Aintree Grand National 2011 

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Russell Hoping Silver By Nature Can Take Grand National

Trainer Lucinda Russell is counting down the days until the John Smith’s Grand National ahead of her bid to land jump racing’s most famous prize with Silver By Nature.

Silver By Nature

Silver By Nature

The nine-year-old is one of 74 horses going forward to the £950,000 contest, run at Aintree on Saturday, April 9, following today’s scratchings stage and Tayside-based Russell is looking forward to the race following Silver By Nature’s win in the totesport Grand National Trial at Haydock Park last month.

"It was a fantastic day at Haydock,” said Russell. “The horse had not run quite so well this season but we felt he was coming back to himself and it was great to see him annihilate the field at Haydock.

"He is definitely better on soft ground but he was very competitive on good ground at Perth a couple of years ago when he came down. He is maybe a better horse on heavy ground but he acts on good to soft.

"His owner (Geoff Brown) is chairman of St Johnstone Football Club. He is the longest standing chairman in Scotland. We made our minds up to come here after Haydock. He was never worried about having a runner in the National, he just wanted one to be competitive. He was there the day the horse was foaled and he adores him.

"Silver By Nature has definitely got a chance but I'm just worried that the prize might be going back to Ireland. Willie Mullins has a fantastic chance and Oscar Time for the Waley-Cohens would be a great story. Aintree always throws up a great story and hopefully there will be another one.”

Big Fella Thanks
© Racehorse Photos

Big Fella Thanks
Russell was speaking at Aintree’s Northern Media Lunch at which trainer Ferdy Murphy paraded his big-race hope Big Fella Thanks.

“It’s lovely ground out there,” said Murphy. “Big Fella Thanks looks fantastic and I think he would have a very good chance.

"I think we will ride him more conservatively this year. To be fair to Barry Geraghty, he was thrust into the race last year at the last minute after Ruby (Walsh) got injured and the horse ran with the choke out a little bit.

"Hopefully we'll ride him the same way this time that Graham (Lee) did when he won on Amberleigh House, that’s to hunt round and leave it late and take our time and get the horse to settle.”

Chief Dan George, a faller at Cheltenham last week, is also on course for the John Smith’s Grand National.

His Cartmel-based trainer, Jimmy Moffatt, said: "He is a great jumper but racing is a great leveller. He had a tardy start (at Cheltenham) and never got into a rhythm. He was asked to do things that he would never be asked to do.

"He ended up a bit battered and bruised but he is now full of himself. He is a good jumper and I'm looking forward to bringing him back here.

"He missed out by two last year and (handicapper) Phil Smith told me that if he had got in, he would probably have gone off favourite.

"It is just a job to get a horse to the parade ring. But, after that, if he gets into a rhythm over the first three or four fences and jumps well, he should go well. I school him at home. If everything goes right for him, he would have a good chance."

British Horseracing Authority Head of Handicapping Phil Smith was also at the lunch and he pinpointed a few contenders who had fared well since the weights were revealed last month.

“Arbor Supreme is interesting as he is going to be the top of the 10st 3lb horses to get in because he has subsequently run very well in Ireland and I’ve got him 8lb higher now,” said Smith.

“From this stage onwards, there are usually four or five horses that drop out from the top 40 horses which means he is very likely to get a run.

“As well as Arbor Supreme, the horses that are technically well in include Silver By Nature, by 7lb, Racing Post Chase winner Quinz, who is due to be 9lb higher, What A Friend is now 15lb higher after running fantastically well in the Gold Cup last week, and one that nobody has mentioned In Compliance, who has run twice since the weights and 7lb well in.

“But over the last four years, the only horse that has been technically well in to have scored has been Comply Or Die.”



Class 1, Grade 3, £950,000 total Prize Fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 9, 2011, four miles and four furlongs. For six-year-olds old and upwards which are allotted a rating of 110 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 13, 2011. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at February 1, 2011, may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances to February 13, 2011, would merit a minimum rating of 110. To qualify horses must have run at least three times in Steeple Chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Turf Authority up to and including February 13, 2011. At the Handicapper's discretion such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. No penalties after publication of the weights. Highest weight 11st 10lb. Entries closed February 1, entries revealed February 2 (102 entries, 3 subsequently scratched), weights revealed February 15, first scratchings deadline March 1, second scratchings deadline March 22 (74 remain). Five-day confirmation stage April 4, final declaration stage 10.00am, April 7. Maximum field size of 40, plus 4 reserves. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, February 28.

Form Horse Age/Wgt Trainer

1) 23P1-P00 DON'T PUSH IT (IRE) 11-11-10 Jonjo O'Neill

2) 104-322 TIDAL BAY (IRE) 10-11-09 Howard Johnson

3) 1-41111 MIDNIGHT CHASE 9-11-08 Neil Mulholland

4) 131-561 SYNCHRONISED (IRE) 8-11-06 Jonjo O'Neill

5) 501B-004 VIC VENTURI (IRE) 11-11-06 Dessie Hughes IRE

6) 61/211-52 WHAT A FRIEND 8-11-06 Paul Nicholls

7) U62/1-31 MAJESTIC CONCORDE (IRE) 8-11-05 Dermot Weld IRE

8) 2F1425 OR NOIR DE SOMOZA (FR) 9-11-05 Racing David Pipe

9) 01F24-41 DOONEYS GATE (IRE) 10-11-04 Willie Mullins IRE

10) 20-35344 SCOTSIRISH (IRE) 10-11-02 Willie Mullins IRE

11) 2U14-2F4 BIG FELLA THANKS 9-11-01 Ferdy Murphy

12) 3111-11 BALLABRIGGS (IRE) 10-11-00 Donald McCain

13) 205-244 THE TOTHER ONE (IRE) 10-11-00 Paul Nicholls

14) 520P-F5 NICHE MARKET (IRE) 10-10-13 Paul Nicholls

15) U3133-21 THE MIDNIGHT CLUB (IRE) 10-10-13 Willie Mullins IRE

16) 0BP-500 BACKSTAGE (FR) 9-10-12 Gordon Elliott IRE

17) 30011-05 CHIEF DAN GEORGE (IRE) 11-10-12 Jimmy Moffatt

18) 5121-001 SILVER BY NATURE 9-10-12 Lucinda Russell

19) 4UP-250 NOTRE PERE (FR) 10-10-11 Barry Potts IRE

20) 4-56242 CALGARY BAY (IRE) 8-10-10 Henrietta Knight

21) P2P-253 KILLYGLEN (IRE) 9-10-10 Stuart Crawford IRE

22) 3152-263 OSCAR TIME (IRE) 10-10-09 Martin Lynch IRE

23) 0100-03 BALLYTRIM (IRE) 10-10-08 Willie Mullins IRE

24) 2212-42 BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE (IRE) 8-10-08 Noel Glynn IRE

25) 2/000-06P COMPLY OR DIE (IRE) 12-10-08 David Pipe

26) 1-122B0 NEDZER'S RETURN (IRE) 9-10-08 Gordon Elliott IRE

27) P-5500423 NORTHERN ALLIANCE (IRE) 10-10-08 Tony Martin IRE

28) 510-1131 QUINZ (FR) 7-10-08 Philip Hobbs

29) 2F-FF25 QUOLIBET (FR) 7-10-08 Jonjo O'Nell

30) 11FP10P GRAND SLAM HERO (IRE) 10-10-07 Nigel Twiston-Davies

31) 3P6/454-P6 ROLL ALONG (IRE) 11-10-07 Nigel Twiston-Davies

32) 3211-11P KING FONTAINE (IRE) 8-10-06 Malcolm Jefferson

33) 0/144/P3- STATE OF PLAY 11-10-06 Evan Williams

34) 005P-1P HELLO BUD (IRE) 13-10-05 Nigel Twiston-Davies

35) 566U-3431 IN COMPLIANCE (IRE) 11-10-05 Dessie Hughes IRE

36) 6-220001 SANTA'S SON (IRE) 11-10-05 Howard Johnson

37) 2P/00-11P WEST END ROCKER (IRE) 9-10-05 Alan King

38) 0C21-046 BLUESEA CRACKER (IRE) 9-10-04 James Motherway IRE

39) 16F-0P5 CAN'T BUY TIME (IRE) 9-10-04 Jonjo O'Neill

40) 000-3056 CHARACTER BUILDING (IRE) 11-10-04 John Quinn

41) 1215/1P/-5 ORNAIS (FR) 9-10-04 Paul Nicholls

42) 00P-234P PIRAYA (FR) 8-10-04 David Pipe

43) PP2/111/- SURFACE TO AIR 10-10-04 Chris Bealby

44) 301050 THAT'S RHYTHM (FR) 11-10-04 Martin Todhunter

45) 0U2F-0P2 ARBOR SUPREME (IRE) 9-10-03 Willie Mullins IRE

46) 1F3U-P1U FRANKIE FIGG (IRE) 9-10-03 Howard Johnson

47) 1P0-053U ONE COOL COOKIE (IRE) 10-10-03 Charlie Swan IRE

48) 013111- OUR MONTY (IRE) 8-10-03 Willie Mullins IRE

49) P5U-42P ROYAL ROSA (FR) 12-10-03 Howard Johnson

50) 0P1-0060 ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) 10-10-02 Peter Bowen

51) 421001 GOLDEN KITE (IRE) 9-10-02 Adrian Maguire IRE

52) 41/313-01 SKIPPERS BRIG (IRE) 10-10-02 Nicky Richards

53) 1F4/22-1P BELON GALE (IRE) 8-10-01 Howard Johnson

54) 3/402P-0 FAASEL (IRE) 10-10-01 David Pipe

55) 3P-02043 LE BEAU BAI (FR) 8-10-01 Richard Lee

56) 0D61-0F MERIGO (FR) 10-10-01 Andrew Parker

57) 321112 PUTNEY BRIDGE 9-10-01 Keith Goldsworthy

58) 256-0216 ASKTHEMASTER (IRE) 11-10-00 Robert Tyner IRE

59) 363221- DEV (IRE) 11-10-00 Gordon Elliott IRE

60) F123-P22 GILES CROSS (IRE) 9-10-00 Victor Dartnall

61) 11U0-66 SADDLERS STORM (IRE) 9-10-00 Tony Martin IRE

62)11P61/0/- STARZAAN (IRE) 12-10-00 Hughie Morrison

63)60U0-60 AMBOBO (USA) 11-9-13 Martin Brassil IRE

64) 05241P DUERS (IRE) 9-9-13 Paul Magnier IRE

65) 31-PP11P SAGALYRIQUE (FR) 7-9-13 Donald McCain

66) 311120- TOBY JUG 10-9-13 Sarah Humphrey

67) 5/2613-P GALANT NUIT (FR) 7-9-12 Ferdy Murphy

68) 3131-32 JUNIOR 8-9-12 David Pipe

69) 00-50642 THE SAWYER (BEL) 11-9-12 Bob Buckler

70) 40F-04452 BALLYFITZ 11-9-09 Nigel Twiston-Davies

71) P0-24U344 I'MONCLOUDNINE (IRE) 8-9-09 Neil Mulholland

72) PF4-536 POMME TIEPY (FR) 8-9-09 Willie Mullins IRE

73) F/116PP- TREACLE (IRE) 10-9-04 Bjorn Nielsen IRE

74) 560-P2322 REGAL HEIGHTS (IRE) 10-9-02 Tom George




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