Thursday, March 04, 2010




Just 13 horses came out at the latest scratchings stage for this year’s £925,000 John Smith’s Grand National meaning 98 contenders go forward for what will be the richest Jump race ever run in Britain when taking place at 4.15pm at Aintree on Saturday, April 10.

There has been no rise in the weights for the famous four and a half mile showpiece as the trio who head the handicap on 11st 10lb, Albertas Run, Madison Du Berlais and Notre Pere, are all among the acceptors.

Ellerslie George has been in fine form since joining Dorset trainer Nick Mitchell from Howard Johnson’s County Durham yard in the summer, and the 10-year-old is being primed for a tilt at the John Smith’s Grand National on Saturday, April 10.

Mitchell’s charge has triumphed twice from four starts this term, each time ridden by owner Guy Henderson’s amateur rider son Robert. Those victories include a career best effort in the Listed Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton in November, when Ellerslie George saw off The Tother One by a length and a half.

The gelding’s latest start, in the Handicap Chase at Ascot on January 23, saw him finish eighth of the 13 runners.

Mitchell revealed: “At the moment we are planning to go to Aintree for the John Smith’s Grand National. He’s fine after his last run when we were forced to go to Ascot with him. The ground was far too soft - he doesn’t like soft ground. He had a bit of a broken preparation with cancellations and a foot problem, which is absolutely fine now, so we took him there to get a run into him. He had a good blow and has come on.

“If it remains dry, we are hoping to go to Newbury on Saturday. If not, we might have to go straight to Aintree but it all depends on the weather and the ground.”

Henderson is not qualified to continue the partnership in the John Smith’s Grand National, but with Ellerslie George having completed the famous course twice previously, Mitchell has had plenty of interest from jockeys keen to take the ride at Liverpool.

The trainer continued: “Robert is not qualified to ride him but I have a couple of jockeys up my sleeve - there are a few who are keen to ride him. As I said to them, I’ll get this weekend out of the way and then probably make a decision.

“When he ran in the Becher Chase the ground was heavy and in last season’s John Smith’s Topham he made a bad mistake at the first, went down on his nose and never got back into it. But he got round both times, he has experience of the fences and you never know.”

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has five horses remaining in one of the few big races still to elude him, including the antepost favourite Tricky Trickster. Last year’s John Smith’s Grand National third My Will and Taranis, both also possibles for the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, Nozic and Big Fella Thanks complete Nicholls’ team.

Six of the last 11 John Smith’s Grand Nationals have gone to Irish raiders and there are 31 remaining contenders who could add to that impressive record.

Among the leading Irish-trained contenders are Becher Chase winners Vic Venturi and Black Apalachi, who finished first and second in the recent Grade Two Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse, and the Gordon Elliott-trained Backstage, who has not run over fences since August.

Elliott has also kept the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National hero Silver Birch in the field, although he is not guaranteed to get a run with a maximum of 40 runners allowed to go to post. The 13-year-old is currently number 69 in the list of entries.

The 2006 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup hero War Of Attrition, who has a weight of 11st 1lb, remains in the race, while trainer Willie Mullins has seven entries still engaged including Snowy Morning, who finished third in the 2008 John Smith’s Grand National and ninth in last year’s renewal.

Silver Birch is one of three past John Smith’s Grand National winners still in the 2010 field. Last year’s 100/1 shock scorer Mon Mome along with the 2008 victor Comply Or Die, who finished second in 2009, also go forward.

Indeed, the first six from last year’s race could meet again. As well as Mon Mome, Comply Or Die and My Will, the first three home in 2009, fourth-placed State Of Play, Cerium (fifth) and Big Fella Thanks, who came sixth, are all still in this year’s contest.

Comply Or Die’s trainer David Pipe has no less than nine entries still remaining including The Package, who is currently favourite for the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase at Cheltenham while among the other leading contenders is last season’s Irish Grand National hero Niche Market, star of Bob Buckler’s stable, and Welsh National hero Dream Alliance, who boasts a great rags-to-riches story.

There is a second scratchings stage on March 23 ahead of the five-day confirmation deadline on April 5 and the final declaration stage on April 8.


Class 1, Grade 3, £925,000 total Prize Fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 10, 2010, four miles and four furlongs. For six-year-olds old and upwards which are allotted a rating of 110 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 14, 2010. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at February 2, 2010, may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances to February 14, 2010, would merit a minimum rating of 110. To qualify horses must have run at least three times in Steeple Chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Turf Authority up to and including February 14, 2010. At the Handicapper's discretion such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. No penalties after publication of the weights. Highest weight 11st 10lb. Entries closed February 2, entries revealed February 3 (112 entries. 1 subsequently scratched), weights revealed February 16, first scratchings deadline March 2 (98 remain), second scratchings deadline March 23. Five/six-day confirmation stage April 5, final declaration stage 10.00am, April 8. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, March 1.

Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer

1) 03-P1362 ALBERTAS RUN (IRE) 9-11-10 Trevor Hemmings Jonjo O'Neill

2) 101-3244 MADISON DU BERLAIS (FR) 9-11-10 Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds II David Pipe

3) 12-1F544U NOTRE PERE (FR) 9-11-10 Tilly Conway Jim Dreaper IRE

4) 12/14P/-1 TARANIS (FR) 9-11-09 Angela Yeoman Paul Nicholls

5) 4-61r012 OUR VIC (IRE) 12-11-08 David Johnson David Pipe

6) 001-P346 MON MOME (FR) 10-11-07 Vida Bingham Venetia Williams

7) P151U-02 BLACK APALACHI (IRE) 11-11-06 Gerard Burke Dessie Hughes IRE

8) 15-5003 JOE LIVELY (IRE) 11-11-06 Richard Dimond Colin Tizzard

9) 0-211501 VIC VENTURI (IRE) 10-11-06 James Dunne Dessie Hughes IRE

10) 1/P002-0 COMPLY OR DIE (IRE) 11-11-05 David Johnson David Pipe

11) 201-423 DON'T PUSH IT (IRE) 10-11-05 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill

12) 43-3U2404 MADE IN TAIPAN (IRE) 8-11-04 Frances Duffin/Sean Corby Tom Mullins IRE

13) 401-0352 NICHE MARKET (IRE) 9-11-04 Graham Regan Bob Buckler

14) 22121-21 TRICKY TRICKSTER (IRE) 7-11-04 Chris Giles Paul Nicholls

15) P15P-14 CASEY JONES (IRE) 9-11-03 Gillian Burke Noel Meade IRE

16) 31FU-364 CLOUDY LANE 10-11-03 Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain Jnr

17) PUPP/-21P DREAM ALLIANCE 9-11-03 The Alliance Partnership Philip Hobbs

18) 1P00-60 NOZIC (FR) 9-11-03 Sam Mcvie Paul Nicholls

19) 3201-11 POSSOL (FR) 7-11-03 Neville Statham Henry Daly

20) 553-205 MY WILL (FR) 10-11-02 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls

21) 3606-4F PABLO DU CHARMIL (FR) 9-11-02 Joe Moran David Pipe

22) P230411 WAR OF ATTRITION (IRE) 11-11-01 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE

23) 0112313 BACKSTAGE (FR) 8-11-00 MPR & Capranny Syndicate Gordon Elliott IRE

24) P6-51110 BALLYHOLLAND (IRE) 9-11-00 Cathal McGovern Colin McBratney IRE

25) FP-1P1P BEAT THE BOYS (IRE) 9-11-00 New Club Ladies Nigel Twiston-Davies

26) 100-000U PREISTS LEAP (IRE) 10-11-00 John O'Donohue/Tom O'Leary Tom O'Leary IRE

27) 212//U1-2(1)(1) ROULEZ COOL 7-11-00 Robert Waley-Cohen Robert Waley-Cohen

28) 314F-01 CAN'T BUY TIME (IRE) 8-10-13 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill

29) 1P1-01313 LE BEAU BAI (FR) 7-10-13 Glass Half Full Richard Lee

30) 11411P SEVEN IS MY NUMBER (IRE) 8-10-13 David Johnson David Pipe

31) 1103223 SNOWY MORNING (IRE) 10-10-13 Quayside Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE

32) 22506-P3 AIR FORCE ONE (GER) 8-10-12 Brian Walsh (Co. Kildare) Charlie Mann

33) 2U136-2U BIG FELLA THANKS 8-10-12 Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber Paul Nicholls

34) 113-4123 DEUTSCHLAND (USA) 7-10-12 Allan McLuckie Willie Mullins IRE

35) 4/2D133- LOUPING D'AINAY (FR) 11-10-12 Jean-Paul Senechal Francois Cottin FR

36) 143301-0 CHARACTER BUILDING (IRE) 10-10-11 Mrs E Wright John Quinn

37) F0-5260 CHELSEA HARBOUR (IRE) 10-10-11 Frances Duffin/Sean Corby Tom Mullins IRE

38) 02U-301F DOONEYS GATE (IRE) 9-10-11 Thomas Gilligan Willie Mullins IRE

39) P2-205P0 GONE TO LUNCH (IRE) 10-10-11 Gary Lever Jeremy Scott

40) 4116-6P KORNATI KID 8-10-11 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs

41) 60/144-P STATE OF PLAY 10-10-11 William & Angela Rucker Evan Williams

42) 00-1210 ELLERSLIE GEORGE (IRE) 10-10-10 Guy Henderson Nick Mitchell

43) 112130- FOLLOW THE PLAN (IRE) 7-10-10 Cavan Developments Bloodstock Oliver McKiernan IRE

44) 2P-4P154 BALLYFITZ 10-10-09 Fred Mills & Wayne Mills Nigel Twiston-Davies

45) 043545U CONNA CASTLE (IRE) 11-10-09 Kings Syndicate Jimmy Mangan IRE

46) P23-15P EQUUS MAXIMUS (IRE) 10-10-09 Greenstar Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE

47) 02P5-01 ERIC'S CHARM (FR) 12-10-09 Martin St Quinton & Peter Deal Oliver Sherwood

48) 212/0-000 KING JOHNS CASTLE (IRE) 11-10-09 J P McManus Arthur Moore IRE

49) 0F2-30546 OLLIE MAGERN 12-10-09 Roger Nicholls Nigel Twiston-Davies

50) 330-30U2 ARBOR SUPREME (IRE) 8-10-08 J P McManus Willie Mullins IRE

51) 03-635P CANE BRAKE (IRE) 11-10-08 Mount Temple Racing Sydicate Tom Taaffe IRE

52) 36244/-66 LENNON (IRE) 10-10-08 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson

53) 02P-253 MALJIMAR (IRE) 10-10-08 Jane Williams Nick Williams

54) 0/1P025/- NEW ALCO (FR) 9-10-08 D McGowan & S Murphy Ferdy Murphy

55) U01-4U5 IRISH RAPTOR (IRE) 11-10-07 Caroline Beresford-Wylie Nigel Twiston-Davies

56) 6P/6220- MR POINTMENT (IRE) 11-10-07 Judith Wilson Paul Murphy

57) F-051FP PARSONS PISTOL (IRE) 8-10-07 Robert Bagnall Noel Meade IRE

58) 000-33010 PIRAYA (FR) 7-10-07 Terry Neill David Pipe

59) 13-012401 RAZOR ROYALE (IRE) 8-10-07 Colin Cornes Nigel Twiston-Davies

60) 03-0231 THE PACKAGE 7-10-07 David Johnson David Pipe

61) 11-035B0 HELLO BUD (IRE) 12-10-06 Seamus Murphy Nigel Twiston-Davies

62) P31314/-5 IRIS DE BALME (FR) 10-10-06 Lee Power & Geoff Peck Sean Curran

63) 1P6-142 PALYPSO DE CREEK (FR) 7-10-06 Alan Halsall Charlie Longsdon

64) 11P/11-1 TRUST FUND (IRE) 12-10-06 Lord Daresbury Richard Barber

65) 23/32-31 ABBEYBRANEY (IRE) 9-10-05 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson

66) 50PP/05- CERIUM (FR) 9-10-05 Judith Wilson Paul Murphy

67) P63/52-P FLINTOFF (USA) 9-10-05 Andrew Flintoff & Paul Beck Venetia Williams

68) 56/-33P5 ROYAL ROSA (FR) 11-10-05 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson

69) 0F-26r2 SILVER BIRCH (IRE) 13-10-05 Brian Walsh (Co. Kildare) Gordon Elliott IRE

70) 2F0-2260 COE (IRE) 8-10-04 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith

71) P-3PP46 KNOWHERE (IRE) 12-10-04 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies

72) 3025-056 OODACHEE 11-10-04 Modreeny Syndicate Charlie Swan IRE

73) P4F1311 WHINSTONE BOY (IRE) 9-10-04 Whinstone Syndicate Jimmy Mangan IRE

74) 0P03-40 FAASEL (IRE) 9-10-03 Hush Hush Partnership David Pipe

75) 30-01233 MUMBLES HEAD (IRE) 9-10-03 Karen Bowen Peter Bowen

76) P/1r40P- OFFICIER DE RESERVE (FR) 8-10-03 Seasons Holidays Venetia Williams

77) 456-2320 SIZING AUSTRALIA (IRE) 8-10-03 Ann & Alan Potts Partnership Henry de Bromhead IRE

78) 1/1///P6-4U TRABOLGAN (IRE) 12-10-03 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson

79) 115-3001 CHIEF DAN GEORGE (IRE) 10-10-02 Maurice Chapman Jimmy Moffatt

80) 111P20 DUERS (IRE) 8-10-02 Kate Kelly/Kate Ronan Paul Magnier IRE

81) P01-1U0 BALLYTRIM (IRE) 9-10-01 Violet O'Leary Willie Mullins IRE

82) 20-0U00 OFFSHORE ACCOUNT (IRE) 10-10-01 Brian Polly Charlie Swan IRE

83) 0/-P220P6 PAK JACK (FR) 10-10-01 The Pak Jack Partnership Richard Phillips

84) 51-63F3 BOYCHUK (IRE) 9-10-00 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs

85) 366//4-54 KINGS ADVOCATE (IRE) 10-10-00 Maine Syndicate Tom Taaffe IRE

86) 1/3F-116P TREACLE (IRE) 9-10-00 Bjorn Nielsen Tom Taaffe IRE

87) 145-261 GALANT NUIT (FR) 6-9-13 David Parry Ferdy Murphy

88) 00F421 ANOTHERCOPPERCOAST (IRE)10-9-12 Eileen Queally Paul Roche IRE

89) 31F4-22 BELON GALE (IRE) 7-9-12 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson

90) 45-0600P POMME TIEPY (FR) 7-9-12 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE

91) 61021-02D MERIGO (FR) 9-9-10 Raymond & Anita Anderson Green Andrew Parker

92) 53414-00 CHIARO (FR) 8-9-09 Andrew Cohen Philip Hobbs

93) 5/44-U335P ACCORDING TO JOHN (IRE) 10-9-08 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Richards

94) 24-512P0 LORUM LEADER (IRE) 9-9-07 Dr Richard & Laura Newland Dr Richard Newland

95) 1342/-0PP OVER THE CREEK 11-9-04 David Johnson David Pipe

96) 253-346 COSSACK DANCER (IRE) 12-9-01 The United Front Partnership Mark Bradstock

97) 0/13P/-FP52 WEE ROBBIE 10-9-00 P H Betts (Holdings) Ltd Nick Gifford

98) 2U1/P6P-4P OFFALY (IRE) 9-8-12 The Pole to Pole Partnership Pru Townsley

98 entries remain after March 2 scratchings deadline

31 Irish-trained

1 French-trained


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




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