The Randox Health Grand National
|Grade 3 Handicap,
£1,000,000 total prize fund,
7yo plus, 4m 3f 110y, Class 1
|Saturday 6th April 2019|
A total of 81 horses, up from 73 at the same stage in 2018, remain engaged in the 172nd running of the world’s greatest and most valuable chase, the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 6, day three of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.
Tiger Roll (Gordon Elliott, 11st 1lb) captured the 2018 Randox Health Grand National and appeared in the form of his life when sauntering to a facile 22-length in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham on March 13. The Gigginstown House Stud-owned nine-year-old won the same contest in 2018 ahead of his Aintree victory.
If successful at Aintree on April 6, Tiger Roll would become the first back-to-back winner of the great race since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974. He is the 5/1 favourite with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.
The weights continue to be headed by Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 11st 10lb, 20/1 with Betway) and Anibale Fly (Tony Martin, 11st 6lb, 12/1). Both horses contested the G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 15, with Anibale Fly finishing the two and a half-length runner-up to Al Boum Photo, with Bristol De Mai another three and three-quarter lengths back in third.
Other Randox Health Grand National aspirants to have run at Cheltenham include the Trevor Hemmings-owned pair of Vintage Clouds (Sue Smith, 10st, 12/1) and Lake View Lad (Nick Alexander, 10st 11lb, 18/1), who both performed well when second and third respectively in the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase.
Hemmings has already tasted Randox Health Grand National success three times through Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015). If successful in 2019, he will become the most successful owner of all-time in the world’s greatest chase.
Tiger Roll edges out Pleasant Company in the
2018 Randox Health Grand National
Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins finally broke his Cheltenham Gold Cup hoodoo last week when saddling Al Boum Photo to success. Mullins, who tasted Aintree glory with Hedgehunter in 2005, has a strong team of seven going forward, including last year’s head runner-up Pleasant Company (10st 11lb, 25/1), recent Leinster National victor Pairofbrowneyes (10st, 25/1) and G2 Bobbyjo Chase scorer Rathvinden (10st 10lb, 12/1).
If saddling the winner at Aintree this year, Mullins would become the first trainer to win both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National in the same season since Fred Rimell in 1976, who scored at Cheltenham with Royal Frolic and at Aintree with Rag Trade.
Senior BHA chase handicapper Martin Greenwood handicapped the Randox Health Grand National for the first time in 2019 following the retirement of Phil Smith, who officiated from 1999 to 2018.
The Randox Health Grand National is the only race in the calendar where Greenwood is allowed to deviate from official ratings and the weights for the 172nd Randox Health Grand National at Aintree were revealed at the iconic Cunard Building in Liverpool on February 12.
With the Cheltenham Festival and other leading Grand National trials now having been run, Greenwood gave his thoughts on how ratings for some horses have changed since the weights were revealed. No penalties are applied to horses who have won since the publication of the weights.
Greenwood said: “In total, over 50 per cent of the ratings have changed one way or another since the weights came out. This includes over 50 per cent of horses who are currently in the top 40.
“Working downwards from the top of the weights, I thought Bristol De Mai ran very well in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He possibly didn’t get home over such a stiff track and is 4lb well-in for Aintree.
“Anibale Fly ran a personal best to finish second in the Gold Cup and is going to be 8lb well-in, with his rating now 172. He was 9lb well-in last year, when finishing fourth, but, as I said at the time, I think he ran better than the bare result suggests.
“I have possibly underestimated Tiger Roll’s win in the Cross Country, putting him up another 8lb to a rating of 167. His hurdle success before Cheltenham (the G2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan on February 17) suggested that he was on the way back and his Cheltenham performance has backed that up.
“Looking further down the weights, I thought Vintage Clouds and Lake View Lad both ran excellent races in the Ultima Handicap Chase. I have put up Lake View Lad 3lb and Vintage Clouds 5lb. As things stand, Vintage Clouds needs five horses above him to come out to get a run in the Randox Health Grand National. There are currently five horses on a rating of 144, but three of those have already dropped in the ratings which will work in Vintage Clouds’ favour.
“Rathvinden ran a personal best when winning the Bobbyjo Chase. He has never actually run in handicap and is 8lb well-in.
“An under the radar horse could be Jury Duty (Gordon Elliott, 10st 7lb, 33/1) who won at Down Royal on Saturday (a conditions chase over three and a quarter miles). He won in America last year (the G1 Grand National Hurdle at Far Hills) and is going to be 6lb well-in.
“Pairofbrowneyes is 10lb well-in after hacking up at Naas and. other than Potter’s Corner (Christian Williams, 9st 2lb, 50/1), who is 13lb well-in but very unlikely to get a run, is the horse who has seen his rating rise the most since the weights were published.”
Looking ahead in general terms to the 2019 Randox Health Grand National, Greenwood continued: “What already looked a hot race, now looks even hotter if you take all the well-in horses into account.
“If I was a punter, I am not sure where I would go as you could make a case for so many horses.
“At the moment, 10st 2lb (a rating of 146) is the cut-off point. You would imagine some horses will come out. I suggested at the weights launch that a rating of 142ish would be required to obtain a run and I think the horses down there still have a sneak of getting in.
“Tiger Roll is a very short price and, as I say, I could have underrated him - Cross County races are probably the most difficult to assess. He never came off the bridle at Cheltenham and it was an incredibly impressive performance.
“His claims for a second Grand National look very strong, although you could argue there are several other horses in the race with strong claims given what they have achieved since the weights came out.”
The next acceptance stage for the 2019 Randox Health Grand National is at the five-day stage at noon on Monday, April 1. The maximum permitted field size is 40 runners, with four reserves.
Randox Health Grand National
Grade 3, £1,000,000 Total Prize Fund.
Four miles, three and a half furlongs.
81 remaining entries
Five-day confirmations April 1, final declarations 10am April 4. Maximum field of 40 plus four reserves.
|1)||BRISTOL DE MAI (FR)||8||11-10||168||Simon Munir & Isaac Souede||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|2)||ANIBALE FLY (FR)||9||11-06||164||J P McManus||Tony Martin IRE|
|3)||ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR)||9||11-04||162||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|4)||THE STORYTELLER (IRE)||8||11-03||161||Pat Sloan||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|5)||VALTOR (FR)||10||11-02||160||Simon Munir & Isaac Souede||Nicky Henderson|
|6)||TIGER ROLL (IRE)||9||11-01||159||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|7)||OUTLANDER (IRE)||11||11-00||158||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|8)||DON POLI (IRE)||10||10-13||157||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|9)||SUB LIEUTENANT (IRE)||10||10-13||157||Gigginstown House Stud||Henry de Bromhead IRE|
|10)||GO CONQUER (IRE)||10||10-13||157||Paul & Clare Rooney||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|11)||MALA BEACH (IRE)||11||10-12||156||Chris Jones||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|12)||YALA ENKI (FR)||9||10-12||156||Hills of Ledbury (Aga)||Venetia Williams|
|13)||BLAKLION||10||10-12||156||Darren & Annaley Yates||Philip Kirby|
|14)||MINELLA ROCCO (IRE)||9||10-11||155||J P McManus||Jonjo O'Neill|
|15)||LAKE VIEW LAD (IRE)||9||10-11||155||Trevor Hemmings||Nick Alexander|
|16)||PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE)||11||10-11||155||Malcolm Denmark||Willie Mullins IRE|
|17)||BALLYOPTIC (IRE)||9||10-11||155||Mills & Mason Partnership||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|18)||DOUNIKOS (FR)||8||10-10||154||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|19)||RATHVINDEN (IRE)||11||10-10||154||Ronnie Bartlett||Willie Mullins IRE|
|20)||ONE FOR ARTHUR (IRE)||10||10-10||154||Two Golf Widows||Lucinda Russell|
|21)||SHATTERED LOVE (IRE)||8||10-10||154||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|22)||ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE)||9||10-09||153||Diana Whateley||Philip Hobbs|
|23)||WARRIORS TALE||10||10-09||153||Trevor Hemmings||Paul Nicholls|
|24)||REGAL ENCORE (IRE)||11||10-08||152||J P McManus||Anthony Honeyball|
|25)||MAGIC OF LIGHT (IRE)||8||10-07||151||Ann & Alan Potts Limited||Jessica Harrington IRE|
|26)||A TOI PHIL (FR)||9||10-07||151||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|27)||JURY DUTY (IRE)||8||10-07||151||Sideways Syndicate||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|28)||NOBLE ENDEAVOR (IRE)||10||10-06||150||Chris Jones||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|29)||SANDYMOUNT DUKE (IRE)||10||10-06||150||Ronnie Wood||Jessica Harrington IRE|
|30)||MONBEG NOTORIOUS (IRE)||8||10-06||150||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|31)||RAMSES DE TEILLEE (FR)||7||10-05||149||John White & Anne Underhill||David Pipe|
|32)||TEA FOR TWO||10||10-05||149||Jane Williams & Len Jakeman||Jane Williams|
|33)||MALL DINI (IRE)||9||10-04||148||Philip Reynolds||Patrick Kelly IRE|
|34)||DAKLONDIKE (IRE)||7||10-04||148||Prof Caroline Tisdall||David Pipe|
|35)||STEP BACK (IRE)||9||10-03||147||Cracker and Smodge Partnership||Mark Bradstock|
|36)||ULTRAGOLD (FR)||11||10-03||147||Brocade Racing John Romans Terry Warner||Colin Tizzard|
|37)||MS PARFOIS (IRE)||8||10-02||146||Martyn Chapman||Anthony Honeyball|
|38)||PAIROF-BROWNEYES (IRE)||10||10-02||146||Fibbage Syndicate||Willie Mullins IRE|
|39)||BLOW BY BLOW (IRE)||8||10-02||146||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|40)||UP FOR REVIEW (IRE)||10||10-02||146||Andrea & Graham Wylie||Willie Mullins IRE|
|41)||SINGLE-FARMPAYMENT||9||10-02||146||Neal Griffith & Heather Haddock||Tom George|
|42)||VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR)||10||10-02||146||Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent||David Pipe|
|43)||VALSEUR LIDO (FR)||10||10-02||146||Gigginstown House Stud||Henry de Bromhead IRE|
|44)||ABOLITIONIST (IRE)||11||10-01||145||Mark Albon, John Provan & Chris Stedman||Dr Richard Newland|
|45)||VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE)||9||10-00||144||Trevor Hemmings||Sue Smith|
|46)||GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE)||10||10-00||144||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|47)||LIVELOVELAUGH (IRE)||9||10-00||144||Susannah Ricci||Willie Mullins IRE|
|48)||WALK IN THE MILL (FR)||9||10-00||144||Baroness Harding||Robert Walford|
|49)||FOLSOM BLUE (IRE)||12||10-00||144||Core Partnership||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|50)||BLESS THE WINGS (IRE)||14||9-13||143||Adrian Butler & Stephen O'Connor||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|51)||CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE)||10||9-13||143||Stuart Coltherd||Stuart Coltherd|
|52)||POLIDAM (FR)||10||9-13||143||Simon Munir & Isaac Souede||Willie Mullins IRE|
|53)||JUST A PAR (IRE)||12||9-12||142||Mark Scott||James Moffatt|
|54)||THE YOUNG MASTER||10||9-12||142||Mike Burbidge & The Old Masters||Neil Mulholland|
|55)||BAIE DES ILES (FR)||8||9-12||142||Zorka Wentworth||Ross O'Sullivan IRE|
|56)||ISLEOFHOPE-NDREAMS||12||9-12||142||Kilbroney Racing||Willie Mullins IRE|
|57)||EXITAS (IRE)||11||9-12||142||Phil Middleton, Mark Lowther||Phil Middleton|
|58)||JOE FARRELL (IRE)||10||9-12||142||Mark Sherwood, Nigel Morris & Rebecca Curtis||Rebecca Curtis|
|59)||RED INFANTRY (IRE)||9||9-12||142||Rob Little||Ian Williams|
|60)||SHANTOU VILLAGE (IRE)||9||9-12||142||Jane Gerard-Pearse||Neil Mulholland|
|61)||COGRY||10||9-10||140||Graham and Alison Jelley||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|62)||OUT SAM||10||9-10||140||Danny Charlesworth||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|63)||FACT OF THE MATTER (IRE)||9||9-10||140||The Sandylini Racing Partnership||Jamie Snowden|
|64)||VIEUX MORVAN (FR)||10||9-10||140||M L Bloodstock Limited||Joseph O'Brien IRE|
|65)||MR DIABLO (IRE)||10||9-09||139||Aidan Glynn||Philip Dempsey IRE|
|66)||IMPULSIVE STAR (IRE)||9||9-09||139||Robert Waley-Cohen & Men Holding||Neil Mulholland|
|67)||KINGSWELL THEATRE||10||9-09||139||John J Murray||Michael Scudamore|
|68)||CAROLE'S DESTRIER||11||9-08||138||Carole Skipworth||Neil Mulholland|
|69)||MILANSBAR (IRE)||12||9-08||138||Robert Bothway||Neil King|
|70)||BORICE (FR)||8||9-07||137||Simon Munir & Isaac Souede||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|71)||MEASURE-OFMYDREAMS (IRE)||11||9-07||137||Tom Howley Jnr/Mouse O'Ryan/Dave McDonnell||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|72)||ZIGA BOY (FR)||10||9-07||137||Axom LI||Alan King|
|73)||SPLASH OF GINGE||11||9-07||137||John Neild||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|74)||HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE)||13||9-05||135||Cheveley Park Stud||James Moffatt|
|75)||CALL IT MAGIC (IRE)||9||9-05||135||Zorka Wentworth||Ross O'Sullivan IRE|
|76)||KILCREA VALE (IRE)||9||9-05||135||Alan Spence||Nicky Henderson|
|77)||LOOKING WELL (IRE)||10||9-03||133||David Wesley Yates||Nicky Richards|
|78)||POTTERS CORNER (IRE)||9||9-02||132||All Stars Sports Racing & Jonathan Davies||Christian Williams|
|79)||MORNEY WING (IRE)||10||8-13||129||The Steeple Chasers||Charlie Mann|
|80)||RATHLIN ROSE (IRE)||11||8-12||128||Fergus Wilson||David Pipe|
|81)||SCOIR MEAR (IRE)||9||8-11||127||J P McManus||Thomas Mullins IRE|