William Hill Grand National Trial at Haydock Park on February 16 sure to provide plenty of Randox Health Grand National pointers.
Sunday, February 3, 2019 - Entries were revealed last week (January 30) for the £1-millon Randox Health Grand National, ith 112 contenders on the quest for the world's greatest and richest chase at Aintree on Saturday, April 6.
Haydock Park stages the £100,000 G3 William Hill Grand National Trial on Saturday, February 16 and 46 entries have received for the extended three and a half-mile handicap chase, with exactly half of the horses (23) also engaged in the Randox Health Grand National.
That means plenty of clues from Haydock Park on February 16 for the 172nd running of the Randox Health Grand National over four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards less than two months later.
Ramses de Teillee (David Pipe), the 7/1 favourite with sponsor William Hill for the William Hill Grand National Trial, is one of the 23 entered in both races. The seven-year-old's most recent outing came when the length and a quarter runner-up in the G3 Welsh Grand National over three miles, five and a half furlongs at Chepstow on December 27.
Other potential starters for Somerset-based Pipe include Daklondike (12/1 with the sponsor for the William Hill Grand National Trial), successful in the Smarkets Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase over two miles and seven furlongs at Haydock Park on December 22 and stalwart Vieux Lion Rouge (16/1).
Vieux Lion Rouge has already participated in both races - completing the course in three Randox Health Grand Nationals and winning the William Hill Grand National Trial in 2017.
He finished seventh in the 2016 Randox Health Grand National, sixth a year later and ninth last year.
The 10-year-old also won the G3 Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree in December, 2016, came home seventh in 2017 and was runner-up in the same contest this season. So he has been a finisher in all his six starts over the Grand National fences.
Missed Approach (Warren Greatrex) enjoyed the biggest success of his career when winning the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase for amateur riders over three and a quarter miles at Cheltenham in March, 2018. He also ran well during the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, finishing second in the four-mile National Hunt Chase.
He has made one appearance so far this season, coming home sixth behind Walk In The Mill and Vieux Lion Rouge in the G3 Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on December 8.
The nine-year-old holds entries in both the William Hill Grand National Trial, for which he is a 12/1 chance with the sponsor, and the Randox Health Grand National.
Upper Lambourn-based Greatrex revealed: "Missed Approach is in very good form at home and we have been happy with him since his run in the Becher Chase.
"He was a good winner of the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival last year and the plan this season has centred around the Randox Health Grand National.
"We were very pleased with his run in the Becher Chase and he ran very well. He was left behind at the start that day, but jumped well.
"We will now wait until the weights for the Grand National (February 12) are out before running again.
"We have given him a break and freshened him up. We could potentially go for the Eider or the William Hill Grand National Trial at Haydock next up.
"He seemed to take to the fences well in the Becher Chase and if he could jump like that in April, then hopefully he would have a chance in the Grand National."
Yala Enki (Venetia Williams, 10/1) was the wide-margin winner of the William Hill Grand National Trial in 2018 and holds entries at both Haydock Park and Aintree this year. He was last seen out when third in the Welsh Grand National.
10-time champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls has an interesting contender for both races in Give Me A Copper (10/1). The lightly-raced nine-year-old won a three-mile novices' chase at Kempton Park in November, 2017 and made a promising reappearance when fourth under 11st 11lb in a competitive three-mile handicap chase at Sandown Park yesterday. His owners include Sir Alex Ferguson and Jeremy Kyle.
Other horses engaged in both the William Hill Grand National Trial and the Randox Health Grand National include Impulsive Star (Neil Mulholland, 10/1), who captured the G3 McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick on January 12 under amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen.
Ballydine (Charlie Longsdon, 10/1) is also entered in both contests and shaped well last time when third in the G2 Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock Park on January 19 behind Wakanda (Sue Smith, 10/1) and Robinsfirth (Colin Tizzard, 10/1). Both Wakanda and Robinsfirth (Colin Tizzard) are only entered at Haydock Park.
The William Hill Grand National Trial is a potential target for One For Arthur (Lucinda Russell, 25/1), the 2017 Randox Health Grand National winner. The 10-year-old, who missed last season because of injury, unseated Derek Fox four fences from home in the Peter Marsh Chase.
Scottish handler Lucinda Russell, who has a good race record with three successes thanks to Silver By Nature (2010 & 2011) and Lie Forrit (2015), could also be represented at Haydock Park by Big River (20/1), an impressive winner of the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso last season.
Weights for the William Hill Grand National Trial will be revealed on Wednesday, February 6.
Weights for the Randox Health Grand National are unveiled at the iconic Cunard Building in Liverpool on Tuesday, February 12, for the first time - the weights' ceremony has previously been held in London.
The Randox Health Grand National is the only race for which senior BHA chase handicapper Martin Greenwood is able to deviate from official ratings in allotting weights.
Greenwood is handicapping the Randox Health Grand National for the first time in 2019 following the retirement of Phil Smith, who officiated from 1999 to 2018.
William Hill Grand National Trial, William Hill bet:
7/ Ramses de Teillee
10/1 Give Me A Copper, Impulsive Star, Robinsfirth, Wakanda, Yala Enki
12/1 Ballydine. Daklondike, Missed Approach
14/1 Allysson Monterg, Ballyarthur, Beware The Bear, Captain Chaos, Houblon des Obeaux, Ms Parfois, Red Infantry, Royal Vacation, Sharp Response, The Last Samuri, The Two Amigos
16/1 Ah Littleluck, Ballyoptic, Carole's Destrier, Prime Venture, Rons Dream, The Dutchmanm, Vieux Lion Rouge
20/1 American, Back To The Thatch, Big River, Chef d'Oeuvre, Coneygree, Otago Trail, Solighoster, Ultragold
25/1 Bishops Road, Final Nudge, Fine Rightly, One For Arthur, Pobbles Bay, Regal Encore
33/1 Alfie Spinner, Harry The Viking, Milansbar, Mysteree, Zerachiel
1/4 Odds Place 1,2,3,4
About the William Hill Grand National Trial
Staged over an extended three and a half miles, the William Hill Grand National Trial attracts some of the leading staying chasers and is an ideal prep race for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.
The legendary Red Rum ran at Haydock before every one of his five Grand Nationals, of which he won three (1973, 1974 and 1977) and came second in the other two (1975 and 1976). Red Rum won the Grand National Trial in 1975 prior to chasing home L'Escargot at Aintree the same year.
Randox Health Grand National winners to have run in the William Hill Grand National Trial the same year (since 1991):
YEAR HORSE POSITION AT HAYDOCK PARK
1992 Party Politics 5th
1998 Earth Summit 5th
2009 Mon Mome 7th
2012 Neptune Collonges 2nd
No horse has yet won both the William Hill Grand National Trial and Randox Health Grand National in the same season.
Suny Bay won at Haydock Park in 1997 prior to finishing second at Aintree.
Four Randox Health Grand National winners have also won the William Hill Grand National Trial, but not in the same season.
HORSE YEAR OF HAYDOCK WIN YEAR OF AINTREE WIN
Freebooter 1949 1950
Sundew 1956 1957
Red Rum 1975 1973, 1974, 1977
Party Politics 1993 1992
About Aintree & Haydock Park Racecourses / The Jockey Club
Aintree is home to The Randox Health Grand National, the most famous horse race in the world which is the climax to a three-day Festival meeting in April every year. The racecourse hosts five other fixtures and is a leading conference centre in the north west of England.
More information is available at aintree.thejockeyclub.co.uk
Haydock Park is a dual-purpose racecourse, staging 32 racing days on the Flat and over Jumps in 2018, and a leading conference centre in the north west of England.
More information is available at haydock.thejockeyclub.co.uk
Aintree and Haydock Park are part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including the Randox Health Grand National, The Festival™ presented by Magners and the Investec Derby.
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For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
For further information please contact:
Grant Rowley, Regional Communications Manager, The Jockey Club (North West) on 07884 655990 or email: Grant.Rowley@thejockeyclub.co.uk
Jessica Dalgliesh, Senior Communications Executive, The Jockey Club (North West) on 07464 491507 or email: Jessica.Dalgliesh@thejockeyclub.co.uk