Grand National 2012: runners to note from the jockeys and trainers
Friday 13 April 2012
The Grand National is too open a race for one trainer or jockey
to dominate but there are certain trainers and jockeys who
certainly know what it takes to help a horse to victory in the
Grand National whilst there are also some high profile trainers and
jockeys who have struggled in the race.
This site lists the leading Grand
National trainers and their runners.
Tony McCoy is the jockey that most punters will probably look out for on Saturday and he has done well in the race in the last couple of years courtesy of Don’t Push It. That partnership won the race in 2010 and the pair finished third last year. However that victory in 2010 was Tony McCoy’s first win in the race surprisingly, prior to that his best finish in the race had been on Blowing Wind and Clan Royal who both finished in third in 2002 and 2006 respectively. Tony McCoy looks set to ride early favourite Synchronised who will give him a great chance of winning a second Grand National. Synchronised surprised many when he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup as it was thought it might not provide enough of a stamina test. The Grand National certainly will provide him with a huge stamina test off top weight and Synchronised is sure to be popular on the day under McCoy.
Ruby Walsh is perhaps the jockey who deserves most consideration on Saturday, he is the only jockey on Saturday to have won the race twice (Papillon in 2000 and Hedgehunter in 2005) and he has also gone close on many other occasions, he has placed in the Grand National a further four times since 2000. Ruby Walsh has gone for the lightly raced On His Own who has become one of the favourites since being selected by Walsh. It is worth noting that Ruby Walsh’s sister, Katie Walsh is likely to be opposing Ruby in the race on Saturday as she looks set to ride Irish contender Seabass, trainer by father of Ruby and Katie Walsh, Ted Walsh!
One of the most successful trainers in recent years has been Paul Nicholls but he is yet to saddle a Grand National winner surprisingly, despite going close on a few occasions. Paul Nicholls has sent out 34 Grand National runners in the past decade but only three of those have placed and that could be bad news for Neptune Collonges. Nicky Henderson has also been a trainer to look out for over the years – but not in the Great National. Just one of his last ten runners in the Grand National has even managed to finish, a negative against the chances of Shakalakaboomboom this year.
So what trainers do well in the race? Three trainers to look out for could be Willie Mullins, Jonjo O’Neill and Donald McCain Jnr. Willie Mullins has a decent record in the Grand National, he trained Hedgehunter to a win in 2005 and then second a year later and that horse was unlucky not to win the race in 2004. For the last two years his best placing has been sixth which shows his runners are still very competitive. Mullins trains On His Own, The Midnight Club and Quiscover Fontaine this year. Jonjo O’Neill has also seen a previous winner of his place the following year, 2010 winner Don’t Push It won in 2010 then finished third last year and O’Neill has also had some near misses including Clan Royal (second in 2004, third in 2006). O’Neill trains this year’s Grand National favourite Synchronised and other possibilities Sunnyhillboy and Arbor Supreme.
As for Donald McCain Jnr, his father trained the legendary Red Rum who won this race a record four times as well as Amberleigh House who loved this course and won the race in 2004. McCain Jnr took over from his father just a few years ago and has since saddled seven runners in the race, only two of which have failed to complete the course. Ballabriggs was a fairytale winner for McCain Jnr last year and he looks McCain Jnr’s best chance, he also saddles Weird Al in the race this year. For a carefully considered list of Grand National tips go to Grand National Guide.
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