Rule The World wins thrilling Grand National 2016

Rule The World produced a brilliant performance to win the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National for Irish trainer Mouse Morris, bringing the curtain down on a fantastic three-days of action at Aintree.

The 33-1 shot was ridden by 19-year-old jockey David Mullins and timed his run to perfection, storming past his rivals after The Elbow to give Morris an Irish and English Grand National double, after the success of Rogue Angel at Fairyhouse.

The nine-year-old is owned by Gigginstown House Stud and remarkably it was his first success over fences. Classy horses like Silviniaco Conti, Holywell and Sir Des Champs were no match for the unique test of the National.

Approaching four from home there were several horses in contention, with The Last Samuri leading the field and Morning Assembly travelling well.  Under top-weight Many Clouds was unable to emulate the great Red Rum and win back-to-back Nationals, as his challenge faded.

As the horses jumped the last Rule The World, The Last Samuri and Vics Canvas couldn’t be split, but in severely testing conditions it was Rule The World who saw out the marathon trip the best to win by six-lengths.

An emotional Morris said after the race: “I’d have settled for third and been delighted with it. I think we got a bit of help from someone today.

“He’s had two fractured pelvis’s and I thought before that he was the best I’d ever had – he probably was. You have to wonder how good he’d have been with a proper arse on him. He’s a class horse.”

With an audience of 10 million, the decision to move the Grand National to a later start time of 5.15pm clearly paid off. It was a vintage year for the race and attracted arguably the best field in its long and illustrious history.

Stars shine bright at Grand National Festival and send Willie Mullins clear in the race for Trainers Championship

The three day Grand National Festival once again saw some of the biggest stars of National Hunt Racing show all their quality and class.

On the opening day of the meeting, Annie Power backed up her phenomenal Champion Hurdle win, with an even more devastating performance in the Grade One Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle. The star mare made light work of the step up in trip, defeating My Tent Or Yours by 18-lengths.

Apples Jade gained some sweet revenge on Ivanovich Gorbatov reversing the form of the Triumph Hurdle in emphatic fashion, with a 41-length win for Willie Mullins. The Irish trainer went surging clear of Paul Nicholls in the race for the British Trainers Championship, after wins for Douvan and Yorkhill on Saturday.

Thistlecrack cemented his place as the horse of the season as he romped to a seven-length victory in the Liverpool Stayers’ Hurdle, the aim for next season seems to be the Cheltenham Gold Cup and after the race jockey Tom Scudamore said: “If he’s as good over fences as he is over hurdles, he’s going to be Gold Cup class but the decision is theirs.”

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Grand National 2016 Preview

It’s here the biggest race in the world, the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National. The race that has created so many legends including the greatest National horse of them all Red Rum. Here is our preview of the big race at Aintree.

Many Clouds out to retain Grand National crown but faces stiff competition from market rivals

Many Clouds (8-1) will be looking to emulate the great Red Rum and win back-to-back Grand Nationals. Oliver Sherwood’s stable star was a brilliant winner of the race last season getting the better of Saint Are.

He returns to defend his crown this year off the back of another solid campaign and his mark has only been raised 1lb. His prep race at Kelso couldn’t have gone any better and while no horse has retained the title since Red Rum, not many have had the class of this nine-year-old.

Paul Nicholls knows that victory in this race could secure him the Trainers Championship and he sends a couple of decent chances with Silviniaco Conti (12-1) holding the best chance. The dual King George winner probably has the best form in the field, he hasn’t been firing on all cylinders this season but on his day he is one of the best jumpers around. He loves Aintree and won’t be fazed by the ground, but these fences are an unknown.

The Last Samuri (10-1) has enjoyed a fine season since joining Kim Bailey’s yard and has been aimed at this race all season. He won the BetBright Grimpthorpe Chase by 10-lengths last time, after a fine win at Kempton. He looks one of the obvious contenders, especially taking his light-weight into consideration.

Holywell (16-1) is a former Grade One winner at the Grand National meeting and comes here as a seemingly well handicapped horse. He is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner over three-miles and was runner-up again this season. If the rain stays away he is a really fascinating contender for Jonjo O’Neill.

Irish sending strong party to claim Grand National glory

The Irish trainers have once again sent a strong party to Aintree in a bid to take the world’s most famous steeplechase back to the Emerald Isle.

Willie Mullins is hot on the heels of Paul Nicholls in the race for the British Trainers Championship and has a couple of decent outside chances for the race. Boston Bob (33-1) has a decent record at Aintree and won here in 2014, his stamina is unknown but he is a high-quality horse.

Sir Des Champs (40-1) is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and returned from two-years off the track this season, he has shown flashes of his old self and with Ruby Walsh in the saddle he is impossible to rule out.

Pat Fahy sends the talented Morning Assembly (25-1) who warmed up for this race with a good run at Cheltenham. He is another who has only recently returned from a lengthy-absence and is another who falls into the classy but unproven category.

Shrewd trainer Mouse Morris won the Irish Grand National at Easter and sends two good chances with First Lieutenant (40-1) and Rule The World (50-1) both have some really good form to their names and could run big races for the Irish trainer.

Verdict: This could well be the best ever renewal of the race with some many former Grade One winners in the field. Many Clouds would bring the house down if he were to win it again, Silviniaco Conti and Holywell could be huge threats at tracks they have done well at. But Morning Assembly could be a good each-way bet, he has been aimed at this race all season, is very lightly raced and could improve massively for the trip.

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Aintree Grand National Festival – Day Two Preview

Ladies Day of Aintree’s Grand National meeting is one of the most popular days in the racing calendar and features top class Grade One jumps action, with the best horses from the UK and Ireland battling it out on the Merseyside track.

There were some scintillating performances on day one particularly Apples Jade who won the Juvenile Hurdle by a staggering 41-lengths. While Cue Card gained some compensation for his Cheltenham Gold Cup fall with a superb win in the Betfred Bowl.

Here is our preview of the big race action on day two of the Grand National Festival.

2.15pm – Top Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1)    

The first Grade One race of the afternoon is the Top Novices’ Hurdle and is headed by Cheltenham Festival winner Limini.

The Willie Mullins mare won the inaugural running of the Dawn Run Mares Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival in impressive fashion and takes on the boys for the first time here. Her 7lb mares allowance will be a huge plus and she is highly regarded within the Mullins yard, she has a massive chance.

Limini’s main rival seems to be the Nicky Henderson trained Buveur D´Air, who was third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. That race was won in impressive fashion by the five-year-old’s stablemate Altior, but he made eye-catching progress late in the race and this flatter track with softer ground should really suit.

Agrapart was an impressive winner of Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle in February and has been kept fresh with this race in mind. The 11-length success looks even better with the form being franked by the likes of Flying Angel who went on to win The Imperial Cup. The soft ground will really suit and he could be over-priced at 9-1.

Gordon Elliot runs Grade Two winning hurdler Ball D’Arc who skipped Cheltenham with this race in mind. The five-year-old has improved with every run this season, winning both starts after finishing third to Min. Could have a good each-way chance.

Verdict: Limini is a fascinating contender stepping out of mares’ company for the first time. While Buveur D’Air ran with great credit at Cheltenham, but Agrapart looks to have been saved for this race and has some great form in the book and could run a big race.

2.50pm – Betfred Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade One)

This race features three Cheltenham Festival heroes and is set to be one of the finest races of the Grand National meeting.

Blaklion took the Grade One RSA Chase in March and sets the standard in this race. After a shaky start to his chasing career he has developed into the best staying chaser in Britain. The Nigel-Twiston Davies yard is in superb form and he is the leading player.

David Pipe saddles Un Temps Pour Touts who also tasted success at Cheltenham when taking the three-mile handicap chase on the opening day. That performance was a dramatic improvement on his previous efforts and if he can improve again he will go close.

Ballyalton is the third Festival winner to line up and makes the step up in trip after winning over two-and-a-half miles last time. He improved immeasurably at Cheltenham but will need another step up to win this.

Verdict: This is a really good renewal, with three Festival heroes set to line-up. Un Temps Pour Touts and Ballyalton are stepping out of handicap company after impressive wins. But Blaklion is one of the toughest horses in training and if Cheltenham hasn’t taken its toll he will be hard to pass.

3.20pm – JLT Melling Chase (Grade One)

The final Grade One event on Grand National Ladies Day is the Melling Chase run over two-miles-and-three-furlongs.

The headline attraction of the day is without doubt the electrifying Vautour, for the all-conquering Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci combination. He registered his third consecutive Cheltenham Festival win in March, destroying his rivals in the Ryanair Chase. His phenomenal jumping and strong gallop make him a cut above the rest of his rivals. One of the best jumps horses in training.

Al Ferof was fourth to Vautour in the Ryanair and was also behind him in the King George, a place is probably all he can hope for at 11 years of age.

Gods Own is a thoroughly consistent performer who has been running in the hottest races, a step up in trip and softer ground should suit and he could be the one to chase home the favourite.

Verdict: Races don’t really come any simpler. Vautour is head and shoulders above these rivals and will barely have to get out of third gear to win.


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Aintree Grand National Festival 2016 – Day One Preview

The opening day of Aintree’s Grand National meeting feature’s some high-class racing as the best horses from Britain and Ireland look to add to their Cheltenham Festival victories or gain compensation for losses.

We have previewed the big race action which includes the Grade One Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle and the Betfred Bowl Chase.

1.40pm – Merseyrail Manifesto Novices´ Chase (Grade 1)

The opening race of the Grand National meeting see’s several runners-up from the Cheltenham Festival line-up in a bid for a big race win before the end of the season.

The market is headed by the talented and consistent Sizing John for trainer Henry De Bromhead. The six-year-old has an unfortunate habit of running into Douvan and if it weren’t for the Willie Mullins superstar he would be unbeaten over fences. If he stays the extra half a mile he will be right there at the end of the race.

Eventmasters Horse Racing Ambassador, Richard Johnson, takes the ride on Garde La Victoire. The seven-year-old was sent off as the 4-1 co-favourite in the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham and looked to be coming with a challenge before falling four out. Has to be considered on form.

Bouvreuil was another who was unable to register his first success at The Festival, after finishing second to Ballyalton in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. The Paul Nicholls five-year-old is unexposed over fences and could run a big race on this flatter track.

Verdict: A tough race to decipher given so many run with credit at Cheltenham, but Sizing John is a horse who is all-class and on this flat track he could register a maiden Grade One victory.

2.50pm – Betfred Bowl Chase (Grade 1)

The Betfred Bowl is always a strong race and has been won for the last two seasons by Silviniaco Conti, the champion doesn’t return to defend his crown and will instead run in the Grand National, but it is still a high quality renewal.

Cue Card has been in phenomenal form this season and his return to glory has been one of the success stories of the season. He looked in the process of running a big race when falling in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, if he has recovered well from that tumble he will be hard to beat.

Djakadam finished runner-up in the Gold Cup for the second time last month and will be looking to make amends here. He is a high-class jumper and has bumped into some good horses at Cheltenham, if that effort hasn’t taken too much out of him he could get his first Grade One win in the UK.

Don Poli was another who was placed in the Gold Cup as he ran on for third behind Djakadam and Don Cossack. The seven-year-old is a course and distance winner after beating Grand National favourite Many Clouds in December. Question marks remain about his ability at this level, but he was well fancied for the Gold Cup and could gain some compensation here for Willie Mullins.

Saphir Du Rheu won at this meeting last season, but has looked a shadow of himself this year. Dynaste is another performer who has failed to meet expectations this season. While Taquin Du Seuil run well at Cheltenham but it is difficult to see him being involved here.

Verdict: This race looks to be between the first three in the market. Cue Card’s crashing fall could have left a mark, while Djakadam ran well again but it was another hard race. Don Poli made some really eye catching progress in that race and with Bryan Cooper back in the saddle he could be the one to side with.

3.25pm – Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)    

The feature race of the day is the Aintree Hurdle and the 2016 renewal see’s the first four from last month’s Champion Hurdle return to battle it out.

Annie Power finally reigned supreme at the Cheltenham Festival last month after failing to win on her previous two runs there. She broke the track record under Ruby Walsh and was simply magnificent, this step up in trip won’t bother her and her seven pound allowance makes her hard to beat.

Annie Power’s stablemate Nichols Canyon finished a creditable third in the Champion Hurdle, but after some really tough races this season can he be at 100% for this? The step up in trip will suit but has a lot to find with Annie Power.

My Tent Or Yours ran a tremendous race to finish second at Cheltenham after two-years out with injury, however he is unproven at this trip. The New One won this race in 2014 and was decent fourth in the Champion Hurdle, he has high class form at this trip and the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard are flying.

Verdict: This race revolves around Annie Power, if she reproduces the same level of performance which saw her destroy the Champion Hurdle field she will not be passed. The New One may be the one to chase her home on a track he loves.

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Grand National 2016 – Aintree the aim for Many Clouds

The Grand National and the Hennessy Gold Cup are the main aims for Aintree hero Many Clouds. The star chaser produced an outstanding performance in the world’s most famous steeplechase last season and will return to defend his crown in front of the guests enjoying Aintree Grand National hospitality packages.

The eight-year-old became the first horse to win the Hennessy and National in the same season and returned to Oliver Sherwood’s Lambourn yard looking “absolutely amazing”. Now Sherwood is planning a repeat assault on two of the biggest handicaps in National Hunt Racing.

Sherwood said “The Hennessy is very much on the agenda and the National is going to be the ultimate goal, but what we do before the Hennessy and between that and the National I haven’t got a clue at the moment. With a horse rated like him there are not a lot of races you can go for, but the Hennessy is very much on the agenda again.” Many Clouds was without doubt one of the stars of last season, winning four of his five races, with his only defeat coming in the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

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Grand National Day Two & Three Review 2016

There was no fairytale ending for Eventmasters horse racing hospitality ambassador AP McCoy as Grand National favourite Shutthefrontdoor finished fifth in the champion jockeys final ride in the world’s most famous steeplechase at Aintree. Eventmasters guests enjoyed our fantastic Grand National Hospitality Packages.

Shutthefrontdoor was the long-time ante post favourite for the Aintree showpiece but glory went to Many Clouds, who finished sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. Many Clouds jumped superbly throughout and hit the front with five fences to go, and despite carrying 11st 9lbs he stayed on well to record a famous win.

Trainer Oliver Sherwood has said the Hennessey winner will be looked to defend his crown next season even though he is set to carry top weight. Even though he was unable to win his final Grand National, McCoy produced a brilliant ride on Don Cossack in Fridays Melling Chase. Don Cossack finished third at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival but destroyed a high class field by 26 lengths.

Saphir Du Rheu bounced back from his defeat in the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with a romping 15 length win in Friday’s Mildmay Novice Chase, and trainer Paul Nicholl’s believes he has a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender on his hands.

The Nicky Henderson trained Whisper reversed the Cheltenham Festival form with Cole Harden and won his second Liverpool Stayers Hurdle on Saturday. With Gold Cup winning jockey Nico De Boinville in the saddle Whisper was driven out to a three-and-a-half length victory over World Hurdle winner Cole Harden. And it wouldn’t be a jumps meeting without a Willie Mullins as Nichols Canyon ran out a comfortable winner of the Mersey Novice Hurdle. Under a classic Ruby Walsh the 3/1 favourite hit the front two from home and claimed another Grade One prize for Ireland’s leading trainer.

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