Grand National Winner: Ballabriggs 2011

ballabriggs-winner

Grand National Winner: Ballabriggs 2011

Ballabriggs at 14-1 gave the new generation of the McCain family victory in a race which will always be associated with their name when grinding out success in a bruising renewal of the John Smith’s Grand National.

Donald McCain, whose father trained Red Rum to win the race three times, successes which helped elevate the contest into a national institution, enjoyed his first victory in the world’s most famous jumps race since taking over the licence from his father in 2006.

ballabriggs winner Grand National Winner: Ballabriggs 2011

But the race came not without its share of unwanted controversy, with two horses killed and the winning horse heading straight back to the racecourse stables after the race after showing signs of dehydration after the winning post.

Instead it was left to jockey Jason Maguire to take the cheers of the sell-out crowd as he walked back to the winner’s enclosure with Ballabriggs left to enjoy being splashed in buckets of cold water, which were thankfully in ready supply given the unseasonal high temperatures at the track.

Having taken up the lead at halfway, Maguire’s mount relished the challenge of the fences and produced some impressive jumps in front after one memorable bad blunder at Valentine’s Brook.

Going to the second-last fence, there were still five runners in with a clear chance, Niche Market doing his best to get past the leader but under maximum pressure.

It was only after the final fence that Irish National runner-up Oscar Time (14-1) emerged as the greatest danger to the winner and the pair set down to battle it out up the run-in. For one brief moment at the Elbow when Sam Waley-Cohen switched Oscar Time out to challenge, it looked as if he might reel in the leader, but Ballabriggs found more and scored by 2¼ lengths.

Don’t Push It (9-1) tried gallantly to become the first horse since Red Rum himself to win the race twice and kept on bravely under Tony McCoy for third place, while State of Play (28-1) came from a long way back to finish fourth and make the frame in the race for the fourth consecutive years.

A total of 19 horses completed the course. Favourite The Midnight Club finished sixth.

Maguire rode the race with his right hand heavily bandaged after a heavy fall on the opening day of the meeting.

“This is crazy,” said the jockey. “I’ve got to thank Donald, Mr Hemmings, my mother and father, everybody. It’s a dream come true. I tried to get in the first 10 early on so that if he did make a mistake we hadn’t as much ground to make up. He loved it and was jumping from fence to fence. He was attacking every one.

“I got him to the front to get him relaxed and put breathers into him and that helped him get the trip. There was a question mark about him getting the trip, but Donald has done a great job. I don’t know what I feel. I’m just overwhelmed.”

McCain, for whom Maguire rides as stable jockey, added: “We’ve always thought this might be an Aintree horse and you only need to see the way he’s taken to this place today. Good horses are easy to train. Everything has gone smoothly all year and he had a nice prep at Kelso last time.

“He’s just an absolute pleasure to deal with, I know he’s won a Grand National, but he is. I’ve been involved in Grand Nationals all my life and you come here and you realise what this place is all about. It’s hot out there and he had been up there all the way. He gives his everything, he doesn’t hold anything back. He is coming round fine now thankfully, he was just tired.”

Barry Geraghty Horse in Grand National ?

Barry_Geraghty

Barry Geraghty is on top form today at Aintree, winning the first 3 races.

Barry Geraghty Barry Geraghty Horse in Grand National ?

Back his grand national horse. Or Noir De Somoza, 66/1 With Ladbrokes

 

 

6 42F14 190948 Barry Geraghty Horse in Grand National ? Or Noir De Somoza
66/1
bet Barry Geraghty Horse in Grand National ?
9
11-5
David Pipe Barry Geraghty 155
Makes British debut for David Pipe and gave a stone and a beating to Quolibet at Auteuil back in November. Limitations, seemingly, exposed in a better class last time and hardly looks well handicapped at face value. Trainer won this in 2008 with Comply or Die but this horse is yet to compete under rules in the UK. Though he has some excellent form in France, being something of a specialist at Auteil, all his wins have come with ease underfoot and he is unproven beyond 3miles. French bred horses have a poor National record too. Rating 4/10

 

 

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Pink Grand National Colours Most Popular

A recent study has shown that Pink is the most likely colour to attract support in the Grand National. Unlike hardcore punters who study the form day in and day out, more people will back based on names, geography and the colours of the jockey silks.

If pink is the most likely colour that people will be attracted to then there is likely to be an avalanche of money for the Grand National favourite The Midnight Club, the mount of Ruby Walsh who will sporting the very nice pink racing colours in the Grand National.

In a race short on pink silks there is likely to be plenty of money on The Midnight Club. He is trained in Ireland too and as the Grand National Favourite then this one looks almost certain to be the well backed favourite at the off.

Blue is the second most popular colour. There are plenty of horses sporting various shades of blue. Light blue shades it over darker blues according to the boffins. Backstage, another Irish trained horse carries the light blue silks of Middleham Park Racing and as a leading contender he is sure to be popular with the punters. The same colours are carried by Junior who has already won at Royal Ascot and the Chelttenham Festival in the past 12 months.

State Of Play who has finished third and fourth in recent years combines blue and pink. This one is trained in Wales by Evan Williams and is sure to be a popular choice with the punters. He has finished fourth and third in the last two years so is sure to give a good account of himself again this year.

Traditionally green is an unlucky colour in horseracing circles, but it was green with yellow hoops that prevailed last year with Don’t Push It. The Irish silks of JP McManus will be carried by a number of runners including the 2010 Grand National winner who will once again be partnered by Tony McCoy.

The colours of Ballabriggs are also green and yellow and they have also won the National before with Hedgehunter. Backers of that horse are likely to follow the colours. I think we can safely assume that green is not an unlucky colour.

The Sir Alex Ferguson co owned What A Friend surprisingly runs in white with only a touch of red. However technically they are red and white. The Sir Alex Ferguson connection is sure to make this a popular choice too!

Silver By Nature will wear yellow colours but it is his grey colouring that will account for his popularlity. That combined with the fact he is trained in Scotland by a lady trainer will also make him popular.

Eye catching colours are always a popular choice too. Certainly West End Rocker can claim the most eye-catching colours with brilliant Red. For those fans of red teams then West End Rocker is the horse they will be drawn to, except of course Manchester United fans who will back What A Friend.

Having done a straw pole of people in the office the most popular colours are predictably those of The Midnight Club who will look pretty in pink if nothing else !

Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011

grand-national-colours

The final declared Grand National runners and riders will be confirmed on Thursday for Saturday’s John Smiths Grand National at Aintree. Check the form and odds of the list of horses in the grand national 2011. Bet on the Grand National favourite The Midnight Club 10/1 Free Grand National Bets The runners guide has been prepared with Charlie McCann, professional horse racing tipster.

No. Form Colour Grand
National Horses
Odds
Bet
Age Weight Trainers Jockey Rate
11 133-21 159066 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 The Midnight Club
10/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
10-13
W P Mullins Ruby Walsh 149
Not guaranteed to stay but long considered an ideal National candidate and landed the Bobbyjo Chase at Clonmel with other National principles Oscar Time and Arbor Supreme behind last time. A must for any short-list and considered the ride of Ruby Walsh. Undoubtedly the pick of Mullins entries, Ruby Walsh’s decision to partner the nicely-weighted Irish raider will have punters clamouring to get on. Having beaten good horses in the Emerald Isle, the signs all point towards a big race, but the National circuit is a great leveller and a lack of Aintree form could be a worry. Rating 8/10
 
1 1-P070 20887 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Don’t Push It
10/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
11-10
Jonjo O´Neill A P McCoy 160
Looking to become the first horse since Red Rum in the early 70s to win the race in successive years. Must carry 5lbs more than last year but would that have stopped him in 2010? Last year’s winner. Yet no horse has won this historic contest shouldering top weight since the great Red Rum over 35 years ago. Four prep runs this season have offered little encouragement to followers, but a repeat of last year’s game victory is not out of the question for one who relishes this unique test. Rating 8/10
 
3 11-524 162013 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 What A Friend
14/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
8
11-6
Paul Nicholls Daryl Jacob 156
Owned in partnership by Sir Alex Ferguson and ran a cracker to finish 4th in the Gold Cup. Handicapper would have given him considerably more weight if he could and everything in place for a big run. The most attractively handicapped of all the runners following his recent Gold Cup fourth. He gets in here with 15lb in hand on the official ratings. Set to be a popular selection, especially amongst Man United fans, given the fact he is owned by Sir Alex Ferguson. His notable wins include the Lexus Chase and Betfair Bowl. Rating 9/10
 
14 57011 180150 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Backstage
14/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-12
Gordon Elliott Paul Carberry 148
Represents the yard of Gordon Elliot who had a cracking Cheltenham and landed the National with Silver Birch in 2007. Backstage has had a similar preparation to that winner easily landing a couple of points in Ireland; many believe he was going every bit as well as Don’t Push It when hampered by loose horse in race last year. Irish trainer Gordon Elliott bids to follow up victory with Silver Birch in 2007. It remains to be seen whether Backstage can take centre stage after unseating Davy Condon here last year, but connections will hope he is better for the experience. Should enjoy the trip off a fast gallop, and that’s exactly what he will get. Rating 7/10
 
18 52-263 15243 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Oscar Time
14/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
10-9
M M Lynch Sam Waley-Cohen 145
TIP TO WIN Jockey Sam Waley-Cohen looking to be the first amateur to win the race since Marcus Armytage on Mr Frisk in 1990 and the first jockey to do the Gold Cup/National double since Jim Culloty back in 2002. Lost nothing in defeat behind The Midnight Club last time and finished runner up in the Irish National last year; major player. Having won the Paddy Power handicap at Leopardstown in 2009 and come close to victory in last year’s Irish National, Oscar Time looks just the type of horse who could challenge for Aintree honours. Talented amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen is bidding to complete the Gold Cup-National double. Rating 9/10
 
10 11-112 16887 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Ballabriggs
14/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
11-0
Donald McCain Jason Maguire 150
Has been preserving his handicap mark all winter as connections believe him to be an ideal National type. Bidding to give McCain family their 5th win in race and owner Trevor Hemmings his second after Hedgehunter in 2005. Having won the Paddy Power handicap at Leopardstown in 2009 and come close to victory in last year’s Irish National, Oscar Time looks just the type of horse who could challenge for Aintree honours. Talented amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen is bidding to complete the Gold Cup-National double. Rating 8/10
 
13 21-071 10573 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Silver By Nature
14/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-13
Lucinda Russell Peter Buchanan 148
Bidding to become the first grey in 50 years to win the race and would have every chance if the ground was no better than good to soft. Does look ground dependent but excellent win in the Haydock Park Trial last time; supporters will be praying for rain. No grey has won the Grand National since 1961, while the only victory for a Scottish-trained horse was in 1979. Lucinda Russell hopes Silver By Nature, owned by St Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown, can follow a second straight success at top weight in the Grand National Trial at Haydock and re-write history. Rating 7/10
 
19 0-1131 30192 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Quinz
16/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
7
10-8
Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 144
Racing Post Chase winner but nagging doubt that he is a better horse going right-handed. The last 7-y-o to win the race was Bogskar back in 1940 and connections appear to have had their hand forced as the horse will never have 10-8 in a handicap again. The 2011 Racing Post Chase winner is an animal destined for big things. Yet history suggests that he will not be winning this race, this year. For all his talent he lacks the experience needed to come out on top tackling these 30 obstacles over this marathon distance. No seven-year-old has won the race since 1940. Rating 8/10
 
8 4-2F44 144075 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Big Fella Thanks
20/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
11-1
Ferdy Murphy Graham Lee 151
Has finished 6th and 4th in the last two renewals on both occasions travelling very well and perhaps just failing to get home. Reported to be the last runner to race in the colours of fearless punter Harry Findlay. Has changed stables since last year. The Big Fella makes his third National appearance in as many years and if continuing with the same rate of progression, should go close. Sixth in 2009 was followed by a creditable fourth in softish conditions last year. Question marks remain over the trip, but it’s a brave man that writes off the talented nine-year-old. Rating 8/10
 
20 212-42 90504 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Becauseicouldntsee
20/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
8
10-8
N F Glynn D N Russell 144
Finished runner up in last year’s NH Chase over 4m at Cheltenham and improved again to finish 2nd in valuable Leopardstown handicap behind Majestic Concorde over Xmas; connections still deliberating whether the race will come a year too soon. Although only victorious once over fences, Noel Glynn’s horse does have some impressive placed form over long distances and on a variety of surfaces. The eight-year-old was runner-up in last season’s four mile NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and also finished second in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown. Rating 6/10
 
30 21-046 20887 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Bluesea Cracker
20/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-4
J Motherway Andrew J McNamara 140
Winner of last season’s Irish National and bidding to become the first mare to win the race since Nickel Coin in 1951; below par so far this term but this looks to have been the objective all year and if she takes to the fences the 60 year wait could be over. Lived up to his name when winning the valuable Irish National at Fairyhouse last year, so is a reliable proposition stamina wise. Since then however he has failed to sparkle behind a number of horses who reoppose in this, most recently in the Bobbyjo Chase. Gets in on a handy mark and has undoubted ability. Rating 7/10
 
12 9P-F58 116016 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Niche Market
25/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
10-13
Paul Nicholls Harry Skelton 149
Long considered the first string from the Nicholls’ yard but I’m not convinced. Won the Irish National for Bob Buckler back in 2009 but didn’t look a natural over these fences when pulled up in last year’s renewal. The combination of an attractive weight and the reputation of Paul Nicholls should make Niche Market a popular selection in this year’s race. Whilst the Ditcheat handler declares him to be in great order, the decision of Ruby Walsh to abandon the horse will do the 2009 Irish National winner no favours. Rating 7/10
 
37 2U-9P2 20887 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Arbor Supreme
20/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-3
W P Mullins D J Casey 139
EACH WAY TIP Faller at the Chair last year and put up a career best when runner up to stablemate The Midnight Club (8lb worse off) in the Bobbyjo last time. Not yet guaranteed a run but one to consider if he gets into the race off his feather weight. Versatile when it comes to ground conditions, and with proven stamina, this horse showed he had the talent to bounce back from a fall at The Chair in last year’s race by running stablemate The Midnight Club very close in the Bobbyjo at Fairyhouse. Although inconsistent, the potential to challenge is definitely there. Rating 8/10
 
5 2/1-31 124792 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Majestic Concorde
25/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
8
11-5
D K Weld Mr RP McNamara 155
Winner of a valuable handicap at Leopardstown over Xmas but doesn’t look to have been done too many favours by the handicapper; down the field in last year’s Cesarewitch and could return to the North West for another crack at Chester Cup! An eyecatching entry by a trainer who is famed for his prolific success with flat horses. Won a top Irish trial at Leopardstown in December and provided he can handle the expected quicker conditions, could be a big player. Has bits and pieces of smart form over both hurdles and fences so is one for the shortlist. Rating 7/10
 
16 56242 111069 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Calgary Bay
28/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
8
10-10
Henrietta Knight Hadden Frost 146
Has promised more than he has delivered throughout his career but ran one of his better races at Cheltenham last time; stamina a concern and connections have not yet confirmed the race is his Aintree target. Despite producing a high class display to win the SkyBet Chase in 2009, serious doubts remain about Calgary Bay’s stamina, having been unable to live with class one rivals in races of more than three miles. With recent runs over far shorter distances, hopes that this horse can be a quality stayer may be misplaced. Rating 6/10
 
27 75P-1P 129262 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Hello Bud
25/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
13
10-5
Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 141
Former Scottish National and Becher Chase winner but almost old enough to vote and difficult to see him reversing the form with Don’t Push It as a teenager. No 13-y-old has won the race since 1923 and unlikely to buck that trend. He might be getting on in years, but this animal simply loves it around here. Ridden prominently in last year’s race he finished a gallant fifth and has since proved his well being by battling home to win the Becher Chase over the National fences in November. It would be a Twiston-Davies family fairytale should he win. Rating 5/10
 
24 1-11P5 153545 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 State of Play
33/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
10-6
Evan Williams Paul Maloney 142
Has finished placed (4th & 3rd) in the last two renewals of the race having made mistakes at vital times on both occasions. Goes well fresh so absence from the track no concern and has 10lb pull with Don’t Push It on last year’s running. Something of the forgotten horse in the race. His Grand National record makes for impressive reading, having finished third last year and fourth in 2009. This is his first outing since last season’s renewal and though he goes well fresh, it would be a magnificent training performance if he could improve to win aged 11. Rating 6/10
 
35 30563 8574 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Character Building
33/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
10-4
John Quinn Miss Nina Carberry 140
Has long been considered an ideal sort for the National but was beaten nearly 40 lengths in race last year when he took time to warm to his task. Previous Festival winner and although there others with more obvious claims not one to dismiss out of hand. After injury prevented his National entry when well backed in 2008 and 09, his debut last year at least saw him finish the course to silence those who had doubted his resolve. Fans fondly recall a brilliant 2009 Kim Muir victory at the Cheltenham Festival will have no reservations over talented jockey, Nina Carberry. Rating 7/10
 
28 07-11P 170270 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 West End Rocker
33/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-5
Alan King Robert Thornton 141
Thorough stayer who ran below par on desperate ground last time but had looked most progressive until that setback. Has winning form on good ground and must enter calculations if he adapts to these unique obstacles. One of many dark horses in the race. His victory in the 3m 5f totesport Classic Chase in January appears to have allayed any stamina fears, but the big question here is whether he will act on good ground. Will attract support given the trainer-jockey combination but like others, he is an unknown quantity at Aintree. Rating 6/10
 
39 13-011 83132 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Skippers Brig
33/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
10-2
Nicky Richards Dominic Elsworth 138
Beat leading contender Ballabriggs (giving 4lbs) fair and square last time and would meet that rival on better terms if sneaking into the race. Needs rain and a number of withdrawals if he is to make the line up. Beat Ballabriggs and Chief Dan George at Kelso last month to complete an eye-catching campaign ahead of the National, but thrives in heavy ground and is unlikely to find it bottomless at Aintree. Should the heavens open over Merseyside, a lot of smart each-way money could be heading in his direction. Rating 5/10
 
2 4-3226 124425 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Tidal Bay
40/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
11-9
Howard Johnson Brian Hughes 159
Enigmatic chaser who was running on in sixth in the Gold Cup last time. Has a bit to find with What A Friend on that effort but if he takes to the fences has the ability to go very close. Just as likely to pull himself up however! A former Arkle winner who also has dual victories at Aintree to his name. This is his first try over the National fences however and whether he will thrive in the inevitable hurly burly is another matter altogether. Has a tendency to get behind in his races too and at the weights there are others who may appeal more. Rating 5/10
 
15 1-753F 98461 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Chief Dan George
40/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
10-12
James Moffatt Paddy Aspell 148
Early casualty at Cheltenham last time in race he had won previous year: winner of a grade 1 at Aintree over hurdles back in 2007 but doesn’t look the force of old. Trained by James Moffatt in the Cumbrian village of Cartmel, Chief Dan George arrives at Aintree on the back of a difficult year where the potential shown in winning 2010′s William Hill Chase at Cheltenham has not been realised. However, the talent is there and this front runner remains an attractive betting proposition. Rating 5/10
 
4 U-7744 142940 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Vic Venturi
66/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
11-6
D T Hughes A E Lynch 156
Winner of the Becher Chase over these demanding fences and never had the rub of the green last year being hampered on more than one occasion before unseating. Soft ground would help. Showed that these larger obstacles don’t scare him by winning the 2009 Becher Chase under top weight, but then disappointingly unseated in this very race last year. Has not won for over twelve months but given a clear round he may yet bounce back to form. Still, further improvement is required to claim victory here. Rating 4/10
 
6 42F14 190948 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Or Noir De Somoza
66/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
11-5
David Pipe Tom Scudamore 155
Makes British debut for David Pipe and gave a stone and a beating to Quolibet at Auteuil back in November. Limitations, seemingly, exposed in a better class last time and hardly looks well handicapped at face value. Trainer won this in 2008 with Comply or Die but this horse is yet to compete under rules in the UK. Though he has some excellent form in France, being something of a specialist at Auteil, all his wins have come with ease underfoot and he is unproven beyond 3miles. French bred horses have a poor National record too. Rating 4/10
 
21 00-06P 102372 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Comply or Die
40/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
12
10-8
David Pipe Timmy Murphy 144
brilliant winner of the race in 2008 and finished runner up in 2009. Finished down the field last year and although handicapper has given him a chance hard to imagine there is another National in him at the age of 12. Trainer won this in 2008 with Comply or Die but this horse is yet to compete under rules in the UK. Though he has some excellent form in France, being something of a specialist at Auteil, all his wins have come with ease underfoot and he is unproven beyond 3miles. French bred horses have a poor National record too. Rating 4/10
 
40 1d10019 159882 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Golden Kite
50/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-2
Adrian Maguire S J Hassett 138
Won Munster National in October for Adrian “Mutley” Maguire and loves good or faster ground. Made no show in recent prep race but that is easily forgiven on ground far too soft. Should like the expected good ground, but all other indicators look inconclusive. There is not a much tougher assignment than the Grand National on your first appearance outside Ireland and it would be a suprise to see the nine-year-old contesting the finish. Having weight in hand on most will aid his cause nonetheless. Rating 5/10
 
9 F24-41 5839 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 The Tother One
66/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
11-0
Paul Nicholls Mr R Mahon 150
RANK OUTSIDER EACH WAY TIP Below par last time but ran well to be placed in Charlie Hall Chase and Hennessy Gold Cup (where he stayed on very well) in first half of the season. One of the legions of runners bidding to give Paul Nicholls’ his first win in race and should not be underestimated. Something of an enigma. Not won since 2008, but did manage a creditable second ahead of, amongst others, Calgary Bay and seasoned National campaigner Ollie Magern in the Charlie Hall. Jumping can lack fluency, but if he stays on his feet for 30 fences, there is no doubt he will relish the stamina test at the end. Rating 5/10
 
17 P-2536 148772 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Killyglen
66/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-10
S R B Crawford R M Power 146
Winner at this meeting when trained by Howard Johnson a couple of years ago but now trained in Northern Ireland. Went too fast from the front at Doncaster last time and could give his supporters a run for their money from the front. This horse could be a big-priced outsider to keep an eye on having shown a good pedigree for stamina. Killyglen won the Mildmay Novices Chase at Aintree for Howard Johnson in 2009 and has continued to produce solid performances since being relocated to Stuart Crawford’s Irish stables. Rating 3/10
 
25 44/P3- 16887 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 King Fontaine
66/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
8
10-6
Malcolm Jefferson Denis O’Regan 142
Previously most progressive chaser although jumped poorly at Cheltenham upped in class last time. Back on a flat track he could return to form but much more needed. Pulled up in the National Trial at Haydock in February, so hard to accurately assess the potential of Malcolm Jefferson’s eight-year-old. Will have the experienced hand of Dennis O’Regan guiding him round Aintree and according to his trainer is a real genuine stayer who, with age and weight on his side could well challenge. Rating 3/10
 
26 3431U 178742 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 In Compliance
100/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
10-5
D T Hughes Leighton Aspell 141
Usually a sound jumper but made a most uncharacteristic error last time; finished 6th in the Topham last year and will give his supporters a good run for their money although he is likely to be swamped inside the final half mile. There is little in this horse’s previous form to suggest he will be involved in the finish of the 2011 Grand National. A smart chaser a few years ago but all his best outings have been at trips less than 3 miles. It would take a leap of faith to back Dessie Hughes’ entry, but as ever this prestigious race is wide open. Rating 3/10
 
32 2111/0 127700 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Surface to Air
150/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
10-4
Chris Bealby Tom Messenger 140
Winner of the Summer National back in 2008 but was off the track for the best part of three years until finishing tailed off over hurdles earlier in the month. Hard to know how much ability he retains. Won Uttoxeter’s Summer National in 2008 by 15 lengths in great style, and on that form he would have a squeek here especially off a featherweight. Has suffered major injury setbacks since then however and there are question marks over what ability remains. Is Chris Bealby’s first ever Grand National runner. Rating 1/10
 
34 F-8P5P 20887 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Can’t Buy Time
100/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-4
Jonjo O´Neill Richie McLernon 140
Has fell in the last couple of renewals of the race and made no show at the Festival last time. Does have a touch of class but unlikely that it will be third time lucky. With two falls in two attempts at the National there are plenty of questions marks about this horse, especially given recent poor long distance form. However, his stable won last year and he is handicapped at a mark he has previously won at, so a better showing is expected if he can negotiate his way around. Rating 2/10
 
7 F24-41 24094 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Dooneys Gate
66/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
11-4
W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins 154
Yet to race beyond 3m and hardly looks first-string from the Willie Mullins yard. Winner at Clonmel last time and could be diverted to the Topham on the Friday where he would have a more realistic chance. Patrick Mullins pilots the horse owned by his mum and trained by his dad. The 10-year-old son of Oscar who won the Kilcash Chase comfortably over 2m4f at Clonmel in February is untested in this company and over Aintree’s unforgiving obstacles, but any horse from the County Carlow yard must be respected. Rating 2/10
 
23 1FP18P 101553 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Grand Slam Hero
66/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
10
10-7
Nigel Twiston-Davies Aidan Coleman 143
Needs good or faster ground and granted his optimum conditions could go well at a very big price. The Twiston-Davies team were out of luck at Cheltenham but the National has been kind to the stable winning the race in both 2002 and 1998. Tends to come to hand at this time of year and will absolutely love the expected quicker going. Trainer knows how to win this too having masterminded Bindaree and Earth Summit’s victories in ’02 and ’98 respectively. Can throw in the odd dodgy leap, but could be just the type to blossom at Aintree. A live outsider. Rating 3/10
 
36 51P/52 146020 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Ornais
100/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
9
10-4
Paul Nicholls Nick Scholfield 140
Even money and couldn’t win a modest Hunter Chase at Newbury last time but Paul Nicholls is reported to be very sweet on his chances (yes I know he is with all of his horses!) given the horse has only just returned from a two-year lay off. Ornais is not the best known animal in the Paul Nicholls stable and it is hard to know whether he will bounce back from several leg injuries to fulfill the potential shown when as a six-year-old he ran fifth in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival. There is a chance he could be seriously underestimated, but it’s hard to tell. Rating 2/10
.
38 5U-42P 124425 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Royal Rosa
100/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
12
10-3
Howard Johnson Paul Gallagher 139
Finished 2nd & 3rd in the last couple of renewals of the Becher Chase but has never fulfilled early promise; hard to make a case for. After winning a grade one contest at Punchestown in 2003, big things were expected from his career over fences but so far he has disappointed more often than not. Royal Rosa placed in the last two Becher Chases, but may struggle to rise to the more onerous Grand National challenge. Rating 1/10
 
22 FF25P 20887 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Quolibet
200/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
7
10-8
Jonjo O´Neill M P Walsh 144
Very disappointing on his British debut in the X-Country race at the Festival and another 7-y-o looking to buck a 70 year trend. No surprise to see him swerve race and let him acclimatise with next year’s renewal in mind. With just a sole career victory over fences to date and a number of other negatives, including a very disappointing recent effort in Cheltenham’s Cross Country contest (PU), victory here would be a minor miracle. Grey horses have a desperate race record and with three falls in his last six starts he is one to avoid. Rating 1/10
 
29 207710 189704 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Santa’s Son
150/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
10-5
Howard Johnson Jamie Moore 141
Won a hurdle at Musselburgh back in February but no show at Cheltenham over 2m last time. The step up in trip by another two-and-a-half-miles will have to bring about significant improvement if he is to take a hand. Versatile sort who has won in lively conditions and on bottomless ground. He should run his race regardless but may just finish in his own time unless the step up in trip conjures dramatic improvement. The handicapper has given him a chance but there are too many negatives to warrant serious consideration. Rating 1/10
 
31 391059 156318 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 That’s Rhythm
150/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
11
10-4
Martin Todhunter   140
The weight of the McCann money was enough to get him on the floor in the Scottish National of 2009 when he was travelling like a winner. Impressive winner at Bangor back in August and loves good ground but never struck me as the type for Aintree. Has not tasted victory since August when he triumphed in a relatively minor handicap chase at Bangor. Will probably find this all a bit too much and nothing he has done previously suggests he is anywhere near capable of being anything other than an also ran. Disappointing attempts at extreme distances previously. Rating 1/10
 
33 234PP 38094 Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011 Piraya
150/1
bet Latest Grand National Runners Guide 2011
8
10-4
David Pipe Johnny Farrelly 140
Disappointing grey who has yet to win beyond 2m 5f and well below par of late: makes no appeal. Has failed to finish in three of his previous six starts so looks to be one of the more unreliable types in the race. The astronomical odds on offer really do reflect his chances, but then again Mon Mome won this very contest in 2009 at 100/1. Trainer knows what it takes to win the race but this is by no means his first string. Rating 1/10
 

Majestic Concorde, Grand National Horse

Majestic-concorde

Majestic Concorde

5 2/1-31 124792 Majestic Concorde, Grand National Horse Majestic Concorde
25/1
bet Majestic Concorde, Grand National Horse
8
11-5
D K Weld Mr RP McNamara 155
Winner of a valuable handicap at Leopardstown over Xmas but doesn’t look to have been done too many favours by the handicapper; down the field in last year’s Cesarewitch and could return to the North West for another crack at Chester Cup!

Trainer Dermot Weld, Jockey Robbie McNamara, other Irish trained runner, purple silks number five

Bet on Majestic Concorde with Ladbrokes 25/1

Majestic concorde1 300x180 Majestic Concorde, Grand National HorseDermot Weld is one of the best trainers in the world book does not have a Grand National pedigree. Majestic Concord possibly has too much weight to win the Grand National, with 11 stone 5lb on his back. He came to prominence when winning the Paddy Power Chase, at Leopardstown on very soft ground. That was over 3 miles and he showed he has stamina as well as excellent jumping ability but this race at Aintree is an entirely different proposition.

It is difficult to see Majestic Concord carrying such a big weight over a mile further than he has ever travelled before. That said he could possibly be suited by the step up in trip and hackle on the bridle, we simply do not know although his odds are probably a fair reflection of the chance. This is Aintree and this is the Grand National and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Majestic Concord could prove the pundits wrong and win. Certainly it has to be noted that if his trainer thinks he has a good chance then you cannot write off his chances.

The purple silks will certainly be distinctive and will be easy to pick out in the field of 40 runners.

Becauseicouldntsee, Grand National Horse

Becauseicouldntsee

Becauseicouldntsee

20 212-42 90504 Becauseicouldntsee, Grand National Horse Becauseicouldntsee
20/1
bet Becauseicouldntsee, Grand National Horse
8
10-8
N F Glynn D N Russell 144
Finished runner up in last year’s NH Chase over 4m at Cheltenham and improved again to finish 2nd in valuable Leopardstown handicap behind Majestic Concorde over Xmas; connections still deliberating whether the race will come a year too soon.

Trainer Noel Glynn, jockey Davy Russell ,other number 20, Irish trained runner, white silks

Bet on The Becauseicouldntsee with Ladbrokes 20/1

Becauseicouldntsee 300x225 Becauseicouldntsee, Grand National HorseYet another Irish trained runner but this one looks to have plenty to do to win the Grand National, still only an eight-year-old. That said he does have stamina as we saw at Cheltenham last year when he finished runner-up over 4 miles. He has only 10 stone 8lb to carry which could be a fairly decent handicap mark. He also finished second in a big chase in Ireland behind Majestic Concord. One wonders though if this horse is always the bridesmaid and never the bride! That said finishing second in the Grand National that big prices, when backed each way still gives a healthy return.

Daily Russell is an excellent pilot and is very good tactically. Jumping is the big issue. He has only run in seven chases in his career and this one is possibly one for the future rather than today, however as we know this is the Grand National and anything can happen!

Probably want to overlook this year, others with stronger claims.

Character Building, Grand National Horse

Nina_Carberry

Character Building

35 30563 8574 Character Building, Grand National Horse Character Building
33/1
bet Character Building, Grand National Horse
11
10-4
John Quinn Miss Nina Carberry 140
Has long been considered an ideal sort for the National but was beaten nearly 40 lengths in race last year when he took time to warm to his task. Previous Festival winner and although there others with more obvious claims not one to dismiss out of hand.

Trainer John Quinn, Jockey Nina Carberry, other grey horse, number 35, lady jockey

Bet on Character Building with Ladbrokes 33/1

Nina Carberry 300x187 Character Building, Grand National HorseCharacter Building is trained in Yorkshire by Irishman John Quinn. He will be ridden by top Irish ammeter, and lady jockey Nina Carberry who is more than capable and potentially the first female winner of the Grand National. Whether it will be this year or not is open to debate.

Character Building is very good horse but he has been well backed on several occasions in big races, including previous runnings of the Grand National but has failed to deliver. That said he pulled off a big win at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival, but inconsistency is a fair word to describe this grey.

He is one of two greys in the 2011 Grand National, the other being Silver by Nature, who according to the market has stronger claims. Now 11 years of age you would think this was his last appearance in the Grand National and with regular rider Dougie Costello unfortunately sustaining an injury before the Cheltenham Festival John Quinn has booked Nina Carberry to ride. It would be a huge story were Character Building the to win the Grand National, the first lady jockey ever to win the world’s greatest steeplechase. Stranger things have happened and certainly this is one that has decent each way claims.

Bluesea Cracker, Grand National Horse

bluesea-cracker

Bluesea Cracker

30 21-046 20887 Bluesea Cracker, Grand National Horse Bluesea Cracker
20/1
bet Bluesea Cracker, Grand National Horse
9
10-4
J Motherway Andrew J McNamara 140
Winner of last season’s Irish National and bidding to become the first mare to win the race since Nickel Coin in 1951; below par so far this term but this looks to have been the objective all year and if she takes to the fences the 60 year wait could be over.      

Trainer James Motherway

jockey Andrew McNamara

other number 30, Irish trained, yellow and green colours

Bet on The Bluesea Cracker with Ladbrokes 20/1

bluesea cracker 300x180 Bluesea Cracker, Grand National HorseBluesea Cracker will carry the same colours as last year’s winner Don’t Push It. Trained in Ireland the horse has been purchased by legendary gambler JP McManus and will now run in his colours. Bluesea Cracker gets in here with a low weight, only 10 stone four on his back.

Bluesea Cracker won the Irish Grand National in 2010 a race which has a good record of producing Aintree winners. She is a nine-year-old mare who has plenty of stamina, jumps well and certainly were she to win here she would be retired to the paddocks with a view to foaling future Grand National winners. Bluesea Cracker has been very well supported in the lead up to this race, much of it probably a consequence of the high-profile sale to high-profile connections.

The ground will not be a problem and the jockey is an excellent pilot. Will this be another for Ireland? There are others with stronger claims that you can never write off a horse in this ownership particularly if well backed in the market.

Niche Market, Grand National Horse

niche-market

Niche Market

12 9P-F58 116016 Niche Market, Grand National Horse Niche Market
25/1
bet Niche Market, Grand National Horse
10
10-13
Paul Nicholls Harry Skelton 149
Long considered the first string from the Nicholls’ yard but I’m not convinced. Won the Irish National for Bob Buckler back in 2009 but didn’t look a natural over these fences when pulled up in last year’s renewal.

Trainer Paul Nicholls, jockey Harry Skelton, other number 12, 12-year-old, orange colours.

Bet on Niche Market with Ladbrokes 25/1

niche market2 300x180 Niche Market, Grand National HorseTrained by champion trainer Paul Nicholls and written by Harry Skelton, who is the son of showjumper Nick. Paul Nicholls has never won the Grand National and Niche Market is one of several entries for him today. He is a very capable individual and after missing out in 2009 he won the Irish Grand National at big odds. He also landed a big chase Ascot at odds of 33/1. He only seems to win at big odds!

Niche Market is very much the stable second string, with What a Friend being the first. However Paul Nicholls would not send this horse to Aintree if he did not think it stood a great chance of winning the Grand National. He is a grand old horse with plenty to recommend him.

Niche Market ran in the Grand National last year but was unlucky and received an injury which put paid to his chances. He is back this year for another crack, and given his age, it is likely to be his last. Can he go out in style? It certainly looks at tall order but this is a horse that has the ability and certainly has a young jockey very much on an upward curve and he’s one of those horses who constantly springs surprise and rewards his backers with big odds.

Those of you who like orange colours will be backing Niche Market. He’s on the right side of 11 stone and as we know at Aintree anything can happen and Niche Market is one of the better each way bets on the card.