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Blaklion heads 105 entries for the Randox Health Grand National

Ante-post favourite Blaklion headlines 105 excellent entries for the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 14 – the 171st running – details of which are revealed today.

Staged over four and a quarter miles and 30 fences, the Randox Health Grand National is the world’s richest and greatest chase – the highlight of Aintree’s famous three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival.

Last year’s fourth Blaklion, one of six entries for dual Grand National-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, looked as good as ever on his latest start as he powered to a nine-length victory over The Last Samuri (Kim Bailey) in the G3 Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase (3m 2f) over the Grand National fences on December 9.

The Last Samuri, who was second to Rule The World in the 2016 Grand National, finished an excellent fourth behind likely top-weight Definitly Red (Brian Ellison) in the G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (3m 2f) at Cheltenham on January 27.

Thanks to the victories of Earth Summit (1998) Bindaree (2002), Twiston-Davies is the only current trainer to have won the Grand National more than once. His 2018 entries also include multiple G1 winner Bristol De Mai, also a candidate for top-weight, BetVictor Gold Cup hero Splash Of Ginge and Aintree G1 scorer Flying Angel.

Britain’s champion Jump trainer Nicky Henderson has three contenders in Gold Present, who wore down Frodon to land a Listed handicap chase at Ascot before Christmas, Vyta Du Roc and O O Seven as he seeks a first victory in the Randox Health Grand National.

Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins accounts for 10 of the 40 Irish-trained entries, with his double handful headed by Ladbrokes Trophy victor Total Recall, Polidam and promising novice Rathvinden.

Mullins’ big rival in Ireland, Gordon Elliott, landed the Grand National with Silver Birch (2007) in his first season with a training license. Elliott also has a 10-strong team which features Troytown Handicap Chase victor Mala Beach and three-time G1 winner Outlander.

Outlander is one of 11 possible contenders for owner Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, successful with Rule The World in 2016, while J P McManus’ seven entries include last year’s runner-up Cause Of Causes (Gordon Elliott), G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup second Minella Rocco (Jonjo O’Neill) and Paddy Power Handicap Chase victor Anibale Fly. McManus saw his famous colours carried to success in the 2010 Grand National by Don’t Push It.

Worcestershire handler Dr Richard Newland, who tasted Grand National glory with Pineau De Re in 2014, has another eye-catching Irish import among the entries in the Abolitionist.

Abolitionist captured the valuable Leinster National Handicap Chase at Naas in March before finishing third behind Our Duke in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, when trained by Ellmarie Holden.

The 10-year-old, who is now part-owned by Pineau De Re’s owner John Provan, has not raced since finishing down the field next time out in a handicap hurdle at Killarney in August.

Newland revealed: “Abolitionist is coming back from an injury. We got him in the autumn and then he had an issue with a stress fracture.

“He is on the way back now and doing really nicely. He is a nice horse who shows a good attitude and we are pleased to have him.

“We are stepping up his work and hope to have him on the track towards the end of February. Then all being well, he will go on to Aintree for the Randox Health Grand National.

“He could have a spin over hurdles at Ascot on February 17 or there is a veterans’ chase at Doncaster on February 21.

“The rules have changed, so he has to run in a chase this season to be qualified. If he starts off over hurdles, then he would run again over fences in March.”

Other Grand National-winning trainers with 2018 entries include Paul Nicholls, whose sextet of possible runners is headed by dual Scottish Grand National victor Vicente, and Mouse Morris, who has Irish Grand National scorers Rogue Angel and Thunder And Roses among his three entries.

Vicente’s owner Trevor Hemmings has won the Grand National three times since 2005 and is the joint most successful trainer in the history of the world’s greatest chase. His other entry is Welsh Grand National fourth Vintage Clouds (Sue Smith).

Welsh Grand National hero Raz De Maree (Gavin Cromwell IRE) is engaged, as is impressive G3 Classic Handicap Chase victor Milansbar (Neil King).

The entry figure has broken the 100-mark for the fourth time in the last five years – entry details since 2010 are as follows:- 2018-105; 2017-110, 2016-126, 2015-98; 2014-115; 2013-84; 2012-82; 2011-102 and 2010-112.

The weights for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, framed personally by the British Horseracing Authority’s Head of Handicapping, Phil Smith, will be unveiled on the evening of Tuesday, February 13, at BAFTA in London’s West End.

The Randox Health Grand National is the only handicap of the year where Smith has absolute discretion to deviate from the normal handicap ratings when determining the weights.

A maximum of 40 runners can go to post at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 14.

John Baker, Regional Director North West, The Jockey Club, said: “We are delighted with the excellent quality of entries for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, which once again offers a total prize fund of £1 million.

“It is also pleasing to break the 100-barrier for the fourth time in five years in terms of the number of entries and we continue to receive very strong support from Ireland.

“The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival offers record prize money of £3.21 million and preparations are well underway at Aintree for what will be an outstanding three days of racing.

“We are now eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the weights for the world’s greatest chase, with the surroundings of BAFTA in London providing a suitably dramatic backdrop.”

The Randox Health Grand National Festival consists of Grand National Thursday on April 12, Ladies Day on Friday, April 13 and Grand National Day on Saturday, April 14.

For further information please contact:

Grant Rowley, Regional Communications Manager, The Jockey Club (North West) on 07884 655990 email: [email protected]


Nigel Payne, Press Officer for Aintree for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, on 07768 025265 email: [email protected]

 About Aintree Racecourse / The Jockey Club

Aintree is home to The Randox Health Grand National, the most famous horse race in the world which is the climax to a three-day Festival meeting in April every year. The racecourse hosts five other fixtures and is a leading conference centre in the north west of England. More information is available at aintree.thejockeyclub.co.uk.

Aintree is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences we offer through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny we make goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. We were founded in 1750 and today we are the largest commercial group in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and our charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk

The Randox Health Grand National

Grade 3 handicap chase, £1 million total prize fund. Aintree, 5.15pm Saturday, April 14, 2018. 4m 2f 74yds over the Grand National fences. For seven-year-olds and upwards who, up to and including March 19 have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a steeple chase with an official distance description of’ two miles seven and a half furlongs’ or more and which are allotted a rating of 125 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 11. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including February 11 would merit a minimum rating of 125. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 11. At the Handicapper’s discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. Entries closes January 30, entries revealed January 31 (105 entries), weights revealed February 3, first scratchings deadline February 27, second scratchings deadline March 20, five-day confirmations April 9, final declarations 10am April 12. Maximum field of 40 plus four reserves.

Horse Age Owner Trainer
A GENIE IN ABOTTLE (IRE) 7 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
ABOLITIONIST (IRE) 10 M Albon, J A Provan & C E Stedman Dr Richard Newland
ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR) 8 Slaneyville Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
ALFIE SPINNER (IRE) 13 Alan Beard & Brian Beard Kerry Lee
ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
AMERICAN (FR) 8 The Jago Family Partnership Harry Fry
ANIBALE FLY (FR) 8 J P McManus Tony Martin IRE
ARBRE DE VIE (FR) 8 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
AS DE MEE (FR) 8 The Stewart Family & Judi Dench Paul Nicholls
BAIE DES ILES (FR) 7 Mrs Z Wentworth Ross O’Sullivan IRE
BALLYALTON (IRE) 11 John Westwood Ian Williams
BEEVES (IRE) 11 Paul & Clare Rooney Jennie Candlish
BELLSHILL (IRE) 8 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE
BLAKLION 9 S Such & C G Paletta Nigel Twiston-Davies
BLESS THE WINGS (IRE) 13 Adrian Butler/S P O’Connor Gordon Elliott IRE
BONNY KATE (IRE) 8 Patricia Hunt Noel Meade IRE
BRAQUEUR D’OR (FR) 7 Corsellis & Seyfried Paul Nicholls
BRAVISSIMO (FR) 7 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
BRISTOL DE MAI (FR) 7 Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies
BUYWISE (IRE) 11 T Hywel Jones Evan Williams
CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE) 9 Stuart Coltherd Stuart Coltherd
CAROLE’S DESTRIER 10 Mrs C Skipworth Neil Mulholland
CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA) 10 J P McManus Gordon Elliott IRE
CHASE THE SPUD 10 Mrs C Banks Fergal O’Brien
CHILDRENS LIST (IRE) 8 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
COGRY 9 Graham and Alison Jelley Nigel Twiston-Davies
DANCING SHADOW (IRE) 9 The Dancing Shadows Victor Dartnall
DEFINITLY RED (IRE) 9 Phil & Julie Martin Brian Ellison
DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR (IRE) 8 McGoldrick Racing 3 Sue Smith
DOUBLE ROSS (IRE) 12 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies
EDWULF 9 J P McManus Joseph O’Brien IRE
FINAL NUDGE (IRE) 9 Corbett Stud David Dennis
FLYING ANGEL (IRE) 7 R J Rexton Nigel Twiston-Davies
GAS LINE BOY (IRE) 12 The Three Graces Ian Williams
GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE) 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
GO CONQUER (IRE) 9 Paul & Clare Rooney Jonjo O’Neill
GOLD PRESENT (IRE) 8 John & Barbara Cotton Nicky Henderson
GOODTOKNOW 10 Burling Lee MacEchern Nolan Potter Kerry Lee
HENRI PARRY MORGAN 10 Ednyfed & Elizabeth Morgan Peter Bowen
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR) 11 Mrs Julian Blackwell Venetia Williams
I JUST KNOW (IRE) 8 M B Scholey & The Late R H Scholey Sue Smith
KNOCK HOUSE (IRE) 9 Tim Leslie Donald McCain
KRACKATOA KING 10 J C Harrison Lee & T Howard Partnership Kerry Lee
LONG HOUSE HALL (IRE) 10 Carl Hinchy Dan Skelton
LORD WINDERMERE (IRE) 12 Dr Ronan Lambe Jim Culloty IRE
MAGGIO (FR) 13 Douglas Pryde/James Beaumont Patrick Griffin IRE
MALA BEACH (IRE) 10 Chris Jones Gordon Elliott IRE
MILANSBAR (IRE) 11 Robert Bothway Neil King
MINELLA DADDY (IRE) 8 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
MINELLA ROCCO (IRE) 8 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
MISSED APPROACH (IRE) 8 Alan & Andrew Turner Warren Greatrex
MORNING ASSEMBLY (IRE) 11 Clipper Logistics Group Ltd Pat Fahy IRE
MYSTEREE (IRE) 10 Lynne Maclennan Michael Scudamore
NOBLE ENDEAVOR (IRE) 9 Chris Jones Gordon Elliott IRE
O O SEVEN (IRE) 8 Christopher Hanbury Nicky Henderson
OUT SAM 9 D Charlesworth Gordon Elliott IRE
OUTLANDER (IRE) 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
PAIROFBROWNEYES (IRE) 9 Fibbage Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
PENDRA (IRE) 10 J P McManus Charlie Longsdon
PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE) 11 ISL Recruitment Fergal O’Brien
PHIL’S MAGIC (IRE) 8 Lyreen Syndicate Tony Martin IRE
PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE) 10 Malcolm C Denmark Willie Mullins IRE
POLIDAM (FR) 9 Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Willie Mullins IRE
POORMANS HILL (IRE) 7 V Caldwell/Mrs K Caldwell Gordon Elliott IRE
RATHVINDEN (IRE) 10 Ronnie Bartlett Willie Mullins IRE
RAZ DE MAREE (FR) 13 James J Swan Gavin Cromwell IRE
REGAL ENCORE (IRE) 10 J P McManus Anthony Honeyball
RELENTLESS DREAMER (IRE) 9 Nigel Morris Rebecca Curtis
ROAD TO RICHES (IRE) 11 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE) 8 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
ROGUE ANGEL (IRE) 10 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
SAINT ARE (FR) 12 David Fox Tom George
SAMETEGAL (FR) 9 John & Barbara Cotton Paul Nicholls
SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT 10 Mrs A M Thomson Sandy Thomson
SHANTOU FLYER (IRE) 8 Carl Hinchy Richard Hobson
SILSOL (GER) 9 Michelle And Dan Macdonald Paul Nicholls
SIR MANGAN (IRE) 10 Frank McAleavy Dan Skelton
SIZING CODELCO (IRE) 9 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Colin Tizzard
SPLASH OF GINGE 10 Jim Neild Nigel Twiston-Davies
SUB LIEUTENANT (IRE) 9 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE
TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR) 11 Boultbee Brooks Ltd Venetia Williams
THE DUTCHMAN (IRE) 8 SprayClad UK Colin Tizzard
THE LAST SAMURI (IRE) 10 Paul & Clare Rooney Kim Bailey
THE YOUNG MASTER 9 Mike Burbidge & The Old Masters Neil Mulholland
THEBARROWMAN (IRE) 8 D Keys Adrian Keatley IRE
THIRD INTENTION (IRE) 11 Robert and Sarah Tizzard Colin Tizzard
THREE FACES WEST (IRE) 10 Paul & Clare Rooney Philip Hobbs
THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE) 10 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
TIGER ROLL (IRE) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
TOTAL RECALL (IRE) 9 Slaneyville Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR) 8 Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Gary Moore
UCELLO CONTI (FR) 10 Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Gordon Elliott IRE
VALSEUR LIDO (FR) 9 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE
VIC DE TOUZAINE (FR) 9 A Brooks & G Moore Venetia Williams
VICENTE (FR) 9 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR) 9 Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent David Pipe
VIEUX MORVAN (FR) 9 M L Bloodstock Joseph O’Brien IRE
VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE) 8 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith
VIRGILIO (FR) 9 C J Edwards, D Futter, A H Rushworth Dan Skelton
VYTA DU ROC (FR) 9 Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
WALK IN THE MILL (FR) 8 Baroness Harding Robert Walford
WARRIORS TALE 9 Michelle And Dan Macdonald Paul Nicholls
WILD WEST WIND (IRE) 9 Simon W Clarke Tom George
WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE) 9 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE


105 entries

40 Irish-trained

Breakdown of entries by trainer with previous successes in the Ranox Health Grand National



Gordon Elliott IRE

(2007 Silver Birch)

Bless The Wings

Cause of Causes

General Principle

Mala Beach

Noble Endeavor

Out Sam


Poormans Hill

Tiger Roll

Ucello Conti


Willie Mullins IRE

(2005 Hedgehunter)

Acapella Bourgeois

Arbre de Vie



Childrens List


Pleasant Company



Total Recall



Paul Nicholls

(2012 Neptune Collonges)

As de Mee

Braqueur d’Or




Warriors Tale


Nigel Twiston-Davies

(1998 Earth Summit, 2002 Bindaree)


Bristol de Mai


Double Ross

Flying Angel

Splash of Ginge



Noel Meade IRE

A Genie In Abottle

Bonny Kate

Road To Riches

Wounded Warrior



Nicky Henderson 

Gold Present

O O Seven

Vyta du Roc


Kerry Lee

Alfie Spinner


Krackatoa King


Mouse Morris IRE

(2016 Rule The World)

Alpha des Obeaux

Rogue Angel

Thunder And Roses


Dan Skelton

Long House Hall

Sir Mangan



Sue Smith

(2013 Auroras Encore)


I Just Know

Vintage Clouds


Colin Tizzard

Sizing Codelco

The Dutchman

Third Intention


Venetia Williams 

(2009 Mon Mome)

Houblon des Obeaux

Tenor Nivernais

Vic de Touzaine



Peter Bowen

Henri Parry Morgan

Minella Daddy


Henry de Bromhead IRE

Sub Lieutenant

Valseur Lido


Tom George

Saint Are

Wild West Wind


Philip Hobbs 

Rock The Kasbah

Three Faces West


Tony Martin IRE

Anibale Fly

Phil’s Magic


Neil Mulholland 

Carole’s Destrier

The Young Master


Fergal O’Brien

Chase The Spud

Perfect Candidate


Joseph O’Brien IRE


Vieux Morvan


Jonjo O’Neill

(2010 Don’t Push It)

Go Conquer

Minella Rocco


Ian Williams


Gas Line Boy



Kim Bailey

(1990 Mr Frisk)

The Last Samuri


Jennie Candlish 



Stuart Coltherd 

Captain Redbeard


Gavin Cromwell 

Raz de Maree


Jim Culloty IRE

Lord Windermere


Rebecca Curtis 

Relentless Dreamer


Victor Dartnall 

Dancing Shadow


David Dennis

Final Nudge


Brian Ellison 

Definitly Red


Pat Fahy IRE

Morning Assembly


Harry Fry 



Warren Greatrex 

Missed Approach


Patrick Griffin IRE



Richard Hobson 

Shantou Flyer


Anthony Honeyball 

Regal Encore


Adrian Keatley IRE



John Kiely IRE

Carlingford Lough


Neil King 



Charlie Longsdon 



Donald McCain

(2011 Ballabriggs)

Knock House


Gary Moore 

Traffic Fluide


Dr Richard Newland 

(2014 Pineau De Re)



Ross O’Sullivan IRE

Baie des Iles


David Pipe

(2008 Comply Or Die)

Vieux Lion Rouge


Michael Scudamore 



Sandy Thomson 



Robert Walford 

Walk In The Mill


Evan Williams 


Previous winning owners with entries


Gigginstown House Stud (2016 Rule The World)

11 Entries

A Genie In Abottle

Alpha des Obeaux

General Principle


Road To Riches

Rogue Angel

Sub Lieutenant

Thunder And Roses

Tiger Roll

Valseur Lido

Wounded Warrior


J P McManus (2010 Don’t Push It)

7 entries

Anibale Fly

Carlingford Lough

Cause of Causes


Minella Rocco


Regal Encore


Trevor Hemmings (2005 Hedgehunter, 2011 Ballabriggs, 2015 Many Clouds)

2 entries


Vintage Clouds


John Provan (2014 Pineau De Re)

1 Entry

Abolitionist (owned in partnership with Mark Albon & Chris Stedman)


Douglas Pryde & Jim Beaumont (2013 Auroras Encore)

1 Entry