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Thursday, April 12, 2007


JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL MEETING
RACENEWS RACECOURSE SERVICE
FIRST DAY, THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2007


THE 2007 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL DECLARED RUNNERS WITH JOCKEYS


Class 1, Grade 3, £700,000 total Prize Fund. Aintree, 4.15pm Saturday, April 14. For six-year-olds old and upwards which are allotted a rating of 110 or more by the Senior BHB Jumps Handicapper following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 11, 2007. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at January 31, 2007, may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances to February 11, 2007, would merit a minimum rating of 110. To qualify horses must have run at least three times in Steeple Chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Turf Authority up to and including February 11, 2007. At the Handicapper's discretion such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the Senior BHB NH Handicapper shall be final. No penalties after publication of the weights. Entries closed January 31, entries revealed February 1 (119 entries), weights revealed February 13, first forfeit stage March 6 (106 remained), second forfeit stage March 27 (81 remained). Six-day confirmation stage April 9 (68 confirmed), final declaration stage 10.00am, April 12 (40 declared plus four reserves)

Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer Jockey
1. 04222-50 HEDGEHUNTER (IRE) 11-11-12 Trevor Hemmings Willie Mullins IRE Ruby Walsh
2. P/411P-1 EUROTREK (IRE) 11-11-08 Paul Green Paul Nicholls Liam Heard
3. 243-53420 L'AMI (FR) 8-11-08 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Tony McCoy
4. 2643-344 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 10-11-06 Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson
5. 14/3F-2520 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 11-11-05 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls Sam Thomas
6. 410U-513 BILLYVODDAN (IRE) 8-11-04 Trevor Hemmings Henry Daly Leighton Aspell
7. B4431-404 NUMBERSIXVALVERDE (IRE) 11-11-03 Bernard Carroll Martin Brassil IRE Niall Madden
8. 324-26UU IDLE TALK (IRE) 8-11-02 Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain Jnr Jason Maguire
9. F00-65036 ROYAL AUCLAIR (FR) 10-11-01 Clive Smith Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard
10. 3/-0FP10F CLOUDY BAYS (IRE) 10-11-00 Cloudy Bay Syndicate Charles Byrnes IRE Andrew McNamara
11. 1F22300 KNOWHERE (IRE) 9-10-13 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies Tom Doyle
12. 06-10302P2 KELAMI (FR) 9-10-12 Halewood International Ltd Francois Doumen FR Mick Fitzgerald
13. 1-P04B133 POINT BARROW (IRE) 9-10-12 Mrs P Clune Hughes Pat Hughes IRE Philip Carberry
14. 124420-P CELTIC SON (FR) 8-10-11 David Johnson David Pipe Timmy Murphy
15. 11-52611 SIMON 8-10-11 Mercy Rimell John Spearing Andrew Thornton
16. U20P5P0 BALLYCASSIDY (IRE) 11-10-09 Roddy Owen/Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen Denis O’Regan
17. 313-6FP CLAN ROYAL (FR) 12-10-09 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill Mr J T McNamara
18. 1125-130 GALLANT APPROACH (IRE) 8-10-09 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Ltd Charles Egerton Jimmy McCarthy
19. 50442250 LIVINGSTONEBRAMBLE (IRE) 11-10-09 Favourites Racing Willie Mullins IRE Davy Russell
20. 110-0F251 DUN DOIRE (IRE) 8-10-08 Dunderry Racing Syndicate Tony Martin IRE Paul Carberry
21. 0410-010 KANDJAR D'ALLIER (FR) 9-10-08 Let's Live Racing Alan King Robert Thornton
22. 2-33P3F5 SLIM PICKINGS (IRE) 8-10-08 Doubtful Five Syndicate Tom Taaffe IRE Barry Geraghty
23. 540-232 ZABENZ (NZ) 10-10-08 Michael Watt Philip Hobbs Barry Fenton
24. 236P-420 BEWLEYS BERRY (IRE) 9-10-07 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson Paddy Brennan
25. P146/0-1 LONGSHANKS 10-10-07 Alan Halsall Kim Bailey Tony Dobbin
26. 5115UP BOTHAR NA (IRE) 8-10-06 Helen O'Dwyer Willie Mullins IRE David Casey
27. 2163-53U GRAPHIC APPROACH (IRE) 9-10-06 Peter & Sue Orton Charles Egerton Paul Moloney
28. 233-0F11 HOMER WELLS (IRE) 9-10-06 Margaret McMahon Willie Mullins IRE Davy Condon
29. U5014-400 LIBERTHINE (FR) 8-10-06 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
30. /4PPF-0242 SILVER BIRCH (IRE) 10-10-06 Brian Walsh (Co Kildare) Gordon Elliott IRE Robbie Power
31. BP21P6-0 PHILSON RUN (IRE) 11-10-05 Gale Force One Nick Williams Daryl Jacob
32. 0/60-5520P PUNTAL (FR) 11-10-05 Terry Neill David Pipe Tom Scudamore
33. 3-41R21PP THE OUTLIER (IRE) 9-10-05 Pat Murphy Venetia Williams Paul O’Neill
34. 2000-0440 TIKRAM 10-10-05 Mike Charlton/Rodger Sargent Alan King Wayne Hutchinson
35. U2-41061 MCKELVEY (IRE) 8-10-04 Noel Elliott Peter Bowen Tom O’Brien
36. 0411530P NAUNTON BROOK 8-10-04 David Langdon Nigel Twiston-Davies Noel Fehily
37. U0-000402 JACK HIGH (IRE) 12-10-03 Brenda Ross M McShane D Montgomery W Moore Ted Walsh IRE Richard McGrath
38. 11PP0-5120 SONEVAFUSHI (FR) 9-10-03 Brian Dice Venetia Williams Mr Tom Greenall
39. 4006-001 JOES EDGE (IRE) 10-10-02 Chemipetro Limited Ferdy Murphy Graham Lee
40. 2UU-0043 LE DUC (FR) 8-10-02 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls Dominic Elsworth

RESERVES
R1. 2SR550-33 RISK ACCESSOR (IRE) 12-10-02 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill Brian Harding
R2 1-U2P00551 UNDENIABLE 9-10-01 Keith Nicholson Sue Smith David O’Meara
R3. PS3344402 DUNBRODY MILLAR (IRE) 9-10-01 Dundon Else Partnership Peter Bowen Seamus Durack
R4. 00-12100 LOU DU MOULIN MAS (FR) 8-10-00 The Eight Amigos Racing Syndicate Paul Nicholls -

THE THREE HORSES TO COME OUT TODAY
1222-565 FOTA ISLAND (IRE) 11-11-09 J P McManus Mouse Morris IRE
P63-22U30 ARMATURK (FR) 10-11-05 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
0F5P-2U IRIS ROYAL (FR) 11-10-03 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson


RECORD CROWD

The attendance on the opening day of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting was 27,060, an increase of 520 on the corresponding day last year.


“We are delighted with the crowd figure whichthe new stands have been greeted with enthusiasm which is encouraging.


The previous best Thursday attendance was 26,950 in 2005.


The totejackpot pool came to £549,929 and there were 87 winning tickets, paying £4,487.90 each.

Today’s totepool on-course cash turnover came to £1,020,988, down marginally on the 2006 total reportedly because of the small fields in the first two races.


GOING UPDATE

After the completion of day one of the John Smith's Grand National meeting, clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch said Aintree would be watered overnight to maintain the Good ground..


He added: "We started watering the National course immediately after the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase. We'll continue that tonight and then water the Mildmay and Hurdle courses.


"We're likely to move some hurdle rails, but we'll be reviewing that this evening."

There was unanimous praise for the groround from jockeys who were in action, and Tulloch added: “We're delighted with the reaction of jockeys who rode today. It's great when you get appreciation like that.

“The boys out on the course have done a sterling job for the last two and a half weeks, which is a long time to be watering, to keep on top of the job and keep it all balanced. I'm also very pleased that the fences jumped well.”


NEW GRANDSTANDS OFFICIALLY OPENED

Lord Derby joined Aintree chairman Lord Daresbury today at the official opening of the Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton Grandstands, which complete the £35-million redevelopment of the Merseyside course.


Teddy Derby, more often associated with Flat racing and confirming that his globetrotting superstar Ouija Board is safely in foal to Kingmambo, praised Lord Daresbury and managing director Charles Barnett for revitalising Aintree, describing them as "the dynamic duo".


Lord Derby, who lives locally at Knowsley, said: “My family have had close associations for many years with Aintree, and my Uncle John was always a big supporter and had many good winners here, including Robinson Crusoe, who was such a great servant for Bernard van Cutsem.


"There was so much uncertainty about the future of Aintree following the death of Lord Sefton in 1972, but my uncle chaired the National appeal in 1983 to raise money to buy the land, so it is fitting that the two men are linked together today as we open these two magnificent grandstands, which boast such fantastic facilities.


"The Grand National has always been special to me. I'll never forget watching that epic 1973 renewal at home with my brother Peter - he backed Crisp and I backed Red Rum, so I was happy.


"That was the last National I watched on television. The following year we picnicked at the Canal Turn and we have gradually worked our away around to the main grandstand.


"We always have a team of mates stay with us, and, while I am not a big punter, I might have a few pounds on Hedgehunter as Trevor Hemmings is such a good friend of ours."

Lord Daresbury, who has been on the Aintree board since 1984, took a trip down memory lane as he recalled how the course has come alive again.


He said: "In 1983, after the Charitable Trust had acquired the course for £4 million, the attendances over the three days totalled 46,000, whereas this year we are expecting over 150,000.


“I would like to thank everyone involved with the construction of the two stands and all the Aintree staff, especially Andrew Tulloch (the clerk of the course) who has worked so hard to bring the project to fruition.”


OFFICIAL OPENING OF NEW STANDS AT 11.30AM TODAY

Aintree Racecourse today reaches a historic milestone as the two-year, £35-million redevelopment of racecourse facilities is formally completed with the official opening of two new Grandstands, the Earl of Derby and the Lord Sefton.


Building contractors, Laing O'Rourke, handed over Aintree's two new Grandstands last month which also saw the completion of Aintree's International Equestrian Centre/Aintree Pavilion by Eric Wright Construction.


The ambitious building project, which was funded with assistance from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) as well as Aintree's own resources, has vastly improved facilities for all customers of the racecourse and the iconic site now boasts world-class facilities for a world-class venue.

Phase one of the project, the building of the racecourse's new Weighing Room and Winner's Enclosure complex, was completed for the 2006 Grand National meeting.


In addition to Aintree's current Grandstands - the Princess Royal, the County and the Queen Mother Stands - the Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton Stands both provide five tiers of premium viewing facilities for racing. On the ground floor, two terraces provide viewing for 1,400 racegoers within each Grandstand, with two levels of tiered seating available for 1,580 racegoers on levels two and four over both Stands. Levels one and three offer breathtaking corporate facilities, with restaurants holding 300 and 600 diners respectively. Level five of both Grandstands have six private suites offering extreme luxury for corporate guests. Both facilities offer panoramic views over the racecourse from vantage points never before experienced at Aintree.

Aintree's International Equestrian Centre will provide an arena for Aintree to host a variety of equestrian events. This facility also doubles up as Aintree's largest enclosure for racing in the form of the Aintree Pavilion, providing vastly improved facilities for the racecourse's Tattersalls customers.


The official opening ceremony takes place at 11.30pm today (Thursday, April 12) at the main entrance (at the back of the stand) to the Earl of Derby Stand, in the presence of Lord Derby and Lord Daresbury, Aintree Racecourse's Chairman.

Charles Barnett, Aintree's Managing Director, said: "I am delighted that we have completed our two-year development project, and it is very exciting to be able to offer these fantastic facilities to our racegoers at this year's John Smith's Grand National meeting. We hope that all customers attending any day of the Grand National meeting will be delighted and that these facilities further enhance the visitor experience that racing at Aintree always provides."

Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive, commented: "Aintree Racecourse is one of the region's key tourism assets, attracting 150,000 racegoers during the John Smith's Grand National meeting alone. The improved facilities and new equestrian centre are expected to attract many new visitors to the region every year, contributing to an increase in annual tourism spend and providing a significant boost to the tourism industry. The NWDA is delighted to support the new and improved facilities, which will be ready in time for when 600 million viewers worldwide tune in to watch the world's most famous steeplechase."

Graham Lumberg, Director for Laing O'Rourke, added: "I'm pleased that our team handed over the new Grandstands and facilities to Aintree last month. The past two years have seen close collaboration between Charles' Aintree team and our own Laing O'Rourke team, led by Craig Abson, and they have successfully brought an exciting design to reality. The whole team has showed tremendous commitment and drive to deliver this world-class facility. It's been a pleasure for Laing O'Rourke to work in Sefton and we hope to be involved in other exciting projects in the future."

Aintree Racecourse is part of Jockey Club Racecourses. The group operates a portfolio of 14 racecourses in the UK, including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom and Newmarket. No shareholder dividend is paid by the group. Instead the profits are re-invested in racing with the aim of enhancing racecourse facilities and increasing levels of prize money.




DOUMEN "OPTIMISTIC" ABOUT KELAMI

Francois Doumen believes that official assessor Phil Smith has got his figures wrong in rating L'Ami 10lb superior to stablemate Kelami and recommends punters have an each-way interest in John Halewood's horse for Saturday's John Smith's Grand National.


Tony McCoy has already gone on record as saying that he believes L'Ami (11st 8lb) has too much weight, and Doumen is inclined to agree, suggesting that Kelami, the mount of Mick Fitzgerald, is better treated with 10st 12lb.


Doumen said: “Both horses are very well and came through their final gallops satisfactorily, but I do think that Kelami is the better handicapped of the pair.


“Kelami was brought down at the first behind Amberleigh House three years ago, and, though it was unfortunate that we could not run him after he had won at Cheltenham the following season, he has since had two wind operations and could not be in better form.


“The ground was bottomless at Haydock in February, and he just could not cope with it, though I needed to be sure that was only the reason before committing him to a another National bid, so we ran him at Auteuil last time.


“And I could not have been happier with Kelami at Auteuil. He finished second to Or Noir de Somoza, who is not only the best horse in France but has since won another Grade One at home.


“If you saw the two work at home, you would wonder how the handicapper could rate them 10lb apart, and the good ground will certainly suit Kelami.


“Having said that, I would not put anyone off L'Ami. As AP says, he does have plenty of weight, but he has done nothing wrong all season, and everything has been geared around Aintree. It would be lovely to win it for JP (McManus), but either one would do.”

John Halewood, who owns Kelami, is looking for a second John Smith’s Grand National success, having triumphed with Amberleigh House three years ago.


Halewood said: “We have been getting all the right vibes from Francois, and we are all starting to get very excited. Francois was late arriving for lunch in our box today, and I hope Mick does not leave it
too late!

“Both Mick and I have already won a National, but when you have won one you want to go back and do it all over again as quickly as possible. Mick might retire if Kelami does the business, and what better way to bow out.”


Race 1 - John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle - Winning Quotes

MAN MAKES IT THREE

Mighty Man recorded his third victory at the John Smith’s Grand National meeting when taking the opening £70,000 Grade Two John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle.


The seven-year-old, trained by Henry Daly and ridden by Richard Johnson, won the John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle in 2005 and this contest 12 months ago.


Today, the 15/8 chance came home 13 lengths in front of 7/4 favourite Black Jack Ketchum with Inglis Drever in third.


A delighted Henry Daly, nursing a bleeding ear after being kissed by a woman with a protruding earring, said: “He really is just a different horse around here, he just loves it.


“That’s now three wins, three years in a row around Aintree.


“We were a little bit worried about the pace today, so it was always the plan to be thereabouts. Fortunately, Lough Derg and Fire Dragon provided some pace early on as well.


“He has always been a superb jumper.


“Today could well have been his best performance - we will have to see what the handicapper says.


“You know that Mighty Man will always fight and run to the best of his ability.


“We will have to see how he comes out of this race, but he could now go to Punchestown.”

Richard Johnson, who rode Mighty Man, added: "At Cheltenham the undulations don't suit him and he always seems to just stumble on the bend at the top of the hill. People say Cheltenham is a slow track, but it's not, and they seem to get away from him coming down the hill. He has to play catch-up. He's won three here now and Aintree must be his favourite place. Henry's been very good with the horse - he's been patient during the winter when the ground's been so wet and it's paid dividends."

Bookmakers rate Mighty Man at 7/2 (Ladbrokes), 5/1 (Paddy Power, Stan James, William Hill) and 6/1 (Betfred) for the 2008 Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.



Race 1 Placed quotes
John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle

BLACK JACK FINDS MAN TOO MIGHTY

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill admitted runner-up Black Jack Ketchum had been beaten by a better horse on the day after Mighty Man was the comfortable winner of the opening race on day one of the John Smith's Grand National meeting.


O'Neill said: “He did everything right, but he just wasn't good enough.”

Howard Johnson said of third-placed Inglis Drever: “He was niggling along from some way out. That's it for the season now - he's won the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and we'll look forward to next season. He won't be going to Punchestown because he doesn't like right-handed tracks.”

'BEAUTIFUL', SUMS UP THE GROUND

The six jockeys who rode in the first race were unanimous in their praise for the ground at Aintree, albeit Paddy Brennan said it had been too quick for his horse, third-placed Inglis Drever.


Winning jockey Richard Johnson said: “It's perfect good ground and they've done a fantastic job. I don't think anyone could complain. It's like a golf-course all the way round, but unfortunately if you've got a soft-ground horse they are not going to excel on it."

Noel Fehily said: "Beautiful"

Tony McCoy said: "Lovely."

Tom Scudamore said: "It's perfect, beautiful ground."

Paddy Brennan said: "It's perfect ground, but it suited the winner more than me."

Robert Thornton (who fell on Blazing Bailey) said: "It's lovely ground."

BETFAIR REPORT

Winner: Mighty Man Price at off: 2.96 (around 2/1)
LOWEST price matched before off: 2.86 (around 15/8) (£5,988 matched)
HIGHEST price matched before off: 3.35 (around 9/4) (£311 matched)
In running LOW: 1.01 (£25,093 matched)
In running HIGH: Not matched higher than price at off

MIGHTY MAN repeated his success of last year with a smooth 13 length success of the opening John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle. He traded at 2.14 in running when taking up the lead before the home turn and was down to 1.26 at the second last and 1.02 jumping the last flight. He never traded at higher odds in running than before the race. The runner-up Black Jack Ketchum just edged favouritism on Betfair at the off trading at 2.94 ahead of Mighty Man at 2.96.


Race 2 Winner's Quotes
Betfair Bowl Chase

EXOTIC DANCER IN A DIFFERENT CLASS

Exotic Dancer paid a huge compliment to his totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup conqueror Kauto Star when hacking up in today's feature race, the £150,000 Betfair Bowl.


All the major bookmakers cut the Jonjo O'Neill-trained seven-year-old for next year's Cheltenham Festival highlight after he sauntered home under Tony McCoy. The Betfred Gold Cup, on April 28, is Exotic Dancer's next target - he will carry topweight of 11st 12lb, and Barry Simpson, racing manager to the horse's owner, Sir Robert Ogden, is emphatic their horse will stay the trip of three miles and five furlongs.


Reflecting on today's victory, O'Neill said: “He's done nothing but go the right way since Carlisle [he was beaten in a three-horse race there in the autumn]. It's a pity Kauto Star has been around this year, but that's the way it goes. In fairness, he was entitled to win today, but to keep holding his form shows what a good horse he is - even I can't mess him up!

“It was nice to watch. They went a right good gallop early on and the ground was a little bit quicker than he's been running on, but once he got into a rhythm he was grand. He did hit one or two but he did everything right. He met a great horse in Kauto Star [in Kempton's King George VI Chase and at Cheltenham], but to win here is marvellous. He's in the Betfred so we'll see how he comes out of this race."

O'Neill added of Black Jack Ketchum, who was beaten in today's John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle: "Maybe he didn't stay, so all options are open. We were happy with him coming to this meeting, but he's been beaten by a horse who is very good round here."

Betfred kept Exotic Dancer at 10-1 for next year's totesport Gold Cup, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and totesport offer 8-1, while William Hill and Stan James are 7-1.


Tony McCoy, the winning jockey, added: “He was very impressive. He didn't jump the first circuit for some reason - probably the fellow on his back - but he had the best form in the race, and I had no doubt if he got round he would win.


"I gave him a squeeze at the ditch and he half put down on me, and the one after I went down to let him pop, and I wasn't positive enough in taking him back, and he was a bit clumsy on me, but he's that kind of horse, touch wood, he seems to be able to get out the other side.

"He's got loads of class. Kauto Star is the superstar that everyone said he was but we'll look forward to having another go next year."

BETFAIR REPORT

Winner: Exotic Dancer Price at off: 2.70 (around 7/4)
LOWEST price matched before off: 2.34 (around 11/8) (£1,398 matched)
HIGHEST price matched before off: 3.00 (2/1) (£3,002 matched)
In running LOW: 1.01 (1/100) (£27,098 matched)
In running HIGH: 13 (12/1) (£176 matched)
EXOTIC DANCER hit a momentary high of 12/1 in running when clouting the third fence but very quickly went odds-on in running before running out an impressive 13 length winner of the Betfair Bowl Chase. With a circuit to go Exotic Dancer and State Of Play were both trading at 3.40 (around 5/2) in running but Exotic Dancer, who was travelling supremely well on the final circuit, was already odds on and down to 1.53 before the fourth last fence. Runner-up My Will traded at a low of 2.9 (around 15/8) in running for £137.





Race 2 - Betfair Bowl - Placed Quotes

WILL RUNS WELL, STATE DOES HIS BEST

My Will ran a pleasing race to be finish second, some 13 lengths adrift of the winner Exotic Dancer in the £150,000 Betfair Bowl.


Mark Stewart, of owners the Stewart Family, commented: “That was a great run.


“You can forget his run last time out in the Gold Cup, he’s a much better horse than that.


“He is a real stayer and today on a flat track he has run well to finish second to a Gold Cup runner-up. He was simply beaten by a better horse on the day.


“We came here expecting place money and that’s what we’ve got.


“He could now go to Punchestown and he’s also in the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown. We’ll see how he is before we decide where he goes next.”

Back in fourth was State Of Play and his trainer Evan Williams was satisfied with the performance of his charge.


The Welsh handler said: “He simply wasn’t good enough on the day, but he has run his heart out once again.


“That will be it for the season now and he is off on his holidays.


“I don’t know where we will start off with him next year and it will be tough for him.

“He’s won a Hennessy Gold Cup and will always have a special place in my heart.


“I am still very proud of him.”



Race 3 - John Smith’s Anniversary 4YO Novices’ Hurdle - Winning Quotes

KATCHIT ROUNDS OFF WITH IMPRESSIVE ANNIVERSARY WIN

Katchit brought down the curtain on his wonderful season with an authoritative victory in the John Smith’s Anniversary 4YO Novices’ Hurdle for owner D S J P Syndicate, trainer Alan King and jockey Robert Thornton.


The winner travelled well throughout and saw off a determined challenge from Punjabi to score by four lengths with Degas Art a further eight lengths back in third.


Alan King said: “I thought we needed Katchit to win today as he was the only one of ours I really fancied this week!

“He showed he was top-class when winning the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. My only concern was that I thought it might have been one race too many for him.


“He had been working superbly at home and recently worked with My Way De Solzen - I couldn’t have dreamt that back in November or December.


“That will almost definitely be it for the season now. He is entered at Punchestown but we only really put him in there in case something happened here.


“Originally, the plan was for him to go chasing next year but now there is no five-year-old allowance in the Arkle that plan has been rathers ballsed up!

“He will now go down the hurdling route. I don’t know where he will start off although the Bula Hurdle at Cheltenham could be an option.”

Robert Thornton added: "The only thing that worried me was getting from A to B - I had Blazing Bailey on the floor earlier and I didn't want that to happen again. He's done it well and I'm pleased with him.

"He obviously has ability but a lot of it is to do with attitude. He loves it. Alan said when he worked him first time he thought he would win a race, and the more runs he had, the better he worked. At home he'll work with anything, he just loves the game, it's as simple as that.

"He's done nothing more than he had to after the last. He's a great horse to have anything to do with. He's a difficult horse to judge. You feel like you're going easy, but he's very small and doesn't seem to cover the ground, but he's obviously quick in whatever he does. He owes us nothing now."


Race 3 Place Quotes
John Smith's Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle

WYLIE HAPPY WITH ART

Katchit proved the best of the season's juvenile hurdlers once again, but there was much for Nicky Henderson to be pleased about in the progress of Punjabi.


He was fourth to Katchit in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, but closed the gap and finished second today.

Henderson said: “He made a mistake at the first hurdle in the home straight [third last], but quicker ground today made a big difference.”


Graham Wylie, trainer of third-placed Degas Art, said: “I'm very happy with him. He ran a blinder.

“He's still a bit weak and he's had a long season on the Flat and over jumps, so we'll give him a break now. He'll be back out hurdling next season when he'll be a stronger horse.”


Francois Doumen, trainer of fourth-placed Grand Bleu, said: “He ran a very good race for the future. It was too dry and too short today, but when we have two and a half miles and soft ground we have a champion horse.”

BETFAIR REPORT

Winner: Katchit
Price at off: 2.18 (around 6/5)
LOWEST price matched before off: 1.81 (around 4/5) (£78 matched)
HIGHEST price matched before off: 3.20 (around 9/4) (£6 matched)
In running LOW: 1.01 (1/100) (£30,259 matched)
In running HIGH: 5.8 (around 5/1) (£212 matched)

The remarkable KATCHIT followed up his Triumph Hurdle success at Cheltenham with another easy success in the John Smith's Anniversary Novices' Hurdle. He never traded higher than around 5/1 in running and was still trading at his starting odds four out but down to 1.4 in running two out. Second favourite Punjabi hit an in-running low of 2.35.


Race 4 Quotes
John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase

BURTON BLOOMS ON GREY

Three-time British point-to-point champion Richard Burton scooped one of the sport's biggest prizes when winning the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase on Scots Grey.


Burton had to be at his strongest after a head-to-head battle from the final bend with runner-up Pak Jack, who was beaten half a length.


Burton, 30, a commercial property surveyor who lives in Cheshire, said: "He was foot-perfect today. I knew I would never have a better chance in this race and I'm over the moon. The big ones don't come round very often."

Burton admitted he had only gained the ride because Jamie Snowden, assistant to Scot's Grey's trainer Nicky Henderson, broke his ankle in a point last month. Burton said: " He's Jamie Snowden's ride, but he's broken his ankle. I thank my lucky stars, but poor old Jamie.


"The runner-up made a mistake at the second-last and I've winged it and it was nip and tuck all the way up the run-in. Three years ago he nearly killed himself round here in the Topham when he turned over at the Canal Turn with Mick [Fitzgerald], then last year he was a little careful and finished 11th in that race.

“He's come here in good form today in a lower class race. He wasn't bad over the early fences, but in the last half of the race we got to know each other.


"I've now ridden a Festival winner this season [on Don McCain Jnr's Cloudy Lane in the Fulke Walwyn/Kim Muir Chase] and now this - it's amazing. I can't take it in."

Henderson commented: “I thought we were beaten when the other horse [Pak Jack] went past but one good thing about this old boy is he doesn't mind a battle. Three years ago in the Topham Mick was having the ride of a lifetime and they got too brave going down to the Canal Turn.

“I said I'd never bring this horse back to Aintree, but he jumped all right when we came back last year and he was fine today once he got bowling along. He's done a lot of hunting because he's a top of the ground horse and there was no point running in the middle of winter.


"Jamie would have ridden him, but broke his ankle, and Sam (Waley-Cophen) would have been on him, but he had Katarino to ride. So I said whoever rides him at Newbury [in his prep for this] will keep the ride at Aintree."

Henderson rode the winner of the Fox Hunters’ 30 years ago on Happy Warrior, while Willie Carson, the former champion Flat jockey and BBC racing pundit, bred Scots Grey.

BETFAIR REPORT

Winner: Scots Grey Price at off: 5.6 (around 9/2)
LOWEST price matched before off: 4.50 (7/2) (£647 matched)
HIGHEST price matched before off: 7 (6/1) (£6 matched)
In running LOW: 1.01 (1/100) (£17,114 matched)
In running HIGH: 22 (21/1) (£14 matched)
The superb finish to the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase produced some dramatic last minute in-running trading. The runner-up Pak Jack was matched as low as 1.12 (2,947) before being caught again by SCOTS GREY who hit an in-running high of 22 (£14). Scots Grey who was bowling along in the lead was already trading 'odds on' in running (1.75) at the Canal Turn and at five from home was down to 1.56, but the odds changed dramatically when Pak Jack arrived on the scene and took up the running. At the second last Pak Jack was down to 1.27 and at the last as low as 1.18 but by the elbow the odds flip-flopped again with Scots Grey at 1.4 and Pak Jack out to 2.04. Pak Jack was matched at 270 near the line as Scots Grey held on for his ½ length success.




Race 4 - John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase - Placed Quotes

PAK JAK RUNS A BLINDER

Pak Jak pleased his connections after running a tremendously gallant race to finish second in the John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase.


The seven-year-old fought a dour battle after the last with Scots Grey and found that rival only half a length too strong as they crossed the line.


Trainer Richard Barber, commented: “I am very happy with him.


“I thought we might just have it at one point but he’s still run a great race.”

Pak Jak is owned by former trainer David Loder and runs in the colours of Glencoe Inv.


Loder added: “I bought this horse myself.


“He is only seven, the youngest horse in the race I think, and has run a blinder.


“I would hope that he might be able to go for the Grand National itself one day. I think he would stay the trip as he seems to just keep on galloping.


“He certainly loves this faster ground and we might be able to find another opportunity for him this year.

“Maybe I will have to take out my licence again and look after him myself! These jumps men always want the summer off!”



Race 5 - John Smith’s Red Rum Handicap Chase - Winning Quotes

BAMBI A WELCOME TONIC FOR WILLIAMS

Ian Williams has not enjoyed the best of seasons but Bambi De L’Orme provided the Alvechurch handler with a welcome change of luck when collecting the £70,000 John Smith’s Red Rum Handicap Chase under jockey Dominic Elsworth.


The winner stayed on well after the last to hold off the challenge of Marshall Hall to score by a length and a half.


Ian Williams said: “He really deserved to win a good race as he’s been one of the most unfortunate horses I’ve trained.


“He was on a nice handicap mark today and Dominic has given him a super ride. He jumps well and that has really helped him today.


“My main concern was that he might have hit the front a bit soon but he galloped on resolutely.


“He was unlucky in the past in that he was beaten by Oneway when that horse was well handicapped and he was beaten at Cheltenham by Fota Island in the Grand Annual when that horse was well-handicapped.


“I thought he couldn’t carry on being unlucky! The track really suits him here - he was running well here last year when he was brought down.


“It has been a difficult season for us, but this has been a nice end and hopefully it augurs well for next season.


“His owners Mr and Mrs Poynton are on holiday at the moment and I need to discuss it with them, but he could maybe run again this year as he loves good ground. He could maybe run in Pattern races next year.”




Race Five: John Smith's Red Rum Handicap Chase
Placed Horses Quotes:

MARSHALL HALL STILL IMPROVING

Ferdy Murphy was justifiably proud of Marshall Hall, despite his six-year-old's winning run coming to an end when he found one too good in Bambi de L'Orme in the John Smith's Red Rum Novices' Chase.


Murphy said:"I was very pleased with that, especially as Marshall Hall could have done with a little more cover.


"Graham (Lee) reported that they parted in front of him at the last ditch like the Red Sea, which meant he was left in front too soon, and it just found him out.


"He will have learned more out there than from those three previous wins, and he is only a six-year-old who can but improve.


"We will have a look at Ayr next week, but it could come too soon, in which case we might take him to Punchestown.


"Graham's only worry with an Irish excursion was that the horse does tend to jump a bit left-handed, but the owner has a stud next door to Punchestown, where he will go in the summer, so he is obviously keen to have a runner."

Peter Monteith was similarly pleased with Locksmith, who disputed the lead for much of the way and kept on to finish third.


He said:"Locksmith is electric at his fences, and he is as tough as old boots, so the plan is to go on to Ayr next week. He won on both the Friday and Saturday there two years ago, and we might even attempt the double again, but we'll aim for the two and a half-miler first and take it from there."

Ruby Walsh took a crashing fall from Andreas at the second last and, having looked shaken as he walked back, he was stood down by the doctor for his last two rides today.


Walsh, who rides Hedgehunter in Saturday's John Smith's Grand National, will need to pass a doctor before being cleared to ride tomorrow.


BETFAIR REPORT

Winner: Bambi De L'Orme
Price at off: 8.8 (around 15/2)
LOWEST price matched before off: 8.2 (around 7/1) (£1,337 matched)
HIGHEST price matched before off: 14 (13/1) (£4 matched)
In running LOW: 1.01 (1/100) (£27,145 matched)
In running HIGH: 14 (13/1) (£4 matched)
BAMBI LE L'ORME was well supported in the 4.20 Red Rum Handicap Chase and never traded at higher odds in-running than before the start of the race. He was a 1.25 chance jumping the last. Stan, who was matched as high as 95 before the off traded as low as 2.24 (£112) in running and the runner-up Marshall Hall was a bigger in-running casualty with £509 matched as low as 1.22. Andreas was trading as in-running favourite at 2.20 (£58) before falling.




Race 6 Quotes
Citroen C4 Picasso Mersey Novices' Hurdle


TIDAL PUTS BRENNAN ON A WAVE

Tidal Bay had to accept second place to Massini's Maguire in the Ballymore Properties Hurdle at Cheltenham, but he came home in front on this occasion, vindicating the belief of jockey Paddy Brennan.


Brennan praised trainer Howard Johnson and said: “All credit to Howard who's done a great job with this horse. If you'd seen him at the start of the season you would never have believed he could look this good, but the boss and Ginny [Wright] who looks after him have turned him around.


“Of all the young horses I've ever ridden, this one could have the most potential. When you watch him walking around in the parade ring you can see class - he's got an amazing stride and so much natural ability. He's good and still only a frame of a horse.


“"We knew a lot more about him today which was a massive help. He finished second at Cheltenham and ran a mighty race there. The one thing we knew today was that he would stay. He really knuckled down up the straight.

"He loved the ground - you couldn't have enough compliments about that ground. It's the nicest ground I've ever ridden on, so fair play to Aintree. He's been winning on heavy ground, and he's come here and improved again. He's a very good horse and to me, good horses go on any ground.


"This is great for Howard and also for Graham Wylie [the horse's owner]. This is Graham's first Aintree Festival winner."

Johnson said: "That's him finished for the season, but he's done well and will be back next year, probably chasing. I know it's close and warm today, but he was cool, whereas normally he's been lathered. Good ground suits him best."

BETFAIR REPORT
Winner: Tidal Bay Price at off: 3.4 (around 5/2)
LOWEST price matched before off: 3.3 (around 9/4) (£3,510 matched)
HIGHEST price matched before off: 4.1 (around 3/1) (£10 matched)
In running LOW: 1.01 (1/100) (£39,073 matched)
In running HIGH: 5 (4/1) (£8,697 matched)
Wins Now hit an in-running low of 1.68 (£79) just before his mistake at the last sealed victory for TIDAL BAY who traded at a high of 5 in running at the final flight. Tidal Bay was odds-on coming into the home turn trading at 1.71 with Wins Now at 3.4.





EMMA TORY TAKEN TO HOSPITAL

Emma Tory, who was 'buried' at the Chair (third fence) when Our Jolly Swagman took a purler in the John Smith's Fox Hunters’ Chase, was taken to hospital for an x-ray on her upper shoulder.

However, a course spokesman stressed that it was "purely precautionary".


INTO THE SHADOWS

Into The Shadows was pulled up the final race over hurdles by his jockey who felt the horse was not right and dismounted. A vet checked the horse, who was found to be sound. Into The Shadows then collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack.



Race 7 - John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle - Winning Quotes

WEST WINS HIS “DERBY”

Two Miles West benefited from the last fence fall of Special Envoy to lift the final race on day one of the John Smith Grand National Meeting, the John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles.


Special Envoy had the race at his mercy when falling at the last, leaving a thrilling finish between the winner, Gods Token and Shatabdi, with the Jonjo O’Neill-trained six-year-old, a 25/1 chance, prevailing by a head under Noel Fehily.


Jonjo O’Neill said: “That was well done - I always knew he would win! It helps when you have a bit of luck on your side.


“I think we may keep going with him this season as likes this quicker ground.


“I think he might be in at Punchestown and there is also a race at Haydock over 2m 7f that may be suitable for him. There is also Sandown to consider.”

The winner boasts a classic pedigree, being by multiple champion sire Sadler’s Wells out of the 1992 Oaks heroine User Friendly.


O’Neill continued: “He had a wind problem in his younger days which held him back.


“You could say that today was his Derby victory!”



Race 6 - Citroen C4 Picasso Mersey Novices’ Hurdle - Placed Quotes

BERRY NOT SURE IF MISTAKE MADE A DIFFERENCE

Frank Berry, Racing Manager to owner J P McManus, was unsure whether the mistake by Wins Now at the final flight in the Citroen C4 Picasso Mersey Novices’ Hurdle had cost the six-year-old the race.


He said: “Wins Now has run a blinder.


“It’s hard to say whether the mistake at the last cost Wins Now the race as the winner certainly wasn’t stopping.


“In any case, our horse ran well and we are very pleased with him.”



Race 7 Place Quotes
John Smith's Handicap Hurdle


CODS DELIGHTED WITH GODS

Members of the Silver Cod Partnership who own Gods Token were delighted with the effort of their horse, who finished second in this handicap hurdle.


Spokesman Peter Deal, who owned Champion Hurdle winner Make A Stand, said: “We're thrilled with this horse. What a star!

“He's all guts and in another 50 yards might have won. If the handicapper gives him half a chance he might win another one. He was running on at Cheltenham behind Pedrobob which is why we thought this was the ideal race for him.”

Sam Waley-Cohen nearly added to his fine Aintree record on Shatabdi who finished third after leading for most of the run-in.

The rider's father, Robert, who owns Shatabdi, said: “She ran very well. Sam's very good value for a 7lb claimer. This mare will run for another season and may have one more outing this season - there's a nice mares' race at Punchestown and she handled the step up to two and a half miles very well.”


BETFAIR REPORT

Winner: Two Miles West Price at off: 38 (37/1)
LOWEST price matched before off: 25 (24/1) (£11 matched)
HIGHEST price matched before off: 60 (59/1) (£260 matched)
In running LOW: 1.01 (1/100) (£63,568 matched)
In running HIGH: 100 (99/1) (£1 matched)
In running carnage as Special Envoy came to grief at the last with the race at his mercy. £4,778 was matched at the minimum in running odds of 1.01 (1/100). The race was then fought out between TWO MILES WEST who had hit an in-running high of 59/1 and Gods Token who was another short priced runner beaten in running - at 1.06 for £1,368.





GOING

The going for the opening day of the 2007 John Smith’s Grand National meeting is:

GOOD

on both the Mildmay/Hurdles course and the Grand National course.


Andrew Tulloch, Clerk of the Course at Aintree, said today: “Both courses have been watered and the watering process will continue up until racing begins this afternoon.


“Today is predicted to be a fine day, with John Kettley forecasting that the temperature reaching 19 degrees Celsius, while the temperature should rise to 20 degrees tomorrow and 22 on Saturday.”


SUPERB BALTIKA BEER AINTREE HURDLE IN PROSPECT

A cracking contest is in store for the £160,000 Baltika Beer Aintree Hurdle (2.50pm), the Grade One hurdle run over two and a half miles at Aintree on Saturday.


Last year Asian Maze was the stunning 17-length winner and the Tom Mullins-trained mare is set to take her chance once again, although she has not been seen at her best so far this season, most recently finishing seventh behind Sublimity in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.


Among her 12 opponents this year are Afsoun, a fine third last time out in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle. A major disappointment in that race was Detroit City, trained by Philip Hobbs, who had previously looked to be a hurdler of the highest class following wins at Cheltenham and Aintree last season and further wins at Cheltenham and Sandown this season.

Black Jack Ketchum, who proved such an anti-climax at Cheltenham when falling at the third flight in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham, has been declared by Jonjo O’Neill but is set to run in today’s John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle.


In addition to Asian Maze, there are three other challengers from Ireland - the John Queally-trained Al Eile, who got the better of Inglis Drever by a neck in this contest two years ago, Jazz Messenger, winner of the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton earlier this season and Strangely Brown, who was successful at last year’s John Smith’s Grand National meeting when taking a handicap hurdle.

Other interesting contenders include Gaspara, trained by David Pipe, who recorded a memorable double last month when collecting the Sunderlands Imperial Cup at Sandown Park and the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham three days later. Arcalis, winner of the 2005 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, has been generally disappointing this season but showed signs of a revival last time out in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle at Cheltenham while the three other declared runners - Kawagino, Whispered Promises and Star Antique - all look to face very stiff tasksg.




FIRST RACE RESULT

2.00pm JOHN SMITH’S LIVERPOOL HURDLE (GRADE TWO)
£70,000 guaranteed, 3m 1/2f, For 4yo+ Weights 4yo 10st 8lb; 5yo+ 11st 2lb Penalties after September 30, 2005, a winner of a class 2 wieght-for-age hurdle or a class 1 handicap hurdle 4lb; of a class 1 weight-for-age hurdle 8lb (half penalties for wins achieved in novice hurdles in GB and Ireland) Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 11pay £280 Penalty Value 1st £39,914; 2nd £14,973; 3rd £7,497; 4th £3,738; 5th £1,876; 6th £938

1 Mighty Man (FR) (Joss Hanbury) Henry Daly 7-11-10 Richard Johnson 15/8
2 Black Jack Ketchum (IRE) (Gay Smith) Jonjo O'Neill 8-11-10 Tony McCoy 7/4f
3 Inglis Drever (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 8-11-10 Paddy Brennan 7/2
4 Lough Derg (FR) (W Frewen) David Pipe 7-11-2v Tom Scudamore
F 10th Blazing Bailey (Three Line Whip) Alan King 5-11-10 Robert Thornton
PU before 10th Fire Dragon (IRE) (Gay Smith) Jonjo O'Neill 6-11-10bt Noel Fehily

6 ran
Distances: 13, 9, 24
Breeding: b g Sir Harry Lewis (USA) - Vanina II (Fr)
Breeder: Evan Hanbury
Totes: Win: £2.70 Places: £1.60; £1.70 Exacta: £5.10

Winning Jockey: Richard Johnson Date of birth: 21/07/77, Madley, Hereford Background: Parents Keith and Sue have a farm in Madley. Joined David Nicholson, aged 16 First winner 30 April 1994, Rusty Bridge, Exeter Number of Wins (1993/94-2005/2006): 1; 12; 53; 102; 120; 133; 143; 161; 132; 147; 186; 135; 167 Cheltenham Festival wins: (13) Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle (1999 Anzum), Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup H’cap Chase (2000 Dark Stranger, 2003 Young Spartacus), Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup (2000 Looks Like Trouble), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2002 Flagship Uberalles), County Hurdle (2002 Rooster Booster), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (2003 Rooster Booster), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2003 One Knight), Cathcart Chase (2003 La Landiere), Coral Cup (2004 Monkerhostin), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2004 Made in Japan, 2006 Detroit City), Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Massini’s Maguire) Leading Rider At the Festival: 2002 (2). Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (1997 Midnight Legend, 2000 Phardante Flyer, 2002 In Contrast, 2005 Mighty Man), Belle Epoque Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1997 Forest Ivory), Martell Cup Chase (1998 Escartefigue), Heidsieck Monopole Mildmay Novices’ Chase (1999 Spendid, 2001 What’s Up Boys), Sportsman Anniversary 4yo Novices’ Hurdle (2000 Lord Brex, 2006 Detroit City), John Hughes Trophy Chase (2001 Gower-Slave) Red Rum Handicap Chase (2002 Dark N’ Sharp), John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2006 & 2007 Mighty Man) Other Big Race Wins: Aon Chase (2004, Shooting Light, 2005 Farmer Jack), BMW Chase (2003 Flagship Uberalles), Bonusprint.com Gold Cup (2004 Monkerhostin), Boylesports.com International (2006 Detroit City), Bula Hurdle (2002 Rooster Booster), Concorde at Jet.com Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Fair Along), Greatwood Hurdle (2006 Detroit City), Haldon Gold Cup (2005 Monkerhostin), Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (2004 Florida Pearl), Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (2006 Fair Along), Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase (2006 Fair Along), James Nicholson Wine Merchant Champion Chase (2000 Looks Like Trouble), Pendil Novices’ Chase (2003 Hand Inn Hand), Pillar Property Chase (2003 Behrajan), Racing Post Chase (2000 Gloria Victis, 2001 Young Spartacus, 2002 Gunter Mcbride, 2005 Farmer Jack), Rendlesham Hurdle (2004 Monkerhostin), Red Square Vodka Champion Hurdle Trial (2004 Rooster Booster), Tingle Creek Trophy (2000 Flagship Uberalles), Tote Silver Cup (2002 Behrajan), Scottish Champion Hurdle (2003 in Contrast), Welsh National (1999 Edmond) Wins This Season: 148

Winning Trainer: HENRY DALY Based: Downton Hall Stables, Ludlow, Shropshire Cheltenham Festival Wins (3): National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Novices’ Chase (2000 Relaxation), Mildmay Of Flete Challenge Cup Chase (2003 Young Spartacus), Grand Annual Chase (2003 Palarshan) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Mighty Man); John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2006 & 2007 Mighty Man) Big Race Wins Include: Tolworth Hurdle (1999 Behrajan), Mildmay & Cazalet Handicap Chase (2000 Lancastrian Jet), Totesport Exacta Long Distance Hurdle (2000 Behrajan), Racing Post Chase (Young Spartacus), Silver Cup Chase (2002 Behrajan, 2006 Billyvoddan), Long Walk Hurdle (2006 Mighty Man) Number of Winners (1998/99-2005/06): 35; 38; 25; 28; 28; 43; 31; 35 Wins This Season: 33



SECOND RACE RESULT

2.35pm BETFAIR BOWL CHASE (GRADE TWO)
£150,000 guaranteed, 3m 1f, Mildmay Course, For 5yo+ Weights 5yo 10st 7lb; 6yo+ 11st 2lb Penalties after September 30, 2005, a winner of a class 3 weight-for-age chase or a class 2 handicap chase 4lb; of a class 2 weight-for age chase or a class 1 handicap chase 6lb; of a class 1 weight-for-age chase 10lb Allowances mares 7lb Entries 9 pay £575 Penalty Value 1st £85,530; 2nd £32,085; 3rd £16,065; 4th £8,010; 5th £4,020

1 Exotic Dancer (FR) (Sir Robert Ogden) Jonjo O'Neill 7-11-12p Tony McCoy 6/4f
2 My Will (FR) (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 7-11- 8 Ruby Walsh 5/1
3 Our Vic (IRE) (David Johnson) David Pipe 9-11-12 Timmy Murphy 10/1
4 State of Play (Mr & Mrs William Rucker) Evan Williams 7-11-8 Paul Moloney
5 Turpin Green (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Nicky Richards 8-11-8b Tony Dobbin

5 ran
Distances: 13, 12, 6, 10
Breeding: b g Turgeon (USA) - Northine (FR)
Breeder: Gaetan Gilles & Ecurie Jules Ouaki
Totes: Win: £2.10 Places: £1.50; £2.30 Exacta: £18.10

Winning Trainer: JONJO O’NEILL Born: April 13, 1952 Based: Jackdaws Castle, Gloucestershire Career: former National Hunt jockey Cheltenham Festival Wins (14): Pertemps Final (1991 Danny Connors, 2003 Inching Closer, 2004 Creon); National Hunt Chase (1995 Front Line, 2002 Rith Dubh, 2003 Sudden Shock, 2004 Native Emperor, 2007 Butler’s Cabin); Vincent O’Brien County H’cap Hurdle (2000 Master Tern), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2003 Spectroscope), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Black Jack Ketchum, 2007 Wichita Lineman), Christie’S Foxhunter Chase (2007 Drombeag) Aintree Festival wins: Betfair Bowl (2007 Exotic Dancer), betfair.com Handicap Chase (2000 Radiation, 2002 Carbury Cross, 2003 Master Tern), John Smith’s Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle (2002 Sudden Shock, 2006 Refinement), John Smith’s Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Quazar), John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), John Smith’s Topham Chase (2003 Clan Royal), Citroen C6 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Iris’s Gift, 2006 Black Jack Ketchum), John Smith’s Champion Standard National Hunt Flat Race (2003 Classic Native), John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), S&N Aintree Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy) Other Big Race Wins: Ballymore Properties Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Black Jack Ketchum), Challow Hurdle (2002 Coolnagorna, 2006 Wichita Lineman), Christmas Hurdle (2002 & 2003 Intersky Falcon), Cleeve Hurdle (2006 Fire Dragon), Edward Hanmer Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Emo Oil Champion Hurdle (2003 Quazar), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), Greatwood Hurdle (2005 Lingo), John James McManus Memorial Hurdle (2002 & 2003 Intersky Falcon), Kingwell Hurdle (2003 Rhinestone Cowboy), Paddy Power Champion INH Flat Race (2005 Refinement), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2006 Exotic Dancer), Punchestown Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle (2002 Quazar), Reynoldstown Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Swinton Handicap Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), Tommy Whittle Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Tripleprint Gold Cup (1999 Legal Right), Totesport Becher Chase (2003 Clan Royal), Totesport Silver Cup (2000 Legal Right), Totesport Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle (2002 Native Emperor), Welsh National (2002 Mini Sensation) Number of Winners (1995/96-2005/06): 18; 17; 32; 38; 44; 58; 113; 114; 102; 96; 105 Wins this Season: 117

Winning Jockey: Anthony Peter McCoy Date of Birth: 04/05/74 First Winner: Thurles, 26/03/92 (First winner in Britain: 07/09/94, Exeter, Chickabiddy) Apprenticeship: Four years with Jim Bolger. Aintree Festival Wins: Mumm Melling Chase (1996 Viking Flagship), Glenlivet Anniversary Hurdle (1996 Zabadi, 1999 Hors La Loi III), Barton & Guestier Novices’ Hurdle (1998 Fataliste), John Smith’s Top Novices Hurdle (2006 Straw Bear), John Hughes Trophy Chase (1998 Cyfor Malta, 2000 Northern Starlight), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (1998 Boss Doyle, 2005 Like-A-Butterfly), Citroen C6 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1998 Unsinkable Boxer, 2006 Black Jack Ketchum), Martell Aintree Hurdle (1998 Pridwell), Martell Cognac Handicap Hurdle (1996 Top Spin, 2003 Carlovent) John Smith’s Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle (2006 Refinement), Chivas Regal Novices’ Hcap Chase (1999 Royal Predica), John Smith’s Red Rum Handicap Chase (2003 Golden Alpha, 2005 Fota Island), Betfair Bowl Chase (2004 Tiutchev, 2007 Exotic Dancer), Martell Maghull Novices’ Chase (2004 Well Chief), John Smith’s No Nonsense Handicap Hurdle (2005 Genghis), John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (2006 Foreman) Cheltenham Festival Wins: (19) Grand Annual Chase (1996 Kibreet, 1998 Edredon Bleu), Irish Independent Arkle Chase (1997 Or Royal, 1998 Champleve, 2004 Well Chief), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (1997 Make A Stand, 2006 Brave Inca), Tote Gold Cup (1997 Mr Mulligan), Cathcart Chase (1998 Cyfor Malta, 2002 Royal Auclair), Pertemps Final (1998 Unsinkable Boxer), Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle (1998 Blowing Wind), Gerrard Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1999 Hors La Loi III), Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup Hcap Chase (1999 Majadou), Queen Mother Champion Chase (2000 Edredon Bleu), Weatherbys Champion Bumper (2003 Liberman), Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase (2006 Reveillez), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Black Jack Ketchum, 2007 Wichita Lineman) Leading Rider at The Festival: 1997 (3), 1998 (5). Other major wins: AIG Europe Champion Hurdle (2006 Brave Inca), Ballymore Properties “Classic” Nov Hdle (2007 Wichita Lineman), Cleeve Hurdle (2003 Classified), Challow Hurdle (2001 Classified, 2006 Wichita Lineman), December Festival Hurdle (2005 Brave Inca), Feltham Novices’ Chase (2005 Darkness), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2006 Straw Bear), Finale Juvenile Hurdle (2004 Phar Bleu), First National Gold Cup H’cap Chase (2000 Upgrade, 2001 Wahiba Sands), Game Spirit Chase (2002 Lady Cricket), Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (2006 Brave Inca), Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (1998 Dines), King George VI Chase (2002 Best Mate), Kingwell Hurdle (2007 Straw Bear), Letheby & Christopher Cotswold Chase (1999 Cyfor Malta, 2007 Exotic Dancer), Long Distance Hurdle (1999 Galant Moss, 2003 Deano’s Beano, 2004 Baracouda), Long Walk Hurdle (2002 Deano’s Beeno, 2004 Baracouda), Mildmay & Cazalet Hcap Chase (1999 Eudipe), Rehearsal Chase (1996 Belmont King), Paddy Power Gold Cup (1998 Cyfor Malta, 2000 Lady Cricket, 2001Shooting Light, 2006 Exotic Dancer), Peterborough Chase (2005 Impek), Powers Gold Cup (2005 Like-A-Butterfly), Rendlesham Hurdle (2003 Deano’s Beano), Ritz Club Ascot Chase (2003 Tiutchev), Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (2000 Upgrade, 2003 Tarxien), Scottish Champion Hurdle (2005 Genghis), Scottish Grand National (1997 Belmont King), Sunderlands Imperial Cup (2003 Korelo), Tripleprint Gold Cup Chase (1998 Northern Starlight), Tote Gold Trophy (2002 Copeland), Winners 1994/5-2005/06: 74,175, 189,253,186,245,191, 289, 257, 209, 199; 178 Wins this season: 179


THIRD RACE RESULT

3.10pm JOHN SMITH’S ANNIVERSARY 4-Y-O NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
£130,000 guaranteed, 2m 1/2f, For 4yo Weights 11st Allowances fillies 7lb Entries 21 pay £500 Penalty Value 1st £74,126; 2nd £27,807; 3rd £13,923; 4th £6,942; 5th £3,484; 6th £1,742

1 Katchit (IRE) (D S J P Syndicate) Alan King 4-11-00 Robert Thornton Evens fav
2 Punjabi (Raymond Tooth) Nicky Henderson 4-11-00 Mick Fitzgerald 6/1
3 Degas Art (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 4-11-00 Paddy Brennan 15/2
4 Grand Bleu (IRE) (Uplifting Bloodstock Ltd) Francois Doumen FR 4-11-00 Jacques Ricou
5 Lightning Strike (GER) (John Nicholls (Trading) Ltd) Venetia Williams 4-11-00 Sam Thomas
6 Mobaasher (USA) (Seasons Holidays) Charlie Mann 4-11-00 Noel Fehily
7 River Logic (IRE) (R Fell) Alan Brown 4-11-00 Graham Lee
8 Doctor David (Dr D Myers) Caroline Bailey 4-11-00 Tom Messenger
PU after last Tritonix (IRE) (J P McManus) Philip Hobbs 4-11-00t Tony McCoy
PU bef 2 out Is It Me (USA) (J Billson) Paul Blockley 4-11-00b Mark Bradburne
PU after third last Sendani (FR) (Mr & Mrs R Nevison & Mr & Mrs G Mason) Paul Nicholls 4-11-00 Ruby Walsh
U last Marsam (IRE) (Liam Mulryan) John Murphy IRE 4-11-00 Edward Power

12 ran
Distances: 4, 8, 9, sh, 1 3/4, 15, 5
Breeding: b g Kalanisi (IRE) - Miracle
Breeder: D Burke
Totes: Win: £2.00 Places: £1.10; £1.90; £2.70 Exacta: £6.50

Winning Trainer: ALAN KING Born: December 13, 1966 Based: Barbury Castle Stables, Wroughton, Wiltshire Cheltenham Festival Wins (7): William Hill National Trophy Handicap Chase (2004 Fork Lightning), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2005 Penzance, 2007 Katchit), Arkle Challenge Trophy (2006 Voy Por Ustedes, 2007 My Way De Solzen), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen), Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (2007 Voy Por Ustedes) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Anniversary 4-Y-0 Hurdle (2007 Katchit), Citroen C6 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Stromness), John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2002 Spendid), John Smith’s HBLB TBA Mares’ Only NH (2005 Senorita Rumbalita), John Smith’s Champion Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (2006 Pangbourne) Big Race Wins: Bula Hurdle (1999 Relkeel), Betfair Handicap Hurdle (2006 Halcon Genelardais), Desert Orchid Chase (2006 Voy Por Ustedes), Dipper Novices’ Chase (2006 My Way De Solzen), Long Walk Hurdle (1999 Anzum, 2005 My Way De Solzen), Jim Ford Challenge Cup (2000 Spendid), Cleeve Hurdle (2004 Crystal d’Ainay), Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (2006 Voy Por Ustedes), National Spirit Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen), Ryman The Stationer Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Katchit), Coral Welsh National (2006 Halcon Genelardais) Number of Winners (1999/2000-2005/06): 27; 18; 34; 39; 47; 66; 63 Wins this Season: 84

Winning Jockey: Robert Thornton Date of birth: 14/7/78 First Winner Under Rules: K C’s Dancer (Cheltenham, October 25, 1995) Background: Joined David Nicholson as an amateur in 1995 and was crowned Champion Conditional in 1998. Wins (1995/96-2005/06): 3; 30; 71; 37; 23; 40; 56; 50; 73; 97; 73 Cheltenham Festival wins: (12) Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase (King Lucifer 1997), Pertemps Final (Pharanear 1997), William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase (2004 Fork Lightning, 2005 Kelami), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2005 Penzance, 2007 Katchit), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Moulin Riche), Irish Independent Arkle Trophy (2006 Voy Por Ustedes, 2007 My Way De Solzen), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2006 My Way De Solzen), Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase (2007 Voy Por Ustedes), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (2007Andreas) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Anniversary 4-Y-0 Hurdle (2007 Katchit), Martell Foxhunters’ Chase (Blue Cheek 1997), Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle (Shankar 1997), Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Stromness), Premier Convenience Stores Top Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Royal Shakespeare); John Smith’s Mares Only Nh Flat Race (2005 Senorita Rumbalita), John Smith’s Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race (2006 Pangbourne) Big Race Wins: Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (2004 Trouble At Bay), Agfa Diamond Handicap Chase (2005 Innox), Agfa Hurdle (2005 Self Defense), Bula Hurdle (2003 Rigmarole), Cleeve Hurdle (2004 Crystal D’ainay, 2007 Blazing Bailey), Desert Orchid Chase (2006 Voy Por Ustedes), Dipper Novices’ Chase (2006 My Way De Solzen), Coralpoker.com Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (1999 Flagship Uberalles, 2005 Kadount, 2006 Voy Por Ustedes), National Spirit Hurdle (My Way De Solzen), Rendlesham Hurdle (1999 Pharanear, 2005 Crystal D’ainay), Ryman The Stationer Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Katchit), Sporting Index Chase (2002 Famfoni), Totesport Long Walk Hurdle (2005 My Way De Solzen), Victor Chandler Chase (1999 Call Equiname), Wragg & Co Finesse Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Moneytrain, 2007 Katchit) Wins this Season: 94



FOURTH RACE RESULT

3.45pm JOHN SMITH’S FOX HUNTERS’ CHASE
£35,000 guaranteed, 2m 5 1/2f, Grand National Course, For 6yo+ which hold a hunters’ certificate issued during the current season by any recognised hunt and which, between January 1, 2005, and April 1, 2007 (inclusive), have won either a chase in GB or Ireland or an Open point-to-point (ie gentlemen’s, ladies and mixed open race) in GB or Ireland Weights 12st Allowances mares 7lb Entries 35 pay £175 Penalty Values 1st £21,007; 2nd £6,562.50; 3rd £3,279.50; 4th £1,641.50; 5th £819; 6th £413

1 Scots Grey (Henry Ponsonby) Nicky Henderson 12-12-00 Mr Richard Burton 9/2
2 Pak Jack (FR) (Glencoe Inv) Richard Barber 7-12-00 Mr Richard Harding 8/1
3 Where Now (IRE) (Karl Casey) John Queally IRE 11-12-00 Miss Nina Carberry 16/1
4 Arctic Times (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Eugene O'Sullivan IRE 11-12-00p Mr Richard McLernon 33/1
5 Ghadames (FR) (A Kirtley) Alan Kirtley 13-12-00 Mr Paul Callaghan 100/1
6 Drombeag (IRE) (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 9-12-00p Mr J T McNamara
7 Holy Joe (FR) (J Scarisbrick) Miss Venetia Williams 10-12-00 Mr Oliver Greenall
8 Beachcomber Bay (IRE) Ivan Keeling IRE 12-12-00 Mr J T Keeling
9 Van Ness (IRE) (T Edwrds) Katie Baimbridge 8-12-00 Mr Tim Edwards
10 Fable (USA) (A Egan) Gordon Elliott IRE 11-12-00t Mr Jamie Codd
11 Encore Cadoudal (FR) (H Thompson) Tina Jackson 9-12-00 Miss Tina Jackson
12 Eskimo Jack (IRE) Tom George 11-12-00 Mr Luke Morgan
13 Moving Earth (IRE) (Joyce Hulse) Charlie Ward 14-12-00 Mr Charlie Ward
14 Wilfie Wild (A Jackson) Lynne Ward 11-12-00 Mrs Lynne Ward
15 Tanager (Paul Fullagar, J Nash, Roddy Owen, P Yacomine) Mrs Karen Lawther 12-12-00 Mr Dickie Barrett
16 Gangsters R Us (IRE) (Ant Hill Mob) Andrew Parker 13-12-00 Mr Ran Morgan
17 Algarve (Frisby Syndicate) Niall Nevin IRE 10-12-00p Mr Michael O'Connor
18 River Dante (IRE) (18 Red Lions Partnership) Linda Blackford 10-12-00t Mr Josh Guerriero
19 Alphazar (IRE) (George Mullins) Willie Mullins IRE 12-12-00 Mr Emmett Mullins
F3 Benrajah (IRE) Fred Kirby 10-12-00 Mr Robert Tierney
UR3 Our Jolly Swagman (Nickolas Tory) Ali Tory 12-12-00b1 Miss Emma Tory
F10 Ned Kelly (IRE) (Sue Magnier) Edward O'Grady IRE 11-12-00 Mr Kevin Power 4/1f
F10 Le Passing (FR) (The Hon Mrs H Townshend) Paul Nicholls 8-12-00b Mr Tom Greenall
F12 Va Vavoom (IRE) (Fleur Hawes) Fleur Hawes 9-12-00 Mr David Kemp
UR12 Royal Hector (GER) (Three Counties Racing 2) Andy Hobbs 8-12-00 Mr Adrian Wintle
F13 Cedar Chief (Brian Murfin) Kevin Tork 10-12-00b Mr Gordon Gallagher
REF15 Jacksonville (FR) (Vicky Simpson) Vicky Simpson 10-12-00p Miss Vicky Simpson

27 ran
Distances: 1/2, 21, 1 1/2, 3/4, 9, 4, 2, 3/4, 15, 3 1/2, 2, 3/4, 4, sh, 3 1/2, 6, 28, 14
Time: 5m 31.4s
Breeding: gr g Terimon - Misowni
Totes: Win: £5.60 Places: £2.50; £3.50; £4.50 Exacta: £56.90

Winning Trainer: NICHOLAS (NICKY) JOHN HENDERSON Based: Seven Barrows, Lambourn, Hungerford, Berkshire Date of birth:10/12/50 Date of first licence: July (1978) Previous Occupation/Apprenticeship: Amateur jockey, assistant to Fred Winter 1975-78 Cheltenham Festival wins (31): County (1997 Barna Boy, 1993 Thumbs Up), Kim Muir (1990 Master Bob, 2002 The Bushkeeper, 2005 Juveigneur), Mildmay (1985,1986 The Tsarevich, 2005 Liberthine), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Cathcart (1994 Raymylette, 1990 Brown Windsor, 1999 and 2000 Stormyfairweather), Supreme Novices H (1986 River Ceiriog, 1992 Flown), Queen Mother (1992 Remittance Man), Arkle (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev), Smurfit Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986, 1987 See You Then),Triumph (1985 First Bout, 1987 Alone Success, 1999 Katarino), William Hill National Hunt H’cap Chase (2000 Marlborough), Royal & SunAlliance Chase (2005 Trabolgan), Ryanair Chase (2006 Fondmort), Racing Post Plate (2006 Non So), Grand Annual Chase (2006 Greenhope) Aintree Festival wins: John Smith’s Fo Hunter’s Chase (2007 Scots Grey), betafir.com Handicap Chase (1985 Green Bramble, 2004 Lord Of The River), John Smith’s Champion NH Flat Race (1987 Rustle), Citroen C6 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (1988 Rustle), John Smith’s Melling Chase (1992 Remittance Man), John Smith’s Topham Chase (1990 Wont Be Gone Long, 2006 Liberthine), John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase (1991 Sparkling Flame, 2003 Irish Hussar), John Smith’s Extra Smooth H’cap Hurdle (1995 Thinking Twice) Other major wins include: Haldon Gold Cup Chase (1993/94/95 Travado), First National Bank Gold Cup (1994 Raymylette, 2003 Iris Royal), Peterborough Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 1993 & 1995 Travado), Feltham Novices’ Chase (1991 Mutare, 1997 Fiddling The Facts), Victor Chandler Chase (1996 Big Matt, 2004 Isio, 2006 Tysou), Agfa Diamond Chase (1996 Amtrak Express), Scottish Champion Hurdle (1986 River Ceiriog), BMW Handicap Chase (1998 Big Matt), West Yorkshire Hurdle (1999 Silver Wedge), Gerry Feilden Hurdle (1999 Bacchanal), Totesport Gold Trophy Hcap Hurdle (1998 Sharpical, 2000 and 2004 Geos, 2001 Landing Light), AON Chase (2002 Bacchanal), Tripleprint Gold Cup (2002 Fondmort, 2003 Iris Royal), Ladbroke Hurdle (2002 Chauvinist), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2003 Fondmort), Racing Post Chase (2004 Marlborough), Vodafone Gold Cup (2004 Isio), Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (2005 Trabolgan), Finale Juvenile Hurdle (2005 Blue Shark), Adonis Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Punjabi), Docecote Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Shatabdi) Number of Winners (1982/83-2004/05): 40, 43, 40, 46, 67, 40, 43, 41, 49, 52, 53, 48, 45, 47, 58, 54, 73, 67, 81, 92, 69, 79; 53; 85 Wins this Season: 73

Winning Jockey: Richard Peter Lingen Burton Born: August 24, 1976 Based: Preston-On-Severn, Uffington, Shrewsbury First Winner: Fence Judge, Status: amateur rider who has won the British men’s point-to-point championship. Attended Shrewsbury School before Reading University, where he also rode out for Henrietta Knight in between lectures Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Fox Hunter’s Chase (2007 Scots Grey) Cheltenham Festival Wins (2): Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (2005 Juveigneur, 2007 Cloudy Lane)Other Big Race Victories: Wragge & Co Hunters’ Chase (1997 Rusty Bridge); Lynx Express Hunters’ Chase (2000 Coulton) Wins (2000/01-2005/06): 4; 9; 4; 1; 5; 6 Wins this season: 4



FIFTH RACE RESULT

4.20pm JOHN SMITH’S RED RUM HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE THREE)
£70,000 guaranteed, 2m, Mildmay Course, For 5yo+ Minimum Weight 10st Penalties after March 31, a winner of a chase 4lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb) Andreas’s Handicap Mark 154 Entries 20 pay £300 Penalty Value 1st £39,914; 2nd £14,973; 3rd £7,497; 4th £3,738; 5th £1,876; 6th £938

1 Bambi de L'Orme (FR) (Mr & Mrs John Poynton) Ian Williams 8-10-02 Dominic Elsworth 13/2
2 Marshall Hall (IRE) (Plantation Stud) Ferdy Murphy 6-10-02 Graham Lee 7/1
3 Locksmith (David Johnson) Peter Monteith 7-10-02 Wilson Renwick 12/1
4 Greenhope (IRE) (Lynne Wilson, Giles Wilson, Martin Landau) Nicky Henderson 9-10-12t Andrew Tinkler 25/1
5 Magic Sky (FR) (M Poste) Milton Harris 7-10-06 Charlie Poste (5)
6 Stan (NZ) (Paul Beck) Venetia Williams 8-9-11b Liam Treadwell (3)
7 Hasty Prince (J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 9-11-01 Tony McCoy 5/1f
8 Kit Carson (IRE) (N O’Flaherty) Charlie Swan, IRE 7-10-00 David Casey
9 Demi Beau (Cunningham Racing) Evan Williams 9-11-01 Barry Geraghty
10 Priors Dale (L Alexander) Emma Lavelle 7-11-2 Barry Fenton
F two out Andreas (FR) (Trevor Hemmings) Paul Nicholls 7-11-12t Ruby Walsh
F1 Alph (Andy Chard, Boris Thompson, Alan Jackson) Brett Johnson 10-10-03 Mattie Batchelor
PU bef two out Crossbow Creek (Mark Rimell) Mark Rimell 9-11-11 Robert Thornton
PU after 7th Jacks Craic (IRE) (Bbb Computer Services) John Spearing 8-10-06 Tony Evans
UR6 Marcel (FR) (David Johnson) David Pipe 7-10-09p Timmy Murphy

15 ran
Distances: 1 1/2, 4, 1 1/4, 1 3/4, nk, 8, 5, 4, 18
Breeding: gr g True Brave (USA) - Princesse Ira (FR)
Breeder: A F Peter & Classic Breeding SARL
Totes: Win: £8.80 Places: £2.80; £2.80; £5.00 Exacta: £54.90

Winning Trainer: IAN WILLIAMS Born: June 27, 1968 Based: Hob Hill Farm, Alvechurch, Worcs. Background: rode as an amateur, previously assistant to Jenny Pitman (1988 to 1991), Martin Pipe (August 1991 to December 1991), Francois Doumen FR (January 1992 to May 1996) Date of First Trainer’s Licence: August 1996 Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Red Rum Handicap Chase (2007 Bambi De L’Orme) Other Big Race Wins: Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Brewster), Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2004 Brewster) Number of Winners (1996/97-2005/06): 5, 14, 31, 42, 42, 48, 51, 50, 40, 28 Wins this Season: 17

Winning Jockey: Dominic Sebastian Elsworth Born: January 17, 1980 Background: Spent 10 years attached to the yard of Sue Smith, during which time he rode 192 winners for the trainer, but decided to go freelance in July 2006. Elsworth has ridden more winners for owner Trevor Hemmings in each the past four seasons than any other jockey (up to end of 2005/2006 season).He is Iris’s Gift’s regular schooling partner First Winner: Moonshine Dancer (Catterick, February 11, 1999). Number of Wins (2000/01-2005/06): 19; 15; 28; 49; 44; 46 Wins This Season: 39 Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Red Rum Handicap Chase (2007 Bambi De L’Orme) Other Big Race Wins: totesport.com Becher Chase (2002 Ardent Scout); Peter Marsh Chase (2004 Arctic Jack); Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (2007 Ursis); Towton Novices’ Chase (2004 Royal Emperor);Tommy Whittle Chase (2004 Chives); Skybet.com Castleford Chase (Jan 2005 & Dec 2005 Mister McGoldrick)



SIXTH RACE RESULT

4.55pm CITROEN C4 PICASSO MERSEY NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE TWO)
£55,000 guaranteed, 2m 4f, For 4yo+ Weights 4yo 10st 7lb; 5yo+ 11st Penalties a winner of a class 3 hurdle 3lb; of a class2 hurdle 5lb; of a class 1 hurdle 8lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb Entries 34 pay £250 Penalty Value 1st £31,361; 2nd £11,764.50; 3rd £5,890.50; 4th £2,937; 5th £1,474; 6th £737

1Tidal Bay (IRE) (Andrea & Graham Wylie) Howard Johnson 6-11-05 Paddy Brennan 9/4
2 Wins Now (J P McManus) Niall Madden IRE 6-11-03 Tony McCoy 11/2
3 Bedlam Boy (IRE) (T Ambler) Nicky Richards 6-11-05 Tony Dobbin 25/1
4 Larkwing (IRE) (Margaret Wilmott) Eric McNamara IRE 6-11-03 Davy Russell 7/1
5 Liberate (Diana Whateley) Philip Hobbs 4-10-07 Richard Johnson 2/1f
6 My Petra (Mrs P Wallace) Alan King 4-10-03 Robert Thornton
7 Double Obsession (John Nicholls (Trading) Ltd) Andrew Balding 7-11-00 Mark Bradburne
8 Carlitos (Mrs R Vaughan) Nigel Twiston-Davies 5-11-03 Tom Scudamore
9 Jass (The Scarth Racing Partnership) Keith Reveley 5-11-00 Phil Kinsella
10 Khachaturian (IRE) (Brendan Richardson & Jon Glews) Donald McCain Jnr 4-10-07 Jason Maguire

10 ran
Distances: 8, 3 1/2, 12, 1, 1 1/2, 8, 10, 7, Dist
Breeding: b g Flemensfirth (USA) - June’s Bride (IRE)
Breeder: John Dorgan
Totes: Win: £3.40 Places: £1.30, £1.90, £3.30 Exacta: £15.10

Winning Trainer: HOWARD JOHNSON Based: White Lea Farm, Crook, County Durham Born: August 11, 1953, Barnard Castle Date of First Licence: 7th July 1986 Previous Occupation: worked for Arthur Stephenson, Roy Johnson Cheltenham Festival wins (5): National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase (1993 Ushers Island), Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Arcalis), Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 No Refuge), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever, 2007 Inglis Drever) Aintree Festival wins: John Smith’s Citroen C4 Picasso Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Tidal Bay), John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (1995 Morceli, 1998 Direct Route), John Smith’s Red Rum Chase (1997 Down The Fell), John Smith’s Topham Chase (1996 Joe White), John Smith’s Melling Chase (1999 and 2000 Direct Route), Betfair Bowl (2005 Grey Abbey) Other major wins: Ballymore Properties Long Distance Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Blue Square Speed Dial 64555 Hurdle (2005 No Refuge), Charlie Hall Chase (2003 Ballybough Rasher, 2004 Grey Abbey), Dipper Novices’ Chase (1995 Morceli), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2005 Arcalis), John Smith’s Hurdle (2005 Inglis Drever), Lonesome Glory Hurdle (1993 Dance Of Words), Pillar Property Chase (2005 Grey Abbey), Peter Marsh Chase (2005 Lord Transcend), Scottish National (2004 Grey Abbey), Stanleybet Handicap Hurdle (2005 Coat Of Honour), Tingle Creek Chase (1998 Direct Route), VC Casino.com Long Distance Hurdle (2006 Ingis Drever) Number of Winners (1988/9-2005/06): 14, 14, 10, 21, 19, 32, 32, 35, 23, 27, 18, 19, 13, 15, 33, 41, 68, 58 Wins this Season: 49

Winning Jockey: Paddy J Brennan Born: Ardrahan, Galway, April 13, 1981 Riding Weight: 9st 7lb Background: Spent one summer at Gerry Stack’s Co. Kildare yard, aged 14. Apprenticed to Jim Bolger for five years, riding eight winners. Secured a position with Paul Nicholls, before moving to Philip Hobbs. Appointed as retained rider for the powerful Howard Johnson/Graham Wylie team in May 2006. Cheltenham Festival Wins (2): Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2006 Shamayoun), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2007 Paddy Brennan) First Winner: Ivory Isle (Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap, Gowran Park, August 12, 1998) Number of Wins (2000/01-2005/06): 3; 9; 15; 19; 67* (*Champion Conditional Jockey); 60 Wins This Season: 75 First Winner after riding out 3lb claim: French Executive (Sky Bet Sussex National, Plumpton, November 21, 2004) Last Winner with 3lb claim: Rollo (williamhill.com Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, Exeter, November 19, 2004) Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Citroen C4 Picasso Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (2007 Tidal Bay), John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (Ashley Brook 2005), John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (2006 Wellbeing) Other Big Race Wins: Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (2005 Hakim); intercasino.co.uk Molyneux Novices’ Chase (2006 Lennon); Sea Pigeon Handicap Hurdle (2002 Benbyas); Wensleydale Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Degas Art)


SEVENTH RACE RESULT

5.30pm JOHN SMITH’S HANDICAP HURDLE (LISTED)
£50,000 guaranteed, 2m 4f, For 4yo+ Weights raised 10lb Minimum weight 11st Penalties after March 31, a winner of a hurdle 4lb Acambo’s Handicap Mark 144 Entries 57 pay £230 Penalty Value 1st £28,510; 2nd £10,695; 3rd £5,355; 4th £2,670; 5th £1,474; 6th £737

1 Two Miles West (IRE)(J P McManus) Jonjo O'Neill 6-10-07 Noel Fehily 25/1
2 Gods Token (The Silver Cod Partnership) Venetia Williams 9-10-09 Liam Treadwell (3) 33/1
3 Shatabdi (IRE) (Robert Waley-Cohen) Nicky Henderson 5-10-07 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen (7) 10/1
4 Ice Tea (IRE) (Sandicroft Stud) Donald McCain Jnr 7-10-0 0b Graham Lee 16/1
5 Laouen (FR) (Ashleybank Investments & Dr K Fraser) Len Lungo 9-10-01 Brian Harding 7/2f
6 Acambo (GER) (David Johnson) David Pipe 6-11-12 Timmy Murphy
7 Burntoakboy (Dr Richard Newland & Mrs L Newland) Dr Richard Newland 9-11-03 Sam Jones (5)
8 Absolut Power (GER) (Dr G Maden Mohan) Jonathan Geake 6-10-05p Richard Johnson
9 Marhaba Million (IRE) (J P McManus) Eric McNamara IRE 5-10-08 Tony McCoy
10 Flying Falcon (Burnt Toast) Venetia Williams 8-10-08 Sam Thomas
11 Self Defense (Fraser Miller Racing) Emma Lavelle 10-11-08 Robert Thornton
12 Kicks For Free (IRE) (Trevor Hemmings) Paul Nicholls 6-11-03t Dominic Elsworth
13 Conna Castle (IRE) (Kings Syndicate) Jimmy Mangan IRE 8-11-10 Davy Russell
14 Desert Air (JPN) (Belinda Harvey) David Pipe 8-11-03vt Tom Scudamore
15 Our Jasper (K Benson) Donald McCain Jnr 7-9-06 Gerard Tumelty (5)
16 Dusky Warbler (Mike Charlton & Rodger Sargent) Gary Moore 8-11-07p Jamie Moore
17 Our Monty (IRE) (Denis Reddan) Kevin O'Brien IRE 4-10-00b Gary Hutchinson
18 Gardasee (GER) (A Helaissi) Tom Tate 5-10-04 Jason Maguire
19 Forest Green (FR) (Ged Mason) Paul Nicholls 5-9-04t Harry Skelton (10)
20 Roll Along (IRE) (Bryan & Philippa Burrough) Carl Llewellyn 7-10-07 Paul Moloney
Fell last Special Envoy (FR) (Walters Plant Hire Ltd) Peter Bowen 5-11-01 Tom O'Brien
PU bef four out Into The Shadows (R Mayall) Keith Reveley 7-10-13 Richard McGrath

22 ran
Distances: hd, nk, 2, 2, 2, 1/2, 4, 3/4, 2 1/2, 8, 2, 8, 4, 6, 1/2, 1/2, 8, 15, 1
Breeding: b g Sadler’s Wells (USA) - User Friendly
Breeder: Tower Bloodstock
Totes: Win: £48.60 Places: £8.80; £7.60; £3.20; £3.30 Exacta: £3170.20

Winning Trainer: JONJO O’NEILL Born: April 13, 1952 Based: Jackdaws Castle, Gloucestershire Career: former National Hunt jockey Cheltenham Festival Wins (14): Pertemps Final (1991 Danny Connors, 2003 Inching Closer, 2004 Creon); National Hunt Chase (1995 Front Line, 2002 Rith Dubh, 2003 Sudden Shock, 2004 Native Emperor, 2007 Butler’s Cabin); Vincent O’Brien County H’cap Hurdle (2000 Master Tern), JCB Triumph Hurdle (2003 Spectroscope), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Black Jack Ketchum, 2007 Wichita Lineman), Christie’S Foxhunter Chase (2007 Drombeag) Aintree Festival wins: Betfair Bowl (2007 Exotic Dancer), betfair.com Handicap Chase (2000 Radiation, 2002 Carbury Cross, 2003 Master Tern), John Smith’s Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle (2002 Sudden Shock, 2006 Refinement), John Smith’s Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’ Hurdle (2002 Quazar), John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle (2007 Two Miles West), John Smith’s Topham Chase (2003 Clan Royal), Citroen C6 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2003 Iris’s Gift, 2006 Black Jack Ketchum), John Smith’s Champion Standard National Hunt Flat Race (2003 Classic Native), John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2004 Iris’s Gift), S&N Aintree Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy) Other Big Race Wins: Ballymore Properties Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (2004 Rhinestone Cowboy), Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle (2005 Black Jack Ketchum), Challow Hurdle (2002 Coolnagorna, 2006 Wichita Lineman), Christmas Hurdle (2002 & 2003 Intersky Falcon), Cleeve Hurdle (2006 Fire Dragon), Edward Hanmer Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Emo Oil Champion Hurdle (2003 Quazar), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), Greatwood Hurdle (2005 Lingo), John James McManus Memorial Hurdle (2002 & 2003 Intersky Falcon), Kingwell Hurdle (2003 Rhinestone Cowboy), Paddy Power Champion INH Flat Race (2005 Refinement), Paddy Power Gold Cup (2006 Exotic Dancer), Punchestown Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle (2002 Quazar), Reynoldstown Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Swinton Handicap Hurdle (2002 Intersky Falcon), Tommy Whittle Chase (2003 Keen Leader), Tripleprint Gold Cup (1999 Legal Right), Totesport Becher Chase (2003 Clan Royal), Totesport Silver Cup (2000 Legal Right), Totesport Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle (2002 Native Emperor), Welsh National (2002 Mini Sensation) Number of Winners (1995/96-2005/06): 18; 17; 32; 38; 44; 58; 113; 114; 102; 96; 105 Wins this Season: 118

Winning Jockey: Noel Fehily Date Of Birth: December 24, 1974 Based: c/o Charlie Mann, Whitcoombe Stables, Maddle Road, Upper Lambourn, Berkshire Background: Stable jockey to Charlie Mann and named as Jonjo O’Neill’s second jockey in November 2005. Riding Weight: 9st 9lb First Winner: Ivy Boy, Plumpton, November 16, 1998 Aintree Festival Wins: John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle (2007 Two Miles West) Other Big Race Wins: Anglo Irish Private Banking Novices’ Hurdle (2006 Moon Over Miami); Ashelybank Investments Future Champions Novices’ Chase (Keltic Bard 2004); Britannia Building Society English Summer National (2005 Rheindross); totesport Lanzarote Hurdle (2006 Buck Whaley (dead-heated with Rayshan)) Number of Wins (1998/99-2005/06): 13; 16; 42 (Top conditional rider of 2000/01); 36; 35; 52; 56; 52 Wins This Season: 70



LEADING JOCKEY STANDINGS AFTER DAY ONE

Jockey 1st 2nd 3rd
Tony McCoy 1 2 -
Paddy Brennan 1 - 2
Mr Richard Burton 1 - -
Dominic Elsworth 1 - -
Noel Fehily 1 - -
Richard Johnson 1 - -
Robert Thornton 1 - -
Mick Fitzgerald - 1 -
Mr Richard Harding - 1 -
Graham Lee - 1 -
Liam Treadwell - 1 -
Ruby Walsh - 1 -
Miss Nina Carberry - - 1
Tony Dobbin - - 1
Timmy Murphy - - 1
Wilson Renwick - - 1
Mr Sam Waley-Cohen - - 1


Latest Stan James betting: 11/8 Tony McCoy, 9/4 Richard Johnson, 6/1 Robert Thornton, 6/1 Ruby Walsh, 14/1 bar


LEADING TRAINER STANDINGS AFTER DAY ONE

Trainer 1st 2nd 3rd
Jonjo O’Neill 2 1 -
Nicky Henderson 1 1 1
Howard Johnson 1 - 2
Henry Daly 1 - -
Alan King 1 - -
Ian Williams 1 - -
Richard Barber - 1 -
Niall Madden IRE - 1 -
Ferdy Murphy - 1 -
Paul Nicholls - 1 -
Venetia Williams - 1 -
Peter Monteith - - 1
David Pipe - - 1
John Queally IRE - - 1
Nicky Richards - - 1







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