Factfiles for all 40 John Smith’s Grand National runners

national_startThere are several individual factfiles for National runners elsewhere on my blog (see factfile tag at foot of this post).

But all 40 runners are covered in this PDF, kindly provided by Racenews – just click the link below to read it or download it.

ffFINALgnfactfiles2013onFriday5April

My thoughts on the race are here

Good luck to you and to all jockeys and horses in the world’s greatest race.

WarnedOff

Always Waining Factfile for 2013 Grand National

AWaining

ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Unfuwain (USA)-Glenarff (USA) (Irish River (FR))
12-10-10 Jump Form: 44111/040P001/24P41131d/1320000/1P641PPP4P/550F0F0P1/0060041/04400-00 Owner: Peter and Linda Douglas Trainer: Peter Bowen Breeder: Barouche Stud Ireland

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

Always Waining
As an Unfuwain half-brother to the 1999 Derby fourth Housemaster, Always Waining (born on April 9, 2001, was bred to be a useful Flat performer but it has been over the big fences at Aintree that he has enjoyed his finest moments, becoming the first horse to win John Smith’s Topham Chase three times – 2010, 2011 & 2012. The 12-year-old sold for 9,000 guineas as a yearling and won three times on the level with Yorkshire-based trainer Mark Johnston, at one stage achieving a decent rating of 96.

He was claimed by trainer Pat Clinton for £30,000 for the current owners after winning a Newmarket claiming race in October, 2004 and won three hurdle races that winter. He moved to trainer Robert Stronge in early 2006, before joining Peter Bowen a year later, and the following season yielded a victory in a Bangor handicap hurdle and, sent chasing in the 2006/07 campaigned he scored three times. His next victory came at Aintree in June, 2008, in a three mile, one furlong, handicap hurdle and he kept going that summer and won a Listed handicap chase at Market Rasen in September.

He finished fourth in the 2009 John Smith’s Topham Chase and after falling in the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase, also over the Grand National fences, in November, 2009, he prevailed in the 2010 John Smith’s Topham Chase, scoring by 12 lengths from Scotsirish. After missing the cut in the 2011 John Smith’s Grand National, Always Waining won the John Smith’s Topham Chase again, finishing four lengths in front of Mon Parrain. He finished a distant fourth in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase, another race over the big Aintree fences, in December, 2011, and once again saved his best form until the spring as he recorded an unprecedented third victory in the John Smith’s Topham Chase in April, 2012, with Tom O’Brien up for the second consecutive year.

He started the current campaign with a well-beaten seventh in a veterans’ handicap chase at Doncaster on February 20 and put in a similarly uninspiring run in a Chepstow handicap hurdle on very soft ground on March 9. 24. Always Waining prefers good going.
Jump Race Record: Starts: 61; 1st: 12; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 2; Win & Place prize money: £297,400

OwnersWarnedOff

Peter and Linda Douglas
Peter Douglas, 61, and his wife Linda boast a racehorse ownership career spanning more than two decades with one of his early flagbearers being Salwan, a useful novice hurdler ridden by Robert Stronge, who at one stage trained Always Waining. Their early trainers also included Peter Bevan, Bill Clay, Jenny Pitman and Andy Streeter. Peter Douglas, based near Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, is founder of the PJD Group (1985).

The company, based at Castle Donington near Derby, has developed from his Peter J Douglas Engineering business into one of Britain’s leading independent mechanical engineering companies with some 250 employees. Douglas is a longstanding supporter at his local racecourse, Uttoxeter and sponsored a day in June that included a beginners’ chase run in Always Waining’s honour. The PJD Group also sponsors gymnast Sam Oldham, who was part of the Great Britain team that won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
No previous John Smith’s Grand National runners

Trainer

Peter Bowen (Letterston, Pembrokeshire, Wales)
Born on June 9, 1958, Peter Bowen is married to Karen and has three sons, Michael (who began riding in point-to-points in April, 2012 on Iron Man), Sean and James. The son of a haulier and a village postmistress, Bowen trains at Letterston near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and took out his first trainer’s licence in 1995, having previously been a livery yard proprietor and hugely successful point-to-point handler. His wife was a successful rider in point-to-points and under Rules. Bowen’s first winner under Rules came on October 9, 1995 at Sedgefield with Iffeee.

He won the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton the following November with Dreams End and the same horse took the Kingwell Hurdle at the Somerset course in February, 1997. A big race hat-trick was completed by Dreams End in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock later in the same year. Another horse that he did well with early in his training career was Iffeee, whom he saddled to win the Durham National at Sedgefield in 1996. The 1996/1997 campaign saw Bowen set a modern-day record with Stately Home, winner of 10 races that season including the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park. He captured the Badger Ales Handicap Chase at Wincanton in both 2002 and 2003 with Swansea Bay and the same horse won the Edward Hanmer Memorial Chase at Haydock, also in 2003. His stable stars have included Take The Stand and Ballycassidy.

The former was second to Kicking King in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2005 and finished fifth in the 2006 renewal, the highest placing by a British-trained horse. Ballycassidy, a winner of 15 races who ran in the John Smith’s Grand National three times and showed up well on the second and third occasions before being found out. Bowen had his highest-ever number of winners in the 2006/2007 season, with 72 successes, including Dunbrody Millar in the John Smith’s Topham Chase, a race Bowen also captured in 2001 with Gower Slave and memorably with Always Waining in 2010, 2011, 2012. Bowen has also enjoyed Grade One success with Snoopy Loopy in the 2008 Betfair Chase and with Souffleur in the 2007 Challow Hurdle. He went close to John Smith’s Grand National success in 2007 when McKelvey was the three quarters of a length runner-up to Silver Birch.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2005 Take The Stand (UR 15th), Ballycassidy (UR 2nd); 2006 Ballycassidy (Fell 25th); 2007 McKelvey (2nd), Ballycassidy (UR24th); 2008 Iron Man (UR 3rd); McKelvey (UR 20th)

Colbert Station Factfile for 2013 Grand National

Colbert
COLBERT STATION (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Witness Box (USA) – Laurenca’s Girl (IRE) (Commanche Run)
9-11-01 Form: 364/46951177/413-5211 Owner: J P McManus
Trainer: Ted Walsh Breeder: Miss Mary Barry Murphy

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

Colbert Station
Colbert Station, born on April 15, 2004, was sold as a foal at Tattersalls Ireland in November 2004 for 7,200 euros. He was third behind fellow John Smith’s Grand National aspirant Across The Bay on his debut in a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle in January, 2009. He had six mores starts over hurdles before winning a handicap hurdle at Punchestown in December, 2009, he scored comfortably under A P McCoy at Leopardstown in January, 2010.

After creditable efforts in handicap hurdles at the Fairyhouse and Punchestown spring festivals, Colbert Station was not seen again until December, 2011, when lining up in a three-mile novices’ chase at Punchestown. He ran respectably to come home fourth and improved for that run to land an extended two-mile beginners chase at Leopardstown in January, 2010, before rounding off the season with a third-placed finish behind Leanne in a competitive handicap chase at Leopardstown in March. The nine-year-old was fifth behind the classy Hidden Cyclone on his comeback this season in a chase at Gowran Park on November 24, before chasing home Roi Du Mee in a three-mile handicap hurdle at Navan on December 8. He returned to fences at Leopardstown over Christmas with an emphatic five and a half length victory in the hugely competitive Paddy Power Handicap Chase over three miles and completed his preparation for Aintree with a decisive two-length success in a three-mile handicap hurdle at the same course on February 3.
Race Record: Starts: 18; Wins: 5; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £137,744

Owner

J P McManusWarnedOff

Few people have enjoyed a closer association with jump racing in the last 30 years than John Patrick ’J P’ McManus, who was born on a farm in Co Limerick on March 10, 1951 and attended the Christian Brothers school on Sexton Street, Limerick. He left his father’s plant hire business at the age of 20 to become a racecourse bookmaker, but then took the less well-trodden route of gamekeeper-turned-poacher to be a professional punter.

McManus recalls one of his first bets as being on Merryman II in the 1960 Grand National when he was just nine, but the bet that changed his life was £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, the horse winning at 100/8. He had another £4 on when Linden Tree won the Observer Gold Cup at 25/1, and £5 each-way at 33/1 for the Derby, when the horse beat all bar Mill Reef. The amount he wagered grew rapidly and he is still one of the highest-staking punters on the racecourse. Dubbed “the Sundance Kid” by journalist Hugh McIlvanney after a number of major gambles in the ring during the 1970s, he is also the biggest jump owner in terms of numbers in Britain, Ireland and France (some 300 horses spread over 50 trainers ran for him last season) after he purchased his first racehorse, Cill Dara, at the age of 26.

He has a host of business interests including dealing on the financial markets from his Geneva, Switzerland base and part-ownership of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, where he also has a house. With John Magnier, he bought a 28.7% stake in Manchester United through the Cubic Expression company before subsequently selling out to US tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005. He was in the news shortly after that because of his stake in the pub and restaurant operator Mitchells and Butler. In 2012, the Sunday Times estimated McManus’ wealth at £471 million, making him the 14th richest person in Ireland. Since Mister Donovan landed the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1982, he has enjoyed 38 other Cheltenham Festival successes, headed by the great three-time Champion Hurdle hero Istabraq. In 2010, he won a fourth Champion Hurdle with Binocular, while the 2012 Festival yielded five more successes headed by Synchronised’s gutsy success in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he had to wait to final day this year before gaining two successes. McManus does a lot of work for charity and his Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place every five years and has raised over 95 million euros. McManus is also a keen backgammon player and a big hurling fan.

He owns Jackdaws Castle, the Gloucestershire yard that Jonjo O’Neill trains from, and has invested heavily in improving facilities since purchasing the property in 2001. He was British champion owner for the 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9, 2009/10 and 2011/12 seasons. A full 28 years after his runner in the race, McManus finally achieved a long-held ambition when Don’t Push It won the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National. Last year, Sunnyhillboy went agonisingly close to giving McManus a second success when beaten a nose by the Paul Nicholls-trained Neptune Collonges. John Smith’s Grand National Record: 1982 Deep Gale (Fell 1st), 1988 Bucko (PU bef 27th), 1992 Laura’s Beau (3rd), 1994 Laura’s Beau (Fell 6th), 1996 Wylde Hide (UR 24th), 1997 Wylde Hide (UR 22nd);
1998 Gimme Five (5th), 2002 Spot Thedifference (UR 27th); 2003 Youlneverwalkalone (pU bef 13th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Spot Thedifference (5th), Risk Accessor (UR 6th), Le Coudray (Fell 22nd); 2005 Innox (7th), Spot Thedifference (18th), Shamawan (21st), Clan Royal (CO 22nd), Le Coudray (PU before 21st), Risk Accessor (UR 2nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th), Innox (Fell 1st), First Gold (UR 23rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th), Clan Royal (11th); 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), L’Ami (Fell 2nd), Bob Hall (PU bef 19th), Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), L’Ami (PU bef 30th); 2010 DoN’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th), King Johns Castle (refused to race); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Blue Sea Cracker (14th), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), Arbor Supreme (Fell 28th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (Fell 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th), Quiscover Fontaine (Fell 17th)

Trainer
Ted Walsh IRE (Kill, County Kildare)
Born on April 14, 1950, at Fermoy in Co Cork and now based at Greenhills near Naas in Co Kildare, Ted Walsh is a racehorse trainer, journalist and broadcaster with rTe and Channel 4. 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 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 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.

They came close to a John Smith’s Grand National success last year when Seabass, ridden by Katie and trained by Ted, finished third. Walsh’s other daughter Jennifer is agent to Ruby, while his other son Ted Jnr married leading jockey Nina Carberry on February 7, 2012. Ted Walsh’s other training successes include the Bet365 Gold Cup with Jack High 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)

Forpadydeplasterer Factfile for 2013 Grand National

forpady

FORPADYDEPLASTERER (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Moscow Society (USA) – Run Artiste (Deep Run)
11-11-00 Jump Form: 11214/12221/222222/2P/233464-2P1536
Owner: Goat Racing Syndicate Trainer: Tom Cooper IRE Breeder: John Broderick

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

Forpadydeplasterer
Forpadydeplasterer, born on May 10, 2002, owes his name to Bertie Ahern, the former Irish prime minister who is also an associate of the gelding’s part-owner Charlie Chawke. Two of Ahern’s closest friends shared the same name, Paddy Reilly, so one was referred to as “Paddy the Plasterer”.

When racing was abandoned at Leopardstown in March, 2007, a group of friends had lunch at The Goat pub instead and decided to buy a racehorse and name it Forpadydeplasterer in honour of Ahern and Reilly’s financial transactions. Brian Cooper, one of those present at The Goat, asked his brother Tom to find an unnamed horse that he would train for the syndicate. Cooper sourced a Moscow Society gelding, who made a winning start to his career in a Galway bumper in October, 2007.

A highly progressive season over hurdles followed as Forpadydeplasterer captured the Grade One Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in February, 2008, and finished fourth in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He was sent chasing for the 2008/2009 campaign and was runner-up in the Drinmore Novice Chase, the Irish Arkle Novice Chase and the Dr P J Moriarty Novice Chase before gaining a deserved Grade One success in the Racing Post Arkle at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival. A frustrating run followed as Forpadydeplaster finished second on next seven starts, including five Grade One contests – the Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase, the Tingle Creek Chase, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the John Smith’s Melling Chase and the Punchestown Champion Chase.

Connections stepped him up to three miles for the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park in January, 2011, but he was pulled up behind Long Run, and he continued to run well in defeat throughout the following season, including when finishing sixth in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in March, 2012, and fourth in the John Smith’s Melling Chase the following month. The current campaign started in a similar vein, with Forpadydeplasterer chasing home Sizing Europe in the Grade Two PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park in October. Following a first run on the Flat at Galway and a disappointing effort in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham, Forpadydeplasterer won his first race for three and a half years with victory in a three-mile chase at Thurles on November 29. He subsequently came home last of five in the Grade One Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting and was third in a two and a half mile chase at Clonmel on February 7. Forpadydeplasterer warmed up for Aintree with a rare foray over hurdles, coming home sixth at Leopardstown on March 3.
Jump Race Record: Starts: 30; 1st: 6; 2nd: 13; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £468,463

OwnersWarnedOff

Goat Racing Syndicate
Charlie Chawke heads the 20-strong syndicate that owns Forpadydeplasterer. Chawke owns a chain of eight pubs contained within the Chawke Group, some of which are co-owned by Senator Eddie Bohan – The Oval, The Dropping Well, The Bank, The Goat, The Lord Lucan, The Old Orchard, Aunty Lena’s and Bill Chawke’s Bar. In 2005, Chawke paid the highest price ever paid for a pub in Ireland – €22 million – for the Orchard in Rathfarnham on the outskirts of Dublin.

He was also a member of the Drumaville Consortium that purchased Sunderland football club in 2006 and sold the premier league team to Ellis Short in 2009. Chawke had a leg amputated after being shot in a robbery in October, 2003. The syndicate is named after one of Chawke’s pubs, The Goat in Goatstown, near Leopardstown, and 10 of the group are known as the Piano Gang because “they are really mad guys – they get barred from the pub every weekend and reinstated every Monday”. Forpadydeplasterer is the only horse to have raced for the syndicate, whose colours are based on the red and white of Sunderland, but the horse has proven to be a real star for the syndicate, winning Leopardstown’s Deloitte Novice Hurdle and the Racing Post Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2009.
No previous John Smith’s Grand National runners

Trainer

Tom Cooper (Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland)
The father of up and coming jockey Bryan, Tom Cooper initially trained as a dentist and he still divides his time between training and running his dental laboratory in Tralee, County Kerry. Born on January 3, 1965, He started out training under a permit in 1994 before taking out a full licence in 1998. He saddled his first winner at his local course Tralee on June 2, 1997, as Flying In The Gale captured a handicap hurdle.

The mare proved to be an early standard bearer for Cooper, winning five times in all, while Diamond Melody and talented dual-code performer Galileo Strike also advertised Cooper’s ability to train winners. His first real star was Total Enjoyment, who scored in the 2004 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. Cooper enjoyed further Grade One success with Forpadydeplasterer, who captured the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in February, 2008, before giving the trainer a second Cheltenham Festival win in the Racing Post Arkle Chase.

His most recent stable star has been Lucky William, successful in the Grade One Ryanair Novice Chase at the 2012 Punchestown Festival. Despite not saddling any runners at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013, quietly spoken Cooper still had a meeting to remember as his son Bryan recorded his first three wins at the fixture on Benefficient (Jewson Novices’ Chase), Our Conor (JCB Triumph Hurdle) and Ted Veale (Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle).
No previous John Smith’s Grand National runners

Harry The Viking Factfile for 2013 Grand National

harry

HARRY THE VIKING FACTFILE
ch g Sir Harry Lewis (USA) – Viking Flame (Viking (USA))
8-10-06 Form: 2/11112P-P90 Owner: Sir Alex Ferguson, Ged Mason, Ron Wood, Peter Done
Trainer: Paul Nicholls Breeder: W Bush

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

Harry The Viking
Harry The Viking, born on April 29, 2005, was just touched off on his debut by stable companion Oscargo in a three-mile maiden hurdle at Chepstow in March, 2011, but made no mistake back at the Welsh course in October, 2011, scoring decisively by two lengths from the classy Forgotten Gold. After overcoming greenness to win a novices’ hurdle at Towcester the following month, Harry The Viking got the better of Saint Are in a three-mile novices’ chase at Doncaster in December, 2011, before a game victory over Ikoroudu Road in a novices’ handicap chase at the same course later that month.

Despite his relative inexperience, he lined up in the four-mile National Hunt Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival and ran with plenty of credit to finish second to comfortable winner Teaforthree. On the back of that effort, Harry The Viking was sent off favourite for the Scottish Grand National at Ayr in April, 2012, but disappointed when pulled up before the 19th. The eight-year-old has failed to fire in three starts this season, being pulled up on his reappearance at Cheltenham in November and finishing down the field in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in December and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 14.
Race Record: Starts: 10; Wins: 4; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £29,875

OwnersWarnedOff
Sir Alex Ferguson, Ged Mason, Ron Wood & Peter Done
Sir Alex Ferguson is the manager of Manchester United Football Club and the most successful British football manager of all time. Born December 31, 1941 in Govan, Glasgow, Ferguson scored a consolation goal on his league debut as a player for Queen’s Park, aged 16. His playing career subsequently took in St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United. His £65,000 transfer between Dunfermline and Rangers in 1967 was at the time a record fee between two Scottish clubs.

After retiring from playing at the end of the 1973/74 season, he stepped into management with East Stirlingshire, followed by a successful spell at St Mirren, and then Aberdeen where he won the Scottish Premier Division three times and added the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup. He was Scotland’s national team manager from September 1985 until June, 1986, leaving the post when the team was dumped out of the World Cup in Mexico with only one point from three matches.

Ferguson became Manchester United manager that year and his phenomenal reign has seen the club land the Premier League title 12 times, the FA Cup on five occasions, the League Cup four times, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and the UEFA Champions’ League twice. He was made an OBE in 1983, received his CBE in 1995 and was knighted in 1999. Ferguson married Cathy in 1966 and they have three sons, Mark and the twins, Darren (a football manager) and Jason (a football agent). Ferguson has been a major financial donor to the Labour party and lives in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The best horse to carry his red colours was the great miler Rock Of Gibraltar, who notched a European record of seven consecutive Group One victories that included the 2001 renewals of the 2,000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes and Prix du Moulin.

Ged Mason became chief executive of Morson Group in January, 2005, having been the company’s managing director from 1999. Mason, 49, joined the Morson Group in 1986 after completing his university education and following a period working for a technical recruitment company in Canada. Morson Group Plc is a leading provider of human capital and engineering design solutions to the engineering and technical business sectors. Mason’s colours are associated with dual Grade One winner What A Friend and Sporazene, who landed the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival, as well as a Punchestown Grade One in 2003. He first got into racing through his attendance as a guest at corporate events. Ron Wood, 64, started a wholesale greeting card and gift wrap business with his wife Gail in 1966 and sold the company, which became known as Birthdays, for £90 million in 1996. He has subsequently turned his attention to property and owns Ron Wood Developments, which is based in Bury. He lives in the village Greenmount on the outskirts of Manchester.

Peter Done, 66, established the first betting shop in Salford in 1967 alongside his older brother Fred – the pair won a substantial amount of money following a bet on England to win the World Cup in the previous year. The company, which trades under the name Betfred, has flourished to become the fourth biggest bookmaker in the UK, with over 1,350 betting shops throughout the country, and purchased the tote from the British government in a deal worth £265 million in 2011. While Fred is still the chairman of Betfred, Peter set up Peninsula Business Services in 1983 after being faced with an employment tribunal. Peninsula, which is the leading provider of employment law and health & safety services in the UK, is based in Manchester and employs 900 people in the UK and Ireland. Peter also writes a weekly column for the Sunday Times entitled The Business Doctor. The Done brothers were valued at £700 million in the 2012 Sunday Times Rich List. John Smith’s Grand National Record (Ged Mason & Sir Alex Ferguson): 2011 What A Friend (PU 27th)

Trainer
Paul Nicholls (Ditcheat, Somerset)
Seven-time champion jump trainer Paul Nicholls was born at Lydney, Gloucestershire, April 17, 1962 and grew up in Olveston near Bristol. He has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. The policeman’s son started out in racing as a jump jockey and partnered 119 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also captured the 1988 Vincent O’Brien (Irish) Gold Cup with Paul up. He struggled to keep his weight down and gave up race riding.

Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to David Barons, who trained Boardheath and Playschool and sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during that time. He has always trained at Paul Barber’s Manor Farm, initially with just eight horses. Nicholls, who now has over 200 horses in training, quickly made his mark as a trainer with an early highlight coming on Saturday, November 7, 1998, when pulling off the amazing feat of saddling seven winners and three seconds from 10 runners and he later made history when he became the first trainer to saddle six winners on the same card, at Wincanton, his local track, on January 21, 2006.

Another early high point in his training career came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival when he captured the major chase on each of the three days – Flagship Uberalles scored in the Racing Post Arkle Chase, Call Equiname in the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase the following day and, best of all, See More Business took the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. Having strongly challenged Martin Pipe for the jump trainers’ championship over a number of years, most notably when pushing his great rival right to the last day of the 2004/05 campaign, Nicholls claimed his first title the following season and he has retained the title every season since, though he is in a fight for supremacy this season with Nicky Henderson.

Recent flag-bearers for Nicholls have included the brilliant 16-time Grade One winner Kauto Star, who became the first horse to win the William Hill King George VI Chase five times and the only chaser to regain the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival (2007 & 2009). Denman captured the 2008 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and twice defied top weight to win the Hennessy Gold Cup, while Master Minded gained eight Grade One victories including two renewals of the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase. Big Buck’s has also entered the record books with 17 consecutive wins over hurdles, beating Sir Ken’s record of 16 set between 1951 and 1953, headed by an unprecedented four successive victories in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

Nicholls celebrated a first victory in the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby last year and he is currently fourth on the all time list of trainers at the Cheltenham Festival with 33 wins to his name. He became the first trainer to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08 and recorded his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, 20 years after taking out his training licence, making him the quickest to reach this landmark figure in jump racing. After saddling 52 runners in the John Smith’s Grand National, Nicholls finally recorded his first success in the great race in 2012 as Neptune Collonges beat Sunnyhillboy by a nose – the smallest winning margin in the history of the contest.

John Smith’s 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); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU bef 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU bef 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (Fell 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (Fell 1st), Le Roi Miguel (PU bef 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU bef 19th), Silver Birch (Fell 15th), Le Duc (UR 8th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th); 2007 Royal Auclair (Fell 9th), Le Duc (UR 6th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU bef 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Mr Pointment (PU bef last), Turko (Fell 25th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (Fell 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (Fell 4th), The Tother One (Fell 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON).

Join Together Factfile for 2013 Grand National

Join T

JOIN TOGETHER (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Old Vic – Open Cry (IRE) (Montelimar (USA))
8-11-02 Form: 321P/F11P3-72P
Owner: Ian Fogg & Paul Barber Trainer: Paul Nicholls Breeder: J D Flood

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

Join Together
Join Together, born on March 16, 2005, started his career in Ireland under the care of Liam Burke, a good friend of part-owners Paul and Marianne Barber. After winning a maiden point-to-point at Inch in March, 2010, the son of Old Vic was transferred to the powerful stable of British champion trainer Paul Nicholls, for whom he finished third on his debut under Rules in an Exeter novices’ hurdle in November of the same year.

He filled the runner-up spot in a three-mile Grade Two novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham’s International meeting a month later before registering a straightforward success over the same distance at Chepstow in February, 2011. Join Together lined up in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival but failed to land a blow and was pulled up behind future Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth. Sent chasing for the 2011/2012 campaign, Join Together made an inauspicious start over the larger obstacles at Chepstow in October, 2011, as he fell five fences from home. He made amends on his next outing at The Open at Cheltenham the following month, when he got the better of future Welsh National runner-up Teaforthree in an extended three-mile novices’ chase.

Join Together followed up with another impressive success at Cheltenham in December, 2011, but he again failed to make an impact at The Festival in 2012, as he was pulled up behind Bobs Worth, this time in the RSA Chase. He ended the season with a better effort at Aintree’s John Smith’s Grand National meeting, coming home third behind stable companion Silviniaco Conti in the John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase. Join Together has made three appearances in valuable staying handicap chases so far this term, starting with an unlucky seventh in the United House Gold Cup at Ascot in November, in which he was hampered three fences out. He enjoyed his first taste of the Grand National fences in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on December 8, as he stayed on strongly to go down by a neck to Hello Bud in the three and a quarter mile contest.

Join Together warmed up for the John Smith’s Grand National with a disappointing effort in Doncaster’s Grimthorpe Chase on March 2, when he was pulled up after being badly hampered at the third fence. Race Record: Starts: 12; 1st: 3; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 2; Win & Place prize money: £65,183

OwnersWarnedOff
Paul Barber and Ian Fogg
Paul Barber’s family have farmed near Ditcheat since the 1830s and he oversees a 2,000-strong dairy herd on 3,000 acres, having started with 150 cows on 150 acres, which now produce 45 tonnes of cheese daily for Barbers and Maryland Farmhouse Cheese, run by Paul’s brother Nicholas.

Paul – who has been allergic to cheese since the age of five – was born on December 31, 1942, on the kitchen table in the house where he still lives, stating “I’ve never thought about living elsewhere” and despite no family involvement with racing, has been an owner since his purchase in 1958 of a horse that cost £450 and had to be paid for instalments. He has never owned a Flat horse and his first winner was Crazy Slave, who scored in 1963, and his main flagbearers have been the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman (owned with Maggie Findlay) and the 1999 scorer See More Business.

He paid £82,000 for Denman and refuses to pay over the odds for a horse after being stung when making a couple of expensive purchases following See More Business’s success. Others to carry his colours include See More Indians, who won eight races out of 14, and the John Thorne-trained Artifice. Barber owns Nicholls’s Manor Farm Stables, initially converted from a cow shed, and his house overlooked Denman’s stable. Many of his best performers have had an initial grounding in point-to-points, either with Liam Burke in Ireland or Barber’s brother Richard – who has trained four Festival winners – at Seaborough in Dorset. Ian Fogg, 66, became an owner after moving to Ditcheat with wife Wendy in 2010.

He is involved with six horses with Nicholls and owns the winning point-to-pointer Scotch Dry And Ice, a 175,000 euros store horse purchase, with Richard Barber. He founded the Vacancy Management Company in 2001 and is the managing director of the business, which is a pharmaceutical and health care recruitment and contract employment company. He previously built up the RDL Group between 1989 and 1997 to have 650 employees before selling the company to American interests.
John Smith’s Grand National Record (Paul Barber): 1996 Deep Bramble (PU bef 29th); 1998 General Crack (PU bef 11th); 2009 Big Fella Thanks (6th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th)

Trainer
Paul Nicholls (Ditcheat, Somerset)
Seven-time champion jump trainer Paul Nicholls was born at Lydney, Gloucestershire, April 17, 1962 and grew up in Olveston near Bristol. He has been training at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset, since taking out a licence on November 1, 1991. The policeman’s son started out in racing as a jump jockey and partnered 119 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also captured the 1988 Vincent O’Brien (Irish) Gold Cup with Paul up. He struggled to keep his weight down and gave up race riding.

Between 1989 and 1991, he was assistant trainer to David Barons, who trained Boardheath and Playschool and sent out Seagram to win the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during that time. He has always trained at Paul Barber’s Manor Farm, initially with just eight horses. Nicholls, who now has over 200 horses in training, quickly made his mark as a trainer with an early highlight coming on Saturday, November 7, 1998, when pulling off the amazing feat of saddling seven winners and three seconds from 10 runners and he later made history when he became the first trainer to saddle six winners on the same card, at Wincanton, his local track, on January 21, 2006.

Another early high point in his training career came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival when he captured the major chase on each of the three days – Flagship Uberalles scored in the Racing Post Arkle Chase, Call Equiname in the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase the following day and, best of all, See More Business took the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. Having strongly challenged Martin Pipe for the jump trainers’ championship over a number of years, most notably when pushing his great rival right to the last day of the 2004/05 campaign, Nicholls claimed his first title the following season and he has retained the title every season since, though he is in a fight for supremacy this season with Nicky Henderson.

Recent flag-bearers for Nicholls have included the brilliant 16-time Grade One winner Kauto Star, who became the first horse to win the William Hill King George VI Chase five times and the only chaser to regain the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival (2007 & 2009). Denman captured the 2008 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and twice defied top weight to win the Hennessy Gold Cup, while Master Minded gained eight Grade One victories including two renewals of the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase. Big Buck’s has also entered the record books with 17 consecutive wins over hurdles, beating Sir Ken’s record of 16 set between 1951 and 1953, headed by an unprecedented four successive victories in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

Nicholls celebrated a first victory in the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby last year and he is currently fourth on the all time list of trainers at the Cheltenham Festival with 33 wins to his name. He became the first trainer to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08 and recorded his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, 20 years after taking out his training licence, making him the quickest to reach this landmark figure in jump racing. After saddling 52 runners in the John Smith’s Grand National, Nicholls finally recorded his first success in the great race in 2012 as Neptune Collonges beat Sunnyhillboy by a nose – the smallest winning margin in the history of the contest.

John Smith’s 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); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU bef 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU bef 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (Fell 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (Fell 1st), Le Roi Miguel (PU bef 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU bef 19th), Silver Birch (Fell 15th), Le Duc (UR 8th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th); 2007 Royal Auclair (Fell 9th), Le Duc (UR 6th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU bef 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Mr Pointment (PU bef last), Turko (Fell 25th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (Fell 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (Fell 4th), The Tother One (Fell 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON).

Lost Glory Factfile for 2013 Grand National

national_start

LOST GLORY (NZ) FACTFILE
b g Montjeu (IRE) – Joie De Vivre (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))
8-10-08 Form: 0593/0376/134112-011611
Owner: J P McManus Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Breeder: Keltern Stud Ltd

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

Lost Glory
Lost Glory, born on September 4, 2005, is bidding to become the fourth New Zealand-bred horse to win the John Smith’s Grand National following Moifaa (1904), Seagram (1991) and Lord Gyllene (1997). He was one of eight Montjeu yearlings purchased by his owner J P McManus at the 2007 Karaka Yearling Sales and made his debut for Jonjo O’Neill in an Ascot bumper in November, 2009, in which he finished 10th.

Lost Glory, who cost NZ$200,000, subsequently made seven appearances over hurdles, with his best effort over the smaller obstacles being a third in a novices’ contest at Kempton Park in March, 2010 behind the talented Captain Chris. He made a winning debut over fences at Southwell in June, 2011, beating the quirky but talented Marodima, but failed to build on that success in two subsequent outings in handicap company at Uttoxeter and Worcester.

Lost Glory gained a second victory over fences at Ffos Las in August, 2011, and followed up with a nose success in a handicap hurdle at Huntingdon two months later. He made just one more appearance during the 2011/2012 season, finishing a well-beaten second in a Stratford handicap chase in October, 2011, as connections decided to keep him for better ground.

Lost Glory geared up for a summer jumping campaign by coming home down the field in a Towcester handicap hurdle in May, 2012, and showed the benefit of that outing when scoring in handicap company on his next two starts – over hurdles at Uttoxeter in June and over fences at Southwell the following month. After failing to get competitive at Ffos Las in August, Lost Glory returned to the winner’s enclosure with a facile win in a Stratford handicap chase at the end of September. He posted a career best effort on his most recent appearance to capture a valuable handicap chase at Chepstow on October 13, after which he was given a well-earned break.
Race Record: Starts: 20; 1st: 7; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £40,411

OwnerWarnedOff
J P McManus
Few people have enjoyed a closer association with jump racing in the last 30 years than John Patrick ’J P’ McManus, who was born on a farm in Co Limerick on March 10, 1951 and attended the Christian Brothers school on Sexton Street, Limerick. He left his father’s plant hire business at the age of 20 to become a racecourse bookmaker, but then took the less well-trodden route of gamekeeper-turned-poacher to be a professional punter. McManus recalls one of his first bets as being on Merryman II in the 1960 Grand National when he was just nine, but the bet that changed his life was £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, the horse winning at 100/8. He had another £4 on when Linden Tree won the Observer Gold Cup at 25/1, and £5 each-way at 33/1 for the Derby, when the horse beat all bar Mill Reef. The amount he wagered grew rapidly and he is still one of the highest-staking punters on the racecourse.

Dubbed “the Sundance Kid” by journalist Hugh Mcllvanney after a number of major gambles in the ring during the 1970s, he is also the biggest jump owner in terms of numbers in Britain, Ireland and France (some 300 horses spread over 50 trainers ran for him last season) after he purchased his first racehorse, Cill Dara, at the age of 26. He has a host of business interests including dealing on the financial markets from his Geneva, Switzerland base and part-ownership of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, where he also has a house. With John Magnier, he bought a 28.7% stake in Manchester United through the Cubic Expression company before subsequently selling out to US tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005. He was in the news shortly after that because of his stake in the pub and restaurant operator Mitchells and Butler. In 2012, the Sunday Times estimated McManus’ wealth at £471 million, making him the 14th richest person in Ireland.

Since Mister Donovan landed the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1982, he has enjoyed 38 other Cheltenham Festival successes, headed by the great three-time Champion Hurdle hero Istabraq. In 2010, he won a fourth Champion Hurdle with Binocular, while the 2012 Festival yielded five more successes headed by Synchronised’s gutsy success in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he had to wait to final day this year before gaining two successes. McManus does a lot of work for charity and his Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place every five years and has raised over 95 million euros. McManus is also a keen backgammon player and a big hurling fan.

He owns Jackdaws Castle, the Gloucestershire yard that Jonjo O’Neill trains from, and has invested heavily in improving facilities since purchasing the property in 2001. He was British champion owner for the 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9, 2009/10 and 2011/12 seasons. A full 28 years after his runner in the race, McManus finally achieved a long-held ambition when Don’t Push It won the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National. Last year, Sunnyhillboy went agonisingly close to giving McManus a second success when beaten a nose by the Paul Nicholls-trained Neptune Collonges. John Smith’s Grand National Record: 1982 Deep Gale (Fell 1st), 1988 Bucko (PU bef 27th), 1992 Laura’s Beau (3rd), 1994 Laura’s Beau (Fell 6th), 1996 Wylde Hide (UR 24th), 1997 Wylde Hide (UR 22nd); 1998 Gimme Five (5th), 2002 Spot Thedifference (UR 27th); 2003 Youlneverwalkalone (PU bef 13th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Spot Thedifference (5th), Risk Accessor (UR 6th), Le Coudray (Fell 22nd); 2005 Innox (7th), Spot Thedifference (18th), Shamawan (21st), Clan Royal (CO 22nd), Le Coudray (PU before 21st), Risk Accessor (UR 2nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th), Innox (Fell 1st), First Gold (UR 23rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th), Clan Royal (11th); 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), L’Ami (Fell 2nd), Bob Hall (PU bef 19th), Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), L’Ami (PU bef 30th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th), King Johns Castle (refused to race); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Blue Sea Cracker (14th), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th), Arbor Supreme (Fell 28th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (Fell 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th), Quiscover Fontaine (Fell 17th)

Trainer
Jonjo O’Neill (Jackdaws Castle, Gloucestershire)
Jonjo O’Neill (born April 13, 1952) was a highly successful jump jockey and has established himself at the top of the training ranks. In spite of an appalling list of injuries, he was champion jockey twice (1977/78 and 1979/80), and he set a then record for a season of 149 winners in his first championship year. The most sensational moment of his riding career came when he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Dawn Run in 1986 as the mare became the only horse to win that trophy after having previously taken the Champion Hurdle (1984), again with O’Neill in the saddle.

He also won the Gold Cup on Alverton in 1979, though he had a dreadful record in the Grand National, in which he never completed the course in spite of having eight rides. He retired from the saddle at the end of the 1985/86 season and, having survived lymphatic cancer not long after that, started training near Penrith, Cumbria, in 1987. He forged a reputation with horses such as Vicario Di Bray, winner of the 1989 Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock, and Legal Right, who landed the Grade Three Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham in 1999 and went on to capture the BGC Silver Cup at Ascot as well as the Grade Two Tommy Whittle Chase.

He moved to his present base at Jackdaws Castle in Gloucestershire, not far from Cheltenham, when the yard was bought by owner J P McManus in 2001. In 2010, he finally broke his Grand National duck when saddling Don’t Push It to victory for McManus, who had been trying to win the race since 1982. A P (Tony) McCoy rode the gelding, gaining a first success at the 15th attempt. O’Neill’s other victories at the Aintree Festival as a trainer include Quazar in the John Smith’s Anniversary 4Yo Novices’ Hurdle in 2002, Clan Royal in the 2003 John Smith’s Topham Chase, Iris’s Gift (2003) and Black Jack Ketchum (2006) in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle, Iris’s Gift in the 2004 John Smith’s Liverpool Long Distance Hurdle, Exotic Dancer (2007) in the Betfred Bowl and Albertas Run (2010) in the Melling Chase.

His 22 Cheltenham Festival victories include five wins in the National Hunt Chase, the JCB Triumph Hurdle with Spectroscope, the 2004 Ladbrokes World Hurdle with Iris’s Gift and the three victories of Albertas Run in the RSA Chase (2007) and the Ryanair Chase (2010 & 2011). Last season, Synchronised gave him one of his biggest successes when capturing the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival. John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2003 Carbury Cross (7th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Joss Naylor (PU bef 19th); 2005 Simply Gifted (3rd), Shamawan (21st), Native Emperor (UR 9th), Clan Royal (CO bef 22nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th); 2007 Clan Royal (11th); 2008 Bob Hall (PU bef 19th), Butler’s Cabin (Fell 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 8t h); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (Fell 18th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (Fell 6th) Arbor Supreme (UR 10th)