skelton

A nice Irish chaser who has not had any luck in this race previously. In 2010 he was hampered at the first fence, recovered and was prominent in the race until the 20th fence when he was hampered again but this time he unseated his jockey. Tried again last year and was with the leaders when he was brought down at the second fence. He then went to Punchestown for the Guinness Gold cup Chase just one month later and finished second in a race that might have been overlooked because of the pulling up of Kauto star. Has been running in point to point and hunter chases this season. 12 years old you must hope that he gets some luck today however he looks an unlikely winner but it would be good to see him get around and who knows he may just make the frame.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to heavy.

In Compliance 12 10-0 D T Hughes N P Madden

A nice horse trained in Ireland who only comes to this country for big races. 6th in the handicap chase at Cheltenham in 2010 he went on to race in the Topham Chase finishing sixth. Ran in last season's Grand National and ran well despite being hampered at the second fence. Finished 13th and a weakened slightly at the end of the race, this perhaps is not surprising as the horse has never won a race past 2 1/2 miles. Would be a surprise winner but could well get round again.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to heavy.

Viking Blond 7 10-0 N A Twiston-Davies B Hughes

A nice young horse who is still a novice. Pulled up in the Welsh National this season when struggling mid-division before being pulled up. Has had one subsequent run at Ascot when last of the five finishers in a three-mile race. Does not look to have the experience to win this race and on normal form it would be difficult to see him making the frame. But anything can happen as this is the Grand National.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good / Soft to Heavy.

HELLO BUD (IRE) 14-10-00 N A Twiston-Davies S Twiston-Davies

A really good chaser from the Grand National winning yard of Nigel twiston-Davies. Ran in the Becher Chase in 2009 and 2010 finishing fifth and then winning shows that he has a liking for these fences. A real long-distance chaser but was tailed off and pulled up in last year's race. ran in this years Becher Chase, he unseated his rider at the Canal turn when leading the field. A nice horse but his biggest hurdle in the race may be his age he is 14 years old and although not many 14-year-olds try this race there has not been a 14 year old winner this century or last century with the last winner at the age of 14 being the Liberator in 1879. Unlikely to make the frame however at good clean run might be a good way to close his career.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

Neptune Equester 9-10-0 B Ellison Felix De Giles

The dual code horse that runs on the flat and also over jumps. Tried in the Scottish National last year and finished 11th he was pushed along for some time in the race and weakened in the closing stages suggesting that the horse may not stay this marathon distance however he was tried in a three-mile four furlong race on good to soft at Haydock Park and finished the winner of 10 starters. That day he stayed on so the horse does seem to be a bit of an enigma. He is one of the outsiders today and is difficult to fully assess however his high price in the betting market probably gives a true reflection of his chance. Runs today five pounds out of the handicap that is to say that this horse will carry 10 stone when his handicap mark says that he should carry nine stone nine.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

***** NON RUNNER ******** Any Currency 9-10-0 Martin Keighley A P Cawley

A fair nine-year-old chaser who ran well in the 4 mile chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010 being placed fourth staying on. He is certainly a horse but likes the longer distances he finished a creditable third in the London National at Sandown in December this was over 3 miles 5 1/2 furlongs and he was staying on. then he was then tried in the Welsh National just 24 days later he was pulled up at the 18th fence on heavy ground and it may have been that this race came too quickly to his previous race. He had two races in quick succession in January this year finishing fourth in a handicap Chase at Sandown over 3 miles and a half furlong and again was staying on he was then tried in the Argento chase just three weeks later over the same distance but tired mid-division. It may be that he needs time between his races and a break from then until now will have done his chances some good however currently does not look good enough, however he is a progressive horse and at nine years old may have more to come given that he likes long distances it may just be that this race is what he is crying out for he also seems to like Park courses as he does well at Sandown and Ascot a plus for this race could just be one of the dark horses.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

****** NON RUNNER ******** Our Island 7-10-0 Tim Vaughan

A young seven-year-old horse who was a good hurdler and the reasonable novice chaser trying to step up to this race. Comes from the Tim Vaughan stable down in South Wales and the trainer with very much on the up. Seven-year-old horses have a poor record in this race due to their inexperience and the last seven-year-old winner was Bodskar in 1940. Many seven-year-olds are tried and there is always at least one in the race but this race needs experience which seven-year-olds clearly do not have. Ran a fine race in the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock back in December finishing second just one length off the winner that was on heavy ground most recently finished eighth at Cheltenham in the National Hunt Chase over 4 miles. This suggests that he may well get the distance and if he takes to the fences could run well especially off 10 stone but looks unlikely winner but possibly one to watch this year for future events. Our island will be running from seven pounds out of the handicap today.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Soft.

****** NON RUNNER ***** Abbeybraney42 11-10-0 George Bewley Ryan Mania

A nice 11-year-old horse who has run well in his novice season in some good grade 1 novice chases. Tried in the 2010 National Hunt Chase over 4 miles and was pulled up before three out having no chance. Was tried in the Becher Chase earlier in the season over these fences but fell at Bechers. Looks to have plenty on his plate again today and will do well to complete and will need a lot of luck today to make a frame and runs from nine pounds out of the handicap.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to Heavy.

****** NON RUNNER ********* Saddlers Storm 10-10-0 A J Martin

a 10-year-old chaser who does most of his running in his native Ireland tried in last year's Irish National but was pulled up 2 from home. He did have a run in the previous years Irish National where he started favourite but unseated his rider at six from home. This horse could really be anything and comes from the shrewd stable of Tony Martin he is another who on their form looks below these but a strong move in the market may be the best pointer to his chances. We'll be running today from nine pounds out of the handicap
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to Heavy.

****** NON RUNNER ******** Smoking Aces 8-10-0 T J Taaffe

A reasonable chaser who runs well at distances greater than 3 miles. Winner of a grade three Chase over 3 miles and five furlongs at Fairyhouse in December but looks below this class of race and is running from eight pounds out of the handicap, this means that the horse will have to carry 10 stone as the lowest allocated weight, even though is handicap mark says he should carry nine stones five. Has little chance on all known form.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Soft to Soft / Heavy.

***** NON RUNNER ****** Ballyvesey50 7-10-0 Peter Bowen

Another reasonable chaser from the Peter Bowen yard who has Run well at this course. He was fourth in the 2010 Becher Chase and third in the same race this season. Last summer he ran in the summer National at Uttoxeter. He finished second that day although he did weakened slightly at the finish. He will be running from 12 pounds out of the handicap and that suggests that he should not make the frame today however he is likely to get around.
Wins have come on ground ranging from Good to heavy.


Well that's it your final list of runners.. I would just like to give some facts on the race for anyone who is not familiar with horse racing.
The first is that the Grand National is a handicap race. All horses that have raced a number of times are given a handicap rating by the official handicapper. In a handicap race it is the handicappers job to give all the runners an equal chance i.e. make all horses finish in a line in a dead heat. Of course this never happens as horses improve and horses run below par and of course the handicapper gets it wrong. In a handicap race, horses have to carry weight in relation to their handicap mark so the best horse (with highest handicap rating) carries the most weight and the poorest horse (with the lowest mark) carried the least weight with all the others somewhere in between.
Some races seem to bear out past form statistics year after year and the Grand national is no exception. Because of changing factors (course and ratings etc.) the statistics that count year on year will also change but the Grand National does seem to follow form statistics, some for many years and some just in recent years. I will set out a few for you below but you should make up your mind what you think are the important ones and ones you can safely ignore:-
1.AGE The last horse to win the Grand National below 8 years old was Boskar in 1940 and the last 13 year old was Sargent Murphy in 1923
2.DISTANCE All winners in the last 10 years have won over a distance of at least three miles in their career.
3.WEIGHT No winner in the last 10 years has carried more than 11st 5lbs.
4.JUMPING ABILLITY No winner in the last 10 years has fallen more than 3 times in their career.
5.HORSE COLOUR The last Gray horse to win was Nicholas Silver in 1961
6.PAST WINNERS Past winners have a poor record with the last past winner to repeat his victory was Red Rum in 1974 and 1977 Before that you have to go back to 1935 / 1936, however past winners do very often run well in the following year.
One more thing. The Grand National is a great sporting spectacle and is to be enjoyed. The enjoyment of the race in enhanced by having a wager on the race.
However never bet more than you can comfortably lose and you will keep the fun element in the race.
And Finally.........
I wish you something that with all the information the world at you finger tips you can't rely on or buy, Good Luck. We all will need it !


2012 Grand National

Full result


Neptune Collonges (FR) 33/1 11   11-6   Paul Nicholls   Daryl Jacob


Sunnyhillboy (IRE) 16/1 9   10-5   Jonjo O'Neill   Richie McLernon


Seabass (IRE) 8/1J 9   10-12   T M Walsh   Ms K Walsh


Cappa Bleu (IRE) 16/1 10   10-10 t   Evan Williams   Paul Moloney


In Compliance (IRE) 100/1 12   10-0   D T Hughes   Niall P Madden


Ballabriggs (IRE) 12/1 11   11-9   Donald McCain   Jason Maguire


Hello Bud (IRE) 33/1 14   10-0 t   Nigel Twiston-Davies   Sam Twiston-Davies


Tharawaat (IRE) 125/1 7   10-4 t   Gordon Elliott   Brian T O'Connell


Shakalakaboomboom (IRE) 8/1J 8   10-12   Nicky Henderson   Barry Geraghty


Swing Bill (FR) 100/1 11   10-3 p   David Pipe   C O'Farrell


The Midnight Club (IRE) 40/1 11   10-8   W P Mullins   Andrew Tinkler


Planet Of Sound 33/1 10   11-5 t   Philip Hobbs   Richard Johnson


Neptune Equester 100/1 9   10-05   Brian Ellison   Felix De Giles


Calgary Bay (IRE) 33/1 9   11-6   Henrietta Knight   Dominic Elsworth


Midnight Haze 80/1 10   10-0   Kim Bailey   Sean Quinlan

1st Fence

Viking Blond (FR) 80/1 7   10-0 b   Nigel Twiston-Davies   Brian Hughes   F

2nd Fence

Junior 16/1 9   11-2 b   David Pipe   Tom Scudamore   F
West End Rocker (IRE) 16/1 10   10-12   Alan King   Wayne Hutchinson   F

3rd Fence

4th Fence


5th Fence

Chicago Grey (IRE) 20/1 9   10-13 t   Gordon Elliott   P Carberry   BD
Rare Bob (IRE) 40/1 10   10-9   D T Hughes   Bryan Cooper   BD
State Of Play 40/1 12   10-3   Evan Williams   Noel Fehily   UR

6th Fence

Synchronised (IRE) 10/1 9   11-10   Jonjo O'Neill   A P McCoy   F

7th Fence

Alfa Beat (IRE) 50/1 8   11-5 b   John Joseph Hanlon   Davy Russell   F

8th Fence

Black Apalachi (IRE) 25/1 13   11-3 p   D T Hughes   Denis O'Regan   F
Tatenen (FR) 100/1 8   10-13   Richard Rowe   Andrew Thornton   UR
Organisedconfusion (IRE) 20/1 7   10-8   A L T Moore   Miss N Carberry   UR
Killyglen (IRE) 14/1 10   10-4 t   S R B Crawford   Robbie Power   UR
Becauseicouldntsee (IRE) 25/1 9   10-3   N F Glynn   Davy Condon   F

9th Fence


10th Fence

Arbor Supreme (IRE) 100/1 10   10-7 t   Jonjo O'Neill   M P Walsh   UR
Treacle (IRE) 22/1 11   10-8   T J Taaffe   A E Lynch   F

11th Fence

Giles Cross (IRE) 20/1 10   10-1   Victor Dartnall   Paddy Brennan   PU

12th Fence


13th Fence


14th Fence


15th Fence

Always Right (IRE) 25/1 10   10-10   John Wade   James Reveley   UR

16th Fence


17th Fence

Quiscover Fontaine (FR) 50/1 8   10-4   W P Mullins   D J Casey   F

18th Fence


19th Fence

Deep Purple 25/1 11   11-3   Evan Williams   Jamie Moore   PU
Vic Venturi (IRE) 80/1 12   10-0 p   D T Hughes   Harry Skelton   REF

20th Fence


21st Fence


22nd Fence

According To Pete 28/1 11   10-12   Malcolm Jefferson   Harry Haynes   BD
On His Own (IRE) 14/1 8   10-11   W P Mullins   Paul Townend   F
Mon Mome (FR) 50/1 12   10-8   Venetia Williams   Aidan Coleman   PU
Postmaster 100/1 10   10-2 t   Tim Vaughan   Dougie Costello   PU

23rd Fence


24th Fence


25th Fence


26th Fence

Weird Al (IRE) 28/1 9   11-8   Donald McCain   Timmy Murphy   F

27th Fence


28th Fence


29th Fence


30th Fence


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