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Press Release 20th February 2024 Aintree



Three-time Randox Grand National winner Gordon Elliott has picked out Galvin and Chemical Energy as two potential horses to watch in the world’s most famous steeplechase after learning the weights for this year’s race.

The County Meath-based handler has 23 horses currently entered and qualified, with eight of them rated in the top 34 by the BHA Chase Handicapper, Martin Greenwood.

Elliott only took out a trainer’s license in 2006 and won his first Grand National at Aintree just a year later when Silver Birch was triumphant.

Tiger Roll then landed the world-famous race in 2018 and 2019 before Coronavirus forced the cancellation of the 2020 renewal, ending hopes of an historic hat-trick for his stable star.

Despite saddling five runners in the race in 2023 none of them completed the course and Elliott is hoping one of his squad of Aintree hopefuls can lead home the field of 34 on Saturday 13th April.

Victory would see him join Ginger McCain, Fred Rimell and 19th Century trainer George Dockery as a four-time winner of the race and he said: “It’s still a great thrill for us.

“We’d love to win it again and if we did it would be very special. It’s a great race - it’s one of the greatest races in the world. Tiger Roll winning the second was unbelievable.”

Asked which weights really stood out for him this year, he went on: “Galvin looks like he could be well handicapped. He was nearly top weight last year and he’s one who could be there.

“Chemical Energy is another. We’ve been keeping him for a bit of Spring ground so this has been the plan all year.”

Elliott’s highest rated horse is 10-year-old Conflated, who is owned by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud who are bidding to win the Grand National for a record fourth time.

Conflated is rated 166 and is set to carry a weight of 11st 9lb and Elliott said: “He could run. There’s every chance he could run.”

Next on the list of Elliott-trained entries is Coko Beach, who is rated 161 and 11st 4lb. The grey gelding was pulled up three fences from home with British-based Harry Cobden on board in last year’s race.

Elliott said: “He’ll go for the Cross Country at Cheltenham and then for the National. That’s the plan.”

Eight-year-old Ash Tree Meadow, owned by Alymer Stud, is rated 159 and 11st 2lb by the handicapper and Elliott said: “He’s probably not that well handicapped. I don’t know about him.”

Delta Work on 11st exactly and rated 157 is a horse with Grand National experience having finished third in 2022 behind only Any Second Now and that year’s winner, Noble Yeats. However, he unseated his jockey Keith Donoghue at the 19th fence last year and Elliott is planning on another Grand National bid. He said: “It’ll be the Cross Country at Cheltenham and then back to Aintree.”

Galvin is another who disappointed last year, having unseated his rider Davy Russell at the first fence, but will be carrying nearly a stone less than the 11st 11lb the handicapper gave him 12 months ago.

Rated at 155 and 10st 12lb for this year’s renewal, Elliott said: “He could be well handicapped compared to last year. He’ll definitely be going for the National. He’ll run at the Cross Country at Cheltenham first.”

Two of Elliott’s charges are rated 154 and 10st 11lb – Farouk d’Alene and Salvador Ziggy – and at 21 and 22 in the list are guaranteed a run.

Elliott said: “Farouk d’Alene might go to the Irish National and Salvador Ziggy will go for the National Hunt Chase (at Cheltenham) and he could go for the Randox Grand National afterwards.”

Fury Road is another guaranteed a run in the race if connections choose to send him back to Aintree, after his run last year came to an abrupt end when falling at just the second fence.

Elliott said of the 10-year-old gelding, who is rated 152 and allocated 10st 9lb: “All’s good with him. He’ll definitely run.”

Elliott has two rated at 149 with a weight of 10st 6lb – Minella Crooner and Run Wild Fred – and he said: “Both of them will run if they get in.”

Chemical Energy was only bought by Bective Stud at this month’s Caldwell Construction dispersal sale and at 148 and a weight 10st 5lb will need only six horses to come out of the current list of entries to get a run in April. Elliott said: “He’ll definitely run.”

Favori de Champdou at 147 is just a pound further back on 10st 4lb along with seven-year-old The Goffer.

Elliott said: “We’ll have to wait and see with Favori de Champdou as he might go for the Irish National but The Goffer will definitely run if he gets in.”

Others on Elliott’s list are the 146 rated Embittered and Gevrey at 10st 3lb and

Fakir d’Alene at 10st exactly, having been rated 143. He has three more entries for the race who have been given ratings of 142, with a weight of 9st 13lb – Diol Ker, Riaan and 12-year-old Samcro.

Dunboyne and Tullybeg are both rated 140 with a weight of 9st 11lb but at 74 and 76 on the list will need a significant number of entries to come out and Elliott said he did not expect either Frontal Assault, with a rating of 138 and a weight of 9st 9lb, or Where It All Began, who has a rating of 135 and a weight of 9st 6lb, to run.

Three more horses trained by Elliott and entered in the race – Battleoverdoyen, Royal Thief and So des Flos – were not allocated a weight as they have not qualified.


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