• Racing/
  • Long Primed For National Run

Crabbie's Grand National Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) 4m 3f 110y

  • (7yo+, 4m 3f 110y, Class 1, 40 runners)
  • Winner £561,300 2nd £211,100 3rd £105,500 4th £52,700 5th £26,500 6th £13,200 7th £6,800 8th £3,600 9th £2,000 10th £1,000
  • Going: Good (National Course: Good to Soft, Good in places)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 9m 9.30s
  • Off time: 16:17:35
Full result
Result 16:15 Aintree
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 29 Pineau De Re 25/1
2nd 9 Balthazar King 5 14/1
3rd 14 Double Seven 10/1j
4th 37 Alvarado 10 33/1
  • Last Updated: April 4 2014, 11:35 BST

Owner Robert Waley-Cohen and his jockey-son, Sam, have enjoyed unprecedented success over the Aintree fences but it could all pale into insignificance if Long Run wins the first £1million renewal of the Crabbie's Grand National.

Long Run: In great form according to Sam Waley-Cohen
Long Run: In great form according to Sam Waley-Cohen

Katarino twice claimed the Fox Hunters', Liberthine landed the Topham Chase and was fifth in the National, while Oscar Time also came very close when second in the main event.

As recently as Thursday, Warne led from pillar-to-post to give the Waley-Cohens another success in the Fox Hunters'.

Long Run is searching for his own piece of history as no horse as ever won the King George at Kempton, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the biggest race of them all in Liverpool.

While the Nicky Henderson-trained nine-year-old may not be the force of old, there is no doubt he has been given a chance by the handicapper.

"There are always nerves ahead of the National, ahead of all the big races, and I think if there aren't you are in the wrong sport," said Robert Waley-Cohen.

"Myself and Sam have enjoyed plenty of luck over the fences in the past, but I still get a tingle ahead of the National as it's a great race.

"Clearly he has deteriorated since his days of beating Kauto Star and Denman in the Gold Cup, but he has been handicapped accordingly.

"All you can wish for is a clear run and then take it from there."

Sam Waley-Cohen, who remains an amateur rider, said: "We schooled him over the National-type fences last week and he jumped really well. He's in great form."

Tony McCoy faced a choice between the Ted Walsh-trained Colbert Station, who unseated him at The Chair last year, and Double Seven, winner of the Munster National and trained by Martin Brassil, who saddled Numbersixvalverde to glory in 2006.

The jockey finally went for Double Seven, with Brassil hoping for no more rain.

"Everything seems to have gone well with him and we're happy to be here," said the County Kildare handler.

"I just hope they don't get too much rain. The ground is very important to him and if it went heavy there'd be no point in even running him. Hopefully it's no worse than good to soft.

"I'm not sure I'd given his jockey a whole lot of thought, I left all that up to the best judge in the business.

"Tony has ridden him before so it's not as if he is going in blind.

"The form of his Munster National win was done no harm when Spring Heeled won the Kim Muir, so that was nice to see."

Walsh said of Colbert Station: "Last year he didn't run a good race in it.

"He was never really travelling and he jumped a bit erratic, this year hopefully he'll take to it a bit better."

Teaforthree gave connections a huge thrill when third 12 months ago and is another who appears to have been leniently treated.

The 10-year-old ran a perfectly respectable race in the Gold Cup and trainer Rebecca Curtis thinks he heads to Aintree in even better shape than last year.

"He took to the Grand National fences last year," said the Newport handler.

"Teaforthree likes the ground on the softer side of good. Everybody thinks he needs heavy ground, but he doesn't.

"I thought he ran a blinder in the Gold Cup, it was the ideal prep run. We didn't want to go seven weeks after his run at Ascot and I think it put him spot-on.

"He looks really tight without being over-drilled.

"I'd have to say I think he's in better form than last year. He ran a great race at Ascot, it usually takes him two or three runs to hit peak form.

"It's one of those races where you need lots and lots of luck, so we just hope for that."

Monbeg Dude would be a hugely popular winner for Herefordshire trainer Michael Scudamore.

He is part-owned by former England rugby union international Mike Tindall, husband of the Queen's granddaughter and top-class show jumper Zara Phillips, who has helped with the schooling of the notoriously dicey jumper.

Paul Carberry was on board when the nine-year-old won the Welsh National last season and aims for a second Aintree success after Bobbyjo struck in 1999.

Carberry said: "I've no worries about his jumping, although I hope we can get into a rhythm because he can make a mistake.

"I've schooled him over Aintree fences and he respected them, so I hope he respects them on the day. I'll get a great ride if he does.

"It doesn't feel like 15 years (since he won the big race on Bobbyjo) - it feels like yesterday.

"Hopefully he gets a clear run and then we can hope for the best. If he gets into a rhythm then he has a chance."

Tidal Bay, now a 13-year-old, is one of the most popular horses in training and has been given a sporting chance by the handicapper - even though he must shoulder top weight.

"His form off top weight in his last three handicaps has been very good," said trainer Paul Nicholls.

"He is in good shape. I am looking forward to him running. The thing to do is to drop him out and not to rush him.

"It doesn't matter if he races in last and gradually picks up. He likes being ridden that way."

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies is thrilled to take up the challenge.

He said: "By no means is he a normal 13-year-old. His form his very strong.

"The way we go about riding him, hopefully he has a great chance.

"He's obviously a very, very talented horse and I'm delighted to be riding him."

Sue Smith became just the third female trainer to win the race last year when Auroras Encore obliged.

But with that horse now retired, the Bingley handler relies upon Mr Moonshine, in the same ownership as last season's winner but pulled up 12 months ago, and Vintage Star.

Smith said: "They are both in very good order, we've schooled them over some National-type fences and taken more or less the same route as we did last year.

"Mr Moonshine has jumped twice round there and jumped exceptionally well. He ran a good race in the Becher and we hope he gets the trip this year as seems to be in very good form.

"Vintage Star has never jumped the fences, although he jumped very well (in schooling).

"He came down very early at Cheltenham so didn't have a race and, all being well, he will take to the place as he gets an extreme trip well.

"I think he'd like a bit better ground than the Welsh National, which he should get, and hopefully he'll get a bit of luck in running."

The Nicholls-trained Rocky Creek had his sights switched from the Gold Cup to the National after finishing second in the Hennessy and the Argento Chase.

Owner Andy Stewart feel he has his best ever chance of winning the race from countless runners.

He said: "I didn't want to run him in the Gold Cup after the Argento and he had a little setback anyway.

"However, I thought the Gold Cup was between Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti and they weren't in the first three.

"This horse stays longer than the mother-in-law and he's a good jumper.

"Thankfully my good friend Graham Wylie is running Tidal Bay so we get a nice weight.

"On the other, hand Tidal Bay may be 13 but he's very well handicapped and has certainly been given a chance by the handicapper.

"These days you've got to have a touch of class and Rocky Creek has."

The Ditcheat team are also represented by Hawkes Point, whose jockey, Ryan Mahon, said: "He wasn't beaten far at all in the Welsh National.

"You can make a case for a lot of them but I think he's got a proper chance."

Prince De Beauchene finally gets his chance after being forced to miss the last two Nationals through injury.

Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins believes it would be dangerous to leave the 11-year-old out of calculations.

He said: "We didn't make it to the track as he had niggly problems both years, but this year we've got him here and he's come here a bit under the radar.

"We've had a totally trouble-free run and I think he's going to be good value."

Mullins also saddles outsider Vesper Bell, the mount of Mikey Fogarty.

"He'll love the trip, he'll love the ground and will love these fences," said the trainer.

"He's a big price if someone wants a small few pounds on him."

Pineau De Re ran a blinder at Cheltenham when placed in the Pertemps Final over hurdles for his trainer Dr Richard Newland.

The Worcestershire handler said: "We wouldn't want a bog. He does handle soft ground, but ideally we'd prefer good ground for him.

"He did all of his major work very nicely and he obviously ran great at Cheltenham last time. He seems in the form of his life and I'm very hopeful."

Jockey Leighton Aspell said: "I schooled him over some Aintree fences in Lambourn. That all went well.

"He ran in the Becher and fell at the eighth. That happens at Aintree and hopefully he will have learned from that as he's got plenty of experience on big tracks."

David Pipe has three runners in Our Father and The Package, who both wear the colours of the late David Johnson, who owned the stable's 2008 winner Comply Or Die, and Swing Bill, who crept into the race in last spot.

"Our Father stays well and deserves his chance. The slower the ground the better. If the real Our Father turned up he'd be a player but it's a massive 'if'," said Pipe.

"The Package had been off for a year so he produced a good effort to finish third to Holywell in the three-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham.

"I think he's got a great chance and I just hope he's got over his hard race at Cheltenham because he was off the bridle for a long way, but the signs are good.

"The last time he ran in the big race he didn't take to the fences that well but that was four years ago and they are easier now. Once he warms to them I think he'll be fine.

"Swing Bill is not getting any younger but you can't knock him and getting round is half the battle. The drier the ground the better for him."

Tom Scudamore picked The Package and said: "He had one go at it a few years ago and it didn't quite work out for him.

"He's an older horse with more experience and I see no reason why he can't go and win a National."

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained Burton Port was high class in his younger days, finishing second in the 2010 running of the Hennessy Gold Cup for Nicky Henderson, and fourth to Synchronised in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Fairly lightly raced since then, he hinted at a return to form when runner-up in a veterans' chase at Newbury last month.

O'Neill said: "We did a lot of work earlier in the season but he was very disappointing and we thought we maybe weren't getting his enthusiasm back.

"Since Christmas he started to perk up a lot, he's working better and has done nothing but improve.

"We think we have him in great form. He was a bit disappointing at Doncaster but his last run at Newbury he jumped really well, raced up with the pace and and has come forward from there."

The Jackdaws Castle handler also saddles Twirling Magnet, the mount of Richie McLernon, who said: "He's a grand little horse. I schooled him earlier in the week and we went very well.

"He's versatile enough, ground wise, and I think he'll take to the fences."

Peter Maher's Big Shu is a formidable opponent over the cross-country and banks tracks of Cheltenham and Punchestown.

Winner of the cross-country event at Prestbury Park last year, he was third in the latest renewal.

County Kildare-based Maher said: "He wasn't quite 100 per cent for Cheltenham.

"He'd been sick a month before and he's always at his best on his third run. Paul Carberry didn't get the same horse at Cheltenham as Barry Cash had 12 months before.

"I thought he travelled really well, but just got stuck in fourth gear without going up into fifth. I've never had him better than he is now."

Coral Welsh National winner Mountainous bids to add his name to that of Rag Trade, Corbiere and Earth Summit as horses to win both races in the same season.

Trainer Richard Lee said of his mudlark: "The wetter the better, but if it's soft ground I will be very happy with that.

"He had a hard race at Ffos Las so needed a bit of break, but we've given him plenty of time off and he's back bubbling away again.

"He's had a nice break since he ran in the West Wales National. He's in great form.

"At the weights he hasn't got a chance with Tidal Bay, but it's the Grand National and we're going to give it our best shot. He's proved himself a Welsh National horse let's see if he is an Aintree horse. I think he'll stay, that won't be a problem to him.

"His jumping has always been a strong suit, but you need a lot of luck."

Dessie Hughes has already been on the mark at Grade One level this week and saddles Raz De Maree for the Gigginstown House Stud operation.

Winner of the Cork and Munster Nationals as a seven-year-old, the now-nine-year-old ran his best race for a long time when third in Daily Mirror Chase at Down Royal.

Hughes said: "He won over three and a half miles in Cork so he should get the trip.

"He got hurt after that which was why he was off for a year. I've had Aintree in mind or him since last year.

"It was a good run the last day in Down Royal over three miles and two in a conditions chase there. He finished third. He's going to be ready for it."

Gigginstown can also call upon Colm Murphy's Quito De La Roque, who has any amount of Grade One form to his name, and takes his National chance for the first time as a 10-year-old.

And while seemingly not the force he was he does have winning form over the Mildmay fences.

Murphy said: "We've freshened him up since Fairyhouse (pulled up in the Bobbyjo) and he's done everything we've asked of him at home.

"He's run well in Liverpool twice before so that will hopefully be a positive.

"This is his time of the year - he seems to get better with a bit of sun on his back."

Henderson also runs Hunt Ball, who after a truncated spell in America has returned as good as ever, as he showed when not beaten far in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham

His jockey Andrew Tinkler said: "He's a very nice horse to be associated with. Things didn't work out in America for him, but he's been an absolute joy since he came to Seven Barrows.

"He's got a lots of enthusiasm and has taken to the National-style fences really well at home.

"There are huge question marks about whether he will stay with the weight he has, but I'm still really, really looking forward to it."

The Seven Barrows team are also represented by the Hennessy winner, Triolo D'Alene, and Shakalakaboomboom, who jumped superbly in the National two years ago but appeared not to last the distance.

Former Irish Grand National winner Lion Na Bearnai bids to put Thomas Gibney's name in lights.

The County Meath trainer said: "He handles all sorts of ground, but I'd more confident if there's a bit of cut in it.

"He's a nice horse with a nice weight and if he reproduces his very best form, you'd have to be optimistic he'd go well."

Walkon has valuable experience of the National fences, having found only Triolo D'Alene too good in the Topham Chase last year.

Trainer Alan King said: "Walkon is unproven over the trip, but he seemed to enjoy the big fences when second to Triolo D'Alene and that form looks solid enough after the winner followed up in the Hennessy.

"We were also giving him a stone so hopefully he'll give Wayne (Hutchinson) a good ride."

Chance Du Roy is an Aintree regular and recorded a significant success in the Becher Chase in December.

With Richard Johnson opting to ride cross-country maestro Balthazar King, Tom O'Brien has a golden opportunity as the partnership is kept intact.

He said: "He stayed three-two on heavy so he should have every chance of staying if the ground is a bit better.

"Touch-wood, he's a good jumper so the modifications to the fences don't really matter to him."

Golan Way's last two starts have been in hunter chases, winning at Warwick.

Trainer Tim Vaughan said: "He hasn't had many starts for us, but he won his last race well and he's got some good form in the book from a few years back.

"He's been a decent animal but this is a different challenge for him over the National fences. We'd like to think he'll stay well."

Rose Of The Moon finished mid-division in the Becher and won at Wetherby on his only subsequent outing.

Trainer David O'Meara said: "He runs his best races fresh. He jumped round Aintree in the Becher Chase in early December and jumped well.

"He's sneaked in at the bottom of the handicap and has the same weight (10st 3lb) as last year's winner. He stays well, too."

Buckers Bridge is a potentially interesting contender for trainer Henry de Bromhead.

A Grade Two winner as a novice, he secured his place when running a good race to be third to Gold Cup second On His Own in the Bobbyjo Chase.

De Bromhead said: "He's not run there before, but he seems in good form and we're hoping for a good run.

"We've tried him over the National style-fences and we were happy enough with him."

Last Time D'Albain has a go at the National itself, rather than the Topham, in which he was third to Triolo D'Alene and Walkon last season.

Trainer Liam Cusack said: "We're hopeful the trip will suit in the National.

"The Topham trip might just be a bit too sharp for him nowadays and he stayed the three miles very well in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last season.

"We're a bit in the dark when it comes to the distance, but so are a lot of other horses in the race.

"He showed that he liked the fences last year. He jumps well, so if he gets into a nice rhythm then he could easily run a big race. He's definitely the best horse I've had so far."

Fergal O'Brien's Alvarado beat Cleeve Hurdle winner Knockara Beau over fences at Cheltenham in November but was pulled up back at that track in January.

O'Brien said: "He's in good old form. The horse has done everything right.

"He's a high cruising speed, but, at the same time, he is just as likely to make a bad mistake at the second fence as get round and win.

"The owners (Angela and William Rucker) have a fabulous record in the race so hopefully their luck can rub off on us."

Wayward Prince is another who has high-class form in conditions races and was second to Harry Topper in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby this season.

Further encouragement for his connections comes with two prior Aintree triumphs, which included victory in the Grade One Sefton Hurdle on 2010.

Trainer Hilary Parrott said: "He has a fine record at Liverpool and we think that will be key.

"He will also love that good, spring ground as he doesn't like it soft.

"He was running on at the end at Doncaster, but we really needed to get a run into him before the National, rather than anything else.

"I think his form with Harry Topper at Wetherby was the real Wayward Prince, though.

"Hopefully he has a good spin round and may the best horse win."


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