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Gold Present could provide Randox Health Grand National glory for Henderson

Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson will bid to land a first £1-million Randox Health Grand National victory at Aintree on Saturday, April 14, with Gold Present (11st 3lb).

Britain’s four-time champion Jump trainer has yet to win the world’s greatest and most valuable chase, having come closest when filling the runner-up position with Zongalero (1979) and The Tsarevich (1987).

He has also had a third (Classified 1986), fourth (Brown Windsor 1990) and two fifths (Classified 1985 and Liberthine 2007).

Gold Present, a 20/1 chance with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, was pulled up in the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong at the Cheltenham Festival on March 13.

The eight-year-old had previously followed up a handicap success over an extended two miles and six furlongs at Newbury on December 2, with a Listed handicap victory over three miles at Ascot on December 23.

Gold Present was travelling well when falling at the 12th fence in the 2017 Randox Health Topham Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree, and connections are keen to run in the 2018 Randox Health Grand National over four and a quarter miles and 30 fences.

Seven Barrows maestro Henderson, hoping for further big-race success following the victories of Buveur D’Air (G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle) and Altior (G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase) at the Cheltenham Festival, reported: “The Randox Health Grand National is definitely the plan with Gold Present.

“He is fine after Cheltenham and he had a trickle of blood from one nose, but he has not shown any more signs of that since.

“We’ve got plenty of time to target Aintree with him because of the longer gap between the meeting and the Cheltenham Festival.

“He has always been a brilliant jumper and he jumped so well at the Cheltenham Festival last year [finished second in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase] and that was one of the reasons that we decided to run him over the Grand National fences in the Topham.

“He was running well in the Topham and it wasn’t really his fault or anybody else’s when he fell at the Canal Turn.

“I needed to find out how much he stayed, but we’re hopeful that he should OK regarding the trip. You never really know until you try it.

“Gold Present will be our only runner in the Grand National.”

A maximum of 40 runners can line up at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 14 for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National.

The five-day acceptance stage for the Randox Health Grand National is at noon on Monday, April 9. The final declaration stage is at 10.00am on Thursday, April 12.

The final field of 40, plus a maximum of four reserves, will be known shortly after this time. Reserves come into the race if there are any withdrawals among the 40 declared runners prior to 1.00pm on Friday, April 13.

The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree runs from Thursday, April 12 to Saturday, April 14.

The £140,000 G3 Randox Health Topham Chase which takes place over two miles and five furlongs of the Grand National course on Ladies Day, Friday, April 13.

Henderson is the most successful trainer in the history of the Randox Health Topham Chase, with five wins. His three entries this year are the 2017 fourth O O Seven (11st 5lb, 12/1 with Betway), Kilcrea Vale (10st 4lb, 20/1) and Days Of Heaven (11st 3lb, 33/1), with 79 horses in total entered for the G3 event.

He explained:O O Seven will head for the Topham instead of the Grand National and he ran really well in the race last year when he was fourth.

I think two and a half miles is more his trip and he showed last year that he handles the fences.”

Henderson’s stable stars Buveur D’Air, Altior and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Might Bite could also head to Aintree.

Buveur D’Air (2017 G1 Betway Aintree Hurdle, 2m 4f) and Might Bite (2017 G1 Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase, 3m), both tasted success at last year’s Randox Health Grand National Festival and Henderson is keen to once again target the meeting.

He reported: “The plan is to go to Aintree with Buveur D’Air again (G1 Betway Aintree Hurdle, Thursday, April 12) like last year.

“Might Bite has come out of the Gold Cup well and he also could head to Aintree (G1 Betway Bowl, Mildmay Course, Thursday, April 12). With the four-week gap this year, we will wait before making a firm decision on his next target.

“Altior could either go to Aintree or Sandown and we haven’t made a decision just yet. I would love to try him over two and a half miles at Aintree (G1 JLT Melling Chase, Mildmay Course, Friday, April 13), but he did have a hard race at Cheltenham, so it might make sense to wait for Sandown.

“None of the horses at Cheltenham had easy races, but the intention is that most of my Cheltenham runners will run again this season.”

The 2018 Randox Health Grand National – odds from official betting partner Betway

10/1 Total Recall, Blaklion

12/1 Tiger Roll

14/1 Minella Rocco

16/1 The Last Samuri, Anibale Fly, Cause Of Causes,

20/1 Bellshill, Gold Present

25/1 Vicente, Rathvinden, Seeyouatmidnight

33/1 The Dutchman, Vieux Lion Rouge, Regal Encore, Gas Line Boy, Pleasant Company, Ucello Conti

40/1 I Just Know, Milansbar, Vintage Clouds, Warriors Tale, Valseur Lido, Saint Are, Shantou Flyer, Raz De Maree

50/1 Chase The Spud, Pendra, Acapella Bourgeois, Lord Windermere, Alpha Des Obeaux, Go Conquer, As De Mee, Final Nudge, Baie Des Iles, Delusionofgrandeur, Bless The Wings, Buywise, Childrens List, A Genie In Abottle, Carlingford Lough

66/1 Thunder And Roses, The Young Master, Walk In The Mill, Cogry, Braqueur d’Or, Bonny Kate, Splash Of Ginge, Double Ross, Road To Riches, Perfect Candidate, Captain Redbeard

80/1 Minella Daddy, General Principle

100/1 Virgilio, Mysteree, Out Sam, Krackatoa King, Beeves, Knock House, Maggio, Alfie Spinner, Relentless Dreamer, Vic De Touzaine, Houblon Des Obeaux, Henri Parry Morgan, Wounded Warrior, Goodtoknow, Rogue Angel, Phil’s Magic, Sir Mangan, Tenor Nivernais, Dancing Shadow

Each-Way: 1/4 odds – 1, 2, 3, 4

The 2018 Randox Health Grand National latest entries

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 which, have started in a chase during the current season and 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 13 (104 go forward – 1 not qualified), first scratchings deadline February 27 (90 entries remained), second scratchings deadline March 20 (73 entries remain), five-day confirmations April 9, final declarations 10am April 12. Maximum field of 40 plus four reserves.


  Horse Age Wgt Owner Trainer
1)  MINELLA ROCCO (IRE) 8 11-10 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
2)  BLAKLION 9 11-09 Simon Such & Gino Paletta Nigel Twiston-Davies
3)  ANIBALE FLY (FR) 8 11-07 J P McManus Tony Martin IRE
4)  THE LAST SAMURI (IRE) 10 11-07 Paul & Clare Rooney Kim Bailey
5)  VALSEUR LIDO (FR) 9 11-06 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE
6)  TOTAL RECALL (IRE) 9 11-04 Slaneyville Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
7)  ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR) 8 11-03 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
8)  GOLD PRESENT (IRE) 8 11-03 John & Barbara Cotton Nicky Henderson
9)  PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE) 11 11-02 ISL Recruitment Fergal O’Brien
10) CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA) 10 11-01 J P McManus Gordon Elliott IRE
11) SHANTOU FLYER (IRE) 8 11-01 Carl Hinchy Richard Hobson
12) TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR) 11 11-00 Boultbee Brooks Ltd Venetia Williams
13) CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE) 12 11-00 J P McManus John Kiely IRE
14)  VICENTE (FR) 9 10-13 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
15) GO CONQUER (IRE) 9 10-13 Paul & Clare Rooney Jonjo O’Neill
16) TIGER ROLL (IRE) 8 10-12 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
17) REGAL ENCORE (IRE) 10 10-12 J P McManus Anthony Honeyball
18) VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR) 9 10-12 Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent David Pipe
19) RATHVINDEN (IRE) 10 10-12 Ronnie Bartlett Willie Mullins IRE
20) ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR) 8 10-12 Slaneyville Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
21) A GENIE IN ABOTTLE (IRE) 7 10-11 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
22) CHASE THE SPUD 10 10-11 Christine Banks Fergal O’Brien
23) WARRIORS TALE 9 10-11 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
24) SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT 10 10-11 Quona Thomson Sandy Thomson
25) AS DE MEE (FR) 8 10-11 The Stewart Family & Judi Dench Paul Nicholls
26) GAS LINE BOY (IRE) 12 10-10 The Three Graces Ian Williams
27) THE DUTCHMAN (IRE) 8 10-10 SprayClad UK Colin Tizzard
28) PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE) 10 10-10 Malcolm Denmark Willie Mullins IRE
29) BELLSHILL (IRE) 8 10-10 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE
30) UCELLO CONTI (FR) 10 10-09 Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Gordon Elliott IRE
31) SAINT ARE (FR) 12 10-09 David Fox Tom George
32) BEEVES (IRE) 11 10-09 Paul & Clare Rooney Jennie Candlish
33) RAZ DE MAREE (FR) 13 10-08 James Swan Gavin Cromwell IRE
34) I JUST KNOW (IRE) 8 10-07 Michael Scholey & the late Ray Scholey Sue Smith
35) VIRGILIO (FR) 9 10-07 C Edwards, D Futter, A Rushworth Dan Skelton
36) BAIE DES ILES (FR) 7 10-07 Zorka Wentworth Ross O’Sullivan IRE
37) MAGGIO (FR) 13 10-07 Douglas Pryde/James Beaumont Patrick Griffin IRE
38) PENDRA (IRE) 10 10-07 J P McManus Charlie Longsdon
39) BUYWISE (IRE) 11 10-07 T Hywel Jones Evan Williams
40) CHILDRENS LIST (IRE) 8 10-07 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
41) HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR) 11 10-06 Mrs Julian Blackwell Venetia Williams
42) LORD WINDERMERE (IRE) 12 10-06 Dr Ronan Lambe Jim Culloty IRE
43) CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE) 9 10-06 Stuart Coltherd Stuart Coltherd
44) BLESS THE WINGS (IRE) 13 10-05 Adrian Butler/S P O’Connor Gordon Elliott IRE
45) MILANSBAR (IRE) 11 10-05 Robert Bothway Neil King
46) FINAL NUDGE (IRE) 9 10-05 Corbett Stud David Dennis
47) DOUBLE ROSS (IRE) 12 10-05 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies
48) ROAD TO RICHES (IRE) 11 10-04 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
49) DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR (IRE) 8 10-04 McGoldrick Racing 3 Sue Smith
50) THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE) 10 10-04 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
51) WALK IN THE MILL (FR) 8 10-03 Baroness Harding Robert Walford
52) VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE) 8 10-03 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith
53) WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE) 9 10-01 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
54) GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE) 9 10-01 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
55) VIC DE TOUZAINE (FR) 9 10-01 Andrew Brooks & G Moore Venetia Williams
56) SPLASH OF GINGE 10 10-00 John Neild Nigel Twiston-Davies
57) BONNY KATE (IRE) 8 10-00 Patricia Hunt Noel Meade IRE
58) COGRY 9 10-00 Graham and Alison Jelley Nigel Twiston-Davies
59) SIR MANGAN (IRE) 10 10-00 Frank McAleavy Dan Skelton
60) MYSTEREE (IRE) 10 10-00 Lynne Maclennan Michael Scudamore
61) MINELLA DADDY (IRE) 8 9-13 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
62) BRAQUEUR D’OR (FR) 7 9-13 Corsellis & Seyfried Paul Nicholls
63) RELENTLESS DREAMER (IRE) 9 9-13 Nigel Morris Rebecca Curtis
64) KNOCK HOUSE (IRE) 9 9-12 Tim Leslie Donald McCain
65) THE YOUNG MASTER 9 9-11 Mike Burbidge & The Old Masters Neil Mulholland
66) HENRI PARRY MORGAN 10 9-09 Ednyfed & Elizabeth Morgan Peter Bowen
67) PHIL’S MAGIC (IRE) 8 9-09 Lyreen Syndicate Tony Martin IRE
68) ALFIE SPINNER (IRE) 13 9-09 Alan Beard & Brian Beard Kerry Lee
69) DANCING SHADOW (IRE) 9 9-08 The Dancing Shadows Victor Dartnall
70) ROGUE ANGEL (IRE) 10 9-08 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
71) OUT SAM 9 9-06 D Charlesworth Gordon Elliott IRE
72) KRACKATOA KING 10 9-03 J Harrison Lee & T Howard P’ship Kerry Lee
73) GOODTOKNOW 10 9-02 Burling Lee MacEchern Nolan Potter Kerry Lee


73 entries remain following March 20 scratchings’ deadline 

27 Irish-trained