Grand National 2017 Fact Files
Maggio (FR) 12-10-12
Breeding: b g Trempolino – La Musardiere (Cadoudal)
Breeder: Haras Du Reuilly
Born: March 29, 2005
Owner: Douglas Pryde/Jim Beaumont
Trainer: Patrick Griffin IRE
Jockey: Conor O’Farrell
*Missed the cut to run in last year’s Grand National by four.
*Rerouted to what is now the Listed Betway Handicap Chase over the Mildmay Course on Grand National day and produced a career-best performance to beat Virak by 12 lengths when a 50/1 chance. That race has been a good pointer to the Grand National with Don’t Push It, State Of Play and Saint Are among the race’s recent winners.
*The horse’s other six victories have all been achieved in Scotland.
*Not disgraced when 15th over hurdles in a Pertemps Qualifier at Leopardstown over Christmas before finishing last of four behind fellow Randox Health Grand National contender Saphir Du Rheu in the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso, Scotland, on February 16, 2017.
*Brought privately by Grand National winning owners Douglas Pryde and Jim Beaumount prior to finishing 10th behind Rajdhani Express in the 2015 Topham Chase over the Grand National fences.
*The horse started his racing career when running eight times without winning for trainer Nigel Hawke, who won the 1991 Grand National as the jockey on Seagram.
Jump race record: Starts: 51; Wins: 7; 2nd: 13; 3rd: 6; Win & Place Prize Money: £113,104
Douglas Pryde/Jim Beaumont
Jim Beaumont and Douglas Pryde met at Aintree more than 25 years ago and have been partners in horses for a long time – the pair joined up with South African-born David van der Hoeven to purchase the Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore in late 2012 with the aim of running him in the 2013 Grand National. Their plan paid off in spectacular style as the horse won at odds of 66/1. Aurora’s Encore was retired in January, 2014 after being injured.Douglas Pryde, 63, born in February, 1954, has been an independent financial advisor since 1987, originally from Musselburgh and now runs his own company in Chirnside, not far from Berwick-on-Tweed. He played football for Scotland as a schoolboy and spent five years working in Liverpool between 1978 and 1983. He met Jim Beaumont on the roof of the County Stand at Aintree 28 years ago. Edinburgh-based Jim Beaumont, 82, was born in Liverpool and worked as a bell boy in the Adelphi Hotel at the age of 14 and remembers the celebrations in 1948 after Sheila’s Cottage won, before moving to the kitchens. From there, he carved out a career in the catering, hotel and restaurant business, including spells as manager at Gleneagles, the George Hotel and the Café Royal in Edinburgh, before owning restaurants. He retired 12 years ago. He was first taken to the Grand National meeting at the age of three by his grandmother and attended every year as a child. Maggio just missed getting in the Grand National last year, while their other entries, Mr Moonshine, Portrait King and Harry The Viking, also failed to make the final field in 2016.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2011 Santa’s Son (PU 27th); 2013 AURORAS ENCORE (WON – also owned by David van der Hoeven), Mr Moonshine (owned by Mrs Strang Steel, Douglas Pryde & Jim Beaumont) (PU bef 27th); 2014 Mr Moonshine (15th – also owned by David van der Hoeven)
Patrick (Pat) Griffin (Oldtown, Co Dublin)
Born: April 5, 1942 Background: father Tom had racehorses and owned the 1955 Irish Grand National and Galway Plate hero Umm in partnership with Con Rooney. Patrick rode as amateur for Umm’s trainer Georgie Wells, himself a champion apprentice rider in Britain and multiple Classic-winning jockey in Ireland. Patrick broke and pre-trained horses for Dublin-based businessman Richard McIlhagga, owner of 1971 Irish Grand National winner King’s Sprite, before taking out a permit and then full public licence in 1983. His first major success came with Feltrim Hill Lad in the 1988 Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park. Took a break from training in 1994 before renewing his licence in 2005. Patrick, who till rides out, has taken a back seat in recent years with son and assistant James, 33, who rode as an amateur, managing day-to-day operations. They have generally had more success in Britain than Ireland in recent years, with the best total of seven in 2013/2014 all achieved in Britain.
Randox Health Grand National record: No previous runners
Born: July 27, 1989 Background: son of Kilmoganny-based trainer Seamus O’Farrell and younger brother of former jockey James O’Farrell. Conor did not sit on a horse until he was 15. He attended the Racing Academy & Centre of Excellence after a spell riding out for Joe Crowley and worked for Paddy Prendergast after graduating. He worked for Shark Hanlon before moving to Britain and becoming a conditional jockey for David Pipe in October, 2010. His first winner was Miss Latina, Gowran Park, July 8, 2007, while his first British winner was A Little Different, who scored at Perth on September 24, 2009. O’Farrell enjoyed success at the Cheltenham Festival on Buena Vista in the 2011 Pertemps Network Final, while other big race victories have come in the Midlands Grand National (2011 Minella Four Star) and the Betfair “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (2011 Dynaste). He has ridden 13 winners so far this season (as of March 30). He has yet to partner Maggio in a race.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2012 Swing Bill (10th); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 Swing Bill (9th); 2016 Soll (PU 21st)