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Tuesday, March 25, 2003



AINTREE BEGIN WATERING




Aintree Racecourse announced this morning that watering is taking place in order to achieve the Racecourse's committed policy of producing ground no faster than GOOD for the forthcoming Martell Cognac Grand National Meeting.


Aintree's Clerk of The Course, Andrew Tulloch, said today: "In view of this morning's detailed weather report we have decided to apply approximately four millimetres of water to the Hurdle, Mildmay and Grand National courses. The going at present on all three courses is GOOD."



MARTELL COGNAC GRAND NATIONAL FACTFILES




AD HOC (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Strong Gale - Knockarctic (Quayside)
9-10-13
Form: 3111/FFP521/753B4-51233
Owner: Sir Robert Ogden
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Breeder: M Doran

Ad Hoc
A winning point-to-pointer in Ireland, his career under Rules began with Len Lungo, for whom he won novice chases at Leicester and Ayr. Ad Hoc was transferred to Paul Nicholls towards the end of the 1999/2000 season and won another novice chase at Ayr's Scottish Grand National meeting. The 2000/01 began in an inauspicious manner with falls in the Badger Beer Chase at Wincanton and Hennessy Gold Cup before being pulled up after making a mistake when travelling well in the 2001 Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster. He went on to be fifth behind Young Spartacus in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton and put up a good effort to finish five lengths second to Gingembre in the Scottish National before running out the brilliant 19-length winner from What's Up Boys in the Attheraces Gold Cup.
Last season began with seventh behind What's Up Boys in the Hennessy Gold Cup and he was then a well beaten fifth to Shooting Light in the Tote Silver Cup at Ascot on December 22, before finishing an eye-catching third to Frenchman's Creek in the William Hill National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He then lined up for last year's Martell Cognac Grand National, when he was unfortunate to be brought down four fences from home when still going well. It is anybody's guess where he would have finished but, to make matters worse, the error was not even his fault - he jumped the obstacle well only to land on top of Davids Lad. He rounded off his season with a creditable fourth carrying a lot of weight behind Bounce Back in the Attheraces Gold Cup at Sandown.
This season trainer Paul Nicholls put the Strong Gale gelding over hurdles for the first time in order to protect his chase handicap mark and he has been campaigned with the Martell Cognac Grand National as his main target. On his four starts over timber, he won a novices' hurdle at Ascot in November and then finished runner-up to Iris's Gift in a Grade Two novices' hurdle at Cheltenham the following month - this form looks good now after the winner's subsequent second to Baracouda in the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Prestbury Park was also the scene of Ad Hoc's last run, when for the second year in succession he finished third in the William Hill National Hunt Handicap Chase, this time finding Youlneverwalkalone nine and three-quarter lengths too strong. He is the current ante-post favourite for the Martell Cognac Grand National.
Race Record: Starts: 20; 1st: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 4; Win & place prize money: 163,360

Sir Robert Ogden CBE
After leaving the RAF, Sir Robert Ogden started a demolition and site clearance business, moving into property development on a huge scale. The financial rewards of his highly-successful business empire, centred around the Ogden Group of Companies, based at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, have allowed Ogden, 67, and valued at 120 million in the 2002 Sunday Times Rich List, to indulge in his passion for racing. Although brought up around horses, his racing interest began some 30 years ago via his neighbour, the haulage tycoon and trainer Jack Hanson, and his first winner came in a five-furlong maiden on the Flat at Haydock when Midnight Melody obliged on November 12, 1975. He nominates three favourite moments in racing to date - when his son Adam won the Grand Military Gold Cup aboard On The Other Hand, when Ogden's home-bred Squire Silk won the 1995 Tote Gold Trophy and thirdly when Ad Hoc's success in the 2001 Attheraces Gold Cup won him a third owners' championship on the final day of the season. Ogden has several former trainers - at one stage he owned Ferdy Murphy's then yard in Middleham - and his 30-strong string is currently spread between Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls, Jonjo O'Neill, Philip Hobbs, Mary Reveley, Martin Todhunter, Ian Williams and Venetia Williams with Jeremy Noseda having a couple of Flat horses. He has retained jockeys Paul Carberry and Richard Dunwoody in the past but now has a policy of using the best available. Ogden, who dislikes publicity and rarely speaks to the media - except about his charity work - lives at Sicklinghall Stud near Wetherby, where he has around 50 horses of varying ages. His best performers include Squire Silk, Fadalko, Ad Hoc, Marlborough and See More Business, in whom he bought a half share after his 1999 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup victory. His racing interests are managed by Barry Simpson, who previously ran the Martin Pipe Racing Club. He was knighted in 2001 for his charity efforts.
Grand National Record: 1990 Bob Tisdall (20th); 1997 Buckboard Bounce (4th); 2002 Kingsmark (4th), Marlborough (Fell 1st), Ad Hoc (BD 27th).


Paul Nicholls
The son of a policeman, born in Alveston, Bristol, on April 17, 1962, Paul Nicholls has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. A former journeyman National Hunt jockey, he twice rode the winner of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, in 1986 and 1987, but failed in two attempts to complete the Martell Cognac Grand National course. He rode 130 winners between 1980 and 1989, and nominates his best rides as Broadheath, Playschool and Seagram. Between 1989 and 1991, he acted as assistant trainer to David Barons, for whom he rode plenty of winners, during which time Seagram won the 1991 Martell Cognac Grand National. He is now one of the leading jump trainers and pulled off the amazing feat of saddling seven winners and three seconds from his ten runners on Saturday, November 7, 1998, and the highlight of his training career to date came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival when he won the major chase on each of the three days - Flagship Uberalles scored in the Arkle Chase on the Tuesday, Call Equiname won the Queen Mother Champion Chase the following day and, best of all, See More Business took the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup. The now 13-year-old, who finished eighth in this year's Gold Cup, went on to win the 1999 King George VI Chase. Nicholls has enjoyed another good season with the highlights including Azertyuiop's Irish Independent Arkle Chase success at the Cheltenham Festival. Just So, who finished sixth behind Party Politics in 1992, turned in the best performance of the 17 Nicholls-trained runners to have so far attempted the Aintree showpiece. Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU bef 2 out), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (Fell 14th); 1998 What A Hand (Fell 1st), Court Melody (Fell 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (Fell 1st), 2000 Earthmover (Fell 4th), Torduff Express (Fell 13th), Flaked Oats (Fell 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (Fell 4th); 2002 Murt's Man (PU bef 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th).


BEHRAJAN (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Arazi-Behera (Mill Reef)
8-11-10
Form:11215/52113/112213/33212P-6115
Owner: The Behrajan Partnership
Trainer: Henry Daly
Breeder: His Higness The Aga Khan's Studs SC

Behrajan
Sired by the brilliant 1991 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Arazi - who has proved a disappointment at stud and now stands in Switzerland - the Aga Khan-bred Behrajan is out of a Group One-winning mare, so might have been expected to have made his name running on the Flat. He ran a couple of times for French trainer Alain de Royer Dupre, finishing down the field behind the likes of Dream Well and Sagamix and was subsequently bought privately by the BBA's David Minton for 9,000gns and made his hurdling debut at Warwick in December, 1998, when he was an impressive 14-length victor over Miss Fara, starting at 20/1. The 1998/99 season saw two further victories for Behrajan, including the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown, and he rounded off the campaign by finishing fifth behind Barton in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham. For the 1999/00 season, Behrajan remained over hurdles, developing into a top-class performer with victories in the Spa Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Long Distance Hurdle at Haydock, before putting up a fine display to finish third to Bacchanal in the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle. Behrajan was switched to the larger obstacles for the 2000/01 campaign and landed his first two chases at Wetherby and Exeter but was surprisingly beaten on his next two starts at Cheltenham and Newbury, before getting back on the winning track at Huntingdon. For his next two starts Behrajan switched back to hurdles, occupying third place in the Grade One Championship Hurdle at Sandown behind Baracouda and the same position behind Crazy Horse in the Long Distance Hurdle at Haydock. Last season Behrajan began to translate his good hurdles form to fences, going down by a neck to What's Up Boys in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and winning the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby. Second place behind Alexander Banquet in the Irish Hennessy put him in the frame for a crack at the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he disappointed badly in that contest - pulling up behind Best Mate after making two bad mistakes. There was little encouragement on his seasonal debut this year, when a distant sixth in the Troytown Chase at Navan, again after not jumping fluently. Intensive schooling sessions with jumping oracle Yogi Breisner had a dramatic effect on Behrajan's next two starts, as he defied 11st 12lb to win a valuable handicap at Ascot in December before taking Cheltenham's Pillar Property Chase the following month. His last run was in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 13, when he ran a fine trial for the Martell Cognac Grand National by finishing a staying-on fifth behind Best Mate.

Race Record: Starts: 26; 1st: 11; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 4; Win & Place prize money: £250,793

The Behrajan Partnership
During the 1980s Henry Daly and Simon Marsh shared a house when working on Kentucky stud farms and Marsh told Daly that he would have a horse with him one day if he began training. Several years later during the 1998 Royal Ascot week, Daly informed Marsh that he would be taking over the reins at Downton Hall from the retiring Tim Forster and that he would like to take up Marsh's offer of having a horse with him. Marsh's career had included spells selling in bloodstock advertising and publishing before becoming racing and stud manager to Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber. As Marsh explained, the Behrajan Partnership was a slightly haphazard creation: "At Charlie Brooks' big drinks party at Royal Ascot, Henry announced he was going to train and collared me for a horse. (Bloodstock agent) David Minton was there, and I told him to find one for not more than £10,000 and then volunteered about six of the other friends standing around drinking - you, you and you' - as part owners. Needless to say, six weeks later, by which time Minty had found the animal, none of them could recall anything about it or wanted anything to do with it. They even denied that they had been anywhere near Royal Ascot." In addition to Marsh and Daly, the other members who ended up in the partnership are Lady Lloyd-Webber, Johnny Weatherby, Mark and Rupert Wiggin and Jeremy Graham. Lady Madeleine Lloyd-Webber (formerly Gurdon), in 1991 became the third wife of Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the foremost musical impresario of his time thanks to West End and Broadway hits such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express. A former three-day eventer and show jumper, Madeleine Lloyd-Webber initiated the establishment of Watership Down Stud near Newbury, managed by Marsh and there were some inspired purchases as foundation mares - the stud sold a Sadler's Wells colt for 3.4 million gns to create a new European yearling record at the 2000 Houghton Sale. The Lloyd-Webbers' best horses include the home-bred Group 1 Fillies' Mile winner Crystal Music on the Flat and the ill-fated but brilliant Bacchanal over jumps. Johnny Weatherby, is chairman of the family company Weatherbys at Wellingborough in Northampton, which has administered British racing since 1770. Weatherby, who recently retired as Joint Master of the Cottesmore Hunt, is also a trustee at Ascot racecourse and a Jockey Club member. Mark and Rupert Wiggin's family own the Downton Hall estate in Shropshire, where Henry Daly trains, while Jeremy Graham is a Boston-based stockbroker. The partnership has owned a couple of other horses, including the bumper winner Yaiyna Tango and Benrajah, a Warwick novices' hurdle winner on March 23.
Grand National Record: No previous runners

Henry Daly
Born on October 15, 1966, Henry Daly took over the licence at Downton Hall Stables near Ludlow in Shropshire on July 1, 1998. Daly had been assistant at the yard since 1992 to his father's great friend Captain Tim Forster, who sadly later died in April, 1999. Forster, one of the great post-way National Hunt trainers, won the Martell Cognac Grand National three times with Well To Do (1972), Ben Nevis (1980), and Last Suspect (1985). Forster, who on retirement was awarded an OBE, also won the 1997 Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with Martha's Son and many other big races. Daly, who also spent time with Paul Cole and Kim Bailey, rode four point-to-point winners and scored twice under Rules. His first winner as a trainer was Don Fayruz at Wincanton on October 25, 1998, and he has since accrued an impressive tally of big race successes that includes Behrajan in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown, Spa Hurdle at Cheltenham, Long Distance Hurdle at Haydock and Pillar Property Chase at Cheltenham. He has also won the Coral Welsh National with Edmond, Mildmay Cazalet Chase with Lancastrian Jet and the Racing Post Chase with Young Spartacus. Relaxation provided a first Cheltenham Festival success in the 2000 National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, while his Festival tally rose to three this year following wins for Young Spartacus in the Mildmay Of Flete Chase and for Palarshan in the Grand Annual Chase.

Grand National Record: 2000 Star Traveller (PU before 27th), 2001 Edmond (Fell 15th)

BINDAREE (IRE) FACTFILE
ch g Roselier - Flowing Tide (Main Reef)
9-10-09
Form: 31111247/1213U124U/7533671-7FU248
Owner: Raymond Mould
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Breeder: Noel King

Bindaree
Bindaree entered the annals of racing history by winning last year's Martell Cognac Grand National by one and three-quarter lengths from What's Up Boys.

A winning Irish point-to-pointer, the nine-year-old made an immediate impact in his first season of racing under Rules during the 1999/2000 campaign when winning four novices' hurdles in succession, including the Chubb Novices' Hurdle and the Grade One Challow Hurdle, both at Cheltenham. He returned to Prestbury Park to finish fourth to Monsignor in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at the Festival before making his first appearance at Aintree when seventh to Sackville in the 2000 Martell Sefton Novices' Hurdle. The following season he made a winning debut over the bigger obstacles in a novices' chase at Perth in September, before finishing runner-up to subsequent dual Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate in a similar event at Exeter the following month. His two further victories in novice events over fences during his second campaign included a Grade 2 contest at Chepstow.
On his first start in handicap company in April, 2001, he was a creditable fourth to Gower-Slave in the Martell Topham Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree before ending his season in undistinguished fashion when unseating jockey Carl Llewellyn at Ayr. His best three runs last season before the Martell Cognac Grand National success came when third in Haydock's Tommy Whittle Chase and Chepstow's Welsh Grand National, and was seventh in the William Hill National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, behind Frenchman's Creek.

After a seasonal pipe-opener over hurdles at Wetherby in November, he failed to complete on his next two starts including in the Tote Becher Chase at Aintree later in the same month. He then produced his best performance this term when going down by seven lengths to See More Business in the John Hughes Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow on December 7. Bindaree has been beaten over 18 lengths on his last two starts, although both races were won by very good horses. First he was fourth to Truckers Tavern (subsequently runner-up in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup) in the Bet Direct Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January and he then finished eighth behind Shotgun Willy in a valuable handicap chase at the same venue at the beginning of March.
Race Record: Starts: 30; 1st: 8; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 4; Win & place prize money: 410,316

Raymond Mould
Following the death from cancer of his wife Jenny at the age of 54 in November, 2000, Raymond Mould inherited a high-class string of horses that include Bindaree. Mould, born on December 8, 1940, is chairman of the top London-based development company Pillar Property, sponsor of Cheltenham's Gold Cup trial in January, the Pillar Property Chase. His wealth was estimated at 40 million in the 2002 Sunday Times Rich List and he was said to have earned 2.4 million in the 12 months up to October, 2001. Among the best horses to race for his wife were the 1993 King George VI Chase winner Barton Bank and Charter Party, owned jointly with Claire Smith, and winner of the 1988 Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Mould trainers included David Nicholson until his retirement, Richard Phillips and Twiston-Davies. The Moulds ran the 90-acre Grange Stud (UK) at their Guiting Power home in the same village as Twiston-Davies' yard but following his wife's death Raymond Mould moved to a village near Burford in Oxfordshire and sold his breeding stock at Doncaster last November. Last year Mould shot to national fame when Bindaree gave him a Martell Cognac Grand National success with only his second representative in the contest and there was a big party afterwards at the Hollow Bottom pub in Guiting Power, part-owned by Mould, who has around 20 horses with Twiston-Davies.


Martell Grand National Record: 1997 Grange Brake (Ref 27th); 2002 BINDAREE (WON).


Nigel Twiston-Davies
The Gloucestershire handler combined training as a permit-holder with his farming interests quite successfully throughout the 1980s, having his first winner with Frozen Prince at Hereford in March, 1982, before the agricultural recession prompted him to make training his full-time profession. He took out a full training licence in 1989, recording his first win as a public trainer in December of that year with Babil at Newbury. Born on May 16, 1957, as an amateur jockey Twiston-Davies rode 17 winners under Rules and gained a further 17 point-to-point victories, and served as assistant trainer to Richard Head and Fred Rimell. A childhood neighbour and friend of Peter Scudamore, he went into partnership with the former champion jump jockey to set up stables at Grange Hill Farm, Naunton, Gloucestershire, although Scudamore is no longer involved in the venture, having teamed up with Denis Caro last year. Twiston-Davies has adopted and developed the pioneering techniques of Martin Pipe, such as interval training and regular blood tests for his 50-strong string, enabling him to rapidly raise his profile among the training ranks. An essentially shy man, he momentarily shocked Des Lynam after Earth Summit's Martell Cognac Grand National success in 1998 by telling the BBC presenter in front of millions of viewers "I don't do interviews." Twiston-Davies, who has gained six successes at the Cheltenham Festival, has many Aintree victories to his name including the 2000 Martell Aintree Hurdle with Mister Morose. He won the 2000 Attheraces Gold Cup with Beau, and the following season's Hennessy Gold Cup with King's Road. The 2001/2002 campaign had been relatively quiet by Twiston-Davies' high standards before Bindaree provided him with his second Martell Cognac Grand National success. Afterwards he revealed that he had been intending to give up training, but despite "having a bigger debt than Argentina" after buying out Scudamore, the Aintree victory made him have a change of heart.
Grand National record: 1994 Young Hustler (BD 11th); 1995 Camelot Knight (Fell 21st), Dakyns Boy (UR 10th), Young Hustler (UR 3rd); 1996 Young Hustler (5th), Captain Dibble (11th); 1997 Camelot Knight (3rd), Dakyns Boy (8th), Grange Brake (Refused 27th); 1998 EARTH SUMMIT (WON); 1999 Earth Summit (8th), Camelot Knight (BD 22nd); 2000 Camelot Knight (15th); 2001 Beau (UR20th), Spanish Main (Fell 1st); 2002 BINDAREE (WON), Frantic Tan (UR 5th), Beau (UR14th).


BLOWING WIND (FR) FACTFILE
br g Fabulous Dancer (USA) - Bassita (Bustino)
10-10-07
Form: 72483111/4F2B0/4112176/373113/P513-3609
Trainer: Martin Pipe
Owner: Peter Deal
Breeder: Mme Yolande Seydoux de Clausonne

Blowing Wind
French import Blowing Wind made his British debut on December 20, 1997, finishing fourth in the John Bowler Knights Royal Hurdle at Ascot. After a couple of further runs that season, he comfortably won the Sunderlands Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle at Sandown on March 14, 1998, and five days later landed a big gamble in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and in doing so secured a 50,000 bonus for completing the double. His season finished in fine style on April 18 when he landed the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr. He failed to get his head in front during the 1998/99 campaign and was brought down at the fifth in the Smurfit Champion Hurdle. He went chasing in the 1999/90 season and won three novice events over fences before finishing seventh, 17 lengths behind the Nicky Henderson-trained Marlborough, in the William Hill National Hunt Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. On his last start of that campaign, Blowing Wind was sixth to Red Ark in the Martell Novices' Handicap Chase at Aintree. The following season he finished third to Upgrade in the First National Gold Cup at Ascot and won handicap chases at Doncaster in January and Sandown the following month. He then ran in the 2001 Martell Cognac Grand National, in which he was travelling well when hampered and refused at the 19th and Tony McCoy remounted to finish third of the four finishers. He reappeared last year in January, when pulled up in a Kempton handicap chase and then came fifth of six behind Tiutchev over two miles at Sandown the following month before belying his 25/1 odds to defeat stable companion Lady Cricket by a length and a quarter in the Mildmay Of Flete Handicap Chase over two and a half miles at the 2002 Cheltenham Festival. On his final start of the campaign he again ran a bold race in the Martell Cognac Grand National, filling the same position as the previous year, just over 28 lengths third behind Bindaree. This season Blowing Wind made his debut at Aintree in November, running third behind Ardent Scout in the Tote Becher Chase. His last three runs have all come in handicap chases at Cheltenham. He hasn't set the world on fire on any of these outings, being beaten by at least 30 lengths on each occasion. However, he has fallen a few pounds in the handicap as a result and could well run another good race in this year's Martell Cognac Grand National.

Race Record: Starts: 34; 1st: 9; 2nd: 3 ; 3rd: 6; Win & place prize money: 286,038

Peter Deal
A qualified chartered accountant, Peter Deal has over 30 years of experience in business in the manufacturing, distribution and leisure industries. In November, 1999, he was appointed a non-executive director of United Racecourses, the parent company of Sandown, Epsom and Kempton, and became chairman of the Sandown Park Race Committee. A chance meeting with former jockey and BBC television presenter Richard Pitman in 1975 led to Deal owning numerous horses over the next quarter of a century, as well as building extensive breeding interests, and being a keen rider with the Old Berks Hunt. Make A Stand has been his best horse, winning the 1997 Smurfit Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, having taken the Tote Gold Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Newbury on his previous outing. Blowing Wind landed the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle in 1998 to give Deal a second Cheltenham Festival success, which he particularly enjoyed as he received a great acclamation from the crowd for winning the 'getting out stakes'. Last year Blowing Wind gave Deal a third success at the Cheltenham Festival with a 25/1 shock victory in the Mildmay Of Flete Handicap Chase and Royal Predica, who he owns in partnership with John Dale and Allan Stennett, was an even longer-priced 33/1 winner for a fourth National Hunt Festival success in this year's Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase. The 63-year-old's breeding interests began with Cala Conta, a Deep Run filly out of an Arctic Slave mare from an established Irish National Hunt family. Having been placed over hurdles, Deal began breeding from her, and her first foal, a colt by Tycoon II named Point Made, won 10 races. Cala Conta's success in throwing winners, including Warner For Winners who won eight races, wet Deal's appetite for breeding and this interest continues today. He also forms part of a pinhooking syndicate. Deal's colours are dark blue with yellow cross belts, and his interests outside horse racing include hunting (mainly with the Old Berks) in the winter, cricket and tennis in the summer. Grand National Record (since 1980): 2000 Royal Predica (Fell 1st); 2001 Blowing Wind (3rd); 2002 Blowing Wind (3rd), Royal Predica (8th).


Martin Pipe CBE
Born May 29, 1945, Britain's record-breaking 12-time champion jump trainer began his working life as assistant to his late bookmaker father, David. From humble training origins as a permit holder, Pipe has built a phenomenally-successful operation at Nicholashayne in Somerset, pioneering techniques such as interval training and a scientific approach to his horses' well-being. He re-wrote the record book for the numbers of winners trained in a season, growing from single-figure successes after being granted a licence in 1977 to an incredible 230 in the 1990/91 season and beat his own record in the 1999/2000 season with 243 successes. Last season he secured 235 victories. Pipe won the Martell Cognac Grand National with Freddie Starr's Miinnehoma in 1994 and also trained the brilliant yet flawed Carvill's Hill, who won the Coral Welsh National in 1991. He is the most successful trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with 30 successes, including the Champion Hurdle with Granville Again (1993) and Make A Stand four years later. He created history in 2001 when saddling a record ten runners - a quarter of the field - in the Martell Cognac Grand National. Last year he saddled eight of the 40 contestants. Pipe is married to Carol with one son, David, now his father's assistant.
Grand National Record: 1981 Three Of Diamonds (Fell 24th), 1982 Three Of Diamonds (7th), 1986 Ballinacurra Lad (Fell 5 out), 1988 Strands Of Gold (Fell 22nd), 1989 The Thirsty Farmer (11th) Bonanza Boy (8th), 1990 Bonanza Boy (16th) Star's Delight (PU 13th) Torside (PU 6th) Huntworth (UR 15th), 1991 Bonanza Boy (5th) Huntworth (PU 24th), 1992 Huntworth (PU 17th) Omerta (PU 7th) Bonanza Boy (Refused 19th), 1994 MIINNEHOMA (WON) Roc de Prince (6th) Run For Free (BD 17th) Paco's Boy (PU 17th) Riverside Boy (Refused 18th), 1995 Riverside Boy (8th) Chatam (Fell 12th) Errant Knight (UR 1st) Miinnehoma (PU 21st), 1996 Riverside Boy (12th) Encore Un Peu (2nd) Chatam (PU 5th), 1997 Evangelica (17th), Mugoni Beach (PU 21st) 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st), Diwali Dancer (Fell 1st), Damas (Ref 11th), Pond House (PU bef 15th), Decyborg (PU bef 27th); 1999 St Mellion Fairway (9th), Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th), Cyborgo (PU bef 19th); 2000 Dark Stranger (UR 3rd), Art Prince (Fell 1st), Royal Predica (Fell 1st); 2001 Blowing Wind (3rd), Art Prince (Fell 1st), Tresor De Mai (Fell 2nd), Khaki Crazy (Fell 3rd), Exit Swinger (Fell 6th), Northern Starlight (UR 6th), Strong Tell (Fell 6th), Dark Stranger (Ref 8th), You're Agoodun (BD 8th), Moondigua (UR 15th); 2002 Blowing Wind (3rd), You're Agoodun (7th), Royal Predica (8th), Carryonharry (Fell 1st), Iris Bleu (Fell 5th), Gun'n Roses II (Fell 7th), Manx Magic (Fell 20th), Majed (Fell 22nd).


CHIVES (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Good Thyne-Chatty Actress (Le Bavard)
8-11-03
Form: 15/11/31F133-2227
Owner: Trevor Hemmings
Trainer: Henrietta Knight
Breeder: John Quane

Chives
Chives, who cost Ir40,000gns as a four-year-old at the 1999 Tattersalls (Ireland) Derby Sale, made his first visit to the racecourse at Sandown in February, 2000, comfortably winning a bumper by five lengths. His second outing came at the highest level, when he was a creditable fifth behind Joe Cullen in the 2000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. During the 2000/01 season, he ran just twice but was triumphant on both occasions, taking in novice hurdles at Hereford and Kempton. Henrietta Knight wasted no time in sending Chives over fences and he made his chasing debut at Huntingdon in November, 2001, however he broke a blood vessel that day as he trailed home in third behind Quakers Field. He soon got back to winning ways in a novice chase at Stratford in December, 2001. He ran a further four times in the 2001/02 season, winning another novice chase at Wincanton and rounded the year off with a fine effort to finish third to Hussard Collonges in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham. This season Chives made his seasonal appearance in the Edward Hanmer Chase at Haydock in November, going down by one and a half lengths to the course specialist Kingsmark. He next appeared in the Coral Welsh National and put up probably the finest effort of his career to finish seven lengths second to Mini Sensation under 11st 12lb on heavy ground. Newbury's AON Chase was next when he ran well to go down by two and a half lengths to Valley Henry. That effort justified Chives running in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 13, when he put up a good performance to finish 20 lengths seventh to stable companion Best Mate after forcing much of the pace.
Race Record: Starts: 14; 1st: 5; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £76,565

Trevor Hemmings
Trevor Hemmings boasts a classic rags to riches story. Hailing from Lancashire, he began life as a bricklayer's apprentice and rapidly worked his way up the Pontins holiday business to the extent that he was able to sell it on to Scottish & Newcastle in exchange for a significant shareholding in S & N. He is no longer an S & N director, although still has a substantial stake. He is also a major shareholder in Arena Leisure Plc, which owns Folkestone, Lingfield, Southwell, Wolverhampton and Windsor racecourses and manages Worcester. Arena is also a major shareholder in the attheraces company that owns British racing's media rights. Hemmings' many other interests include Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens, where he is behind plans to develop the Las Vegas of the North.' His empire also includes hotels, a wallpaper business and in June, 2000, another company in which he has a major share, Rodime Plc, paid £161 million for the Littlewoods pools business, which includes the bookmaker Bet Direct. He was said to be worth £518 million in the 2002 Sunday Times Rich List. In recent years he has stepped up his involvement in racing and in May, 1999, broke the record for a National Hunt store horse (which has since been broken) when paying 100,000gns at Doncaster for the Be My Native gelding who was to be named Inca and finished second in the 2000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham two months later, but sadly broke a hind leg on the gallops later that year and had to be put down. Hemmings now brings on young stock at Gleadhill House Stud, managed by former trainer Mick Meagher, at his base at Chorley in Lancashire, and at his Monymusk Stud in Co Cork. Sadly one of Hemmings' best horses Young Kenny, whom he purchased in the summer of 2000, sustained an injury and had to be put down when competing in the 2001 De Vere Gold Cup at Haydock.
A big ambition for the locally-born Hemmings is to emulate his mentor Fred Pontin, owner of the 1971 National hero Specify, by winning the Martell Cognac Grand National, so much so that he purchased leading hope Beau for an undisclosed sum a few days before the 2002 race - only to see the horse unseat Carl Llewellyn at the 14th fence. His 40-odd horses in training are split between Sue Smith, Nicky Henderson, Henrietta Knight, Nicky Richards, Henry Daly, Willie Mullins, Jonjo O'Neill, Peter Beaumont, Heather Dalton and with Eric Alston on the Flat while he has predominantly younger stock with Eugene O'Sullivan in Ireland. Hemmings resides in the Channel Islands and recently purchased an estate on the Isle Of Man.

Grand National Record (since 1980): 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).


Henrietta Knight
Born December 15, 1946, Knight is a former school mistress, three-day eventer - she finished 12th at Badminton in 1973 and was later a judge at Burghley - and point-to-point trainer who ran a livery yard breaking in horses for the likes of Nicky Henderson, Michael Dickinson, Oliver Sherwood and Tim Forster. In the last few years her operation on the family farm at West Lockinge in Oxfordshire, still with a menagerie of other animals, has blossomed into one of the country's top National Hunt stables. Best Mate's brace of successes in the 2002 & 2003 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cups have been the highlights of her training career but there have been many other big days including when Edredon Bleu won the 2000 Queen Mother Champion Chase and Lord Noelie won the same year's Royal & SunAlliance Chase. Knight, whose sister Cece is married to Cheltenham racecourse's chairman Lord Vestey, is married to the former champion jockey Terry Biddlecombe, who assists at the stable and rode Gay Trip to finish second in the 1972 Grand National.

Grand National Record: 1992 Whats The Crack (13th), 1997 Full Of Oats (Fell 1st)

IRIS BLEU (FR) FACTFILE
ch g Beyssac - Dear Blue (Cyborg)
7-11-01
Form: 811/12446/3222223PF5-1123
Owner: David Johnson
Trainer: Martin Pipe
Breeder: Fabrice Besnouin

Iris Bleu
The French-bred chesnut had smart form in his native country, where he was trained by Guillaume Macaire and won three times at Auteuil, twice over hurdles and once over fences, before being bought by Martin Pipe and David Johnson. He has run well on plenty of occasions, although he did not manage a win here until successful on his seasonal bow during the current campaign in an amateur riders' handicap chase at Cheltenham in November, when two lengths too strong for Samuel Wilderspin. He had the frustrating (for his connections if not for himself) experience of being runner-up five times in a row last season including against Extra Jack at Chepstow.
He was then a close third to Billingsgate at Sandown before running at Warwick last February, when he could be excused his failure as he collided with the rails early in the race and was never going well afterwards. He then lined up for last season's Martell Cognac Grand National when he took a tumble at the fifth obstacle. He rounded off the season with a creditable fifth behind stable companion Bounce Back in the Attheraces Gold Cup at Sandown, staying on well at the finish.

Having won at Cheltenham on his first start of the 2002/03 term, he followed up in a handicap chase at Sandown in February, getting the better of Frosty Canyon by 23 lengths. He then left handicap company for one outing, finishing runner-up to See More Business in a Listed chase at Wincanton on February 15 and was placed again on his last outing in the Grade 3 Red Square Vodka Gold Cup at Haydock on March 1, staying on well to finish just over three-quarters of a length behind Shotgun Willy. Race Record: Starts: 22; 1st: 5; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 3 Win & place prize money: 120,900.


David Johnson
Johnson's is a classic rags-to-riches tale. Hailing from the East End of London, the days of working in a bank for 9 a week are now a long way behind the successful businessman who sold his finance company to an American business a few years ago for an undisclosed sum. His horses are generally bought in France on the astute advice of Martin Pipe, including Arkle Chase winners Or Royal (1997) and Champleve (1998) and Cyfor Malta, winner of the Martell Topham Chase as well as the Thomas Pink Gold Cup (twice) and Pillar Property Chase at Cheltenham. He also buys some horses from Ireland with the help of agent Niall McLoughlin and these include Liberman, winner of this year's Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. Johnson finished the 1997/98 campaign as the leading owner over jumps and took the title again last season when collecting over £725,000 of prize money. He currently has around 30 horses in training and said recently: "It would be great to finish leading owner again, though you never take anything for granted because the results at Cheltenham and Aintree can alter the picture dramatically." He lives in Hornchurch, Essex, with wife Shirley and children Steven and Lisa.
Grand National Record (since 1980): 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st); 1999 Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th; 2002 Iris Bleu (Fell 5th).


Martin Pipe CBE
Born May 29, 1945, Britain's record-breaking 12-time champion jump trainer began his working life as assistant to his late bookmaker father, David. From humble training origins as a permit holder, Pipe has built a phenomenally-successful operation at Nicholashayne in Somerset, pioneering techniques such as interval training and a scientific approach to his horses' well-being. He re-wrote the record book for the numbers of winners trained in a season, growing from single-figure successes after being granted a licence in 1977 to an incredible 230 in the 1990/91 season and beat his own record in the 1999/2000 season with 243 successes. Last season he secured 235 victories. Pipe won the Martell Cognac Grand National with Freddie Starr's Miinnehoma in 1994 and also trained the brilliant yet flawed Carvill's Hill, who won the Coral Welsh National in 1991. He is the most successful trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with 30 successes, including the Champion Hurdle with Granville Again (1993) and Make A Stand four years later. He created history in 2001 when saddling a record ten runners - a quarter of the field - in the Martell Cognac Grand National. Last year he saddled eight of the 40 contestants. Pipe is married to Carol with one son, David, now his father's assistant.
Grand National Record: 1981 Three Of Diamonds (Fell 24th), 1982 Three Of Diamonds (7th), 1986 Ballinacurra Lad (Fell 5 out), 1988 Strands Of Gold (Fell 22nd), 1989 The Thirsty Farmer (11th) Bonanza Boy (8th), 1990 Bonanza Boy (16th) Star's Delight (PU 13th) Torside (PU 6th) Huntworth (UR 15th), 1991 Bonanza Boy (5th) Huntworth (PU 24th), 1992 Huntworth (PU 17th) Omerta (PU 7th) Bonanza Boy (Refused 19th), 1994 MIINNEHOMA (WON) Roc de Prince (6th) Run For Free (BD 17th) Paco's Boy (PU 17th) Riverside Boy (Refused 18th), 1995 Riverside Boy (8th) Chatam (Fell 12th) Errant Knight (UR 1st) Miinnehoma (PU 21st), 1996 Riverside Boy (12th) Encore Un Peu (2nd) Chatam (PU 5th), 1997 Evangelica (17th), Mugoni Beach (PU 21st) 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st), Diwali Dancer (Fell 1st), Damas (Ref 11th), Pond House (PU bef 15th), Decyborg (PU bef 27th); 1999 St Mellion Fairway (9th), Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th), Cyborgo (PU bef 19th); 2000 Dark Stranger (UR 3rd), Art Prince (Fell 1st), Royal Predica (Fell 1st); 2001 Blowing Wind (3rd), Art Prince (Fell 1st), Tresor De Mai (Fell 2nd), Khaki Crazy (Fell 3rd), Exit Swinger (Fell 6th), Northern Starlight (UR 6th), Strong Tell (Fell 6th), Dark Stranger (Ref 8th), You're Agoodun (BD 8th), Moondigua (UR 15th); 2002 Blowing Wind (3rd), You're Agoodun (7th), Royal Predica (8th), Carryonharry (Fell 1st), Iris Bleu (Fell 5th), Gun'n Roses II (Fell 7th), Manx Magic (Fell 20th), Majed (Fell 22nd).


KINGSMARK (IRE) FACTFILE
gr g Roselier - Gaye Le Moss (Le Moss)
10-11-09
Form: 3111120/51F1322/11160310/124-13
Owner: Sir Robert Ogden CBE
Trainer: Martin Todhunter
Breeder: Cecily Purcell

Kingsmark
After finishing third in a bumper on his only start of the 1997/8 season, Kingsmark made a winning debut over timber at Stratford in October, 1998, in a maiden hurdle and went on to win his next three starts in novice hurdles - twice at Folkestone and at Kempton. Stepped up in class he found just Kates Charm too good in a Grade 2 novices' event at Chepstow the following March and on his last start of the campaign he disappointed, finishing well beaten in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham's National Hunt Festival. He was sent novice chasing the following term, getting off the mark at the second attempt at Bangor in November, 1999, and after taking a tumble the following month he won a similar event at Folkestone in January, 2000. He was campaigned in handicap company for the rest of that season, being placed on each of three starts without getting his head in front. A winning seasonal debut in a handicap chase at Kelso kicked off the 2000/01 campaign and he followed up in a similar event at Market Rasen before completing the treble with a ten-length defeat of Tresor De Mai in the Edward Hanmer Memorial Handicap Chase at Haydock in November. His form then tailed off and he was well beaten in three high-class races before bouncing back with a success on his first start at Aintree in the Martell V.S. Handicap Chase at the Martell Grand National Meeting. He rounded off the season with a run in the Attheraces Gold Cup where he was a long way behind winner Ad Hoc. Last season began with a second victory in the Edward Hanmer Memorial Handicap Chase and he then returned to Haydock to finish the half-length runner-up to Legal Right in the Tommy Whittle Chase in December. On his last start of the term, he was a highly-creditable fourth in the Martell Cognac Grand National, coming home 38 lengths adrift of winner Bindaree. This season began with Kingsmark completing a treble in the Edward Hanmer Memorial Handicap Chase, proving one and a half lengths too strong for Chives. On his last racecourse appearance in December, the Roselier gelding again ran at Haydock, going down by three lengths to Irish raider Sackville in the Tommy Whittle Chase.

Race Record: Starts: 27; 1st: 12; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 4; Win & place prize money: 200,140

Sir Robert Ogden CBE
After leaving the RAF, Sir Robert Ogden started a demolition and site clearance business, moving into property development on a huge scale. The financial rewards of his highly-successful business empire, centred around the Ogden Group of Companies, based at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, have allowed Ogden, 67, and valued at 120 million in the 2002 Sunday Times Rich List, to indulge in his passion for racing. Although brought up around horses, his racing interest began some 30 years ago via his neighbour, the haulage tycoon and trainer Jack Hanson, and his first winner came in a five-furlong maiden on the Flat at Haydock when Midnight Melody obliged on November 12, 1975. He nominates three favourite moments in racing to date - when his son Adam won the Grand Military Gold Cup aboard On The Other Hand, when Ogden's home-bred Squire Silk won the 1995 Tote Gold Trophy and thirdly when Ad Hoc's success in the 2001 Attheraces Gold Cup won him a third owners' championship on the final day of the season. Ogden has several former trainers - at one stage he owned Ferdy Murphy's then yard in Middleham - and his 30-strong string is currently spread between Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls, Jonjo O'Neill, Philip Hobbs, Mary Reveley, Martin Todhunter, Ian Williams and Venetia Williams with Jeremy Noseda having a couple of Flat horses. He has retained jockeys Paul Carberry and Richard Dunwoody in the past but now has a policy of using the best available. Ogden, who dislikes publicity and rarely speaks to the media - except about his charity work - lives at Sicklinghall Stud near Wetherby, where he has around 50 horses of varying ages. His best performers include Squire Silk, Fadalko, Ad Hoc, Marlborough and See More Business, in whom he bought a half share after his 1999 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup victory. His racing interests are managed by Barry Simpson, who previously ran the Martin Pipe Racing Club. He was knighted in 2001 for his charity efforts.
Grand National Record: 1990 Bob Tisdall (20th); 1997 Buckboard Bounce (4th); 2002 Kingsmark (4th), Marlborough (Fell 1st), Ad Hoc (BD 27th).


Martin Todhunter
Todhunter, who was born in Penrith on April 10, 1959, spent 18 years learning his trade with the late Gordon Richards, for whom he developed a respect which many employers could only dream of. Of Richards, to whom he was travelling head lad, he said: "Gordon would scream and bawl and shout and was very hard, but he was also very fair. He'd never see you in trouble without helping out and was a good man to work for - a great schoolmaster, who taught me a lot." Among Todhunter's owners is Sir Robert Ogden, for whom he has won three Edward Hanmer Memorial Handicap Chases with Kingsmark, who also finished fourth in last season's Martell Cognac Grand National. However, the ups and downs of racing are only too clearly exemplified by this owner-trainer combination. Todhunter lost six of Ogden's horses on the racecourse or at home in the space of 18 months, including Premier Cru, a winner of two races, who the handler considered potentially the best horse that he had ever trained. Despite this bad luck, Ogden has continued to support Todhunter. This is Todhunter's eighth season as a trainer after setting up, in August, 1995, at Roger Fisher's former Ulverston yard in the Lake District before transferring to Orton, close to his birthplace, in the summer of 2000. His current location, a former dairy farm, allows him to mess about' on the Cumbrian Fells with his horses. A former amateur rider for Richards, Todhunter gained five successes on Cape Felix, while he also scored on both Man Alive and Current Gold. Grand National Record: 2002 Kingsmark (4th)

MARLBOROUGH (IRE) FACTFILE
br g Strong Gale-Wrekenogan (Tarqogan)
11-11-12
Form: 5213/U111FF/PU1216/111-34
Owner: Sir Robert Ogden
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Breeder: Donal Kenneally

Marlborough
In his first season Marlborough, trained by the late Captain Tim Forster, was placed on three of his four hurdle starts, including a maiden hurdle victory at Newbury in March, 1998. The following season Henry Daly took over responsibility for the Strong Gale gelding following Forster's retirement and after three consecutive novice chase successes he looked to have an outstanding prospect on his hands. However, Marlborough was unable to finish on his next four starts and it was not until January, 2000, that he again entered the winner's enclosure in a Kempton handicap chase, when now under the care of Nicky Henderson and having undergone intensive schooling for jumping guru Yogi Breisner. He returned to Kempton for his next outing in the Racing Post Chase, where he finished a creditable runner-up. A month later he paid his first visit to the Cheltenham Festival and tasted victory in the 2000 William Hill National Hunt Handicap Chase, beating Beau by two-and-a-half lengths. On his last start of that season he was sixth behind Paris Pike in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr, where he sustained a bad cut to one of his legs. In the 2000/01season, Marlborough was unbeaten in three starts, with his season culminating in a victory in the Tote Gold Trophy Chase at Sandown - the replacement race for the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup which was lost due to the foot and mouth crisis. Last season he started off in Newbury's Aon Chase in February, where he ran well to finish third to stable companion Bacchanal before going on to finish fourth to Best Mate in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup. He then tackled the Martell Cognac Grand National, but got no further than the first fence, and his final start of the season was at Ayr in the Scottish Grand National, where he finished seventh behind Take Control. This season began in Wetherby's Charlie Hall Chase, where he won by two lengths from Hussard Collonges, and his next outing was in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, where he was a never dangerous ninth behind Be My Royal. He then put up one of the performances of his career to go down by a length and a half to Best Mate in the King George VI Chase at Kempton but has failed to shine on his last two starts, falling at the last when well beaten in Newbury's Aon Chase and coming home a distant 11th behind Best Mate in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Race Record: Starts: 27; 1st: 10; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 2; Win & Place prize money: £267,633

Sir Robert Ogden CBE
After leaving the RAF, Sir Robert Ogden started a demolition and site clearance business, moving into property development on a huge scale. The financial rewards of his highly-successful business empire, centred around the Ogden Group of Companies, based at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, have allowed Ogden, 67, and valued at 120 million in the 2002 Sunday Times Rich List, to indulge in his passion for racing. Although brought up around horses, his racing interest began some 30 years ago via his neighbour, the haulage tycoon and trainer Jack Hanson, and his first winner came in a five-furlong maiden on the Flat at Haydock when Midnight Melody obliged on November 12, 1975. He nominates three favourite moments in racing to date - when his son Adam won the Grand Military Gold Cup aboard On The Other Hand, when Ogden's home-bred Squire Silk won the 1995 Tote Gold Trophy and thirdly when Ad Hoc's success in the 2001 Attheraces Gold Cup won him a third owners' championship on the final day of the season. Ogden has several former trainers - at one stage he owned Ferdy Murphy's then yard in Middleham - and his 30-strong string is currently spread between Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls, Jonjo O'Neill, Philip Hobbs, Mary Reveley, Martin Todhunter, Ian Williams and Venetia Williams with Jeremy Noseda having a couple of Flat horses. He has retained jockeys Paul Carberry and Richard Dunwoody in the past but now has a policy of using the best available. Ogden, who dislikes publicity and rarely speaks to the media - except about his charity work - lives at Sicklinghall Stud near Wetherby, where he has around 50 horses of varying ages. His best performers include Squire Silk, Fadalko, Ad Hoc, Marlborough and See More Business, in whom he bought a half share after his 1999 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup victory. His racing interests are managed by Barry Simpson, who previously ran the Martin Pipe Racing Club. He was knighted in 2001 for his charity efforts.
Grand National Record: 1990 Bob Tisdall (20th); 1997 Buckboard Bounce (4th); 2002 Kingsmark (4th), Marlborough (Fell 1st), Ad Hoc (BD 27th).


Nicky Henderson
A formerly amateur jockey and assistant to Fred Winter, Nicky Henderson took out a licence to train in July, 1978. It didn't take long for Henderson, who was born on December 10, 1950, to establish himself as one of the leading members of his profession, landing the trainers' title in 1985/6 and 1986/7. Always one to be followed at the big meetings, he has trained 25 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including three successive Champion Hurdles with See You Then (1985, 86 & 87) and was leading trainer at the 2000 meeting with four successes, although drew a rare blank at this year's Festival. The Martell Cognac Grand National remains one major prize to elude Henderson, who trains at Seven Barrows in Lambourn, but he has enjoyed Aintree success with among others Remittance Man (1992 Martell Melling Chase), Sparkling Fame (1991 Martell Mildmay Novices' Chase), Won't Be Gone Long (1990 Martell Topham Chase) and Rustle (1988 Martell Sefton Novices' Hurdle). Henderson was the late Queen Mother's principal trainer and nowhas a couple of horses for the Queen among his three-figure string.
Grand National record: 1979 Zongalero (2nd);1980 Zongalero (Refused 20th); 1981 Zongalero (Fell 22nd); 1982 Sun Lion (Fell 3rd); 1983 Spartan Missile (Unseated 22nd); 1984 Spartan Missile (16th); 1985 Classified (5th); 1986 Classified (3rd), The Tsarevich (7th); 1987 The Tsarevich (2nd), Classified (UR 25th); 1988 The Tsarevich (7th); 1990 Brown Windsor (4th), 1991 Ten Of Spades (14th), 1991 Master Bob (Pulled up before 19th); 1992 Brown Windsor (Fell 6th); 1994 Henry Mann (Fell 1st); 1995 Tinryland (Fell 1st); 1998 Pashto (Fell 1st); 1999 Fiddling The Facts (Fell 22nd); 2000 Esprit De Cotte (Fell 22nd); 2001 Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th), 2002 Marlborough (Fell 1st), Goguenard (Fell 1st)

SHOTGUN WILLY (IRE) FACTFILE
ch g Be My Native - Minorettes Girl (Strong Gale)
9-11-07
Form: 52/1111/11312/32P2-1
Owner: Graham Roach
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Breeder: Terence McKeever

Shotgun Willy
Having been bought by Graham Roach's agent Keith Lewis for Ir19,000gns as a foal at Fairyhouse in November, 1994, Shotgun Willy - a brother to this season's Welsh National winner Mini Sensation - failed to trouble the judge on two outings in bumpers for trainer David Nicholson in 1999. But he went on to win all four of his novice hurdle starts the following season, including a Grade Two event at Chepstow in March, 2000, when he was eight lengths too strong for Hopeful.
The following season began with two successes in novice chases, the second of which came in a Grade Two contest at Newbury, when he got the better of Take Control by 15 lengths. He was then stepped up in class in the Grade One Feltham Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, when third to Bacchanal.
On his last two starts of the campaign, he first got the better of Gallic raider First Gold in the Aon Chase at Newbury in February, beating that rival by one and three-quarter lengths, before finding just What's Up Boys too good in the Martell Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree.

Last season he ran well in defeat without getting his head in front, starting the campaign by finishing 19 lengths third to Sackville in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, followed by a 12-length defeat from old rival Bacchanal in the Aon Chase at Newbury. After being pulled up in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham, he rounded off the season with a great performance to be a half-length second to Take Control in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr in April.

This season Shotgun Willy did not reappear until the Grade Three Red Square Vodka Gold Cup at Haydock on March 1, when he shrugged off his absence to deny 16 rivals by three-quarters of a length from You're Agoodun.

Race Record: Starts: 16; 1st: 8; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 2; Win & Place prize money: 169,773

Graham Roach
Graham Roach is one of the best-known figures on the National Hunt scene in recent years and will always be associated with his dual Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, Viking Flagship, who died at the age of 13 in 2000. Roach, who was born on August 26, 1947, graduated from the hunting and point-to-point world to be a permit-holder from 1983 before taking a full training licence at the 200-acre Prideaux House overlooking St Austell Bay in Cornwall from 1989 until he ceased training in 1991 when deciding his business must come first. He joined the family's Cornwall-based meat processing company Roach Foods aged 15 and in 1999 the company merged with Dalehead to form Flagship Foods, which turns over £400 million a year and has a 3,000-strong workforce. The company's success saw Roach's wealth estimated at £65 million in the 2002 Sunday Times Rich List. The best horse he trained was Prideaux Boy while he has still to own a better horse than the 24-time winner Viking Flagship, hero of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 1994 and 1995, and also successful in the Martell Cognac Melling Chase in 1995, after a tremendous battle with Martha's Son and Deep Sensation which will long be remembered by racegoers. With the help of his agent, "the Welsh Wizard" Keith Lewis, Roach is a major spender at the sales, buying many foals and yearlings who are raised at Prideaux Horse before being sent to trainer Paul Nicholls when three-quarters fit. Shotgun Willy, one such foal purchase, has won eight races for Nicholls while Best Mate's brother Cornish Rebel, who cost Ir£110,000 as a four-year-old, repaid some of that outlay when winning a Newbury bumper on his debut in February.
Race Record: No previous runners

Paul Nicholls
The son of a policeman, born in Alveston, Bristol, on April 17, 1962, Paul Nicholls has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. A former journeyman National Hunt jockey, he twice rode the winner of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, in 1986 and 1987, but failed in two attempts to complete the Martell Cognac Grand National course. He rode 130 winners between 1980 and 1989, and nominates his best rides as Broadheath, Playschool and Seagram. Between 1989 and 1991, he acted as assistant trainer to David Barons, for whom he rode plenty of winners, during which time Seagram won the 1991 Martell Cognac Grand National. He is now one of the leading jump trainers and pulled off the amazing feat of saddling seven winners and three seconds from his ten runners on Saturday, November 7, 1998, and the highlight of his training career to date came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival when he won the major chase on each of the three days - Flagship Uberalles scored in the Arkle Chase on the Tuesday, Call Equiname won the Queen Mother Champion Chase the following day and, best of all, See More Business took the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup. The now 13-year-old, who finished eighth in this year's Gold Cup, went on to win the 1999 King George VI Chase. Nicholls has enjoyed another good season with the highlights including Azertyuiop's Irish Independent Arkle Chase success at the Cheltenham Festival. Just So, who finished sixth behind Party Politics in 1992, turned in the best performance of the 17 Nicholls-trained runners to have so far attempted the Aintree showpiece. Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU bef 2 out), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (Fell 14th); 1998 What A Hand (Fell 1st), Court Melody (Fell 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (Fell 1st), 2000 Earthmover (Fell 4th), Torduff Express (Fell 13th), Flaked Oats (Fell 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (Fell 4th); 2002 Murt's Man (PU bef 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th).


YOU'RE AGOODUN FACTFILE
ch g Derrylin - Jennie Pat (Rymer)
11-10-07
Form: 00092R53211/174F2083/114UU2B0/143547P-1P29
Owner: Jeff Lammiman
Trainer: Martin Pipe
Breeder: J Thompson

You're Agoodun
You're Agoodun has won four of his 19 starts over fences, including two novice chases at Hereford in September and October, 2000, and a handicap chase at Ascot on his seasonal debut last term. Although he parted company with his rider in two of his three starts before the 2001 Martell Cognac Grand National, he was going well when doing so in the De Vere Chase at Haydock in February, 2001, and then made the smart Behrajan work hard for victory at Huntingdon the following month. Unfortunately, he was then brought down at the Canal Turn in Aintree's showcase event that year.

He was very consistent last season, finishing in the first five on all his outings, including a fifth in the Welsh National over Christmas and a good fourth to Frenchman's Creek in the William Hill National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival prior to running in the Martell Cognac Grand National. On his second appearance in the world's most famous steeplechase, he finished seventh behind Bindaree, although he was beaten over 60 lengths. He finished off the campaign with a disappointing performance in the Attheraces Gold Cup at Sandown when pulling up.

This season began with a four-length victory in a handicap chase at Ascot, when four lengths too strong for Infrasonique. After another disappointing run at Sandown, again pulling up, he went for the Grade Three Red Square Vodka Gold Cup at Haydock on the first day of March, putting in a fine display to finish runner-up to Shotgun Willy. He was ninth last time out to Best Mate in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was trained by Derek Shaw when he began racing, but moved to Martin Pipe before the start of the following campaign and gained the first of three successes over hurdles when beating Yaligan by six lengths in a novice handicap hurdle at Haydock in December, 1998. Two more hurdle wins, at Cheltenham and Towcester, followed before he went chasing.
Race Record: Starts: 39; 1st: 7; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 3; Win & place prize money: 87,208

Jeff Lammiman
Nottingham-based Lammiman ran a successful textiles business from which he is now retired. He has recently stepped up his involvement in racehorse ownership, spending a significant sum on the high-class ex-French novice chaser Imperial De Thaix during the 2000/01 season, who is also trained by Martin Pipe and won a novices' chase on his first start for his new owner at Chepstow. Lammiman's daughter Jayne McWilliam is personal assistant to Ascot racecourse's head of public relations, Nick Smith, and she had previously worked in the bloodstock industry, including spells at David and Trish Brown's Furnace Mill Stud in Worcestershire and Paul Willett's Eaton House Stud in Leicestershire.

Grand National Record: 1992 Kittinger (Ref 24); 2001 You're Agoodun (BD 8th); 2002 You're Agoodun (7th).


Martin Pipe CBE
Born May 29, 1945, Britain's record-breaking 12-time champion jump trainer began his working life as assistant to his late bookmaker father, David. From humble training origins as a permit holder, Pipe has built a phenomenally-successful operation at Nicholashayne in Somerset, pioneering techniques such as interval training and a scientific approach to his horses' well-being. He re-wrote the record book for the numbers of winners trained in a season, growing from single-figure successes after being granted a licence in 1977 to an incredible 230 in the 1990/91 season and beat his own record in the 1999/2000 season with 243 successes. Last season he secured 235 victories. Pipe won the Martell Cognac Grand National with Freddie Starr's Miinnehoma in 1994 and also trained the brilliant yet flawed Carvill's Hill, who won the Coral Welsh National in 1991. He is the most successful trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with 30 successes, including the Champion Hurdle with Granville Again (1993) and Make A Stand four years later. He created history in 2001 when saddling a record ten runners - a quarter of the field - in the Martell Cognac Grand National. Last year he saddled eight of the 40 contestants. Pipe is married to Carol with one son, David, now his father's assistant.
Grand National Record: 1981 Three Of Diamonds (Fell 24th), 1982 Three Of Diamonds (7th), 1986 Ballinacurra Lad (Fell 5 out), 1988 Strands Of Gold (Fell 22nd), 1989 The Thirsty Farmer (11th) Bonanza Boy (8th), 1990 Bonanza Boy (16th) Star's Delight (PU 13th) Torside (PU 6th) Huntworth (UR 15th), 1991 Bonanza Boy (5th) Huntworth (PU 24th), 1992 Huntworth (PU 17th) Omerta (PU 7th) Bonanza Boy (Refused 19th), 1994 MIINNEHOMA (WON) Roc de Prince (6th) Run For Free (BD 17th) Paco's Boy (PU 17th) Riverside Boy (Refused 18th), 1995 Riverside Boy (8th) Chatam (Fell 12th) Errant Knight (UR 1st) Miinnehoma (PU 21st), 1996 Riverside Boy (12th) Encore Un Peu (2nd) Chatam (PU 5th), 1997 Evangelica (17th), Mugoni Beach (PU 21st) 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st), Diwali Dancer (Fell 1st), Damas (Ref 11th), Pond House (PU bef 15th), Decyborg (PU bef 27th); 1999 St Mellion Fairway (9th), Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th), Cyborgo (PU bef 19th); 2000 Dark Stranger (UR 3rd), Art Prince (Fell 1st), Royal Predica (Fell 1st); 2001 Blowing Wind (3rd), Art Prince (Fell 1st), Tresor De Mai (Fell 2nd), Khaki Crazy (Fell 3rd), Exit Swinger (Fell 6th), Northern Starlight (UR 6th), Strong Tell (Fell 6th), Dark Stranger (Ref 8th), You're Agoodun (BD 8th), Moondigua (UR 15th); 2002 Blowing Wind (3rd), You're Agoodun (7th), Royal Predica (8th), Carryonharry (Fell 1st), Iris Bleu (Fell 5th), Gun'n Roses II (Fell 7th), Manx Magic (Fell 20th), Majed (Fell 22nd).




OK PAL PENCILLED IN FOR NEW TOTE DAY AT ASCOT




The new Tote-sponsored raceday at Ascot on Saturday, headed by the £50,000 tote.co.uk SPRINT, a 0-100 handicap for three-year-olds over five-and-a-half furlongs, has attracted a good set of five-day entries with 19 engaged in the feature race.


The tote.co.uk SPRINT entries include the Tim Easterby-trained Golden Nun, winner of the DBS October Yearling Stakes at Doncaster last year, John Quinn's exciting gelding Beauvrai and the lightly-raced OK Pal, trained by Terry Mills.


Richard Ryan, assistant to Mills, said today: "OK Pal will run at Ascot weather permitting - he needs some rain."

The colt won a Sandown maiden in August before failing to spark in the Listed Sirenia Stakes at Kempton the following month.


"The horse had a slight setback from the (Kempton) race and that's all there is to it really. We'll take one step at a time this season," Ryan added.


All six races on Saturday are supported by the Tote, the biggest sponsor in British racing and some decent fields are in prospect.

The £20,000 TOTE betXpress AT tote.co.uk CONDITIONS STAKES over a mile and a quarter has 16 possibles at the five-day stage, including the high-class veteran Border Arrow who finished third in both the 2,000 Guineas and Derby in 1998.


The opening £14,000 TOTE BOOKMAKERS HANDICAP (1.45pm) over six furlongs has attracted 32 entries while the other three races are the £10,000 TOTE EXACTA STAKES (2.55pm, 19 entries), £10,000 TOTE PLACEPOT MAIDEN STAKES (4.00pm, 12 entries) with the afternoon concluding with the £10,000 TOTE CREDIT CLUB FILLIES' HANDICAP (4.35pm, 17 entries).

Andy Clifton, the Tote's Public Relations Director, commented: "We are greatly encouraged by the entries for our new raceday at Ascot on Saturday and look forward to an exciting day's racing."



ATOMIC KITTEN AND LIBERTY X DEBUT AT NEWMARKET




New advance booking phone number for the ever popular Newmarket Nights

Chart topping groups Atomic Kitten and Liberty X, who will both be playing at Newmarket for the first time, will join two of last year's sell-outs, Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and Status Quo, in the line-up of bands that will play after Friday evening meetings on the July Course this summer.


Last year a total of almost 100,000 people attended the six Newmarket Nights and the strong message in 2003 is "Book early to avoid disappointment". Newmarket Racecourses has set up a dedicated telephone number for Newmarket Nights ticket bookings - 08707 200 201 - and will be launching a new website this month www.newmarketnights.com Tickets cost from £6 to £25 with advance booking discounts available.


The complete line-up of bands that will play after racing is:

Friday 20 June - a tribute to The Bee Gees
Friday 18 July - Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra
Friday 25 July - Liberty X
Friday 1 August - Status Quo
Friday 8 August - The Hollies
Friday 15 August - Atomic Kitten

Gaynor Haxby, Newmarket Racecourses' Marketing Manager, commented: "We go to great lengths to ensure that the entertainment at the July Racecourse appeals to a wide audience. Status Quo and Jools Holland are back by popular demand and, with Atomic Kitten among the first timers at Newmarket, we are looking forward to a busy and exciting summer."


For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive


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