KnowhereThe decisive winner of his only point-to-point start for trainer Ian Buchanan at Farmaclaffley, Co Armagh, in February, 2004, Knowhere was subsequently bought by Raymond Mould and transferred to Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Naunton stable. He landed his first two starts for his new connections that October, sauntering home in a novice hurdle at Hexham and following up in the Grade Two Persian War Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow, edging out Ladalko by a neck, before injury kept him off the track for 15 months. He reappeared in January, 2006, making his chasing debut in the Grade Two Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, but never looked entirely happy during the race, pulling up before two out, and was not seen out again that season. Knowhere was sent to Perth for his comeback race in the 2006/07 season, over an extended two and a half miles in September, when he treated his rivals with contempt to score by an easy 23 lengths, and the gelding landed another comprehensive victory at Bangor the following month over the same trip, coming home 15 lengths in front of Steppes Of Gold. Pitched into handicap company in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November, 2006, Knowhere was travelling well in the lead when falling at the eighth fence, and, after a runner-up finish to Cerium in Grade Two company at Ascot on November 18, returned to Prestbury Park the following month for the Grade Three Boylesports.com Gold Cup, producing a career best effort to run the highly progressive Exotic Dancer to a length and a half. Dropped back into novice company in the Grade One Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, 2006, Knowhere could only finish third to Ungaro, and did not shown his true ability on his two following outings at Cheltenham, running eighth in the Grade Three Ladbrokes Trophy Chase on January 27, 2007 and 12th behind Denman in the Grade One RSA Chase. Lining up as a novice in the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National, Knowhere fluffed his lines at the Canal Turn on the first circuit, unseating Tom Doyle. Last season Knowhere again proved himself to be one of the top chasers around, winning a handicap chase at Cheltenham on his seasonal reappearance in October before returning to the Cotswold track to finish a close third behind L’Antartique in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup the following month. A rare foray away from Cheltenham saw Knowhere line up in the Grade Three Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury two weeks later, when he put in another spirited display of jumping to finish fifth behind Denman. He made a swift reappearance in the Grade Three Boylesports.com Gold Cup at Cheltenham under first time blinkers, but the hard Newbury race took its toll and he was pulled up after a mistake three fences out. Knowhere began 2008 with a deserved Grade Two success over fences, coming with a strong challenge to beat Our Vic in the Letherby & Christopher Chase at Cheltenham at the end of January. Having been successful in the recognised trial for the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, Knowhere fully deserved to take his chance at The Festival, but the gelding made several mistakes under the strong pace and eventually faded to finish sixth behind his Newbury conqueror Denman. He then returned to Aintree for a second crack at the John Smith’s Grand National and was still travelling well enough when unseating Joe Tizzard at Valentine’s Brook on the second circuit. Last season ended when he was pulled up in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown. The current campaign began with a decent win in the Grade Two intercasino.co.uk Old Roan Chase at Aintree in October when he defeated the high-class Exotic Dancer by a length. Next time out he finished eighth to Madison Du Berlais in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury while last time he was a distant 10th to Kauto Star in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Race Record: Starts: 23; Wins: 7; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 2; Win and Place prize money: £241,879
Following the death from cancer of his wife Jenny at the age of 54 in November, 2000, Raymond Mould inherited a high-class string of horses that included Bindaree. Mould, born on December 8, 1940, and a qualified solicitor, made his fortune in the property world. He is currently non-executive Chairman of London & Stamford Property, which acquired a 50% stake in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre earlier this year. He was previously Executive Chairman of Pillar Property Plc until May, 2005, when it was acquired by British Land Plc. Mould joined the board of Arena Leisure in October, 2005, and is now chairman of the publicly listed company which operates seven British racecourses and owns 47.5% of specialist broadcaster At The Races. In 2007 Mould significantly increased his stake in Arena with the purchase of a million shares in the company. Among the best horses to race for his wife were the 1993 King George VI Chase winner Barton Bank and Charter Party, owned jointly with Claire Smith and winner of the 1988 Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Mould trainers included the late David Nicholson, Richard Phillips and Twiston-Davies. The Moulds ran the 90-acre Grange Stud (UK), breeder of Grand National contender Battlecry, at their Guiting Power home in the same village as Twiston-Davies’ yard but following Jenny’s death Raymond Mould moved to a village near Burford in Oxfordshire with second wife Caroline and sold his breeding stock at Doncaster in November, 2002. Seven years ago Mould shot to national fame when Bindaree gave him a Grand National success with only his second representative in the contest and there was a big party afterwards at the Hollow Bottom pub in Guiting Power. The Moulds also own Flat horses. John Smith’s Grand National Record: 1997 Grange Brake (Ref 27th); 2002 BINDAREE (WON); 2003 Bindaree (6th); 2004 Bindaree (UR 6th); 2005 Bindaree (11th); 2007 Knowhere (UR 8th), 2008 Knowhere (UR 22nd)
The Gloucestershire handler combined training as a permit-holder with his farming interests throughout the 1980s, having his first winner with Frozen Prince at Hereford in March, 1982, before the agricultural recession prompted him to make training his full-time profession. He took out a full training licence in 1989, recording his first win as a public trainer in December of that year with Babil at Newbury. Born on May 16, 1957, as an amateur jockey Twiston-Davies rode 17 winners under Rules and gained a further 17 point-to-point victories, and served as assistant trainer to Richard Head and Fred Rimell. A childhood neighbour and friend of Peter Scudamore, he went into partnership with the former champion jump jockey to set up stables at Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Gloucestershire, although Scudamore is no longer involved in the venture, having teamed up with Denis Caro in 2002 and then his father Michael. Twiston-Davies has adopted and developed the pioneering techniques of Martin Pipe, such as interval training and regular blood tests for his string, enabling him to rapidly raise his profile among the training ranks. An essentially shy man, he momentarily shocked Des Lynam after Earth Summit's Grand National success in 1998 by telling the BBC presenter in front of millions of viewers "I don't do interviews". Twiston-Davies, who has gained 10 successes at the Cheltenham Festival including Imperial Commander in the Ryanair Chase, has many other Aintree victories to his name including the 2000 John Smith's Aintree Hurdle with Mister Morose. He won the bet365 Gold Cup with Beau, and the following season's Hennessy Gold Cup with King's Road. The 2001/2002 campaign had been relatively quiet by Twiston-Davies' high standards before Bindaree provided him with his second John Smith's Grand National success. Afterwards he revealed that he had been intending to give up training, but despite "having a bigger debt than Argentina" after buying out Scudamore, the Aintree victory made him have a change of heart. John Smith's Grand National Record: 1994 Young Hustler (BD 11th); 1995 Camelot Knight (Fell 21st), Dakyns Boy (UR 10th), Young Hustler (UR 3rd); 1996 Young Hustler (5th), Captain Dibble (11th); 1997 Camelot Knight (3rd), Dakyns Boy (8th), Grange Brake (Refused 27th); 1998 EARTH SUMMIT (WON); 1999 Earth Summit (8th), Camelot Knight (BD 22nd); 2000 Camelot Knight (15th); 2001 Beau (UR 20th), Spanish Main (Fell 1st); 2002 BINDAREE (WON), Frantic Tan (UR 5th), Beau (UR 14th); 2003 Bindaree (6th); 2004 Shardam (UR 3rd), Bindaree (UR 6th); 2005 Bindaree (11th), 2006 Baron Windrush (UR 3rd); 2007 Knowhere (UR 8th); Naunton Brook (PU bef 23rd), 2008 Fundamentalist (Fell 3rd), Ardaghey (Fell 4th), Naunton Brook (PU 19th), Knowhere (UR 25th)
Paddy Brennan, who was born at Ardrahan in County Galway on April 13, 1981, spent the summer of 1995 working for County Kildare handler Gerry Stack before embarking on a five season apprenticeship with the leading Irish trainer Jim Bolger, for whom he rode eight winners. The first of those came on Ivory Isle at Gowran Park in August, 1998. He became too heavy and tall for the Flat and moved to Paul Nicholls' stable as a conditional jockey in 2001. He stayed there for two and a half years, riding winners for Nicholls and Jeff King, before joining Philip Hobbs in the 2003/04 season as one of that yard's conditionals. Brennan also struck up a good rapport with Ashley Brook, on whom he won the Grade One Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree in 2005, and enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival success that year aboard Shamayoun in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Brennan was appointed as retained rider to owners Andrea and Graham Wylie for the 2006/07 season after dropping by trainer Howard Johnson's County Durham yard for a cup of tea and toast. He rewarded those connections when guiding Inglis Drever to victory in the 2007 Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham - the gelding's second success in the race. Brennan, who wanted to return to the south of England, left Johnson at the end of last season and joined Naunton-based handler Nigel Twiston-Davies last season. He tasted success over the big Aintree fences in November, 2005, when he was carried to victory by Hakim in the totepool Grand Sefton Handicap Chase. He was travelling well on Bewleys Berry in the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National, until the gelding fell at Becher’s on the second circuit. This year he has enjoyed another good season, with his biggest successes coming aboard Imperial Commander, trained by Twiston-Davies, in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2005 Double Honour (UR 21st), 2007 Bewleys Berry (Fell 22nd), 2008 Fundamentalist (Fell 3rd)