Grand National 2015 Fact Files
Oscar Time (IRE) 14-10-05
Breeding: b g Oscar (IRE) - Baywatch Star (IRE) (Supreme Leader)
Breeder: Edmond Coleman
Born: May 14, 2001
Owner/Trainer: Robert Waley-Cohen
Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen
*Oldest horse in the line-up and bidding to become the first 14-year-old to win the Crabbie’s Grand National.
*Purchased by Robert Waley-Cohen after finishing second in the 2010 Irish Grand National but remained in the care of Irish handler Martin Lynch, for whom he was placed in two Crabbie’s Grand Nationals – second to Ballabriggs in 2011 and fourth behind Auroras Encore in 2013.
*Moved to Waley-Cohen’s Upton Viva Stud in Oxfordshire after sustaining a leg injury and was nursed back to win a point-to-point and two hunter chases in May, 2014.
*Continued his excellent record over Grand National fences with gutsy victory over Mendip Express in the Betfred Becher Chase partnered by his usual amateur rider, Waley-Cohen’s son Sam, on December 6.
*Last seen out when fourth in three-mile veterans’ chase at Doncaster on February 18.
Race Record: Starts: 40; Wins: 7; 2nd: 11; 3rd; 6: Win & Place Prize Money: £529,958
Robert Waley-Cohen (Upton, Oxfordshire)
Born: November 10, 1948. Background: His father Sir Bernard was Lord Mayor of London (1960-1961). Robert Waley-Cohen, educated at Eton, started out in business with fine art auctioneers Christies (1969-1981) and was sent to America where he later started Alliance Imaging Inc (1983-1988). He founded European-wide healthcare giant Alliance Medical where he was chief executive from 1989 to 2006 and deputy chairman from 2006 to 2010 before the business was sold for £600 million, and has been the chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse since 2011 after becoming a director there in 1986. He is based at the 2,000-acre Upton Estate on the Oxfordshire / Warwickshire border. Racing interests: He rode for a spell as an amateur rider, mainly in point-to-points. He enjoyed one success under Rules and finished third in the 1981 Fox Hunter’s Chase at Aintree. His greatest day as an owner came in March, 2011, when his amateur rider son Sam Waley-Cohen partnered Long Run to win the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, trained by long-time friend Nicky Henderson. The gelding, at six became the youngest Gold Cup winner since Mill House in 1963. The owner’s four other successes at the Cheltenham Festival include Rustle’s victory in what is now the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in 1989. He has horses in training with Guillaume Macaire in France as well as Nicky Henderson. He also trains a few horses himself under permit and sent out Katarino to win the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree in 2005 and 2006, again ridden by Sam. A member of the Jockey Club since 1983, where he has been a steward (1995-2000), he keeps a team of around 10 broodmares at Upton Viva Stud. His son Tom died of cancer in July, 2004, and Tom’s Ward at Oxford Children’s Hospital is named in memory. He is married to Felicity and they also have another son Marcus and a daughter Jessica.
Crabbie’s Grand National Record as an owner: 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd); 2013 Oscar Time (4th); 2014 Long Run (Fell 9th)
Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
Born: April 15, 1982. Background: he started his riding career in point-to-points and is now the country’s highest- profile amateur. His first success under Rules came on Moscow Dancer in an amateur riders' hurdle at Kelso on December 1, 2003 and in March 2011 he reached the sport’s pinnacle as a rare amateur rider to partner a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. His victory on Long Run made him the first amateur to take the Festival highlight since Jim Wilson in 1981. His record over the unique spruce fences at Aintree is the envy of most professional riders, with five wins over the Grand National fences courtesy of Katarino (2005 & 2006) and Warne (2014) in the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase, Liberthine in the 2006 Crabbie’s Topham Chase and Oscar Time in the 2014 Betfred Becher Chase. He has finished placed in the Crabbie’s Grand National on twice on Oscar Time – second in 2011 and fourth in 2013. He has also partnered four winners at the Cheltenham Festival, most recently on Rajdhani Express in 2013. Waley-Cohen studied politics at Edinburgh University and started out in business as a commodity trader. He founded his own company, Portman Healthcare, in 2009. It now has 27 dental practices. He is a close friend Prince William and Kate Middleton (who was at school with Sam’s brother Tom, lost to bone cancer in 2004 at the age of 20) and is widely credited with reuniting the pair following their brief break-up in 2007. He married Annabel Ballin in June, 2011 and they have a son, Max. He holds a pilot’s licence for planes and helicopters. Sam’s father is Robert Waley- Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse and owner of Long Run, Oscar Time and many of his son’s other mounts.
Crabbie's Grand National Record: 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009 Ollie Magern (Fell 2nd); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd); 2013 Oscar Time (4th); 2014 Long Run (Fell 9th)