Grand National 2019 Fact Files
Vieux Lion Rouge
Vieux Lion Rouge (FR) 10-10-02
Breeding: ch g Sabiango (GER) - Indecise (FR) (Cyborg (FR))
Breeder: F M Cottin
Born: March 2, 2009
Owner: Professor Caroline Tisdall & John Gent
Trainer: David Pipe
*Triumphed over the Grand National fences in the 2016 Becher Handicap Chase (3m 2f) by a short-head and came home a fine second in the same race this season behind Walk In The Mill, as well as finishing seventh in the same race in 2017.
*Has therefore completed the course each time in six races over the Grand National fences and is the most experienced around the course in this year's field.
*Needs further than the Becher Chase trip but maybe not as far as the Randox Health Grand National distance.
*Pulled up on two most recent outings, in the G3 Welsh Grand National (3m 5f) on December 27, keen early in blinkers, and the G3 William Hill Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Haydock Park on February 16, after which he was treated for ulcers.
Jump race record: Starts: 29; Wins: 11; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £257,174
Professor Caroline Tisdall and John Gent
Professor Caroline Tisdall first became interested in racing as a child and started owning Jump horses in 2010 with trainer David Pipe on the recommendation of Sir Mark Prescott, the Newmarket-based Flat trainer, whom she had met through her position on the board of the Countryside Alliance. An art historian, Tisdall was the Guardian's art critic from 1970 to the early 1980s, and has written books and made films, especially about artist Joseph Beuys. She became an honorary Professor of the Department of Rural Future at Oxford Brookes University and is involved in conservation projects in Britain and Africa. Tisdall has enjoyed three successes at the Cheltenham Festival (in partnership with Bryan Drew) - the dual (2016 & 2017) Ultima Handicap Chase hero Un Temps Pour Tout and the 2015 Weatherbys Champion Bumper scorer Moon Racer. Un Temps Pour Tout was the £450,000 sale topper at Newbury's DBS Hennessy sale in 2013. John Gent founded Gent Transport and Warehousing in 1974, and has been joined in the business by his three sons, Chris, Rob and Dave over the years. Based in Yate, north of Bristol, the company operates out of a 65,000 square foot warehouse and is one of the leading palletised distribution, warehousing and storage companies in the South West. John Gent, who used to run in marathons, has been involved in racehorse ownership for over 20 years, and has had horses with Gary Moore and Richard Phillips as well as David Pipe. He lives in Clevedon, Somerset.
Randox Health Grand National Record - 3: 2016 Vieux Lion Rouge (7th); 2017 Vieux Lion Rouge (6th); 2018 Vieux Lion Rouge (9th).
David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)
Born: February 7, 1973 Background: Son of 15-time champion Jump trainer Martin Pipe, who in 2001 had a record 10 runners in the Randox Health Grand National. David started riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to gain 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 trainers around the world - 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 Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father's Pond House Stables on the Somerset/Devon border, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, including Well Armed, successful 15 times. He picked up the reins at Nicholashayne after his father retired in 2006 and promptly won with the first runner under his own name, Standin Obligation, at Kelso on May 9, 2006 and less than two years later emulated his father's 1994 Grand National victory with Miinnehoma when he saddled Comply Or Die to take the great Aintree race. Comply Or Die finished second in the following year's Grand National. Pipe's G1 victories include Un Temps Pour Tout (2015 French Champion Hurdle), Dynaste (2014 Ryanair Chase) and Moon Racer (2015 Champion Bumper), while he has accumulated 15 Cheltenham Festival successes. His best British season came in 2006/7 with 134 winners, while he has sent out 35 winners this season, "a transition one" up to and including Monday, March 25. Tom Scudamore is the stable jockey.
Randox Health Grand National Record - 32: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Milan Deux Mille (15th), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU 19th), Joaaci (FELL 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (FELL 6th), Comply Or Die (PU 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (FELL 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 Swing Bill (9th), The Package (12th), Our Father (UR 8th); 2015 Soll (9th); 2016 Vieux Lion Rouge (7th), Ballynagour (UR 19th), Soll (PU 21st); 2017 Vieux Lion Rouge (6th), Ballynagour (11th), La Vaticane (15th), Doctor Harper (PU 29th); 2018 Vieux Lion Rouge (9th).