Oscar Time Factfile for 2013 Grand National

Oscar Time

b g Oscar (IRE) – Baywatch Star (IRE) (Supreme Leader)
12-10-011 Form:4243/2123217/23232214F/73152/2632/4-4U60
Owners: Robert Waley-Cohen/Sir Martin & Steve Broughton Trainer: Martin Lynch IRE Breeder: Edmond Coleman

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

Oscar Time
Oscar Time, born on May 14, 2001, passed through the sales ring for 37,000 euros as a three-year-old at Tattersalls Ireland in August, 2004, with Martin Lynch the buyer. As a four-year-old at Goffs in May, 2005, Emerald Bloodstock paid 40,000 euros for him. The gelding started his racing career at Martin Lynch’s Stepaside yard in the ownership of Navan-based Eamon Kane. Having made his debut with a fourth place in a Roscommon bumper in October, 2006, Oscar Time won at the sixth attempt in that sphere, defeating subsequent Grade One winner Weapon’s Amnesty by half a length at Thurles in January, 2008.

A victory over hurdles followed that April but his biggest success to date came over fences when winning the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December, 2009, in which he defeated Siegemaster by seven lengths. In April, 2010, Oscar Time showed his potential for the John Smith’s Grand National when finishing runner-up to Bluesea Cracker in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. Following that effort, Robert Waley-Cohen purchased the gelding and later sold a half share to Sir Martin Broughton and his brother Steve. The 2010/11 season was geared around a tilt at the John Smith’s Grand National and Oscar Time started the campaign with two promising efforts in hurdle races at Thurles and Fairyhouse in November and December respectively.

He completed his preparation for Aintree with a third-placed finish in the Grade Two Bobbjo Chase at Fairyhouse in March, 2011. He ran a tremendous race in the 2011 John Smith’s Grand National for his amateur pilot Sam Waley-Cohen but was just outstayed on the elbow by Ballabriggs and came home a gallant second. A second tilt at the John Smith’s Grand National was on the agenda last season but, after finishing fourth behind Zaidpour in a hurdle at Thurles in November, 2011, Oscar Time was ruled out for the season with a tendon problem. He made his comeback at Thurles on November 29, 2012, and ran respectably in fourth before unseating Sam Waley-Cohen in the Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase at the same course on January 17. He has disappointed in his two runs since, trailing home last in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on February 23, and the Leinster National at Naas on March 10.
Race Record: Starts: 34; Wins; 4; 2nd: 11; 3rd; 6: Win & Place Prize Money: £396,555


Robert Waley-Cohen/Sir Martin & Steve Broughton
Cheltenham Racecourse chairman Robert Waley-Cohen enjoyed his greatest day as an owner in March, 2011, when his amateur rider son Sam Waley-Cohen partnered Long Run to win the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, trained by long-time friend Nicky Henderson. The gelding, at six the youngest Gold Cup winner since Mill House in 1963, had landed the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton in December, aged five.

Although Robert Waley-Cohen rode in point-to-points and hunter chases, he described himself as an incredibly bad amateur – “Wrong shape, wrong weight, not fit enough – basically, just thoroughly incompetent”. Born on November 10, 1948 and the founder of healthcare giant Alliance Medical, Robert Waley-Cohen is no stranger to big-race success at Cheltenham as his Katarino won the 1999 JCB Triumph Hurdle, Rustle took what is now the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in 1989, Liberthine collected the 2005 Byrne Group Plate and Rajdhani Express won the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase this season. He trains a few horses himself under permit and sent out Katarino to win the John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree in 2005 and 2006 again ridden by Sam.

A member of the Jockey Club since 1983, where he has been a steward, he has a small team of around 10 broodmares at Upton Viva Stud in Warwickshire and was a director of Cheltenham Racecourse before becoming chairman when Lord Vestey stepped down at the end of the 2010/11 season. He has horses in training with Guillaume Macaire in France as well as Nicky Henderson. His son Tom died of cancer in July, 2004, and Tom’s Ward at Oxford Children’s Hospital is named after him.

He is married to Felicity and they also have another son Marcus and a daughter Jessica. Sir Martin Broughton and his twin brother Steve also have a 50 per cent share in Oscar Time. The twins were born on April 15, 1947 in Fulham, London, and Sir Martin recalls the 1956 Grand National, when Devon Loch collapsed 50 yards from the winning post, as being one of his earliest memories: “I listened to it on the radio – we didn’t have a TV until I was 17 or 18 – and the reason I recall it is not just the obvious one. My father’s name was Edward Samuel Broughton and, because the winner was called ESB, you can guess who he backed.”

Their interest was further fuelled with the Christmas gift of a Totopoly board game in 1960. Despite only leaving school “with a handful of Cs and Ds”, Sir Martin joined British American Tobacco (BAT) as an auditor in 1971 and by 1988 had become finance director in 1988 and chairman in 1998. He left BAT in 2004 to become chairman of British Airways and served as chairman of the then British Horseracing Board from 2004 to 2007. Despite being a lifelong Chelsea supporter, in April, 2010, he was appointed chairman of Liverpool FC and oversaw the sale of the club to new owners in October, 2010.

He was awarded a knighthood in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for his services to industry and – with son Michael – is involved with Sports Investment Partners, which unsuccessfully bid to take over the Tote two years ago. Steve Broughton is an insurance industry veteran, who served as managing director of Royal SunAlliance, and is currently a director of Tesco Underwriting. With his brother, he launched Ingenie, a company aimed at younger drivers in which other backers include Gary Lineker.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd)


Martin Lynch IRE (Castletown-Geoghegan, County Westmeath)
Martin Lynch (born June 6, 1958) is a former jockey who enjoyed his biggest day in the saddle when winning the 1990 Vincent O’Brien Gold Cup on the John Upson-trained Nick The Brief. The Meath native learned his trade as an amateur rider with Clem Magnier and John Fowler, winning the Morgiana Hurdle on Fowler’s Royal Dipper. After turning professional, Lynch won the 1985 Thyestes Chase aboard Seskin Bridge and was second to Rhyme N’ Reason on the same horse in that year’s Irish Grand National. He rode Elfast to win the Mildmay Of Flete at the 1992 Cheltenham Festival and in two rides in the Grand National, fared best on 10th-placed Cool Ground in 1992.

After taking out a trainer’s licence in Ireland, he leased Bill Durkan’s yard at Glencairn before relocating shortly afterwards to Middleton Park in County Westmeath. As a trainer, he enjoyed the biggest success of his career when Oscar Time landed the 190,000 euros Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December, 2009. He is married to former trainer Suzanne Finn, a herbalist and acupuncturist, who is credited by the trainer with helping prepare the fussy eater Oscar Time for the Paddy Power Chase. He also trained the high-class Colonel Yeager to finish fourth in the 1999 Grade One Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Lynch has never trained more than five winners in a season, which he achieved in the 1995/96 and 1996/97 seasons.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2011 Oscar Time (2nd)

Rare Bob Factfile for 2013 Grand National

Rare Bob

b g Bob Back – Cut Ahead (Kalaglow)
11-10-06 Form: 3/274333339/1d431414/15333P/0381PU/345053B0-643
Owner: D A Syndicate Trainer: Dessie Hughes IRE Breeder: Don Hadden

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

Rare Bob
Rare Bob’s family has already experienced success at the Grand National meeting as his high-class half-brother Tiutchev scored the last of 12 victories in the Martell Cognac Cup (now the Betfred Bowl) in 2004. Tiutchev, by Soviet Star, was bred for and started his career on the Flat before graduating to jumps, but Rare Bob, by top jump sire Bob Back and born on May 16, 2002,, always had a jumping career planned.

When he was sold at auction as a foal €37,000 foal in 2001, Tiutchev had already won an Arkle Trophy and an Ascot Chase; by the time he made €125,000 as a three-year-old, his older brother had added another Grade One and had been placed in both the William Hill King George VI Chase and the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. It took Rare Bob 14 runs to get off the mark, a sequence of losses that included five thirds in a row and a disqualification for a wayward course after beating Trafford Lad a short-head in a novice chase at Punchestown in October, 2008.

His first victory also came at Punchestown three months later, when he beat the 2011 John Smith’s Grand National runner-up Oscar Time, and he returned there for the April Festival in 2009 to account for Gone To Lunch and Joncol in the Grade One Champion Novice Chase. His sole success in 22 runs since came at Leopardstown in January last year. Rare Bob has paid four previous visits to Aintree, two of them over the Grand National fences – he was fifth on heavy ground in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase in December, 2011, and was brought down at the fifth fence in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National.

In a typical preparation for this year’s race, Rare Bob made one start over hurdles before the unveiling of the weights, coming home sixth at Thurles on January 17, and has since posted two pleasing efforts over fences. He kept on to finish fourth behind fellow Aintree contenders Prince De Beauchene and Seabass in the Grade Two Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on February 23 and made late headway to take third for a second successive year in the Leinster National at Naas on March 10.
Race Record: Starts: 40; Wins: 4; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 14; Win & Place Prize Money: £191,267


The D A Syndicate
‘D A’ stands for ‘Dessie’s Army’, a fond tribute to trainer Dessie Hughes who trains for the seven-strong group of friends who make up the syndicate. They come from Counties Carlow, Wickford and Kildare and have business interests in printing, packaging, building development and estate agency among others – the group includes Lar Byrne, who owned the dual Champion Hurdle winner Hardy Eustace.

The D A Syndicate was formed when a number of Hughes’s owners went to India to see the trainer’s son Richard ride in the 2000 Indian Derby. Hughes won the race on Smart Chieftain, and buoyed by the victory the group pledged to get involved in ownership as a syndicate. The plan to buy Rare Bob, their best horse to date and their first John Smith’s Grand National runner, was hatched at Royal Ascot at York in 2005. A few weeks later at Tattersalls’ Ireland’s Derby Sale he was bought for €125,000 as an unraced three-year-old, but he has since won more than €200,000.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2012 Rare Bob (BD 5th)


Dessie Hughes IRE (Curragh, County Kildare)
A highly successful jockey, Dessie Hughes (born October 10, 1943) partnered Davy Lad to win the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup and returned to Prestbury Park three years later to ride Monksfield to victory in the Champion Hurdle. He had four rides in the Grand National, including Davy Lad, but never managed to complete the course. Having always had one eye on the future, Dessie prepared his yard for three years before finally taking out a training licence in 1980 and the winners soon started flowing, including a first Cheltenham Festival victory as a trainer when Miller Hall took the 1982 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

His yard was struck down by a persistent fungal problem in the late 1980s which resulted in Hughes enduring several years of poor form, but the trainer began churning out the winners again in the late 1990s, with horses such as Guest Performance, Rathbawn Prince and Grade One winner Colonel Braxton being standard bearers. But it would be Hardy Eustace who would provide Hughes with some of his finest hours as a trainer.

Owned by long-standing patron Lar Byrne, the Archway gelding won the Grade One Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival before returning a year later take the Champion Hurdle under a superbly judged ride from Conor O’Dwyer. Hardy Eustace went on to victory at the Punchestown Festival and returned to Prestbury Park the following year for another victory in the Champion Hurdle, becoming the first horse since Istabraq to successfully defend his crown. Central House was another outstanding performer for Hughes, winning five Grade Two contests as well as a Grade One Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown.

Schindlers Hunt emerged as another star, winning two Grade One events as a novice chaser and finishing the head runner-up in the Grade One John Smith’s Melling Chase at Aintree in 2009. Black Apalachi has gone closest to giving him a John Smith’[s Grand National winner, finishing second in 2010. Hughes has unearthed another potential star hurdler this season in Our Conor, who routed the opposition in the JCB Triumph Hurdle to give his trainer a sixth success at the Cheltenham Festival.

Hughes also holds the notable feat of saddling a winner on nine consecutive racing days during the 2006 Christmas period, while his son Richard was crowned champion Flat jockey in Britain for the first time in 2012. John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2008 Black Apalachi (Fell 2nd), 2009 Black Apalachi (UR 22nd); 2010 Black Apalachi (2nd), Vic Venturi (UR 20th); 2011 In Compliance (13th), Vic Venturi (BD 2nd); 2012 In Compliance (6th), Rare Bob (BD 6th), Black Apalachi (Fell 8th), Vic Venturi (Ref 19th)

Tatenen Factfile for 2013 Grand National


b g Lost World (IRE) – Tamaziya (IRE) (Law Society (USA))
9-10-10 Jump Form: 1124/112F2/5U369UP/363170/715U-606
Owner: The Stewart Family Trainer: Richard Rowe Breeder: Olivier Tricot

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

Tatenen, born on April 21, 2004, displayed limited signs of ability in three Flat appearances for his first trainer Dominique Bressou in France in 2007 but the son of Lost World made a winning debut over hurdles in September of the same year, running on strongly to beat Songe by eight lengths in a Listed contest at Auteuil. He followed up with another impressive success at the same course a month later, taking the Grade Two Prix Georges de Talhouet-Roy by four lengths, and was purchased by the Stewart Family shortly afterwards. Tatenen made his British debut under the care of trainer Paul Nicholls in the Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in December, 2007, when he ran well to take second behind Franchoek.

He also finished behind the Alan King-trained horse on his only other start of the season, coming home fourth in a juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham in January, 2008. Tatenen made an exciting start to his chasing career, following up a ready success in a Listed novices’ chase at Aintree in October, 2008, with a comprehensive victory in a Grade Two novices’ chase at The Open at Cheltenham the following month. Stepped up to Grade One company for the Durkan New Homes Novice Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting, Tatenen ran a superb race in defeat to go down by a short-head to Follow The Plan.

He fell at the third fence in the Racing Post Arkle Chase at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival and faded in the closing stages to come home second, beaten eight lengths by Kalahari King, in the John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April, 2009. After ending a highly encouraging first season chasing with a fifth in the Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival, Tatenen failed to live up to his lofty expectations in the 2009/2010 as he produced a string of efforts littered with jumping errors. He made the frame in just one of his six starts that term, when coming home third in a four-runner graduation chase at Sandown, and ended his campaign with another below par effort as he was pulled up in the Listed John Smith’s Handicap Chase at Aintree in April, 2010.

Tatenen was switched to the West Sussex stables of Richard Rowe during the summer of 2010 and he made an encouraging start for his new handler, taking third in a Kempton Park graduation chase in November of the same year. He failed to build on that effort in two subsequent starts at Ascot and Newbury but bounced back to form with an impressive 16-length victory in a valuable Ascot handicap chase in January, 2011, when he was ridden for the first time by Andrew Thornton. Jumping errors once again cost Tatenen on his next two starts – in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton and the Byrne Group Plate at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival – but he was unlucky to be hampered twice on his first start of the 2011/2012 campaign in the Spinal Research the Atlantic 4 Gold Cup at Cheltenham in December, 2011.

Tatenen headed back to Ascot the following month to post a second successive victory in the handicap chase he had captured 12 months earlier as he rallied gamely to score by a head. He returned to the Berkshire course for the Betfair Ascot Chase in February, 2012, and ran respectably to finish fifth. Ill fortune struck Tatenen again in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National as his jockey Andrew Thornton was unseated after being hampered at the Canal Turn on the first circuit. This season has included three appearances in competitive handicap chases – commencing with a well-beaten sixth on heavy ground in the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup at Cheltenham on December 15. Tatenen faded in the closing stages to come home seventh in a Listed contest at Ascot on February 16 but produced a better effort in the extended two-mile Johnny Henderson Grand Annual at Cheltenham on March 15, when he stayed on to take sixth after being hampered twice. Jump Race Record: Starts: 29; Wins: 6; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £336,141


The Stewart Family
The Stewart family comprises London-based husband and wife, Andy and Judy Stewart, and their two sons, Mark and Paul. Paul, broke his back in a snowboarding accident in December, 2008, but has made tremendous progress to walk again and the family have sponsored several races at Cheltenham, including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the December Gold Cup for the benefit of Spinal Research.

Andy Stewart, 61, went to Felsted School in Essex and used to bunk off to go point-to-pointing at Marks Tey. He would also hitchhike to Liverpool to attend the Grand National meeting. He began work aged 17 in the fixed-interest department of Simon & Coates, eventually becoming a senior partner at that stockbroking firm. He became chief executive of Chase Manhattan Securities when it took over Simon & Coates. He founded broker Collins Stewart in 1991 and was executive deputy chairman when it floated on the Stock Exchange in 2000 before leaving the business in 2003.

He then founded Cenkos Securities, named after his first top-class racehorse, but resigned in 2010. Cenkos won 15 races and over half a million pounds in prize money and was twice third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The Stewart Family enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival success in 2008 when Celestial Halo won the JCB Triumph Hurdle. Celestial Halo was beaten a neck in the 2009 Champion Hurdle but the Stewarts have enjoyed further Festival glory with outstanding staying-hurdler Big Buck’s, who became the first horse to win four renewals of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in 2012 and broke Sir Ken’s record by winning his 17th consecutive race over jumps in the BGC Partners Liverpool Hurdle at last year’s John Smith’s Grand National meeting. The Stewart Family had a famous victory over the Grand National fences in 2008 with Gwanako in the John Smith’s Topham Chase.

Other good horses owned by Stewart, who was first involved with ownership in 1986 and really caught the racing bug when witnessing Desert Orchid’s emotional Cheltenham Gold Cup victory in 1989, include Tatenen, Le Duc, Le Roi Miguel and My Will. The Stewarts have around 20 horses in training, primarily with Paul Nicholls, including Salubrious – owned jointly with David Johnson – who won this year’s Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Le Duc and Le Roi Miguel both ran in the 2006 John Smith’s Grand National but in the colours of Simon Cowell, Philip Green and Stuart Rose, after the high-profile trio leased the horses for charity.

Andy Stewart has campaigned Flat horses in a five-strong partnership called the Searchers, also consisting of British Horseracing Authority chairman Paul Roy, Martin Myers, Trevor Harris and Kevan Watts, with Jeremy Noseda and enjoyed major success with Fleeting Spirit – winner of the 2009 July Cup at Newmarket. John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th); 2008 Turko (Fell 25th), 2009 My Will (3rd); 2010 My Will (Fell 4th); 2011 Ornais (Fell 4th); 2012 Tatenen (UR 8th)


Richard Rowe (Pulborough, West Sussex)
Born in Bordon, Hampshire, on November 11, 1959, Richard Rowe was a successful jockey over jumps, riding more then 550 winners until his retirement from the saddle in February, 1991, despite a career blighted by injury. The nephew of trainers Nelson and Joe Guest, Rowe spent his early life in Bury St Edmunds and gained early experience riding out for Toby Balding while he was still at school. He was briefly apprenticed to his uncle Nelson at Newmarket but went to work for Josh Gifford after his father rang the trainer to ask if he had any vacancies.

Rowe stayed with Gifford, who died at the age of 70 in February, 2012, for the whole of his career as a jockey – riding his first winner, Retaliation, at Stratford on May 13, 1977 and recording the final of 554 career successes on Super Sense at Sandown on February 2, 1991. The biggest victories of his career included Shady Deal’s success in the 1982 Whitbread Gold Cup, Vodkatini’s win in the Grand Annual Chase at the 1988 Cheltenham Festival and Deep Sensation’s triumph in the 1990 Tote Gold Trophy. Rowe took out a licence to train soon after retirement from the saddle, setting up at his livery yard at Storrington in West Sussex, and celebrated a first win as a trainer on December 5, 1991, as Glebelands Girl captured a selling hurdle at Taunton.

He became only the fourth person to ride and train a winner of the Whitbread Gold Cup in 1999 as he saddled Eulogy to victory in the Sandown highlight to add to his success on board Shady Deal 17 years earlier. Other notable horses to have been trained by Rowe include I’m Supposin, who took the Kingwell Hurdle in 1998, the 2000 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle winner Hariymi and Tatenen, who has recorded a pair of valuable handicap chase success at Ascot in 2011 and 2012. Richard has been married to Yvonne since 1985 and both their sons – Richard and Luke – have ridden under Rules.
John Smith’s Grand National Record: 1998 Yeoman Warrior (1998 PU Bef 19th); 1999 Frazer Island (Fell 22nd); 2012 Tatenen (UR 8th)

Teaforthree Factfile for 2013 Grand National


b g Oscar (IRE)-Ethel’s Bay (IRE) (Strong Gale)
9-11-03 Form: 3/421328/321P11-8620 Owner: T437
Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Breeder: M O’Sullivan

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

It took Teaforthree, who was born on June 6, 2004 and made 1,000 euros as a yearling, had four starts in Irish point-to-points before gaining his first success for trainer Tom Barry at Dromahane in March, 2010. Switched to Mick Winters, he finished third in a point-to-pointers’ bumper at Cork the following month, before heading to a Brightwells Cheltenham sale that May, when he was sold for £20,000 to trainer Rebecca Curtis’s partner Gearoid Costelloe.

After two bumper starts for Curtis, he was leased to the Sky sports show Soccer AM for whom he won a Ffos Las novices’ hurdle in November, 2010, and went on to be eighth behind Bobs Worth in the 2011 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. After the Soccer AM lease finished he was sold to his current owners, T437, ahead of the 2011/12 season. Long-distance chasing has proved his forte and, following two successes over three miles at Chepstow that season, he took the four-mile National Hunt Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival under J T McNamara.

After two warm-up races, he looked to have the Coral Welsh National at his mercy on January 5 until the late-finishing Monbeg Dude, under an inspired Paul Carberry ride, relegated him to second. His only subsequent start was when a distant 10th of 14 behind Well Refreshed in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on February 16, when his trainer felt he was unsuited by overnight stabling. He will travel to Aintree on Grand National day.
Race Record (under Rules): Starts: 17; Wins: 4; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place prize money: £85,197 T437


When Soccer AM’s lease of Teaforthree, organised with the help of Racing For Change (RFC), ran out one of RFC’s executives was keen not to bid farewell to the horse. Nigel Roddis, now Development Director (Betting) at RFC’s successor Great British Racing, got together a team of friends to form a partnership. There are five equal shares although – with two wives involved – it became T437.

Roddis, 43, hails from Yorkshire and is a lawyer whose career began with city firm Olswang. He has specialised in the betting industry. He joined the Tote in 2000, originally to deal with legal issues surrounding its sale but he progressed to run the company’s pool business. In 2006, he joined At The Races as international director. After a brief time out of racing, he joined Racing For Change in late 2009. Roddis’s wife Hannah, who works for the Jockey Club, shares his stake in Teaforthree, John O’Reilly, head of interactive at Coral bookmakers and previously a longstanding executive director at Ladbrokes, has a share with his wife Christine.

The remaining partners are media lawyer David Zeffman, who worked with Roddis at Olswang and has specialised in racing, lobbyist Chris Guyver, who owns Pepper Shackleton Wellard and has also represented racing, and James Conyers, who oversees legal affairs at Sky as the company’s General Counsel. All five partners are based in London ,although O’Reilly spends much of his time in Gibraltar. No previous John Smith’s Grand National runners

Rebecca Curtis (Pembrokeshire)
Curtis, who was born on April 1, 1980, grew up on Fforest Farm five miles from Fishguard on the Pembrokeshire coast, a place that has now become her training centre. She has been around horses all her life and started riding aged four, progressing to showjump for the Welsh junior team. She rode in point-to-points and her first job in racing was with nearby trainer Peter Bowen. She spent five years in America with trainers Richard Mandela and Dan Hendricks before coming home to take out a licence in 2008.

Her first winner was Mango Catcher at Chepstow on April 5 that year and her reputation has steadily grown in the intervening years. She enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival winner last year when Teaforthree won the National Hunt Chase and a second when At Fishers Cross took this season’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle to give her a first Grade One victory. The latter is owned by J P McManus, whose stable jockey A P McCoy has an excellent strike rate for the stable. Curtis is assisted by her partner, bloodstock agent Gearoid Costelloe, and she uses her family’s private beach to exercise her horses.
No previous John Smith’s Grand National runners

Treacle Factfile for 2013 Grand National



ch g Zaffaran (USA) – Current Liability (Caribo)

12-10-09 Form: 02/221453/61/3F/116PP/P/51423F-71 Owner: Bjorn Nielsen

Trainer: Tom Taaffe IRE Breeder: Mary & Brendan Fitzpatrick

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



Treacle, born on April 19, 2001, was bred by Mary & Brendan Fitzpatrick in Ireland and bought for 54,000 euros by bloodstock agent Jeremy Brummitt at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale in 2004. He went through the same ring again in 2005 for 36,000 euros. The John Smith’s Grand National has been the aim for Treacle ever since he became the property of Bjorn Nielsen who was inspired by watching Red Rum beat Crisp in the 1973 Grand National.

He finished eighth on his debut for trainer Tom Taaffe in a bumper at Gowran Park in February, 2006, and filled the runner-up spot on all three of his first starts over hurdles – at Fairyhouse, Killarney and Wexford. He lost his maiden tag with an emphatic 15-length victory at Cork in December, 2006, and ran respectable races in Grade Two company on his next two appearances at Naas and Fairyhouse, before ending his season with a good third in a competitive novice hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April, 2007. Treacle was sent chasing for the 2007/2008 campaign and he recorded a comfortable success on his second start over fences at Fairyhouse in October, 2007.

A leg injury sustained during that victory forced Treacle to miss the rest of the season and the majority of the following campaign and he finished third on his return to action in a Limerick handicap chase in March, 2009. Treacle fell on his next outing in another handicap chase at Fairyhouse the following month but he made amends with a comfortable success in a Listowel handicap chase in June, 2009. He followed up that win with another victory as he gamely repelled the challenge of Dashing George to take the Munster National at Limerick in October, 2009.

Raised 8lb for that win, Treacle struggled on his next four starts as he came home a well-beaten sixth after being hampered at the first fence in the Troytown Handicap Chase that November and was pulled up on his next three outings at Leopardstown, Punchestown and Cork. Treacle was given a break after taking fifth in a handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival in May, 2011, and he made a winning return at Gowran Park in October of the same year as he comfortably took a three-mile handicap chase. After a satisfactory performance in a veterans’ chase at Aintree over the Mildmay course, he came home second in the valuable Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas but produced a career best performance when third in the Grade One Irish Hennessy Gold Cup at the same course in February, 2012.

He went for the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National on the back of that run but got no further than the 10th where he fell. The 12-year-old has had a lighter campaign this season, finishing seventh of eight in a chase at Thurles over two and a quarter miles on February 28, before a decisive four length victory in the Daily Mirror Chase at Down Royal over three and a quarter miles on heavy ground on March 16.

Race Record: Starts: 26; Wins: 6; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £158,320



Bjorn Nielsen

Although based at Greenwich in Connecticut, USA, Bjorn Nielsen was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and grew up at Epsom in England, where he attended grammar school. He maintains strong ties with Britain and has stated he prefers the variety of racecourses in Britain compared to the USA. He, wife Debbie and their three daughters are longstanding American residents and he has been highly successful in the finance world, serving as managing director of Tudor Ventures, a private equity and venture capitalist firm.

He has been with the Tudor Investment Corporation for 24 years. Nielsen has been a major investor in horses for many years, using agents such as Jeremy Brummitt, Tom Goff and Charlie Gordon-Watson, and bloodstock advisor Simon Marsh. He was represented in the 1992 Derby by the Richard Hannon-trained Assessor, who finished ninth behind Dr Devious and went on to win the Group One Prix Royal-Oak and Group One Prix du Cadran in France.

Other flagbearers include the Roger Charlton-trained Tante Rose, whom he bought for 350,000 guineas at Wafic Said’s dispersal in 2003 and won the following year’s Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock, and the 2011 Ladbrokes St Leger victor Masked Marvel, trained by John Gosden. Nielsen bought the Kingsdown training centre in Lambourn in late 2009, with David Lanigan moving into the renovated stables in December, 2011. Most of the owner’s Flat string, of whom he had around 25 in 2012, are with Lanigan, although he still has horses with Gosden. Long-term breeding prospect Dorcas Lane was bought for 475,000 guineas in November, 2011. Nielsen has around a dozen broodmares at Lord & Lady Lloyd-Webber’s stud farms in Britain and Ireland. He is a keen tennis player.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2012 Treacle (Fell 10th)


Tom Taaffe IRE (Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland)

Tom Taaffe, who was born on June 15, 1963, is son of the peerless Arkle’s legendary jockey Pat Taaffe, who rode two Grand National winners in Quare Times (1955) and Gay Trip (1970). Tom took a giant stride into the limelight in 2005 thanks to his impeccable handling of Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Kicking King. Taaffe spent his schoolboy summers working for Arthur Moore and forged an association with the trainer that lasted 15 years, first as an amateur rider and then as a professional jockey.

He rode his first winner at Phoenix Park in 1981 and enjoyed a successful career in the saddle as a jump jockey, partnering 400 winners. He finished third in the 1988 Grand National aboard Monanore and began training from Portree Stables near Straffan in County Kildare in 1994. In 1998, he enjoyed his first Grade One triumph with Delphi Lodge in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse. Kicking King’s Gold Cup success, combined with his earlier King George VI Chase victory, enabled Taaffe to emulate his father, who saddled Captain Christy to victory in the same two races.

Apart from Kicking King, Taaffe has also enjoyed success at the Cheltenham Festival with Finger Onthe Pulse in the Rewards4Racing Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase and Ninetieth Minute in the Coral Cup. He won the 2010 Galway Plate with Finger OnThe Pulse. He has saddled four runners in the John Smith’s Grand National including Slim Pickings, who was beaten two lengths in total when coming home third behind Silver Birch in 2007 and finished fourth behind Comply Or Die 12 months later.

John Smith’s Grand National Record: 2007 Slim Pickings (3rd); 2008 Slim Pickings (4th), Tumbling Dice (UR 3rd); 2012 Treacle (Fell 10th)

Sunnyhillboy Factfile for 2013 Grand National

Sunnyhill Boy (right)
Sunnyhill Boy (right)


b g Old Vic – Sizzle (High Line)

10-11-04 Form: 14/311101/415312/03F/30P012-5P Owner: J P McManus

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Breeder: J P N Parker

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


Sunnyhillboy, born on April 30, 2003, was purchased at the 2003 Tattersalls Ireland November sale for 10,000 euros by Timmy Hyde on behalf of leading owner J P McManus. He was sent into training with Jonjo O’Neill in Britain and made a winning debut in a bumper at Huntingdon in November, 2007, prior to finishing fourth on his hurdling debut at Doncaster in January, 2008. He was put away for the season and returned at Bangor in September, 2008, putting in a promising display to only be beaten half a length when third in a novices’ hurdle.

Sunnyhillboy got off the mark in a handicap hurdle at Exeter the following month before two further victories on his next two outings at Cheltenham in November and Sandown in a Listed handicap hurdle. After three relatively quick runs, he was given a short break, returning for the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, for which he was well fancied, but he failed to produce his best form and finished 25th of the 27 runners.

However, he bounced back from that poor showing in the two and a half mile Listed Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle at the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, taking a competitive field apart to win by four lengths. He embarked on a chasing career in the 2009/10 season making his debut at Exeter in November but, despite strong market support, he could only finish fourth. With that run behind him, he got up late to win a two-mile novices’ chase at Lingfield three weeks later, but disappointed on his next two starts at Newbury in December and January where the heavy ground didn’t appear to suit.

A return to better ground coupled with the fact it was his handicap chase debut at Ludlow saw him beat his 11 rivals snugly by half a length, before running well at the Cheltenham Festival to finish second in the Byrne Group Plate. On the back of that effort, he was fancied to go one place better in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November, 2010, but lack of race fitness told and he could only finish seventh. As in previous seasons, that first run seemed to bring him on and he ran better in the December Gold Cup back at Cheltenham where he was only beaten seven lengths in third by the classy Poquelin.

Once again he was given a break and returned in March at the Cheltenham Festival, where he was sent off the 9/2 favourite for the JLT Specialty Chase, but a crashing fall at the seventh fence left favourite backers wondering what might have been. He then stepped up markedly in trip to contest the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday and, like at Cheltenham, he was the well-backed favourite but, after being settled towards the rear, he could never fully get into contention before staying on strongly for third. The Old Vic gelding returned last season over hurdles at Haydock in November, but could not get into the race until running on into seventh past beaten horses.

After a disappointing run over fences at Cheltenham in December and a satisfactory display over hurdles at Haydock in February, he put himself in the Aintree picture with an impressive victory in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He ran a tremendous race at Aintree and looked the winner as he kicked two lengths clear on the run-in, but couldn’t resist the final thrust of Neptune Collonges and was beaten a nose – the shortest ever winning distance ever in the John Smith’s Grand National.

This season has been geared around another tilt at the great race and he ran an eye-catching race first time out in the Betfair “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on November 24, staying on to take fifth. He disappointed on his next outing in a Pertemps qualifier at Warwick on January 12 in very soft ground, when pulling up and was withdrawn from the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on the morning of the race (March 15) following a bad scope.

Race Record: Starts: 25; Wins: 8; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £384,617


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 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)


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)

Seabass Factfile for 2013 Grand National

Seabass with Ted and Katie Walsh
Seabass with Ted and Katie Walsh


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 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


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)


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)