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Friday, February 23, 2007



IRISH CHALLENGE GROWS FOR JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL




- CLOUDY BAYS AND JACK HIGH HEADING TO AINTREE

Following the publication of the weights for the £700,000 John Smith’s Grand National on February 13, two more Irish trainers have revealed that they are aiming horses at the famous contest, run over four and a half miles at Aintree on Saturday, April 14.


Ballingarry trainer Charles Byrnes, whose only previous John Smith’s Grand National runner, Super Franky, fell in the 2002 renewal won by Bindaree, believes he has a live contender for this year’s race in the shape of talented front-runner Cloudy Bays.

The 10-year-old, a regular in top company over the past few seasons, has a victory to his name this season at Tramore, when charging home late in the Listed Wilf Dooly Chase on New Year’s Day, and was last seen finishing a decent eighth to Adamant Approach in a three-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown on January 14.

Byrnes said this morning: “I am planning to run Cloudy Bays in the John Smith’s Grand National. He’s been allotted 11st which is okay - I thought maybe he might get in a bit lighter, although he won’t get dropped now so that’s it!

“He will run at Cheltenham first in the Pertemps Final but if he performs well there he will definitely go to Aintree. He ran well in a qualifier the other day and showed a bit of sparkle and he seems to be in good form.

“Cloudy Bays is a funny horse - if he’s on a going day then he can stay the trip. It depends on whether or not he settles, but if he gets into a nice rhythm then he could go well. His jumping won’t be a problem - he’d take on a stone wall and is a lot braver than a number of jockeys!

“The going would not be too much of a concern either as he handles most ground. He certainly wouldn’t be going to Aintree to make up the numbers and at least he is guaranteed to get a run.”

Ted Walsh, who sent out Papillon to land a huge gamble in the world’s greatest chase seven years ago, has two entries this year - Southern Vic (11st 3lb) and Jack High (10st 3lb) - and the latter, who unseated at the Chair in last year’s renewal when a well-supported 9/1 chance, is the most likely runner this April.


Walsh revealed: “Jack High will be going for the John Smith’s Grand National if he gets into the race. The weight he has (10st 3lb) is similar to last year and won’t make any difference to him - he’s the same horse he was a year ago.


“He’s generally a good old jumper and there aren’t many other options for him at this stage of his life. Our ambition is to go for the John Smith’s Grand National and if he is well in the week of Aintree then that’s where he’ll be.


“The ground won’t bother him as he’s won a Betfred Gold Cup on good ground and a Troytown Chase on heavy. He handles everything.

“He is what he is - at 12 years of age he’s in as good shape now as he was this time last year, but that still might not be good enough. He’ll most likely run a couple of times before Aintree.


“Southern Vic is unlikely to run in the John Smith’s Grand National. He’s only eight and a bit inexperienced and is one for the future.”

Over the past few seasons, the quality of the John Smith’s Grand National has continued to go from strength to strength.


The number of horses in the handicap (ie on 10st or above) at the time of the weights lunch reached a record 74 per cent this year. This makes it virtually certain that all horses who line up for the world’s greatest race on April 14 will race from inside the handicap. In both the 2005 and 2006 renewals of the John Smith’s Grand National, all 40 runners on the day were in the handicap.


Another area which demonstrates the continuing development of the John Smith’s Grand National is the median rating of horses entered. The median has risen every year since 2004 - in 2004 it was 130, 134 in 2005, 135 in 2006 and 137 this year.


In 2005 and 2006, horses needed to be 75 or 76 in the list of weights at the day of lunch to make the cut for the race itself. In 1999 and 2004, horses in the 90s at the time of the weights lunch obtained a run, but the overall average since 1999 is 81.


Notes to editors
Aintree Racecourse is the home of of the world's most famous jump race, the John Smith's Grand National.


Last year the region welcomed over 150,000 racegoers to the three-day meeting and generated around £35 million for the North West economy.


This year Liverpool is celebrating its 800th birthday, a perfect chance to experience the sporting offer, follow the region's musical heritage, enjoy the diverse culture or appreciate the 135km of glorious coastline. The city has been crowned European Capital of Culture for 2008 and its a great time to come and see the region and its unrivalled architecture and heritage.


Sefton is to the north of Liverpool and as well as being home to the Grand National, it has the aspiring classic seaside resort of Southport at its heart featuring exclusive shopping on Lord Street, the oldest surviving pier in the country and new for 2007 is Dune's Splashworld Waterpark.


Tickets and hospitality packages for all three days of the meeting are still available, for further information telephone +44 (0)151 522 2929. To book accommodation, or to find out more about the region, log on to www.visitliverpool.com/grandnational

For further information, please contact Nigel Payne, Aintree’s Press Officer, on 07768 025265 or Emma Owen, Aintree’s Marketing & PR Manager, on 0151 522 2906 or 07917 266511.


THE 2007 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL
Class 1, Grade 3, £700,000 total Prize Fund. Aintree, Saturday, April 14. 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 Thursday, February 21.


Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
F-21121 EXOTIC DANCER (FR) 7-11-12 Sir Robert Ogden Jonjo O'Neill
04222-5 HEDGEHUNTER (IRE) 11-11-12 Trevor Hemmings Willie Mullins IRE
1135-114 FORGET THE PAST 9-11-09 Sean Mulryan Michael O'Brien IRE
1222-565 FOTA ISLAND (IRE) 11-11-09 J P McManus Mouse Morris IRE
06-2223 LOUPING D'AINAY (FR) 8-11-09 Jean-Paul Senechal Francois Cottin FR
P/411P-1 EUROTREK (IRE) 11-11-08 Paul Green Paul Nicholls
243-5342 L'AMI (FR) 8-11-08 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR
11151-1 STATE OF PLAY 7-11-08 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Evan Williams
405-U40 OLLIE MAGERN 9-11-07 Roger Nicholls Nigel Twiston-Davies
2643-34 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 10-11-06 Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs
P63-22U3 ARMATURK (FR) 10-11-05 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
14/3F-252 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 11-11-05 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
410U-51 BILLYVODDAN (IRE) 8-11-04 Trevor Hemmings Henry Daly
14PP-2P CROZAN (FR) 7-11-04 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson
221-644 LACDOUDAL (FR) 8-11-04 Carol Skan Philip Hobbs
P3-42F3 OUR BEN 8-11-04 Trevor Hemmings Willie Mullins IRE
0-13P20P SIR REMBRANDT (IRE) 11-11-04 Alan Hordle Robert Alner
B4431-40 NUMBERSIXVALVERDE (IRE) 11-11-03 Bernard Carroll Martin Brassil IRE
1-1525F SOUTHERN VIC (IRE) 8-11-03 Mrs B Graham Ted Walsh IRE
30P-P015 CORNISH REBEL (IRE) 10-11-02 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
324-26U IDLE TALK (IRE) 8-11-02 Mrs M J George Tom George
42-FF21 LADALKO (FR) 8-11-02 Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber Paul Nicholls
F00-6503 ROYAL AUCLAIR (FR) 10-11-01 Clive Smith Paul Nicholls
252-1P2 TURPIN GREEN (IRE) 8-11-01 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Richards
3/-0FP10 CLOUDY BAYS (IRE) 10-11-00 Cloudy Bay Syndicate Charles Byrnes IRE
1F2230 KNOWHERE (IRE) 9-10-13 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
211UU-3P BOLD BISHOP (IRE) 10-10-12 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
06-10302P KELAMI (FR) 9-10-12 Halewood International Ltd Francois Doumen FR
1-P04B1 POINT BARROW (IRE) 9-10-12 Mrs P Clune Hughes Pat Hughes IRE
U-16P0P TAKE THE STAND (IRE) 11-10-12 David Robbins Frank Ridge Peter Bowen
124420- CELTIC SON (FR) 8-10-11 David Johnson David Pipe
6/51251-1 LITTLE BRICK (FR) 8-10-11 Thomas Barr David Pipe
103/534- NED KELLY (IRE) 11-10-11 Sue Magnier Edward O'Grady IRE
11-5261 SIMON 8-10-11 Mercy Rimell John Spearing
5123F-11 FAR FROM TROUBLE (IRE) 8-10-10 J P McManus Christy Roche IRE
U20P5P BALLYCASSIDY (IRE) 11-10-09 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
313-6FP CLAN ROYAL (FR) 12-10-09 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
1125-13 GALLANT APPROACH (IRE) 8-10-09 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited Charles Egerton
5044225 LIVINGSTONEBRAMBLE (IRE) 11-10-09 Favourites Racing Willie Mullins IRE
110-0F25 DUN DOIRE (IRE) 8-10-08 Dunderry Racing Syndicate Tony Martin IRE
F-F60P0 INNOX (FR) 11-10-08 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR
0410-010 KANDJAR D'ALLIER (FR) 9-10-08 Let's Live Racing Alan King
1/P020P-0 LORD OF ILLUSION (IRE) 10-10-08 Sharon Nelson Tom George
406045 NIRVANA DU BOURG (FR) 6-10-08 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson
2-33P3F SLIM PICKINGS (IRE) 8-10-08 Doubtful Five Syndicate Tom Taaffe IRE
540-232 ZABENZ (NZ) 10-10-08 Michael Watt Philip Hobbs
236P-420 BEWLEYS BERRY (IRE) 9-10-07 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
2P06340 GROUND BALL (IRE) 10-10-07 J P McManus Charlie Swan IRE
P146/0-1 LONGSHANKS 10-10-07 Alan Halsall Kim Bailey
246-114 URSUMMAN (IRE) 8-10-07 J P McManus Niall Madden IRE
5115UP BOTHAR NA (IRE) 8-10-06 Mrs Michael O'Dwyer Willie Mullins IRE
2163-53 GRAPHIC APPROACH (IRE) 9-10-06 Mr & Mrs Peter Orton Charles Egerton
233-0F1 HOMER WELLS (IRE) 9-10-06 Margaret McMahon Willie Mullins IRE
U5014-40 LIBERTHINE (FR) 8-10-06 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
40-3464 NIL DESPERANDUM (IRE) 10-10-06 Mike Shone Venetia Williams
1/4PPF-024 SILVER BIRCH (IRE) 10-10-06 Brian Walsh (Co Kildare) Gordon Elliott IRE
1312-45 OSSMOSES (IRE) 10-10-05 Don Forster Don Forster
BP21P6-0 PHILSON RUN (IRE) 11-10-05 Gale Force One Nick Williams
0/60-552 PUNTAL (FR) 11-10-05 Terry Neill David Pipe
3-41R21P THE OUTLIER (IRE) 9-10-05 P J Murphy Venetia Williams
2000-044 TIKRAM 10-10-05 Mike Charlton And Rodger Sargent Alan King
1P-00000 CHURCH ISLAND (IRE) 8-10-04 Joe Craig Michael Hourigan IRE
132P0-50 GARVIVONNIAN (IRE) 12-10-04 Angela Long Ned Mitchell IRE
111221 KERSTINO TWO 10-10-04 Mrs L Suenson-Taylor Charlie Longsdon
0-22006 MAURICE (FR) 7-10-04 Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain Jnr
U2-4106 MCKELVEY (IRE) 8-10-04 N Elliott Peter Bowen
0411530 NAUNTON BROOK 8-10-04 David Langdon Nigel Twiston-Davies
0F5P-2U IRIS ROYAL (FR) 11-10-03 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
U0-00040 JACK HIGH (IRE) 12-10-03 Brenda Ross M McShane D Montgomery W Moore Ted Walsh IRE
42-03200 KERRYHEAD WINDFARM (IRE) 9-10-03 James Browne Michael Hourigan IRE
2F3-2323 PREACHER BOY 8-10-03 Hunt & Co (Bournemouth) Ltd Ron Hodges
11PP0-512 SONEVAFUSHI (FR) 9-10-03 Brian Dice Venetia Williams
100-635 INCA TRAIL (IRE) 11-10-02 Halewood International Ltd Donald McCain Jnr
4006-00 JOES EDGE (IRE) 10-10-02 Chemipetro Limited Ferdy Murphy
134111P KILBEGGAN BLADE 8-10-02 K Doocey & Mrs A Doocey Tom George
2UU-004 LE DUC (FR) 8-10-02 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
2SR550-3 RISK ACCESSOR (IRE) 12-10-02 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
PS33444 DUNBRODY MILLAR (IRE) 9-10-01 Dundon Else Partnership Peter Bowen
21P6P-0 KYMANDJEN (IRE) 10-10-01 Martin Doran Paul Nolan IRE
2214//33- PATRICKSNINETEENTH (IRE) 10-10-01 The Large G & T Partnership Paul Webber
1-U2P005 UNDENIABLE 9-10-01 Keith Nicholson Sue Smith
34252-6 WITHOUT A DOUBT 8-10-01 Malcolm Denmark Carl Llewellyn
33-03524 A NEW STORY (IRE) 9-10-00 Storey's Over Syndicate Michael Hourigan IRE
11222-F5 HAKIM (NZ) 13-10-00 T N Siviter John Spearing
51-0506 JOUEUR D'ESTRUVAL (FR) 10-10-00 Violet O'Leary Willie Mullins IRE
00-1210 LOU DU MOULIN MAS (FR) 8-10-00 The Eight Amigos Racing Syndicate Paul Nicholls
044002 SYBELLIUS D'ARTAIX (FR) 7-10-00 Fergus Wilson Richard Chotard FR
1-13F33 DIX VILLEZ (FR) 8-9-13 Gigginstown House Stud Paul Nolan IRE
51P-0000 G V A IRELAND (IRE) 9-9-13 Exors Of The Late Donal O'Buachalla Francis Flood IRE
F111-00 IVOIRE DE BEAULIEU (FR) 11-9-13 I Todd, F Murphy, C Leigh, S Holman Ferdy Murphy
021536 MARBLE GARDEN (USA) 6-9-13 Fergus Wilson Richard Chotard FR
F-34P60 ROSS COMM 11-9-13 Kevin Treanor Sue Smith
260-20P COLJON (IRE) 9-9-12 Mrs Kay Browne Paul Nolan IRE
3136B22 COWBOYBOOTS (IRE) 9-9-12 David Gower Lawrence Wells
P1554U0 IRON MAN (FR) 6-9-12 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
04-1F15P LATIMER'S PLACE 11-9-12 Sir Christopher Wates Nick Gifford
202-154 PARSONS LEGACY (IRE) 9-9-12 R A S Offer Philip Hobbs
5P1-134P RANSBORO (IRE) 8-9-12 Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson Nicky Richards
23-106P6 NITRAT (FR) 6-9-11 Peter Hans Vogt Francois Doumen FR
0501-PP THE BANDIT (IRE) 10-9-11 Richard Lavelle Emma Lavelle
16-660P2 DUBLIN HUNTER (IRE) 11-9-10 Woodlawn Racing Syndicate Dessie Hughes IRE
1331//1P- FAIR PROSPECT 11-9-10 D G Pryde Lucinda Russell
0F-263P JUST IN DEBT (IRE) 11-9-10 Gill and Bill Hazeldean Martin Todhunter
00-043PP IRIS BLEU (FR) 11-9-09 Martin Pipe David Pipe
40-P40P MODEL SON (IRE) 9-9-06 P J Hughes Developments Ltd Alison Thorpe
51P0/-PP SOLARIUS (FR) 10-9-06 Fergus Wilson David Pipe
3PP-00P5 KORELO (FR) 9-9-05 Northern Bloodstock Racing Steve Gollings
13/1P6/-P MARK THE MAN (IRE) 10-9-03 J P McManus Noel Meade IRE
10/0/UPP-3 EXIT SWINGER (FR) 12-9-02 Sandicroft Stud Richard Ford
R0032P DAUPHIN DES CARRES (FR) 9-9-01 Prof Judith Wilson David Pipe
U00/-16U3 RIDE THE STORM (IRE) 10-9-01 Nelius Hayes Edward O'Grady IRE
220-333P ESPOIR DU BOCAGE (FR) 12-8-11 Fergus Wilson Michael Scudamore
0212450 SHANNON'S PRIDE (IRE) 11-8-11 JAS Partnership Richard Guest
63-3135 THEATRE KNIGHT (IRE) 9-8-11 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
01P-P114 BANG AND BLAME (IRE) 11-8-10 Edward Wilkin Mick Easterby
00-05124 THE PARISHIONER (IRE) 9-8-09 Fergus Syndicate Michael Hourigan IRE
24U-PPPP HEROS COLLONGES (FR) 12-8-06 A Peake & West Indies Capital Company Norma Macauley
025/P/F0-1 ABBEYTOWN (IRE) 10 NQ Mike Futter Jeanette Riordan IRE
2336226 IRIS DE BALME (FR) 7 NQ Mr L M Power Sean Curran

119 entries
33 Irish-trained
7 French-trained


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