John Smith's Grand National Factfiles

Seabass Factfile for 2013 Grand National

Seabass with Ted and Katie Walsh

Seabass with Ted and Katie Walsh

SEABASS (IRE) FACTFILE

b g Turtle Island (IRE) – Muscovy Duck (IRE) (Moscow Society (USA))

10-11-06 Form: 00/40/523F11/11113-23 Owner: Gunners Syndicate

Trainer: Ted Walsh IRE Breeder: John Costigan

I’m grateful to Racenews for supplying factfiles for every runner in the John Smith’s Grand National. I reformat these and publish as I get them, with the first batch coming out 2 weeks before the big race on April 6th. By the eve of the National all factfiles will be published here. You can find others by clicking on the factfiles tag at the foot of this post

Seabass

Seabass was born in Ireland on March 13, 2003. Fish-loving part-owner Pat Glynn bought Seabass as a foal after seeing an advert in The Irish Field. He spent four years looking after the son of Turtle Island before sending him to Ted Walsh. After taking a close second on his debut in a point-to-point at Belharbour in February, 2007, Seabass recorded an emphatic victory at Horse & Jockey, Co Tipperary, the following month.

He faded to ninth on his debut under Rules eight days later in a Gowran Park bumper and finished 13th on his hurdling bow at the Punchestown Festival in April, 2007. Seabass suffered a setback shortly after that effort and he returned to action 18 months later, when he was pitched against seasoned opposition for his chase debut in the Grade Three Poplar Square Chase at Naas in October, 2008, in which he finished fourth. He made just one more appearance in the 2008/2009 season, tailing off in a beginners’ chase at Naas and returned to the same course to take fifth in a novices’ handicap chase in December, 2009.

Seabass was placed in handicap chases at Clonmel and Thurles on his next two starts and would have broken his duck over fences in another handicap chase at Navan in January, 2010, only to fall at the final fence when leading the field. He made amends at Punchestown four days later, gamely taking a handicap chase, and followed up with another gritty success in a novices’ handicap chase at Fairyhouse in February, 2010. A further lengthy spell on the sidelines followed but Seabass made a winning return to action with a comfortable victory in a point-to-point at Ballinaboola in November, 2011.

He continued his winning run with a pair of handicap chase wins at Punchestown and at Limerick the following month, before an impressive all-the-way success in a valuable handicap chase at Leopardstown on January 28, 2012. Sebass went into last season’s John Smith’s Grand National on the back of a length success in the two-mile paddypower.com Chase at Naas, but he couldn’t extend his unbeaten run (under Rules) to seven for amateur pilot Katie Walsh, having her fifth ride on him, but ran a great race to finish third.

The 10-year-old has been trained with Aintree in mind this season and made an encouraging return in a two-mile hurdle at Fairyhouse on February 5, when coming home second before a third-placed finish in one of Ireland’s leading John Smith’s Grand National trials, the Bobbyjo Chase back at Fairyhouse, on February 23.

Race Record: Starts: 17; Wins: 6; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £224,904

OwnersWarnedOff

Gunners Syndicate

The Gunners Syndicate consists of six men – Pat Glynn, Pat Gleeson, Robbie Byrne, brothers Donal and Niall Collins plus John Harte. Arsenal-mad Glynn leads the syndicate, having purchased Seabass as a foal after seeing an advert in the Irish Field newspaper and looked after the horse until he was sent to Ted Walsh as a four-year-old on the recommendation of Ted’s son Ruby.

Glynn was helped in raising Seabass by Gerry Kyne from Kiltrogue Stud, the father of the apprentice jockey Jamie Kyne, who was killed in a fire in Norton, North Yorkshire, in September, 2009. Glynn, who hails from Dunmore, Co Galway, is a builder who used to play Gaelic football for the local Dunmore MacHales and the Connemara Gaels in the USA. His wife Sinead is a singer who has appeared in a talent competition for Country & Western singers on Irish TV station TG4.

Pat Gleeson also comes from Dunmore and he is a director of local company Wheely Environmental Refuse Services. Robbie Byrne, the only member of the syndicate who does not support Arsenal, runs a pub in Dunmore which is the venue for the syndicate’s meetings, while John Harte is a butcher. Despite the fact that the majority of the syndicate support Arsenal, Seabass runs in the maroon and white colours of local football team Galway United.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2012 Seabass (3rd)

Trainer

Ted Walsh IRE (Kill, County Kildare)

Born on April 14, 1950, at Fermoy in Co Cork and based at Greenhills near Naas in Co Kildare, Ted Walsh is a racehorse trainer, journalist and broadcaster with RTE in Ireland and Channel 4 in England. His father, Ruby, had a public house and kept a livery stable in Fermoy. In 1954 the Walsh family relocated to the United States, but came back to Ireland less than two years later and Ruby rented a yard at Chapelizod, Co Dublin.

The Walshs later moved to a farm in Kill, Co Kildare, which Ted has now extended to 60 acres. Walsh was Irish champion amateur jump jockey on 11 occasions, and rode four Cheltenham Festival winners, including the 1979 Queen Mother Champion Chase on Hilly Way. Commanche Court, who Walsh selected, purchased and trained for owner Dermot Desmond, won the 1997 JCB Triumph Hurdle and completed an amazing double for Walsh in 2000 when winning the Irish National at Fairyhouse 16 days after Papillon landed the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree.

Both horses were partnered by Walsh’s son Ruby, while another of his children Katie is also a successful jockey with two Cheltenham Festival wins to her name and a third in the John Smith’s Grand National on Seabass last year. Walsh’s other daughter Jennifer is agent to Ruby, while his other son Ted Jnr married leading amateur rider Nina Carberry on February 7, 2012. Ted Walsh’s other training successes include the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown with Jack High and the Grade One Ascon/Rohcon Novices Chase at Leopardstown with Southern Vic, both in 2005, while Rince Ri won a number of good races for the stable including the Argento Chase at Cheltenham in 2002.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 1992 Roc De Prince (17th); 2000 PAPILLON (WON), 2001 Papillon (4th), 2006 Jack High (UR 15th), Rince Ri (Ref 27th), 2007 Jack High (Fell 6th); 2009 Southern Vic (8th); 2012 Seabass (3rd)

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