Aintree Grand National Horses 5th April 2008 

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b g Old Vic - Madam Madcap (Furry Glen)
9-10-09 Form: 11214/1211F2P6/4P//0P21
Owner: David Johnson
Trainer: David Pipe
Breeder: Martin Dibbs
Jockey: Timmy Murphy
Comply Or Die

Comply Or Die

Originally trained by David’s father Martin, Comply Or Die posted an easy victory on his racecourse debut in a novices’ hurdle at Taunton on October, 2003. After another comfortable win in a similar event, Comply Or Die stepped up to Graded company and followed a good second in the Grade Two Persian War Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow with a convincing three-length victory in the Grade Two Tripleprint Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in December, 2003. A good first season finished with a sound fifth behind Fundamentalist in the Grade One Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival in March, 2004. Having started his chasing career with a victory at Bangor and a second behind Ollie Magern at Cheltenham, Comply Or Die took the spoils in the Grade Two Rising Stars Novices’ Chase at Wincanton in November, 2004. Comply Or Die returned to the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2005, finishing second behind Trabolgan in the Grade One Royal & SunAlliance Chase, before being pulled up in the Scottish Grand National the following month. He finished the 2004/05 season with a creditable sixth in the Betfred Gold Cup, before beginning his second season chasing with a good fourth, again behind Trabolgan, in the Grade Three Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury. Comply Or Die’s season was cut short after suffering a setback in the Coral Welsh National, and it was nearly two years before he saw a racecourse again. Lining up in a handicap chase at Cheltenham in October, 2007, Comply Or Die lacked race fitness and finished a weary 16th. The gelding also disappointed on his next run when pulled up in the Grade Three Servo Computers Services Trophy Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on November 17. The application of blinkers produced a far better display in the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock on December 22, and Comply Or Die ran his best race for several years when finishing second behind John Smith’s Grand National favourite Cloudy Lane. Racing over a marathon extended four miles in the Eider Chase at Newcastle on February 23, Comply Or Die showed that he would have the stamina necessary for the John Smith’s Grand National with a brilliant eight-length victory, despite being burdened with top-weight. He wins the 2008 John Smith’s Grand National in fine style.

Race Record: Starts: 20; Wins: 8; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 0; Win & Place Prize Money: £607,025


David Johnson
David Johnson’s is a classic rags-to-riches tale. A docker’s son, born in 1944, from the East End of London, he began working at the Midland Bank in East Ham for £9 a week aged 16 and soon set up in the moneylending business. In 2001 he sold his company, which employed 1,000 people, for £216 million and is now CEO of Commercial First, which he set up in the autumn of 2002. A trip to Newmarket races in the mid 1980s resulted in an introduction to trainer Robert Williams and the purchase of a share in the two-year-old Mister Majestic, who went on to win the 1986 Group One Middle Park Stakes. Despite his colours being the reverse of Robert Sangster’s, he concentrates on jumpers and had his first victory over hurdles when Beebob scored at Chepstow in November, 1992, the start of a highly successful partnership with 15-time champion National Hunt trainer Martin Pipe (now retired). His horses were generally bought in France, including Arkle Chase winners Or Royal (1997) and Champleve (1998) and Cyfor Malta, winner of the Topham Chase as well as the Paddy Power Gold Cup (twice) and Pillar Property Chase at Cheltenham. But in the last few years he has bought horses from Ireland including a large team from Tom Costello, such as the chasers Our Vic, Therealbandit and Celestial Gold, winner of the 2004 Paddy Power and Hennessy Gold Cups. Johnson finished the 1997/8 campaign as the leading owner over jumps, took the title again in 2001/2 when collecting over £725,000 in prize money, in 2002/3 with over £917,000, in 2003/4 when his earnings topped £924,000 and also in 2004/5 with over £1.77 million. Johnson, who has over 80 horses in training, is a keen punter, admitting he frequently bets in five figures, and has enjoyed 10 successes, including a brace in 2005 and Our Vic’s success in the Ryanair Chase this year, at the Cheltenham Festival. He lives in Hornchurch, Essex, with wife Shirley and children Stephen and Lisa.

John Smith’s Grand National Record (since 1980): 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st); 1999 Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th); 2002 Iris Bleu (Fell 5th); 2003 Iris Bleu (PU bef 16th); 2004 Lord Atterbury (3rd), Jurancon II (Fell 4th), Montreal (Fell 6th); 2005 It Takes Time (4th), Lord Atterbury (Fell 1st); 2006 Therealbandit (PU Bef 27th), It Takes Time (PU Bef 29th); 2007 Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE 1st.


David Pipe
Born on February 7, 1973, David Pipe is the son of 15-times champion jump trainer Martin Pipe. He started out riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to record 22 wins over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling the likes of Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold, who went on to have successful careers under Rules when transferred to his father’s yard. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, with Well Armed successful 15 times. He took over the reins at Pond House in Somerset following the retirement of his father on the last day of the 2005/6 jump season - Saturday, April 29. Pipe Jnr made the best possible start to his training career under Rules when getting on the scoresheet with his first runner, Standin Obligation, in a three mile and one furlong novice chase at Kelso on May 9, 2006. Our Vic landed the Grade Two bet 365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October, 2006, on his seasonal return to provide him with his first big success. In his initial season, David sent out 134 winners, with star filly Gaspara providing a memorable double in the Sunderlands Imperial Cup at Sandown and the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival three days later. The winners have continued this season with several big race wins at Ascot and Cheltenham, including victories for Our Vic in the Ryanair Chase and An Accordion in the William Hill Trophy Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd) ; 2008 COMPLY OR DIE 1st.

Timmy Murphy
Born on August 20, 1974, in Co Kildare - where his father Jimmy managed Newberry Stud - Timmy Murphy rode as an amateur in Ireland for Mick Halford, Noel Chance and Michael Hourigan. His first winner came on Gayloire at Kilmuckridge point-to-point in County Wexford. Murphy opted to relocate to England upon turning professional and joined Kim Bailey's Upper Lambourn yard in 1996. He had earlier ridden his first winner under Rules in Britain on Quiet Amusement at Uttoxeter on August 29 in 1995, and holds the distinction of riding the final jump winner at the now Flat only Nottingham aboard Dominie on February 29, 1996. His first Cheltenham Festival success came on the Martin Pipe-trained Terao in the Mildmay Of Flete Handicap Chase in 1997. Murphy rode for Paul Nicholls, for whom he won the 1998 Pillar Property Chase and Rehearsal Chase on See More Business, but lost the ride to Mick Fitzgerald prior to the horse's Cheltenham Gold Cup and King George VI Chase triumphs and was overtaken in the pecking order at Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat stable in November, 1998, when Joe Tizzard was appointed first jockey. He returned to Nicholls in May, 2001, this time overtaking Tizzard as the stable's main jockey. He had a great ride on the Mark Pitman-trained Smarty when second in the 2001 John Smith's Grand National, however, behind the scenes Murphy was battling with alcoholism and in July, 2002 he was sentenced to six months in prison for assaulting an air stewardess. Released in October, 2002, he returned to the saddle and rode his first winner back on Santenay in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton on November 9, of that year. He has since enjoyed an upturn in fortunes. Following the departure of Tony McCoy from Martin Pipe's stable, Murphy became the retained rider for the stable's leading owner David Johnson in the summer of 2004, and their successes have included Celestial Gold in the 2006 totesport Bowl at Aintree. He also rode the Michael Ryan-owned Al Eile to victory in last year’s Scottish & Newcastle Aintree Hurdle, having won the same race on the same horse two years beforehand. Murphy’s critically-acclaimed biography ‘Ride The Storm’ was published in 2006. John Smith’s Grand National Record: 1997 Dakyns Boy (8th); 1998 Court Melody (Fell 6th); 1999 Tamarindo (Fell 6th); 2000 Flaked Oats (Fell 20th); 2001 Smarty (2nd); 2002 Davids Lad (UR 20th); 2003 Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Davids Lad (11th); 2005 It Takes Time (4th); 2006 It Takes Time (PU bef 29th); 2007 Celtic Son (PU bef 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE 1st.

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