PAST TWO WINNERS AMONG A HIGH CLASS ENTRY FOR THE 2007 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL
A high quality 119-strong entry is revealed today (Thursday, February 1) for the £700,000 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 14, 2007, including the past two winners of the great race, Numbersixvalverde and Hedgehunter.
Betfair, the official betting partner of the Grand National meeting, has the following John Smith’s Grand National prices: Hedgehunter 12-1, Numbersixvalverde 14-1, Dun Doire 14-1, Eurotrek 20-1, Point Barrow 20-1, Nil Desperandum 22-1, Far From Trouble 25-1, Clan Royal 28-1, Sir Rembrandt 28-1, Liberthine 33-1, Bewleys Berry 33-1, Longshanks 33-1, 40-1 bar.
A total of eight of the nine finishers from last season are involved, with the Martin Brassil-trained Numbersixvalverde likely to again lock horns with 2005 winner Hedgehunter (2nd in 2006), Clan Royal (3rd), Nil Desperandum (4th), Risk Accessor (5th), Puntal (6th), Joes Edge (7th) and Inca Trail (8th).
The Irish have captured the John Smith’s Grand National five times in the last eight renewals and another formidable Irish challenge can be expected in 2007 with 33 horses (as against a record 38 last year) entered from across the Irish Sea.
As well as Hedgehunter, Willie Mullins has five other quality candidates including another Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding in Our Ben. The Mullins-trained Bothar Na won the Kerry National in September, while Homer Wells and Livingstonebramble filled the first two places in the Ellen Construction Thyestes Handicap Chase, in which Joeuer d’Estruval was sixth, on January 25.
Ted Walsh trained Papillon to land the 2000 John Smith’s Grand National and he has put forward Jack High alongside Grade One novice chase winner Southern Vic.
Michael O’Brien has entered the top class Forget The Past, third in the 2006 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup and successful in the Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase on January 23.
Other high class possible Irish runners include the Edward O’Grady-trained 2002 AIG Europe Champion Hurdle winner Ned Kelly, Pierse Leopardstown Handicap Chase one-two, Point Barrow and A New Story, Grade Two scorer Church Island, Wilf Dooly Chase winner Cloudy Bays, 2006 John Smith’s Midlands Grand National hero G V A Ireland, last season’s Cheltenham Festival winner Dun Doire, Galway Plate winner Far From Trouble and 2005 totesport.com Becher Chase winner Garvivonnian.
Owner J P McManus is keen to collect his first John Smith’s Grand National and he has nine in this year, headed by Aintree stalwart Clan Royal and including the Irish-based quartet of Ursumman, Ground Ball, Far From Trouble and last season’s Grade One Queen Mother Champion Chase runner-up Fota Island. McManus could also be represented by the high-quality pair Innox and L’Ami, trained in France by Francois Doumen, plus Mark The Man from Noel Meade’s yard and 12-year-old Risk Accessor.
Trevor Hemmings, who fulfilled a long-held ambition when Hedgehunter was victorious in the 2005 John Smith’s Grand National, has eight entries, including the highly regarded Nicky Richards-trained Turpin Green.
Fellow owner Sir Robert Ogden’s two entries are headed by one of the season’s stars in the progressive Exotic Dancer, winner of three major prizes at Cheltenham so far and runner-up to the mighty Kauto Star in the Grade One King George VI Chase, as well as Iris Royal.
Mike Futter, who collected about £1 million in bets when Monty’s Pass won the 2003 John Smith’s Grand National for a syndicate of owners including himself, has entered the maiden Abbeytown, while Cowboyboots is owned by former England cricket captain David Gower
Champion jump trainer Paul Nicholls has the biggest entry of eight and his horses include the classy stayer Eurotrek who captured the totesport.com Becher Chase over the Grand National fences in November, totesport.com Classic Chase victor Ladalko, and 2005 John Smith’s Grand National runner-up Royal Auclair. The Somerset handler also has put forward the smart Cornish Rebel, Thisthatandtother, Lou Du Moulin Mas, Armaturk and Le Duc.
Puntal, sixth last year, is one of six David Pipe hopes, while fellow first season handler Donald McCain junior has entered the 2006 eighth, Inca Trail, alongside the ex-French Maurice who is owned by Trevor Hemmings.
Ballycassidy was tanking along when falling at Valentine’s on the second circuit last year and he heads Welsh trainer Peter Bowen’s five entries.
As well as Clan Royal, Exotic Dancer and Risk Accessor, Jonjo O’Neill’s formidable quartet is completed by the smart Bold Bishop.
Philip Hobbs also has four entered - Betfred Gold Cup winner Lacdoudal, BHB Order of Merit winner Monkerhostin, Parson’s Legacy and Zabenz.
Nicky Henderson has yet to capture the John Smith’s Grand National but his quartet includes the classy Crozan, as well as Liberthine, successful over the course last season in the John Smith’s Topham Chase for amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, who could fulfill an ambition to ride in the great race.
The high class entry for the John Smith’s Grand National also includes the Evan Williams-trained State Of Play, winner of four from five starts over fences, with his biggest success coming in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury in November.
Nigel Twiston-Davies has a great record in the race, having won it with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002). He has entered out and out stayer Naunton Brook, Knowhere and Ollie Magern.
Venetia Williams, who is enjoying a good season, has recent Haydock Park winner The Outlier and Sonevafusi entered alongside Nil Desperandum.
Kim Bailey was successful with Mr Frisk in 1990 and he wants Longshanks, who won at Newbury on his only start so far this season, to do as well.
Carrie Ford, fifth aboard Forest Gunner in the 2005 John Smith’s Grand National, has entered Exit Swinger, while another jockey, Carl Llewellyn, victorious on Party Politics (1992) and Earth Summit (1998), could send out his first Grand National runner in the shape of Without A Doubt.
Rose Davidson could emulate Carrie Ford by riding in the John Smith’s Grand National, as the Nicky Richards-trained Ransboro is owned by her parents.
There are seven French entries in total, with Francois Doumen responsible for Innox, Kelami, L’Ami and Nitrat, while Richard Chotard has Marble Garden and Sybellius D’Artaix, and Francois Cottin has Louping D’Ainay.
Other classy entries include Sir Rembrandt, Bewleys Berry, Kandjar d’Allier, Tikram, Preacher Boy, Gallant Approach and Graphic Approach.
The number of entries for the John Smith’s Grand National, worth £700,000, since 1985 have been: 2007-119; 2006-148; 2005-152; 2004-122; 2003-149; 2002-144, 2001-133, 2000-108, 1999-103, 1998-103, 1997-102, 1996-82, 1995-82, 1994-98, 1993-97, 1992-104, 1991-85, 1990-90, 1989-96, 1988-105, 1987-98, 1986-109 and 1985-100.
Commenting on the entries, Aintree's Managing Director Charles Barnett said: “The entries for the John Smith’s Grand National include some real class horses, which has been the tendency over recent years.
“I am delighted to see JP McManus, one of Aintree's greatest supporters, with such a strong hand. Once again, there is a fantastically strong Irish presence plus several live contenders from France.”
In respect of the lower number of entries as against the last few years, Barnett added: “We have been expecting a decrease in the entry numbers. With the quality of the race increasing year on year, it seems a horse needs to be rated around 130 to get the chance of a run in the John Smith’s Grand National.”
Weights for the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National are revealed on Tuesday, February 13.
THE 2007 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL
Class 1, Grade 3, £700,000 total Prize Fund. Aintree, Saturday, April 13. For six-year-olds old and upwards which are allotted a rating of 110 or more by the Senior BHB Jumps Handicapper following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 11, 2007. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at January 31, 2007, may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances to February 11, 2007, would merit a minimum rating of 110. To qualify horses must have run at least three times in Steeple Chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Turf Authority up to and including February 11, 2007. At the Handicapper's discretion such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the Senior BHB NH Handicapper shall be final. No penalties after publication of the weights. Entries closed January 31, entries revealed February 1 (119 entries), weights revealed February 13, first forfeit stage March 6, second forfeit stage March 27. Six-day confirmation stage April 9, final declaration stage 10.00am, April 12. Form figures supplied by Wetherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, January 30.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
33-0352 A NEW STORY (IRE) 9 Storey's Over Syndicate Michael Hourigan IRE
025/P/F0- ABBEYTOWN (IRE) 10 Mike Futter Jeanette Riordan IRE
P63-22U ARMATURK (FR) 10 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
U20P5P BALLYCASSIDY (IRE) 11 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
01P-P11 BANG AND BLAME (IRE) 11 Edward Wilkin Mick Easterby
236P-42 BEWLEYS BERRY (IRE) 9 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
410U-51 BILLYVODDAN (IRE) 8 Trevor Hemmings Henry Daly
211UU-3 BOLD BISHOP (IRE) 10 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
5115UP BOTHAR NA (IRE) 8 Mrs Michael O'Dwyer Willie Mullins IRE
124420- CELTIC SON (FR) 8 David Johnson David Pipe
1P-0000 CHURCH ISLAND (IRE) 8 Joe Craig Michael Hourigan IRE
313-6FP CLAN ROYAL (FR) 12 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
3/-0FP10 CLOUDY BAYS (IRE) 10 Cloudy Bay Syndicate Charles Byrnes IRE
260-20P COLJON (IRE) 9 Mrs Kay Browne Paul Nolan IRE
30P-P01 CORNISH REBEL (IRE) 10 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
3136B2 COWBOYBOOTS (IRE) 9 David Gower Lawrence Wells
14PP-2P CROZAN (FR) 7 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson
R0032P DAUPHIN DES CARRES (FR) 9 Prof Judith Wilson David Pipe
1-13F33 DIX VILLEZ (FR) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Paul Nolan IRE
16-660P DUBLIN HUNTER (IRE) 11 Woodlawn Racing Syndicate Dessie Hughes IRE
110-0F2 DUN DOIRE (IRE) 8 Dunderry Racing Syndicate Tony Martin IRE
PS3344 DUNBRODY MILLAR (IRE) 9 Dundon Else Partnership Peter Bowen
220-333 ESPOIR DU BOCAGE (FR) 12 Fergus Wilson Michael Scudamore
P/411P-1 EUROTREK (IRE) 11 Paul Green Paul Nicholls
10/0/UPP- EXIT SWINGER (FR) 12 Sandicroft Stud Carrie Ford
F-21121 EXOTIC DANCER (FR) 7 Sir Robert Ogden Jonjo O'Neill
1331//1P- FAIR PROSPECT 11 D G Pryde Lucinda Russell
5123F-1 FAR FROM TROUBLE (IRE) 8 J P McManus Christy Roche IRE
1135-11 FORGET THE PAST 9 Sean Mulryan Michael O'Brien IRE
1222-56 FOTA ISLAND (IRE) 11 J P McManus Mouse Morris IRE
51P-000 G V A IRELAND (IRE) 9 Exors Of The Late Donal O'Buachalla Francis Flood IRE
1125-13 GALLANT APPROACH (IRE) 8 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited Charles Egerton
132P0-5 GARVIVONNIAN (IRE) 12 Angela Long Ned Mitchell IRE
2163-53 GRAPHIC APPROACH (IRE) 9 Mr & Mrs Peter Orton Charles Egerton
2P0634 GROUND BALL (IRE) 10 J P McManus Charlie Swan IRE
11222-F HAKIM (NZ) 13 T N Siviter John Spearing
04222-5 HEDGEHUNTER (IRE) 11 Trevor Hemmings Willie Mullins IRE
24U-PPP HEROS COLLONGES (FR) 12 A Peake & West Indies Capital Company Norma Macauley
233-0F1 HOMER WELLS (IRE) 9 Margaret McMahon Willie Mullins IRE
324-26U IDLE TALK (IRE) 8 Mrs M J George Tom George
100-635 INCA TRAIL (IRE) 11 Halewood International Ltd Donald McCain Jnr
F-F60P0 INNOX (FR) 11 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR
00-043P IRIS BLEU (FR) 11 Martin Pipe David Pipe
0F5P-2U IRIS ROYAL (FR) 11 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
233622 IRIS DE BALME (FR) 7 Mr L M Power Sean Curran
P1554U IRON MAN (FR) 6 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
F111-00 IVOIRE DE BEAULIEU (FR) 11 I Todd, F Murphy, C Leigh, S Holman Ferdy Murphy
U0-0004 JACK HIGH (IRE) 12 Brenda Ross M McShane D Montgomery W Moore Ted Walsh IRE
4006-00 JOES EDGE (IRE) 10 Chemipetro Limited Ferdy Murphy
51-0506 JOUEUR D'ESTRUVAL (FR) 10 Violet O'Leary Willie Mullins IRE
0F-263P JUST IN DEBT (IRE) 11 Gill and Bill Hazeldean Martin Todhunter
0410-01 KANDJAR D'ALLIER (FR) 9 Let's Live Racing Alan King
06-1030 KELAMI (FR) 9 Halewood International Ltd Francois Doumen FR
42-0320 KERRYHEAD WINDFARM (IRE) 9 James Browne Michael Hourigan IRE
111221 KERSTINO TWO 10 Mrs L Suenson-Taylor Charlie Longsdon
134111 KILBEGGAN BLADE 8 K Doocey & Mrs A Doocey Tom George
1F2230 KNOWHERE (IRE) 9 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
3PP-00P KORELO (FR) 9 Northern Bloodstock Racing Steve Gollings
21P6P-0 KYMANDJEN (IRE) 10 Martin Doran Paul Nolan IRE
243-534 L'AMI (FR) 8 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR
221-644 LACDOUDAL (FR) 8 Carol Skan Philip Hobbs
42-FF21 LADALKO (FR) 8 Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber Paul Nicholls
04-1F15 LATIMER'S PLACE 11 Sir Christopher Wates Nick Gifford
2UU-004 LE DUC (FR) 8 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
U5014-4 LIBERTHINE (FR) 8 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
6/51251- LITTLE BRICK (FR) 8 Thomas Barr David Pipe
504422 LIVINGSTONEBRAMBLE (IRE) 11 Favourites Racing Willie Mullins IRE
P146/0-1 LONGSHANKS 10 Alan Halsall Kim Bailey
1/P020P- LORD OF ILLUSION (IRE) 10 Sharon Nelson Tom George
00-1210 LOU DU MOULIN MAS (FR) 8 The Eight Amigos Racing Syndicate Paul Nicholls
06-2223 LOUPING D'AINAY (FR) 8 Jean-Paul Senechal Francois Cottin FR
021536 MARBLE GARDEN (USA) 6 Fergus Wilson Richard Chotard FR
13/1P6/-P MARK THE MAN (IRE) 10 J P McManus Noel Meade IRE
0-22006 MAURICE (FR) 7 Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain Jnr
U2-4106 MCKELVEY (IRE) 8 N Elliott Peter Bowen
40-P40P MODEL SON (IRE) 9 P J Hughes Developments Ltd Alison Thorpe
2643-34 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 10 Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs
041153 NAUNTON BROOK 8 David Langdon Nigel Twiston-Davies
103/534- NED KELLY (IRE) 11 Sue Magnier Edward O'Grady IRE
40-3464 NIL DESPERANDUM (IRE) 10 Mike Shone Venetia Williams
406045 NIRVANA DU BOURG (FR) 6 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson
23-106P NITRAT (FR) 6 Peter Hans Vogt Francois Doumen FR
B4431-4 NUMBERSIXVALVERDE (IRE) 11 Bernard Carroll Martin Brassil IRE
405-U40 OLLIE MAGERN 9 Roger Nicholls Nigel Twiston-Davies
1312-45 OSSMOSES (IRE) 10 Don Forster Don Forster
P3-42F3 OUR BEN 8 Trevor Hemmings Willie Mullins IRE
202-154 PARSONS LEGACY (IRE) 9 R A S Offer Philip Hobbs
2214//33- PATRICKSNINETEENTH (IRE) 10 The Large G & T Partnership Paul Webber
BP21P6- PHILSON RUN (IRE) 11 Gale Force One Nick Williams
1-P04B1 POINT BARROW (IRE) 9 Mrs P Clune Hughes Pat Hughes IRE
2F3-232 PREACHER BOY 8 Hunt & Co (Bournemouth) Ltd Ron Hodges
0/60-552 PUNTAL (FR) 11 Terry Neill David Pipe
5P1-134 RANSBORO (IRE) 8 Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson Nicky Richards
U00/-16U RIDE THE STORM (IRE) 10 Nelius Hayes Edward O'Grady IRE
2SR550- RISK ACCESSOR (IRE) 12 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
F-34P60 ROSS COMM 11 Kevin Treanor Sue Smith
F00-650 ROYAL AUCLAIR (FR) 10 Clive Smith Paul Nicholls
021245 SHANNON'S PRIDE (IRE) 11 JAS Partnership Richard Guest
1/4PPF-0 SILVER BIRCH (IRE) 10 Brian Walsh (Co Kildare) Gordon Elliott IRE
11-5261 SIMON 8 Mercy Rimell John Spearing
0-13P20 SIR REMBRANDT (IRE) 11 Alan Hordle Robert Alner
2-33P3F SLIM PICKINGS (IRE) 8 Doubtful Five Syndicate Tom Taaffe IRE
51P0/-PP SOLARIUS (FR) 10 Fergus Wilson David Pipe
11PP0-5 SONEVAFUSHI (FR) 9 Brian Dice Venetia Williams
1-1525F SOUTHERN VIC (IRE) 8 Mrs B Graham Ted Walsh IRE
11151-1 STATE OF PLAY 7 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Evan Williams
044002 SYBELLIUS D'ARTAIX (FR) 7 Fergus Wilson Richard Chotard FR
U-16P0P TAKE THE STAND (IRE) 11 David Robbins Frank Ridge Peter Bowen
0501-PP THE BANDIT (IRE) 10 Richard Lavelle Emma Lavelle
3-41r21 THE OUTLIER (IRE) 9 P J Murphy Venetia Williams
00-0512 THE PARISHIONER (IRE) 9 Fergus Syndicate Michael Hourigan IRE
63-3135 THEATRE KNIGHT (IRE) 9 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
14/3F-25 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 11 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
2000-04 TIKRAM 10 Mike Charlton And Rodger Sargent Alan King
252-1P2 TURPIN GREEN (IRE) 8 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Richards
1-U2P00 UNDENIABLE 9 Keith Nicholson Sue Smith
246-114 URSUMMAN (IRE) 8 J P McManus Niall Madden IRE
34252-6 WITHOUT A DOUBT 8 Malcolm Denmark Carl Llewellyn
540-232 ZABENZ (NZ) 10 Michael Watt Philip Hobbs
SELECTED OWNERS WITH ENTRIES IN THE JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL
9 Entries - J P McManus: Clan Royal, Far From Trouble, Fota Island, Ground Ball, Innox, L’Ami, Mark The Man, Risk Accessor, Ursumman
8 Entries - Trevor Hemmings: Armaturk, Billyvoddan, Crozan, Hedgehunter, Maurice, Nirvana Du Bourg, Our Ben, Turpin Green (2005 Hedgehunter)
Halewood International: Inca Trail, Kelami (2004 Amberleigh House)
Sir Robert Ogden: Exotic Dancer, Iris Royal
Graham Roach: Cornish Rebel, Thisthatandtother
Andrea & Graham Wylie: Bewleys Berry, Theatre Knight
Breakdown of Entries by Trainer with past successes in the John Smith’s Grand National
Lou Du Moulin Mas
Willie Mullins IRE (2005 Hedgehunter)
Dauphin Des Carres
Take The Stand