John Smith's Grand National

John Smith’s Grand National – latest news snippets straight from Aintree press room

GOING CHANGED ON TUESDAY MORNING – BUT MAY BE AMENDED AGAIN AFTER DRY DAY

 

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NOW SOLD OUT AT AINTREE – EXCEPT FOR LIMITED AVAILABILITY IN RESTAURANTS

 

NEW ORDER FOR THE JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL

 

PERFECT PRACTICE FOR GILES CROSS

 

FIRST HORSE TO ARRIVE AT AINTREE

 

The official going at Aintree was changed this morning (8.45am, Tuesday, April 10) to:

 

Grand National Course – Soft (from soft, good to soft in places)

 

Mildmay Course – Chase & Hurdle Course – Soft, Good to Soft in places (from good to soft, soft in places)

 

This follows 15 millimetres of rain yesterday.

 

There was a very small amount of rain early today (0.2 millimetres) but it has been dry since, with the sun coming out from late morning,  so another change of the going descriptions is likely later on this afternoon.

 

The forecast is as follows

Today – bright day with some sunny spells, possible showers, some heavy – 10C.

Wednesday – dry start with possible showers, some heavy later (up to 3mm might fall) – 10C.

Thursday – remaining unsettled, possible showers (up to 2mm might fall) – 9C

Friday – sunny spells and possible showers (up to 2mm might fall) – 8C

Saturday – possible showers (up to 2mm might fall) – 8C

 

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NOW SOLD OUT AT AINTREE – EXCEPT FOR LIMITED AVAILABILITY IN RESTAURANTS

                                                         


The second and third days of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, Friday (Ladies’ Day – April 13) and Saturday (John Smith’s Grand National Day – April 14), are sold out at Aintree – except for limited availability in restaurants. It is the earliest that both these days have sold out.

 

Tickets and badges are still available for the opening day of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting – Liverpool Day, Thursday, April 12.

 

NEW ORDER FOR THE JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL

 

The new handicap ratings, issued today by the British Horseracing Authority Head of Handicapping Phil Smith, mean there is a new numbering order for the five-day confirmations of the John Smith’s Grand National (see the bottom of this release for full details).

 

This has an impact on sweepstakes and if any of the remaining 47 horses has to drop out when the runners are declared by 10am on Thursday for Saturday’s race. The John Smith’s Grand National field is limited to 40 runners.

 

There are five horses grouped together on 10st and, if the top 40 all go forward on Thursday, the unlucky one of that quintet not to get a run will be Hello Bud who is now 41st in the pecking order.

 

Numbering at the bottom of the handicap

37 Midnight Haze

38 Vic Venturi

39 In Compliance

40 Viking Blond

41 Hello Bud

42 Neptune Equester

43 Any Currency

44 Our Island

45 Abbeybraney

46 Smoking Aces

47 Ballyvesey

 

PERFECT PRACTICE FOR GILES CROSS

 

Leading John Smith’s Grand National candidate Giles Cross had his first taste of Grand National-style fences this morning (Tuesday, April10) in a schooling session under his big-race jockey Paddy Brennan.

 

The 10-year-old’s trainer Victor Dartnall liked what he saw at his Devon yard and his morning’s satisfaction was completed by news of soft going at Aintree.

 

“The horse is in great form,” said Dartnall. “And we were delighted with him this morning. We’ve rigged up a couple of National lookalike fences and he jumped them beautifully. Paddy was very pleased with what he felt and we’re all looking forward to Saturday.”

 


Brennan, who had not ridden Giles Cross before, gets the chance to partner him in the big race because regular rider Denis O’Regan would struggle to do the weight of 10st 1lb. “He’s not a complicated ride,” added Dartnall.

 

Giles Cross, bred by his owner Kay Birchenhough, will be Dartnall’s first John Smith’s Grand National runner and, with the ground on the National course now soft after 15 millimetres of rain yesterday and with showery weather set to continue, is likely to get his preferred underfoot conditions.

 

“The softer the better for him,” added Dartnall. “He’s a heavy-ground horse, which is one reason why he’s run only 16 times in his life; he doesn’t get his conditions that often. If he gets his ground, he’ll run well. He travels, he jumps, he stays, he’s straightforward and very genuine.”

 

FIRST HORSE TO ARRIVE AT AINTREE

 

The early bird catches the worm or so they say, and the early bird at Aintree this year is the Oliver McKiernan-trained Follow The Plan, who arrived at the racecourse stables at 4am today (Tuesday, April 10) having travelled over from Rathcoole, Co Dublin on the evening tide.

 

Follow The Plan is entered in the Grade One Betfred Bowl on Liverpool Day, the first day of the 2012 John Smiths Grand National meeting, with Tom Doyle booked to take the ride in the £150,000 chase which is run over three miles and a furlong of the Mildmay Course.

 

McKiernan said of his charge: “Aintree is a big galloping track with fences which suit him well and he has come on for his last two outings, though it is quite a hot race on Thursday.

 

“We ran him in the race last year and it worked out well – he was third to Nacarat and he came out of it well.

 

“This would be half a prep for the Punchestown Gold Cup (April 25), which he won last year – it is hard to find a suitable race for him Ireland at the moment.”


 

 

UPDATED IN ORDER OF LATEST HANDICAP RATINGS

2012 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL


Class 1, Grade 3, £975,000 total prize fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 14, 2012, four miles and four furlongs. For seven-year-olds and upwards who, up to and including March 20, 2012, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and which are allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 12, 2012. Horses who are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including February 12 would merit a minimum rating of 120. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 12, 2012. At the handicapper’s discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. The British Horseracing Authority has modified Rule (F)42.2.1 for the purposes of this race, such that racecourse performances up to and including Sunday, February 12, may be taken into account. A novice horse shall only be qualified to run in this race if it has run a minimum of three times in chases in Great Britain, Ireland or France in accordance with Rule (F)42.5. Highest weight 11st 10lb – no penalties after publication of the weights. Entries closed January 31, entries revealed February 1 (82 entries), weights revealed February 14, first scratchings deadline February 28 (77 remained), second scratchings deadline March 20 (59 remained). Five-day confirmation stage April 9 (48 remain), Tuesday, April 10 (47 go forward) final declaration stage 10.00am, April 12. Maximum field size of 40, plus four reserves. Reserves have to be utilised by 9am on Friday, April 13. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, April 8.


 

Form  Horse    Age/Weight Owner    Trainer/Probable Jockey

1)13-P0311 SYNCHRONISED (IRE) 9-11-10 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill/A P McCoy

2)11/1121-4 BALLABRIGGS (IRE)  11-11-09  Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain/Jason Maguire

3)1/10P-13P WEIRD AL (IRE)  9-11-08   Brannon, Dennis, Dick, Holden Donald McCain/Timmy Murphy

4)106-P422 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (FR) 11-11-06 John Hales Paul Nicholls/Daryl Jacob

5)2F-0511 CALGARY BAY (IRE)  9-11-06 Camilla Radford Henrietta Knight/Dominic Elsworth

6)F-6041UP ALFA BEAT (IRE)  8-11-05 Irvin Naylor John Hanlon IRE/ Davy Russell

7)F01/35-23 PLANET OF SOUND  10-11-05 Charles Lloyd-Baker Philip Hobbs/ Richard Johnson

8)51U/022/2 BLACK APALACHI (IRE) 13-11-03 Teresa Burke Dessie Hughes IRE/Denis O’Regan

9)6/3U34-1F DEEP PURPLE  11-11-03  Paul Green Evan Williams/Jamie Moore

10)131/321-02 JUNIOR   9-11-02 Middleham Park Racing LI David Pipe/Tom Scudamore

 

11)10-U3032 CHICAGO GREY (IRE)  9-10-13 John Earls Gordon Elliott IRE/Paul Carberry

12)3100-015 TATENEN (FR)  8-10-13 The Stewart Family Richard Rowe/Andrew Thornton

13)F11/-1111 SEABASS (IRE)  9-10-12 Gunners Syndicate Ted Walsh IRE/Ms Katie Walsh

14)000-1122 SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM (IRE) 8-10-12 Liam Breslin Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty

15)11PB-P1 WEST END ROCKER (IRE) 10-10-12  Barry Winfield & Tim Leadbeater Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson

16)22-30112 ACCORDING TO PETE 11-10-12 Peter Nelson Malcolm Jefferson/Harry Haynes

17)14P1-B1 ON HIS OWN (IRE)  8-10-11 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE/Ruby Walsh

18)2113-1PP ALWAYS RIGHT (IRE)  10-10-10 John Wade John Wade/James Reveley

19)3F2P/-133 CAPPA BLEU (IRE)  10-10-10 William & Angela Rucker Evan Williams/Paul Moloney

20)PU-345053 RARE BOB (IRE)  10-10-09 D A Syndicate Dessie Hughes IRE/Bryan Cooper

 

21)12-133F5 ORGANISEDCONFUSION (IRE) 7-10-08 Grace Dunlop Arthur Moore IRE/Miss Nina Carberry

22)P/P-51423 TREACLE (IRE)  11-10-08 Bjorn Nielsen   Tom Taaffe IRE/Andrew Lynch

23)3/216-B430 THE MIDNIGHT CLUB (IRE) 11-10-08 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE

24)3F/-52PP0 MON MOME (FR)  12-10-08 Vida Bingham Venetia Williams/Aidan Coleman

25)0P2F-60 ARBOR SUPREME (IRE) 10-10-07 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill

26)03F-30P01 SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE)  9-10-05 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill/Richie McLernon

27)F-030341 KILLYGLEN (IRE)  10-10-04 David McCammon Stuart Crawford IRE/Robert Power

28)2F-4010 QUISCOVER FONTAINE (FR) 8-10-04 J P McManus Willie Mullins IRE/David Casey

29)4-P13000 THARAWAAT (IRE)  7-10-04 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

30)42F-63F22 BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE (IRE) 9-10-03 Noel Glynn Noel Glynn IRE

 

31)P-0P0113 LE BEAU BAI (FR)  9-10-03 Glass Half Full   Richard Lee

32)144/P3/4- STATE OF PLAY  12-10-03 William & Angela Rucker Evan Williams/Noel Fehily

33)041-04400 ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) 11-10-03 Mr & Mrs Peter Douglas Peter Bowen/Tom O’Brien

34)2313P20 SWING BILL (FR)  11-10-03 David Johnson   David Pipe/Conor O’Farrell

35)FP-26611 POSTMASTER   10-10-02 The Bill & Ben Partnership Tim Vaughan

36)3/P22-121 GILES CROSS (IRE)  10-10-01 KCMS Partnership  Victor Dartnall/Paddy Brennan

37)21/10P-16 MIDNIGHT HAZE  10-10-00 Kim Bailey Racing Partnership Kim Bailey/Sean Quinlan

38)0044B-20 VIC VENTURI (IRE)  12-10-00 Seamus Dunne  Dessie Hughes IRE/Harry Skelton

39)431U0-P3 IN COMPLIANCE (IRE) 12-10-00 Dessie Hughes  Dessie Hughes IRE/Niall Madden

40)00-143P5 VIKING BLOND (FR)  7-10-00 Caroline Mould   Nigel Twiston-Davies

 

41)PP-5U654 HELLO BUD (IRE)  14-10-00 Seamus Murphy Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies

42)0-315045 NEPTUNE EQUESTER  9-9-09  Koo’s Racing Club  Brian Ellison

43)32-3P40 ANY CURRENCY (IRE) 9-9-08  Cash Is King Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley

44)0-4202650 OUR ISLAND (IRE)  7-9-07  David Fox Tim Vaughan

45)31P/-FP33 ABBEYBRANEY (IRE)  11-9-05  Sue Johnson George Bewley/Ryan Mania

46)05-341064 SMOKING ACES (IRE)  8-9-05  J P McManus Tom Taaffe IRE

47)12-20P30 BALLYVESEY (IRE)  7-9-02  Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen

47 still going forward  

16 Irish-trained

 

NR SADDLERS STORM (IRE) 10-9-05 R T & J McLoughlin/Billy Moffett Tony Martin IRE (ran yesterday & cannot now take part)

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