Grand National 2019 Fact Files
Randox Heath Grand National

Pleasant Company

Pleasant Company (IRE) 11-10-11
 
Breeding: b g Presenting - Katie Flame (Alderbrook)
Breeder: Susan Bredin
Born: April 15, 2008
Owner: Malcolm Denmark
Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE 
Form: 134  / 43  / 3413P  / 1419  / 0P2  / 00
 
Pleasant Company
© Caroline Norris
Pleasant Company
 
*Fast-finishing second in the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, just failing to catch Tiger Roll by a head. Also contested the Aintree spectacular in 2017 when ninth behind One For Arthur after a significant mistake at the 25th fence.
 
*Two starts so far this season, finishing 15th in a three-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown on December 28 and 11th in the Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park on January 24.
 
*Most recent success over fences came in the G3 Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February, 2017.
 
*Has yet to fall or unseat his rider in 18 starts over obstacles.
 
*From the family of 2008 Grand National hero Comply Or Die and began his career with that horse's trainer David Pipe until moving to Willie Mullins in 2015.
 
Race record: Starts: 19; Wins: 4; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £276,808
 
Malcolm C Denmark
Malcolm Charles Denmark, born in July, 1955, set up the London-based Mediaforce Group in 1984 - the company was the first to put advertising leaflets in the middle of newspapers. The business, of which Denmark is chairman and chief executive, grew to dominate that market and has distributed up to six billion leaflets a year, but also has lots of other strands, owning a media portfolio of advertising agencies, digital representation and newspaper publishing networks. The latter has regional newspapers in the Ireland, including the Limerick Leader, the Donegal Democrat, the Kilkenny People and the Leinster Leader, which were bought from 2013 onwards by his Iconic Newspapers subsidiary and have a weekly readership of nearly 400,000. Iconic Newspapers is in the process of buying seven Irish weeklies from River Media. The Mediaforce Group has offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Birmingham, Gateshead, Liverpool and Enfield. Racing interests: He started owning racehorses in 1996 when his father became ill, deciding to have a couple of horses with Mark Pitman, who himself was just starting out with a licence. Financed Pitman's purchase of Weathercock House from the trainer's mother Jenny in 1999, and subsequently employed Carl Llewellyn (2006-2009) and Warren Greatrex (2009-2012) as salaried trainers at the Lambourn yard. Pitman returned to oversee a few horses for Denmark at the yard at the end of 2015, while Flat trainer and former champion jockey Richard Hughes is the current principal incumbent. Denmark until two years ago had the majority of his horses in training with Tony Martin and Willie Mullins in Ireland. Most of Denmark's horses are now with Gloucestershire-based Fergal O'Brien. He also has horses in training with Paul Nicholls, in Ireland with Willie Mullins and on the Flat with James Fanshawe in Newmarket. His best horses have included Monsignor, who provided the owner with his two Cheltenham Festival wins in the 1999 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and the 2000 SunAlliance Hurdle, plus the 2009 bet365 Gold Cup victor Hennessy. Denmark's latest G1 success came courtesy of the Mullins-trained Next Destination in the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April, 2018.
 
Previous Randox Health Grand National Record - 2: 2017 Pleasant Company (9th); 2018 Pleasant Company (2nd).
 
Willie Mullins IRE (Bagenalstown, County Carlow)
Born:  September 15, 1956 Background: A six-time champion amateur rider in Ireland, his successes in the saddle included the 1983 Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath (among the also-rans were Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, and former Aintree Racecourse chairman Lord Daresbury). As a jockey in the Randox Health Grand National, his rides included The Ladys Master, who ran out in 1983, and Hazy Dawn, who fell at the sixth the following year. He partnered three winners at the Cheltenham Festival. He hails from one of Ireland's most famous racing families, being a son of the late Paddy Mullins, the outstanding all-round trainer whose most dazzling star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and 1986 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Training Achievements: Assisted his father and Jim Bolger before taking out a training licence in 1988. He has been Ireland's champion Jump trainer 12 times. He has won most of the major prizes in Britain and Ireland, and several in France as well. He is the winning-most trainer ever at the Cheltenham Festival, with 65 successes to his credit, including Champion Hurdles with Annie Power, Faugheen and Hurricane Fly, and an extraordinary nine in the Champion Bumper, starting with Wither Or Which (which he also rode) in 1996. This year, Al Boum Photo provided Mullins with an elusive first Cheltenham Gold Cup success, having trained the runner-up on six occasions. He has been leading trainer at The Festival for six of the last nine years (including a record eight winners in 2015). Mullins' star performer in the early part of the century was Florida Pearl, who was placed in two Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the 1998 RSA Chase, the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 Irish Gold Cups in Ireland as well as the 2001 King George VI Chase and the 2002 Betway Bowl at Aintree. The brilliant Hurricane Fly won the Unibet Champion Hurdle in 2011 and 2013 and Mullins' other Cheltenham Festival winners include the amazing Quevega who created history by becoming the only horse to win the same race in six consecutive years (the OLBG Mares' Hurdle). Mullins has around 200 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. His first Grand National runner as a trainer, Micko's Dream, fell at the first in 2000. Mullins, a former chairman of the Irish Trainers' Federation, also suffered disappointment in 2004 when Hedgehunter departed at the final fence in the Randox Health Grand National when looking assured of a place. The following year Hedgehunter won the Grand National, coming home 14 lengths clear of Royal Auclair, and he also finished second in 2006.
 
Randox Health Grand National Record - 36: 2000 Micko's Dream (FELL 1st); 2002 Alexander Banquet (UR 6th); 2004 Alexander Banquet (FELL 18th), Hedgehunter (FELL 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd); 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Livingstonebramble (UR 6th), Homer Wells (PU 22nd), Bothar Na (PU 29th); 2008 Snowy Morning (3rd), Hedgehunter (13th); 2009 Snowy Morning (9th), Irish Invader (11th); 2010 Snowy Morning (6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th); 2011 The Midnight Club (6th), Dooney's Gate (FELL 6th), Arbor Supreme (FELL 28th); 2012 The Midnight Club (11th), Quiscover Fontaine (FELL 17th), On His Own (FELL 22nd); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Quel Esprit (PU 24th), On His Own (FELL 25th); 2014 Vesper Bell (13th), Prince De Beauchene (16th); 2015 Ballycasey (BD 8th); 2016 On His Own (FELL 15th), Sir Des Champs (FELL 15th), Boston Bob (PU 22nd), Ballycasey (UR 29th); 2017 Pleasant Company (9th); 2018 Pleasant Company (2nd), Total Recall (PU 29th), Childrens List (PU 30th).