Grand National 2019 Fact Files
Vintage Clouds (IRE) 9-10-00
Breeding: gr g Cloudings (IRE) - Rare Vintage (IRE) (Germany (USA))
Breeder: Gleadhill House Stud Ltd
Born: April 25, 2010
Owner: Trevor Hemmings
Trainer: Sue Smith
* Vintage Clouds is aiming to provide owner Trevor Hemmings with an unprecedented fourth victory in the Randox Health Grand National.
*Progressive staying chaser who showed the benefit of a wind operation when second behind Beware The Bear in the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on March 12. Rating raised by 5lb after that excellent performance, so 5lb well-in.
*Started this campaign with victory in a valuable handicap chase at Haydock Park in November, though was pulled up on next start in the G3 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on December 27, after which underwent a wind operation.
*Proved himself over a marathon trip in last season's G3 Scottish Grand National (4m), coming home a close third behind Joe Farrell.
*Scored over the Mildmay Course at Aintree when winning a novices handicap chase in October, 2017.
*Homebred and by the same sire, Cloudings, as Hemmings' most recent Grand National hero Many Clouds (2015).
Race record: Starts: 26; Wins: 4; 2nd: 11; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £159,922
Trevor Hemmings CVO
Born: June 11, 1935 Background: Brought up in Woolwich Arsenal, South-East London, where his father worked at the Royal Ordnance factory. Was sent to Lancashire as a five-year-old during World War II and began life as a bricklayer's apprentice after leaving school at 15. Became involved in the Pontins holiday business and eventually came to own the company. He sold Pontins to Scottish & Newcastle in exchange for a significant S & N shareholding in 1989. He bought back Pontins in 2000 but retained a stake in S & N, which netted him £218 million when the company was sold in January, 2008. Sold Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens to the North West resort's town council for £40 million in March, 2010. In 2012, agreed to sell his major shareholding in Arena Leisure Plc, which owned Folkestone, Lingfield, Southwell, Wolverhampton and Windsor racecourses and managed Doncaster and Worcester, to the Reuben brothers. Owns a controlling shareholding in Preston North End FC (since 2010), the Trust Inns pub company with over 350 pubs and the Northern Trust Group which is a substantial property investment, development, land management and regeneration business with 8m square feet in over 200 industrial, trade counter and office parks extending from the South Midlands to the central belt of Scotland. He is chairman of the TJH Foundation, a charity which provides grants to organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Relief, St John Ambulance, Crimestoppers Trust, Royal National Lifeboat Association, the Injured Jockeys' Fund and Racing Welfare. In 2011, he was appointed a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO) for his work as vice-president of the Princess Royal Trust Carers. In 2018, the Sunday Times estimated Hemmings' wealth at £1 billion, up from £850 million the previous year. As well as racehorses, he also has eventers who are ridden by Zara Phillips - she partnered the Hemmings-owned High Kingdom to win team silver in three-day eventing at London 2012. He is famous for wearing a flat cap. Racing Interests: Fulfilled greatest ambition when Hedgehunter carried his colours to victory in the 2005 Grand National. After years of trying, Hemmings had finally emulated his mentor Fred Pontin, owner of the 1971 National hero Specify, with his 13th Grand National runner. Ballabriggs added a second Grand National success in 2011 and Many Clouds a third in 2015. He tried to win Grand National for first time with Stan Mellor-trained Rubika, 14th in 1992. His first winner came on the Flat in 1985. Hemmings brings on young jumping stock at Gleadhill House Stud, near Chorley, Lancashire, managed by former trainer Mick Meagher, and at his Monymusk Stud in Co Cork. He also has Wood Farm Stud in Shropshire, which is managed by his son Philip. Hemmings, who was made an honorary Jockey Club member in December, 2006, is based on the Isle of Man (since 2002) and is said to have paid £12 million for the Ballavoddan Manor estate on the island where his retired horses live at his Ballaseyr Stud. He has enjoyed 11 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, headed by dual Ryanair Chase hero Albertas Run and has around 70 horses in training in Britain. Randox Health Grand National Achievements: One of only four owners to have won the race three times along with Noel Le Mare (Red Run 1973, 1974 & 1977), James Machall (1873 Disturbance, 1874 Reugny, 1876 Regal) and Sir Charles Assheton-Smith (1893 Cloister, Jerry M 1912, Covertcoat 1913). His winners have been Hedgehunter (9-11-01, 7/1 favourite, trained by Willie Mullins & ridden by Ruby Walsh - 2005), Ballabriggs (10-11-00, 14/1, Donald McCain/Jason Maguire - 2011) and Many Clouds (8-11-09, 25/1, Oliver Sherwood/Leighton Aspell - 2015).
Randox Health Grand National Record - 35: 1992 Rubika (14th); 2000 The Last Fling (7th); Esprit De Cotte (FELL 22nd); 2001 The Last Fling (UR 5th), Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th); 2002 Goguenard (FELL 1st), Beau (UR 14th); 2003 Southern Star (14th), Chives (PU 12th); 2004 Artic Jack (FELL 1st), Southern Star (PU 9th), Hedgehunter (FELL 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON), Europa (20th); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd), Juveigneur (FELL 1st), 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Billyvoddan (PU 19th); 2008 Cloudy Lane (6th), Hedgehunter (13th), Idle Talk (14th); 2009 Idle Talk (12th), Battlecry (16th), Cloudy Lane (UR 15th); 2010 Cloudy Lane (8th); 2011 BALLABRIGGS (WON), King Fontaine (11th); 2012 Ballabriggs (6th); 2013 Ballabriggs (PU 24th); 2014 Burton Port (UR 2nd), Vintage Star (PU 26th); 2015 MANY CLOUDS (WON); 2016 Many Clouds (16th); 2017 Vicente (FELL 1st); 2018 Warriors Tale (PU 29th).
Sue Smith (Bingley, West Yorkshire)
Born: February 23, 1948 Background: Became the third woman to train the winner of the Grand National in 2013 with outsider Auroras Encore (66/1). Has developed a formidable training operation at Craiglands Farm, 1,000 feet up on the Yorkshire Moors at High Eldwick near Bingley, where she first took out a permit to train in 1990 and a full licence the following year. Raised on a Sussex farm, rode (as Susan Dye) in Britain's first ladies' race and her late father owned horses with Arthur Pitt. She was brought up on show jumping and met her future husband, the sport's legend Harvey, at Hickstead. She moved north in 1989 to Craiglands, - Harvey, born in the nearby village of Gilstead on December 29, 1938, has never lived more than three miles distant. The Smiths share the duties of their training operation, with Sue looking after the day-to-day training and the entries, and Harvey taking care of the gallops, feeding and driving the box to the races. Harvey Smith personally laid down 18 furlongs of all-weather training strips surfaced with a mixture that includes pig hair. Apart from Auroras Encore, one of their best horses has been Wetherby specialist Mister McGoldrick, winner of two G2 Castleford Chases and a G3 handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Their best season to date has been 61 British winners in 2013/14.
Randox Health Grand National Record - 13: 2000 The Last Fling (7th); 2001 The Last Fling (UR 5th), 2002 The Last Fling (FELL 24th), 2003 Goguenard (UR 19th); 2004 Ardent Scout (7th), Artic Jack (FELL 1st); 2006 Ross Comm (FELL 4th); 2013 AURORAS ENCORE WON, Mr Moonshine (PU 27th); 2014 Mr Moonshine (15th), Vintage Star (PU 26th); 2018 I Just Know (FELL 6th).