Grand National 6th April 2013 


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b g Second Empire (IRE) – Sama Veda (IRE) (Rainbow Quest (USA))

11-10-03 Form: 22/521C62FF15/6P1F20191/R4052F/

Owner: Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont and David van der Hoeven

Trainer: Sue Smith   Jockey: Ryan Mania

Breeder: Mountarmstrong Stud

Auroras Encore
© Martin Lynch (

Auroras Encore

Bred by Mountarmstrong Stud in Ireland, Auroras Encore (foaled March 10, 2002) is by Grand Criterium winner Second Empire out of a Rainbow Quest mare who ran on the Flat for Sheikh Mohammed. He first went through the sales ring at Tattersalls Ireland in September, 2003, when he was bought by Frank Berry. He was then sold at DBS in August, 2005, to Harvey Smith, who purchased the horse on behalf of his previous owner Alicia Skenes. He made his debut in a Market Rasen bumper in February, 2007, and he ran a very encouraging race, finishing second behind Theatrical Moment. He was again beaten by that rival at Sedgefield on his second start but got much closer this time, only beaten three lengths compared to 18 lengths when the pair first met. The horse was then put away for the summer but his form was given a massive boost when Theatrical Moment went on to win the John Smith’s Champion Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race at Aintree in May. He made his hurdling debut at Wetherby in November, 2007, when he finished second behind Star Beat but wasted no time in getting off the mark next time out at Sedgefield when he beat Carys’s Lad by 17 lengths. He then ran five times in novice hurdles without success, including the Grade 2 River Don Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster, but his first foray into handicaps was a spectacular success when he landed the Listed John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle in April, 2008, at odds of 50/1. He was in such good form that connections decided to run him again at the Aintree meeting two days later in the John Smith’s Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle and he produced another decent performance, finishing fifth behind eventual winner Forest Pennant. He started his second season in a handicap hurdle at Sedgefield (where he finished well beaten) and then he embarked on a chasing career, making his debut over fences at Sedgefield. Jumping well, he was always prominent and ran on well to record a length-and-a-quarter victory. He notched up another two successes that season (at Carlisle and Ayr) before he was given a summer break. The next season saw him mix hurdling and chasing with limited success though he did pick up a valuable Listed handicap chase at Ayr in May, 2010. He has only won one race since (at Haydock a year ago) but gave a clear indication that the John Smith’s Grand National could be an ideal race for him when he was beaten a neck by Merigo in last year’s Scottish Grand National. He has not been in the same sort of form since and was well beaten at Kelso last time out but connections are adamant that he will be much better on a sound surface, which he should get if the weather forecast is correct. He won the John Smith’s Grand National on April 6, 2013.

Race Record: Starts: 44; Wins: 8; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 1; Win & Place prize money: £724,558


Douglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont & David van der Hoeven

Jim Beaumont and Douglas Pryde met 20 years ago at Aintree and have been partners in horses since.  South African-born David van der Hoeven is a director of Glasgow-based independent financial advisors Clark Gillone and he has owned horses with Beaumont and Pryde in the past. They bought Auroras Encore at the turn of the year specifically to have a runner in this year’s John Smith’s Grand National. Edinburgh-based Jim Beaumont, 78, is Liverpool-born and worked as a bell boy in the Adelphi Hotel at the age of 14 before moving to the kitchens. From there, he carved out a career in the catering, hotel and restaurant business, including spells as manager at Gleneagles and at the George Hotel and Café Royal in Edinburgh, before his retirement seven years ago. He was first taken to the Grand National meeting at the age of five by his grandmother. Douglas Pryde, 58, is an independent financial advisor, originally from Musselburgh and now based in Linlithgow, west of Edinburgh. He has been at Aintree for every Grand National since 1987. Van der Hoeven will not be at Aintree on Saturday to watch Auroras Encore run as he is holidaying in Greece.

John Smith’s Grand National record: 2011 Santa’s Son (owned by Douglas Pryde & Jim Beaumont) (PU bef 27th); 2013 AURORA’S ENCORE WON


Sue Smith

Sue Smith, 65, 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. She was born on February 23, 1948, and raised on a Sussex farm. Although she rode (as Susan Dye) in Britain’s first ladies’ race and her late father owned horses with Arthur Pitt, she was brought up on showjumping, and met her future husband, that sport’s legend Harvey, at Hickstead. She moved north in 1989 to Craiglands, from which Harvey, born in the nearby village of Gilstead, 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. Their best horse has been Mister McGoldrick, winner of two Grade Two Castleford Chases and a Grade Three Racing Post Plate at the Cheltenham Festival, but many of their biggest successes have come with staying chasers, notably Kildimo (totesport Becher Chase 1992), Ardent Scout (Becher Chase 2002), The Last Fling (Peter Marsh Chase, Red Square Vodka Gold Cup 2000), Himalayan Trail (Midlands Grand National 2008) and Auroras Encore (Totepool Chase 2010).

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 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 AURORA’S ENCORE WON, Mr Moonshine (P27)


Ryan Mania

Ryan Mania (born December 23, 1989) was raised in Galashiels, Scotland. His parents, Kevin and Lesley, first sat him on a Shetland pony when he was three years old. At age 12 he started working with point-to-pointers under the care of Borders trainer Bill Hughes and rode two winners between the Flags. He learned his craft on the Common Riding circuit in the Borders and attended the British Racing School. He joined Lothian trainer Peter Monteith as a conditional and rode a few times as a Flat apprentice in 2008 and 2009. He has also enjoyed success for Howard Johnson’s County Durham yard. His paternal grandfather emigrated to the UK from Poland and his name is correctly pronounced mah-nee-a rather than may-nee-a. He went 44 rides before breaking his duck and promptly made it a double, winning aboard Quicuyo and Millie The Filly at Ayr on March 8, 2008. Following the large number of abandoned meetings during the winter of 2011, Mania relinquished his licence but the lure of the sport was too much and he was back in the saddle by the end of the year. Auroras Encore provided him with his biggest success in a valuable handicap chase at Haydock in April, 2012.


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