Friday, 6 September 2019

Lucinda Russell Jubilant as One For Arthur Claims the 2017 Grand National Title

Grand National 2017
The pre race favourite Blaklion was backed into 8-1 with Noel Fehily in the saddle and a fine and bright Aintree witnessed the opening throws of the race they’d all been waiting for. Such was the anticipation that two false starts had to be endured before the 169th Randox Health Grand National got underway, but it did, much to the delight of the gathered thousands.

Roi de Franc was the early pace setter, as the first two fences proved too much for Cocktails at Dawn and Vicente. Sam Waley Cohen was forced out on The Young Master just 5 fences later at Becher’s Brook, along with the Raz de Maree as the still 36 strong field jumped the Foinavon fence bathed in brilliant sunshine.

The lead changed hands a number of times and by the Canal Turn, there was a new leader in the form of Rogue Angel ridden by Bryan Cooper with Roi de France tucked in behind closely in 2nd.

The Chair

At the halfway stage, it was ‘as you were’ with the red nose band of Roi de Franc leading by 3 lengths from Rogue Angel and the rest of the field were spread over almost a furlong. Jack Kennedy’s horse was carried out by a riderless horse around the bend, losing a lot of ground, but the 50-1 shot recovered strongly to regain the lead before the next fence.

Around Becher’s again and with the finishing line just 8 fences away, Rogue Angel was looking the stronger of the leading pair, with many wondering just how much energy Roi de Franc would have left after having to recover after nearly exiting the race.

The favourite Blaklion moved with intent to the head of the field shortly after, with Rogue Angel beginning to fade, but Roi de Franc was still hanging in in 3rd. Noel Fehily was really pushing Blaklion over the Melling Road, pulling away to a 3 length lead, but the chasing pack of 10 or so horses included One For Arthur who was travelling particularly well.

Blaklion faltered at the 2nd last, as One For Arthur collided into the back of Noel Fehily’s horse and seem to come out of it looking the stronger of the two and the Scottish trained horse, ridden by Derek Fox struck for home with the crowd seeming to will him home.

Scottish Delight

It would seem to have worked, as One For Arthur stormed through the elbow, leaving Cause For Causes and Davy Russell on Saint Are in his wake and winning by almost 5 lengths. The scottish flags were waving in delight across Aintree, as this Lucinda Russell trained gelding took the accolades and the £561,300 first prize.

A fantastic National day was made all the sweeter to find out that despite there being 21 fallers in the race, all of the horses had returned to their stables safe and sound.

A great day for the sport indeed!

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Rule the World Streaks Home to Win the 2016 Aintree Grand National

Grand National 2016
History repeated itself before the 2016 Crabbie Grand National, as O'Faolains Boy was declared lame on the morning of the race, reducing the field to 39. Another absentee of note was Pineau de Re, the 2014 winner, who didn’t qualify fast enough for the final 40.

Last year’s winner, Many Clouds was installed as 8-1 joint favourite with The Last Samurai, meaning Leighton Aspell was in with a shout of making it 3 Grand National Winners in succession, a feat that had never been achieved by anyone in the 167 previous runnings of the race.

Another wonderfully bright and sunny day graced Aintree at the start of the big 4.15 race. The field got underway with no problems and the first few fences would see Hadrian’s Approach, Holywell and First Lieutenant fall. The running was quite uneventful, with the expected amount of vying for position and 50-1 outsider Aachen as the surprise front runner, with Many Clouds and The Last Samurai well placed.


Though the fall count had been mercifully low up until the approach to the 21st fence, this was about to markedly change as the next two fences (including Becher’s Brook) saw more than a fifth of the field have their races cut short. Amongst them were Denis O’Regan on The Druid’s Nephew, Soll and Sam Waley-Cohen’s mount Black Thunder.

Second Circuit

The two favourites were well in contention over Canal Turn, with last year’s runner up Saint Are in front and looking strong. The going was heavy and several riders who had been in contention were beginning to feel the pace, as the three riders headed for home. The Last Samurai looked to steal a march, but was being tracked by the Mouse Morris trained Rule The World that had joined the front and as Many Clouds made a big mistake and falling four from home, it became a three horse race.

There was nothing in it over the last and going through the elbow, Rule The World edged in front to finish 6 lengths clear.

Having never won over fences before, Rule The World had triumphed in the biggest steeplechase in the sport, truly living up to his name. David Mullins and Mouse Morris were cockahoop as it had turned out to be an unexpectedly momentous day for them and for the Gigginstown House Stud.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Leighton Aspell Returns to Aintree to Win Back to Back Grand Nationals (2015)

Grand National 2015
There was a clear punter’s favourite going into the 2015 Crabbie Grand National, as AP McCoy was bidding for a first win in the race since 2010, with his horse Shutthefrontdoor backed into 6-1. There were just 39 runners for the first time in 11 years after number 14, Carlito Brigante was declared as a non-runner shortly before the race and a glorious Aintree, bathed in sunshine, roared as the starter raised his flag.

They sped towards the first fence, which was cleared by all but three horses, as outsiders Ely Brown and Gas Line Boy came a cropper, along with Denis O’Regan on Al Co. Bob Ford was the lead horse heading towards the second, but it was too early to tell how the race would pan out.


A clearer picture was forming over Becher’s for the first time, as Rebel Rebellion took the initiative to pull 2 lengths ahead of the nearest challenger. By the Canal Turn, the casualty count had risen to nine, with Richard John and Balthazar King falling, also taking Ruby Walsh on Ballycasey out of the race as he did so.

Ryan Mahon was still travelling well at the front on Rebel Rebellion heading towards the half way point of the race and the chasing pack included favourite Shutthefrontdoor in around 6th place. A great cheer rose into the sky as the horses passed in front of the grandstand with the field beginning to stretch out and 33-1 shot Rainbow Hunter joined the lead with Aidan Coleman on The Druid’s Nephew.


The same three shared the lead going over Becher’s for the second time as an announcement came out over the tannoy that obstructions at Canal Turn would meant it would be omitted from the rest of the race. Rebel Rebellion started to tire shortly after and dropped well away, leaving The Druid’s Nephew, Soll and Many Clouds contending for the lead, with Shutthefrontdoor on their shoulder.

The 4th from last saw the end of the action for The Druid’s Nephew as AP looked to be moving ominously towards the front, but it was Many Clouds ridden by last year’s winning jockey Leighton Aspell that was setting the pace.

Irish Joy

This is how it stayed for the rest of the race and it was Leighton Aspell who provided Trevor Hemmings with his first National winner since Ballabriggs in 2011. It was the first time a jockey had won back to back Nationals since the mid 70s when the feat was achieved by Brian Fletcher on the legend that was Red Rum.

It had been another great occasion at Aintree and none thought more so than everyone connected to Many Clouds.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Royal Ascot 2019: Day Five Results

14:30 CHESHAM STAKES (Listed)
1st  James Doyle silk  12. PINATUBO (IRE) 3/1
2nd  Ryan Moore silk  9. LOPE Y FERNANDEZ (IRE) 5/4 f
3rd  Raul Da Silva silk  7. HIGHLAND CHIEF (IRE) 14/1
Jockey: James Doyle 
Trainer: Charlie Appleby

15:05 JERSEY STAKES (Group 3)
1st  Daniel Tudhope silk  14. SPACE TRAVELLER 25/1
2nd  James Doyle silk  13. SPACE BLUES (IRE) 5/2 f
3rd  Robert Havlin silk  17. ANGEL'S HIDEAWAY (IRE) 14/1
All 18 ran.
Jockey: Daniel Tudhope 
Trainer: Richard Fahey
15:40 HARDWICKE STAKES (Group 2)
1st  Andrea Atzeni silk  2. DEFOE (IRE) 11/4 f
2nd  Christophe Soumillon silk  6. NAGANO GOLD 25/1
3rd  Pat Dobbs silk  4. MIRAGE DANCER 6/1
8 ran. NRs: LAH TI DAR.
Jockey: Andrea Atzeni 
Trainer: Roger Varian

1st  James Doyle silk  1. BLUE POINT (IRE) 6/4 f
2nd  Daniel Tudhope silk  5. DREAM OF DREAMS (IRE) 12/1
3rd  Richard Kingscote silk  9. KACHY 33/1
Jockey: James Doyle 
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
1st  Andrea Atzeni silk  3. CAPE BYRON 7/2 f
2nd  Adam Kirby silk  17. TIS MARVELLOUS 14/1
3rd  Frankie Dettori silk  16. DANZENO 7/1
4th  Cieren Fallon silk  24. RAUCOUS 50/1
Jockey: Andrea Atzeni 
Trainer: Roger Varian
1st  Silvestre De Sousa silk  5. CLEONTE (IRE) 7/2
2nd  Oisin Murphy silk  1. PALLASATOR 10/1
3rd  Ryan Moore silk  9. MAX DYNAMITE (FR) 10/3 f
Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa 
Trainer: Andrew Balding    

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Royal Ascot 2019: Day Four Results

14:30 ALBANY STAKES (Group 3)
1st  David Egan silk  6. DAAHYEH 4/1 f
2nd  William James Lee silk  4. CELTIC BEAUTY (IRE) 25/1
3rd  Harry Bentley silk  2. AROHA (IRE) 100/1
25 ran. NRs: PAPER STAR.
Jockey: David Egan 
Trainer: Roger Varian 

1st  Ryan Moore silk  5. JAPAN 6/4 f
2nd  Silvestre De Sousa silk  1. BANGKOK (IRE) 10/1
3rd  Daniel Tudhope silk  2. EAGLES BY DAY (IRE) 25/1
All 8 ran.
Jockey: Ryan Moore 
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien, Ireland 

15:40 COMMONWEALTH CUP (Group 1)
1st  Frankie Dettori silk  1. ADVERTISE 8/1
2nd  Oisin Murphy silk  8. FOREVER IN DREAMS (IRE) 20/1
3rd  Kevin Stott silk  2. HELLO YOUMZAIN (FR) 6/1
All 9 ran.
Jockey: Frankie Dettori 
Trainer: Martyn Meade 

1st  Pierre-Charles Boudot silk  10. WATCH ME (FR) 20/1
2nd  Ryan Moore silk  3. HERMOSA (IRE) 1/1 f
3rd  James McDonald silk  4. JUBILOSO 9/2
9 ran. NRs: MOT JUSTE (USA).
Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot 
Trainer: Francis-Henri Graffard, France 

1st  Hayley Turner silk  28. THANKS BE 33/1
2nd  James Doyle silk  1. MAGNETIC CHARM 7/1
3rd  Jamie Spencer silk  15. HOTSY TOTSY (IRE) 7/1
4th  Ryan Moore silk  2. CORAL BEACH (IRE) 10/1
27 ran. NRs: GALLIC.
Jockey: Hayley Turner 
Trainer: Charlie Fellowes 

1st  Ryan Moore silk  3. BAGHDAD (FR) 7/2 f
2nd  Frankie Dettori silk  2. BEN VRACKIE 7/1
3rd  Andrea Atzeni silk  17. FUJAIRA PRINCE (IRE) 4/1
4th  Jim Crowley silk  16. CORGI 7/1
19 ran. NRs: SEA THE LION (IRE).
Jockey: Ryan Moore 
Trainer: Mark Johnston