List of the declared runners & jockeys for 2017 Aintree Grand National

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Updated: April 6, 2017
Grand National

The list of the 40 runners and riders for the 2017 Grand National has been announced, with The Last Samuri heading the weights and will be number one.

Pendra was the only withdrawal on Thursday, leaving Doctor Harper as the last horse to make the cut, Vieux Lion Rouge and Definitly Red are the bookmakers’ favourites, at about 10-1, for the famous race.

1 THE LAST SAMURI

Trainer: Kim Bailey Jockey: David Bass

Form: 12-532 Age: 9 Weight: 11-10

Last year’s runner-up when carrying over a stone less. No top weight has won wince Red Rum in 1974. Nagging feeling that chance may have gone despite a close third in Becher Chase at Aintree in December. Trainer is in a select club to have won the Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National. Triumphed at Aintree with Mr Frisk in 1990.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 14-1

2 MORE OF THAT

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Jockey: Barry Geraghty

Form: -P36U6 Age: 9 Weight: 11-06

Sixth in last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. Very talented at best, beating subsequent champion hurdler Annie Power to win 2014 World Hurdle, but the most recent victory came in late 2015. Trainer joked at a lunch in the big race build-up that nothing could beat him. Backers will be happy with more of that chat.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 12-1

3 SHANTOU FLYER

Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Jockey: Jonathan Moore

Form: 529142 Age: 7 Weight: 11-05

Made a winning start at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and could appreciate this step-up in distance. Will need to defy the stats – the last seven-year-old to win was Bogskar in 1940. It’s also more than a century since a horse trained in Wales won the National.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 50-1

4 PERFECT CANDIDATE

Trainer: Fergal O’Brien Jockey: Paddy Brennan

Form: 1-02P1 Age: 10 Weight: 11-05

Fine front-running success last time out at Exeter. Trainer’s celebrations often revolve around cake and he loves a Victoria sponge. Whether his horse will rise to the occasion remains to be seen. Having missed the cut last year, the heavier weight allocated this time may well mean he is not quite the perfect candidate.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 40-1

5 SAPHIR DU RHEU

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Form: -3F215 Age: 8 Weight: 11-05

Smart performer who was fifth in March’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. Jockey’s choice from several possibles for the champion trainer, including Vicente. Trainer won with another grey, Neptune Collonges, in 2012. Owner Andy Stewart, associated with the great hurdler Big Buck’s, seeking his first National victory.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 20-1

6 ROI DES FRANCS

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Jack Kennedy

Form: 320541 Age: 8 Weight: 11-03

Roughly translated as King of the Franks. Won in lesser company at Down Royal on St Patrick’s Day. One of the team owned by airline boss Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, which scored with Rule The World last year. Trainer landed the National 10 years ago thanks to Silver Birch and topped the Cheltenham Festival standings for the first time in March.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 50-1

7 WOUNDED WARRIOR

Trainer: Noel Meade IRE Jockey: Sean Flanagan

Form: 6-406P Age: 8 Weight: 11-02

Last victory came in January 2015 at Naas, when he beat Rule The World, who went on to win the 2016 National. Has run well in defeat since, including when third behind Don Poli in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham two years ago. This marathon test of stamina could suit, although a slight worry after he was pulled up on his most recent outing in February.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 50-1

8 WONDERFUL CHARM

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Katie Walsh

Form: P7-112 Age: 9 Weight: 11-02

Just touched off at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Never really got going in the National last year and was pulled up on the second circuit. Jockey achieved highest finishing position by a female rider in the race when third on Seabass in 2012 and is set to take part despite injuring her arm in a fall at Aintree on Thursday.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 33-1

9 TENOR NIVERNAIS

Trainer: Venetia Williams Jockey: Liam Treadwell

Form: -34312 Age: 10 Weight: 11-01

Trainer sprang a shock with 100-1 winner Mon Mome in 2009. She tends to do well with horses who appreciate soft ground, and this one is no exception. Won by 30 lengths in those conditions at Ascot in February. While the big Aintree meeting has been dubbed the ‘Tanned National’ in honour of glowing racegoers, this one wants to swerve the sun.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 40-1

10 BLAKLION

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Noel Fehily

Form: 3-4532 Age: 8 Weight: 11-01

Classy and consistent, won the RSA Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival and second to Vieux Lion Rouge in February’s Grand National Trial at Haydock. Victory would be a third triumph for trainer, successful previously with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002). Respected jockey has not made first four from 14 previous rides.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 14-1

11 DROP OUT JOE

Trainer: Charlie Longsdon Jockey: Tom O’Brien

Form: 1570-1 Age: 9 Weight: 11-01

Has been dropped out since last summer. This will be his first competitive run since winning at Uttoxeter in June, when Ballynagour and Gas Line Boy were among the beaten rivals. Seems to enjoy a rest, winning four times after a break of at least four months, but this is a tough comeback. Last ‘name’ winners were Monty’s Pass (2003) and Bobbyjo (1999).

Rating: 5/10 Odds: 50-1

12 LE MERCUREY

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Sean Bowen

Form: -32523 Age: 7 Weight: 11-00

Second to previous National winner Many Clouds over the Mildmay course at Aintree in December reads well. Could history repeat itself? Bought in the latter stages of the build-up to this race by Patricia Thompson, who owns Cheveley Park Stud with husband David. Did the same 25 years ago when Party Politics prevailed.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 33-1

13 THE YOUNG MASTER

Trainer: Neil Mulholland Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen

Form: 31-F06 Age: 8 Weight: 10-13

Winner of the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April. Respected despite fall in Becher Chase at Aintree on seasonal return. Decent prep run at Cheltenham in March for Northern Irish trainer, who is based near Bath. Amateur jockey has an excellent record over the National fences, winning six other races on the famous course.

Rating: 9/10 Odds: 20-1

14 CAUSE OF CAUSES

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Jamie Codd

Form: -5P051 Age: 9 Weight: 10-13

Creditable run as a youngster when eighth in the 2015 National. Won the Cross Country Chase in March for a third consecutive Cheltenham Festival victory. That was one place better than Silver Birch who warmed up in similar style 10 years ago before victory at Aintree. It made the same trainer, then 29, the youngest to win the big race.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 14-1

15 REGAL ENCORE

Trainer: Anthony Honeyball Jockey: Robbie Power

Form: -2PP1P Age: 9 Weight: 10-13

Pulled up six times in past eight races, but did win Ascot’s Silver Cup two starts ago and would probably be suited to drying ground. One of three runners wned by billionaire JP McManus – nicknamed the ‘Sundance Kid’ for his gambling exploits – whose horses run in the green and gold colours of his local Limerick hurling club. Jockey won race 10 years ago with Silver Birch and last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup on Sizing John.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 50-1

16 VIEUX LION ROUGE

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Tom Scudamore

Form: 267-11 Age: 8 Weight: 10-12

Looks tailor-made for the race. Won the Becher Chase over the National fences and then the Grand National Trial at Haydock, beating Blaklion. Could be the toast of hostelries up and down the land. Vieux Lion Rouge is French for Old Red Lion and there are more than 600 pubs in Britain called the Red Lion. Trainer won with Comply Or Die in 2008.

Rating: 8/10 Odds: 10-1

17 DEFINITLY RED

Trainer: Brian Ellison Jockey: Danny Cook

Form: -131U1 Age: 8 Weight: 10-12

Sure to be popular with the red half of Merseyside. Official handicapper says 10lb ‘well in’ following 14-length Grimthorpe Chase win at Doncaster from The Last Samuri – after the National weights were announced. And yes, there’s no E in this Definitly, because of a spelling mistake when the horse’s original registration forms were completed.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 10-1

18 UCELLO CONTI

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Daryl Jacob

Form: -74724 Age: 9 Weight: 10-12

Half brother to two-time King George VI Chase winner Silviniaco Conti. Looked a contender before fading to finish sixth in last year’s race. Also completed over the National fences when fourth in the Becher Chase in December. Leading female jockey Katie Walsh said Ucello Conti had “a massive chance” when the weights for the race were announced two months ago.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 16-1

19 DOUBLE SHUFFLE

Trainer: Tom George Jockey: Adrian Heskin

Form: -2P512 Age: 7 Weight: 10-12

Sound jumper who won well at Kempton in December, though stamina unproven and no seven-year-old has landed the National for 77 years. Owned by businessman Nic Williamson and hairdresser Max Fawbert, who met when Williamson popped in to his salon for a haircut. Trainer had a close shave with Saint Are – second in 2015.

Rating: 5/10 Odds: 40-1

20 HOUBLON DES OBEAUX

Trainer: Venetia Williams Jockey: Charlie Deutsch

Form: P-3484 Age: 10 Weight: 10-12

Wetter the better for this soft ground lover. Placed in two Nationals this season, finishing third in the Welsh and fourth in the Midlands version at Uttoxeter last time. Arguably the best form was back in the 2014 Hennessy Gold Cup when runner-up to Many Clouds. Trainer is one of three women to have saddled the winner of the Grand National (Mon Mome 2009).

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 40-1

21 PLEASANT COMPANY

Trainer: Willie Mullins Jockey: Ruby Walsh

Form: 3P-141 Age: 9 Weight: 10-12

A win in February’s Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse was one of only six runs over fences. Horse and rider will hope each other are pleasant company round the 30 Aintree obstacles. Jockey is among the best of his generation and has won the race twice, with Papillon (2000) and Hedgehunter (2005) but missed out through injury four times in the past seven years.

Rating: 8/10 Odds: 16-1

22 ONE FOR ARTHUR

Trainer: Lucinda Russell Jockey: Derek Fox

Form: 43-151 Age: 8 Weight: 10-11

Owned by friends Belinda McClung and Debs Thomson, who go under the name ‘The Two Golf Widows’. Won the Classic Chase at Warwick in January. Trained in Scotland, which has only boasted the Grand National winner once – with Rubstic in 1979. Jockey has first ride in the race having recovered from a broken wrist and collarbone in a fall four weeks ago.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 14-1

23 BALLYNAGOUR

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: David Noonan

Form: 722PPP Age: 11 Weight: 10-11

Boasts some decent form, but much of that is from three years ago and seems an unlikely winner having been pulled up on all of his past three starts. Unseated rider at the 19th fence when beginning to make headway in the 2016 National. Trainer enjoyed a win in 2008 with Comply Or Die, who finished second a year later.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 66-1

24 O’FAOLAINS BOY

Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Jockey: Paul Townend

Form: P87-PP Age: 10 Weight: 10-11

Withdrawn when lame on the morning of the race last year. Another whose recent runs leave something to be desired. A return to the sort of shape that won the RSA Chase at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival would make him a more interesting contender. Trainer bidding to give Wales a first National victory since 1905 and become the fourth woman to saddle the winner.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 33-1

25 HIGHLAND LODGE

Trainer: Jimmy Moffatt Jockey: Henry Brooke

Form: 721P-2 Age: 11 Weight: 10-11

A winner and runner-up in the shorter Becher Chase over the National fences. Missed cut for 2016 National and then second in Scottish version. Previous owners Simon and Julie Wilson, whose teenage son Patrick died from a brain tumour last year, sold the horse last week to Patricia Thompson (who also bought Le Mercurey). Jockey returned to riding in November, just seven weeks after a fall left him in a coma.

Rating: 8/10 Odds: 25-1

26 BISHOPS ROAD

Trainer: Kerry Lee Jockey: Jamie Moore

Form: UF-403 Age: 9 Weight: 10-10

Won the National Trial at Haydock last year, but agonisingly missed the cut for the big race and then unseated his rider in the Topham Chase over the National fences. Trainer, in her second season after successfully taking over from father Richard, formerly worked behind the scenes for Channel 4 Racing.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 50-1

27 LORD WINDERMERE

Trainer: Jim Culloty Jockey: Leighton Aspell

Form: PP/295 Age: 11 Weight: 10-10

Winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014, but best days appear to be behind him. Has not won since that triumph at odds of 20-1 and was pulled up under top weight in the Grand National two years ago. Trainer famously won the Gold Cup himself as a jockey three years running on Best Mate (2002-2004).

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 50-1

28 SAINT ARE

Trainer: Tom George Jockey: Davy Russell

Form: 0-53F2 Age: 11 Weight: 10-10

Runner-up to Many Clouds in 2015 and fancied to go well again 12 months later but was tailed off when pulled up on testing ground before the last, having led at The Chair. Approaching the veteran stage now but had a decent second last time out. Horses aged 11 won the National three years running from 2012 to 2014.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 40-1

29 VICENTE

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Brian Hughes

Form: 1-F669 Age: Weight: 10-10

Winner of last year’s Scottish National. Trainer has aimed the horse at Aintree ever since that Ayr triumph and has been treated considerately in the weights. Bought by three-time winning owner Trevor Hemmings in March after the death of his 2015 victor Many Clouds. Well-regarded jockey looking to complete the race for the first time at his fifth attempt.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 20-1

30 JUST A PAR

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden

Form: 02-4P1 Age: 10 Weight: 10-09

Would be an appropriate winner on the weekend of golf’s Masters. Set to be sold after racing at Aintree on the first day of the National meeting. Has never fallen or unseated in 23 races. Won the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April 2015 before finishing a narrow second a year later. However, somewhat under par when he finished a distant 15th in last year’s National.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 40-1

31 MEASUREOFMYDREAMS

Trainer: Noel Meade IRE Jockey: Donagh Meyler

Form: 3F0-P0 Age: 9 Weight: 10-09

Third in the four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last year behind the 2017 Gold Cup second and third, Minella Rocco and Native River, but fell early when joint favourite for the Scottish National. With four wins coming when ‘heavy’ has been in the going description, supporters will be dreaming of heavy downpours on Merseyside.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 40-1

32 RAZ DE MAREE

Trainer: Gavin Cromwell Jockey: Ger Fox

Form: U21722 Age: 12 Weight: 10-09

Something of a National specialist. Second victory in the Cork National earlier this season was followed by a narrow second to Native River in the Welsh National. Also has a runner-up spot in the Midlands version on his CV, but could only finish eighth in the Aintree race three years ago. Last 12-year-old to win was Amberleigh House in 2004.

Rating: 6/10 Odds: 33-1

33 STELLAR NOTION

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead Jockey: David Mullins

Form: 103242 Age: Weight: 10-09

Should be easy to spot as likely to be among the early front-runners. Some decent runs this season including a fourth in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over the festive period. Stamina is an unknown – the longest distance the horse has won over is two and a half miles, and this is nearly two miles further. Jockey won on debut with Rule The World last year.

Rating: 5/10 Odds: 50-1

34 ROGUE ANGEL

Trainer: Mouse Morris Jockey: Bryan Cooper

Form: 080095 Age: 9 Weight: 10-08

Won last year’s Irish Grand National, which can often be a good pointer to the Aintree version. Genial chain-smoking trainer’s first name is Michael but earned the nickname Mouse as an amateur jockey. Scored an emotional success in the 2016 National with Rule The World, just 10 months after the death of his son Tiff.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 25-1

35 COCKTAILS AT DAWN

Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Form: F-P4FP Age: Weight: 10-08

Recent runs offer little encouragement, including a fall in last season’s Topham Chase over the big Aintree fences. Trainer has saddled the most winners of all-time at the Cheltenham Festival, but is due a change of luck in the National. Has yet to win despite 39 runners since 1979. Eight of them got no further than the first fence.

Rating: 5/10 Odds: 100-1

36 THUNDER AND ROSES

Trainer: Mouse Morris Jockey: Mark Enright

Form: 207226 Age: 9 Weight: 10-07

Claimed the Irish National in 2015 when ridden by Katie Walsh. Without a win in subsequent 14 runs, and disappointed in Becher Chase at Aintree later that year. A close second to Pleasant Company at Fairyhouse in February and better off at the weights here. Trainer triumphed last year with Rule The World after 18 previously unsuccessful attempts at winning the Grand National.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 33-1

37 GAS LINE BOY

Trainer: Ian Williams Jockey: Robbie Dunne

Form: 243144 Age: 11 Weight: 10-07

Looks one of the less likely winners. Fell at the first on a previous attempt in this race two years ago. Win in a veterans’ chase at Kelso earlier in the season offers some encouragement but well behind Vieux Lion Rouge and Blaklion at Haydock in February. May run out of gas even if able to negotiate the obstacles. Jockey was third on 100-1 shot Vics Canvas 12 months ago.

Rating: 5/10 Odds: 66-1

38 GOODTOKNOW

Trainer: Kerry Lee Jockey: Jake Greenall

Form: -8521P Age: 9 Weight: 10-07

Good second behind One For Arthur at Warwick in January before Hereford win, but pulled up in National Trial behind Vieux Lion Rouge. One of two contenders, alongside Bishops Road, for the trainer having her first runners in the race. She won the Welsh National with Mountainous in January 2016 just six months after taking over from her father.

Rating: 5/10 Odds: 66-1

39 LA VATICANE

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Richie McLernon

Form: -2515P Age: 8 Weight: 10-06

Girl power? Seeking to become the first mare to win since Nickel Coin back in 1951. The grey has twice completed other races over the National fences, though was well beaten on both occasions. You will of course know that La Vaticane is Italian for The Vatican. Just don’t expect all your prayers to be answered.

Rating: 5/10 Odds: 100-1

40 DOCTOR HARPER

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Conor O’Farrell

Form: -P92P7 Age: Weight: 10-06

Looks the type who will win a big race at a big price one day soon. Runs in the blue and green colours of David Johnson, the popular owner of 2008 winner Comply or Die, who died of cancer in 2013. Doctor Harper was one of the last horses he bought and is named after the doctor who treated him.

Rating: 7/10 Odds: 50-1

 

Ballynagour (IRE) 11-10-11
Breeding: b g Shantou – Simply Deep (Simply Great)
Breeder: Graham T Morrow
Born: May 3, 2006
Owner: Allan Stennett
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey: David Noonan
Form: 27/412661/9P18/P13/2P2/F1535PP7U-722PPP
*Was bred in Co Down, Northern Ireland, at the Morrow family’s Loughview Stud.
*From the close family of high-class hurdler Mighty Mogul. He was sold for €17,000 as a foal at the 2006 Tattersalls Ireland November Sale.
*Unseated Tom Scudamore at the 19th fence when still in contention in last year’s Grand National.
*Best effort this season when runner-up in Listed contests at Uttoxeter and Market Rasen in June but has pulled-up on latest three outings, the most recent of which was at Cheltenham on January 28.
*Career highlight came when successful in 2014 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival.
*He has high-class placed form over the Mildmay Course at Aintree, including a head second to Silviniaco Conti in the 2015 Betway Bowl.
*His other Grade One placings include third to Boston Bob in the 2014 Melling Chase (two and a half miles) at Aintree and second to Sizing Europe in the 2014 Champion Chase (two miles) at Punchestown.
Jump race record: Starts 33; Wins 5; 2nd 6; 3rd 2. Win & Place Prize Money: £347,594

 

Allan Stennett
Allan Stennett, 70, is based in Shifnal, Shropshire, and is now officially retired, having worked in the fasteners (nuts and bolts) industry for many years. He retains directorships in various companies. As a racehorse owner, he has been involved with the 2002 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle winner Galileo and also the 1997 Pertemps Network Final victor Pharanear. Along with Peter Deal and John Dale, he also had a share in Blowing Wind, winner of what is now the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate in 2002 and third twice in the Grand National (2001 & 2002). Salut Flo carried Stennett’s own colours to victory in the 2012 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate while he also won the same race again in 2014 with Ballynagour.
Randox Health Grand National record (owned in partnership with Peter Deal and John Dale): 2000 Royal Predica (Fell 1st), 2001 Blowing Wind (3rd); 2002 Blowing Wind (3rd); Royal Predica (8th); 2003 Blowing Wind (8th), Royal Predica (13th) – as a sole owner: 2016 Ballynagour (UR 19th)

David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)
Born: February 7, 1973 Background: Son of 15-time champion Jump trainer Martin Pipe, who in 2001 had a record 10 runners in the Randox Health Grand National. David started riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to gain 22 wins over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with trainers around the world – Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House Stables on the Somerset/Devon border, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, including Well Armed, successful 15 times. He picked up the reins at Nicholashayne after his father retired in 2006 and promptly won with the first runner under his own name, Standin Obligation, at Kelso on May 9, 2006 and less than two years later emulated his father’s 1994 Grand National victory with Miinnehoma when he saddled Comply Or Die to take the great Aintree race. Comply Or Die finished second in the following year’s Grand National. Pipe’s 10 Grade One victories include Un Temps Pour Tout (2015 French Champion Hurdle), Dynaste (2014 Ryanair Chase) and Moon Racer (2015 Champion Bumper), while he has accumulated 15 Cheltenham Festival successes, including one this year. His best British season came in 2006/7 with 134 winners.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Milan Deux Mille (15th), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU 19th), Joaaci (FELL 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (FELL 6th), Comply Or Die (PU 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (FELL 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 Swing Bill (9th), The Package (12th), Our Father (UR 8th); 2015 Soll (9th); 2016 Vieux Lion Rouge (7th), Ballynagour (UR 19th), Soll (PU 21st)

David Noonan
Born: October 4, 1995. Background: Noonan hails from Kilbrien, County Cork and graduated from pony racing and the hunting field to riding in point to points. He had his first British ride under Rules in March, 2014 at Fontwell on Mobaasher for trainer Patricia Shaw in a conditional and amateur jockeys’ hands and heels handicap hurdle. He is attached to the David Pipe yard now as a conditional jockey but started out for the trainer as an amateur. He rode his first winner on Purple ‘n Gold for his boss at Kempton in May, 2014. He partnered two winners in that 2014/2015 season but the following season was his breakthrough campaign (2015/2016) when he enjoyed 41 successes, forging a close link with trainer Anthony Honeyball as well as Pipe, and became champion amateur British Jump jockey as well as turning professional in December, 2015. He rode out his claim out at Sedgefield on March 29, 2017, when Mr Clarkson won a handicap hurdle. The 2016/2017 season has seen 34 victories up to April 5). He was nominated for Conditional Jockey of the Year at the 2016 Lesters and is having his first ever mount in the Randox Health Grand National this year. Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Bishops Road (IRE) 9-10-10
Breeding: b g Heron Island – Nice Resemblance (Shernazar)
Breeder: P J Morrissey
Born: April 23, 2008
Owner: Alan Halsall
Trainer: Kerry Lee
Jockey: Jamie Moore
Form: 11/62153/86F30311UF-403
*A creditable third to Bristol De Mai in the G2 Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock Park on his latest outing on January 21.
*10th behind Native River in the G3 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in December and fourth to Otago Trail at Newcastle in a Listed event in November.
*Career highlight so far came when winning the 2016 G3 Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock Park by nine lengths.
*Ran at the Randox Health Grand National Festival last year, unseating Jamie Moore at the first in the G3 Topham Chase.
*Originally trained in Ireland by Henry de Bromhead and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, he was bought by current connections in 2015.
Jump race record: Starts: 20; Wins: 5; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £87,583

Alan Halsall
Alan Halsall is the son of David Halsall who in 1952 established Britain’s largest privately owned toy and giftware manufacturer and distributor, David Halsall International Ltd. The company, now known as HTI Ltd is based in Fleetwood, Lancashire. It originated in Southport, selling fishing nets to holiday makers before expanding into toys and fireworks. Alan joined the company in 1979 and, along with his brother Graham, jointly managed Halsall. Alan stepped down from the day-to-day running of Halsall in September, 2006, when the company was involved in a multi-million pound management buy-out. The company’s licensed brands include Barbie and Peppa Pig. Halsall is currently chairman of Silver Cross, the Yorkshire pram maker that was formerly part of the David Halsall International group. He bought Silver Croos out of receivership in 2002 for £500,000 and sold a majority stake to Chinese company Fosun in 2015. His sons Ben and Jonathan also work for the business. Prams are exported to 70 countries from Yorkshire. He was the captain of Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club in 2001, the year the Open was staged at the Lancashire course and presented the trophy to David Duval. He is chairman of the Craven Educational Trust, which is a multi Academy Trust, ans co-chairman chairman of Business for Britain, a Euro-Sceptic grouping of businesses. Hequalified as a lawyer after graduating from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. He has had a long-term interest in racing and the Grand National in particular, having first been to the race as an 11-year-old when Jay Trump won in 1965. He currently serves on the committee at Aintree Racecourse.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 Wonder Weasel (Fell 3rd); 2004 Wonder Weasel (PU Bef 28th); 2007 Longshanks (7th); 2010 Palypso De Creek (Fell 27th)

Kerry Lee (Bell House Stables, Byton, Herefordshire)
Born: February 14, 1977 Background: From a family steeped in racing. Her father Richard, a successful trainer for 29 years, saddled Le Beau Bai (2011) and Mountainous (2013) to win the Welsh National at Chepstow. Lee graduated from university with a degree in computer science and mixed being assistant trainer to her father with a career in television. She worked for around 15 years for Channel 4 Racing, beginning as a website editor and then becoming the TV Graphics Editor for the programme, operating with her brother Tom, one of Channel 4′s betting presenters and who also contributes to the family training business. Lee took over the licence at Bell House Stables at Blyton Herefordshire, which has 31 boxes, in her own right following his retirement in 2015. In her first full season as a trainer (2015/16), Lee saddled 23 winners from 110 runners over jumps, operating at a 21% strike rate. This term, she has registered 21 successes from over 150 runners (up to April 4) and is on course for her best ever season numerically. Big race winners include Mountainous, who gained another Welsh Grand National in 2016, dual G2 victor Top Gamble and Kylemore Lough, who provided the rookie trainer with her first G1 success in the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse. Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Jamie Moore
Born: January 31, 1985 Background: son of Sussex trainer and former Jump jockey Gary and brother of three-time champion Flat jockey Ryan. Another brother, Joshua is also a successful Jump jockey and sister Hayley has ridden as an amateur on the Flat and over Jumps and works as a broadcaster as well as riding out. Originally attached to Martin Pipe’s stable but went freelance in July, 2005. Turned professional at end of 2002/03. Achievements: Champion conditional in 2003/04 with 48 wins. Enjoyed biggest success of career on Sire De Grugy in 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Also won two runnings of the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase and the Grade One Clarence House Chase on the same horse. Successful over the Grand National fences in the 2007 Topham Chase on Dunbrody Millar and in 2009 Grand Sefton Chase on Dev. He partnered 75 winners in his best season (2007/2008) and has had 42 successes (up to April 5) this season.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 Royal Predica (13th); 2006 Le Duc (UR 8th), 2007 Thisthatandtother (PU 30th), 2011 Santa’s Son (PU 16th); 2012 Deep Purple (PU 19th); 2013 Mumbles Head (Ref 30th); 2014 Mountainous (FELL 9th)

Blaklion (GB) 8-11-01
Breeding: b g Kayf Tara – Franciscaine (Legend Of France)
Breeder: Mary Morrison
Born: April 3, 2009
Owner: Simon Such & Gino Paletta
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Jockey: Noel Fehily
Form: 11/112132P4/4F12113-4532

*Four pounds well in on official ratings after finishing an excellent second, beaten three and a quarter lengths to Vieux Lion Rouge, the pair clear of the other runners, under top-weight, in the G3 Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock Park on February 18.
*Fifth behind Native River in Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November and third behind Definitly Red in Wetherby’s G3 Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase over Christmas.
*Career highlight so far came when defeating Shaneshill by a half-length in last year’s G1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
*Trainer is the only current handler to have won the Grand National more than once – thanks to Earth Summit (1998) & Bindaree (2002).
*Blaklion was the regular mount of Ryan Hatch (rode the horse in 11 races, winning four times including the RSA Chase) until he suffered fractures to his neck, vertebrae and sternum and was left with a haematoma on his spinal cord when his mount Cogry fell in a handicap chase at Cheltenham on December 9. He has left hospital and is undergoing rehabilitation as an on-site patient at Oaksey House in Lambourn.
Jump race record: Starts: 21; Wins: 8; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £230,899

Simon Such & Gino Paletta
Businessman Simon Such and his wife Sarah, in whose name their horses used to run, live in Worcester, while Gino Paletta (born July, 1959) is a businessman and British property investor based in Gresford near Wrexham, Wales. Paletta, married to Jeanette, was a director of Wrexham Football Club from 1990 to 1999. Racing interests: the pair have enjoyed considerable success with a small string of horses, headed by Cheltenham Festival winners The New One and Blaklion. The New One, now nine, has won 18 of his 29 starts and run in the last four Stan James Champion Hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival, earning just shy of £900,000 in prize money. They also own novice hurdler Ballyhill, novice chaser Little Pop and chaser Benbens who has won at Aintree, all with Nigel Twiston-Davies. Gino Paletta previously owned two horses in partnership, Wise Owl and Frosted Grape, who were trained by David Pipe. Simon and Gino took the part in last summer’s Injured Jockeys Fund charity golf day at the Teign Valley Golf Club in Devon.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Nigel Twiston-Davies (Guiting Power, Gloucestershire)
Born: May 16, 1957 Background: Initially combined training as a permit-holder with his farming interests throughout the 1980s, having his first winner with Last Of The Foxes at Hereford in March, 1982, before the agricultural recession prompted him to make training his full-time profession. He took out a full training licence in 1989, recording his first win as a public trainer in December of that year with Babil at Newbury. He has since gone on to register more than 1,800 successes, with his 1,000th winner coming at Stratford in October, 2006. Rode. Rode 17 winners as an amateur under Rules, gained a further 17 point-to-point victories, and served as assistant trainer to Richard Head and Fred Rimell. A childhood neighbour and friend of Peter Scudamore, he went into partnership with the former champion Jump jockey to set up stables at Grange Hill Farm, Guiting Power, Gloucestershire, although Scudamore exited the venture in 2001 and currently assists Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell. Twiston-Davies adopted and developed the pioneering techniques of Martin Pipe, such as interval training and regular blood tests for his string, enabling him to rapidly raise his profile among the training ranks. He is the only current trainer to have won the Randox Health Grand National more than once, saddling Earth Summit to victory in 1998 and Bindaree four years later. The 2001/2002 campaign had been relatively quiet by Twiston-Davies’ high standards before Bindaree provided him with his second Grand National success. Afterwards he revealed that he had been intending to give up training but, despite “having a bigger debt than Argentina” after buying out Scudamore, the Aintree victory made him have a change of heart. His business partner, since 2009, has been former stable jockey Carl Llewellyn. Twiston-Davies has had 17 successes at the Cheltenham Festival, headed by Imperial Commander in the 2010 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. Other big-race wins include the Hennessy Gold Cup with King’s Road, three Scottish Grand National successes, two Welsh Grand National triumphs, the Betfair Chase with Imperial Commander (2010) and the Betway Aintree Hurdle with The New One (2014), Khyber Kim (2010) and Mister Morose (2000). His best season numerically was in 2010/11, when he saddled 97 winners, but he is approaching that total this season after 90 winners (up to March 29). His sons with his first wife Cathy, Sam (born October 15, 1992 and William (born December 1, 1995), are both jockeys. Sam is stable jockey to Paul Nicholls, but still rides for his father when possible, while William has returned to riding over jumps this season for his father and others after a successful spell as an apprentice on the Flat. Nigel is married to Vicky and they have three young children, Poppy, Rosie and Ted.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1994 Young Hustler (BD 11th); 1995 Camelot Knight (FELL 21st), Dakyns Boy (UR 10th), Young Hustler (UR 3rd); 1996 Young Hustler (5th), Captain Dibble (11th); 1997 Camelot Knight (3rd), Dakyns Boy (8th), Grange Brake (Refused 27th); 1998 EARTH SUMMIT (WON); 1999 Earth Summit (8th), Camelot Knight (BD 22nd); 2000 Camelot Knight (15th); 2001 Beau (UR 20th), Spanish Main (FELL 1st); 2002 BINDAREE (WON), Frantic Tan (UR 5th), Beau (UR 14th); 2003 Bindaree (6th); 2004 Shardam (UR 3rd), Bindaree (UR 6th); 2005 Bindaree (11th), 2006 Baron Windrush (UR 3rd); 2007 Knowhere (UR 8th); Naunton Brook (PU 23rd), 2008 Fundamentalist (FELL 3rd), Ardaghey (FELL 4th), Naunton Brook (PU 19th), Knowhere (UR 25th); 2009 Battlecry (16th), Ollie Magern (FELL 2nd), Fundamentalist (PU 21st), Knowhere (PU 25th); 2010 Hello Bud (5th), Irish Raptor (FELL 10th), Beat The Boys (PU 19th), Ballyfitz (FELL 22nd), Ollie Magern (PU 28th); 2011 Hello Bud (PU 29th), Grand Slam Hero (FELL 13th); 2012 Hello Bud (7th), Viking Blond (FELL 1st); 2013 Major Malarkey (11th), Viking Blond (PU 15th), Imperial Commander (PU 22nd); 2016 Double Ross (PU 26th)

Noel Fehily
Born: December 24, 1974 in County Cork, Ireland. Background: The son of a farmer, he gained experience on the point-to-point circuit and in hunter chases as an amateur rider in his home country. He moved to Britain in 1998 and had his first success on Ivy Boy at Plumpton on November 16, 1998. He rode 12 winners in that first campaign and turned professional the following season. Has been dogged by injury throughout his career, but is currently enjoying a fine run as a freelance and has won plenty of major races in recent years, including back-to-back victories aboard Silviniaco Conti in the 2013 & 2014 G1 King George VI Chase. Has partnered five Cheltenham Festival winners, headed by a memorable double this year on Buveur D’Air (for trainer Nicky Henderson) in the G1 Stan James Champion Hurdle and Special Tiara (for Henry de Bromhead) in the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Fehily rides a lot for trainers Harry Fry and Neil Mulholland. His best total in a season was 127 in 2013/2014 and he is up to 108 this season (by April 4).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2001 Moral Support (REF 8th); 2002 Celibate (6th); 2003 Good Shuil (PU 19th); 2004 Alcapone (PU 25th); 2005 Merchants Friend (FELL 10th); 2006 Risk Accessor (5th); 2007 Naunton Brook (PU 23rd); 2008 Bob Hall (PU 19th); 2009 Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th); 2012 State Of Play (UR 5th); 2013 Treacle (UR 8th); 2014: Rocky Creek (5th); 2015 Unioniste (FELL 5th); 2016 Silviniaco Conti (PU 14th)

Cause Of Causes (USA) 9-10-13
Breeding: b g Dynaformer – Angel In My Heart (Rainbow Quest)
Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Limited
Born: February 17, 2008
Owner: J P McManus
Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE
Jockey: Mr Jamie Codd
Form: F22/17126131107/6403372220/7518/0051P-5P051

*Became only the fifth horse to win three different chases at the Cheltenham Festival when capturing the 2017 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, following on from victories in the four-mile National Hunt Chase in 2015 and Kim Muir Handicap Chase in 2016.
*He was ridden on each occasion by Irish amateur Jamie Codd.
*Stayed on when eighth behind Many Clouds in the 2015 Grand National, his only start to date at Aintree.
“Bought by present owner J P McManus in 2013.
*Runner-up in 2012 Galway Hurdle before winning what used to be The Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot later the same year.
*Fell on his first start over jumps in February, 2012, when coming down at the last in a Gowran Park maiden hurdle, but has not fallen or unseated his rider since in 37 starts, with his only non-completions being two pulled-ups in 2016.
*Sold to Highflyer Bloodstock for €52,000 on behalf of the Timeform Betfair Racing Club at the Arqana Autumn Sale in France that year and joined trainer Gordon Elliott in Ireland
*Started his racing career with Pascal Bary on the Flat in France and won first time out in a three-year-old 11-furlong event at minor track in October before finishing sixth of seven at Longchamp.
*Closely related to 2003 Derby winner Kris Kin – the son of Dynaformer is out of Rainbow Quest mare Angel In My Heart, who won a G3 race on the Flat and was also the dam of Kris Kin.
* Bred by the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings
Jump race record: Starts: 38; Wins: 8; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £352,789

J P McManus
Born: March 10, 1951 in Co Limerick, Ireland. Background: John Patrick ‘J P’ McManus attended the Christian Brothers School on Sexton Street, Limerick. He left his father’s plant hire business at the age of 20 to become a racecourse bookmaker, but then took the less well-trodden route of gamekeeper-turned-poacher when becoming a professional punter. McManus recalls one of his first bets as being on Merryman II in the 1960 Grand National when he was just nine, but the bet that changed his life was £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, the horse winning at 100/8. He had another £4 on when Linden Tree won the Observer Gold Cup at 25/1, and £5 each-way at 33/1 for the Derby, when the horse beat all bar Mill Reef. He was dubbed “the Sundance Kid” by journalist Hugh McIlvanney after landing a number of major gambles during the 1970s. McManus has a host of business interests including dealing on the financial markets from his Geneva, Switzerland, base (since circa 1994), part-ownership of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, where he also has a house and an extensive global property portfolio. With Coolmore supremo John Magnier, he bought a 28.7% stake in Manchester United through the Cubic Expression company before subsequently selling out to US tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005. He was in the news shortly after that because of his stake in the pub and restaurant operator Mitchells and Butler. In 2016, the Sunday Times estimated McManus’ wealth at £786 million, making him the 11th richest person in Ireland. Racing interests: McManus purchased his first racehorse, Cill Dara, at the age of 26 and is the biggest Jump owner in terms of numbers in Britain and Ireland, with some 400 horses in training. He owns Jackdaws Castle, the Gloucestershire yard that Jonjo O’Neill trains from, and has invested heavily in improving facilities since purchasing the property in 2001. Mister Donovan provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival success in the 1982 Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle (now the Neptune Investment Management NH) and McManus has enjoyed 52 winners in total at the meeting – including three this year – far more than any other owner. The mighty Istabraq is the most revered horse he has owned following three consecutive victories in the Champion Hurdle (1998, 1999, 2000). He has gone on to enjoy a further three Champion Hurdle wins with Binocular (2010), Jezki (2014) and Buveur d’Air (2017), becoming the most successful owner ever in that championship race. He has also won a Cheltenham Gold Cup with Synchronised (2012) and three Stayers’ Hurdles with Baracouda (2002 & 2003) and More Of That (2014). A full 28 years after his first runner in the race, McManus finally achieved a long-held ambition when Don’t Push It, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by A P McCoy, won the 2010 Grand National. He has been British champion Jump owner for the 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 & 2014/15 seasons. He retained A P McCoy as his main jockey from April, 2004 until the rider’s retirement in April, 2015. Barry Geraghty has taken over that position, with McCoy having an advisory role. Frank Berry is the McManus racing manager. McManus bought Martinstown Stud, Co. Limerick, in 1982 and built a big mansion there in 2004. Other interests: McManus does a lot of work for charity, including his Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place every five years and has raised over 100 million euros. He supports many charitable projects in Co Limerick. McManus is also a keen backgammon player and a big hurling fan. Personal life: He is married to Noreen and they have three children, John, Kieran and Sue Ann.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1982 Deep Gale (FELL 1st); 1988 Bucko (PU 27th); 1992 Laura’s Beau (3rd); 1994 Laura’s Beau (FELL 6th); 1996 Wylde Hide (UR 24th); 1997 Wylde Hide (UR 22nd); 1998 Gimme Five (5th); 2002 Spot Thedifference (UR 27th); 2003 Youlneverwalkalone (PU 13th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Spot Thedifference (5th), Risk Accessor (UR 6th), Le Coudray (FELL 22nd); 2005 Innox (7th), Spot Thedifference (18th), Shamawan (21st), Clan Royal (CO 22nd), Le Coudray (PU 21st), Risk Accessor (UR 2nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th), Innox (FELL 1st), First Gold (UR 23rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th), Clan Royal (11th); 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), L’Ami (FELL 2nd), Bob Hall (PU 19th), Butler’s Cabin (FELL 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th), L’Ami (PU 30th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 8th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th), King Johns Castle (refused to race); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Bluesea Cracker (14th), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th), Arbor Supreme (FELL 28th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (FELL 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th), Quiscover Fontaine (FELL 17th); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Colbert Station (UR 15th), Lost Glory (PU 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR last); 2014 Double Seven (3rd), Colbert Station (PU 25th); 2015 Shutthefrontdoor (5th), Cause Of Causes (8th), Wyck Hill (PU 29th); 2016 Gilgamboa (4th), Shutthefrontdoor (9th), Pendra (13th), Gallant Oscar (UR 18th)

Gordon Elliott IRE (Trim, County Meath)
Born: March 2, 1978, in Summerhill, Co Meath Background: A very successful point-to-point rider, Elliott also partnered 46 winners as an amateur under Rules. He started his racing career while still at school, working at Tony Martin’s stable in County Meath. He moved to Britain, joining Martin Pipe in 1997, and learnt a lot during his spell in Somerset. His biggest victory as a rider was on board King’s Road, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, in the 1998 Punchestown Champion Bumper. Elliott returned to Ireland for another term at Martin’s stables. After commencing handling point-to-pointers, he started his main training career from Capranny Stables in Trim, Co Meath in early 2006 and bought the 78-acre Cullentra House Farm, Longwood, Co Meath, in 2011, where the facilities have been built up from scratch, with a capacity of almost 200 horses, two gallops, three schooling grounds, an equine pool, a natural spa and more. The trainer has emerged over the last few seasons as the main challenger to Willie Mullins’ dominance in Ireland and had a major boost when receiving the pick of 60 horses that Gigginstown House Stud removed from Mullins in September, 2016. Elliott is part of a select group of trainers to saddle a winner at both the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, having sent out Commissioned to land the Queen Alexandra Stakes at the prestigious Flat meeting in June, 2016. He also saddled Dirar to win the Ebor Handicap at York in 2010. Training Career: Elliott’s first runner under Rules came at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival, when Brandon Mountain was pulled up in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. He continued to send runners over to the UK and enjoyed almost instant success, most notably with Arresting, who notched up four victories between May and July, 2006. Elliott’s Grand National victory with Silver Birch in April, 2007 was remarkable not only because he was just 29 at the time, but also because he had yet to saddle a winner in his native country. The winners in Ireland soon followed and Elliott gained an initial Grade One victory with Jessies Dream in the Drinmore Novice Chase in December, 2010, and celebrated his first Cheltenham Festival successes in 2011 with Chicago Grey in the National Hunt Chase and Carlito Brigante in the Coral Cup. His Cheltenham Festival haul now stands at 14 and includes Don Cossack’s victory in the 2016 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was the leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time in March, 2017 with six successes, the same number as Willie Mullins but with one more runner-up. This season has been his most successful to date, with over 200 winners in Ireland and Britain, and on April 4 he led Willie Mullins in the Irish Jump trainers’ championship, 177 to 165. This campaign also saw him emulate one of his mentors, Martin Pipe, as the only other Jump trainer to saddle more than 1,000 runners in a season. First winner as a trainer – Arresting, Fugro-Technip Handicap Hurdle, Perth, June 11, 2006.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 SILVER BIRCH (WON); 2009 Silver Birch (FELL 22nd); 2010 Backstage (UR 20th); 2011 Backstage (10th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th), Chicago Grey (BD 5th); 2013 Tarquinius 8th, Chicago Grey (PU 30th); 2015 Cause Of Causes (8th); 2016 Ucello Conti (6th)

Mr Jamie Codd
Born: November 23, 1981 Background: Hailing from Mayglass, Co Wexford he is the son of Billy and Mary Frances Codd and has three siblings, brother, point-to-point handler Willie Codd and sisters Zoe and Lisa. He is married to Robyn and they have one child, Lottie. The amateur rider works for Tattersalls Ireland as their Irish horses-in-training representative. Codd has ridden over 800 point-to-point winners, is the second-most winning Irish point-to-point jockey and only the third ever to go through the card. Big-Race Wins: Codd has recorded seven winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including a double this year on Cause Of Causes (Gordon Elliott), in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, and Fayonagh (Gordon Elliott), in the Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper. He won the Grade One Champion Bumper at Punchestown on Shaneshill (Willie Mullins), 2014. He is also the winner of the Amateur Derby on the Flat at Epsom Downs 2016, on Hubertas, (John Quinn). He has had one Aintree winner, On The Fringe, in the Fox Hunters’ Chase in 2016 and he is booked to ride the same horse in this year’s renewal on Thursday, Grand Opening Day, April 6. First winner: Killultagh Thunder (Willie Mullins), 2001; first point-to-point winner: Eyze (Mags Mullins), 2001. Career Totals: Irish NH winners 127, GB NH winners 13, Irish Flat winners 5, GB Flat winners 1.
No previous Randox Health Grand National rides

Cocktails At Dawn (GB) 9-10-08
Breeding: b g Fair Mix – Fond Farewell (Phardante)
Breeder: Mrs J Way
Born: April 12, 2008
Owner: Robin Geffen & Sir John Ritblat
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Nico de Boinville
Form: 4/3012/2F491/10F-P4FP

*Was last seen when pulling up in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month.
*Hasn’t won since beating As De Mee by three lengths in a novice chase at Chepstow in October, 2015.
*Has failed to complete the course in four of his last five starts, including when falling over the Grand National fences in last year’s Topham Chase. He finished a distant fourth behind the 2015 Randox Health Grand National winner Many Clouds in a Listed Handicap Chase at Aintree in December, 2016.
*Is from the family of Door Latch, who started as the 9/1 third favourite for the 1986 Randox Health Grand National and fell at the first.
Jump race record: Starts: 17; Wins: 3; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £45,713

Robin Geffen
Background: Geffen is the founder of Neptune Investment Management, a major race sponsor. He had long been involved in syndicate ownership before paying 280,000 guineas for the Evan Williams-trained Fiulin at Tattersalls in October, 2009, His aim is to buy Flat horses with potential as hurdlers. Born in London in 1957, he went to Rugby School and graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Keble College, Oxford in 1979. He joined Charterhouse J. Rothschild as a graduate trainee and his career progressed through moves to Eagle Star, York Trust, Scottish Equitable and Orbitex Investments Limited, where he served as Chief Investment Officer from 1997. In 2002, while all around him were setting up hedge funds, Geffen established Neptune Investment Management in Hammersmith, a long-only fund management business. Geffen, who lives in south west London, is also a keen real tennis and racquets player. Racing Interests: Geffen has enjoyed success both on the Flat and over jumps, most notably with Arctic Cosmos, winner of the Doncaster Classic, the St Leger in 2010. He also won the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in 2015 with GM Hopkins, while his best Jump performers have been Wonderful Charm (who also runs in the 2017 Randox Health Grand National) and Kauto Star’s half-brother Kauto Stone, a Grade One and multiple Grade Two scorer.
Sir John Ritblat (born October 3, 1935) is a property developer and former chairman and chief executive of London-based property company British Land. He was born in Hampstead, North London and was educated at Dulwich College. He left school at 16 and joined surveyors Edward Erdman as an office boy before founding estate agency Conrad Ritblat. He acquired the British Land Company plc from Jim Slater (of Slater Walker Securities) for £1 million in 1970 and has built it into one of biggest property companies in Britain. Ritblat had to weather the property slump of the mid 1970s and diversified, buying various companies from a carpet rod gripper business to the Dorothy Perkins fashion outlets. A noted philanthropist, Ritblat is the chairman of the governing body of the London Business School, deputy chairman of the Royal Academy of Music. The John Ritblat gallery of the British Library houses some of the finest art in their collection and was named after Ritblat as he was a major benefactor during the building of the gallery. His hobbies include bee-keeping and real tennis. The Sunday Times Rich List had his worth at £180 million in 2016.
Previous Randox Grand National runners (Robin Geffen): 2016 Wonderful Charm (PU 21st)

Nicky Henderson (Lambourn, Berkshire)
Born – Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950 Background – The son of financier and amateur jockey John Henderson MBE, who founded Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses, he was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College. He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing. Henderson first made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown’s Imperial Cup in the same year. Henderson recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978. He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn, Berkshire. He moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992, after swapping yards with Peter Walwyn. One of Britain’s leading Jump trainers, Henderson has been at the top of his profession since 1985. His unprecedented tally of 58 wins at The Festival includes a record six Stan James Champion Hurdles, six JCB Triumph Hurdles, six Racing Post Arkle Chases, two Timico Cheltenham Gold Cups, four Betway Queen Mother Champion Chases, two Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdles and two Ryanair Chases. First Winner As A Trainer – Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978. Accolades: Nicky Henderson is the all-time leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with 58 successes. He has won the Jump trainers’ championship three times – 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013 – and currently leads this year’s championship. He has yet to win the Randox Health Grand National, coming closest with runners-up Zongalero (1979) and The Tsarevich (1987). His record at Aintree includes five wins in the Randox Health Topham Chase, three JLT Melling Chases and two Betway Aintree Hurdles.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1979 Zongalero (2nd); 1980 Zongalero (Refused 20th); 1981 Zongalero (FELL 22nd); 1982 Sun Lion (FELL 3rd); 1983 Spartan Missile (UR 22nd); 1984 Spartan Missile (16th); 1985 Classified (5th); 1986 Classified (3rd), The Tsarevich (7th); 1987 The Tsarevich (2nd), Classified (UR 25th); 1988 The Tsarevich (7th); 1990 Brown Windsor (4th); 1991 Ten Of Spades (14th); 1991 Master Bob (PU bef 19th); 1992 Brown Windsor (FELL 6th); 1994 Henry Mann (FELL 1st); 1995 Tinryland (FELL 1st); 1998 Pashto (FELL 1st); 1999 Fiddling The Facts (FELL 22nd); 2000 Esprit De Cotte (FELL 22nd); 2001 Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th), 2002 Marlborough (FELL 1st), Goguenard (FELL 1st); 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2005 Fondmort (PU 28th); 2006 Juveigneur (FELL 1st), Iris Royal (PU bef 17th), 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009 Golden Flight (FELL 1st); Fleet Street (UR 18th); 2012 Shakalakaboomboom (9th); 2013 Roberto Goldback (UR last); 2014 Hunt Ball (17th), Long Run (FELL 9th), Shakalakaboom (PU 20th) Triolo D’Alene (PU 22nd); 2016 Triolo D’Alene (14th), Hadrian’s Approach (UR 1st)

Nico de Boinville
Born: Hampshire, August 14, 1989, Background: Learnt his trade on horses in eventing and showing and won a class at the Horse of the Year Show when he was nine. He comes from a family where equestrian competition at the top level is second nature. His late mother was on the national dressage squad, while her sister, Phillippa, rode at Badminton, and is now married to the trainer, Pat Chamings. De Boinville was educated at Bradfield College in Berkshire where he completed A-Levels and gained a place at Newcastle University to read history and politics. This stint at university was short-lived; he dropped out after six weeks and returned home to Hampshire to pursue life as a jockey. Before university he worked as a pupil assistant to Richard Gibson in Chantilly. De Boinville’s ambition to become a Jump jockey led him to Seven Barrows, where he mixed working at Nicky Henderson’s famous yard with riding in point-to-points. De Boinville turned professional in 2014. Although Henderson still remains his premier employer, he also regularly rides for Wantage-based trainer Mark Bradstock, who trained Coneygree to win the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup to provide the jockey’s biggest success. De Boinville rode his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 on Whisper in the Coral Cup, a horse he also partnered to victory in the Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree a year later. Last season, he won the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on Sprinter Sacre and the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Altior, both for Henderson. He also rode a double at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, taking the Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase with Altior and the RSA Chase dramatically on Might Bite.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2016: Hadrian’s Approach (UR 1st)

Definitly Red (IRE) 8-10-12
Breeding: ch g Definite Article – The Red Wench (Aahsaylad)
Breeder: James Keegan
Born: March 5, 2009
Owner: Phil Martin
Trainer: Brian Ellison
Jockey: Danny Cook
Form: 117/1211P/2122F1-131U1

*10lb well in at the weights, the most of any horse in the 2017 Randox Health Grand National, which explains why he has been backed down to favouritism.
*Warmed up for Aintree with an impressive 14-length victory over last year’s Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri in Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster on March 4, 2017, after the weights for the £1-million Aintree race had been published the month before.
*Previously successful this season in G3 Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day.
*Also a Listed winner at Ayr in April, 2016, successful at G2 level and twice successful at Listed level in bumpers.
*Went into training with Steve Gollings and won three races before being transferred to Brian Ellison in December, 2014.
*Winning Irish point-to-pointer who was sold to owner Phil Martin for £110,000 at a sale at Cheltenham in November, 2013.
*The spelling of his name is down to it being submitted that way by his point-to-point handler in Ireland, Bryan Marshall, at the time of registration. He is by Definite Article out of The Red Wench.
Jump race record: Starts: 19; Wins: 10; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £189,700
Phil Martin
Sheffield-born Phil Martin (born May 23, 1952) is a retired businessman who lives at Tickhill, south of Doncaster. Having always promised himself a racehorse if he became successful in business, Martin first entered racehorse ownership in 2006 on selling his engine lubricant business. One of his first significant winners came at Aintree in 2008, when the Tom Tate-trained Honest John took the G2 Champion Bumper. Martin’s horses were primarily trained by Lincolnshire-based Steve Gollings before the pair parted company at the end of 2014. He and his wife Julie now have over 40 horses with Brian Ellison. They each have their own horses. In addition to Definitly Red, the Martins’ best horses have included G2 Old Roan Chase victor Conquisto and Forest Bihan, successful in the G2 Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster this season. They have had 17 winners (up to April 4) this Jump season, following on from their best total of 22 in 2015/2016.
No previous Randox Health Grand National runners

Brian Ellison (Malton, North Yorkshire)
Born: June 28, 1952, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne Background: One of eight children, his father was a Tyneside shipyard worker, while his mother worked as a cleaner in a Newcastle Hospital. Ellison has established himself as one of the country’s leading dual-purpose trainers, based at Spring Cottage Stables in Malton, North Yorkshire, which has grown over the years from 23 to 100 boxes. He bought the 30-box Highfield Stables across the road in 2013. His wife Claire plays a big part in the running of the business, helping Brian feed the horses and being in charge of the administration. Daughter Jessica assists and is responsible for the staff. Riding Career: After his hopes of becoming a professional footballer were dashed when he was told he was too short for the job, he decided to become a jockey, despite the fact that he had never ridden a horse. He left school aged 15 to join Harry Blackshaw’s stable and partnered his first winner at 17. One of the highlights of a 21-year career as a journeyman Jump jockey, from 1968 to 1989, came when riding Tex to defeat the mighty Tingle Creek in a Worcester handicap chase in 1976. Training Career: He ran a livery yard for a couple of years and was assistant trainer to Don Eddy and Nigel Tinkler. He began training with three horses in leased stables in County Durham in 1989 and his first Jump winner was Corbett’s Diamond that November at Hexham. He bought his present base in 2000, bringing 25 horses with him, and enjoyed his 1,000th winner on July 15, 2016, when Robero scored at Newmarket. He has a capacity for 130 horses in training. His best season over jumps came in 2015/2016 (48 winners), though he could beat that total this season with 43 (up to April 4), while on the Flat it was 62 in 2013. He has had runners in Australia and Dubai. Big-Race Wins – Flat: Ebor Handicap (2011 Moyenne Corniche), Superior Mile (2013 Top Notch Tonto, 2015 Balty Boys), Irish Cesarewitch (2013 Montefeltro). Jump: Finale Juvenile Hurdle (2011 Marsh Warbler), Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (2016 Definitly Red), Lightning Novices’ Chase (2017 Forest Bihan).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2012 Neptune Equester (13th)

Danny Cook
Born: June 18, 1983, in Romford, Essex. Background: Danny Cook gained an interest in horseracing by watching the sport on TV as a youngster. His father was a landscape gardener. After leaving school and working for his father, Cook considered an alternative career in the Army before enrolling at the Northern Racing College despite having no experience with horses. Riding Career: Cook’s first ride was as an amateur rider on Kafi at Bangor in August, 2001. A move to the Barry Leavy yard in May, 2004, brought some success and he then joined Jim Old. After a stop-start career, Cook came to the David Pipe yard where he really took off and in the 2008/09 season he finished runner-up to Oliver Greenall in the amateur riders’ championship with 21 winners. He turned professional as a conditional jockey ahead of the 2009/10 season and rode his first Cheltenham Festival winner in 2010 aboard Great Endeavour in what is now the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate. He ended that Jump season with 25 successes. He subsequently made the move north to Yorkshire due to his connection with owner Dan Gilbert and now rides predominantly for Sue Smith (stable jockey) and Brian Ellison. His best total was 48 winners in 2015/2016 but he is about top that this season (47 up to April 4). Other Information: Cook was banned for six months in 2015 after testing positive for cocaine, an event he described as “a catastrophic error of judgment”. Arsenal fan Cook is due to marry his fiancée Kirsty in July, 2017. Big-Race Wins: Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (2010 Great Endeavour), Peter Marsh Chase (2016 Cloudy Too, 2010 Our Vic), Altcar Novices’ Chase (2015 Wakanda)
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2010 Pablo Du Charmil (FELL 2nd)

Doctor Harper (IRE) 9-10-06
Breeding: b g Presenting – Supreme Dreamer (Supreme Leader)
Breeder: Stephen O’Flynn
Born: May 20, 2008
Owner: The Johnson Family
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey:
Form: 110/115131/9221U-P92P7

*Lightly-raced sort who was a creditable seventh in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at last month’s Cheltenham Festival on his final start before Aintree.
*Pulled up in the G3 Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick in late January but finished an excellent second to Tour Des Champs in a Chelenham handicap chase on January 1.
*Sent off the well-backed 4/1 favourite for the Kim Muir Hadicap Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, but Doctor Harper unseated his rider in that event.
*Career highlight so far came when defeating Kaylif Aramis by one and three-quarter lengths in the G3 Dominican Republic Handicap Hurdle at the 2014 Randox Health Grand National Festival.
*A smart bumper performer, he was 12th in the 2013 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
*Trainer saddled the 2008 Grand National winner Comply Or Die who also ran in these colours.
*Just sneaked into the race after Pendra was taken out on Thursday morning.
Jump race record: Starts: 19; Wins: 7; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £68,621

The Johnson Family
Horses owned by the late David Johnson continue to run in his famous blue and green silks under The Johnson Family following his death from cancer on July 6, 2013. David was a self-made businessman and is survived by his wife Shirley, whom he married in 1968, and two children – Stephen and Lisa. A docker’s son, born in 1944, from the East End of London, he began working at the Midland Bank in East Ham for £9 a week aged 16. He subsequently built up some very successful mortgage companies and established himself as one of the most innovative figures in the sector. Racing interests: David formed a formidable partnership with Martin Pipe (now retired) and then his son David. He enjoyed 13 winners at Cheltenham Festival, headlined by four successes in the Racing Post Arkle Chase (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief & 2005 Contraband) and Our Vic’s front-running success in the 2008 Ryanair Chase. Johnson captured a first owners’ championship in 1997/98 and took the title again in 2001/2, 2002/3, 2003/4 and 2004/5. Comply Or Die’s victory in the 2008 Grand National helped Johnson secure a sixth leading owners’ title, with over £1.4 million in prize money for that 2007/8 season. Crabbie’s Grand National Record (David Johnson): 1998 Challenger Du Luc (Fell 1st); 1999 Eudipe (Fell 22nd), Tamarindo (Fell 6th); 2002 Iris Bleu (Fell 5th); 2003 Iris Bleu (PU bef 16th); 2004 Lord Atterbury (3rd), Jurancon II (Fell 4th), Montreal (Fell 6th); 2005 It Takes Time (4th), Lord Atterbury (Fell 1st); 2006 Therealbandit (PU 27th), It Takes Time (PU 29th); 2007 Celtic Son (PU 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Vodka Bleu (PU 19th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Comply Or Die (PU 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 (The Johnson Family) Rocky Creek (8th), The Package (12th), Our Father (UR 8th); 2015 Rocky Creek (17th); 2016 Rocky Creek (PU 12th)

David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)
Born: February 7, 1973 Background: Son of 15-time champion Jump trainer Martin Pipe, who in 2001 had a record 10 runners in the Randox Health Grand National. David started riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to gain 22 wins over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with trainers around the world – Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House Stables on the Somerset/Devon border, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, including Well Armed, successful 15 times. He picked up the reins at Nicholashayne after his father retired in 2006 and promptly won with the first runner under his own name, Standin Obligation, at Kelso on May 9, 2006 and less than two years later emulated his father’s 1994 Grand National victory with Miinnehoma when he saddled Comply Or Die to take the great Aintree race. Comply Or Die finished second in the following year’s Grand National. Pipe’s 10 Grade One victories include Un Temps Pour Tout (2015 French Champion Hurdle), Dynaste (2014 Ryanair Chase) and Moon Racer (2015 Champion Bumper), while he has accumulated 15 Cheltenham Festival successes, including one this year. His best British season came in 2006/7 with 134 winners.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Milan Deux Mille (15th), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU 19th), Joaaci (FELL 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (FELL 6th), Comply Or Die (PU 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (FELL 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 Swing Bill (9th), The Package (12th), Our Father (UR 8th); 2015 Soll (9th); 2016 Vieux Lion Rouge (7th), Ballynagour (UR 19th), Soll (PU 21st)

Conor O’Farrell
Born: July 27, 1989 Background: son of Kilmoganny-based trainer Seamus O’Farrell and younger brother of former jockey James O’Farrell. Conor did not sit on a horse until he was 15. He attended the Racing Academy & Centre of Excellence in Ireland after a spell riding out for Joe Crowley and moved to Paddy Prendergast after graduating. He worked for Shark Hanlon before moving to Britain and becoming a conditional jockey for David Pipe in October, 2010. His first winner was Miss Latina, Gowran Park, July 8, 2007, while his first British winner was A Little Different, who scored at Perth on September 24, 2009. O’Farrell enjoyed success at the Cheltenham Festival on Buena Vista in the 2011 Pertemps Network Final, while other big race victories have come in the Midlands Grand National (2011 Minella Four Star) and the Betfair “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (2011 Dynaste). He has ridden 15 winners so far this season (as of April 5). He had been due to partner Maggio in the 2017 Randox Health Grand National but that horse was withdrawn on Monday and on Thursday, April 6 was asked to partner Doctor Harper.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2012 Swing Bill (10th); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 Swing Bill (9th); 2016 Soll (PU 21st)

Double Shuffle (IRE) 7-10-12
Breeding: b g Milan – Fiddlers Bar (Un Desperado)
Breeder: A W Young
Born: April 15, 2010
Owner: Crossed Fingers Partnership
Trainer: Tom George
Jockey: Adrian Heskin
Form: 5611/24135-2P512
*Bidding to become the first seven-year-old to win the Randox Health Grand National since Bogskar was successful in 1940.
*Went down by half a length to winner Pilgrims Bay in G3 BetBright Handicap Chase (3m) at Kempton Park on February 25, 2017.
*Scored by three and a half lengths in a handicap chase over same distance at Kempton Park on December 27, 2016.
*Third in Listed Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (2m 4.5f) at the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2016.
*Has never fallen or unseated, failing to complete just once when pulled up.
*Has never raced beyond three miles.
Jump race record: Starts 14; Wins 4; 2nd 3; 3rd 1. Win & Place Prize Money: £86,432

Crossed Fingers Partnership
The Crossed Fingers Partnership consists of Max Fawbert and Nic Williamson. Derbyshire-based Max Fawbert is a hairdresser and recalls backing the 1976 Grand National winner Rag Trade, who was owned partly by celebrity hairdresser Teasy-Weasy Raymond. He grew up surrounded by horses and rode in a few point-to-points. His father was an independent bookmaker. Nic Williamson, a Barbados-based businessman, met Fawbert when he popped into the salon for a haircut. The Ferdy Murphy-trained Desperate Dex was the partnership’s first winner when scoring at Uttoxeter in November, 2006. Notable horses for the pair have included God’s Own, who has won three G1 races including the JLT Melling Chase over the Mildmay Course at the 2016 Grand National Festival. Their previous Grand National runner Big Fella Thanks, who ran in the race twice in their colours, was trained by Ferdy Murphy before he moved to France in 2013, the first time and then by Tom George.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2011 Big Fella Thanks (7th); 2013 Big Fella Thanks (UR 8th)

Tom George (Slad, Gloucestershire)
Born: June 4, 1967 Background: Having left Gordonstoun School in 1984, he worked for trainer Arthur Moore in Ireland, followed by a spell at Kingwood Stud, worked for the British Bloodstock Agency and gained a diploma in stud management at the National Stud before becoming assistant to Flat trainers Gavin Pritchard Gordon and Michael Jarvis. Spent a year working in France for dual-purpose trainer Francois Doumen, and finally a year with multiple champion Jump trainer, Martin Pipe. He began his training career in 1993 with 14 horses from his base at Springbank Stables in Slad, near Stroud, Gloucestershire. At the age of 26 he was one of the youngest Jump trainers in the country and his first winner, Newton Point, came at Worcester on September 11, 1993. Tom George’s local track is Cheltenham and he won there with Newton Point in his rookie season. A surge for his yard came when Galileo won the G1 Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, 2002, providing the trainer with an initial success at The Festival. The horse was racing for only the second time over hurdles, having been bought off the Flat in Poland. Nacarat provided George with a G1 success in the Betway Bowl at the 2011 Grand National Festival, while he has also enjoyed G1 success in France with Halley in the 2011 Prix Maurice Gillois Grand Steeple-Chase 4 Ans. God’s Own has been a flagbearer for the stable in recent years, with three G1 triumphs including in the 2016 JLT Melling Chase at Aintree. He is enjoying his best-ever season in 2016/2017, with 62 winners (up to March 26), many of them ridden by new stable jockey Adrian Heskin. He has another 2017 Randox Health Grand National contender in Saint Are. Tom is married to Sophie, daughter of former trainer John Edwards, who helps source horses for the yard. Edwards trained Little Polveir, who had had three previous runs in the Grand National, up until two months before being sold for 15,000 guineas to trainer Toby Balding who sent the horse out to win the 1989 Grand National.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 Tremallt (9th); 2006 Lord Of Illusion (PU 17th); 2009 Kilbeggan Blade (PU 21st); 2013 Big Fella Thanks (UR 8th); 2015 Saint Are (2nd); 2016 Saint Are (PU 30th)

Adrian Heskin
Born: April 22, 1992 Background: Grew up in Kilworth, County Cork. Started working for trainer Michael Hourigan as soon as he left school at the age of 16. Recorded his first winner when Mystical Breeze won a Naas handicap hurdle on March 14, 2009. Enjoyed a dream end to the 2009/2010 season, gaining an initial Cheltenham Festival success on board A New Story, trained by Hourigan, in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase and taking the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park the following month with the Hourigan-trained Church Island. Appointed retained jockey to owner Barry Connell in October, 2014, and won the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle for him on the Mags Mullins-trained Martello Tower at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival. Connell replaced him with Denis O’Regan in April, 2016, Heskin jockey moved across the Irish Sea to become retained rider for Gloucestershire trainer Tom George in September of the same year. The partnership has blossomed, with both George and Heskin enjoying their best seasons numerically. Their first winner together was Kilbree Kid in a Perth handicap chase on September 21, 2016. He has had 49 winners (up to April 4) this season. No previous Randox Health Grand National rides
Drop Out Joe (GB) 9-11-01

Breeding: ch g Generous – La Feuillarde (Nikos)
Breeder: Jethro Bloodstock
Born: February 4, 2008
Owner: The Jesters
Trainer: Charlie Longsdon
Jockey: Tom O’Brien
Form: 75/116232P/13429/411570-1

*Bred by comedian Jethro, who owns a stud in Cornwall.
*Hasn’t been seen since beating Ballynagour two lengths in the Listed John Smith’s Summer Cup at Uttoxeter on June 26, 2016. He won the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton earlier that season.
*Won an Irish point-to-point at Affane before being bought by Highflyer Bloodstock for £35,000 in the DBS Hennessy Sale in December 2012.
*Has been well beaten on his only two attempts beyond three miles, two furlongs (was unplaced in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year and also in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr in 2015)
*Bidding to become the first horse to win the Randox Health Grand National on his first run that particular year since Drogheda triumphed in 1898.
Jump race record: Starts: 21; Wins: 6; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £127,235

The Jesters
The Jesters is a three-strong syndicate comprising business associates Robert Aplin (based in Bristol), Josh Llewellyn (who lives in Barry Island) and Steve Corcoran (from Knutsford). The trio all met through their various roles in the tool hire industry and have all been keen Jump racing fans for many years. Aplin is no stranger to racehorse ownership in the past, having owned horses with Charlie Longsdon, Brian Barr, David Bridgwater, Brendan Powell, Milton Harris and Martin Keighley in the past. Aplin owned the UK rental exhibition the Executive Hire Show, held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, and sold the company to the Hemming Group earlier this year following his retirement.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Charlie Longsdon (Hull Farm, Chipping Norton)
Born: October 8, 1975. Background: Grew up in the world of eventing, competing up to intermediate level. He had the ambition to train from an early age and gained work experience with trainers Oliver Sherwood and Nigel Twiston-Davies. While at university (he studied Art at Oxford Brookes), Longsdon spent one summer working on a game reserve in Kenya. After university, he joined Kim Bailey’s yard in Lambourn as his assistant. In 2001, Longsdon moved on to Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows and, during his five years there, won the Alex Scott Memorial Fund Assistant Trainer’s Scholarship (2004), which gave him a sabbatical in the United States, where he worked with champion Flat trainer Todd Pletcher. When he got his own licence, Longsdon based himself at Sezincote, near Moreton-on-the-Marsh and in his first season, 2006/07, trained nine winners. In 2009, he moved to Hull Farm near Chipping Norton on the Oxfordshire/Gloucester border and from there posted a seasonal best of 78 winners in 2013/14 and he is now approaching his 500th success. His achievements include seven Graded victories and two wins for The Queen, with Forth Bridge at Musselburgh (December, 2016 & February, 2017). He has reached his highest prize money total (over £640,000) this Jump season. Personal life: Married to Sophie (sister of trainer Ben Pauling) and they have three children, Milly and twins Harry & Fred.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2010 Palypso De Creek (Fell 27th); 2015 Ely Brown (Fell 1st); 2016 Pendra (13th)

Tom O’Brien
Born: November 28, 1986 Background: set a record for the conditional riders’ championship in the 2006/07 season with 107 successes. His father Jim is a brother of the brilliant trainer Aidan O’Brien and plays a key role at his Ballydoyle stable in Co Tipperary. From the age of 13, Tom rode out at weekends and in school holidays at Ballydoyle, aboard champions such as High Chaparral, Rock Of Gibraltar and Mozart. He joined Philip Hobbs’s stable as a 17-year-old, initially riding as an amateur and in point-to-points and had his first success aboard The Names Bond at Warwick on December 18, 2004. O’Brien also has an association with trainer Peter Bowen, for whom he finished second aboard McKelvey when having his first Randox Health Grand National ride in 2007. He landed the Coral Welsh National in 2009 on Dream Alliance and has enjoyed one success at the Cheltenham Festival – Silk Affair in the 2009 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Aidan O’Brien still takes a keen interest in his nephew’s progress – “when he sits down to watch me ride, he often gets on the phone to give me a rollicking,” said Tom. He partnered the Peter Bowen-trained Always Waining to two of his record-breaking three successes over the Grand National fences in the Randox Health Topham Chase at Aintree and also won the 2013 Betfred Becher Chase on the Hobbs-trained Chance Du Roy. He enjoyed a G1 winner on January 7, 2017 in the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle on the Colin Tizzad-trained Finian’s Oscar, one of 76 winners (up to April 5) this season.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 McKelvey (2nd); 2008 McKelvey (UR 20th); 2009 Zabenz (Fell 16th); 2010 Dream Alliance (PU Bef 24th); 2013 Always Waining (10th); 2014 Chance Du Roy (6th); 2015 Chance Du Roy (10th); 2016 Onenightinviena (UR 22nd)

Gas Line Boy (IRE) 11-10-07
Breeding: b g Blueprint – Jervia (Affirmed)
Breeder: Mrs Mary Fouhy
Born: May 12, 2006
Owner: The Three Graces
Trainer: Ian Williams
Jockey: Robert Dunne
Form: 12437/31348U/P11P4F/UP-243144

*Back for a second crack at the Randox Health Grand National – he fell at the first in 2015.
*In now in the care of Ian Williams, having started his career with Philip Hobbs.
*Warmed up for this race by finishing an excellent fourth behind Vieux Lion Rouge in Haydock’s Grand National Trial at Haydock on 18 February.
*Landed a veterans’ handicap chase at Kelso in December, 2016 – his first victory for Williams – before finishing fourth in the final of the veterans chase series at Sandown in January.
Jump race record: Starts: 25; Wins: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £94,789

The Three Graces
The Three Graces syndicate is business associates and friends Peter Thwaites and Peter Legros, who met around eight years ago. Thwaites, who now lives in Southport after being based in London, worked in the construction industry before retiring, while Wirral-based Legros has a business in steel fabrication. The partnership is named after the Three Graces of the Liverpool skyline – the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building – which have have long been seen as visual symbols of the city’s commercial prowess. Thwaites’ wife designed the colours of the syndicate, while Legros’ wife came up with the partnership name. Legros has been interested in horseracing ever since his mother introduced him to the sport when he was younger and is no stranger to big-race success as an owner, having landed the 2008 Chester Cup with Bulwark which he co-owned with Dr Marwan Koukash. The pair met through work (Legros’ company provided the steel for Koukash’s Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Liverpool city centre) and Legros’ infectious love of horseracing rubbed off on the colourful businessman, who now one of racing’s most prominent owners.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Ian Williams (Alvechurch, West Midlands)
Son of Devon trainer Billy Williams, Ian was born on June 27, 1968. He initially studied accountancy at college prior to a brief stint working for bookmakers William Hill. He spent three years working as an assistant to Jenny Pitman (1988-1991) prior to a six-month spell at Martin Pipe’s stable in late 1991. He moved on to Francois Doumen in January, 1992 and enjoyed four years at the French trainer’s yard before returning to Britain and setting up on his own near Oxford in August 1997. He now trains at Alvechurch in Worcestershire. Date of First Trainer’s Licence: August, 1996 Aintree Festival Wins: Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2010 Wayward Prince), Betfred Red Rum Handicap Chase (2007 Bambi De L’Orme) Other Big Race Wins: Albert Bartlett (2004 Brewster), Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Brewster), Hyde Novices’ Hurdle (1999 Majestic, 2004 Brewster), Towton Novices’ Chase (2010 Weird Al), Imperial Cup (2017 London Prize)
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2015 Super Duty (PU 25th)

Robert Dunne
Born: Dublin, April 5, 1985 Background: Robbie’s family are not involved in horses, and he didn’t sit on a horse until he was 14. After graduating from RACE, the Irish jockeys’ school on the Curragh, he worked for Dermot Weld for two years and then Jim Bolger. He didn’t get off the mark on the racecourse until his 176th ride – Maswaly at Downpatrick in 2005. In 2010 he moved to England to work for Venetia Williams. He is now freelance, and rides primarily for Williams and Dai Burchell. His biggest winners to date have been the 2015 Coral Scottish Grand National on Wayward Prince for Hilary Parrott, and the Venetia Williams-trained Rigadin Du Beauchene in both Warwick’s Betfred Classic Chase in 2013 and the 2014 Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock. He had a dream first ride in the Randox Health Grand National in 2016 when third on Vics Canvas.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2016 Vics Canvas (3rd)

Goodtoknow (GB) 9-10-07
Breeding: Presenting – Atlantic Jane (Tamure)
Breeder: P J Hughes Berkswell
Born: March 22, 2008
Owner: Burling Daresbury MacEchern Nolan Potter
Trainer: Kerry Lee
Jockey: Jake Greenall
Form: 370134P/PU221P3/F222P7/2P11P-8521P

*Second behind One For Arthur in the Grade Three Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick in January.
*Comfortable winner of a 3m 1f handicap chase at Hereford on heavy ground on February 1, beating stable-mate and former dual Welsh Grand National winner Mountainous.
*All five lifetime wins have come on heavy or soft ground.
Jump race record: Starts: 30, Wins: 5; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £59,602

Burling Daresbury MacEchern Nolan Potter
Roslyn Burling has owned horses from an early age, and with her husband Patrick has bred and owned many horses, the best being Hand In Hand, who won the Grade One Ascot Chase, and Brelade, who is currently in training with Gordon Elliot in Ireland. This is her first runner in the Grand National. Lord Daresbury was chairman of Aintree Racecourse for 25 years up to 2012. A former champion amateur jockey, he won the Randox Health Fox Hunters’ Chase in 1982 aboard Lone Soldier, but his only ride in the Randox Health Grand National ended when he fell at the first on Shaneman in 1975. All his four sons have ridden at Aintree, and Tom won the Fox Hunters’ in his father’s colours in 2009 on Trust Fund. Gavin MacEchern shares a love of hunting with Lord Daresbury – the former is chairman of the VWH Hunt, while Lord Daresbury is joint-master of the Wynnstay – and Goodtoknow is MacEchern’s first runner in the Grand National since Young Hustler finished fifth in the 1996 race. MacEchern, chairman of property and fund management partnership Heracles LLP, enjoyed great success with Young Hustler, who won the Becher Chase in 1995 and the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in 1993. James Potter, chairman of the Potter Group, hosts Yorton Farm Stud at his Leighton Farm in Powys and owns stallions Gentlewave, Pether’s Moon and Blue Bresil. He is a director of Bangor Racecourse, and part-owns former Welsh Grand National winner Mountainous. Potter and his wife Jean own Kayf Grace, winner of the Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Bumper at the 2016 Grand National meeting. Paul Nolan is the managing director of Nolan Partners, the biggest headhunting firm dedicated to sport in Europe and the US. Paul has conducted significant work in the horseracing and betting and gaming industries, including leading the search to appoint Nick Rust as BHA CEO in 2015. Paul sits on a number of boards, including the University of Liverpool Management School and the Advisory Board of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industry MBA at Liverpool University. He also sits on the judging panel of the Sports Industry Leaders 40 Under 40 Awards. Paul is a Scouser, a big Everton fan and was born and brought up less than three miles from Aintree Racecourse.
No previous Randox Health Grand National runners as this entity

Kerry Lee (Bell House Stables, Byton, Hertfordshire)
Born: February 14, 1977 Background: From a family steeped in racing. Her father Richard, successful trainer for 29 years, saddled Le Beau Bai (2011) and Mountainous (2013) to win the Welsh National at Chepstow. Lee graduated from university with a degree in computer science and mixed being assistant trainer to her father with a career in television. She worked for around 15 years for Channel 4 Racing, beginning as a website editor and then becoming the TV Graphics Editor for the programme, operating with her brother Tom, one of Channel 4′s betting presenters and who also contributes to the family training business. Lee took over the licence at Bell House Stables in her own right following his retirement in 2015. In her first full season as a trainer (2015/16), Lee saddled 23 winners from 110 runners over jumps, operating at a 21% strike rate. This term, she has registered 21 successes from over 150 runners (up to April 4) and is on course for her best ever season numerically. Big race winners include Mountainous who claimed another Welsh Grand National in 2016, dual G2 victor Top Gamble and Kylemore Lough, who provided the rookie trainer with her first G1 success in the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Jake Greenall
Born: April 13, 1992 Background: is the youngest son of former Aintree Racecourse chairman Lord Daresbury who (as Peter Greenall) was champion amateur rider in 1976/77 and won the Randox Health Fox Hunters’ Chase in 1982 aboard Lone Soldier. Educated at Summer Fields and Shrewsbury, Jake started his riding career in 2006 in pony racing and after excelling in that sphere for two seasons, he had his first ride in a point-to-point in 2008. He rode mainly for David Easterby (son of Yorkshire trainer Mick) and piloted several good horses to victory, including Hunt Ball. He was joint runner-up in the British Senior Mens’ Point-To-Point title and the next season, he decided to go professional. He had his first winner as a conditional jockey in the 2010/11 season on Harsh But Fair at Market Rasen and rode a total of eight winners that term, having joined the Henry Daly yard. He is now riding as a freelance and is enjoying his best season to date with 25 winners as of April 4.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2014 Rose Of The Moon (Fell 26th)

Highland Lodge (IRE) 11-10-11
Breeding: b g Flemensfirth – Supreme Von Pres (Presenting)
Breeder: Margaret Treacy
Born: April 24, 2006
Owner: Patricia Thompson
Trainer: Jimmy Moffatt
Jockey: Henry Brooke
Form: 114/131356/24P68/584/721P-2

*Bought by Patricia Thompson on March 31, only three days after she acquired another 2017 Randox Health Grand National intended runner Le Mercurey. Thompson purchased Party Politics on the eve of his Grand National success in 1992 and also tried to win the race again with other last-minute purchases, Character Building (7th in 2010) and Mumbles Head (refused 30th in 2013).
*Highland Lodge has purposely had only one appearance so far this season, going down by a short-head to fellow Randox Health Grand National contender Vieux Lion Rouge in the G3 Betfred Becher Chase over the Grand National fences on December 3. His target has always been the 2017 Randox Health Grand National and he runs well when fresh.
*Captured the Becher Chase at Aintree in 2015, staying on well to beat Dare To Endeavour by two and a quarter lengths; also finished eighth in 2014 renewal.
*Narrowly missed out on running in last year’s Grand National, having been 47th in the final list.
*Purchased at Doncaster Sales by previous connections as a potential Grand National contender for £22,000 in November, 2015, having previously been trained by Emma Lavelle.
*Has never fallen or unseated his rider, but been pulled up twice.
Jump race record: Starts 22; Wins 5; 2nd 3; 3rd 2. Win & Place Prize Money: £156,538

Patricia Thompson
David and Patricia Thompson are best known as owners of Cheveley Park Stud just outside Newmarket. Although famed for their Flat racing exploits, the Thompsons have won Jump racing’s most famous prize before, having bought the 1992 Grand National hero Party Politics on the eve of his victory. Party Politics, who spent his 13-year retirement at Cheveley Park Stud, lived to the ripe old age of 25. Mrs Thompson said in July, 2009, when he died: “We will always remember the excitement of Grand National day in 1992 – and indeed his very creditable second in 1995 – as one of the major experiences of our racing ownership.” David Thompson, 81 (born April 4, 1936), is a former Smithfield meat trader who first made his business mark with the Hillsdown Holdings food group, which he later sold in two separate deals for about £300 million. In the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, David and Patricia were valued at £710m. The Thompsons, initially in partnership, bought the rundown Cheveley Park Stud, where horses have been bred for more than 1,000 years, in 1975. Music Boy, whom they raced, became their first stallion. It has become the most successful British-owned breeding operation in the country. Now stretching to around 970 acres and managed by Chris Richardson, its umbrella also covers the Sandwich, Warren Hill and Ashley Heath studs. It both sells and races the horses it produces and Russian Rhythm, a sales purchase, brought Classic glory when winning the 2003 1000 Guineas, going on to land both the Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes. The stud operation currently can house around 120 broodmares and stands eight stallions including leading sire Pivotal. It both sells and races the horses it produces – some of the Group One stars to race on the Flat in its patriotic red, white and blue silks include Red Bloom, Confidential Lady, Regal Rose, Echelon, Nannina, Exclusive, Peeress, Pivotal, Virtual, Chorist, Integral and last year’s Breeders’ Cup heroine Queen’s Trust. Those sold as yearlings include 1997 2,000 Guineas hero Entrepreneur St James’s Palace Stakes winner Excellent Art; the stud’s only British Classic winner in its own colours has been the yearling purchase Russian Rhythm, who took the 1,000 Guineas, Coronation and Nassau Stakes in 2003. The Cheveley Park Stud Flat trainers for 2017 and the 90-plus horses in training are headed by Sir Michael Stoute, a director of the stud, and include Robert Cowell, Clive Cox, Richard Fahey, James Fanshawe, John Gosden, William Haggas, Richard Hannon, Sir Mark Prescott and Roger Varian. Patricia Thompson has bought Highland Lodge from Bowes Lodge Stables.Simon, 49,and his wife Julie Wilson have horses in training with Jimmy Moffatt and Ireland’s champion Jump handler Willie Mullins under the Bowes Lodge Stables banner, which takes its name from a property that the pair used to own. The couple, who live in the village of Houghton Green near Warrington, started out in syndicates before setting up with their own horses in 2009. Both Simon and Julie are season ticket holders at Liverpool FC and the Bowes Lodge Stables colours of red, white and yellow are based on the club’s colours – the stars on the cap represent Liverpool’s five European Cup/Champions League victories. The Wilson’s 24-year-old son Rhyan is also involved in the partnership. Their other son, footballing-mad Patric, died at the age of 16 in February, 2016, just months after leading Highland Lodge into the winner’s enclosure following the Becher Chase victory at Aintree in December, 2015. He had bravely fought cancer after a brain tumour had been discovered after he just turned 15.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 PARTY POLITICS (WON); 1992 Roc De Prince (17th); 1995 Party Politics (2nd); 1996 Party Politics (FELL 3rd); 2010 Character Building (7th), 2011 Character Building (15th); 2013 Mumbles Head (REF 30th)

James (Jimmy) Moffatt (Cartmel, Cumbria)
A former jump jockey, James (Jimmy) Moffatt, born June 14, 1972, enjoyed success as a northern-based rider, employed mainly by his father, Dudley Moffatt, who is still involved in the family training business. His notable successes among his 78 wins as a jockey included three on the talented Morceli, as well as major wins for his father on Home Counties in the 1995 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and in the same year’s Scottish Champion Hurdle, and Deb’s Ball in the 1993 West Yorkshire Hurdle. He quit riding in 2003 to take over the licence at the family’s picturesque small stables, which his father built in 1985, at Cartmel in the Lake District. His best horse by some distance has been Chief Dan George, winner of what is now the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, as well as G2 River Don Novices’ Hurdle at Wetherby, the G2 Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock and the G1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle during the Grand National Festival at Aintree. Moffatt’s brother, Darren Moffatt, is a former Flat jockey. Jimmy is enjoying his joint-best season as a trainer with 11 winners (up to March 29). He married his long-time partner Nadine in 2015.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2011 Chief Dan George (17th)

Henry Brooke
Born Tadcaster, October 31, 1990 Background: Brooke was raised at Easingwold, Yorkshire. His mother Julia, who show jumped and then rode in point-to-points under her maiden name of Platts, ran a pre-training yard, which also housed a veterinary clinic, and trained point-pointers before taking out a training licence in 2015. Henry’s brother, Danny, rode in pony races and is a trainee livestock auctioneer and sheep breeder/dealer. Henry’s first ride in a race – in a point-to-point – came on Pikachu Blue, a horse that was gifted to him as a birthday present by trainer Sue Bramall. He finished third on that debut, but it took him another two seasons before he broke his duck in points. He flirted with Flat racing and had 14 rides on the level in 2010 and 2011. He became a conditional jockey and now rides as a freelance, having spent four years with Cheshire-based Donald McCain. Brooke won the conditional jockeys’ championship with 41 winners in 2011/12. In December, 2015, Brooke rode Highland Lodge to win the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences for trainer James Moffatt. He made a miraculous recovery from serious injury sustained in a fall at Hexham in October, 2016, when he was airlifted to hospital after being placed in an induced coma, having a collapsed lung, nine fractured ribs and fractured shoulder blade. Brooke returned to race-riding in the space of seven weeks and was able to partner Highland Lodge to finish a close second in this season’s Betfred Becher Handicap Chase. He is enjoying his best ever season with 45 winners (up to April 4).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2013 Across The Bay (14th); 2014 Across The Bay (14th); 2015 Across The Bay (PU 25th); 2016 Aachen (PU 22nd)

Houblon Des Obeaux (FR) 10-10-12
Breeding: b g Panoramic – Harkosa (Nikos)
Breeder: Marie Devilder & Benjamin Devilder
Born: March 5, 2007
Owner: Jennifer Blackwell
Trainer: Venetia Williams
Jockey: Charlie Deutsch
Form: 3/139B222103/9671046/11423274/1614396U/2220F/99841P-3484

*Showed just how well he stays when finishing fourth under top-weight in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter last month.
*Has run 49 times so far in his career, winning eight races and finishing placed 14 times.
*His latest victory came in February, 2016 when he landed the Grade Two Denman Chase at Newbury by 28 lengths.
*His other major victories include the Grade Three United House Gold Cup at Ascot and the Grade Two Rising Stars Novices’ Chase at Wincanton.
Jump race record: Starts: 49; Wins: 8; 2nd: 8; 3rd: 6; Win & Place Prize Money: £323,558

Jennifer Blackwell
Jennifer Blackwell is the wife of Julian ‘Toby’ Blackwell, veteran owner of the Blackwell Publishing dynasty, which includes the Blackwell’s chain of bookstores. Blackwell and his family still own the business, which his grandfather, Benjamin Henry Blackwell, set up in 1879, but he has expressed a desire to hand over ownership of the company to employees in a John Lewis-style partnership scheme in the near future. A former UKIP supporter, Blackwell was a prominent ‘leave’ campaigner in the recent EU referendum debate and his family is estimated to be worth £195 million in the latest Sunday Times Rich List. The Blackwells currently have several horses in training with Venetia Williams.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Venetia Williams
Born: May 10, 1960 Background: Venetia Williams had a great deal of experience as an assistant trainer and amateur rider before taking out a licence to train at her family’s Herefordshire estate. She had 10 winners as an amateur through 1986-88 and rode in the 1988 Grand National on Marcolo, who knocked her unconscious when coming down at Becher’s Brook. She broke her neck in a fall shortly afterwards and was forced to retire on medical advice. She gained experience around the world to further her knowledge of training, starting off with seven years as assistant to John Edwards at Sellack, only a few miles from where she is now based. She also had spells with Martin Pipe and Barry Hills, John Fulton in the United States and Colin Hayes in Australia. Training Career: She began with a string of limited size and talent but her success prompted great reaction and she regularly trains over 50 winners a season, recording a seasonal best of 90 in 2012/13. The popular grey Teeton Mill was her standard-bearer in the late 1990s, winning the 1998 Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase. Her first venture on the Flat yielded a Group Three winner when Stretarez won the 1998 Ormonde Stakes at Chester. She has recorded six wins at the Cheltenham Festival, the first of which being Samakaan in the 2000 Grand Annual Challenge Cup, and enjoyed the pinnacle of her career to date when winning the 2009 Grand National with 100/1 chance Mon Mome. Randox Health Grand National Record: 1997 Don’t Light Up (Fell 13th), Celtic Abbey (Unseated 15th); 1998 Celtic Abbey (Fell 5th); 1999 General Wolfe (12th); 2000 Kingdom Of Shades (16th); 2001 Inis Cara (Fell 4th), General Wolfe (Brought Down 8th); 2002 Inis Cara (PU Bef 25th); 2003 Bramblehill Duke (Fell 2nd); 2007 Sonevafushi (PU Bef 29th), The Outlier (Unseated 19th); 2008 Mon Mome (10th); 2009 MON MOME (WON), Stan (Fell 7th); 2010 Mon Mome (Fell 26th), Flintoff (PU Bef 21st); 2012 Mon Mome (PU 22nd); 2016 Katenko (Fell 22nd); Aachen (PU 22nd)

Charlie Deutsch
Born: June 9, 1996Background: Cotswolds-born Charlie, whose father John was a successful point-to-point rider, started his riding career in pony racing, then progressed to the point-to-point ranks, winning the national Wilkinson Sword Novice Riders’ in 2013. He scored a 100/1 winner on his debut ride in a hunter chase at Cheltenham that spring before joining Charlie Longsdon as a conditional jockey for a season. He returned to the amateur ranks to ride for Tom Lacey for a year, then in 2015 took a job with Venetia Williams, to whose yard he has been attached since. He has ridden 22 winners (as of April 4), up from 10 last season. In December he won the Grade Three Ryman Stationery Handicap Chase at Cheltenham aboard Aachen, trained by Williams and at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival was third on Aso in the G1 Ryanair Chase.
No previous Randox Health Grand National rides

Just A Par (IRE) 10-10-09
Breeding: b g Island House – Thebrownhen (Henbit)
Breeder: Sean Whelan
Born: April 5, 2007
Owner: Richard C Thompson after being bought for £100,000 from Paul Barber & the late Graham Roach at the Goffs UK Aintree Sale on Thursday, April 6
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Harry Cobden
Form: 122/21476/5P42031/09202-4P1

*Finished 15th in last year’s Grand National.
*Made £260,000 when offered for sale as a five-year-old, with wins in a point-to-point and a Punchestown maiden hurdle under his belt.
*Has delivered three victories for his current connections, most notably in the 2015 Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park, and was beaten a short-head in the same prestigious handicap chase a year later by fellow Randox Health Grand National contender The Young Master.
*Stayed on strongly to win three and a quarter mile veterans’ handicap chase at Newbury on March 4, 2017.
*Has never fallen or unseated, his two non-completions being pulled-ups.
*Set to be sold after racing at Aintree on the first day of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, Thursday, April 6, during the Goffs UK Aintree Sale.
Jump race record: Starts 23; Wins 4; 2nd 6; 3rd 1. Win & Place Prize Money: £197,272

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Somerset)
Born: April 17, 1962 at Lydney, Gloucestershire Background: The son of a policeman, he grew up in Olveston. He started riding in point-to-points after leaving school at 16 and worked for a couple of yards before becoming a conditional jockey with Sussex-based Josh Gifford for two years and then joining Devon trainer David Barons. He partnered 133 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also won the Irish Gold Cup with Paul up in 1988. Having struggled to keep his weight down, he retired from riding in 1989 and assisted Barons, trainer of not only Broadheath and Playschool but also Seagram, who won the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during Nicholls’ time at the stable. Nicholls took out his own licence to train at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat on November 1, 1991, with just eight horses and has come a long way since. Manor Farm Stables, which has been expanded, is the main yard, with Highbridge the second yard just outside the village. Daughter Megan is an apprentice jockey on the Flat with 21 winners (up to March 23). Achievements: 10-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 41 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and is the third most successful trainer ever there. His successes include victories in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded, 2015 Dodging Bullets), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). He also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby in 2012. At Aintree, he has captured the Grand National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and sent out Big Buck’s for four consecutive victories (2009 to 2012) in the Grade One Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle. He has been leading trainer at the Randox Health Grand National Festival three times – in 2008, 2011 & 2015. He is fighting for his 11th Jump trainers’ championship this season. He has sent out in total over 2,700 winners, including 112 at Grade One level (up to March 30).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU 29th), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (FELL 14th); 1998 What A Hand (FELL 1st), Court Melody (FELL 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (FELL 1st), 2000 Earthmover (FELL 4th), Torduff Express (FELL 13th), Flaked Oats (FELL 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (FELL 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (FELL 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (FELL 1st), Le Duc (UR 8th), Silver Birch (FELL 15th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th), Le Roi Miguel (PU 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU 19th); 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th), Royal Auclair (FELL 9th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Turko (FELL 25th), Mr Pointment (PU 30th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (FELL 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (FELL 4th), The Tother One (FELL 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU 19th), Harry The Viking (PU 26th); 2014 Rocky Creek (5th), Hawkes Point (18th), Tidal Bay (UR 8th); 2015 Mon Parrain (11th), Rocky Creek (17th), Rebel Rebellion (PU 26th), Unioniste (Fell 5th); 2016 Unioniste (10th), Just A Par (15th), Rocky Creek (PU 12th), Silviniaco Conti (PU 14th), Wonderful Charm (PU 21st), Black Thunder (PU 21st)

Harry Cobden
Born: November 5, 1998 Background: Harry Cobden comes from a farming family, based at Lydford-on-Fosse near Somerton in Somerset. His parents are Sarah and William and he has a brother, James.He has variously bought cows and land after doing well as a jockey. Educated at Sexey’s School in Bruton, Somerset, Harry Cobden was highly-successful in pony racing and point-to-points – he was national novice men’s champion – and has rapidly established himself as a rising star of the weighing room. He started out riding for trainer Anthony Honeyball and permit holder David Brace before joining Britain’s champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls. He was runner-up in the conditional jockeys’ championship with 30 successes in 2015/16 and is on his way to being champion conditional this season. He enjoyed his first winner under Rules aboard El Mondo in a hunters’ chase at Leicester on March 6, 2015. He sprung to prominence when landing the 2015 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on Old Guard when aged just 16 and enjoyed his first Grade One success aboard Irving in the 2016 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. He rode out his claim on February 4, 2017, when landing the Scottish County Hurdle on Diego Du Charmil. Big-Race Wins: Rendlesham Hurdle (2017 Zarkandar), Summit Juvenile Hurdle (2016 Cliffs Of Dover), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2016 Irving), Rising Stars Novices’ Chase (2016 Frodon), Greatwood Hurdle (2015 Old Guard)
No previous Randox Health Grand National rides

La Vaticane (FR) 8-10-06
Breeding: gr m Turgeon – Taking Off (Kahyasi)
Breeder: E B De La Motte & Scuderia Del Bargelo
Born: April 1, 2009
Owner: Maria Bukhtoyarova
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey: Richie McLernon
Form: 11/77/0P84P13112/63518-2515P

*Pulled up on her latest outing in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, his final run before Aintree.
*Recorded two successes to date for Pipe at Doncaster in December and Wincanton in March, 2016.
*A winner five times in France for handler Francois Cottin before joining Pipe in 2015.
*Would be the first mare to win since Nickel Coin in 1951. The last to be placed was Dubacilla, fourth in 1995.
*Current trainer bidding for second victory in the Grand National following Comply Or Die’s 2008 victory.
Jump race record: Starts: 37; Wins: 5; 2nd: 10; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £183,158

Maria Bukhtoyarova
Siberian-born Ms Bukhtoyarova, 32, is an art collector who has also acted as a Special Adviser to the United Nations Development Programme. She is the founder of the Gaia Art Foundation, which supports new cultural initiatives that nurture visionary artistic practices. Le Vaticane is her only horse in training.
Randox Health Grand National record: no previous runners

David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)
Born: February 7, 1973 Background: Son of 15-time champion Jump trainer Martin Pipe, who in 2001 had a record 10 runners in the Randox Health Grand National. David started riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to gain 22 wins over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with trainers around the world – Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House Stables on the Somerset/Devon border, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, including Well Armed, successful 15 times. He picked up the reins at Nicholashayne after his father retired in 2006 and promptly won with the first runner under his own name, Standin Obligation, at Kelso on May 9, 2006 and less than two years later emulated his father’s 1994 Grand National victory with Miinnehoma when he saddled Comply Or Die to take the great Aintree race. Comply Or Die finished second in the following year’s Grand National. Pipe’s 10 Grade One victories include Un Temps Pour Tout (2015 French Champion Hurdle), Dynaste (2014 Ryanair Chase) and Moon Racer (2015 Champion Bumper), while he has accumulated 15 Cheltenham Festival successes, including one this year. His best British season came in 2006/7 with 134 winners.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Milan Deux Mille (15th), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU 19th), Joaaci (FELL 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (FELL 6th), Comply Or Die (PU 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (FELL 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 Swing Bill (9th), The Package (12th), Our Father (UR 8th); 2015 Soll (9th); 2016 Vieux Lion Rouge (7th), Ballynagour (UR 19th), Soll (PU 21st)

Richie McLernon
Born: October 22, 1986 Background: Cork-born Richie McLernon grew up surrounded by horses, riding ponies and hunting. His parents, Philip and Betty, were both successful amateur riders while his uncle, Tommy Carmody, was a leading professional jockey, riding the 1986 Champion Chase winner Buck House and finishing second (1984) and fourth (1985) in the Grand National on Greasepaint. Another uncle, Bill McLernon, is one of Ireland’s winning-most amateur riders. After graduating from the Christian Brothers college in Cork in 2005, McLernon joined leading Irish point-to-point trainer Eugene O’Sullivan, striking up a great acquaintance with Arctic Times, whom he partnered to eight victories. He made the move to become a conditional jockey at Jonjo O’Neill’s stable in 2007 and rode five winners in his first season. In 2012, he partnered his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival on Alfie Sherrin in the Ultima Handicap Chase and added a second in 2013 on Holywell in the Pertemps Final. Holywell gave him a third in 2014 in the Ultima Handicap Chase. He came agonisingly close to winning the 2012 Grand National on the O’Neill-trained Sunnyhillboy but Neptune Collonges denied the pair by a nose in the race’s closest finish.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2010 Can’t Buy Time (FELL 8th); 2011 Can Buy Time (FELL 18th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd); 2013 Sunnyhillboy (UR 30th); 2014 Twirling Magnet (FELL 1st); 2015 Court By Surprise (PU 18th); 2016 Holywell (Fell 2nd)

Le Mercurey (FR) 7-11-00
Breeding: Nickname – Faroe (Bulington)
Breeder: S A R L Carion Emm
Born: March 20, 2010
Owner: Patricia Thompson
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Sean Bowen
Form: 1F1/737/113P381-32523

*Was recently purchased privately by Patricia Thompson of Cheveley Park Stud fame from owners Chris Giles and Colm Donlon. Thompson acquired Party Politics on the eve of his Aintree success in 1992 and also tried to win the race again with other last-minute purchases, Character Building (7th in 2010) and Mumbles Head (refused 30th in 2013).
*No seven-year-old has won the Grand National since Bogskar in 1940.
*High-class novice chaser last season and ended that campaign with seven-length victory over Bristol De Mai in the G2 Future Champions Novices’ Chase at Ayr in April, 2016.
*Best efforts this season came when second to Many Clouds in a Listed chase over the Mildmay Course at Aintree in December, 2016 and runner-up to Native River in G2 Denman Chase at Newbury in February, 2017.
Race record: Starts: 18; Wins: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 5; Win & Place Prize Money: £142,925

Patricia Thompson
David and Patricia Thompson are best known as owners of Cheveley Park Stud just outside Newmarket. Although famed for their Flat racing exploits, the Thompsons have won Jump racing’s most famous prize before, having bought the 1992 Grand National hero Party Politics on the eve of his victory. Party Politics, who spent his 13-year retirement at Cheveley Park Stud, lived to the ripe old age of 25. Mrs Thompson said in July, 2009, when he died: “We will always remember the excitement of Grand National day in 1992 – and indeed his very creditable second in 1995 – as one of the major experiences of our racing ownership.” David Thompson, 81 (born April 4, 1936), is a former Smithfield meat trader who first made his business mark with the Hillsdown Holdings food group, which he later sold in two separate deals for about £300 million. In the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, David and Patricia were valued at £710m. The Thompsons, initially in partnership, bought the rundown Cheveley Park Stud, where horses have been bred for more than 1,000 years, in 1975. Music Boy, whom they raced, became their first stallion. It has become the most successful British-owned breeding operation in the country. Now stretching to around 970 acres and managed by Chris Richardson, its umbrella also covers the Sandwich, Warren Hill and Ashley Heath studs. It both sells and races the horses it produces and Russian Rhythm, a sales purchase, brought Classic glory when winning the 2003 1000 Guineas, going on to land both the Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes. The stud operation currently can house around 120 broodmares and stands eight stallions including leading sire Pivotal. It both sells and races the horses it produces – some of the Group One stars to race on the Flat in its patriotic red, white and blue silks include Red Bloom, Confidential Lady, Regal Rose, Echelon, Nannina, Exclusive, Peeress, Pivotal, Virtual, Chorist, Integral and last year’s Breeders’ Cup heroine Queen’s Trust. Those sold as yearlings include 1997 2,000 Guineas hero Entrepreneur St James’s Palace Stakes winner Excellent Art; the stud’s only British Classic winner in its own colours has been the yearling purchase Russian Rhythm, who took the 1,000 Guineas, Coronation and Nassau Stakes in 2003. The Cheveley Park Stud Flat trainers for 2017 and the 90-plus horses in training are headed by Sir Michael Stoute, a director of the stud, and include Robert Cowell, Clive Cox, Richard Fahey, James Fanshawe, John Gosden, William Haggas, Richard Hannon, Sir Mark Prescott and Roger Varian.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 PARTY POLITICS (WON); 1992 Roc De Prince (17th); 1995 Party Politics (2nd); 1996 Party Politics (FELL 3rd); 2010 Character Building (7th), 2011 Character Building (15th); 2013 Mumbles Head (REF 30th)

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Somerset)
Born: April 17, 1962 at Lydney, Gloucestershire Background: The son of a policeman, he grew up in Olveston. He started riding in point-to-points after leaving school at 16 and worked for a couple of yards before becoming a conditional jockey with Sussex-based Josh Gifford for two years and then joining Devon trainer David Barons. He partnered 133 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also won the Irish Gold Cup with Paul up in 1988. Having struggled to keep his weight down, he retired from riding in 1989 and assisted Barons, trainer of not only Broadheath and Playschool but also Seagram, who won the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during Nicholls’ time at the stable. Nicholls took out his own licence to train at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat on November 1, 1991, with just eight horses and has come a long way since. Manor Farm Stables, which has been expanded, is the main yard, with Highbridge the second yard just outside the village. Daughter Megan is an apprentice jockey on the Flat with 21 winners (up to March 23). Achievements: 10-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 41 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and is the third most successful trainer ever there. His successes include victories in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded, 2015 Dodging Bullets), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). He also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby in 2012. At Aintree, he has captured the Grand National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and sent out Big Buck’s for four consecutive victories (2009 to 2012) in the Grade One Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle. He has been leading trainer at the Randox Health Grand National Festival three times – in 2008, 2011 & 2015. He is fighting for his 11th Jump trainers’ championship this season. He has sent out in total over 2,700 winners, including 112 at Grade One level (up to April 4).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU 29th), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (FELL 14th); 1998 What A Hand (FELL 1st), Court Melody (FELL 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (FELL 1st), 2000 Earthmover (FELL 4th), Torduff Express (FELL 13th), Flaked Oats (FELL 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (FELL 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (FELL 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (FELL 1st), Le Duc (UR 8th), Silver Birch (FELL 15th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th), Le Roi Miguel (PU 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU 19th); 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th), Royal Auclair (FELL 9th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Turko (FELL 25th), Mr Pointment (PU 30th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (FELL 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (FELL 4th), The Tother One (FELL 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU 19th), Harry The Viking (PU 26th); 2014 Rocky Creek (5th), Hawkes Point (18th), Tidal Bay (UR 8th); 2015 Mon Parrain (11th), Rocky Creek (17th), Rebel Rebellion (PU 26th), Unioniste (Fell 5th); 2016 Unioniste (10th), Just A Par (15th), Rocky Creek (PU 12th), Silviniaco Conti (PU 14th), Wonderful Charm (PU 21st), Black Thunder (PU 21st)

Sean Bowen
Born: September 5, 1997 Background: son of leading trainer Peter Bowen (himself once an amateur rider) and Karen Bowen, who was also an amateur jockey and finished third in the ladies’ championship. A career in the saddle looked unlikely in his formative years as Bowen was allergic to horses and ‘hated horses’ until he was five. After a successful stint on the pony racing circuit and in point-to-points (champion UK novice rider), Bowen rode a winner on his first start under Rules as an amateur on Kozmina Bay at Uttoxeter in December 2013. Bowen turned professional at the beginning of the 2014/15 and enjoyed a successful first campaign with 51 winners, taking the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on Just A Par for Paul Nicholls, for which he was awarded Jump Ride of the Year at the Lesters, and winning the conditional jockeys’ title. He is one of the team of jockeys riding for champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls and his seasonal totals keep rising. He had 55 winners in 2015/16 and is on the 75 mark (up to March 30) this season. His biggest success came on Just A Par in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park in 2015. His brother Mickey trains point-to-pointers and hunter chasers (had the 50/1 second Dineur in the 2016 Fox Hunters’ at Aintree) and his 16-year-old brother James recently began riding in point-to-points.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2015 Mon Parrain (11th); 2016 Just A Par (15th)

Lord Windermere (IRE) 11-10-10
Breeding: b g Oscar – Satellite Dancer (Satco)
Breeder: Edmond Coleman
Born: March 11, 2006
Owner: Dr Ronan Lambe
Trainer: Jim Culloty IRE
Jockey: Leighton Aspell
Form: F11418/221231/8761/373PP-205

*Reached the pinnacle of Jump racing when the 20/1 winner of the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup by a short-head in March, 2014.
*Won the G1 RSA Novices’ Chase at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
*Winless since his Cheltenham Gold Cup success, including when pulled up under top-weight in the 2015 Grand National.
*Missed all of 2015/16 campaign.
*Best effort from three outings this season came when the head runner-up to Champagne Fever in a Listed contest at Thurles in November.
*Last seen out when a distant fifth behind fellow Randox Health Grand National contender Pleasant Company in G3 Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on February 25.
Jump race record: Starts: 24; Wins: 6; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £491,164

Dr Ronan Lambe
Dr Ronan Lambe, 76, co-founded ICON Plc, a provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, in 1990 along with Dr John Climax. Starting out with just five staff in Dublin in 1990, Icon has grown massively and now employs over 12,600 people across 89 offices in 37 countries. He served as chairman of the Board of ICON plc from June 1990 to November 2002. He has been a non-executive director since January 2008. Lambe attended the National University of Ireland where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1959, a masters in biochemistry in 1962 and a PhD. in pharmacology in 1976. In 2016, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated Lambe’s wealth at £65 million. The best horses to have carried Lambe’s colours include Rite Of Passage, winner of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2010, and 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere plus Windsor Park, Spring Heeled and Silver Concorde, who were also Cheltenham Festival winners. The majority of his horses are trained by Dermot Weld, although he also has a few in training with both Jim Culloty and Robbie McNamara.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2011 Majestic Concorde (UR 24th); 2015 Spring Heeled (14th), Lord Windermere (PU bef 25th)

Jim Culloty IRE (Churchtown, Co Cork)
Born: Killarney,Ireland, on December 18, 1973 Background: Culloty, whose father Donal was an accountant, became involved in pony racing as a child. His interest in racing was sparked by his father having a horse in training with John Kennedy in Kilkenny. He spent summer holidays riding out for Kennedy and then Gerry Cully. He moved to Britain aged 18 after answering an advert in The Sporting Life newspaper, going to work for the point-to-point handler David Bloomfield in Cornwall and switching after a year to trainer Jackie Retter in Devon. Culloty is best known for his partnership in the saddle with Best Mate, who emulated Arkle by winning three consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for trainer Henrietta Knight and owner Jim Lewis. He rode 396 winners as a professional Jump jockey, having also been the champion amateur with 40 victories in 1995/96, and partnered Bindaree to victory in the 2002 Grand National for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. He retired from the saddle in July, 2005 and started training from his current base, Mount Corbitt, Churchtown, north of Mallow in Co Cork. Braun Star provided his first winner as a trainer when scoring a Thurles on November 30, 2006. His biggest training success came when Lord Windermere won the 2014 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in a thrilling finish by a short-head. He thus became the fifth man to ride and train a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. Culloty married Susie Samworth in 2004 and they have three children, Art, Eliza and Hugh. The couple separated in 2015. Big race wins: Despite a limited number of winners – his best seasonal total has been nine – Culloty has enjoyed three successes at the Cheltenham Festival – Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (2014 Lord Windermere), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (2014 Spring Heeled) and RSA Chase (2013 Lord Windermere).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2015 Spring Heeled (14th), Lord Windermere (PU bef 25th)

Leighton Aspell
Born: June 12, 1976, Dublin Background: He is one of the few jockeys to have a dedicated fan club. Began his racing life as an apprentice with noted tutor Reg Hollinshead and rode 10 winners on the Flat (the first was Prime Painter at Hamilton in May, 1993), before increasing weight forced him to switch to jumping. Joined the late Josh Gifford’s Findon yard and partnered his first winner over jumps at Huntingdon in May, 1995, aboard Karar, trained by Gifford’s former stable jockey Richard Rowe. Has won the Welsh National twice, with L’Aventure (2005) and Supreme Glory (2001), and experienced Grade One success in the Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle at Punchestown on United in 2005. Retirement & Comeback: In July, 2007, Aspell announced his retirement from the saddle and went to work for Flat trainer John Dunlop at Arundel for an 18-month spell. However, he made a return to race riding in April, 2009, stating that he missed the camaraderie of the weighing room and the thrill of race riding. He has partnered over 775 winners, with his best season coming in 2013/14 when he enjoyed 65 successes. Randox Health Grand National: Came close to a fairytale first ride in the National in 2003 when finishing second aboard Supreme Glory. Had another excellent spin in 2006 on Ballycassidy, who took up the running at Valentine’s on the first circuit and jumped for fun in the lead before taking a spectacular tumble at Valentine’s second time. He became the first jockey to win the Randox Health Grand National in consecutive years since Brian Fletcher on Red Rum in 1974/73 and the first on different horses since Bryan Marshall on Royal Tan & Early Mist in 1954/53 when successful in the world’s greatest chase on Pineau De Re (2014) and Many Clouds (2015). He is married to Nicola and they have three daughters – Lucy, Niamh and Kitty.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 Supreme Glory (2nd); 2004 Skycab (UR 6th); 2005 Take The Stand (UR 15th); 2006 Ballycassidy (FELL 25th), 2007 Billyvoddan (PU 19th); 2011 In Compliance (13th); 2014 PINEAU DE RE (WON), 2015 MANY CLOUDS (WON), 2016 Many Clouds (16th)

Measureofmydreams (IRE) 9-10-09
Breeding: b g Shantou – Le Bavellen (Le Bavard)
Breeder: Richard Keane
Born: August 30, 2008
Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Trainer: Noel Meade
Jockey: Donagh Meyler
Form: 21/211/13148/0113F0-P0

*A well-beaten 13th in the Ultima Handicap Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival on his latest outing.
*Was pulled up on his first start for Noel Meade, after joining the handler from Willie Mullins, in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January.
*Fell in last year’s Scottish Grand National and was a distant 12th on his final outing for Mullins in the G3 bet365 Gold Cup.
*Won twice for Mullins last season before finishing an excellent seven and a quarter-length third to Minella Rocco in the National Hunt Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
*Measureofmydreams was also a decent bumper performer, finishing eighth in the 2015 G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.
Jump race record: Starts: 16; Wins: 5; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £56,281

Gigginstown House Stud
Gigginstown House Stud, covering 1,000 acres at Delvin near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland is the residence of Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline. O’Leary was born on March 20, 1961, the second of six children, and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare before reading business studies at Trinity College Dublin. He was a tax consultant at accountants KPMG (1984-86) and became financial adviser to Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair. He progressed to be Ryanair’s deputy chief executive in 1991 and chief operating officer in 1993. He has overseen the rapid development of Ryanair since 1994 when he became chief executive, and his worth was valued at £708 million in the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, thanks mainly to his significant shareholding in Ryanair. O’Leary started off with horses in training on the Flat with David Wachman and Mick Halford, but he has rapidly become a major Jump owner with a string only rivalled by J P McManus. His team of over 170 horses in training is split between a range of trainers in Ireland and his racing enthusiasm was boosted when one of his first horses, War Of Attrition, won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. His 19 Cheltenham Festival winners also include the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack. Other Festival winners include Weapon’s Amnesty in the 2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and 2010 RSA Chase, First Lieutenant in the 2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, Sir Des Champs in the 2012 JLT Novices’ Chase and Apple’s Jade in the 2017 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. He won the Randox Health Grand National in 2016 with Rule The World. O’Leary’s brother Eddie, based at Lynn Lodge Stud in Mullingar, oversees the Gigginstown racing operation; the young horses are brought along at Pat Doyle’s County Tipperary stables and in point-to-points. Bryan Cooper is the retained jockey for Gigginstown. O’Leary married former banker Anita (Farrell) in 2003 and they have four children.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th); 2014 Quito De La Roque (PU 21st); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd), Sir Des Champs (Fell 15th)

Noel Meade
Born January 2, 1951 Background: Noel Meade is based at Tu Va, Castletown, Navan, County Meath in Ireland. He took out his first trainer’s licence in 1972 and after winning many big races on both the Flat and over jumps, almost 30 years later he enjoyed his first victory at the Cheltenham Festival when Sausalito Bay won the 2000 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by three-quarters of a length from subsequent triple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate. His total at the Cheltenham Festival now stands at five, with Road To Respect landing this season’s Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate. Meade has been champion Irish jumps trainer on eight occasions, taking the crown every season between 1998/99 and 2006/07 (bar 2000/01). The best horses to have been trained by Meade include the highly-talented hurdlers Harchibald and Go Native plus the G1-winning chasers Road To Riches, Disko, Realt Dubh, Apache Stronghold and Pandorama.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 The Bunny Boiler (UR 1st); 2004 The Bunny Boiler (10th); 2005 Arctic Copper (19th); 2006 Sir Oj (Fell 22nd)

Donagh Meyler
Born: December 2, 1995, Kilkenny Background: From Kilmacow, County Kilkenny, Donagh Meyler rode his first winner when taking the Athboy INH Flat Race on the Tony Martin-trained Anibale Fly at Navan on March 1, 2015. He quickly established himself as one of the leading conditional riders in Ireland and struck up a rewarding partnership on the Karl Thornton-trained Colms Dream on whom he won five races. His biggest win to date came on the Gordon Elliott-trained Lord Scoundrel who won Galway Plate at the Galway festival in July, 2016.
No previous Randox Health Grand National rides

More Of That (IRE) 9-11-06
Breeding: b g Beneficial – Guigone (Esprit Du Nord)
Breeder: Eleanor Hadden
Born: February 22, 2008
Owner: J P McManus
Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill
Jockey: Barry Geraghty
Form: 1/1111/3/113-P36U6

*A staying-on sixth, beaten nine and three-quarter lengths, behind Sizing John in the G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at this year’s Cheltenham Festival on March 17.
*Unseated-rider at the final fence in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 12 and finished sixth in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
*Won first two starts over fences before finishing third to Blaklion in the G1 RSA Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
*A high class hurdler, his career highlight to date came when defeating Annie Power by a length and a half in the 2014 G1 Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.
*Trainer and owner combined to win their first Grand National in 2010 courtesy of Don’t Push It, ridden by A P McCoy.
Jump race record: Starts: 14; Wins: 7; 2nd: 0; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £277,321

J P McManus
Born: March 10, 1951 in Co Limerick, Ireland. Background: John Patrick ‘J P’ McManus attended the Christian Brothers School on Sexton Street, Limerick. He left his father’s plant hire business at the age of 20 to become a racecourse bookmaker, but then took the less well-trodden route of gamekeeper-turned-poacher when becoming a professional punter. McManus recalls one of his first bets as being on Merryman II in the 1960 Grand National when he was just nine, but the bet that changed his life was £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, the horse winning at 100/8. He had another £4 on when Linden Tree won the Observer Gold Cup at 25/1, and £5 each-way at 33/1 for the Derby, when the horse beat all bar Mill Reef. He was dubbed “the Sundance Kid” by journalist Hugh McIlvanney after landing a number of major gambles during the 1970s. McManus has a host of business interests including dealing on the financial markets from his Geneva, Switzerland, base (since circa 1994), part-ownership of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, where he also has a house and an extensive global property portfolio. With Coolmore supremo John Magnier, he bought a 28.7% stake in Manchester United through the Cubic Expression company before subsequently selling out to US tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005. He was in the news shortly after that because of his stake in the pub and restaurant operator Mitchells and Butler. In 2016, the Sunday Times estimated McManus’ wealth at £786 million, making him the 11th richest person in Ireland. Racing interests: McManus purchased his first racehorse, Cill Dara, at the age of 26 and is the biggest Jump owner in terms of numbers in Britain and Ireland, with some 400 horses in training. He owns Jackdaws Castle, the Gloucestershire yard that Jonjo O’Neill trains from, and has invested heavily in improving facilities since purchasing the property in 2001. Mister Donovan provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival success in the 1982 Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle (now the Neptune Investment Management NH) and McManus has enjoyed 52 winners in total at the meeting – including three this year – far more than any other owner. The mighty Istabraq is the most revered horse he has owned following three consecutive victories in the Champion Hurdle (1998, 1999, 2000). He has gone on to enjoy a further three Champion Hurdle wins with Binocular (2010), Jezki (2014) and Buveur d’Air (2017), becoming the most successful owner ever in that championship race. He has also won a Cheltenham Gold Cup with Synchronised (2012) and three Stayers’ Hurdles with Baracouda (2002 & 2003) and More Of That (2014). A full 28 years after his first runner in the race, McManus finally achieved a long-held ambition when Don’t Push It, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by A P McCoy, won the 2010 Grand National. He has been British champion Jump owner for the 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 & 2014/15 seasons. He retained A P McCoy as his main jockey from April, 2004 until the rider’s retirement in April, 2015. Barry Geraghty has taken over that position, with McCoy having an advisory role. Frank Berry is the McManus racing manager. McManus bought Martinstown Stud, Co. Limerick, in 1982 and built a big mansion there in 2004. Other interests: McManus does a lot of work for charity, including his Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place every five years and has raised over 100 million euros. He supports many charitable projects in Co Limerick. McManus is also a keen backgammon player and a big hurling fan. Personal life: He is married to Noreen and they have three children, John, Kieran and Sue Ann.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1982 Deep Gale (FELL 1st); 1988 Bucko (PU 27th); 1992 Laura’s Beau (3rd); 1994 Laura’s Beau (FELL 6th); 1996 Wylde Hide (UR 24th); 1997 Wylde Hide (UR 22nd); 1998 Gimme Five (5th); 2002 Spot Thedifference (UR 27th); 2003 Youlneverwalkalone (PU 13th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Spot Thedifference (5th), Risk Accessor (UR 6th), Le Coudray (FELL 22nd); 2005 Innox (7th), Spot Thedifference (18th), Shamawan (21st), Clan Royal (CO 22nd), Le Coudray (PU 21st), Risk Accessor (UR 2nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th), Innox (FELL 1st), First Gold (UR 23rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th), Clan Royal (11th); 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), L’Ami (FELL 2nd), Bob Hall (PU 19th), Butler’s Cabin (FELL 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th), L’Ami (PU 30th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 8th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th), King Johns Castle (refused to race); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Bluesea Cracker (14th), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th), Arbor Supreme (FELL 28th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (FELL 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th), Quiscover Fontaine (FELL 17th); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Colbert Station (UR 15th), Lost Glory (PU 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR last); 2014 Double Seven (3rd), Colbert Station (PU 25th); 2015 Shutthefrontdoor (5th), Cause Of Causes (8th), Wyck Hill (PU 29th); 2016 Gilgamboa (4th), Shutthefrontdoor (9th), Pendra (13th), Gallant Oscar (UR 18th)

Jonjo O’Neill (Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire)
Jonjo O’Neill has established himself as one of the top Jump trainers and enjoyed his best season in 2013/14, with 134 British winners. The trainer’s biggest success came when he sent out the 2010 Grand National winner Don’t Push It, owned by J P McManus and ridden by A P McCoy. It was a first Grand National success for all of them. He has also saddled the runner-up twice, with Clan Royal (2004) and Sunnyhillboy (2012), plus two thirds. However, as a jockey, he endured terrible luck in the race and failed to complete the course on each of his eight rides. He retired from the saddle at the end of the 1985/86 season, having been champion Jump jockey twice. O’Neill survived a battle with lymphatic cancer not long after that. He started training near Penrith, Cumbria, in 1987 and moved to his present base at Jackdaws Castle in Gloucestershire, near Cheltenham, when the yard was bought by J P McManus in 2001. There has been considerable investment in facilities since and a growing ambition. He has been leading trainer at the Randox Health Grand National Festival four times, with three wins over the three days in 2010, the same number in 2007, four in 2003 and four again in 2002. He has also sent out 26 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and trained two Royal Ascot winners on the Flat. Born – April 13, 1952. Background – Champion Jump jockey twice (1977/78 and 1979/80) and set a then-record for winners in a season (149) in his first championship year. The most sensational moment of his riding career came when he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Dawn Run in 1986 as the mare became the only horse to win that trophy after having captured the Champion Hurdle (1984), again with O’Neill in the saddle. He also won the Gold Cup on Alverton (1979) and the Champion Hurdle on Sea Pigeon (1980). He enjoyed nine Cheltenham Festival successes as a jockey and partnered 901 winners in all. First winner as a trainer: Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle – Quazar 2002; Betway Bowl – Exotic Dancer 2007; Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle – Rhinestone Cowboy 2004; Mildmay Novices’ Chase – Holywell 2014; Melling Chase – Albertas Run 2010; Topham Chase – Clan Royal 2003, Eastlake 2016; Sefton Novices’ Hurdle – Iris’s Gift 2003, Black Jack Ketchum 2006; Champion Standard Open NHF Race – Classic Native 2003; Stayers’ Hurdle – Iris’s Gift 2004. Other big-race wins as a trainer include: Cheltenham Gold Cup (2012 Synchronised); JCB Triumph Hurdle (2003 Spectroscope); Stayer’s Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift, 2014 More Of That); RSA Chase (2008 Albertas Run); Ryanair Chase (2010 & 2011 Albertas Run); JLT Novices’ Chase (2014 Taquin Du Seuil); Christmas Hurdle (2002 & 2003 Intersky Falcon); Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon); Irish Grand National (2007 Butler’s Cabin, 2014 Shutthefrontdoor); Betfred Becher Chase (2003 Clan Royal); December Gold Cup (1999 Legal Right, 2006 Exotic Dancer); Lexus Chase (2008 Exotic Dancer, 2011 Synchronised); Welsh National (2002 Mini Sensation, 2010 Synchronised); Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (2007 Refinement); Paddy Power Gold Cup (2006 Exotic Dancer, 2013 Johns Spirit, 2016 Taquin Du Seuil)
Randox Health Grand National record: 2003 Carbury Cross (7th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Joss Naylor (PU 19th); 2005 Simply Gifted (3rd), Shamawan (21st), Native Emperor (UR 9th), Clan Royal (CO 22nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th); 2007 Clan Royal (11th); 2008 Bob Hall (PU 19th), Butler’s Cabin (FELL 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 8th); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (FELL 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th); 2013 Lost Glory (PU 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR 30th); 2014 Twirling Magnet (FELL 1st), Burton Port (UR 2nd); 2015 Shutthefrontdoor (5th); 2016 Shutthefrontdoor (9th), Holywell (Fell 2nd)

Barry Geraghty
Born: County Meath, September 16, 1979 Background: Barry Geraghty is one of six children from a “horse-mad” family that hails from Drumree in Co Meath. His father ‘Tucker’ was a useful amateur and trains a few horses in addition to his riding school and livery yard and his now US-based brother Ross won the 2002 Irish National on The Bunny Boiler. Like so many Irish jockeys, Geraghty has a background in pony racing, riding his last winner in that sphere in September, 1996, before becoming apprenticed to Noel Meade that month and having his first ride in October, 1996. He rode his first winner aboard Stagalier at Down Royal on January 29, 1997. It was for trainer Jessica Harrington that he first sprang to prominence, partnering her 1998 Midlands National winner Miss Orchestra. Geraghty will forever be associated with the great Moscow Flyer who provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival victory in the 2002 Arkle Chase and went on to add the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2003 and 2005, as well as a host of other championship races including the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree in 2004 and 2005. He crowned the 2002/03 season with victory in the Randox Health Grand National aboard Monty’s Pass, something which contributed to him being voted RTE Sports Personality of the year by Irish television viewers. He captured the 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup on the Tom Taaffe-trained Kicking King the day after Moscow Flyer’s emotional second Queen Mother Champion Chase triumph. Geraghty teamed up with Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson at the start of the 2008/09 season, splitting his time between Ireland and Britain. Geraghty’s association with Henderson yielded a Champion Hurdle victory in 2009 with Punjabi and he was top jockey at The Festival in 2012 with five successes including the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Finian’s Rainbow. In 2013 he won the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Sprinter Sacre at the Cheltenham Festival and also landed the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Bobs Worth, a horse that he had bought as a youngster. In total, he has enjoyed 34 victories at the Cheltenham Festival including three in 2014, headed by Jezki in the Stan James Champion Hurdle, who was trained by his old boss Jessica Harrington. In 2015 he won two races at the Festival including Peace and Co in the JCB Triumph Hurdle a race he won again in 2016 on Ivanovich Gorbatov. He has won the Randox Health Topham Chase in three of the past four years, including on the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Eastlake in 2016. After Sir A P McCoy retired from the saddle in 2015, Geraghty was employed as the retained rider for J P McManus and splits his time between Britain and Ireland. He missed this year’s Cheltenham Festival through injury.
Family: Geraghty is married to Paula and they have three children.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2000 Call It A Day (6th); 2001 Hanakham (Fell 2nd); 2002 Alexander Banquet (Unseated 6th); 2003 MONTY’S PASS (WON); 2004 Monty’s Pass (4th); 2005 Monty’s Pass (16th); 2006 Puntal (6th); 2007 Slim Pickings (3rd); 2008 Slim Pickings (4th); 2009 Golden Flight (Fell 1st); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th); 2011 Or Noir De Somoza (Fell 6th); 2012 Shakalakaboomboom (9th); 2013 Roberto Golback (UR 30th); 2014 Triolo D’Alene (PU 22nd); 2016 Shutthefrontdoor (9th)

O’Faolains Boy (FR) 10-10-11
Breeding: b g Oscar – Lisa’s Storm (Glacial Storm)
Breeder: Tom and Pius Phelan
Born: June 3, 2007
Owner: Trembath, Hyde, Outhart & Hill
Trainer: Rebecca Curtis
Jockey: Paul Townend
Form: 31114/2P115/P1P87-PP

*Bred in Co Kilkenny by Tom Phelan and his brother Pius, owner of the Kilford Hotel and O’Faolains nightclub in Kilkenny town.
*Proved himself a smart novice hurdler (he finished fourth in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham) and a better novice chaser, when he beat Many Clouds at Ascot and Smad Place in the Grade One RSA Chase at the 2014 Festival.
*Missed a year through injury and has struggled since, with a win in a two-finisher graduation chase at Newbury in December, 2015, his only win since his RSA Chase success.
*Pulled-up on his two starts this season.
*Was declared to run in last season’s Grand National but was withdrawn after going lame on the morning of the race.
*Reported to have had a wind operation since latest run.
Jump race record: Starts 17; Wins 6; 2nd 1; 3rd 1. Win & Place Prize Money: £142,422.

Chris Trembath, Roy Hyde, Tony Outhart and Martin Hill
Background: Former Gloucestershire county cricketer player, Chris Trembath (born September 27, 1961) got into racehorse ownership 16 years ago. He owns O’Faolain’s Boy with his colleagues who have worked together for the last 20 years in public sector consultancy. After selling their businesses, they decided to buy a horse together. O’Faolains Boy is the sixth horse in this syndicate and has been their most successful, after winning the RSA Cheltenham Festival in 2014. Chris Trembath, who runs the various syndicates, had the greatest interest and ‘persuaded the others into it.’ After a chance meeting with Rebecca Curtis and her partner Gearoid Costelloe at a bed and breakfast in Cheltenham, when Curtis was just starting out. Costelloe tipped two horses and Trembath promised if they won he would buy a horse with him and Curtis. After both tips won, he purchased Peckamecho and since then Trembath and different colleagues have had about 20 horses with Curtis over the past five years and have about 12 in training with her now. Hill, Trembath and Outhart also owned Naiad du Misselot with Ferdy Murphy, who won the 2008 Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. The 55-year-old lives and works in Bristol. He is married to Amanda and has three children. Martin Hill lives in Taunton and Roy Hyde lives in Doncaster. Tony Outhart (born September 17, 1963) is a former Scarborough FC player. Outhart started owning racehorses in 2001, with his friend Chris Trembath, who he met through their work in the public sector. He and the syndicate have all their horses in training with Rebecca Curtis. Outhart lives in Scarborough with his wife Gill and their three children.
Previous Randox Health Grand National runners (Trembath & Outhart): 2016 The Romford Pele (UR 8th)

Rebecca Curtis (Newport, Pembrokeshire)
Curtis, who was born on April 1, 1980, grew up on Fforest Farm five miles from Fishguard on the Pembrokeshire coast, a place that has now become her training centre. She has been around horses all her life and started riding aged four, progressing to showjump for the Welsh junior team. She rode in point-to-points and her first job in racing was with nearby trainer Peter Bowen. She spent five years in America with trainers Richard Mandela and Dan Hendricks before coming home to take out a licence in 2008. Her first winner was Mango Catcher at Chepstow on April 5 that year and her reputation has steadily grown in the intervening years. She enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival winner in 2012 when Teaforthree won the National Hunt Chase and a second when At Fishers Cross took the 2013 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle to give her a first Grade One victory, swiftly followed by a second at Aintree in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle. She has enjoyed four winners at the Cheltenham Festival in all, with O’Faolain’s boy taking the 2014 RSA Chase and Irish Cavalier successful in the 2015 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. Curtis had a tremendous first experience of the Randox Health Grand National, with Teaforthree finishing third in 2013. Curtis is assisted by her partner, bloodstock agent Gearoid Costelloe, and she uses her family’s private beach to exercise her horses.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2013 Teaforthree (3rd); 2014 Teaforthree (UR 15th); 2015 Bob Ford (PU 29th); 2016 The Romford Pele (UR 8th)

Paul Townend
Born: September 15, 1990 Background: Grew up surrounded by horses in Co Cork and spent his youth riding on the pony racing circuit. He was also involved in show jumping, but had his heart set on a career as a jockey and joined the powerful Willie Mullins stable as a Flat apprentice after leaving school. He made his debut in a maiden at Ballinrobe on May 2, 2007, coming third on Temlett, and enjoyed his first success the following month, partnering the Seamus O’Donnell-trained The Chip Chopman to victory in an apprentice handicap at Limerick on June 22. He finished 2007 with a winner on the final card of the year at Dundalk, giving him 10 victories for the year, and continued to ride successfully on the level for the first half of 2008, before growing concerns over weight problems prompted a switch to Jump racing. He enjoyed almost instant success courtesy of the John Kiely-trained Indian Pace, as the pair landed the Galway Hurdle at the end of July, but Townend endured a barren three-month period immediately afterwards. His fortunes changed after Willie Mullins’ number one jockey, Ruby Walsh, sustained a serious injury at Cheltenham in November, 2008, giving Townend a host of plum rides, including successes on Hurricane Fly in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse and Mikael D’Haguenet in the Barry & Sandra Kelly Memorial Novice Hurdle at Navan in mid-December. He was reunited with Hurricane Fly for further Grade One glory in the Future Champion Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. In 2010/11 he went from strength to strength and was crowned champion jockey in Ireland with 80 wins. He has ridden six winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including a double this year on Arctic Fire in the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle and on Penhill in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Randox Health Grand National Record: 2009 Irish Invader (11th), 2010 Arbor Supreme (UR 15th); 2012 On His Own (FELL 22nd); 2013 Quel Esprit (PU 24th); 2014 Prince De Beauchene (16th); 2015 Bob Ford (PU 29th); 2016 Boston Bob (PU 22nd)

One For Arthur (IRE) 8-10-11
Breeding: b g Milan – Nonnetia (Trempolino)
Breeder: J P Dwan
Born: February 24, 2009
Owner: Two Golf Widows
Trainer: Lucinda Russell
Jockey: Derek Fox
Form: 22/33111P/1335243-151

*Bidding to become only the second Scottish-trained winner of the Randox Health Grand National after Rubstic (1979).
*Impressive winner last time out of the G3 Classic Chase over three miles and five furlongs at Warwick on January 14, 2017, scoring by six lengths from Goodtoknow.
*Shaped with promise over the Grand National fences when a staying-on fifth, beaten only three lengths, behind Vieux Lion Rouge in Betfred Becher Handicap Chase in December, 2016.
*Began this season with six-length success in a three and a quarter mile handicap chase at Kelso in October, 2016.
*Winning Irish point-to-pointer who made £60,000 at a sale at Cheltenham Racecourse in December, 2013.
*Has never fallen or unseated his rider. Failed to complete one race when pulled up.
Race record: Starts: 18; Wins: 6; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 5; Win & Place Prize Money: £77,638

Two Golf Widows
The Two Golf Widows are Belinda (Bel) McClung (husband Fraser) and Deborah (Debs) Thomson (partner Colin Dempster). McClung hails from Ancrum near Jedburgh, while Gullane-based Thomson is originally from near Kelso. The pair went to school together and then met up again later in life. They got into racehorse ownership together as they wanted an activity they could enjoy when their husband/partner played golf. As the Two Golf Widows, they have won six races in the last three years, all provided by One For Arthur, though they also own Templenaboe who is just starting out on his racing career. Thomson also has other horses with Russell, including four-time winner Big River, who runs in the name of Two Black Labs, named after her Labradors, Bolly and Krug, Alizee De Janeiro, who has been successful three times, and five-time scorer Kris Cross, her first horse. Memorably, One For Arthur, Big River and Alizee De Janeiro all won on the same afternoon at Kelso, Saturday, October 24, 2015. McClung, who also used to have horses as Belinda Wares including No Deal, has been a steward at Ayr, Kelso and Musselburgh Racecourses. Thomson said: “I have been a lucky owner, with quite a few wins. My partner Colin and I have had great fun with Lucinda and Scu. One For Arthur is the best horse I have been involved with and we are keeping our fingers crossed that he gets to Aintree for the Randox Health Grand National. It is a dream to have a horse run in the Grand National. We have got the dream and we will just have to see what happens on the day.”
No previous Randox Health Grand National runners

Lucinda Russell (Kinross, Tayside)
Born: June 24, 1966 Background: Lucinda Russell gained a degree in psychology at St Andrews University, having enrolled on the course in order “to get me away from horses.” She had enjoyed a successful career as an eventer and at bringing on horses to Badminton standards and selling them on. She did well as a point-to-point trainer and won on one of her three rides in that sphere, but she recalls that it was a two-horse race. She trained a hunter chase winner with Gunmetal Boy at Kelso on April 5, 1993. After a brief career in marketing, she took out a full trainer’s licence in August, 1995, and the following month she saddled her first winner with her first runner, Fiveleigh Builds at Perth in September, 1995. Her father Peter is chairman of Ian Macleod Distillers which produces Isle of Skye Scotch Whisky and Glengoyne Single Malt Whisky. Russell was formerly married to leading three-day eventer Magnus Nicholson and she is assisted by her current partner, legendary Jump jockey Peter Scudamore, the eight-time champion jockey who came closest to winning the Grand National when third on Corbiere in 1985 from 12 rides in the race. Her best season came in 2013/2014 with 66 successes and she is on the 39-winner mark (up to March 30) this season. Big-race wins: Classic Chase (2017 One For Arthur), Grand National Trial (2015 Lie Forrit, 2010 & 2011 Silver By Nature), Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2012 Brindisi Breeze), Premier Kelso Hurdle (2012 Tap Night, 2011 Bold Sir Brian).
Randox Health National Record: 1996 Greenhill Raffles (14th), 2005 Strong Resolve (17th), 2011 Silver By Nature (12th)

Derek Fox
Born: May 14, 1992 Background: Sligo-born Derek Fox began his career in Ireland, riding primarily for Mark McNiff and Noel Kelly, who provided Fox with an early career highlight when his Charlie’s Vic was partnered by the jockey to success in the G3 Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Chase at Limerick in 2013. Fox’s success on Charlie’s Vic caught the eye of trainer Lucinda Russell and he subsequently made the move to Scotland, riding his first winner for Russell aboard The Friary at Hexham on November 8, 2013. He was appointed Russell’s stable jockey in April, 2016. Fox picked up a 20-month ban for drink-driving in 2015 after being found nearly three times over the legal limit. He broke his left wrist and his right collarbone in fall at Carlisle on March 9. After undergoing intensive rehabilitation at the Injured Jockeys Fund Jack Berry House in Malton, North Yorkshire, Fox returned to race-riding with two mounts for Russell at Carlisle on Wednesday this week, proving his fitness to ride in Saturday’s big race. Big-Race Wins: Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Chase (2013 Charlie’s Vic), Classic Chase (2017 One For Arthur)
No previous Randox Health Grand National rides

Perfect Candidate (IRE) 10-11-05
Breeding: b gWinged Love – Dansana (Insan)
Breeder: Hugh Suffern Bloodstock Ltd
Born: May 12, 2007
Owner: ISL Recruitment
Trainer: Fergal O’Brien
Jockey: Paddy Brennan
Form: 66374/2445/1715150/25101-02P1

*Set to make first appearance over Grand National fences in the Randox Health Grand National.
*Warmed up for Aintree with a racecourse gallop at Newbury on March 26, 2017.
*Made all to score by five lengths on latest appearance in three-mile Exeter veterans’ handicap chase on February 12, 2017.
*Boasts a fine record at Cheltenham, winning two handicap chases at the course in 2016 and going down by a nose to Theatre Guide in G3 Unicoin Group Handicap Chase (3m 2f) at The Open in November that year.
*Lives in the stable next door to Alvarado, who was fourth in both the 2014 and 2015 Grand Nationals – Fergal O’Brien describes the pair as “best of friends”.
Jump race record: Starts 25; Wins 6; 2nd 3; 3rd 1. Win & Place Prize Money: £80,792

ISL Recruitment
Incite Solutions Limited (ISL) Recruitment is a Bristol-based business that was founded by Geoffrey Keeys, the company’s current vice-chairman, and Simon Ranahan in 2007. Keeys has been involved in the recruitment industry since 2001, prior to which he had a successful career in operational management for a global organisation. He has a BSc from Bristol University and an MSc from Loughborough University. Geoff and his wife Donna, who live in the Gloucestershire village of Ford, have been heavily involved with the Fergal O’Brien stable since the trainer took out his licence in 2011 – ISL is the stable’s sponsor and Fergal credits Geoff as a mentor to the business-side of the operation. The couple have also been long-standing owners with O’Brien’s neighbour Nigel Twiston-Davies. Initially involved in syndicates, the Keeys started having runners in their own colours in the late 1990s. One of their first horses to run in their colours was Gentle Rivage who won a G2 novices’ hurdle at Uttoxeter in 1999 before going to finish third in the G1 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2000.
No previous Randox Health Grand National runners

Fergal O’Brien (Naunton, Gloucestershire)
Born Limerick,Ireland, August 19, 1972 Background: His father was a bus driver. He started riding at the age of nine, as his two older brothers, David and Brian, were keen on horses. Followed his brothers by working at Andrew McNamara’s yard at weekends and during school holidays, before spending two months at the age of 14 in England with Doug Francis, where Brian worked. After finishing his schooling in Ireland aged 16, he went to Newmarket’s British Racing School for a nine-week course in 1989 and shortly afterwards was sent to Tim Forster’s Oxfordshire yard, where he worked for three years. Joined private trainer Colin Cowley to pursue a career as a jockey, but, after two rides, realised it was not for him and switched to the Nigel Twiston-Davies team in Gloucestershire in July, 1992. Spent 18 years at Grange Hill Farm, including 16 as head lad. Successfully started training point-to-pointers in 2003, while working for Nigel and was champion point-to-point trainer in the West Midlands area for four seasons. Took out his own licence in September, 2011 from Grand National-winning jockey Timmy Murphy’s yard at Cilldara Stud near Fossebridge and is currently enjoying his best season to date with 55 wins (up to March 30), having moved next door to Twiston-Davies in July, 2015. Notable winners have included Alvarado, who took a G3 handicap chase at Cheltenham in 2013, and Colin’s Sister, successful in the G2 Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown Park in February, 2017. He is assisted by his partner Sally Randell, a former trainer. O’Brien and his team have a penchant for cakes, hold weekly “Bake Off” competitions and are very active on Twitter.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2014 Alvarado (4th), 2015 Alvarado (4th)

Paddy Brennan
Born: April 13, 1981, Ardrahan in Co Galway, Ireland Background: spent the summer of 1995 working for Co Kildare handler Gerry Stack before embarking on a five-season apprenticeship with the leading Irish Flat trainer Jim Bolger, for whom he rode eight winners. The first of those came on Ivory Isle at Gowran Park in August, 1998. He became too heavy and tall for the Flat and moved to Paul Nicholls’ stable in England as a conditional jockey in 2001. He stayed there for two and a half years, riding winners for Nicholls and Jeff King, before joining Philip Hobbs in the 2003/04 season as one of that yard’s conditionals. Brennan also struck up a good rapport with Ashley Brook, on whom he won the Grade One Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2005, and enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival success that year aboard Shamayoun in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Brennan was appointed as retained rider to owners Andrea and Graham Wylie for the 2006/07 season after dropping into trainer Howard Johnson’s County Durham yard for a cup of tea and toast. He rewarded those connections when guiding Inglis Drever to victory in the 2007 G1 Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – the gelding’s second success in the race. Brennan left Johnson and joined Gloucestershire-based handler Nigel Twiston-Davies in the 2007/08 season. The 2010 victory aboard Imperial Commander in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup provided Brennan with what he described as the best day of his life and he has ridden a total of six winners at the Cheltenham Festival. He left Twiston-Davies after four years to become a freelance in March, 2011. His best British tally of winners was 104 in 2007/8, but he could top that this season, with 89 winners up to April 5. In recent seasons, Brennan has enjoyed big-race wins on the Colin Tizzard-trained Cue Card, including the G1 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park in 2015, two renewals of Haydock Park’s G1 Betfair Chase (2015 & 2016) and the G1 Betway Bowl Chase at the 2016 Grand National Festival.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2005 Double Honour (UR 21st); 2007 Bewleys Berry (FELL 22nd); 2008 Fundamentalist (FELL 3rd); 2009 Knowhere (PU 25th); 2010 Irish Raptor (FELL 14th); 2012 Giles Cross (PU 11th); 2015 Saint Are (2nd); 2016 Saint Are (PU 30th)

Pleasant Company (IRE) 9-10-12
Breeding: b g Presenting – Katie Flame (Alderbrook)
Breeder: Susan Bredin
Born: April 15, 2008
Owner: Malcolm Denmark
Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE
Jockey: Ruby Walsh
Form: 134/43/3413P-141

*Lightly-raced nine-year-old, having made just 13 starts under rules including six chase appearances. Miinnehoma (1994) was the last Grand National winner to have less than 10 chase starts beforehand (nine).
*Heads to Aintree on the back of a half-length success over Thunder And Roses in G3 Bobbyjo Chase (3m 1f) on heavy ground at Fairyhouse on February 25, 2017. Hedgehunter, also trained by Mullins, captured the same race before winning the Grand National in 2005.
*Fourth on first outing for almost nine months in Thyestes Handicap Chase (3m 1f) at Gowran Park on January 26, 2017.
*Ended last season by beating Regal Encore by three-quarters of a length in Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase (3m 1f) at the 2016 Punchestown Festival.
*Has never fallen or unseated his rider. Failed to complete once when pulled up.
Jump race record: Starts 13; Wins 4; 2nd -; 3rd 4. Win & Place Prize Money: £74,808

Malcolm Denmark
Malcolm Denmark, born in July, 1955, set up the London-based Mediaforce Group in 1984 – the company was the first to put advertising leaflets in the middle of newspapers. The business, of which Denmark is currently chairman and chief executive, has grown to dominate that market and now distributes six billion leaflets a year, but also has lots of other strands, owning a media portfolio of advertising agencies, digital representation and newspaper publishing networks. The latter includes 15 regional newspapers in Ireland, including the Limerick Leader, the Donegal Democrat, the Kilkenny People and the Leinster Leader, which were bought from 2013 onwards by his Iconic Newspapers subsidiary. The following statement is on the Mediaforce Group website “Malcolm looks to bring a 360 degree approach to the Mediaforce Group, making it a powerhouse within the industry”. Racing interests: He started owning racehorses in 1996 when his father became ill, deciding to have a couple of horses with Mark Pitman, who himself was just starting out with a licence. Financed Pitman’s purchase of Weathercock House from the trainer’s mother Jenny in 1999, and subsequently employed Carl Llewellyn (2006-2009) and Warren Greatrex (2009-2012) as salaried trainers at the Lambourn yard. Pitman returned to oversee a few horses for Denmark at the yard at the end of 2015, while Flat trainer and former champion jockey Richard Hughes is the current principal incumbent. Denmark currently has the majority of his horses in training with Tony Martin and Willie Mullins in Ireland; Pitman and James Fanshawe look after his UK-based runners. His best horses have included Monsignor, who provided the owner with his two Cheltenham Festival wins in the 1999 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and the 2000 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, and the 2009 bet365 Gold Cup victor Hennessy. He has over 15 horses in training.
No previous Randox Health Grand National runners

Willie Mullins IRE (Bagenalstown, County Carlow)
Born: September 15, 1956 Background: A six-time champion amateur rider in Ireland, his successes in the saddle included the 1983 Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath (among the also-rans were Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, and former Aintree Racecourse chairman Lord Daresbury). As a jockey in the Randox Health Grand National, his rides included The Ladys Master, who ran out in 1983, and Hazy Dawn, who fell at the sixth the following year. He hails from one of Ireland’s most famous racing families, being a son of the late Paddy Mullins, the outstanding all-round trainer whose most dazzling star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and 1986 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Training Achievements: Mullins, who took out a training licence in 1988, has been Ireland’s champion Jump trainer 11 times. He has won most of the major prizes in Britain and Ireland, and several in France as well. He has 54 Cheltenham Festival successes to his credit, including Champion Hurdles with Annie Power, Faugheen and Hurricane Fly, and an extraordinary eight in the Champion Bumper, starting with Wither Or Which (which he also rode) in 1996. He has been leading trainer at The Festival for five of the last seven years (including a record eight winners in 2015) and lies second on the all-time list of most successful trainers behind Nicky Henderson after six successes this year. Mullins’ star performer in the early part of the century was Florida Pearl, who was placed in two Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the 1998 RSA Chase, the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 Irish Gold Cups in Ireland as well as the 2001 King George VI Chase and the 2002 Betway Bowl at Aintree. The brilliant Hurricane Fly won the Stan James Champion Hurdle in 2011 and 2013 and Mullins’ Cheltenham Festival winners include the amazing Quevega who created history by becoming the only horse to win the same race in six consecutive years (the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle). Mullins has around 180 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. He is being challenged this season by Gordon Elliott for the Irish Jump trainers’ title. His first Grand National runner as a trainer, Micko’s Dream, fell at the first in 2000. Mullins, a former chairman of the Irish Trainers’ Federation, also suffered disappointment in 2004 when Hedgehunter departed at the final fence in the Randox Health Grand National when looking assured of a place. The following year Hedgehunter won, coming home 14 lengths clear of Royal Auclair, and finished second in 2006.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2000 Micko’s Dream (FELL 1st); 2002 Alexander Banquet (UR 6th); 2004 Alexander Banquet (FELL 18th), Hedgehunter (FELL 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd); 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Homer Wells (PU 22nd), Bothar Na (PU 29th), Livingstonebramble (UR 6th); 2008 Snowy Morning (3rd), Hedgehunter (13th); 2009 Snowy Morning (9th), Irish Invader (11th); 2010 Snowy Morning (6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th); 2011 The Midnight Club (6th), Dooney’s Gate (FELL 6th), Arbor Supreme (FELL 28th); 2012 The Midnight Club (11th), Quiscover Fontaine (FELL 17th), On His Own (FELL 22nd); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Quel Esprit (PU 24th), On His Own (FELL 25th); 2014 Vesper Bell (13th), Prince De Beauchene (16th); 2015 Ballycasey (BD 8th); 2016 On His Own (FELL 15th), Sir Des Champs (FELL 15th), Boston Bob (PU 22nd), Ballycasey (UR 29th)

Ruby Walsh
Born: May 14, 1979 Background: Ruby (Rupert) Walsh is a son of 11-time Irish amateur champion jockey, Ted Walsh, now a trainer and television pundit. He is the second of Walsh’s four children; one sister, Katie, is a highly successful amateur rider and another, Jennifer, acts as his agent. Ted Walsh junior, the other son, is married to leading amateur rider Nina Carberry who is pregnant with their first child. Ruby is acknowledged as one of the best riders and horsemen of his generation and now rides primarily for Ireland’s top stable, that of Willie Mullins. He used to split his time between Britain, where he was the main jockey for trainer Paul Nicholls, and Ireland, an arrangement which lasted for 11 years. He had his first success under Rules aboard Siren Song at Gowran Park on July 25, 1995, and followed in his father’s footsteps when capturing the Irish amateurs’ championship at the age of 19 while still studying for his Leaving Certificate. He was champion Irish National Hunt jockey in his first season as a professional (1998/99) and has taken the title a further 10 times (2000/2001, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16). Walsh has won the Grand National twice on Papillon (2000, trained by his father) and Hedgehunter (2005) for Mullins. He is the most successful jockey of all time at the Cheltenham Festival (with 56 winners), where he was leading rider for the 11th time this year. His Cheltenham Festival victories include the 2007 and 2009 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cups on Kauto Star, three Betway Queen Mother Champion Chases (2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 and 2009 Master Minded), four Stan James Champion Hurdles (2011 and 2013 Hurricane Fly, 2015 Faugheen, 2016 Annie Power) and five Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdles (2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 Big Buck’s, 2017 Nichols Canyon). There are few omissions in his list of big-race successes; he won five King George VI Chases on Kauto Star and is the only current rider to have won all four national Grand Nationals – as well as Papillon and Hedgehunter, he took the Irish version on Numbersixvalverde (2005), the Welsh version on Silver Birch (2005) and the Scottish version on Take Control (2002). He also won the Australian equivalent on Bashboy in 2015 and the American Grand National Hurdle on Rawnaq in 2016. Walsh enjoyed another notable success abroad when Mullins’ Blackstairmountain became the first European-trained winner of Japan’s biggest Jump race, the Nakayama Grand Jump, in 2013. He has partnered over 2,600 winners. His autobiography was published in October, 2010. He is married to Gillian and the couple have two daughters, Isabelle and Elsa.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2000 PAPILLON (WON); 2001 Papillon (4th); 2002 Kingsmark (4th); 2003 Shotgun Willy (PU 22nd); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd); 2007 Hedgehunter (9th); 2008 Hedgehunter (13th); 2009 My Will (3rd); 2011 The Midnight Club (6th); 2013 On His Own (FELL 25th); 2015 Ballycasey (BD 8th)

Raz De Maree (FR) 12-10-09
Breeding: ch g Shaanmer – Diyala III (Quart De Vin)
Breeder: Michele Juhen-Cypres
Born: March 13, 2005
Owner: James Swan
Trainer: Gavin Cromwell IRE
Jockey: Ger Fox
Form: 2332121/B50P/30615211/P0P38/842P/50-U21722

*Already has three ‘Nationals’ to his credit, having taken the Cork version in 2012 and 2016 plus the Munster edition in 2012.
*Ran in the Grand National at Aintree in 2014 for his original trainer, the late Dessie Hughes, finishing a plugging-on eighth behind Pineau De Re, beaten 32 lengths.
*Was subsequently trained by Sandra Hughes following Dessie’s death in November, 2014, before being transferred to Gavin Cromwell last season.
*Has some good placed form in long-distance handicaps, having finished runner-up in both 2015 Midlands National at Uttoxeter and 2016 Welsh National at Chepstow.
*Warmed up for Aintree this year with encouraging second over hurdles at Thurles on March 9.
*Would become the first 12-year-old since Amberleigh House (2004) to win the extended four and a quarter-mile contest.
Jump race record: Starts 36; wins 6; 2nd 8; 3rd 4. Win & place prize money: £184,495

James Swan
James Swan is a farmer who hails from Co Meath. His first involvement in racehorse ownership came in 1994 when he had two horses with C P Magnier, but he didn’t have his first winner until September, 1997, when the Cecil Mahon-trained Persian Life won a beginners’ chase at Down Royal. Swan was at the centre of one of the largest betting coups in Irish history in 2001. He reportedly had £100,000 at 10/1 with an undisclosed offshore bookmaker that his eight horses would win six races between them before December 14. Prince Of Tara, trained by Stephen Mahon, sealed the extraordinary £1-million wager when annexing a maiden hurdle at Downpatrick on November 21, having already won a bumper at Navan. Persian Life, also trained by Mahon, scored in a handicap chase at Dundalk, while the Kevin Prendergast-trained pair of Arkaga and Baron De Feypo won three races between them on the Flat. Prince Of Tara was in the headlines again when capturing the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in 2005. Raz De Maree is the best horse Swan has owned, recording victories in the 2012 Munster and 2012 and 2016 Cork Grand Nationals.
Previous Randox Health Grand National runners: 2014 Raz De Maree (8th)

Gavin Cromwell (Danestown Navan, County Meath)
Born: September 29, 1974. Background: Began his career in racing as a stable lad and worked in Australia and for the late Dessie Hughes. Cromwell is a successful farrier by trade but decided to take out a training licence in 2005 and saddled his first winner, Dodder Walk on April 7, 2007. His stable-star is Jer’s Girl, a dual G1 winner over hurdles in 2016 and who registered victory in a Listed juvenile hurdle at Aintree in December, 2015. Other big race wins for the County Meath handler include Raz De Maree’s 2016 Cork Grand National Victory and Mallards In Flight winning the Hanlon Concrete EBF Glencarraig Lady Mares Handicap Chase at the 2015 Punchestown Festival. Cromwell has also tasted success on the flat, training Sretaw to win the 2014 Irish Cambridgeshire. He had his best season in 2015/16, saddling 14 winners over jumps from 64 runners, an impressive 22% strike-rate. Cromwell has trained 10 winners so far this term (up to April 5). He has 20 horses in training on both the Flat and over jumps. He is married to Kiva O’Brien Cromwell and they have three children.
No previous Randox Health Grand National runners

Ger Fox
Born: July 27, 1989 Background: Fox grew up in Ardcath, County Meath and came from a racing background, with his father owning point-to-pointers and hunters. Fox became “hooked” riding his father’s horses and decided to become a jockey. He applied for a point-to-point licence at 16 and rode his first winner in that sphere aboard Ground Ivy at The Naul. Shortly afterwards, he joined Jessica Harrington’s yard as one of the stable’s amateur jockeys. However, Fox found chances hard to come by for Harrington, riding just five times for the Gold Cup winning trainer. Shortly after becoming a conditional, Fox rode his first winner under Rules at Limerick on January 31, 2010 aboard the Homer Scott-trained Quarryfield Lass. His best year numerically was the 2014/15 season in which he rode 19 winners from 230 rides. So far this term he has partnered seven winners from 212 rides (up to April 4). Fox’s biggest career wins to date have come aboard the Mouse Morris-trained Rogue Angel, who secured a National double by winning the 2015 Leinster National at Listowel, before following up in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. He also rode Raz De Maree to victory in the 2016 Paddy Power Cork Grand National on November 6. Fox has a twin brother Anthony and the pair made history when they rode two winners each at Down Royal on December 26, 2014.
No previous Randox

Regal Encore (IRE) 9-10-13
Breeding: b g King’s Theatre – Go On Eileen (Bob Back)
Breeder: John Browne
Born: May 12, 2008
Owner: JP McManus
Trainer: Anthony Honeyball
Jockey: Robbie Power
Form: F22/17126131107/6403372220/7518/0051P-5P051

*Inconsistent sort who was pulled-up in a G3 handicap event at Cheltenham in January.
*Produced a career-best over fences to record a length and three-quarter success in a Listed contest at Ascot on December 17.
*Pulled-up in both the G3 Hennessy Gold Cup in November and the G3 Unicoin Group Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in December.
*Finished last season with a three-quarter length second to the Willie Mullins-trained Pleasant Company in a handicap chase at the 2016 Punchestown Festival.
*Smart bumper performer who finished a seven-length second in the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
*Bought privately by his current owner in September 2012 after winning his rules debut in a bumper at Southwell. Was an eight-length winner of a bumper at Chepstow on his first run in the new colours.
Jump race record: Starts: 25; Wins: 6; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £114,966

J P McManus
Born: March 10, 1951 in Co Limerick, Ireland. Background: John Patrick ‘J P’ McManus attended the Christian Brothers School on Sexton Street, Limerick. He left his father’s plant hire business at the age of 20 to become a racecourse bookmaker, but then took the less well-trodden route of gamekeeper-turned-poacher when becoming a professional punter. McManus recalls one of his first bets as being on Merryman II in the 1960 Grand National when he was just nine, but the bet that changed his life was £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, the horse winning at 100/8. He had another £4 on when Linden Tree won the Observer Gold Cup at 25/1, and £5 each-way at 33/1 for the Derby, when the horse beat all bar Mill Reef. He was dubbed “the Sundance Kid” by journalist Hugh McIlvanney after landing a number of major gambles during the 1970s. McManus has a host of business interests including dealing on the financial markets from his Geneva, Switzerland, base (since circa 1994), part-ownership of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, where he also has a house and an extensive global property portfolio. With Coolmore supremo John Magnier, he bought a 28.7% stake in Manchester United through the Cubic Expression company before subsequently selling out to US tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005. He was in the news shortly after that because of his stake in the pub and restaurant operator Mitchells and Butler. In 2016, the Sunday Times estimated McManus’ wealth at £786 million, making him the 11th richest person in Ireland. Racing interests: McManus purchased his first racehorse, Cill Dara, at the age of 26 and is the biggest Jump owner in terms of numbers in Britain and Ireland, with some 400 horses in training. He owns Jackdaws Castle, the Gloucestershire yard that Jonjo O’Neill trains from, and has invested heavily in improving facilities since purchasing the property in 2001. Mister Donovan provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival success in the 1982 Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle (now the Neptune Investment Management NH) and McManus has enjoyed 52 winners in total at the meeting – including three this year – far more than any other owner. The mighty Istabraq is the most revered horse he has owned following three consecutive victories in the Champion Hurdle (1998, 1999, 2000). He has gone on to enjoy a further three Champion Hurdle wins with Binocular (2010), Jezki (2014) and Buveur d’Air (2017), becoming the most successful owner ever in that championship race. He has also won a Cheltenham Gold Cup with Synchronised (2012) and three Stayers’ Hurdles with Baracouda (2002 & 2003) and More Of That (2014). A full 28 years after his first runner in the race, McManus finally achieved a long-held ambition when Don’t Push It, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by A P McCoy, won the 2010 Grand National. He has been British champion Jump owner for the 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 & 2014/15 seasons. He retained A P McCoy as his main jockey from April, 2004 until the rider’s retirement in April, 2015. Barry Geraghty has taken over that position, with McCoy having an advisory role. Frank Berry is the McManus racing manager. McManus bought Martinstown Stud, Co. Limerick, in 1982 and built a big mansion there in 2004. Other interests: McManus does a lot of work for charity, including his Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place every five years and has raised over 100 million euros. He supports many charitable projects in Co Limerick. McManus is also a keen backgammon player and a big hurling fan. Personal life: He is married to Noreen and they have three children, John, Kieran and Sue Ann.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1982 Deep Gale (FELL 1st); 1988 Bucko (PU 27th); 1992 Laura’s Beau (3rd); 1994 Laura’s Beau (FELL 6th); 1996 Wylde Hide (UR 24th); 1997 Wylde Hide (UR 22nd); 1998 Gimme Five (5th); 2002 Spot Thedifference (UR 27th); 2003 Youlneverwalkalone (PU 13th); 2004 Clan Royal (2nd), Spot Thedifference (5th), Risk Accessor (UR 6th), Le Coudray (FELL 22nd); 2005 Innox (7th), Spot Thedifference (18th), Shamawan (21st), Clan Royal (CO 22nd), Le Coudray (PU 21st), Risk Accessor (UR 2nd); 2006 Clan Royal (3rd), Risk Accessor (5th), Innox (FELL 1st), First Gold (UR 23rd); 2007 L’Ami (10th), Clan Royal (11th); 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd), L’Ami (FELL 2nd), Bob Hall (PU 19th), Butler’s Cabin (FELL 22nd); 2009 Butler’s Cabin (7th), Reveillez (BD 3rd), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th), L’Ami (PU 30th); 2010 DON’T PUSH IT (WON), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 8th), Arbor Supreme (UR 15th), King Johns Castle (refused to race); 2011 Don’t Push It (3rd), BlueSea Cracker (14th), Quolibet (UR 11th), Can’t Buy Time (FELL 18th), Arbor Supreme (FELL 28th); 2012 Sunnyhillboy (2nd), Synchronised (FELL 6th), Arbor Supreme (UR 10th), Quiscover Fontaine (FELL 17th); 2013 Quiscover Fontaine (16th), Colbert Station (UR 15th), Lost Glory (PU 17th), Sunnyhillboy (UR last); 2014 Double Seven (3rd), Colbert Station (PU 25th); 2015 Shutthefrontdoor (5th), Cause Of Causes (8th), Wyck Hill (PU 29th); 2016 Gilgamboa (4th), Shutthefrontdoor (9th), Pendra (13th), Gallant Oscar (UR 18th)

Anthony Honeyball (Mosterton, Dorset)
Born: May 2, 1980 Background: Comes from an equine background. His father John was a trainer who saddled 1973 Gold Cup winner The Dikler to his first point to point success, whilst his mother Sue was a show jumper. Honeyball was a successful jockey who rode primarily for Richard Barber and Paul Nicholls. He rode his first winner under rules on Jazz Duke at Taunton on December 9, 1999. After riding 45 winners under rules, Honeyball took up training in 2006 and was originally based at Quantock Farm in Somerset, owned by his parents, before moving to a yard owned by Richard Barber at Seaborough. In 2012, he moved to Potwell Farm in Dorset where he still trains today. Honeyball saddled his first winner on December 18, 2006 with Classic Fair. He has gone from strength to strength since then saddling 28 winners last season and has had his best season to date this term with 31 successes so far. His stable star is the JP McManus-owned Regal Encore who was second in the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival and won a Listed event at Ascot earlier this term. Honeyball is married to Rachael Green, a successful Jump jockey who was a National point-to-point champion, riding over 100 winners in that sphere before partnering over 50 winners under Rules. They have a son called Harry.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Robbie Power
Born: May 27, 1981 Background: Power sprung to prominence in the 2007 Randox Health Grand National when urging Silver Birch to a thrilling three quarters of a length triumph. His career has leapt forward this season in the Irish Gold Cup and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, on Sizing John for leading owners Ann and Alan Potts, he was made their number one rider earlier this week. Power is the son of legendary Irish showjumper and trainer Captain Con Power, who is regarded as the top man in Ireland to deal with jumping issues in horses. His sister Elizabeth is one of Ireland’s top event riders. A silver medallist at the European Junior Showjumping Championships in 2000, Power made the switch to jump racing the following year and rode his first winner on only his third attempt when partnering his mother’s Younevertoldme, trained by Jessica Harrington, in a hurdle race at Punchestown in December, 2001. He is attached to Harrington’s County Kildare stable where he began as an amateur after receiving encouragement from Richard Dunwoody. His first winner as a professional came on the Paddy Mullins-trained Bob What at Leopardstown in February, 2002. He partnered the Mullins-trained Nearly A Moose to success in the 2003 Galway Plate. That victory came after he had sprung to prominence in Britain with a win aboard the Harrington-trained Intelligent in the Midlands Grand National earlier in the year. He was honoured at the 2004 Irish Jump Racing Awards as the leading claiming rider and in August of that year he partnered his first Australian winner to clinch victory in the annual Irish Jump jockey challenge down under. A broken bone in a foot, sustained in a schooling accident, cost him the winning ride on Newmill in the 2006 Queen Mother Champion Chase. In 2007, he rode Silver Birch to victory in the Randox Health Grand National for Gordon Elliott. Power has fr a long time with associated wit the Harrington stable and rode the yard’s Bostons Angel to win three Grade One novice chases, including the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011. He also rode Oscars Well to a pair of Grade One novice hurdle triumphs for Harrington. His association with the Harrington-trained Sizing John has brought great rewards this season: the pair won the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February and followed up with triumph in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup last month. Power also rode two more winners at this year’s Cheltenham Festival – Supasundae in the Coral Cup and Rock The World in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup, taking his Festival total to four. Power has completed the course in five of his nine starts in the Randox Health Grand National. Power has mixed showjumping with racing and won the Speed Derby at Hickstead in 2013. He was recently appointed retained jockey by owners Alan and Ann Potts.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2005 Spot Thedifference (18th); 2007 SILVER BIRCH (WON); 2008 Nadover (7th); 2009 Silver Birch (FELL 22nd); 2011 Killyglen (FELL 27th); 2012 Killyglen (UR 8th); 2013 Joncol (PU 19th); 2015 Owega Star (15th); 2016 Gilgamboa (4th)

Rogue Angel (IRE) 9-10-08
Breeding: b g Presenting – Carrigeen Kohleria (Luso)
Breeder: Mrs R H Lalor
Born: April 22, 2008
Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Trainer: Mouse Morris
Jockey: Bryan Cooper
Form: 12/13P32/F34314740/2B0P2PU/P541216P41-080095

*Finished a creditable fifth in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January, 21 lengths behind the winner Champagne West on his latest start and was previously a well-beaten eighth behind Noble Endeavour in the Paddy Power Chase over Christmas.
*Tenth over the Grand National fences this season in the Betfred Becher Chase behind Vieux Lion Rouge on December 3.
*Career highlight so far came when defeating Bless The Wings in the 2016 Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
*Bids to give trainer and owner back-to-back successes in the Grand National following Rule The World’s victory under David Mullins in last year’s renewal.
*Would become the first horse since Numbersixvalverde to win both the Irish (2005) and English (2006) Grand Nationals.
Jump race record: Starts 38; Wins 5; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £254,140

Gigginstown House Stud
Gigginstown House Stud, covering 1,000 acres at Delvin near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland is the residence of Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline. O’Leary was born on March 20, 1961, the second of six children, and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare before reading business studies at Trinity College Dublin. He was a tax consultant at accountants KPMG (1984-86) and became financial adviser to Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair. He progressed to be Ryanair’s deputy chief executive in 1991 and chief operating officer in 1993. He has overseen the rapid development of Ryanair since 1994 when he became chief executive, and his worth was valued at £708 million in the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, thanks mainly to his significant shareholding in Ryanair. O’Leary started off with horses in training on the Flat with David Wachman and Mick Halford, but he has rapidly become a major Jump owner with a string only rivalled by J P McManus. His team of over 170 horses in training is split between a range of trainers in Ireland and his racing enthusiasm was boosted when one of his first horses, War Of Attrition, won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. His 19 Cheltenham Festival winners also include the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack. Other Festival winners include Weapon’s Amnesty in the 2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and 2010 RSA Chase, First Lieutenant in the 2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, Sir Des Champs in the 2012 JLT Novices’ Chase and Apple’s Jade in the 2017 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. He won the Randox Health Grand National in 2016 with Rule The World. O’Leary’s brother Eddie, based at Lynn Lodge Stud in Mullingar, oversees the Gigginstown racing operation; the young horses are brought along at Pat Doyle’s County Tipperary stables and in point-to-points. Bryan Cooper is the retained jockey for Gigginstown. O’Leary married former banker Anita (Farrell) in 2003 and they have four children.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th); 2014 Quito De La Roque (PU 21st); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd), Sir Des Champs (Fell 15th)

Michael (Mouse) Morris IRE (Fethard, Co Tipperary)
Born: April 4, 1951 Background: Michael Morris has been known as Mouse since his early days as an amateur rider. His late father, Lord Killanin, 3rdBaron Killanin, was a Fleet Street journalist and the sixth president of the International Olympic Committee (1972-1980), while his brother Redmond’s credits as a film producer include The Reader and Michael Collins. As a youngster in Ireland, Mouse showed little enthusiasm for school, preferring to spend his mornings riding out for a local trainer and he did not enjoy his time when sent to the Catholic boarding school, Ampleforth College, in Yorkshire. He served his apprenticeship at the celebrated Frenchie Nicholson jockey academy in Cheltenham for two and a half years alongside Pat Eddery, Tony Murray and Michael Dickinson. Back in Ireland, he rode principally for Edward O’Grady. His biggest success as an amateur rider came on Mr Midland, trained by O’Grady, in the 1974 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He subsequently turned professional and won the Irish Grand National on the Adrian Maxwell-trained Billycan in 1977 and Cheltenham’s Queen Mother Champion Chase on the Brian Lusk-trained Skymas in both 1976 and 1977. His best performance in the Grand National came on Rough Silk, fifth in 1974.Training Career: He took out a trainer’s licence in September 1980 and soon established himself as one of Ireland’s leading Jump trainers. Morris has seven Cheltenham Festival wins to his credit, the best being Buck House’s victory in the 1986 Queen Mother Champion Chase and War Of Attrition’s 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup success. He won his second Irish Grand National in 2016 with Rogue Angel – his first came with Hear The Echo in 2008. He saddled First Lieutenant, the 2011 Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival, to take the 2013 Betway Bowl at Aintree. Morris trains at Everardsgrange, Fethard, in Co. Tipperary. In 1984, Door Step became his first Randox Health Grand National runner, but fell at the 18th fence. Rule The World gave him a first Grand National victory when successful at Aintree in 2016. Formerly married to Slanny Clark, the couple had two sons, Jamie and Christopher (Tiffer). Tiffer died of carbon monoxide poisoning while travelling in Argentina in 2015. After Rule The World’s Aintree win, his father dedicated the success to Tiffer.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1984 Door Step (FELL 18th); 1987 Attitude Adjuster (8th), Hi Harry (Ref 19th); 1988 Attitude Adjuster (5th), Lastofthebrownies (FELL 28th); 1989 Lastofthebrownies (4th), Attitude Adjuster (12th), Cranlome (FELL 2nd); 1990 Lastofthebrownies (5th); 1991 Mick’s Star (13th); 1992 Rawhide (UR 1st); 1995 For William (15th); 1996 Three Brownies (6th); 1997 New Co (15th); 2004 Alcapone (PU 25th); 2008 Baily Breeze (8th); 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd)

Bryan Cooper
Born: August 8, 1992 Background: The son of County Kerry handler Tom Cooper, he has been around horses all his life. Cooper showjumped as a child, riding at the Dublin Horse Show. He began pony racing at the age of 14, when his contemporaries included Paul Townend and Danny Mullins, and rode 55 winners in an 18-month period. After leaving school at the age of 15, he was too light – weighing seven and a half stone – to be a Jump jockey and joined Kevin Prendergast’s Flat stable, having his first ride within a week of his 16th birthday. He had his first success on Rossdara, trained by his father in a Clonmel maiden hurdle on October 29, 2009 and had a first Pattern race success in the Grade Three Buck House Novice Chase on Lucky William, also trained by his father, in October, 2011. He subsequently joined the late Dessie Hughes’ stable and sprang to prominence at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival when he guided Benefficient to success in the RSA Chase and followed that up with an imperious victory on Our Conor in the JCB Triumph Hurdle. He also rode Ted Veale to victory in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle. He took over from Davy Russell as first jockey to Gigginstown House Stud in January, 2014, and has gone on to enjoy a large number of Pattern race victories for Michael O’Leary’s powerful organisation, headed by Don Cossack in the 2016 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. He has also enjoyed significant Grade One success on the likes of Don Poli, No More Heroes, Apple’s Jade and Road To Riches. His tally at the Cheltenham Festival now stands at eight winners.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2012 Rare Bob (BD 5th); 2013 Rare Bob (5th); 2016 First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd)

Roi Des Francs (FR) 8-11-03
Breeding: b g Poliglote – Grande Souveraine (Sillery)
Breeder: Ecurie Maulepaire
Born: May 13, 2009
Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Jack Kennedy
Form: 0/33/12113P/621166-320541

*A three-time winner over fences who scored on his latest outing at Down Royal by seven lengths on 17 March.
*Has run with credit in competitive handicaps this year, finishing 10th in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January and was then fifth in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February.
*Sixth in the G1 RSA Chase behind Blaklion at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival before filling the same position in the G1 Betfred Mildmay Novices’ Chase won by Native River.
*Was initially trained under rules in Ireland by Anthony Mullins before moving to Clossuton handler Willie Mullins in 2014. He joined County Meath trainer Gordon Elliott at the beginning of the season.
*Trainer won the Grand National with Silver Birch in 2007.
Jump race record: Starts: 20; Wins: 6; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £80,587

Gigginstown House Stud
Gigginstown House Stud, covering 1,000 acres at Delvin near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland is the residence of Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline. O’Leary was born on March 20, 1961, the second of six children, and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare before reading business studies at Trinity College Dublin. He was a tax consultant at accountants KPMG (1984-86) and became financial adviser to Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair. He progressed to be Ryanair’s deputy chief executive in 1991 and chief operating officer in 1993. He has overseen the rapid development of Ryanair since 1994 when he became chief executive, and his worth was valued at £708 million in the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, thanks mainly to his significant shareholding in Ryanair. O’Leary started off with horses in training on the Flat with David Wachman and Mick Halford, but he has rapidly become a major Jump owner with a string only rivalled by J P McManus. His team of over 170 horses in training is split between a range of trainers in Ireland and his racing enthusiasm was boosted when one of his first horses, War Of Attrition, won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. His 19 Cheltenham Festival winners also include the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack. Other Festival winners include Weapon’s Amnesty in the 2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and 2010 RSA Chase, First Lieutenant in the 2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, Sir Des Champs in the 2012 JLT Novices’ Chase and Apple’s Jade in the 2017 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. He won the Randox Health Grand National in 2016 with Rule The World. O’Leary’s brother Eddie, based at Lynn Lodge Stud in Mullingar, oversees the Gigginstown racing operation; the young horses are brought along at Pat Doyle’s County Tipperary stables and in point-to-points. Bryan Cooper is the retained jockey for Gigginstown. O’Leary married former banker Anita (Farrell) in 2003 and they have four children.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th); 2014 Quito De La Roque (PU 21st); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd), Sir Des Champs (Fell 15th)

Gordon Elliott IRE (Trim, County Meath)
Born: March 2, 1978, in Summerhill, Co Meath Background: A very successful point-to-point rider, Elliott also partnered 46 winners as an amateur under Rules. He started his racing career while still at school, working at Tony Martin’s stable in County Meath. He moved to Britain, joining Martin Pipe in 1997, and learnt a lot during his spell in Somerset. His biggest victory as a rider was on board King’s Road, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, in the 1998 Punchestown Champion Bumper. Elliott returned to Ireland for another term at Martin’s stables. After commencing handling point-to-pointers, he started his main training career from Capranny Stables in Trim, Co Meath in early 2006 and bought the 78-acre Cullentra House Farm, Longwood, Co Meath, in 2011, where the facilities have been built up from scratch, with a capacity of almost 200 horses, two gallops, three schooling grounds, an equine pool, a natural spa and more. The trainer has emerged over the last few seasons as the main challenger to Willie Mullins’ dominance in Ireland and had a major boost when receiving the pick of 60 horses that Gigginstown House Stud removed from Mullins in September, 2016. Elliott is part of a select group of trainers to saddle a winner at both the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, having sent out Commissioned to land the Queen Alexandra Stakes at the prestigious Flat meeting in June, 2016. He also saddled Dirar to win the Ebor Handicap at York in 2010. Training Career: Elliott’s first runner under Rules came at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival, when Brandon Mountain was pulled up in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. He continued to send runners over to the UK and enjoyed almost instant success, most notably with Arresting, who notched up four victories between May and July, 2006. Elliott’s Grand National victory with Silver Birch in April, 2007 was remarkable not only because he was just 29 at the time, but also because he had yet to saddle a winner in his native country. The winners in Ireland soon followed and Elliott gained an initial Grade One victory with Jessies Dream in the Drinmore Novice Chase in December, 2010, and celebrated his first Cheltenham Festival successes in 2011 with Chicago Grey in the National Hunt Chase and Carlito Brigante in the Coral Cup. His Cheltenham Festival haul now stands at 14 and includes Don Cossack’s victory in the 2016 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was the leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time in March, 2017 with six successes, the same number as Willie Mullins but had one more runner-up. This season has been his most successful to date, with over 200 winners in Ireland and Britain, and he led Willie Mullins in the Irish Jump trainers’ championship, 177 to 165 on April 4. This campaign also saw him emulate one of his mentors, Martin Pipe, as the only other Jump trainer to saddle more than 1,000 runners in a season. First winner as a trainer – Arresting, Fugro-Technip Handicap Hurdle, Perth, June 11, 2006.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 SILVER BIRCH (WON); 2009 Silver Birch (FELL 22nd); 2010 Backstage (UR 20th); 2011 Backstage (10th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th), Chicago Grey (BD 5th); 2013 Tarquinius 8th, Chicago Grey (PU 30th); 2015 Cause Of Causes (8th); 2016 Ucello Conti (6th)

Jack Kennedy
Born: April 22, 1999 Background: A native of Dingle, County Kerry, Kennedy is a graduate of the pony racing circuit and won the Dingle Derby on Coola Boula in 2014. After starting out with Tommy Stack, he moved to Gordon Elliott and had his first ride on the racecourse at Clonmel in May, 2015. Just two weeks later, he rode his first winner on his seventh ride when partnering the Pat Flynn-trained Funny How to win a seven furlong handicap. His first success over hurdles came at Down Royal seven days later when he rode Eshtiaal to win a handicap hurdle by 11 lengths for Gordon Elliott. In the very next race, he partnered a second winner for the County Meath trainer when winning another handicap hurdle on Mustadrik, this time by 17 lengths. He rode his first winner over fences when taking the €100,000 Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase on the J P McManus-owned Riverside City, another trained by Gordon Elliott. Riverside City was the middle leg of a treble for Kennedy that same day, the first of his career. A year and a day after riding his first winner over hurdles, Kennedy rode out his claim when partnering the Norman Lee-trained Troublesombrothers to win a maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe. He has enjoyed a brilliant season so far in 2016/17, taking the Lexus Chase on Outlander and riding his first Cheltenham Festival winner on Labaik in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
No previous Randox Health Grand National rides

Saint Are (FR) 11-10-10
Breeding: b/br g Network – Fortanea (Video Rock)
Breeder: Jacques Cypres
Born: April 5, 2006
Owner: David Fox
Trainer: Tom George
Jockey: Davy Russell
Form: 7/53172F31/02524U01/F43090/84PF/33312-671P0-53F2

*Has contested three Grand Nationals, with his best effort at Aintree coming when second to Many Clouds in 2015. He finished ninth of the 17 finishers in the 2013 renewal (when trained by Tim Vaughan) and was pulled up before the last fence on testing ground after leading at the start of the second circuit in 2016.
*Has also raced over the Grand National fences three more times in December’s Betfred Becher Chase, falling at the first in 2016, finishing seventh in 2015 and coming home third in 2014.
*He was moved to Tom George’s Gloucestershire yard during the summer of 2014.
*Dual winner over Aintree’s Mildmay Course during the Randox Health Grand National Festival, capturing the Grade One Sefton Novices’ Hurdle in 2011 and the Listed Betfred Handicap Chase in 2012.
* Warmed up for this year’s Randox Health Grand National with a gallant head second in a veterans’ handicap chase at Doncaster on February 22, 2017.
Jump race record: Starts: 41; Wins: 5; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 7; Win & Place Prize Money: £389,695

David Fox
David Fox lives in Staffordshire and is CEO and chairman of West Midlands-based PP Control and Automation Limited, formerly known as Power Panels Electrical Systems Limited. The company was founded in 1967 and is one of the global leaders in electrical control systems, cable harnesses and sub-contract manufacturing solutions. Fox says his company deals with “12 of the world’s number one companies in the field of electrical systems”. He adds: “We make the machinery that makes parts for industries ranging from automotives to aerospace and medical. Most people in the UK will have something in their homes that we have put our hands on.” The company employs more than 200 people at a 40,000 square feet manufacturing facility in Cheslyn Hay near Walsall, but due to new technology he says that number could rise in the future as the company expands into fields such as airport security and food packaging. Fox was an apprentice in his field who bought a failing company in 1979 and built it up. He remembers with delight the day the company turned over £1,000,000. The current target is £20 million a year. His interest in racing formed as a young man – “somewhere between football and cricket and probably through having a bet”. In 2005 he entertained some business clients at Worcester races and enjoyed the experience so much he decided to get involved as an owner. He says it is his ambition to own a Cheltenham Festival winner. Fox, who has a son, two daughters and grandchildren, has enjoyed two Aintree victories with Saint Are – the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2011) and Listed Betfred Handicap Chase (2012) – and second in the 2015 Grand National. He also has other horses in training, some in his name, and others racing for PP Control and Automation Limited including novice chaser Some Are Lucky, novice hurdler Sumkindofking and handicap chaser A Good Skin, who was second at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2013 Saint Are (9th); 2015 Saint Are (2nd); 2016 Saint Are (PU 30th)

Tom George (Slad, Gloucestershire)
Born: June 4, 1967 Background: began his training career in 1993 with 14 horses from his base at Springbank Stables in Slad, near Stroud, Gloucestershire. At the age of 26, he was one of the youngest jump trainers in the country, but he had plenty of experience, having previously worked for Martin Pipe, Arthur Moore and Francois Doumen, three of the most successful trainers in England, Ireland and France respectively. Tom George’s local track is Cheltenham and he won there with Newton Point in his rookie season. In the 2003/2004 season he sent out 50 winners for the first time from 65 horses. A surge for his yard came when Galileo won the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, 2002, providing the trainer with an initial success at The Festival. The horse was racing for only the second time over hurdles, having been bought off the Flat in Poland. Nacarat provided George with a Grade One success in the Betfred Bowl at the 2011 Grand National Festival, while he has also enjoyed Grade One success in France, with Halley taking the Prix Maurice Gillois Grand Steeple-Chase 4 Ans in 2011. God’s Own has been a flagbearer for the stable in recent years, with three G1 triumphs including in the 2016 JLT Melling Chase at Aintree. George is enjoying his best-ever season in 2016/2017, with 62 winners (up to March 26), many of them ridden by new stable jockey Adrian Heskin. He has another 2017 Randox Health Grand National contender in Double Shuffle. Tom is married to Sophie, daughter of former trainer John Edwards, who helps source horses for the yard. Edwards trained Little Polveir, who had had three previous runs in the Grand National, up until two months before being sold for 15,000 guineas to trainer Toby Balding who sent the horse out to win the 1989 Grand National.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 Tremallt (9th); 2006 Lord Of Illusion (PU 17th); 2009 Kilbeggan Blade (PU 21st); 2013 Big Fella Thanks (UR 8th); 2015 Saint Are (2nd); 2016 Saint Are (PU 30th)

Davy Russell
Born: June 27, 1979 Background: Hails – like fellow National Hunt jockey Denis O’Regan – from Youghal in County Cork and progressed from pony racing to become one of Ireland’s leading point-to-point riders, winning the championship outright in 2001 and sharing the title with J T McNamara in 2002. His first Aintree success came in 2000 when he rode the Pat Fahy-trained Quadco to win the Champion National Hunt Flat Race at 33/1. The retirement of another one-time Irish point-to-point star, Adrian Maguire, saw him travel over to Britain as stable jockey to Ferdy Murphy and he turned professional on November 12, 2002, with his first success in that sphere coming on Inn Antique at Sedgefield on November 12. He enjoyed his first big success when Truckers Tavern won the 2003 Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock and the same horse went on to be second to Best Mate in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Russell lost his job as number one jockey to Murphy in January, 2004, after 14 months as he also wanted to continue riding in Ireland at weekends. He returned to Ireland and had a first Cheltenham Festival success in 2006 when Native Jack won the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase. Russell won the Irish jockeys’ championship in 2011/12 and 2012/13. He was retained jockey to Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, whose horses run in the maroon and white silks of Gigginstown House Stud, until January 1, 2014. He enjoyed several high-profile successes for the owner, including eight Cheltenham Festivals victories – Weapon’s Amnesty (2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle & 2010 RSA Chase), First Lieutenant (2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle), Carlito Brigante (2011 Coral Cup), Sir Des Champs (2012 JLT novices’ Chase), Tiger Roll (2014 JCB Triumph Hurdle) and Savello (2014 Grand Annual Handicap Chase). He enjoyed a fantastic treble on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival 2014, winning on aforementioned Tiger Roll and Savello as well as landing the greatest victory of his career when he won the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on Lord Windermere. His total number of Cheltenham winners currently stands at 18. He took the Topham Chase on Cregg House over the Grand National fences in 2005. He currently rides in both Britain and Ireland on a regular basis and is retained jockey to leading owner Dai Walters.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 Ballinclay King (PU bef 15th); 2004 Takagi (UR 15th); 2005 Arctic Copper (19th); 2006 Joes Edge (7th); 2007 Livingstone Bramble (UR 6th); 2008 Chelsea Harbour (9th); 2009 Hear The Echo (Fell 30th); 2010 Cerium (11th); 2011 Becauseicouldntsee (Fell 2nd); 2012 Alfa Beat (Fell 7th); 2014 Lion Na Bearnai (PU 27th); 2016 Morning Assembly (8th)

Saphir Du Rheu (FR) 8-11-05
Breeding: gr g Al Namix – Dona Du Rheu (Dom Pasquini)
Breeder: Claude Duval
Born: April 26, 2009
Owner: The Stewart Family
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies
Form: 3310/541114/U1F121/155665-3F215

*Six pounds well in on official ratings after finishing fifth behind Sizing John in the G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on March 17, 2017.
*Easy 15-length winner of the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso in February, 2017.
*Most impressive performance so far came in the 2015 G1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree when defeating Carraig Mor by 15 lengths.
*Trainer won Grand National with another grey Neptune Collonges in 2012, the first grey to triumph since Nicolaus Silver in 1961.
Jump race record: Starts: 27; Wins: 9; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £334,499

The Stewart Family
The Stewart Family comprises husband and wife Andy and Judy Stewart, and their two sons, Mark and Paul. The latter broke his back in a snowboarding accident in December, 2008, but has made tremendous progress to walk again and the family have sponsored several races at Cheltenham, including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the December Gold Cup for the benefit of Spinal Research. Andy Stewart, born on August 15, 1951 in Romford to parents who were both doctors, went to Felsted School in Essex and bunked off to go point-to-pointing at Marks Tey. He also hitchhiked to Liverpool to attend the Grand National Festival. He began work aged 17 in the fixed-interest department of Simon & Coates, progressing to be a senior partner at that stockbroking firm. He became chief executive of Chase Manhattan Securities when it took over Simon & Coates. Stewart co-founded broker Collins Stewart in 1991 and was executive deputy chairman when it floated on the Stock Exchange worth £326 million in 2000 before leaving the business in 2003. He then founded Cenkos Securities, named after his first top-class racehorse, but stepped down in 2010. Cenkos won 15 races and over £500,000 in prize money and was twice third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Stewart is now chairman of Ravenscroft Limited (formerly Cenkos Channel Islands) which has offices in Guernsey and Jersey. He is also a major shareholder in the CHAPS Restaurants, Barbados, where he has a home. Racing interests: Andy was first involved with ownership in 1986 and the family enjoyed the first of six Cheltenham Festival successes when Celestial Halo won the JCB Triumph Hurdle in 2008. Outstanding staying hurdler Big Buck’s became the first horse to win four renewals of the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2012 and broke Sir Ken’s record by winning his 17th consecutive race over jumps in the G1 Liverpool Hurdle at the 2012 Grand National Festival.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th); 2008 Turko (Fell 25th); 2009 My Will (3rd); 2010 My Will (Fell 4th); 2011 Ornais (Fell 4th); 2012 Tatenen (UR 8th); 2013 Tatenen (Fell 12th); 2014 Rocky Creek (5th), 2015 Rocky Creek (17th); 2016 Rocky Creek (PU 12th)

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Somerset)
Born: April 17, 1962 at Lydney, Gloucestershire Background: The son of a policeman, he grew up in Olveston. He started riding in point-to-points after leaving school at 16 and worked for a couple of yards before becoming a conditional jockey with Sussex-based Josh Gifford for two years and then joining Devon trainer David Barons. He partnered 133 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also won the Irish Gold Cup with Paul up in 1988. Having struggled to keep his weight down, he retired from riding in 1989 and assisted Barons, trainer of not only Broadheath and Playschool but also Seagram, who won the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during Nicholls’ time at the stable. Nicholls took out his own licence to train at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat on November 1, 1991, with just eight horses and has come a long way since. Manor Farm Stables, which has been expanded, is the main yard, with Highbridge the second yard just outside the village. Daughter Megan is an apprentice jockey on the Flat with 21 winners (up to March 23). Achievements: 10-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 41 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and is the third most successful trainer ever there. His successes include victories in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded, 2015 Dodging Bullets), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). He also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby in 2012. At Aintree, he has captured the Grand National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and sent out Big Buck’s for four consecutive victories (2009 to 2012) in the Grade One Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle. He has been leading trainer at the Randox Health Grand National Festival three times – in 2008, 2011 & 2015. He is fighting for his 11th Jump trainers’ championship this season. He has sent out in total over 2,700 winners, including 112 at Grade One level (up to April 4).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU 29th), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (FELL 14th); 1998 What A Hand (FELL 1st), Court Melody (FELL 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (FELL 1st), 2000 Earthmover (FELL 4th), Torduff Express (FELL 13th), Flaked Oats (FELL 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (FELL 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (FELL 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (FELL 1st), Le Duc (UR 8th), Silver Birch (FELL 15th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th), Le Roi Miguel (PU 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU 19th); 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th), Royal Auclair (FELL 9th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Turko (FELL 25th), Mr Pointment (PU 30th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (FELL 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (FELL 4th), The Tother One (FELL 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU 19th), Harry The Viking (PU 26th); 2014 Rocky Creek (5th), Hawkes Point (18th), Tidal Bay (UR 8th); 2015 Mon Parrain (11th), Rocky Creek (17th), Rebel Rebellion (PU 26th), Unioniste (Fell 5th); 2016 Unioniste (10th), Just A Par (15th), Rocky Creek (PU 12th), Silviniaco Conti (PU 14th), Wonderful Charm (PU 21st), Black Thunder (PU 21st)

Sam Twiston-Davies
Born: October 15, 1992 Background: Sam Twiston-Davies was still studying for AS-level exams at school in Gloucestershire when he had both his first Cheltenham Festival winner and first Grand National ride. The son of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and his divorced wife, Cathy, (who both rode as amateurs), Sam was successful in pony racing before starting in point-to-points in the 2008/09 season when becoming eligible at the age of 16. Within a few weeks, on December 28, 2008, he rode his first winner between the flags, taking a race at Cottenham in Cambridgeshire on Grenfell, trained by his mother. At Ludlow on February 18, 2009, he scored his first success under Rules when partnering Baby Run, owned and trained by Nigel, to victory in a hunter chase. A career that was bound to flourish gained added lift through Baby Run, for he and Sam went on to finish third in the following month’s Foxhunter Chase at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival and later gained one of the season’s biggest prizes in the Champion Hunters’ Chase at the Punchestown Festival. Sam and Baby Run capped that in March, 2010, when returning to Cheltenham and the easy winner of the Foxhunter Chase at The Festival. Sam then went to Aintree and partnered Hello Bud into fifth on his Grand National debut. He turned professional shortly afterwards. Sam partnered Hello Bud to victory in the 2010 Betfred Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National course. Twiston-Davies rode his father’s The New One to win the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival in 2013. In the summer of 2014, he was appointed stable jockey to Paul Nicholls. He has partnered over 750 winners, with his best season coming in 2014/2015 (145 wins). He has had seven Cheltenham Festival winners and is an ambassador at Aintree Racecourse. Big-Race Wins include: Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (2015 Dodging Bullets), Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil (2016 Ptit Zig), Scottish Grand National (2016 Vicente), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2016 Ballyandy), Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2015 Saphir Du Rheu), Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (2015 All Yours), Tingle Creek Chase (2014 Dodging Bullets), Aintree Hurdle (2014 The New One), Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2013 The New One).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2010 Hello Bud (5th); 2011 Hello Bud (PU 29th); 2012 Hello Bud (7th); 2013 Imperial Commander (PU 22nd); 2014 Tidal Bay (UR 8th); 2015 Rocky Creek (17th), 2016 Wonderful Charm (PU 21st)

Shantou Flyer (IRE) 7-11-05
Breeding: b g Shantou – Carrigmorna Flyer (Bob Back)
Breeder: Tom McCarthy
Born: March 22, 2010
Owner: Carl Hinchy
Trainer: Rebecca Curtis
Jockey: Jonathan Moore
Form: 0503/1222247/42P3121115PF-529142

*Comes into the race on the back of a fine second behind Cue Card in the Grade One Ascot Chase over two miles, five furlongs on February 18.
*Moved from Colin Bowe’s base in Ireland to Rebecca Curtis’ yard on September 19, 2016 following a private purchase by owner Carl Hinchy. The horse had been withdrawn from the Goffs UK September horses in training sale the week before.
*Had a fine novice season for Bowe over fences, winning four times including the Grade Two Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown.
*Has only run 16 times over fences but only five of these starts have come at three miles or over.
Jump race record: Starts: 29; Wins: 6; 2nd: 8; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £147,302

Carl Hinchy
Born in October 1968, Carl Hinchy is a solicitor who qualified into the profession in February, 2003. He studied Law at the University of Central Lancashire before completing his Legal Practice Course at the Liverpool John Moores University. He worked for some of the country’s largest insurers before specialising in personal injury. His firm, Rushton Hinchy, has 25 years’ experience specialising in road traffic accident and personal injury litigation. He owned his first horse, Rayavadee, with local trainer Paul Green (who trains in Lydiate) before moving yards to Tim Vaughan’s Cowbridge base. Shantou Flyer is officially the best horse that Hinchy owns over fences but he is also well-known for owning crack mare Aurore d’Estruval, who won a Listed even over hurdles at Wetherby for trainer John Quinn before finishing second behind Irving in the Grade One ‘Fighting Fifth’ at Newcastle. Hinchy has the majority of his horses with Rebecca Curtis but also has horses with Dan Skelton, Richard Hobson and Kevin Frost.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Rebecca Curtis (Newport, Pembrokeshire)
Curtis, who was born on April 1, 1980, grew up on Fforest Farm five miles from Fishguard on the Pembrokeshire coast, a place that has now become her training centre. She has been around horses all her life and started riding aged four, progressing to showjump for the Welsh junior team. She rode in point-to-points and her first job in racing was with nearby trainer Peter Bowen. She spent five years in America with trainers Richard Mandela and Dan Hendricks before coming home to take out a licence in 2008. Her first winner was Mango Catcher at Chepstow on April 5 that year and her reputation has steadily grown in the intervening years. She enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival winner in 2012 when Teaforthree won the National Hunt Chase and a second when At Fishers Cross took the 2013 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle to give her a first Grade One victory, swiftly followed by a second at Aintree in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle. She has enjoyed four winners at the Cheltenham Festival in all, with O’Faolain’s boy taking the 2014 RSA Chase and Irish Cavalier successful in the 2015 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. Curtis had a tremendous first experience of the Randox Health Grand National, with Teaforthree finishing third in 2013. Curtis is assisted by her partner, bloodstock agent Gearoid Costelloe, and she uses her family’s private beach to exercise her horses.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2013 Teaforthree (3rd); 2014 Teaforthree (UR 15th); 2015 Bob Ford (PU 29th); 2016 The Romford Pele (UR 8th)

Jonathan Moore
Born in Wexford on March 15, 1994, Moore grew up on a farm back in his native Ireland but is not from a racing background. He first sat on a thoroughbred when he was 12 and he later spent a year at the Racing Academy and Centre of Education apprentice school in Kildare. He then spent a season with trainers Gordon Elliott and Colm Murphy, as well as with the late Oliver Brady – before joining Noel Meade. The 2016/2017 season has been a breakthrough campaign for Moore, thanks in no small part to his link up with Rebecca Curtis’ yard in Wales. The pair tasted big-race success in October, 2016, when Irish Cavalier landed the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby – just seven months after Moore had his first ride for the stable. Moore splits his time riding in both Britain and Ireland. He is based in Castleblayney, Wexford, where he lives with his partner, Charmaine, and their young child.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Stellar Notion (IRE) 9-10-09
Breeding: b g Presenting – Green Star (Green Tune)
Breeder: Meadhill Stables
Born: March 26, 2008.
Owner: Roger Brookhouse
Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
Jockey: David Mullins
Form: 112/1170/P7-103242

*Has improved for the switch to his current trainer, producing a career best to finish second behind A Toi Phil in the Leopardstown Handicap Chase by a neck in January 2017.
*Fourth to Noble Endeavour in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and was also a seven-length second in the Munster National in October at Limerick.
*Originally trained by Tom George, the gelding was switched to Somerset handler Paul Nicholls in 2015, before joining County Waterford handler De Bromhead in 2016.
*Jockey David Mullins bids to become the first jockey since Leighton Aspell (2014 & 2015) to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.
Jump race record: Starts; 15; Wins: 5; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £75,644

Roger Brookhouse
The Warwickshire businessman is a major racehorse owner, with two Cheltenham Festival winners to his credit – Cheltenian, whom Philip Hobbs trained to win the 2011 Weatherbys Champion Bumper, and Western Warhorse, who took the Racing Post Arkle Chase for David Pipe in 2014. He owns horses with a variety of trainers, including Henry de Bromhead in Ireland, Philip Hobbs, Neil Mulholland and Tom George. He is a frequent purchaser at bloodstock sales and owns the stallion Yorgunnabelucky, who stands at Mickley Stud in Shropshire.
Randox Health Grand National record: no previous runners

Henry de Bromhead (County Waterford, Ireland)
Born: October 28, 1972 Background: De Bromhead is the son of former farmer and trainer Harry de Bromhead. He initially trained to be an accountant but left college after realising that this career was not for him. He took a job at Coolmore Stud and worked with Robert Alner in Dorset, as well as with his father, before joining Sir Mark Prescott’s Newmarket yard. He also worked at Tattersalls for three months before returning to Coolmore Stud in 1998. After his father had been incapacitated by a stroke in 1999, he took over the reins at the Co Waterford yard and sent out his first winner with his very first runner when Fidalus won at Tramore on New Year’s Day in 2000. De Bromhead trained a stream of winners in his first few years – including Feeling Grand, River Clodagh and Whatareyouhaving. His career was siginificantly boosted by the investment of owners Ann and Alan Potts in 2005. The best performer trained by de Bromhead for the Potts’ was Sizing Europe, who went on to propel de Bromhead into the big time. The son of Pistolet Bleu won the Grade One Irish Champion Hurdle in January, 2008, before embarking on a chase campaign which saw him progress into one of the best two-milers of his generation. He won the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March, 2011, as well as the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase in December, 2011. In an unexpected decision, Ann and Alan Potts removed all their horses from de Bromhead ahead of the current season, but that has not held the trainer back. He is currently enjoying his best-ever season in Ireland and won his second Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival with Special Tiara. Major wins include: Irish Champion Hurdle (2008 Sizing Europe, 2017 Petit Mouchoir); Irish Arkle Chase (2010 An Cathaoir Mor, 2017 Some Plan); Arkle Challenge Trophy (2010 Sizing Europe); Queen Mother Champion Chase (2011 Sizing Europe, 2017 Special Tiara); Tingle Creek Chase (2011 Sizing Europe); Maghull Novices’ Chase (2013 Special Tiara); Punchestown Champion Chase (2012 & 2014 Sizing Europe); Celebration Chase (2015 Special Tiara); Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2015 Identity Thief).
Previous Randox Health Grand National runners: 2014 Bucker’s Bridge (11th); 2016 Home Farm (PU 21st)

David Mullins
Born: June 6, 1996 Background: David Mullins is the son of the trainer Tom Mullins and the nephew of the 11-time Ireland champion Jump trainer Willie. The Mullins are a racing dynasty and his late grandfather, Paddy, is best known for training the great racemare Dawn Run, who still remains the only horse to win both the Champion Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Being born into such a racing family, there is no surprise the path he chose. He tasted success at the top-level when Nichols Canyon, trained by his uncle Willie, landed the Grade One StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle at Leopardstown in 2015, overcoming the previously unbeaten Faugheen. He enjoyed a dream first ride in the Grand National when successful on Rule The World in 2016. Mullins is having another fantastic season in 2016/17, headed by the victory of Petit Mouchoir in the Irish Champion Hurdle. Randox Health Grand National record: 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON)

Tenor Nivernais (FR) 10-11-01
Breeding: b g Shaanmer – Hosanna II (Marasali)
Breeder: Jean-Francois Landiorio
Born: 07 April 2007
Owner: Boultbee Brooks Ltd
Trainer: Venetia Williams
Jockey: Liam Treadwell
Form: 11337/P81710P9/614U3U/1544694/1322P5-34312

*Has recorded at least one victory in every season he has raced and continued that record in good style when romping home by a distance in a Listed Handicap Chase at Ascot on 18 February.
*Beaten favourite last time out at 4/6 in the Listed Premier Chase at Kelso – a race which 2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs was also beaten in at odds-on prior to winning at Aintree.
*Was unbeaten under the tutelage of Guillaume Macaire when trained in France as a juvenile and won two three-year-old hurdles in fine fashion at Vichy.
*His latest victory was his first at three miles and has been campaigned at shorter for the majority of his career.
Jump race record: Starts: 37; Wins: 8; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 6; Win & Place Prize Money: £164,234

Boultbee Brooks Ltd
Boultbee Brooks Ltd, a real estate company, is owned by Clive Boultbee Brooks, a chartered surveyor, who co-founded the property investment company Boultbee with his brother Steve in 1987. The sons of a stockbroker, the brothers grew up on a farm in Staffordshire and, with start-up capital of just £7,000, they began buying and redeveloping industrial space in Shoreditch, London and turning it into offices. In the 1990s, they developed office and industrial space in the Midlands and enjoyed 27 years of success together in the UK and Europe, building an impressive property portfolio across residential, office, industrial and retail/leisure sectors. In 1999, Clive set up Boultbee Brooks Limited, a real estate company, and continued in the same path. A sheep farmer in Hereford in his spare time, Boultbee Brooks has owned horses with Venetia Williams through his company since Vivaccio became his first runner in December, 2013.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Venetia Williams
Born: May 10, 1960 Background: Venetia Williams had a great deal of experience as an assistant trainer and amateur rider before taking out a licence to train at her family’s Herefordshire estate. She had 10 winners as an amateur through 1986-88 and rode in the 1988 Grand National on Marcolo, who knocked her unconscious when coming down at Becher’s Brook. She broke her neck in a fall shortly afterwards and was forced to retire on medical advice. She gained experience around the world to further her knowledge of training, starting off with seven years as assistant to John Edwards at Sellack, only a few miles from where she is now based. She also had spells with Martin Pipe and Barry Hills, John Fulton in the United States and Colin Hayes in Australia. Training Career: She began with a string of limited size and talent but her success prompted great reaction and she regularly trains over 50 winners a season, recording a seasonal best of 90 in 2012/13. The popular grey Teeton Mill was her standard-bearer in the late 1990s, winning the 1998 Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase. Her first venture on the Flat yielded a Group Three winner when Stretarez won the 1998 Ormonde Stakes at Chester. She has recorded six wins at the Cheltenham Festival, the first of which being Samakaan in the 2000 Grand Annual Challenge Cup, and enjoyed the pinnacle of her career to date when winning the 2009 Grand National with 100/1 chance Mon Mome. Randox Health Grand National Record: 1997 Don’t Light Up (Fell 13th), Celtic Abbey (Unseated 15th); 1998 Celtic Abbey (Fell 5th); 1999 General Wolfe (12th); 2000 Kingdom Of Shades (16th); 2001 Inis Cara (Fell 4th), General Wolfe (Brought Down 8th); 2002 Inis Cara (PU Bef 25th); 2003 Bramblehill Duke (Fell 2nd); 2007 Sonevafushi (PU Bef 29th), The Outlier (Unseated 19th); 2008 Mon Mome (10th); 2009 MON MOME (WON), Stan (Fell 7th); 2010 Mon Mome (Fell 26th), Flintoff (PU Bef 21st); 2012 Mon Mome (PU 22nd); 2016 Katenko (Fell 22nd); Aachen (PU 22nd)

Liam Treadwell
Born: January 3 1986 Background: grew up in Arundel, where his parents, Mark and Lorraine, both worked for John Dunlop. A keen sportsman at school, Treadwell represented his county at rugby, football and basketball and excelled at tetrathlon. Treadwell started riding out at weekends for Dunlop, Nick Gifford and Amanda Perrett when he was 14 and spent two working holidays with Kiaran McLaughlin in Dubai, as well as a stint at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard. After leaving school, he started working full time for Dandy Nicholls in 2003, riding 20 Flat winners over the next two seasons, before weight concerns forced him to consider riding over jumps. He strengthened up and joined the stable of Venetia Williams in mid-2004, riding his first winner in that sphere when Little Rort took a handicap hurdle at Towcester on April 25, 2005. He enjoyed a good 2006/07 campaign, riding 30 winners, and shot to prominence on Mon Mome who finished second in the Welsh National in December, 2006. He followed up with 29 wins in the 2007/08 campaign and won the Richard Davies Award, given to the conditional who accumulates the most wins and places during the season at Cheltenham, Chepstow, Hereford, Ludlow, Stratford, Towcester, Warwick and Worcester, following in the footsteps of jockeys such as Timmy Murphy and Robert Thornton. Treadwell shot to national prominence in 2009 when partnering Mon Mome to a famous 100/1 success in the Randox Health Grand National. After the race BBC presenter Clare Balding remarked on the condition of Treadwell’s teeth and that he could now afford “to get them done”, mistakenly thinking they had been damaged in a fall. However, Treadwell subsequently received several approaches from dentists and eventually underwent extensive cosmetic dentistry, valued at £30,000. The London-based Ultrasmile clinic carried out the work for free as part of a promotional campaign, and he now has a perfect smile. Treadwell enjoyed success at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013 when he partnered Carrickhillboy to success in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate. He was third in the Randox Health Grand National in 2016 on Monbeg Dude.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2009 MON MOME (WON); 2010 Nozic (UR 20th); 2015 Monbeg Dude (3rd)

The Last Samuri (IRE) 9-11-10
Breeding: ch g Flemensfirth – Howaboutthis (Oscar)
Breeder: Edmond Coleman
Born: April 18, 2008
Owner: Paul & Clare Rooney
Trainer: Kim Bailey
Jockey: David Bass
Form: 21119/211U12/3112-532

*Rated 12 pounds higher in the handicap than when beaten six lengths into second by Rule The World in the 2016 Grand National. Carries top-weight of 11st 10lb this time.
*Third, going down by a length to Vieux Lion Rouge, under top-weight in the G3 Betfred Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree on December 3, 2016.
*Runner-up to Definitly Red (beaten 14 lengths) when chasing back-to-back wins in the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster on March 4, 2017.
*Has never fallen in 18 starts, failing to complete once when unseating his rider at Kelso in February, 2015.
*15.3 hands high.
*Joined Kim Bailey’s yard in October, 2015, after owners Paul & Clare Rooney moved over 50 horses from Cheshire trainer Donald McCain and spread them around lots of handlers.
Jump race record: Starts: 18; Wins: 8; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £352,035

Paul & Clare Rooney
Background: Paul Rooney, 69, is originally from London (born July, 1947) and currently spends his time between the Monksford Estate, with its golf course and stables for retired racechorses, at Newtown St Boswells in the Scottish borders and Sussex where he founded the Horsham-based Rooney & Co estate agents in 1981, which he now chairs. Ten years later, when he had 11 offices, he bought the south-eastern region of Prudential Property Services and formed Arun Estates. In 1993 Paul acquired Douglas Allen Spiro in East London and Essex. He moved back to the traditional trading name. Arun now trades under the brands of Ward & Partners, Cubitt & West, Douglas Allen, Pittis (on the Isle of Wight) and Rooney & Co through over 100 branches. Paul’s wealth was valued at £110 million in the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List. He decided to start his own estate agency based on his own frustrations when trying to buy a family home in Horsham. He also has a house building business. He and his wife Clare have a number of charitable foundations (the Rooney Foundation being the biggest), which focus mainly on children’s disabilities and medical research. Racing interests: Paul and Clare, who were social racegoers, first became involved with racehorse ownership as partners in the Donald McCain-trained Danny Zuko, a four-time winner between 2007 and 2010. They bought a third of Danny Zuko for £4,000 in 2006/07 and then got the bug. They have stepped up their involvement considerably in recent seasons. Initially their horses were trained principally by Donald McCain, although they parted company with the Grand National-winning handler in a well-publicised split in October, 2015, when removing their 50-plus horses from the Cheshire-based trainer. The Rooneys now have over 110 horses in training split among 24 different trainers and have also extended their ownership into Flat racing, enjoying Group One success at Royal Ascot in 2016 with My Dream Boat in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. Former Jump jockey Jason Maguire is their racing manager. Paul & Clare Rooney enjoyed their first Cheltenham Festival success with Willoughby Court, trained by Ben Pauling, in the 2017 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.
Previous Randox Health Grand National runners: 2014 Kruzhlinin (10th); 2016 The Last Samuri (2nd), Kruzhlinin (PU 27th)

Kim Bailey (Thorndale Farm, Andoversford, Gloucestershire)
Born: May 25, 1953. Background: Bailey was bred for the Jump game as his father Ken was a successful handler. Bailey currently trains at Thorndale Farm, Andoversford, Gloucestershire, having relocated from his native Northamptonshire in the summer of 2006, after beginning his training career at Old Manor Stables in Upper Lambourn, Berkshire. Following a low-profile riding career, he served as assistant to trainers Humphrey Cottrill, Tim Forster and Fred Rimell before recording his first win as a trainer with Shifting Gold on January 7, 1978, at Sandown in the Anthony Mildmay Chase, a mere six days after taking over the reins from his father. He has trained some top-class jumpers who have rewarded him with training’s highest accolades, notably winning the Randox Health Grand National (Mr Frisk, 1990), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Master Oats, 1995) and Stan James Champion Hurdle (Alderbrook, 1995). His highest total of British Jump winners in a season was 86 in 1993/94 before dropping to a low of three in 2007/08. He sent out 61 winners in 2014/15 and has 38 (up to March 26) this season. Achievements: Bailey is only one of two current trainers to have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Grand National. The other is Paul Nicholls. Mr Frisk was ridden to victory at Aintree by Marcus Armytage, the most recent amateur to win the Randox Health Grand National. Mr Frisk’s course record of 8m 47.80s still stands today. Bailey has trained four winners in total at the Cheltenham Festival, registering his first victory there for 16 years when Darna won the 2015 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. He saddled The Last Sumari to finish second in the 2016 Grand National.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1983 Menford (REF 19th); 1986 Late Night Extra (PU 11th); 1990 MR FRISK (WON); 1991 Docklands Express (FELL 1st), Mr Frisk (PU 22nd); 1992 Docklands Express (4th); 1994 Master Oats (FELL 13th); 1995 Romany King (6th), Master Oats (7th); 1996 Over The Stream (13th); 1997 Master Oats (5th), Glemot (UR 7th); 2000 Druid’s Brook (UR 12th); 2001 Supreme Charm (UR 15th); 2002 Supreme Charm (5th); 2003 Wonder Weasel (FELL 3rd), 2004 Wonder Weasel (PU 28th); 2007 Longshanks (7th); 2012 Midnight Haze (15th); 2013 The Rainbow Hunter (UR 8th); 2014 The Rainbow Hunter (UR 9th); 2015 The Rainbow Hunter (FELL 26th); 2016 The Last Samuri (2nd)

David Bass
Born: June 30, 1988 Background: Bass grew up in Ringstead, Northamptonshire and went to Bishop Stopford School in Kettering. He hails from a musical family as his mother, Rowena, is a vicar who teaches and plays the harp and his father instructs viola and violin at schools in Northampton. His youngest sister Elizabeth also performs on the harp and was named Young Musician of the Year at the Oundle Festival of Music in 2009 at the age of 14. Bass could have followed in the family footsteps as he was a drummer with a punk band during his school days but got the racing bug after riding ponies as a youngster. He went to point-to-points with his father Philip and grandfather Albert. Following a trip to Stratford Racecourse at the age of 16, he contacted the British Racing School. After completing a course at the Newmarket-based BRS, he was given a job at Richard Phillips’ yard near Stow-On-The-Wold in Gloucestershire and in 2007/08 became men’s national novice point-to-point champion. Although attached to the Phillips yard, he rode his first winner under Rules for the late John Manners on Man From Highworth at Towcester in April, 2009. He joined Nicky Henderson shortly afterwards and scored on his first ride for the powerful stable when Scots Dragoon won at Sandown in November of the same year. His breakthrough success came in the Grade Three Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park in May, 2010 when he guided Eradicate to success for owner Alan Spence. He won on Lifestyle in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at the 2012 Grand National meeting and also tasted Cheltenham Festival success for the first time when riding Darna to victory in the 2015 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate. He took the G2 bumper at Aintree in 2015 on the Ben Pauling-trained Barter’s Hill and went on to enjoy G1 success on the same horse in novice hurdle company the following season. This season he has continued his fruitful partnership with Ben Pauling, headed by the success of Willoughby Court in the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
Previous Randox Health Grand National rides: 2014 Shakalakaboomboom (PU 20th); 2015 The Rainbow Hunter (FELL 26th); 2016 The Last Samuri (2nd)

The Young Master (GB) 8-10-13
Breeding: b g Echo Of Light – Fine Frenzy (Great Commotion)
Breeder: Brendan Boyle
Born: March 28, 2009
Owner: Dajam & The Old Masters
Trainer: Neil Mulholland
Jockey: Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
Form: 5539PP/921F11/11d17/2U4631-F06

*Finest hour to date came in G3 bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park in April, 2016, when he stayed on gamely to beat fellow Randox Health Grand National contender Just A Par by a short-head.
*Stayed on in sixth on his latest appearance in G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on March 14 2017.
*Has had one outing over the Grand National fences, falling at the second last when beaten in the Betfred Becher Chase in December, 2016.
*Controversially disqualified after winning Listed Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton in November, 2014, as he was subsequently found to be ineligible for the handicap chase, being a novice with only two chase starts to his name.
*Due to be ridden by top amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, who has won six races over the Grand National fences and was runner-up on Oscar Time in the 2011 Grand National.
*Bought into by The Old Masters before running in the 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
*Besides his seven successes over hurdles and fences, The Young Master has won two All-Weather Flat races, both over two miles, at Southwell in December, 2013 and Kempton Park in February, 2014.
Jump race record:Starts: 26; Wins: 7; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £186,347

Dajam & The Old Masters
Mike Burbidge, a long-standing owner with Neil Mulholland, retains a half-share in the The Young Master under the name of his company Dajam. He sold the other 50 per cent to The Old Masters syndicate, consisting of Robert Waley-Cohen, Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Broughton, ahead of the 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup, in which the horse unseated Sam Waley-Cohen at the first fence. Property developer Burbidge, 64, lives in the Wiltshire village of Winsley, situated less than a mile from trainer Neil Mulholland’s stables at Limpley Stoke, and has owned horses since 1993 – his first horse Dajam failed to shine in five starts on the Flat and over hurdles for Jeff King. He also had horses with Shaftesbury-based handler Paul Keane, to whom Mulholland was stable jockey and assistant trainer before taking over the licence in 2008. Burbidge moved all of his horses to Mulholland when the trainer relocated to Limpley Stoke in 2012 and currently has 10 horses in training. The Young Master, who has been his best horse so far, will be his first Grand National runner. Robert Waley-Cohen, born on November 10, 1948 and educated at Eton, started out in business with fine art auctioneers Christies (1969-1981) and was sent to America where he later started Alliance Imaging Inc (1983-1988). He founded European-wide healthcare giant Alliance Medical where he was chief executive from 1989 to 2006 and deputy chairman from 2006 to 2010 before the business was sold for £600 million, and has been the chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse since 2011 after becoming a director there in 1986. He is based at the 2,000-acre Upton Estate on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border. Racing interests: He rode for a spell as an amateur rider, mainly in point-to-points. He enjoyed one success under Rules and finished third in the 1981 Fox Hunter’s Chase at Aintree. His greatest day as an owner came in March, 2011, when his amateur rider son Sam Waley-Cohen partnered Long Run to win the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, trained by long-time friend Nicky Henderson. The gelding, at six became the youngest Gold Cup winner since Mill House in 1963. The owner’s other four successes at the Cheltenham Festival include Rustle’s victory in what is now the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle in 1989. He has horses in training with Guillaume Macaire in France as well as Nicky Henderson. He also trains a few horses himself under permit and sent out Katarino to win the Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree in 2005 and 2006, again ridden by Sam. A member of the Jockey Club since 1983, where he has been a steward (1995-2000), he keeps a team of around 10 broodmares at Upton Viva Stud. His son Tom died of cancer in July, 2004, and Tom’s Ward at Oxford Children’s Hospital is named in memory. He is married to Felicity and they also have another son, Marcus, and a daughter Jessica. Sir Martin Broughton and his twin brother Steve were born on April 15, 1947 in Fulham, London, and Sir Martin recalls the 1956 Grand National, when Devon Loch collapsed 50 yards from the winning post, as being one of his earliest memories: “I listened to it on the radio – we didn’t have a TV until I was 17 or 18 – and the reason I recall it is not just the obvious one. My father’s name was Edward Samuel Broughton and, because the winner was called ESB, you can guess who he backed.” Their interest was further fuelled with the Christmas gift of a Totopoly board game in 1960. Despite only leaving school “with a handful of Cs and Ds”, he became an accountant with Peat Marwick. Sir Martin joined British American Tobacco (BAT) as an auditor in 1971 and by 1988 had become finance director before moving up to chief executive in 1993 and chairman in 1998 (until 2004). He joined the board of British Airways as a non-executive director in 2000 and became chairman in 2004 (until 2013). He served as chairman of the then British Horseracing Board from 2004 to 2007. Despite being a lifelong Chelsea supporter, in April, 2010, he was appointed chairman of Liverpool FC and oversaw the sale of the club to new owners in October, 2010. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for his services to industry. He has had a consultancy firm, Sports Investment Partners, since 2011. The best horses he has been involved with include Ringaroses, who won a G3 handicap hurdle at the Randox Health Grand National Festival in 2010, while Taquin Du Seuil won the G1 JLT Novices’ Chase at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival and 2016 G3 BetVictor Gold Cup at the same course. Steve Broughton worked in the insurance industry and is a former chairman of RSA.
Randox Health Grand National record: Dajam (Mike Burbidge): no previous runners
Robert Waley-Cohen: Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2003 Katarino (UR 15th); 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd); 2013 Oscar Time (4th); 2014 Long Run (Fell 9th); 2015 Oscar Time (15th), 2016 Black Thunder (PU 21st)
Sir Martin & Steve Broughton: 2011 Oscar Time (2nd); 2013 Oscar Time (4th)

Neil Mulholland (Conkwell Grange, Limpley Stoke, Bath)
Born: October 27, 1980. Background: Brought up in Glenavy, near Belfast, in a horsey background – his father Brian, who ran a dental supplies business, bred and owned racehorses – and rode ponies as a youngster. At the age of 11, he started riding out for a local trainer, Ian Duncan, and as an enterprising 12-year-old wrote secretly to Aidan O’Brien asking for work experience. O’Brien, then training jumpers, not only replied but offered a job. Mulholland spent six years with O’Brien at Piltown and then Ballydoyle and had the privilege of exercising Istabraq, the three-time Champion Hurdler. He acknowledges his injury-prone jockey career was that of a journeyman rather than a superstar, but it brought over 100 winners in Britain and Ireland, mainly over jumps. His first for O’Brien was Petasus at Listowel in 1996, and the total included a prestige Leopardstown handicap on Call Me Dara in 2000. Mulholland switched to training in 2008 and had 16 successes that first season. The Druids Nephew provided him with his first Cheltenham Festival victory in the 2015 Ultima Handicap Chase. Other significant successes came with Midnight Chase, whose 12 victories included the 2012 Cotswold Chase and the 2016 bet365 Gold Cup winner The Young Master. He moved to newly-refurbished Conkwell Grange Stables on Winsley Hill in June, 2012, four miles from Bath, and now has a 100-plus string. The current season, 2016/17, is his best to date with 96 winners (up to March 26). He is married to Becky and they have two young children, Patrick and Connor.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2015 The Druids Nephew (FELL 26th), 2016 The Druids Nephew (PU 21st)

Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
Born: April 15, 1982. Background: He started his riding career in point-to-points and is now the country’s highest-profile amateur. His first success under Rules came on Moscow Dancer in an amateur riders’ hurdle at Kelso on December 1, 2003 and in March 2011 he reached the sport’s pinnacle as a rare amateur rider to partner a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. His victory on Long Run made him the first amateur to take the Festival highlight since Jim Wilson in 1981. His record over the unique spruce fences at Aintree is the envy of most professional riders, with six wins over the Grand National fences courtesy of Katarino (2005 & 2006), Warne (2014) and Rajdhani Express (2015) in the Randox Health Fox Hunters’ Chase, Liberthine in the 2006 Randox Health Topham Chase and Oscar Time in the 2014 Betfred Becher Chase. He has finished placed in the Randox Health Grand National twice on Oscar Time – second in 2011 and fourth in 2013. He has also partnered four winners at the Cheltenham Festival, most recently on Rajdhani Express in 2013. Waley-Cohen studied politics at Edinburgh University and started out in business as a commodity trader in Paris and Geneva. He founded his own company, Portman Healthcare, in 2009 and is now CEO. It now has 51 dental practices. He is a close friend of Prince William and Kate Middleton (who was at school with Sam’s brother Tom, lost to bone cancer in 2004 at the age of 20) and is widely credited with reuniting the pair following their brief break-up in 2007. He married Annabel Ballin in June, 2011 and they have two children, Max and Scarlett. He holds a pilot’s licence for planes and helicopters. Sam’s father is Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse and owner of Long Run, Oscar Time and many of his son’s other mounts.
Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2007 Liberthine (5th); 2009 Ollie Magern (FELL 2nd); 2011 Oscar Time (2nd); 2013 Oscar Time (4th); 2014 Long Run (Fell 9th); 2015 Oscar Time (15th); 2016 Black Thunder (PU 21st)

Thunder And Roses (IRE) 9-10-07
Breeding: bb g Presenting – Glen Empress (Lancastran)
Breeder: William O’Gorman
Born: March 31, 2008
Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Trainer: Mouse Morris
Jockey: Mark Enright
Form: 08/21223C/441221F/723F12U1/5P05P-5P0207226

*Had a busy campaign this term for new trainer and was sixth on his latest outing in the Leinster National at Naas on March 12.
*A creditable half-length second to Pleasant Company in the G3 Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February, having also finished runner-up in a chase at the same track earlier that month.
*Pulled up in the G3 Becher Chase at Aintree in December 2015.
*Career highlight so far came when landing the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in 2015.
*Would become the first horse since Numbersixvalverde to win both the Irish (2005) and English (2006) Grand National’s.
*Switched from Sandra Hughes to Mouse Morris at the start of this season.
*Bids to give trainer and owner back-to-back successes in the Grand National following Rule The World’s victory under David Mullins last year.
Jump race record: Starts: 37; Wins: 5; 2nd: 10; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £183,158

Gigginstown House Stud
Gigginstown House Stud, covering 1,000 acres at Delvin near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland is the residence of Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline. O’Leary was born on March 20, 1961, the second of six children, and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare before reading business studies at Trinity College Dublin. He was a tax consultant at accountants KPMG (1984-86) and became financial adviser to Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair. He progressed to be Ryanair’s deputy chief executive in 1991 and chief operating officer in 1993. He has overseen the rapid development of Ryanair since 1994 when he became chief executive, and his worth was valued at £708 million in the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, thanks mainly to his significant shareholding in Ryanair. O’Leary started off with horses in training on the Flat with David Wachman and Mick Halford, but he has rapidly become a major Jump owner with a string only rivalled by J P McManus. His team of over 170 horses in training is split between a range of trainers in Ireland and his racing enthusiasm was boosted when one of his first horses, War Of Attrition, won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. His 19 Cheltenham Festival winners also include the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack. Other Festival winners include Weapon’s Amnesty in the 2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and 2010 RSA Chase, First Lieutenant in the 2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, Sir Des Champs in the 2012 JLT Novices’ Chase and Apple’s Jade in the 2017 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. He won the Randox Health Grand National in 2016 with Rule The World. O’Leary’s brother Eddie, based at Lynn Lodge Stud in Mullingar, oversees the Gigginstown racing operation; the young horses are brought along at Pat Doyle’s County Tipperary stables and in point-to-points. Bryan Cooper is the retained jockey for Gigginstown. O’Leary married former banker Anita (Farrell) in 2003 and they have four children.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th); 2014 Quito De La Roque (PU 21st); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd), Sir Des Champs (Fell 15th)

Michael (Mouse) Morris IRE (Fethard, Co Tipperary)
Born: April 4, 1951 Background: Michael Morris has been known as Mouse since his early days as an amateur rider. His late father, Lord Killanin, 3rdBaron Killanin, was a Fleet Street journalist and the sixth president of the International Olympic Committee (1972-1980), while his brother Redmond’s credits as a film producer include The Reader and Michael Collins. As a youngster in Ireland, Mouse showed little enthusiasm for school, preferring to spend his mornings riding out for a local trainer and he did not enjoy his time when sent to the Catholic boarding school, Ampleforth College, in Yorkshire. He served his apprenticeship at the celebrated Frenchie Nicholson jockey academy in Cheltenham for two and a half years alongside Pat Eddery, Tony Murray and Michael Dickinson. Back in Ireland, he rode principally for Edward O’Grady. His biggest success as an amateur rider came on Mr Midland, trained by O’Grady, in the 1974 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He subsequently turned professional and won the Irish Grand National on the Adrian Maxwell-trained Billycan in 1977 and Cheltenham’s Queen Mother Champion Chase on the Brian Lusk-trained Skymas in both 1976 and 1977. His best performance in the Grand National came on Rough Silk, fifth in 1974.Training Career: He took out a trainer’s licence in September 1980 and soon established himself as one of Ireland’s leading Jump trainers. Morris has seven Cheltenham Festival wins to his credit, the best being Buck House’s victory in the 1986 Queen Mother Champion Chase and War Of Attrition’s 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup success. He won his second Irish Grand National in 2016 with Rogue Angel – his first came with Hear The Echo in 2008. He saddled First Lieutenant, the 2011 Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival, to take the 2013 Betway Bowl at Aintree. Morris trains at Everardsgrange, Fethard, in Co. Tipperary. In 1984, Door Step became his first Randox Health Grand National runner, but fell at the 18th fence. Rule The World gave him a first Grand National victory when successful in 2016.Formerly married to Slanny Clark, the couple had two sons, Jamie and Christopher (Tiffer). Tiffer died of carbon monoxide poisoning while travelling in Argentina in 2015. After Rule The World’s Aintree win, his father dedicated the success to Tiffer.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1984 Door Step (FELL 18th); 1987 Attitude Adjuster (8th), Hi Harry (Ref 19th); 1988 Attitude Adjuster (5th), Lastofthebrownies (FELL 28th); 1989 Lastofthebrownies (4th), Attitude Adjuster (12th), Cranlome (FELL 2nd); 1990 Lastofthebrownies (5th); 1991 Mick’s Star (13th); 1992 Rawhide (UR 1st); 1995 For William (15th); 1996 Three Brownies (6th); 1997 New Co (15th); 2004 Alcapone (PU 25th); 2008 Baily Breeze (8th); 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd)

Mark Enright
Born: May 19, 1992. Background: Limerick-born Mark Enright started out as an apprentice on the Flat and rode his first winner on the Stephen Nolan-trained Doorock at Tipperary on August 9th, 2009. He rode nine winners on the level before switching his attentions to Jump racing and, as a conditional rider, gained his first success when partnering Thynetocatcher to win the Listed ITBA Fillies Scheme EBF Pro/Am Flat Race at Navan in November, 2011. Enright has now ridden over 100 winners in his career and he has been frank about his battle with depression, which saw him take a month off in January, 2015. Enright estimates that his problems with mental illness stretch back to 2013 and he first noticed there might be a problem when his boss, Dessie Hughes, died in November of that year. He is having his first ever ride in the Randox Health Grand National this year.
Randox Health Grand National Record: No previous runners

Ucello Conti (FR) 9-10-12
Breeding: b g Martaline – Gazelle Lulu (Altayan)
Breeder: Patrick Joubert
Born: June 4, 2008
Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE
Jockey: Daryl Jacob
Form: 111142F11226/5312P/69/1P/6236-74724

*Model of consistency in big handicap chases since joining Gordon Elliott, including when sixth in last year’s renewal of the Randox Health Grand National off the same mark of 149, but has yet to win a race for the Irish trainer.
*Notable efforts this season saw Ucello Conti finish fourth in the G3 Betfred Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree in December and second to Champagne West in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January.
*Fourth in valuable Leinster National Handicap Chase at Naas on March 12, 2017
*Half-brother to multiple G1-winning chaser Silviniaco Conti.
*Bought in France, where he won eight times, in April, 2015
Jump race record: Starts: 30; Wins: 8; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £331,701

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Simon Munir was born in October, 1964, and educated at Harrow, where subsequent Flat trainer William Haggas was a friend. He lives in Hertfordshire. He hoped to play for Arsenal when younger and is still an enthusiastic supporter of the team, with a box at the Emirates Stadium. The ceo of Galaxy Asset Management, he previously worked for Merrill Lynch, based in Geneva for 10 years, and then ran its Monaco operation. Also owns Galaxy Sports Management. His first horse was No Speeches, owned in partnership with four colleagues, and a winner on the Flat for them at Lingfield in 1996 when trained by Simon Dow. He sponsored Jack Berry’s yard and has had horses with Haggas and Sir Mark Prescott before upping his involvement in Jump racing. His first major winner in that sphere was Soldatino in the 2010 JCB Triumph Hurdle. In recent years, Munir, who is active on Twitter, has owned horses in partnership with Isaac Souede. The American is chairman, ceo and chief investment strategist of the Permal Group, which manages assets totalling around US$22 billion, and is headquartered in London, UK. He is also general partner of Ann Arbor Partners LP, a principal investment firm which is based in the United States. He was educated at the State University of New York and the University of Michigan, before becoming an accountant. Both men have invested heavily in young horses, mostly bought by their racing manager Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock. They have horses with trainers including Nicky Henderson, Alan King, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Harry Fry, David Pipe and Oliver Sherwood in Britain, and Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott in Ireland. They also have a sizeable team of horses in France, principally with Guillaume Macaire, Guy Cherel, Jacques Ortet, Yannick Fouin and Guy Henrot. They retain Daryl Jacob as their jockey. Their green colours have been worn by Top Notch, Edward D’Argent, Wholestone, Messire Des Obeaux, Bristol De Mai, Sceau Royal, Footpad, Peace And Co, Vyta Du Roc and L’Ami Serge among others.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2013 Roberto Goldback (UR 30th – owned by Simon Munir); 2016 Ucello Conti (6th)

Gordon Elliott IRE (Trim, County Meath)
Born: March 2, 1978, in Summerhill, Co Meath Background: A very successful point-to-point rider, Elliott also partnered 46 winners as an amateur under Rules. He started his racing career while still at school, working at Tony Martin’s stable in County Meath. He moved to Britain, joining Martin Pipe in 1997, and learnt a lot during his spell in Somerset. His biggest victory as a rider was on board King’s Road, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, in the 1998 Punchestown Champion Bumper. Elliott returned to Ireland for another term at Martin’s stables. After commencing handling point-to-pointers, he started his main training career from Capranny Stables in Trim, Co Meath in early 2006 and bought the 78-acre Cullentra House Farm, Longwood, Co Meath, in 2011, where the facilities have been built up from scratch, with a capacity of almost 200 horses, two gallops, three schooling grounds, an equine pool, a natural spa and more. The trainer has emerged over the last few seasons as the main challenger to Willie Mullins’ dominance in Ireland and had a major boost when receiving the pick of 60 horses that Gigginstown House Stud removed from Mullins in September, 2016. Elliott is part of a select group of trainers to saddle a winner at both the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, having sent out Commissioned to land the Queen Alexandra Stakes at the prestigious Flat meeting in June, 2016. He also saddled Dirar to win the Ebor Handicap at York in 2010. Training Career: Elliott’s first runner under Rules came at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival, when Brandon Mountain was pulled up in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. He continued to send runners over to the UK and enjoyed almost instant success, most notably with Arresting, who notched up four victories between May and July, 2006. Elliott’s Grand National victory with Silver Birch in April, 2007 was remarkable not only because he was just 29 at the time, but also because he had yet to saddle a winner in his native country. The winners in Ireland soon followed and Elliott gained an initial Grade One victory with Jessies Dream in the Drinmore Novice Chase in December, 2010, and celebrated his first Cheltenham Festival successes in 2011 with Chicago Grey in the National Hunt Chase and Carlito Brigante in the Coral Cup. His Cheltenham Festival haul now stands at 14 and includes Don Cossack’s victory in the 2016 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was the leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time in March, 2017 with six successes, the same number as Willie Mullins but had one more runner-up. This season has been his most successful to date, with over 200 winners in Ireland and Britain, and he led Willie Mullins in the Irish Jump trainers’ championship, 176 to 158 on March 23. This campaign also saw him emulate one of his mentors, Martin Pipe, as the only other Jump trainer to saddle more than 1,000 runners in a season. First winner as a trainer – Arresting, Fugro-Technip Handicap Hurdle, Perth, June 11, 2006.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 SILVER BIRCH (WON); 2009 Silver Birch (FELL 22nd); 2010 Backstage (UR 20th); 2011 Backstage (10th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th), Chicago Grey (BD 5th); 2013 Tarquinius 8th, Chicago Grey (PU 30th); 2015 Cause Of Causes (8th); 2016 Ucello Conti (6th)

Daryl Jacob
Born: August 28, 1983, in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, Background: the son of a fisherman, Jacob initially attended the Racing School in Kildare and then spent two years with Dessie Hughes before having a summer riding out Flat horses with Richard Hannon in Wiltshire. He then joined Robert and Sally Alner’s Dorset stable and rode their point-to-pointers, and after a season with Paul Keane returned to the Alners in the summer of 2006. He enjoyed a fantastic 2006/07 season, highlighted by success on The Listener in the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in December, 2007, his first victory in his homeland since he switched to Britain in 2003. During his time with Hughes, he became very friendly with Kieran Kelly, who died in a fall in 2003, and Daryl dedicated his Lexus triumph to Kieran, who was instrumental in encouraging him to make the move to England. It was the decision of owner Ray Humphreys to give the ride on The Listener to Jacob, having “jocked off” Andrew Thornton, and the partnership flourished in the 2007/08 season, with further Grade One victories in the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown and the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Daryl enjoyed a dream 48 hours at the end of 2009, as he partnered the Nick Williams-trained Me Voici to victory in the Grade One Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow on December 27 and landed the Grade One Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury two days later on Reve De Sivola, also for Williams. On his first start in the Grand National in 2007, Daryl finished a gallant fourth on Philson Run, and the jockey has been successful over the famous fences with I Hear Thunder, who triumphed in the 2006 Grand Sefton Chase. He enjoyed aboard the Williams-trained Diamond Harry in the 2010 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and also gained the first of two Cheltenham Festival winners in the 2011 JCB Triumph Hurdle with Zarkandar for Paul Nicholls. The biggest victory of his career came in the 2012 Grand National when he came with a great late run on Neptune Collonges to score by a nose from Sunnyhillboy, the closest ever verdict in the race. Jacob was appointed stable jockey to Nicholls in the summer of 2013 but was ousted from the job after just a year. He is now retained by owners Simon Munir & Isaac Souede.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 Philson Run (4th); 2008 Philson Run (UR 8th); 2010 Maljimar (FELL 22nd); 2011 What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th); 2015 Pineau De Re (12th); 2016 Ucello Conti (6th)

Vicente (FR) 8-10-10
Breeding: b g Dom Alco – Ireland (Kadalko)
Breeder: Thierry Cypres & Jean-Francois Naudin
Born: March 30, 2009
Owner: Trevor Hemmings
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Brian Hughes
Form: 332/421P/12F0/1131451-F669

*Stayed on strongly to win the 2016 Scottish Grand National at Ayr off a pound higher mark.
*Bought privately by three-time Grand National-winning owner Trevor Hemmings in March after finishing ninth in the G3 Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock Park on February 18, 2017.
*Previously owned by John Hales and Ian Fogg.
*This season has also seen Vicente finish sixth in both the Listed Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster, won by fellow Aintree contender Ziga Boy, and the G3 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.
“Said to be at his best in the spring on good ground.
*Started his career in France
Jump race record: Starts: 22; Wins: 6; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £188,813

Trevor Hemmings CVO
Born: June 11, 1935 Background: Brought up in Woolwich Arsenal, South-East London, where his father worked at the Royal Ordnance factory. Was sent to Lancashire as a five-year-old during World War II and began life as a bricklayer’s apprentice after leaving school at 15. Became involved in the Pontins holiday business and eventually owned the business. He sold Pontins to Scottish & Newcastle in exchange for a significant S & N shareholding in 1989. He bought back Pontins in 2000 but retained a stake in S & N, which netted him £218 million when the company was sold in January, 2008. Sold Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens to the North West resort’s town council for £40 million in March, 2010. In 2012, agreed to sell his major shareholding in Arena Leisure Plc, which owned Folkestone, Lingfield, Southwell, Wolverhampton and Windsor racecourses and managed Doncaster and Worcester, to the Reuben brothers. Arena also has a major part of specialist broadcaster At The Races which owns some of British racing’s media rights. Owns a share of Preston North End FC, the Trust Inns pub company and is chairman of the TJH Foundation, a charity which provides grants to organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Relief, St John Ambulance, Crimestoppers Trust, Royal National Lifeboat Association, the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and Racing Welfare. In 2011, he was appointed a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO) for his work as vice-president of the Princess Royal Trust Carers. In 2016, the Sunday Times estimated Hemmings’ wealth at £725 million. As well as racehorses, he also has eventers who are ridden by Zara Phillips – she partnered the Hemmings-owned High Kingdom to win team silver in three-day eventing at London 2012. Racing Interests: Fulfilled greatest ambition when Hedgehunter carried his colours to victory in the 2005 Grand National. After years of trying, Hemmings had finally emulated his mentor Fred Pontin, owner of the 1971 National hero Specify, with his 13th Grand National runner. Ballabriggs added a second Crabbie’s Grand National success in 2011 and Many Clouds a third under a big weight in 2015. He tried to win Grand National for first time with Stan Mellor-trained Rubika, 14th in 1992. His first winner came on the Flat in 1985. Hemmings brings on young jumping stock at Gleadhill House Stud, near Chorley, Lancashire, managed by former trainer Mick Meagher, and at his Monymusk Stud in Co Cork. He also has Wood Farm Stud in Shropshire, which is managed by his son Philip. Hemmings, who was made an honorary Jockey Club member in December, 2006, is based on the Isle of Man and is said to have paid £12 million for the Ballavoddan estate on the island where his retired horses live. Has enjoyed 11 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, headed by dual Ryanair Chase hero Albertas Run. Randox Health Grand National Achievements: One of only four owners to have won the race three times along with Noel Le Mare (Red Run 1973, 1974 & 1977), James Machall (1873 Disturbance, 1874 Reugny, 1876 Regal) and Sir Charles Assheton-Smith (1893 Cloister, Jerry M 1912, Covertcoat 1913).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 Rubika (14th); 2000 The Last Fling (7th); Esprit De Cotte (FELL 22nd); 2001 The Last Fling (UR 5th), Esprit De Cotte (UR 11th); 2002 Goguenard (FELL 1st), Beau (UR 14th); 2003 Southern Star (14th), Chives (PU 12th); 2004 Arctic Jack (FELL 1st), Southern Star (PU 9th), Hedgehunter (FELL 30th); 2005 HEDGEHUNTER (WON), Europa (20th); 2006 Hedgehunter (2nd), Juveigneur (FELL 1st), 2007 Hedgehunter (9th), Billyvoddan (PU 19th); 2008 Cloudy Lane (6th), Hedgehunter (13th), Idle Talk (14th); 2009 Idle Talk (12th), Battlecry (16th), Cloudy Lane (UR 15th); 2010 Cloudy Lane (8th); 2011 BALLABRIGGS (WON), King Fontaine (11th); 2012 Ballabriggs (6th); 2013 Ballabriggs (PU 24th); 2014 Burton Port (UR 2nd), Vintage Star (PU 26th); 2015 MANY CLOUDS (WON); 2016 Many Clouds (16th).

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Somerset)
Born: April 17, 1962 at Lydney, Gloucestershire Background: The son of a policeman, he grew up in Olveston. He started riding in point-to-points after leaving school at 16 and worked for a couple of yards before becoming a conditional jockey with Sussex-based Josh Gifford for two years and then joining Devon trainer David Barons. He partnered 133 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also won the Irish Gold Cup with Paul up in 1988. Having struggled to keep his weight down, he retired from riding in 1989 and assisted Barons, trainer of not only Broadheath and Playschool but also Seagram, who won the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during Nicholls’ time at the stable. Nicholls took out his own licence to train at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat on November 1, 1991, with just eight horses and has come a long way since. Manor Farm Stables, which has been expanded, is the main yard, with Highbridge the second yard just outside the village. Daughter Megan is an apprentice jockey on the Flat with 21 winners (up to March 23). Achievements: 10-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 41 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and is the third most successful trainer ever there. His successes include victories in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded, 2015 Dodging Bullets), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). He also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby in 2012. At Aintree, he has captured the Grand National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and sent out Big Buck’s for four consecutive victories (2009 to 2012) in the Grade One Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle. He has been leading trainer at the Randox Health Grand National Festival three times – in 2008, 2011 & 2015. He is fighting for his 11th Jump trainers’ championship this season. He has sent out in total over 2,700 winners, including 112 at Grade One level (up to March 30).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU 29th), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (FELL 14th); 1998 What A Hand (FELL 1st), Court Melody (FELL 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (FELL 1st), 2000 Earthmover (FELL 4th), Torduff Express (FELL 13th), Flaked Oats (FELL 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (FELL 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (FELL 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (FELL 1st), Le Duc (UR 8th), Silver Birch (FELL 15th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th), Le Roi Miguel (PU 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU 19th); 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th), Royal Auclair (FELL 9th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Turko (FELL 25th), Mr Pointment (PU 30th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (FELL 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (FELL 4th), The Tother One (FELL 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU 19th), Harry The Viking (PU 26th); 2014 Rocky Creek (5th), Hawkes Point (18th), Tidal Bay (UR 8th); 2015 Mon Parrain (11th), Rocky Creek (17th), Rebel Rebellion (PU 26th), Unioniste (Fell 5th); 2016 Unioniste (10th), Just A Par (15th), Rocky Creek (PU 12th), Silviniaco Conti (PU 14th), Wonderful Charm (PU 21st), Black Thunder (PU 21st)

Brian Hughes
Born: June 27, 1985 Background: Raised in South Armagh, Northern Ireland. Started out in his native Ireland riding as a Flat apprentice. Having graduated from the Racing Academy and Centre of Education in Kildare in 2002, rode for trainer Kevin Prendergast who provided him with his first winner when Perugino Lady won an apprentice handicap at Downpatrick on October 9, 2002. After three seasons and 19 wins on the Flat, rising weight prompted a full-time switch to jump racing. He was connected to the James Lambe stable for the 2004/05 season but relocated to Britain and the County Durham yard of Howard Johnson for the 2005/06 campaign. His career flourished after becoming stable jockey at Alan Swinbank’s North Yorkshire yard, a move that saw him crowned champion conditional at the end of the 2007/08 season with 39 wins on the board, most of them for Swinbank and County Durham permit holder John Wade. Has an enviable record over the Grand National fences, having partnered Always Waining to success in the 2010 Topham Chase and Frankie Figg to victory in the Grand Sefton Chase in November of the same year. He recorded a first Cheltenham Festival win in 2014 on board the Tim Easterby-trained Hawk High in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and added a second in 2016 when Ballyalton took the Close Brother Novices’ Handicap Chase. He is enjoyed his best-ever season with 137 wins on the board (as of 02/04/17).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2010 Beat The Boys (PU 19th); 2011 Tidal Bay (UR 10th); 2012 Viking Blond (FELL 1st); 2014 Vintage Star (PU 26th); 2015 Ely Brown (Fell 1st)

Vieux Lion Rouge (FR) 8-10-12
Breeding: ch g Sabiango – Indecise (Cyborg)
Breeder: F M Cottin
Born: March 2, 2009
Owner: Professor Caroline Tisdall & John Gent
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey: Tom Scudamore
Form: 1110/11103/390-111U267-11

*Made 10/1 favourite for the Randox Health Grand National after the second scratchings’ stage (March 21) by Betway, the official betting partner of the 2017 Randox Health Grand National Festival.
*Now officially six pounds well-in for the Randox Health Grand National after defeating Blaklion by three and a quarter lengths in the G3 Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap at Haydock Park on February 18, 2017.
*Stayed on strongly to beat fellow Randox Health Grand National contender Highland Lodge by a short-head in the G3 Betfred Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree on December 3, 2016.
*Seventh, beaten 48 lengths by Rule The World, in the 2016 Grand National.
*Has only failed to complete the course on one start when unseating his rider at Cheltenham in a December, 2015 handicap chase.
*Bought at Arqana Sales, France, in the summer of 2012 for 42,000 euros.
Jump race record: Starts: 21; Wins: 11; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £191,673

Professor Caroline Tisdall and John Gent
Professor Caroline Tisdall first became interested in racing as a child and started owning Jump horses in 2010 with trainer David Pipe on the recommendation of Sir Mark Prescott, the Newmarket-based Flat trainer, whom she had met through her position on the board of the Countryside Alliance. An art historian, Tisdall was the Guardian’s art critic from 1970 to the early 1980s, and has written books and made films, especially about artist Joseph Beuys. She became an honorary Professor of the Department of Rural Future at Oxford Brookes University and is involved in conservation projects in Britain and Africa. Tisdall has owned three winners at the Cheltenham Festival (in partnership with Bryan Drew) – the dual (2016 & 2017) Ultima Handicap Chase hero Un Temps Pour Tout and the 2015 Weatherbys Champion Bumper scorer Moon Racer, who ran in the 2017 Stan James Champion Hurdle as a novice but was pulled up. Un Temps Pour Tout was the £450,000 sale topper at Newbury’s DBS Hennessy sale in 2013. John Gent founded Gent Transport and Warehousing in 1974, and has been joined in the business by his three sons, Chris, Rob and Dave over the years. Based in Yate, north of Bristol, the company operates out of 65,000 square foot warehouse and is one of the leading palletised distribution, warehousing and storage companies in the South West. John Gent, who used to run in marathons, has been involved in racehorse ownership for 20 years, and has had horses with Gary Moore and Richard Phillips as well as David Pipe. He lives in Clevedon, Somerset.
Randox Health Grand National record: 2016 Vieux Lion Rouge (7th)

David Pipe (Nicholashayne, Somerset)
Born: February 7, 1973 Background: Son of 15-time champion Jump trainer Martin Pipe, who in 2001 had a record 10 runners in the Randox Health Grand National. David started riding in point-to-points in 1992, going on to gain 22 wins over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup. After finishing as a rider, he had spells with trainers around the world – Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa, before setting up as a point-to-point trainer, handling Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from his father’s Pond House Stables on the Somerset/Devon border, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, including Well Armed, successful 15 times. He picked up the reins at Nicholashayne after his father retired in 2006 and promptly won with the first runner under his own name, Standin Obligation, at Kelso on May 9, 2006 and less than two years later emulated his father’s 1994 Grand National victory with Miinnehoma when he saddled Comply Or Die to take the great Aintree race. Comply Or Die finished second in the following year’s Grand National. Pipe’s 10 Grade One victories include Un Temps Pour Tout (2015 French Champion Hurdle), Dynaste (2014 Ryanair Chase) and Moon Racer (2015 Champion Bumper), while he has accumulated 15 Cheltenham Festival successes, including one this year. His best British season came in 2006/7 with 134 winners.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2007 Puntal (8th), Celtic Son (PU 22nd); 2008 COMPLY OR DIE (WON), Milan Deux Mille (15th), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 8th), Vodka Bleu (PU 19th), Joaaci (FELL 20th); 2009 Comply Or Die (2nd), Arteea (10th); 2010 Comply Or Die (12th), Piraya (13th), Pablo Du Charmil (Fell 2nd), Madison Du Berlais (FELL 19th), The Package (UR 19th); 2011 Piraya (19th), Or Noir De Somoza (FELL 6th), Comply Or Die (PU 29th); 2012 Swing Bill (10th), Junior (FELL 2nd); 2013 Swing Bill (6th); 2014 Swing Bill (9th), The Package (12th), Our Father (UR 8th); 2015 Soll (9th); 2016 Vieux Lion Rouge (7th), Ballynagour (UR 19th), Soll (PU 21st)

Tom Scudamore
Born May 22, 1982 Background: Tom Scudamore was appointed stable jockey to David Pipe in the 2006/2007 season, marking a return to Pond House in Somerset where he began his career as an amateur for Pipe’s father Martin, and where his own father Peter Scudamore, was also stable jockey. Tom comes from an illustrious line of jockeys. His great-grandfather Geoffrey rode winners as an amateur, grandfather Michael was Oxo’s pilot when winning the 1959 Grand National and his father was eight-time champion jockey with 1,677 successes but never won the Randox Health Grand National, achieving his best finishing position on third-placed Corbiere in 1985. Tom has made a big impression since leaving Cheltenham College after A-levels in 2000. He won the amateur riders’ title in the 2000/01 season and also landed the 2001 Flat amateurs’ championship. After 52 unpaid successes, he turned professional in October, 2001, and alongside the backing of Martin Pipe (to whom he was a conditional jockey) he was supported by Nigel Twiston-Davies, to whom his father was formerly assistant. Big victories have come aboard Madison Du Berlais in the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Betfred Bowl at Aintree, while he has enjoyed Grade One success on the tough staying hurdler Lough Derg. At the Cheltenham Festival, he has ridden a total of 10 winners. Thistlecrack, on whom he took the 2016 Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and the King George VI Chase at Kempton, has also given him Grade One triumphs in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree and the JLT Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot. Scudamore lives with his wife Charlotte and two daughters near Tiverton in Devon. Randox Health Grand National Record: 2001 Northern Starlight (UR 6th); 2002 Smarty (PU 9th); 2003 Blowing Wind (8th); 2004 Shardam (UR 3rd); 2005 Iznogoud (12th); 2006 Iznogoud (PU 27th); 2007 Puntal (8th); 2008 Madison Du Berlais (FELL 8th), 2009 Battlecry (16th), 2010 Madison Du Berlais (FELL19th); 2012 Junior (FELL 2nd); 2013 Major Malarkey (11th); 2014 The Package (12th); 2015 Soll (9th); 2016 Ballynagour (UR 19th)

Wonderful Charm (FR) 9-11-02
Breeding: b g Poliglote – Victoria Royale (Garde Royale)
Breeder: Jean-Philippe Dubois
Born: May 18, 2008
Owner: Robin Geffen & & Sir John Ritblat
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Katie Walsh may miss the ride because of an arm injury. If she did, Nick Scholfield would deputise.
Jump Form: 442512/18/111253/123783P/2P7-112

*Successful in hunter chases at Musseburgh and Haydock Park this season.
*Went down by a neck when staying-on second to stablemate Pacha Du Polder in St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase when second favourite at the Cheltenham Festival last time out on March 17.
*Was pulled-up before the 21st in last season’s Grand National.
*Successful at G2 level over hurdles and also won a pair of G2 novice chases in November, 2013.
Jump race record: Starts: 27; Wins: 8; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £222,224

Robin Geffen & Sir John Ritblat
Background: Geffen is the founder of Neptune Investment Management, a major race sponsor. He had long been involved in syndicate ownership before paying 280,000 guineas for the Evan Williams-trained Fiulin at Tattersalls in October, 2009, His aim is to buy Flat horses with potential as hurdlers. Born in London in 1957, he went to Rugby School and graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Keble College, Oxford in 1979. He joined Charterhouse J. Rothschild as a graduate trainee and his career progressed through moves to Eagle Star, York Trust, Scottish Equitable and Orbitex Investments Limited, where he served as Chief Investment Officer from 1997. In 2002, while all around him were setting up hedge funds, Geffen established Neptune Investment Management in Hammersmith, a long-only fund management business. Geffen, who lives in south west London, is also a keen real tennis and racquets player. Racing Interests: Geffen has enjoyed success both on the Flat and over Jumps, most notably with Arctic Cosmos, winner of the 2010 St Leger. He also won the Royal Hunt Cup in 2015 with GM Hopkins, while his best Jump performers have been Wonderful Charm and Kauto Star’s half-brother Kauto Stone, a Grade One and multiple Grade Two scorer.
Sir John Ritblat (born 3 October 1935) is a property developer and former chairman and chief executive of London-based property company The British Land Company plc. He was born in Hampstead, North London and was educated at Dulwich College. He left school at 16 and joined surveyors Edward Erdman as an office boy before founding estate agency Conrad Ritblat. He acquired The British Land Company plc from Jim Slater (of Slater Walker Securities) for £1 million in 1970. Ritblat had to weather the property slump of the mid 1970s and diversified, buying various companies from a carpet rod gripper business to the Dorothy Perkins fashion outlets. A noted philanthropist, Ritblat is the chairman of the governing body of the London Business School, deputy chairman of the Royal Academy of Music. The John Ritblat gallery of the British Library houses some of the finest art in their collection and was named after Ritblat as he was a major benefactor during the building of the gallery. His hobbies include bee-keeping and real tennis.
Previous Randox Grand National runners (Robin Geffen): 2016 Wonderful Charm (PU 21st)

Paul Nicholls (Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat, Somerset)
Born: April 17, 1962 at Lydney, Gloucestershire Background: The son of a policeman, he grew up in Olveston. He started riding in point-to-points after leaving school at 16 and worked for a couple of yards before becoming a conditional jockey with Sussex-based Josh Gifford for two years and then joining Devon trainer David Barons. He partnered 133 winners between 1980 and 1989, with his biggest British successes coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Broadheath (1986) and Playschool (1987), who also won the Irish Gold Cup with Paul up in 1988. Having struggled to keep his weight down, he retired from riding in 1989 and assisted Barons, trainer of not only Broadheath and Playschool but also Seagram, who won the 1991 Grand National at Aintree during Nicholls’ time at the stable. Nicholls took out his own licence to train at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat on November 1, 1991, with just eight horses and has come a long way since. Manor Farm Stables, which has been expanded, is the main yard, with Highbridge the second yard just outside the village. Daughter Megan is an apprentice jockey on the Flat with 21 winners (up to March 23). Achievements: 10-time champion Jump trainer (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16) and became the first handler to accrue more than £4 million in a season in 2007/08. He gained his 2,000th winner at Down Royal on November 5, 2011, less than 20 years after taking his licence, making him the fastest Jump trainer to reach the landmark figure. Has sent out 41 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and is the third most successful trainer ever there. His successes include victories in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded, 2015 Dodging Bullets), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman) and the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Big Buck’s 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012). He also won the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Rock On Ruby in 2012. At Aintree, he has captured the Grand National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and sent out Big Buck’s for four consecutive victories (2009 to 2012) in the Grade One Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle. He has been leading trainer at the Randox Health Grand National Festival three times – in 2008, 2011 & 2015. He is fighting for his 11th Jump trainers’ championship this season. He has sent out in total over 2,700 winners, including 112 at Grade One level (up to March 30).
Randox Health Grand National Record: 1992 Just So (6th); 1996 Vicompt De Valmont (10th), Deep Bramble (PU 29th), Brackenfield (UR 19th); 1997 Straight Talk (FELL 14th); 1998 What A Hand (FELL 1st), Court Melody (FELL 6th), General Crack (PU 11th); 1999 Strong Chairman (15th), Double Thriller (FELL 1st), 2000 Earthmover (FELL 4th), Torduff Express (FELL 13th), Flaked Oats (FELL 20th), Escartefigue (UR 30th); 2001 Earthmover (FELL 4th); 2002 Murt’s Man (PU 17th), Ad Hoc (BD 27th); 2003 Montifault (5th), Fadalko (UR 6th), Ad Hoc (UR 19th), Shotgun Willy (PU 22nd), Torduff Express (UR 27th); 2004 Exit To Wave (PU 9th); 2005 Royal Auclair (2nd), Heros Collonges (8th), L’Aventure (15th), Ad Hoc (FELL 22nd); 2006 Royal Auclair (FELL 1st), Le Duc (UR 8th), Silver Birch (FELL 15th), Heros Collonges (UR 15th), Le Roi Miguel (PU 19th), Cornish Rebel (PU 19th); 2007 Le Duc (UR 6th), Royal Auclair (FELL 9th), Eurotrek (PU bef 22nd), Thisthatandtother (PU 30th); 2008 Cornish Sett (12th), Turko (FELL 25th), Mr Pointment (PU 30th); 2009 My Will (3rd), Big Fella Thanks (6th), Cornish Sett (17th), Eurotrek (PU 17th); 2010 Big Fella Thanks (4th), Tricky Trickster (9th), My Will (FELL 4th), Nozic (UR 20th); 2011 Niche Market (5th), Ornais (FELL 4th), The Tother One (FELL 6th), What A Friend (PU 27th); 2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (WON); 2013 Join Together (12th), What A Friend (PU 19th), Harry The Viking (PU 26th); 2014 Rocky Creek (5th), Hawkes Point (18th), Tidal Bay (UR 8th); 2015 Mon Parrain (11th), Rocky Creek (17th), Rebel Rebellion (PU 26th), Unioniste (Fell 5th); 2016 Unioniste (10th), Just A Par (15th), Rocky Creek (PU 12th), Silviniaco Conti (PU 14th), Wonderful Charm (PU 21st), Black Thunder (PU 21st)

Ms Katie Walsh – she incurred a badly bruised arm when unseated from Dineur in the Randox Health Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree on Thursday, April 6.
Born: County Kildare, Ireland, December 18, 1984. Background: Amateur rider from a family steeped in racing. Her father is the trainer, broadcaster and former champion amateur jockey Ted Walsh while her brother is Ruby Walsh, who has twice ridden the Randox Health Grand National winner and is the most successful jockey ever at the Cheltenham Festival. Katie led up the 2000 Aintree winner Papillon, who was trained by her father and ridden by Ruby. Along with her sister-in-law, Nina Carberry (who is married to her brother Ted Jnr), she is one of the best-ever female jockeys. She finished third on Seabass in the 2012 Randox Health Grand National, the best position achieved by a female rider in the race. In April 2015, she took the Irish Grand National aboard the Sandra Hughes-trained Thunder And Roses. Her sister Jennifer acts as agent for her and Ruby. She is married to trainer Ross O’Sullivan and sells two-year-old breeze-up horses, the best of whom has been Mill Reef and Gimcrack Stakes winner Caspar Netscher. She is an ambassador for the Randox Health Grand National Festival. First winner: Hannon, trained by her father, in a Flat race at Gowran Park on October 10, 2003. She is an ambassador for the Randox Health Grand National Festival. Cheltenham Festival wins (2): 2010 National Hunt Chase (Poker De Sivola), 2010 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Thousand Stars). Other Big-Race Wins include: Irish Grand National (2015 Thunder And Roses), Prix La Barka (2014 Thousand Stars), Guinness Kerry National (2014 Your Busy)
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2012 Seabass (3rd), 2013 Seabass (13th); 2014 Vesper Bell (13th); 2016 Ballycasey (UR 30th)

Wounded Warrior (IRE) 8-11-02
Breeding: b g Shantou – Sparkling Sword (Broadsword)
Breeder: Stephen Lanigan-O’Keeffe
Born: May 6, 2009
Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Trainer: Noel Meade
Jockey: Sean Flanagan
Form: 31144/F221313/226-406P

*Produced a disappointing effort last time out when pulled-up in the G3 At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on February 25.
*Finished a 22-length sixth in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January and was well-beaten in the Lexus Chase over Christmas and in a Listed event at November at Thurles on November 25.
*A smart novice chaser, he finished third to Don Poli, beaten seven and a half-lengths in the G1 RSA Chase at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival, before chasing home Valseur Lido in the G1 Growise Champion Novice Chase at the 2015 Punchestown Festival.
Jump race record: Starts: 19; Wins: 4; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £84,860

Gigginstown House Stud
Gigginstown House Stud, covering 1,000 acres at Delvin near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland is the residence of Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline. O’Leary was born on March 20, 1961, the second of six children, and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare before reading business studies at Trinity College Dublin. He was a tax consultant at accountants KPMG (1984-86) and became financial adviser to Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair. He progressed to be Ryanair’s deputy chief executive in 1991 and chief operating officer in 1993. He has overseen the rapid development of Ryanair since 1994 when he became chief executive, and his worth was valued at £708 million in the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List, thanks mainly to his significant shareholding in Ryanair. O’Leary started off with horses in training on the Flat with David Wachman and Mick Halford, but he has rapidly become a major Jump owner with a string only rivalled by J P McManus. His team of over 170 horses in training is split between a range of trainers in Ireland and his racing enthusiasm was boosted when one of his first horses, War Of Attrition, won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. His 19 Cheltenham Festival winners also include the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack. Other Festival winners include Weapon’s Amnesty in the 2009 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and 2010 RSA Chase, First Lieutenant in the 2011 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, Sir Des Champs in the 2012 JLT Novices’ Chase and Apple’s Jade in the 2017 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. He won the Randox Health Grand National in 2016 with Rule The World. O’Leary’s brother Eddie, based at Lynn Lodge Stud in Mullingar, oversees the Gigginstown racing operation; the young horses are brought along at Pat Doyle’s County Tipperary stables and in point-to-points. Bryan Cooper is the retained jockey for Gigginstown. O’Leary married former banker Anita (Farrell) in 2003 and they have four children.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2009 Hear The Echo (FELL 30th); 2012 Tharawaat (8th); 2014 Quito De La Roque (PU 21st); 2015 First Lieutenant (16th); 2016 RULE THE WORLD (WON), First Lieutenant (Fell 2nd), Sir Des Champs (Fell 15th)

Noel Meade
Born January 2, 1951 Background: Noel Meade is based at Tu Va, Castletown, Navan, County Meath in Ireland. He took out his first trainer’s licence in 1972 and after winning many big races on both the Flat and over jumps, almost 30 years later he enjoyed his first victory at the Cheltenham Festival when Sausalito Bay won the 2000 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by three-quarters of a length from subsequent triple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate. His total at the Cheltenham Festival now stands at five, with Road To Respect landing this season’s Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate. Meade has been champion Irish jumps trainer on eight occasions, taking the crown every season between 1998/99 and 2006/07 (bar 2000/01). The best horses to have been trained by Meade include the highly-talented hurdlers Harchibald and Go Native plus the G1-winning chasers Road To Riches, Disko, Realt Dubh, Apache Stronghold and Pandorama.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2003 The Bunny Boiler (UR 1st); 2004 The Bunny Boiler (10th); 2005 Arctic Copper (19th); 2006 Sir Oj (Fell 22nd)

Sean Flanagan
Born on June 22, 1988, Sean Flanagan grew up in the village of Robinstown in Co Wexford and joined the Racing Academy & Centre of Education at Kildare as soon as he left school aged 16. He graduated in 2005 and went to work for Liz Doyle’s yard, having his first ride under Rules when coming fifth in a Listowel Flat contest on September 24, 2005. He joined up with Dusty Sheehy soon afterwards and enjoyed his first win under Rules on November 4, 2006, when partnering Keevas Boy to land a handicap chase at Down Royal. Somewhat prophetically, the headline after that victory in local paper The New Ross Standard read “Flanagan has dream of jumping Becher’s”. Flanagan turned professional in January, 2007. He went to Australia in August, 2009, as part of the victorious Ireland team in the annual Ireland v Australia Jockey Challenge. In October 2016, he was appointed stable jockey to Noel Meade’s yard and has enjoyed considerable success for him this season, including a first Grade One winner on Disko in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February. His total of 44 winners (as of April 4) for the season is by far his best so far.
Randox Health Grand National Record: 2010 Conna Castle (PU 29th)

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