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Entries Announced For National Full Of Quality


Many of the best chasers in training are among the entries announced today for the 2012 running of the world’s most famous Jump race, the John Smith’s Grand National.

This year’s contest, taking place at Aintree on Saturday, April 14, has record prize money of £975,000 and among those engaged are Synchronised (16/1 co-favourite with Betfred), a runaway winner of the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28, Weird Al, who captured the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October, and Midnight Chase, successful in the Grade Two Argento Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Past Aintree form is understandably well represented and the 2011 winner, Weird Al’s stablemate Ballabriggs (16/1 co-favourite with Betfred), is one of two previous John Smith’s Grand National heroes in the field along with Mon Mome, who sprang a 100/1 surprise in 2009.

No less than 31 of the 82 entries are trained in Ireland and the country’s champion trainer Willie Mullins, successful in the 2005 John Smith’s Grand National with Hedgehunter, accounts for 12 of those including Apt Approach, winner of the Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on January 19.

On His Own, a facile winner of the Goffs Thyestes Chase on January 26, Quel Esprit, who captured the Grade Three Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase at Thurles on January 7, and The Midnight Club, who finished sixth when sent off favourite for last year’s John Smith’s Grand National, are also among the Mullins dozen.

 County Clare handler Noel Glynn is hoping that Becauseicouldntsee, (33/1 with Betfred) who fell at the second fence in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National, can fare considerably better in the 2012 race over four and a half miles and 30 fences.

The nine-year-old is set to run in the National Trial at Punchestown on Sunday as a stepping stone to Aintree.

 Glynn reported: “The John Smith’s Grand National is the plan again for Becauseicouldntsee and I hope that we get a bit further than last year! Hopefully, he will run in the National Trial at Punchestown on Sunday and we will take it from there.

“For such a good jumper, he had two nasty falls last year including at Leopardstown over Christmas, when he would have been there or thereabouts. He hurt his hip during that race but it’s all sorted now and he is moving good.

 “I am just a little afraid that those falls might have affected him mentally, so I am just hoping that he can post a clear round on Sunday to get his confidence back.

“He had no sort of preparation for Aintree last season after suffering a cut leg and we would love to get him back there.”

Other Irish-trained entries include the Shark Hanlon-trained Alfa Beat, who was bought for £75,000 in May by America’s champion Jump owner Irv Naylor as a John Smith’s Grand National prospect. The eight-year-old won the Kerry National at Listowel in September.

The Arthur Moore-trained Organisedconfusion won the 2011 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, while the rapidly-improving Seabass, winner of the Grade A Leopardstown Handicap Chase on Saturday, has been entered by trainer Ted Walsh, who landed the 2000 John Smith’s Grand National with Papillon.

Somerset-based handler David Pipe won the 2008 John Smith’s Grand National with Comply Or Die and he is responsible for Junior (16/1 co-favourite with Betfred), who missed the cut for last year’s contest.

The Henrietta Knight-trained Calgary Bay and Shakalakaboomboom from Nicky Henderson’s stable are a progressive duo who filled the first two places in Saturday’s Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster.

Hold On Julio, a late withdrawal from the Sky Bet Chase, has easily won both his starts for trainer Alan King, who has also engaged West End Rocker, winner of the Betfred Becher Chase over the National fences at Aintree on December 3.

Others with winning form over the National fences include Always Waining, winner of the John Smith’s Topham Chase in 2010 and 2011, and Stewarts House, winner of the Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase in December.

Le Beau Bai, winner of the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27, has been engaged along with Giles Cross and the Evan Williams-trained Cappa Bleu, who respectively finished second and third in the race. Cappa Bleu’s stablemate State Of Play, who has respectively finished fourth, third and fourth in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 John Smith’s Grand Nationals, is on course to appear again at Aintree this year.

 Meanwhile, high-class hunter-chaser Roulez Cool, owned, trained and bred by Robert Waley-Cohen and ridden by his son Sam, could carry the colours of last year’s runner-up Oscar Time.

The 2012 John Smith’s Grand National will be the first renewal since entry requirements were tightened. Only horses aged seven or above can now compete and every runner must have been placed in the first four of a chase of three miles or more by March 20 and be rated 120 or above.

 A maximum field of 40 again looks assured for this year’s race with all of the runners likely to be in the handicap.

 Julian Thick, Managing Director at Aintree Racecourse, commented: “The build-up really gets underway for the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National with today’s publication of entries.

 “We are delighted to see so many proven top-class chasers and winners of high-profile races engaged alongside a whole host of progressive younger horses in an entry that boasts great strength in depth.

 “The number of entries is down on last year, but we believe that this is a testament to the status of the race these days. Owners and trainers are now taking a more selective approach to the horses they enter, as the increasing quality of the runners we attract to the John Smith’s Grand National means that lower rated horses no longer have any prospect of a run. The list of horses entered this year reinforces that fact and suggests we can look forward to a stunning renewal on April 14.”

The weights for the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National, compiled especially for the race by British Horseracing Authority Head of Handicapping Phil Smith, are announced at the Grand National Launch in London on Tuesday, February 14.

 The two scratchings deadlines are on February 28 and March 20 with a five-day confirmation stage on April 9. The final declaration stage is at 10am on April 12 with a provision for four reserves.

 For further information, please contact Emma Owen, Aintree’s PR & Marketing Manager, on 0151 522 2906 or 07917 266511 or e-mail

 Betfred betting: 16/1 Ballabriggs, Junior, Synchronised; 20/1 Calgary Bay, Midnight Chase, on His Own, Quel Esprit, West End Rocker; 25/1 According to Pete, Always Right, Apt Approach, Burton Port, Cappa Bleu, Chicago Grey, Deep Purple, Hold on Julio, Little Josh, Planet of Sound, Prince De Beauchene, Roulez Cool, Seabass, Shakalakaboomboom, the Midnight Club; 33/1 Alfa Beat, Always Waining, Backstage, Becauseicouldntsee, Cooldine, Giles Cross, Hector's Choice, Killyglen, Le Beau Bai, Neptune Collonges, Niche Market, Organisedconfusion, Pearlysteps, Quantitativeeasing, Quiscover Fontaine, Roberto Goldback, State of Play, Stewarts House, Sunnyhillboy, Treacle, Viking Blond, Weird Al; 40/1 Arbor Supreme, Ballyvesey, Blazing Tempo, Fair Along, Massini's Maguire, Mon Mome, Neptune Equester, Our Island, Postmaster, Rare Bob, Some Target, Tatenen, the Package, Uncle Junior, Vic Venturi; 50/1 Abbeybraney, Another Palm, Any Currency, Black Apalachi, Hello Bud, in Compliance, King Fontaine, Midnight Haze, Northern Alliance, Qhilimar, Saddlers Storm, Shakervilz, Swing Bill, Tartak, Tharawaat, Wymott; 66/1 Crescent Island, Minella Theatre, Psycho, Schindler's Gold, Scotsirish, Smoking Aces



Class 1, Grade 3, £975,000 total prize fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 14, 2012, four miles and four furlongs. For seven-year-olds and upwards who, up to and including March 20, 2012, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and which are allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 12, 2012. Horses who are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including February 12 would merit a minimum rating of 120. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 12, 2012. At the handicapper's discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. The British Horseracing Authority has modified Rule (F)42.2.1 for the purposes of this race, such that racecourse performances up to and including Sunday, February 12, may be taken into account. A novice horse shall only be qualified to run in this race if it has run a minimum of three times in chases in Great Britain, Ireland or France in accordance with Rule (F)42.5. Highest weight 11st 10lb - no penalties after publication of the weights. Entries closed January 31, entries revealed February 1 (82 entries), weights revealed February 14, first scratchings deadline February 28, second scratchings deadline March 20. Five-day confirmation stage April 9, final declaration stage 10.00am, April 12. Maximum field size of 40, plus four reserves. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, January 30.


Form    Horse        Age  Owner          Trainer

2/31P/-FP  ABBEYBRANEY (IRE)    11   Sue Johnson        George Bewley

22-3011  ACCORDING TO PETE  11  Peter Nelson        Malcolm Jefferson

F-6041U  ALFA BEAT (IRE)    8  Irvin Naylor        John Hanlon IRE

2113-1P  ALWAYS RIGHT (IRE)    10  John Wade        John Wade

041-044  ALWAYS WAINING (IRE)  11  Mr & Mrs Peter James Douglas    Peter Bowen

6-12026  ANOTHER PALM (IRE)  7  M J M Racing Syndicate    Noel Meade IRE

32-3P40  ANY CURRENCY (IRE)  9  Cash Is King        Martin Keighley

2-FU111  APT APPROACH (IRE)    9  Greenstar Syndicate      Willie Mullins IRE

0P2F-60  ARBOR SUPREME (IRE)  10  J P McManus        Jonjo O'Neill

P/5000-P  BACKSTAGE (FR)    10  MPR & Capranny Syndicate    Gordon Elliott IRE

11/1121-  BALLABRIGGS (IRE)    11   Trevor Hemmings      Donald McCain

12-20P3  BALLYVESEY (IRE)    7  Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar    Peter Bowen

42F-63F  BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE (IRE) 9  Noel Glynn        Noel Glynn IRE

51U/022/-  BLACK APALACHI (IRE)  13  Gerard Burke        Dessie Hughes IRE

143111    BLAZING TEMPO (IRE)  8  Susannah Ricci        Willie Mullins IRE

11121/2-  BURTON PORT (IRE)    8  Trevor Hemmings      Nicky Henderson

2F-0511  CALGARY BAY (IRE)    9  Camilla Radford      Henrietta Knight

3F2P/-13  CAPPA BLEU (IRE)    10  William & Angela Rucker    Evan Williams

10-U303  CHICAGO GREY (IRE)    9  John Earls        Gordon Elliott IRE

3/5P-230  COOLDINE (IRE)    10  Jackie Mullins        Willie Mullins IRE

5U-P20P  CRESCENT ISLAND (IRE)  9  Sarah Bays Jill Scott Sarah MacEchern  Nigel Twiston-Davies

6/3U34-1  DEEP PURPLE    11  Paul Green        Evan Williams

4-U2634  FAIR ALONG (GER)    10  Alan Peterson        Philip Hobbs

3/P22-12  GILES CROSS (IRE)    10  KCMS Partnership      Victor Dartnall

1P-1323  HECTOR'S CHOICE (FR)  8  James and Jean Potter      Richard Lee

PP-5U65  HELLO BUD (IRE)    14  Seamus Murphy      Nigel Twiston-Davies

PP//1-11  HOLD ON JULIO (IRE)    9  Mr & Mrs F Bell, N Farrell, A Marsh  Alan King

431U0-P  IN COMPLIANCE (IRE)  12  Dessie Hughes        Dessie Hughes IRE

131/321-  JUNIOR      9  Middleham Park Racing LI    David Pipe

F-03034  KILLYGLEN (IRE)    10  David McCammon      Stuart Crawford IRE

50-PP0F  KING FONTAINE (IRE)    9  Trevor Hemmings      Malcolm Jefferson

P-0P011  LE BEAU BAI (FR)    9  Glass Half Full        Richard Lee

6/1155-6  LITTLE JOSH (IRE)    10  Tony Bloom        Nigel Twiston-Davies

235/3/1-P  MASSINI'S MAGUIRE (IRE)  11  Alan Peterson        David Pipe

115-F31  MIDNIGHT CHASE    10  Lady Clarke        Neil Mulholland

21/10P-1  MIDNIGHT HAZE    10  Kim Bailey Racing Partnership    Kim Bailey

0P3-5U2  MINELLA THEATRE (IRE)  9  Middleham Park Racing XXIV & Dan Gilbert Lawney Hill

63F/-52P  MON MOME (FR)    12  Vida Bingham        Venetia Williams

106-P42  NEPTUNE COLLONGES (FR)  11  John Hales        Paul Nicholls

30-3150  NEPTUNE EQUESTER    9  Koo's Racing Club      Brian Ellison

F505-02  NICHE MARKET (IRE)    11  Graham Regan        Paul Nicholls

500423-  NORTHERN ALLIANCE (IRE)  11  Irish Rover Syndicate      Tony Martin IRE

14P1-B1  ON HIS OWN (IRE)    8  Andrea & Graham Wylie    Willie Mullins IRE

12-133F  ORGANISEDCONFUSION (IRE) 7  Grace Dunlop        Arthur Moore IRE

0-42026  OUR ISLAND (IRE)    7  David Fox        Tim Vaughan

2130-F2  PEARLYSTEPS    9  The Glazeley Partnership    Henry Daly

F01/35-2  PLANET OF SOUND    10  Charles Lloyd-Baker      Philip Hobbs

FP-2661  POSTMASTER      10  The Bill & Ben Partnership    Tim Vaughan

U5351-5  PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR) 9  Andrea & Graham Wylie    Willie Mullins IRE

0F2224  PSYCHO (IRE)      11  Exors of The Late C McClure    Tony Martin IRE

R-120U3  QHILIMAR (FR)    8  Whites of Coventry & Stephen Dunn  Charlie Longsdon

112-021  QUANTITATIVEEASING (IRE)  7  J P McManus        Nicky Henderson

1FF-F11  QUEL ESPRIT (FR)    8  Red Barn Syndicate      Willie Mullins IRE

2F-4010  QUISCOVER FONTAINE (FR)  8  J P McManus        Willie Mullins IRE

PU-3450  RARE BOB (IRE)    10  D A Syndicate        Dessie Hughes IRE

1U3043  ROBERTO GOLDBACK (IRE)  10  Seamus Dunne        Dessie Hughes IRE

//U1/2B/1-  ROULEZ COOL    9  Robert Waley-Cohen      Robert Waley-Cohen

0/660-P4  SADDLERS STORM (IRE)  10  Billy Moffett, R T & J McLoughlin  Tony Martin IRE

11PPP0  SCHINDLER'S GOLD (IRE)  10  Dr Richard & Laura Newland    Dr Richard Newland

363144    SCOTSIRISH (IRE)    11  Double R Stables Syndicate    Willie Mullins IRE

F11/-111  SEABASS (IRE)    9  Gunners Syndicate      Ted Walsh IRE

000-112  SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM (IRE) 8  Liam Breslin        Nicky Henderson

30/-003P  SHAKERVILZ (FR)    9  Jackie Mullins        Willie Mullins IRE

05-3410  SMOKING ACES (IRE)    8  J P McManus        Tom Taaffe IRE

PP24U6  SOME TARGET (IRE)    8  Captain Conflict Syndicate    Willie Mullins IRE

144/P3/4-  STATE OF PLAY    12  William & Angela Rucker    Evan Williams

P0-5121  STEWARTS HOUSE (IRE)  10  Double Trouble Partnership    Tim Vaughan

03F-30P  SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE)    9  J P McManus        Jonjo O'Neill

2313P2  SWING BILL (FR)    11  David Johnson        David Pipe

13-P031  SYNCHRONISED (IRE)  9  J P McManus        Jonjo O'Neill

04-5060  TARTAK (FR)      9  David Fox        Tim Vaughan

3100-01  TATENEN (FR)    8  The Stewart Family      Richard Rowe

4-P1300  THARAWAAT (IRE)    7  Gigginstown House Stud    Gordon Elliott IRE

3/216-B4  THE MIDNIGHT CLUB (IRE)  11  Susannah Ricci        Willie Mullins IRE

312U5/5-  THE PACKAGE    9  David Johnson        David Pipe

P/P-5142  TREACLE (IRE)    11  Bjorn Nielsen        Tom Taaffe IRE

140310    UNCLE JUNIOR (IRE)    11  Mrs M McMahon      Willie Mullins IRE

0044B-2  VIC VENTURI (IRE)    12  J P Dunne        Dessie Hughes IRE

00-143P  VIKING BLOND (FR)    7  Caroline Mould        Nigel Twiston-Davies

1/10P-13  WEIRD AL (IRE)    9    Brannon, Dennis, Dick, Holden     Donald McCain

11PB-P1  WEST END ROCKER (IRE)  10  Barry Winfield & Tim Leadbeater  Alan King

1P-6P60  WYMOTT (IRE)    8  Trevor Hemmings      Donald McCain


82 entries

31 Irish-trained


Willie Mullins IRE (12)

(2005 Hedgehunter)

Apt Approach

Blazing Tempo


On His Own

Prince de Beauchene

Quel Esprit

Quiscover Fontaine



Some Target

The Midnight Club

Uncle Junior


Dessie Hughes IRE (5)

Black Apalachi

In Compliance

Rare Bob

Roberto Goldback

Vic Venturi


David Pipe (4)

(2008 Comply Or Die)


Massini’s Maguire

Swing Bill

The Package


Nigel Twiston-Davies (4)

(1998 Earth Summit,

2002 Bindaree)

Crescent Island

Hello Bud

Little Josh

Viking Blond


Tim Vaughan (4)

Our Island


Stewarts House



Gordon Elliott IRE (3)

(2007 Silver Birch)


Chicago Grey



Nicky Henderson (3)

Burton Port




Jonjo O’Neill (3)

(2010 Don’t Push It)

Arbor Supreme




Tony Martin IRE (3)

Northern Alliance


Saddlers Storm


Donald McCain (3)

(2011 Ballabriggs)


Weird Al



Evan Williams (3)

Cappa Bleu

Deep Purple

State Of Play


Peter Bowen (2)

Always Waining



Philip Hobbs (2)

Fair Along

Planet Of Sound


Malcolm Jefferson (2)

According To Pete

King Fontaine


Alan King (2)

Hold On Julio

West End Rocker


Richard Lee (2)

Hector’s Choice

Le Beau Bai


Paul Nicholls (2)

Neptune Collonges

Niche Market


Tom Taaffe IRE (2)

Smoking Aces



Kim Bailey (1)

(1990 Mr Frisk)

Midnight Haze


George Bewley (1)



Stuart Crawford IRE (1)


Henry Daly (1)


Victor Dartnall (1)

Giles Cross

Brian Ellison (1)

Neptune Equester


Noel Glynn IRE (1)


John Hanlon IRE (1)

Alfa Beat

Lawney Hill (1)

Minella Theatre

Martin Keighley (1)

Any Currency

Henrietta Knight (1)

Calgary Bay


Charlie Longsdon (1)



Noel Meade IRE (1)

Another Palm

Arthur Moore IRE (1)


Neil Mulholland (1)

Midnight Chase


Dr Richard Newland (1)

Schindler’s Gold

Richard Rowe (1)


John Wade (1)

Always Right

Robert Waley-Cohen (1)

Roulez Cool

Ted Walsh IRE (1)

(2000 Papillon)


Venetia Williams (1)

(2009 Mon Mome)

Mon Mome

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