Aintree Grand National Horses 5th April 2008 

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Grand National 2008 -
[Runner Fact Files]

b g Leading Counsel (USA) - Yes Boss (IRE) (Carlingford Castle)
8-10-08 Form: 0/000000130/151111117-0F251
Owner: Dunderry Racing Syndicate
Trainer: Tony Martin
Breeder: Sarah Martin

The winner of an Irish point-to-point at Oldcastle in March, 2004, Dun Doire finished well beaten on his first six outings under Rules (a hunter chase, two novice chases and three maiden hurdles) before showing better form when a staying on eighth of 24 in a two-mile handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse in January, 2005. The promise of that effort was realised on his next start at Navan the following month, in a handicap over two and a half miles, when Dun Doire, who was bred by trainer Tony Martin’s wife Sarah, recorded a ready half length success from 25 rivals. He landed a second handicap hurdle, over three miles, at Limerick in May, 2005, showing his liking for a stamina test and testing ground with a neck defeat of Rock Snow Drop. Sent back over fences for the 2005/06 campaign, Dun Doire found the two-mile trip too short at Naas in October, 2005, but put over longer trips after that run, he went from strength to strength, racking up a superb six-timer. Novice handicap victories in England at Wetherby and Haydock were followed by wins at Navan and Fairyhouse, before Dun Doire landed his first major success, in the Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park in January, 2006, when he survived a bad mistake at the final fence to score by a length and a half from Coljon. The victory was somewhat fortuitous, as Dun Doire was initially the first reserve, only getting a run when Killeaney was pulled out on the morning of the race. Sent back to England for the Cheltenham Festival that March, Dun Doire captured the William Hill Trophy, beating Juveigneur by two lengths - scoring off a 50lb higher mark than for his first chasing success at Wetherby - before his winning run was brought to an end in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, finishing seventh to Point Barrow on ground too quick. This season, Dun Doire has mixed hurdling and chasing, running 11th on his return over hurdles at Cork in early November, but failing to complete later that month at Aintree in the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences, falling at the Chair (6th) having been hampered. After two decent runs over the smaller obstacles, yielding second and fifth-place finishes at Navan (December) and Punchestown (February), Dun Doire returned to the winners enclosure with a narrow success at Down Royal over three and a quarter miles on March 17, keeping on doggedly to hold off Romaha by three-quarters of a length.

Race Record: Starts: 24; Wins: 9; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win and Place prize money: £140,127


Dunderry Racing Syndicate
The eight-strong Dunderry Racing Syndicate is made up of brothers Keith and Barry Callaghan, Terry McDonagh, Tony Cregan, Kevin Brady, Evan Stephens, Kevin Dowd and Damien Clarke, who are all from the Dunderry area near Navan in County Meath. A shared love of Gaelic football brought the group together - indeed Barry Callaghan won an All-Ireland medal playing for Meath. Their prize possession, Dun Doire, is named after the Gaelic spelling for Dunderry, and was bred by Sarah Martin, wife of the trainer. While the Dunderry Racing Syndicate only have the one horse, Barry Callaghan, who also owns a bar/nightclub in the town of Kells, is involved in Dun Doire’s five-year-old full brother - Elbow High - named after his exploits on the football field! Ruby Walsh described the members of the Dunderry Racing Syndicate as “the biggest bunch of lunatics in the world” after he partnered Dun Doire to glory in the 2006 William Hill Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: No Previous Runners


Tony Martin IRE
Famed for his raids across the Irish Sea from his Arodstown stables at Moynalvey, County Meath, Tony Martin has made his mark on the Flat as well as over jumps. Martin, 41, started in racing 27 years ago under the old school regime of Clem Magnier, the dual purpose trainer. There followed stints with Michael Cunningham, Ted Curtin, Ted Walsh and Lambourn-based Oliver Sherwood, with whom he spent a year. He also had a spell in America before taking up training point-to-pointers. During his days with Magnier, the nickname ‘Harvey’ stuck with Martin. That was in the golden era of the showjumper Harvey Smith, and, because there were plenty of big tough horses around, Martin had to be as strong as Harvey Smith to ride them. Martin, an accomplished amateur rider, trained and rode the 1999 Martell Cognac Reserve Novices’ Hunters’ Chase winner Extra Stout and other Aintree successes include the 2000 John Smith’s Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle with Ross Moff. His big race victories include Davids Lad’s success in the 2001 Irish Grand National, while She’s Our Mare collected the competitive Powers Gold Label Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse in April 1999 and added the valuable Swinton Hurdle at Haydock the following month. Xenophon, winner of the 2003 Pierse Hurdle provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival success in that season’s Coral Cup, while Dun Doire added to Martin’s Festival tally in the 2006 William Hill Trophy. That was the gelding’s sixth consecutive victory in five months, a run of success that saw his rating rise from 79 to 137. Linden’s Lotto won both the Sporting Index Cross Country Chases at Cheltenham in 1999, the year after taking the Sporting Index Chase at the Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting. His biggest successes on the Flat have come with She’s Our Mare in the Cambridgeshire, one of the most competitive Flat handicaps, at Newmarket in 1999, and an Ascot Stakes double at the Royal Meeting with Barba Papa (2000) and Leg Spinner (2005).

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2000 Hollybank Buck (10th); 2001 Hollybank Buck (Fell 3rd); 2002 Davids Lad (Fell 27th); 2004 Davids Lad (11th)

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