Grand National acceptors, quotes, and betting


The 2010 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander (11st 10lb, pictured right) heads the weights for this year’s £975,000 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 6 after 57 horses stood their ground following today’s scratchings deadline for the world’s greatest chase.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge, a 33/1 chance for with Betfred, missed the chance to regain his crown at the Cheltenham Festival after a lung infection in the build-up to the meeting. He had previously ran an excellent race to take a close second in the Grade Two Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January – his first start for 680 days. The 12-year-old could bid to try and give his handler a third success in the John Smith’s Grand National following Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002). No other current trainer has won the Aintree showpiece on more than one occasion.

Willie Mullins enjoyed an outstanding Cheltenham Festival with five wins and the Irish champion trainer looks set to have a strong hand at Aintree, with four contenders remaining in the John Smith’s Grand National, headed by a pair of horses owned by Andrea & Graham Wylie.  

On His Own (11st) heads Betfred’s betting market at 8/1, having fallen at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit when going well in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National, while Grade Two scorer Prince De Beauchene (11st 7lb & 10/1) was ante-post favourite for last season before a stress fracture curtailed his campaign. Mullins captured the 2005 John Smith’s Grand National with Hedgehunter.

Ted Walsh, successful in the 2000 John Smith’s Grand National with Papillon, has a pair of strong challengers this year including Seabass (11st 6lb & 10/1), who was third in last season’s race under the trainer’s daughter Katie – the best finishing position by a woman in the great race. 

Colbert Station (11st 1lb & 14/1) is also set to represent Walsh and the nine-year-old entered the reckoning for the John Smith’s Grand National with an impressive victory in a valuable handicap chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Like Imperial Commander, Sunnyhillboy (11st 4lb & 20/1) was a late absentee from the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Jonjo O’Neill-trained 10-year-old is set to head straight to Aintree having gone down by a nose to Neptune Collonges in the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National. Cappa Bleu (10st 11lb & 14/1), who came home fourth last year, is also set to return for Evan Williams.

Several horses enhanced their Aintree claims with good performances at the Cheltenham Festival including National Hunt Chase runner-up Tofino Bay (11st 1lb & 25/1), one of three entries from the stable of Dessie Hughes. The Gordon Elliott-trained Romanesco (9st 11lb & 25/1) and Noel Glynn’s Becauseicouldntsee (10st 6lb & 66/1) came home third and fifth respectively in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

Away from Cheltenham, Tom Taaffe recorded a 1-2 as his John Smith’s Grand National hopefuls Treacle (10st 9lb & 33/1) and Ninetieth Minute (10st 3lb & 66/1) fought out the finish to a Down Royal Chase on March 16. The 2011 John Smith’s Grand National hero Ballabriggs (11st 4lb & 25/1) warmed up for Aintree with a pleasing third in a Listed Chase at Kelso on March 2, while Big Fella Thanks (11st 6lb & 40/1), who was fourth behind Don’t Push It in 2010, filled the runner-up spot in a Grade Three handicap chase at Newbury the same day.


Class 1, Grade 3, £975,000 total prize fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 6, 2013, about four miles, three and a half furlongs. For seven-year-olds and upwards who, up to and including March 18, 2013, 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 10, 2013. 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 10 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 10, 2013. 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 29, entries revealed January 30 (84 entries), weights revealed February 12, first scratchings’ deadline February 26 (73 go forward, 11 scratched), second scratchings’ deadline March 19 (57 go forward, 16 scratched). Five-day confirmation stage April 1, final declaration stage 10.00am, April 4. Maximum field size of 40, plus four reserves. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, March 18. Weights raised 4lb since original weights.

Form  Horse    Age/Wgt Owner    Trainer

1) 51U/1P/-2 IMPERIAL COMMANDER (IRE) 12-11-10 Our Friends in the North Nigel Twiston-Davies

2) P/33F0-0 WHAT A FRIEND  10-11-09 Ged Mason & Sir Alex Ferguson Paul Nicholls

3) 3PF-4PP WEIRD AL (IRE)  10-11-08 Brannon Dick Holden  Donald McCain

4) 51/51-12 PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR) 10-11-07 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE

5) 1113-04 QUEL ESPRIT (FR)  9-11-07 Red Barn Syndicate  Willie Mullins IRE

6) 40/-U312 BIG FELLA THANKS  11-11-06 Crossed Fingers Partnership Tom George

7) 0-1U355 ROBERTO GOLDBACK (IRE) 11-11-06 Simon Munir   Nicky Henderson

8) 1113-23 SEABASS (IRE)  10-11-06 Gunners Syndicate  Ted Walsh IRE

9) 1/46-P03 BALLABRIGGS (IRE)  12-11-04 Trevor Hemmings  Donald McCain

10) P012-5P SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE)  10-11-04 J P McManus   Jonjo O’Neill

11) 11-0620 TEAFORTHREE (IRE)  9-11-03 T437    Rebecca Curtis

12) 3-11201 ACROSS THE BAY (IRE) 9-11-02 Scotch Piper Syndicate  Donald McCain

13) 1P3-02P JOIN TOGETHER (IRE) 8-11-02 Ian Fogg & Paul Barber  Paul Nicholls

14) 130654 BOB LINGO (IRE)  11-11-01 J P McManus   Tom Mullins IRE

15) 413-5211 COLBERT STATION (IRE) 9-11-01 J P McManus   Ted Walsh IRE

16) 214122 TOFINO BAY (IRE)  10-11-01 Gigginstown House Stud Dessie Hughes IRE

17) 2P1536 FORPADYDEPLASTERER (IRE) 11-11-00 Goat Racing Syndicate  Thomas Cooper IRE

18) P1/B1F-1 ON HIS OWN (IRE)  9-11-00 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE

19) 0-35233 JONCOL (IRE)   10-10-13 Kay Browne   Paul Nolan IRE

20) 10511-P LION NA BEARNAI (IRE) 11-10-13 The Lock Syndicate  Tom Gibney IRE

21) P0F1-12 BALTHAZAR KING (IRE) 9-10-12 The Brushmakers  Philip Hobbs

22) 6F2264 BOSTONS ANGEL (IRE) 9-10-11 Elder Scouller   Jessica Harrington IRE

23) 1334-22 CAPPA BLEU (IRE)  11-10-11 William & Angela Rucker Evan Williams

24) 2/4-4U60 OSCAR TIME (IRE)         12-10-11 Robert Waley-Cohen/Sir Martin & Steve Broughton Martin Lynch IRE

25) 44001-00 ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) 12-10-10 Mr & Mrs Peter Douglas Peter Bowen

26) 31P/PP-4 QUINZ (FR)   9-10-10 Andrew Cohen   Philip Hobbs

27) 15U-606 TATENEN (FR)  9-10-10 The Stewart Family  Richard Rowe

28) 1/U121/5- BESHABAR (IRE)  11-10-09 Middleham Park Racing X & Ann Burrows Tim Vaughan

29) 423F-01 TREACLE (IRE)  12-10-09 Bjorn Nielsen   Tom Taaffe IRE

30) 011611 LOST GLORY (NZ)  8-10-08 J P McManus   Jonjo O’Neill

31) U01-F430 SAINT ARE (FR)  7-10-08 David Fox   Tim Vaughan

32) P-P1440 SWING BILL (FR)  12-10-08 David Johnson   David Pipe

33) 1F2-110 WYCK HILL (IRE)  9-10-08 J P McManus   David Bridgwater

34) B-0U631 CHICAGO GREY (IRE)  10-10-07 John Earls   Gordon Elliott IRE

35) P-52202 MAGNANIMITY (IRE)  9-10-07 Gigginstown House Stud Dessie Hughes IRE

36) 010F-60 QUISCOVER FONTAINE (FR) 9-10-07 J P McManus   Willie Mullins IRE

37) F-63PP5 BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE (IRE) 10-10-06 Noel Glynn   Noel Glynn IRE

38) 12P-P00 HARRY THE VIKING  8-10-06 Sir Alex Ferguson, Ged Mason, R Wood & P Done Paul Nicholls

39) 3B0-643 RARE BOB (IRE)  11-10-06 D A Syndicate   Dessie Hughes IRE

40) 04-311P4 THE RAINBOW HUNTER 9-10-06 May We Never Be Found Out Partnership Kim Bailey

41) 236026 MR MOONSHINE (IRE) 9-10-05 Sue Smith   Sue Smith

42) 1133FP MUMBLES HEAD (IRE) 12-10-04 Karen Bowen   Peter Bowen

43) F2PP-44 PEARLYSTEPS  10-10-04 The Glazeley Partnership Henry Daly

44) 0P45F5 AURORAS ENCORE (IRE) 11-10-03 D Pryde, J Beaumont & D P van der Hoeven Sue Smith

45) 3F6042 NINETIETH MINUTE (IRE) 10-10-03 Dermot Cox   Tom Taaffe IRE

46) P11420 TARQUINIUS (FR)  10-10-02 Mary Furlong   Gordon Elliott IRE

47) 614U40 ANY CURRENCY (IRE) 10-10-00 Cash Is King   Martin Keighley

48) 2P-265P MAJOR MALARKEY (IRE) 10-9-13 Baker, Dodd & Cooke  Nigel Twiston-Davies

49) (0)6U1/-50 POKER DE SIVOLA (FR) 10-9-13 David Johnson   Ferdy Murphy

50) /5000/P-P BACKSTAGE (FR)  11-9-12 MPR & Capranny Syndicate Gordon Elliott IRE

51) 621B-001 SOLL    8-9-12  Derrick Mossop  Jo Hughes

52) F10203 ROMANESCO (FR)  8-9-11  Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

53) 023P25 VIKING BLOND (FR)  8-9-11  Caroline Mould   Nigel Twiston-Davies

54) 2161-30  CLOUDY LANE  13-9-10 Trevor Hemmings  Donald McCain

55) 000165 PENTIFFIC (NZ)  10-9-08 P Sinn, P Lawrence, L Sutcliffe, M Smith Venetia Williams

56) 0/44-060 GULLIBLE GORDON (IRE) 10-9-06 Yeh Man Partnership  Peter Bowen

57) P-22150 MORTIMERS CROSS  12-9-06 John Needham   John Needham

57 entries remain after March 19 scratchings deadline

22 Irish-trained



John Smith’s Grand National – Betfred prices:

8/1 On His Own, 10/1 Prince De Beauchene, Seabass, 14/1 Cappa Bleu, 16/1 Colbert Station, Teaforthree, 20/1 Chicago Grey, Join Together, Sunnyhillboy, 25/1 Ballabriggs, Beshabar, Harry The Viking, Romanesco, Tofino Bay, 33/1 Across the Bay, 33/1 Balthazar King, Imperial Commander, Magnanimity, Quinz, Roberto Goldback, Soll, Treacle, Wyck Hill, 40/1 Big Fella Thanks, Bostons Angel, Lion Na Bearnai, Quel Esprit, Quiscover Fontaine, Rare Bob, Weird Al, What A Friend, 50/1 Always Waining, Bob Lingo, Forpadydeplasterer, Joncol, Lost Glory, Saint Are, The Rainbow Hunter, 66/1 Any Currency, Auroras Encore, Backstage, Becauseicouldntsee, Mr Moonshine, Ninetieth Minute, Oscar Time, Pearlysteps, Poker De Sivola, Swing Bill, Tarquinius, Viking Blond, 100/1 Cloudy Lane, Gullible Gordon, Major Malarkey, Mumbles Head, Pentiffic, Tatenen, 200/1 Mortimers Cross



John Smith’s Grand National Specials from Betfred:

5/4 Irish-trained horse to win Grand National

3/1 Willie Mullins to train Grand National winner

4/1 Andrea & Graham Wylie to own Grand National winner

7/1 Ted Walsh Trained Winner

7/1 Ruby Walsh to ride Grand National winner

8/1 Paul Nicholls to train Grand National winner

9/1 J O’Neill Trained Winner

10/1 Female Ridden to ride Grand National winner

12/1 Tony McCoy to ride Grand National winner

14/1 Barry Geraghty to ride Grand National winner

14/1 Donald McCain to train Grand National winner

16/1 Sir Alex Ferguson Owned Winner


I’m grateful, as ever, to my friends at Racenews for the above content


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