• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Grand National entries highest for five years

A total of 115 entries, the highest since 2009, have been attracted to the first £1m Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on April 5.

Willie Mullins, successful with Hedgehunter in 2005, has eight possibles including the Graham Wylie-owned trio of On His Own, Prince De Beauchene and Boston Bob.

The other members of the County Carlow handler's team are Leopardstown Paddy Power Chase winner Rockyaboya, Up The Beat, Vesper Bell, last season's Irish Grand National runner-up Away We Go and Quel Esprit.

Fellow Irish trainer Martin Brassil, who struck with Numbersixvalverde in 2006, could be represented in this year's showpiece by Double Seven, who was last seen completing a five-timer at Wexford in October.

The JP McManus-owned eight-year-old recorded a two-length verdict over Spring Heeled in the Munster National over three miles at Limerick earlier the same month.

Brassil said: "Double Seven has got a rating now that means he will be running in either a Crabbie's Grand National or an Irish Grand National come the spring. It's an obvious entry to make for a horse rated 146.

"He had a break for about six weeks after Wexford and is back in training now getting ready for a spring campaign. I think the good ground and fine weather we had over the summer helped him. We also put cheekpieces on and they seem to have also made a difference."

Only two of the first six home last year have entries this time; the third Teaforthree, trained by Rebecca Curtis, and the sixth, David Pipe's Swing Bill, owned by Halewood International, parent company of Crabbie's.

With last year's 66-1 winner Auroras Encore retired through injury, trainer Sue Smith relies on Mr Moonshine and Vintage Star.

Paul Nicholls secured his first National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and has seven entries this year, headed by the 13-year-old Tidal Bay.

The Ditcheat trainer is also responsible for Welsh Grand National runner-up Hawkes Point, There's No Panic, Rocky Creek, Kauto Stone, Mon Parrain and Sire Collonges.

Jonjo O'Neill, successful with Don't Push It for principal patron McManus in 2010, has also made seven entries, headed by the same owner's Sunnyhillboy, beaten a nose by Neptune Collonges in 2012, Alfie Sherrin, Merry King, Burton Port, Lost Glory, Storm Survivor and Twirling Magnet.

Pipe, who sent out Comply Or Die to win in 2008, has six engaged with Swing Bill joined by Standing Ovation, Our Father, Goulanes, Junior and The Package.

Last season's Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude, trained by Michael Scudamore, and Hennessy Gold Cup victor Triolo D'Alene are the 20-1 joint-favourites with Betfred.

Triolo D'Alene, winner of last year's Topham Chase over the famous fences, is with champion trainer Nicky Henderson, who has yet to win the race.

The Lambourn handler has also entered the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Long Run, Hunt Ball, Shakalakaboomboom and Quantitativeeasing.

Other notable entries include yhe Scottish Grand National scorer Godsmejudge from the Alan King yard and Kim Muir Challenge Cup winner Same Difference, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

209215