Aintree Grand National Horses 14th April 2007 

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Grand National 2007 -
[Runner Fact Files]

b g Clearly Bust - All Gone (Giolla Mear)
10-10-06 Form: 4113/3124P/111/4PPF-82421
Owner: Brian Walsh (Co. Kildare)
Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE
Breeder: J & Mrs Power
Jockey: Robert Power

A leading fancy for the 2005 John Smith’s Grand National, Silver Birch failed to make the line-up at Aintree after heat was discovered in a leg, one month before the race. His prominence in the market owed everything to a hat-trick of victories in November and December 2004, which included the totesport Becher Chase over the Grand National course. On that occasion he proved a length too good for Just In Debt, and followed up with a two-length defeat of Strong Resolve in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow. Prior to that successful sequence in the first half of the 2004/05 season, he had shown plenty of potential. He made his racecourse debut in a Chepstow maiden hurdle in November, 2002, running fourth to Shardam, and returned to the Welsh track to score his first success later that month. Another win, this time at Plumpton, was followed by a disappointing effort at Exeter in April that marked the end of his debut season. He made a belated return in January of the 2003/2004 season, running third to Ballet-K at Exeter, on his first start over fences. He won next time out, again at Chepstow, in the Letheby & Christopher Beginners’ Chase. A second to Fork Lightning at Wincanton was followed by a fourth-place finish behind Native Emperor in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He was subsequently pulled up in a novices’ chase at Ayr in April. His three wins from three starts the following term, in a season cruelly cut short by injury, promised great things for this campaign. Given a year to get over his set-back, Silver Birch returned to action at Warwick in January, 2006, when he ran an encouraging fourth and returned to fences at Wincanton the following month and was pulled up. He failed to fire again over hurdles at Chepstow before falling at the Chair in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National. He was sent to Doncaster Sales in May last year when he was bought by Brian Walsh for 20,000gns, joining trainer Gordon Elliott. He has run four times since and most recently came a good second in the Sporting Index Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month. He famously wins the John Smith’s Grand National today in a thrilling finish.

Race Record: Starts; 21: Wins; 7: 2nd; 3: 3rd; 2: Win & Place Prize Money; £537,504.


Brian Walsh
From a farming family, Brian Walsh runs Rheindross Stud at Kilcock, County Kildare, named after the racehorse trained by Arthur Moore and Charlie Mann which Walsh owned. The stud currently houses 20 broodmares, including two in foal to Galileo and Johannesburg. Walsh has also invested heavily in racehorses, last April paying £220,000 for Aintree bumper winner Rhacophorus at the Brightwells Auction at Cheltenham. At the time, it was a public auction record for a National Hunt mare in training. Rhacophorus is entered for the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown later this month. In total, Walsh has 12 horses in training. Paul Nolan has two of them, including Rhacophorus, and there are three with Charlie Mann, including Air Force One who was second in the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdles at Cheltenham last month. Silver Birch joined the Walsh fold in May last year, when he was purchased for 20,000gns at Doncaster Sales. Walsh is just 26, and, if we exclude the syndicates, he is the youngest owner in the race.

No previous Grand National Runners


Gordon Elliott
Gordon Elliott was a very successful point-to-point rider, who also rode winners under Rules as well. He started his racing career while still at school, working at Tony Martin's stable in County Meath. From there, he moved to Martin Pipe's in 2002, and during his spell at Pond House his six rides as an amateur included one winner. Elliott then returned to Ireland for another term at Martin's stables. In 2004, Barry Callaghan, head of the Dun Doire syndicate, bought Capranny Stables at Trim in County Meath. When Elliott started his training career, early last year, those stables became his base. At 29, Elliott is the youngest trainer with a horse in this year's Grand National.

No previous Grand National Runners


Robbie Power
Robert Power is the son of legendary Irish showjumper and trainer Con Power, who is regarded as the top man in Ireland to deal with horses who find it difficult to learn to jump properly. A silver medallist at the European Junior Showjumping Championships in 2000, Power made the switch to jump racing the following year and rode his first winner on only his third attempt when partnering his mother's Younevertoldme, trained by Jessica Harrington, in a hurdle race at Punchestown in December, 2001. The 25 year-old is attached to Harrington's Co. Kildare stable where he began as an amateur after receiving encouragement from Richard Dunwoody. His first winner as a professional came on the Paddy Mullins-trained Bob What at Leopardstown in February, 2002. He partnered the Mulilns-trained Nearly A Moose to success in the 2003 Galway Plate. That success came after he had sprung to prominence in Britain with a win aboard the Harrington-trained Intelligent in the Midlands Grand National earlier in the year. He was honoured at the 2004 Irish Jump Racing Awards as the leading claiming rider and in August of that year he partnered his first Australian winner to clinch victory in the annual Irish jump jockey challenge down under. A broken bone in a foot, sustained in a schooling accident, cost him the winning ride on Newmill in the 2006 Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Grand National Record:
2005 Spot Thedifference (18th) 2007 1st SILVER BIRCH.

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