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Aintree Grand National Horses 5th April 2008 

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POINT BARROW (IRE)
9 b g Arctic Lord - Credit Transfer (IRE) (Kemal (FR))
10-10-13 Form: 1F152/54211150/600061/P04B133F2-0080403
Owner: Clune Hughes
Trainer: Pat Hughes
Breeder: Henry Dunne

Point Barrow won a 12-runner bumper at Leopardstown in December, 2003, on his debut and despite falling on his hurdling bow at Naas the following month, he made amends next time out back at Leopardstown, when holding off Mesmeric by a head. He went on to run with credit in better company that season, chasing home Sadlers Wings in Grade Two company at Fairyhouse, and running fifth to the same rival in the Grade One Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in April, 2004. Sent novice chasing for the 2004/05 season, he followed two good efforts with a hat-trick of wins, including the Grade Two Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase and the Grade Three Ten Up Novice Chase, both at Naas over three miles. He acquitted himself well when a close fifth to Another Rum in the 2005 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival over four miles and a furlong, before failing to get competitive behind Numbersixvalverde in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. He started the 2005/06 campaign in disappointing fashion, managing no better than sixth in five outings, but came back to form with a vengeance when landing a 20/1 surprise in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April, 2006, coming home a length in front of Oulart under Philip Carberry. After a quiet start last season, he outpointed A New Story in the valuable Pierse Leopardstown Handicap Chase in January, 2007, and went on to put in good efforts in the Grade Two Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse and over hurdles at Navan before starting 8/1 co-favourite for last year’s John Smith’s Grand National when he got no further than the first fence. He rounded off the campaign with second place in a handicap hurdle at Punchestown. He made a relatively quiet start to this season but has put in some better efforts recently when fourth in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January and third to In The Loop in a three and a quarter mile chase at Down Royal on March 17.

Race Record: Starts: 35; Wins: 7; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 3; Win and Place prize money: £235,264

 

Clune Hughes
Clune Hughes is the wife of Pat Hughes’ cousin, Paddy Hughes, a farmer and engineer. She owns Point Barrow in partnership with Helen O’Dwyer, a retired chemist, and retired solicitor John Foley. The latter owned Barrow Line, a top-class chaser who won the Drinmore Novice Chase and the Arkle Challenge Cup during the 1986-87 season. Point Barrow was originally bought as a four-year for another client, however they declined the youngster as being too expensive, and when John Foley asked Pat Hughes if he had any horses for sale, the deal was sealed. In 2006, along with Pat Hughes, Clune Hughes, Helen O’Dwyer and John Foley were the guests of Carlow County Council at a civic reception to recognise their achievements with Point Barrow, who captured the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April, 2006, while last year their talented 10-year-old landed the valuable Pierse Leopardstown Chase. Helen O’Dwyer and husband Michael owned another John Smith’s Grand National runner last year, the Willie Mullins-trained Bothar Na, who pulled up

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2007 Point Barrow (Fell 1st)

Pat Hughes
Born on March 10, 1943, Pat Hughes - who has five children and is married to Eleanor, a sister of the great Eddie Harty - took over the family farm in 1959 after the death of his father, who owned a handful of mares and trained a small string. Pat Hughes had a permit in 1962 for a year but returned to farming the family’s 300 acres before he took out a full licence in 1977. His first win came via No Battle at Gowran Park on October 31 that year and two and a half hours later Musical Glen was awarded the bumper in the stewards’ room to give him a double. Based at Fenniscourt, Bagenalstown, in Co Carlow, one of his best horses in the early years was Potato Merchant, a useful dual-purpose performer who landed the 1980 Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh. Hughes has tasted success at the Cheltenham Festival, landing the Royal & SunAlliance Chase in 1985 with Antarctic Bay, and he sent out Sharpaten to capture the John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle at Aintree in 2000. He has also won the Irish Grand National twice with Insure (1986) and Point Barrow (2006), the Pierse Hurdle (formerly the Ladbroke Hurdle) twice with Mantles Prince (2000) and Grinkov (2001), while Time Machine took the 1985 Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot. Other high class winners include Barrow Line (1986 Drinmore Novice Chase, 1987 Arkle Challenge Cup), Abbey Glen (1987 Drinmore Novice Chase, 1987 Denny Gold Medal Novice Chase), Quinze (1997 Lartigue Hurdle, 1999 Galway Hurdle) and his current stable star Point Barrow, who last year added the valuable Pierse Leopardstown Chase to his previous victory in the Irish Grand National. Point Barrow was Pat Hughes’ first runner in the John Smith’s Grand National in 2007.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2007 Point Barrow (Fell 1st)

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