One of the most lightly-raced 13-year-olds on the block, the talented Eurotrek has had a host of ailments and niggles during his career, from broken blood vessels to a heart problem. A winning Irish point-to-pointer, he has raced only a dozen times, making his debut for trainer Robert Alner in a Haydock bumper in November, 2001, when he finished a promising second to Full Irish. He again showed himself to be no mean performer when going to Cheltenham later that month for a sixth-place effort behind that season's subsequent Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner Back In Front. Success came at Newbury the following month when making his debut over hurdles. He next went to Warwick in January, 2002, for the Grade Two Leamington Novices' Hurdle where he finished second to Classified in a smart field of novices that included One Knight and Joss Naylor. Eurotrek was not seen again until November, 2004 when, having switched to trainer Paul Nicholls, he appeared at Market Rasen and made a winning debut over fences. A quick reappearance later that month saw him pulled up behind Baron Windrush at Aintree on the Mildmay course. He re-emerged at Sandown in November, 2005, running a fair race to finish fourth in a handicap chase, before going on to a smooth success in the Powersolve Electronics Greatwood Charity Handicap Chase at Newbury the following month. Given a real test of stamina next time, Eurotrek posted his best effort yet as he scored an emphatic success in the Grade Three totesport Classic Chase at Warwick over three miles and five furlongs on January 14, 2006, passing the post 15 lengths clear of the runner-up Sir Rembrandt. His final start that season came in the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup at Haydock in February, when he was pulled up before the 16th fence. A last-minute injury meant he was unable to line up in the 2006 John Smith's Grand National and he was not seen out until November that year, when he headed to Aintree for the totesport.com Becher Chase. Partnered by Liam Heard, Eurotrek defied top weight to come home eight lengths clear of Bewleys Berry, despite almost taking the wrong course after the last fence. He did not run until the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National, when he was pulled up before Becher’s Brook on the second circuit and has not raced since.
Race Record: Starts: 12; Wins: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £125,466
Paul Green - head of Retail Property Holdings - qualified as a chartered accountant before making his fortune in the world of high finance and property development. He was born in Northampton on September 1, 1942, and raised in Bletchley. The company developed one of Britain's biggest shopping centres, the Silverburn in Glasgow, at a cost of £350 million. The centre opened in October 2007. He subsequently named a horse Silverburn who is with Eurotrek's trainer Paul Nicholls. An owner for over 30 years, he also has the distinction of having been champion trainer in Jersey, his adopted home. Green has enjoyed plenty of big winners as an owner in Britain and Ireland over the years, both on the Flat and over jumps. The two best horses to have carried his silks are Hors La Loi III and Carvill's Hill. The former won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle athe Cheltenham Festival in 1999 and added the Champion Hurdle in 2002, a race in which he was runner-up to the great Istabraq in 2000. Carvill's Hill's major wins included the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup in Ireland and the Coral Welsh National. Green also won the 1998 Gold Card Hurdle Final with Unsinkable Boxer, and the Challow Hurdle and the Long Walk Hurdle with the enigmatic Tyrone Bridge, who was runner-up in the 1990 Ascot Gold Cup. On the Flat, Bajan Sunshine won the 1983 Cesarewitch just three days after Green purchased him, while the 2000 renewal of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot went the way of Autumnal, owned in partnership with his wife Jenny. As well as Paul Nicholls, his trainers have included Martin Pipe, Francois Doumen, Ed Dunlop, Kevin Prendergast, Brian Meehan, Mick Easterby, Neville Callaghan, Jim Dreaper, Jeremy Noseda, James Fanshawe, Brendan Powell, Paul Webber, Andrew Balding, Gary Moore, Richard Phililips, Robert Alner, Francois Cottin, Evan Williams, Nicky Henderson, Alan King and his stepson, Nick Walker.
John Smith's Grand National Record (since 1980): 2001: Unsinkable Boxer (PU 20th), 2007 Eurotrek (PU 27th)
Paul Nicholls, the son of a policeman, was born on April 17, 1962, and has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. He started out in racing as a jump jockey and twice rode the winner of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury, in 1986 on Broadheath and a year later on Playschool. Nicholls partnered 130 winners between 1980 and 1989, struggling always to keep his weight down, and nominates the best horses he rode as Broadheath, Playschool and Seagram. Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to Devon-based David Barons, who sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during that time. He started out at Paul Barber's Manor Farm with eight horses. Having strongly challenged Martin Pipe for the jump trainers' championship over a number of years, most notably when pushing his great rival right to the last day of the 2004/05 campaign, Nicholls claimed his first title the following season, being responsible for 148 winners and gaining over £2.4 million in prize money. He retained the title the next season with 124 successes and nearly £2,950,000 in prize money. The hugely talented Kauto Star was the stable's flag-bearer, with victories in the bonusprint.com Old Roan Chase at Aintree, the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, Sandown's Tingle Creek Chase, the King George VI Chase at Kempton, Newbury's AON Chase and the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Kauto Star thus became the first horse to land the Betfair Million, the huge bonus put up by the leading betting exchange to a horse successful in the Betfair Chase, King George VI Chase and totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Kauto Star’s halo slipped slightly in 2008 but it was Nicholls who also trained his conqueror in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, the mighty Denman. Nicholls saddled the first three home in the race with Neptune Collonges taking the third spot and the Ditcheat handler ended the campaign as champion trainer once again with 151 winners, accruing over £4 million in prize money. Nicholls pulled off the amazing feat of saddling seven winners and three seconds from his 10 runners on Saturday, November 7, 1998, and made history when he became the first trainer to saddle six winners on the same card, at Wincanton, his local track, on Saturday, January 21, 2006. His 1,000th British winner came when Noble Action won at Folkestone on November 15, 2004. Another high point in his training career came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival when he captured the major chase on each of the three days - Flagship Uberalles scored in the Irish Independent Arkle Chase, Call Equiname in the Queen Mother Champion Chase the following day and, best of all, See More Business took the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. Nicholls has trained 25 Cheltenham Festival winners in total, and was the most successful trainer at The Festival in 1999, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. This season he has swept all before him, winning a series of big races with the champion Kauto Star, who became the only horse to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup and also won his third King George VI Chase. Neptune Collonges landed the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, Big Buck’s captured the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and Master Minded won his second Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, while Denman showed that the flame was still burning following his illness when runner-up to Kauto Star in the Gold Cup. His seven victories at the 2009 Festival represent a new record.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU bef 2 out), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (Fell 14th); 1998 What A Hand (Fell 1st), Court Melody (Fell 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (Fell 1st), 2000 Earthmover (Fell 4th), Torduff Express (Fell 13th), Flaked Oats (Fell 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (Fell 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU bef 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU bef 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU bef 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (Fell 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (Fell 1st), Le Roi Miguel (PU bef 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU bef 19th), Silver Birch (Fell 15th), Le Duc (UR 8th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th); 2007 Royal Auclair (Fell 9th), Le Duc (UR 6th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU bef 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Mr Pointment (PU bef last), Turko (Fell 25th).