Grand National 2007
As the runners left the tape in the 2007 Grand National, Numbersixvalverde was one of the first away with Bewleys Berry and Royal Aucair prominent. Eurotrek and Livingstonebramble and The Outliner are also up with the pace.
As they cross the melling road for the first time. The Outliner moves up to the front of the leaders, and all the horses seem to be going too fast once again.
At the first fence the outliner is in front and the leaders jump the fence well and get away from it. Mid division is Tikram who blunders into the fence and gives his jockey Wayne Hutchinson no chance to stay in the plate, he gets unseated and their chances have gone. At the back of the field Point Barrow falls at the fence
They race quickly on to the second fence and the Outliner is now a clear leader with Joes Edge next and Bewleys Berry Prominent. At the fence there are no disasters as they all jump the fence well and race away to the third.
The first real test in the race is next, the first of the open ditches. The Outliner gets one and a half lengths in front and jumps it clear with Bewleys Berry, second and Ballycassidy in third. Royal Auclair is moving up to the leaders, and Naunton Brook is making good headway. All the horses negotiate the fence safely so on to the next.
At the fourth The Outliner is still in a clear lead with the others closing in. All jump it well and most are going well with one exception, out the back of the field is Dun Doire, who seems not to be interested today.
On to the fifth fence Naunton Brook Ballycassidy and Bewleys Berry join The Outliner and all four jump the fence in a line. All the others jump the fence well and the field is starting to get a little better sorted but the next fence is the most famous of them all Bechers Brook.
At Bechers, the field spread out a little to get a good view of the fence. The bravest staying on the inside where the drop is the most and the more sensible riders moving to the outside. The leaders jump the fence well and get away from it but Livingstonebramble and Le Duc in mid division make mistakes and both get rid of their respective riders then at the rear of the pack Jack High crumples on landing and falls. Zabenz’s rider looks to have some trouble although they jump the fence.
So three casualties at Bechers but the survivors move on to the smallest fence in the race the Foinavon fence, and all the leaders jump the fence without incident. In the field of runners L’Ami is now getting a little closer to the leaders. At the back of the field it looks like Zabenz’s rider has lost his leathers and has to pull up his mount. Also in the rear one of the co-favorites Monkerhostin has called it a day and refuses as the fence.
The field move on to the next unique fence, The Canal Turn with a 90 degree left hand turn after the fence means that the horses sway out to the outside of the course then come into the fence at an angle to try and save ground. At the fence Naunton Brook takes up a clear lead from Bewleys Berry and Ballycassidy, then comes Royal Auclair and The Outliner and Longshanks who has made up ground. Knowhere is in mid division and makes a blunder at the fence and unseats his rider. Homer Wells gets hampered at the fence but continues as does Billyvoddan. Not so lucky is Kandjar D’Allier who is also hampered but falls.
Around the turn and on to the Ninth, Valentine’s Brooke. At the fence Naunton Brook has opened up a two length advantage and jumps the fence in good style as the rest of the leading group get to the fence Royal Auclair makes a bad mistake and falls. Eurotrek who is running close behind him gets badly hampered but survives.
The tenth fence, Naunton Brook in now four lengths in front of Ballycassidy who comes next, he is a length or so in front of Bewleys Berry and Silver Birch. Simon starts to move through the field and gets prominent. The Outliner has lost a little ground but is still there. All horses jump the fence.
The Eleventh fence is the next open ditch fence and at it Naunton Brook is very good and is out in front and going well. All the others jump the fence but Bother Na makes a mistake luckily he gets away with it. The runners go on to the next
At the twelfth fence another open ditch, Naunton Brook’s lead is a little less now but he jumps the fence well and gets away from it running. And all the surviving runners now look to be going well.
The horses now have a long run past the Anchor Bride road and around the bend to the home straight for the first time. Naunton Brook is still in the lead, from Ballycassidy, Simon, Bewleys Berry, Longshanks and Sonevafushi. These are followed by Silver Birch, Puntal and Kelami. Next comes Thisthatandtother with Joes Edge and L’Ami.
At the 13th fence Naunton Brook is still in the lead by a length followed by Ballycassidy and a further length behind is Bewleys Berry. Simon is up with them and Liberthine is now making really good ground. They all jump the fence and ride away to the next.
The 14th fence is next and there are about 20 lengths between first and last with Naunton Brook first and Cloudy Bays tailed off at the back. And all jump the fence without incident. But looking ahead is the biggest fence in the national, The Chair.
At the Chair the leaders are foot perfect and jump the fence well in fact all jump the fence well with the exception of Cloudy Bays who refuses and Gallant Approach who blunders at the fence but continues. As the horses are now in front of the stands the pace hot's up and the field starts to spread.
At the 16th, The Water Jump, They all negotiate it well and run past the stands,
Next it’s another turn and back across the melling road with only 8 of the 40 starters gone there are plenty left in the field with most having a chance if good enough. A loose horse running out and badly hampers Ballycassidy. Naunton Brook is starting to shows signs of weakening now and is being passed be the leaders.
So at the 17th Ballycassidy and Bewleys Berry are the two up front with Liberthine making good ground as is the 2005 winner Hedgehunter. Also making ground is Simon and The Outliner is still there. With L’Ami looking good and also Silver Birch is going well. No Fallers at the fence so the field moves to the next.
At the next all the horses are really well settled now and all jump the fence well.
At the 19th Fence, The next open ditch, the leaders are okay but The Outliner who was just starting to weaken unseats his rider and Idle Talk falls. At the back of the field Billyvoddan is pulled up.
On to the 20th. Nothing much changes up front but a few horses are starting to find the going hard, Celtic Son and Homer Wells are two finding it tough and another joint favorite Joes Edge is pulled up.
On to the 21st fence. A lot of the field suddenly seems to be tiring, Bewleys Berry is going really well up front and Simon moves into second place, and then comes Ballycassidy and Silver Birch. They all get over the fence and its Bechers next.
22nd fence, Bechers Brook, always a difficult fence on the second circuit when horses are tired. At the fence Bewleys Berry is first at the fence. It is a great jump but the horses front legs crumple on landing he has no chance to recover at this fence and he falls. Once on the ground he hampers Ballycassidy who is having a nightmare race with all the traffic giving him his problems. Hedgehunter is also hampered at the fence, and L’Ami makes a mistake. At the Back of the field Graphic Approach falls and three horses pull up before the fence. Celtic Son, Homer Wells and Eurotrek The field is now well reduced and the next is Valentines.
At the fence Simon makes a mistake. The others jump it well but Naunton Brook who ran so well for much of the race is now pulled up.
On to The Canal Turn Fence. Liberthine is now in the Lead with Simon jumping the fence in second place. Horses now making ground are Slim Pickings and Philson Run. Hedgehunter is hampered again. Ballycassidy blunders at the fence and unseats his rider. The field turn left and on to the next.
Liberthine is now in front with Simon a close second at the 25th. Simon makes a mistake and falls. Last year’s winner Numbersixvalverde is hampered and so is Philson run. There are a lot of tired horses now, but up front Liberthine looks to be going well.
On to the 26th and in the run up Slim Pickings and Silver Birch join Liberthine at the front and they jump the fence together. Thisthatandtother is also going well as is Philson Run and Hedgehunter; Numbersixvalverde is still in with a chance.
At the 27th Slim Pickings is now in front with Liberthine and Silver Birch jumping it together a length behind him. Not far behind are Mckelvey, Philson Run and Thisthatandtother. A gap is now opening up between the front group and the rest of the field. Dun Doire is pulled up
At the 28th Thisthatandtother makes a mistake but stays in the race all jump the fence and there are no casualties.
The race is now on in earnest as the rider’s and horse’s move across the Melling road at the Anchor Bridge and onto the final straight. Two horses are behind and being pulled up they are Sonevafushi and Bother Na
The horses round the home turn to the second last fence 10 horses are in with a chance. The order is, Slim Pickings, Liberthine, Philson Run, Thisthatandtother, Silver birch, Mckelvey, Longshanks, Hedgehunter, Numbersixvalverde and L’Ami.
At the Fence Slim Pickings is in the lead by just over a length, but there is a loose horse between him and Silver Birch, Slim Pickens gets a great jump but the loose horse is giving Silver Birch a problem. Silver Birch avoids the loose horse and jumps the fence well, Liberthine is in third with Philson run and Mckelvey next. They all get over the fence but soon after Thisthatandtother pulls up.
Onto the last fence they go and Silver Birch is asked the question by his jockey and responds immediately he joins Liberthine. At the fence they both jump it together but Liberthine will not give in without a fight and gets away from the fence better and gets a half length advantage. Philson Run and Mckelvey are next and are staying on. The noise from the stand is getting very loud, it is difficult to hear the commentary, nobody cares it looks like we are in for a cracker of a finish again.
On the run in Silver Birch is again gaining on Liberthine. Liberthine’s jockey asks for more and the horse tries to respond but Silver Birch passes him. Next Mckelvey is asked to go on and he does so running flat our now he passes Philson run and has the other two horses in his sight.
At the elbow Silver Birch is asked for more and responds and goes two lengths in front. Slim Pickings is asked for more and the tried horse responds to try and close the gap. Mckelvey is 2 lengths behind but is going absolutely brilliantly, tired but giving his all he is closing on the two in front
On the run in Silver Birch has now given his all there is no more to come his jockey urges him to hold on, The Welsh National winner is doing his best and is staying on but can he hold on as the others are closing. Slim Pickings is again finding more for his jockey and closing the gap but Mckelvey who is flat to the boards is catching both of them.
The final 50 yards. Silver Birch is doing all he can but Mckelvey is now the danger as he passes Slim Pickings, Slim has given everything but just can do no more. The crowd now roar for the finish Silver Birch Supporters shouting for him to hold on and Mckelvey supporters asking for a bit more.
At the line Silver Birch crosses it the Victor with Mckelvey a half a length behind.
Slim Pickings is next by another half a length followed by Philson Run Liberthine and last years Winner Numbersixvalverde. Then finishing is Longshanks and Puntal. Next comes a previous winner Hedgehunter who has run with great credit off 11st 12 lbs Next come L’Ami, Clan Royal, Gallant Approach and finally Kelami.
Silver Birch has won the world’s greatest steeplechase in very good style today. He only made one mistake in his race today and that was at Bechers where he pecked on landing. Silver Birch was kept in a good position in the race right up until 3 from home when his jockey got him to close on the leaders He stayed with the leader Slim Pickings until they got to the last where he jumped into the lead. He then opened up a good lead but in the closing stages he held on from a renewed challenge from Slim Pickings and Mckelvey. In winning this race he added to his Becher chase win at this course and over these fences and also his Welsh National win at Chepstow in 2004, which incidentally was the last time he won. This horse who has had leg trouble is now back to his best. Helped no doubt today by the soft conditions, this horse is a stayer in the classic sense and has improved today to this his greatest victory.
A young trainer with what now looks like a promising future. At 29 years old he has done something that many trainers never get to do in their career, win The Grand National. Last season he only had a handful of runners and this year he claims one of the most prestigious races. Gordon is an Irish trainer, who trains in Kilmessan, Co. Meath and is upholding the Irish strangle hold on this race. He had Silver Birch tuned to perfection for this race after getting the horse when he was sold out of the Paul Nicholls yard for a reported 20,000 gns. The horse had been suffering with leg problems and it would be a great achievement for any trainer to get this horse to run well again but to have him fit, fresh and prepared for such a marathon shows a good natural talent. He is sure to get more training opportunities now and could be a trainer to follow in the future.
R M Power
Robbie Power is a young Irish jockey who seems to get plenty of rides and perhaps most of them are not what one would say have favorites chances. With 300 rides to his name so far this season, he has plenty of experience and rode today with the confidence of a much older more experienced jockey. He has shown today that when he gets the right horse he can do the business. He should now get plenty more rides and perhaps on better horses and should go from strength to strength after today’s efforts.
Mckelvey did little wrong today and ran a fine race to finish second. He did not get away at the start of the race very well but stayed out of trouble and gradually made his way through the field. At the last fence he was in third position but stayed on well and was full of running when he won his second place just yards from the line. Another horse like the winner who has had his training problems. He has suffered from back problems for some time now but his connections did say before the race that he was now over them and you might think his second here confirms this but unfortunately it appears that the horse had broken down in the race so his 2nd position is even more remarkable. A previous winner of the summer National this horse is another who is an out and out stayer and when he is on song like today he looks a real force in this type of race. Nothing can take his great run in the race away from him but we all hope that he will fully recover and come back.
Peter Bowen one of the best trainers to come out of Wales, he trains in Little Newcastle in Pembrokeshire in south west Wales. Peter has plenty of runners and does well at his ”local” course in Chepstow as well as at many of the other meetings around the country. 314 runners last year with a strike rate of 13% and nearer 20% this season stands out for itself. Peter has done very well with this horse who as mentioned above has had his training problems. To get him to put up such a good performance in the race is a real credit to his understanding and professionalism. He also had another good runner in the race today, Ballycassidy who unfortunately did not get round.
T J O'Brien
T J O'BRIEN a good young rider who gets plenty of rides from Peter Bowen and who is also second jockey in the Philip Hobbs stable. The name O’Brian is well known in racing and Tom is well connected as his uncle is the great racehorse trainer Aiden O’ Brian. Tom is a past champion novice point-to-point rider and has all the credentials to make it to the top. He gave this horse a great ride today and especially when things at the start did not go well for him. However he did not panic and gave the horse a great chance to get back into the race and he was going the best of all of the finishers at the end of the race. He is sure to get more good rides in the near future and with a strike rate of around 20% could be a jockey to follow.
Slim Pickings ran the race of his life today. Always running with vigor he was in mid division for much of the race but when it came to the business end he showed what a good horse he is. He started to get serious after the Canal Turn on the second circuit and was soon in front. At the third last he looked the likely winner. He was still in the lead on the approach to the last where he was out jumped for the lead. Although a little one paced he did stay on and was unlucky to loose second place on the line. At only 8 this was a great performance and as he has now shown a liking for the course he should be a regular visitor here.
T J Taaffe
T J Taaffe from Straffan, Co Kildar is a well respected successful Irish trainer. He has many good horses under his charge with the likes of Kicking King and Tumbling Dice. He had the horse to the peak of its fitness today and the horse did him proud. As much of his horses run in Ireland he does not have many winners or runners in the UK but when he does come here he is well respected. His best win here was in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Kicking King
Barry GeraghtyFourth Place
Philson Run is a horse who ran much better than expected today. It was a very fine performance in the ground. Although soft it may not have been soft enough for him. A confirmed long distance mudlark he ran with great credit today. He shrugged of being badly hampered at Valentine’s on the second circuit and although he never looked like winning this can not detract from a great performance. At 11 he will not get any better now and this race may prove to be his best Aintree effort but he did it like a good horse today. Philson Run has only run 14 times due to injury problems and it gets one thinking how good he could have been had he stayed fit and well.
Nick Williams is a chartered accountant, but also has a blooming career as a race horse trainer. Another well respected trainer he did not enter this horse in this race as just another runner. “Going for the National is certainly not just a whim, after he finished sixth in the Scottish National at Ayr last April, we decided to run. He’s only been out once this season but that was intentional” he explained before the race. And his plan worked out very well. Nick does not have the horses of the bigger yards but still managed 11 wins and 23 places from 80 runs last season and this season he looks to be going even better.
The son of a Wexford fisherman Daryl Jacob is rising through the ranks as a jockey. He came to the notice when giving The Listener a great ride to win the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown. He is now a stable jockey with that winning yard of Robert Alner. He gave the horse a great ride today staying cool when hampered at Valentines when behind the falling Simon. He got the horse back into its stride again and after they had crossed the Anchor Bridge he was back with the leading pack. Unfortunately when the pace picked up at the last he horse did start to weaken but Daryl kept the horse up to his work and secured fourth place. He will be seen much more this year for his stable and will need to do well with the stables second string as Andrew Thornton will get the pick of the rides. I’m sure a good rider like him will get plenty of good spare rides like this one when not required by the stable.
Full List of Finishers
|1||Silver Birch (IRE)||10, 10-6||Brian Walsh||Gordon Elliott||R M Power||33/1|
|2||Mckelvey (IRE)||8, 10-4||Noel Elliott||P Bowen||T J O´Brien||12/1|
|3||Slim Pickings (IRE)||8, 10-8||Doubtful Five Syndicate||T J Taaffe||B J Geraghty||33/1|
|4||Philson Run||11, 10-5||Gale Force One||Nick Williams||Daryl Jacob||100/1|
|5||Liberthine (FR)||8, 10-6||Robert Waley Cohen||N J Henderson||Mr S Waley Cohen||40/1|
|6||Number six valverde (IRE)||11, 11-3||Bernard Carroll||Martin Brassil||N P Madden||14/1|
|7||Longshanks||10, 10-7||Alan Halsal||K C Bailey||T Dobbin||14/1|
|8||Puntal (FR)||11, 10-5||Terry Neill||D E Pipe||T Scudamore||80/1|
|9||Hedgehunter (IRE)||11, 11-12||Trevor Hemmings||W P Mullins||R Walsh||9/1|
|10||L´Ami (FR)||8, 11-8||J P McManus||F Doumen||A P McCoy||14/1|
|11||Clan Royal (FR)||12, 10-9||J P McManus||Jonjo O´Neill||J T McNamara||33/1|
|12||Gallant Approach (IRE)||8, 10-9||Byrne Bros||C R Egerton||J A McCarthy||33/1|
|13||Kelami (FR)||9, 10-12||Halewood International||F Doumen||M Fitzgerald||33/1|
|F||Point Barrow (IRE)||9, 10-12||Mrs P Clune Hughes||P Hughes||P A Carberry||8/1C|
|UR||Tikram (GB)||10, 10-5||Mike Charlton & Rodger Sargent||A King||W Hutchinson||125/1|
|UR||Livingstone bramble (IRE)||11, 10-9||Favourites Racing||W P Mullins||D N Russell||100/1|
|UR||Le Duc (FR)||8, 10-2|| ||P F Nicholls||Dom Elsworth||66/1|
|F||Jack High (IRE)||12, 10-3||Brenda Ross, M McShane, D Montgomery, W Moore||T M Walsh||R McGrath||33/1|
|REF||Monkerhostin (FR)||10, 11-6||Martin St Quinton||P J Hobbs||R Johnson||8/1C|
|PU||Zabenz (NZ)||10, 10-8||Michael Watt||P J Hobbs||B Fenton||66/1|
|UR||Knowhere (IRE)||9, 10-13||Raymond Mould||N A Twiston Davies||T J Doyle||100/1|
|F||Kandjar D´Allier (FR)||9, 10-8||Let’s Live Racing||A King||R Thornton||100/1|
|F||Royal Auclair (FR)||10, 11-1||Clive Smith||P F Nicholls||J Tizzard||33/1|
|REF||Cloudy Bays (IRE)||10, 11-0||Cloudy Bay Syndicate||C Byrnes||A J McNamara||100/1|
|UR||Idle Talk (IRE)||8, 11-2||Trevor Hemmings||D McCain Jnr||J Maguire||20/1|
|PU||Billyvoddan||8, 11-4||Trevor Hemmings||H D Daly||L Aspell||16/1|
|UR||The Outlier||9, 10-5||Pat Murphy||Miss Venetia Williams||P C O´Neill||125/1|
|PU||Joes Edge (IRE)||10, 10-2||Chemipetro Limited||Ferdy Murphy||G Lee||8/1C|
|PU||Celtic Son (FR)||8, 10-11||David Johnson||D E Pipe||T Murphy||50/1|
|PU||Homer Wells (IRE)||9, 10-6||Madeleine McMahon||W P Mullins||D J Condon||33/1|
|PU||Eurotrek (IRE)||11, 11-8||Paul Green||P F Nicholls||Liam Heard||16/1|
|F||Graphic Approach (IRE)||9, 10-6||Mr & Mrs Peter Orton||C R Egerton||Paul Moloney||100/1|
|F||Bewleys Berry (IRE)||9, 10-7||Andrea & Graham Wylie||J Howard Johnson||P J Brennan||22/1|
|PU||Naunton Brook||8, 10-4||David Langdon||N A Twiston Davies||Noel Fehily||125/1|
|UR||Ballycassidy (IRE)||11, 10-9||Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar||P Bowen||D O´Regan||33/1|
|F||Simon||8, 10-11||Mercy Rimell||J L Spearing||Andrew Thornton||20/1|
|PU||Dun Doire (IRE)||8, 10-8||Dunderry Racing Syndicate||A J Martin||P Carberry||20/1|
|PU||Bothar Na (IRE)||8, 10-6||Helen O’Dwyer||W P Mullins||D J Casey||20/1|
|PU||Sonevafushi (FR)||9, 10-3||Brian Dice||Miss Venetia Williams||Mr T Greenall||150/1|
|PU||This that and tother (IRE)||11, 11-5||Graham Roach||P F Nicholls||Jamie Moore||50/1|