Deep Purple

Grand National Trials

There are any number of chases that could be described as Grand National trial races that are run throughout the National Hunt season. Each will have a major bearing on the Grand National odds. We highlight several of them here and include horses that have run well in them and gone on to Grand National success.

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List of Grand National Trial Races

DATE RACECOURSE RACE NAME WINNER
28/03/2016 Fairyhouse Irish Grand National Rogue Angel 16/1
29/10/2016 Wetherby Charlie Hall Chase Irish Cavalier 16/1
28/11/2016 Newbury Hennessy Gold Cup Native River 7/2 Fav
03/12/2016 Aintree Becher Chase Vieux Lion Rouge 8/1
27/12/2016 Chepstow Welsh Grand National Native River 11/4
23/01/2017 Doncaster Sky Bet Chase Ziga Boy 10/1
18/02/2017 Haydock Grand National Trial Vieux Lion Rouge 8/1
25/02/2017 Fairyhouse Bobbyjo Chase Pleasant Company 9/4 Fav
25/02/2017 Newcastle Eider Chase Mysteree 10/1
25/02/2017 Kempton BetBright Chase Pilgrims Bay 25/1
04/03/2017 Doncaster Grimthorpe Chase Definitly Red 7/2
04/03/2017 Kelso Totepool Premier Chase Seldom Inn 8/1
10/03/2017 Cheltenham Festival Handicap Chase Un Temps Pour Tour 9/1
12/03/2017 Cheltenham Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase Domesday Book 40/1
13/03/2017 Cheltenham Cheltenham Gold Cup Sizing John 7/1

The Irish Grand National

The Irish National raced at Fairyhouse and over a distance of 3 miles 5 furlongs, is a race that has produced dual winners of both the Irish and Aintree national, but neither of the last four winners have won in the same season, mainly due to the two races being run so close together. Bobbyjo won the Irish National in 1998 and followed that up with victory at Aintree a year later. Numbersixvalverde did exactly the same, winning at Fairyhouse in 2005 and at Aintree in 2006.

The race was won in 2016 by Rogue Angel.

28th March 2016 - Fairyhouse - Ladbrokes Irish Grand National - Grade A - 3m5f

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Rogue Angel 16/1 8 G Fox Mmorris
2nd Bless The Wings 12/1 11 R Walsh G Elliott
3rd Ballyadam Approach 11 D Splaine T O'Brien

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Charlie Hall Chase

This race had been won in 2008 and 2009 by the Welsh based trained Evan Williams with State Of Play, who went on to finish 4th in the 2009 Grand National and in 2010 with Deep Purple. Last year the spoils went to Irish Cavalier.

29th October 2016 - Wetherby - bet365 Charlie Hall Chase - Grade 2 - 3m1f

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Irish Cavalier 16/1 7 J Moore R Curtis
2nd Menorah 12/1 11 R Johnson P Hobbs
7 ran        

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Hennessy Gold Cup

Although it is unusual for Hennessy winners to go and win the Grand National, there's plenty of runners who will race in both races during a season. Bindaree, Red Marauder, Earth Summit and Rough Quest have all run in the Hennessy and then gone on to win the Grand National in the same season.

26th Nov 2016 - Newbury - Hennessy Gold Cup Chase (Handicap) Grade 3 - 3m2f 110yds

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Native River 7/2 Fav 6 R Johnson C Tizzard
2nd Carole's Destrier 25/1 8 N Fehily N Mulholland
3rd Double Ross 50/1 10 J Bargary N Twiston-Davies
4th Hadrian's Approach 33/1 9 P Moloney N Henderson

Becher Chase

Despite being run in early season, this Chase is always a good guide for the Grand National and has produced a couple of recent winners. Silver Birch won this in 2004 and went on to win the 2007 Grand National and Amberleigh House trained by Ginger McCain won the Becher Chase in 2001 and the 2004 Grand National.

3rd Dec 2016 - Aintree - Totesport.com Becher Handicap Chase - Listed - 3m2f

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Vieux Lion Rouge 8/1 Fav 7 T Scudamore D Pipe
2nd Highland Lodge 20/1 10 H Brooke J Moffatt
3rd The Last Samuri 9/1 8 B Hughes K Bailey

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The Welsh National

Raced at the Chepstow racecourse and over a distance of 3 miles and 5 furlongs at the end of December, this is an excellent Trial for Aintree. It is a top class race that usually attracts a top class field which has produced three winners of both the Welsh National and the Grand National in recent times, Silver Birch who won the Welsh version in 2004 and the 2007 Grand National. Bindaree actually won the 2002 Grand National before winning the Welsh National in 2003. Before them the great Earth Summit had won the Welsh National in 1997 and four months later triumphed at Aintree.

27th Dec 2016 - Chepstow - Coral Welsh National - Grade 3 - 3m5f 110yds

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Native River 11/4 Fav 6 R Johnson C Tizzard
2nd Raz De Maree 33/1 11 G Fox G Cromwell
3rd Houblon Des Obeaux 33/1 9 C Deutsch V Williams

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Sky Bet Chase

Formally known as the Great Yorkshire Chase, despite the Listed contest only being run over three miles, it's often on attritional ground run in January and it attracts horses looking to up their handicap mark to gain entry to the Grand National.

30th Jan 2017 - Doncaster - Sky Bet Chase - Listed - 3m

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Ziga Boy 10/1 8 T Bellamy A King
2nd Looking Well 18/1 8 R Day N Richards
3rd Another Hero 8/1 8 A Coleman J O'Neill

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Haydock Grand National Trial

As the name would suggest the Grand National Trial at Haydock is seen as an important trial race for the Aintree Grand National a few months later. Cool Ground won this race in 1992 before going on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while 1992 Grand National winner Party Politics went on to win this trial in 1993, before finishing second in the 1995 National.

18th Feb 2017 - Haydock - Totesport.com Grand National Trial - Grade 3 - 3m4f

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Vieux Lion Rouge 8/1 8 T Scudamore D Pipe
2nd Blaklion 7/2 Fav 8 W Twiston-Davies N Twiston-Davies
3rd Vintage Clouds 5/1 7 B Hughes S Smith

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Bobbyjo Chase

Raced over 3 miles, 1 furlong at Fairyhouse in February, this race is becoming an increasingly important Grand National trial. It is named after 1999 Grand National winner Bobbyjo and it was won in 2012 by Prince De Beauchene, who was quickly installed as a leading fancy for the Grand National.

25th Feb 2017 - Fairyhouse - BobbyjoChase (Grade 2) - 3m1f

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Pleasant Company 9/4 Fav 9 R Walsh W Mullins
2nd Thunder And Roses 11/1 9 D Russell M Morris
3rd Baie Des Iles 11/4 6 K Walsh R O'Sullivan

The Eider Chase

Raced over four miles at Newcastle in February, this race is becoming an increasingly important Grand National trial. It was won in 2008 by Comply Or Die who of course went on to win the 2008 Grand National just two months later.

25th Feb 2017 - Newcastle - Eider Chase (Handicap) - 4m1f

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Mysteree 10/1 9 R Dunne M Scudamore
2nd Knockanrawley 8/1 9 D Bass K Bailey
3rd Shotgun Paddy 6/1 Fav 10 D Jacob E Lavelle

BetBright Chase

Formerly the Racing Post Chase, it is raced over 3 miles and 18 fences. This Grade 3 Chase was first run in 1988 and was won by the David Elsworth trained, Rhyme And Reason, who went on a few weeks later to win the Aintree Grand National. Although not a prolific producer of National winners, it did produce a second in 1996, when Rough Qest won the race. Its most famous winner however was of course the great Desert Orchid who won in 1988 then went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup a year later and the Irish Grand National in 1990.

25th Feb 2017 - Kempton - BetBright Chase - Grade 3 - 3m

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Pilgrims Bay 25/1 7 J Best N Mulholland
2nd Double Shuffle 11/2 7 A Heskin T George
3rd Theatre Guide 11/1 10 P Brennan C Tizzard

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Grimthorpe Chase

Raced over three miles, two furlongs at Doncaster, this race can be an important pointer for the National. Little Polveir finished third here in 1987 before going on to win the 1989 Grand National, while the first three from that 1987 race each went on to win the Scottish Grand National. Grand National winners have been scarce since but contenders are worth looking out for.

4th Mar 2017 - Doncaster - Grimthorpe Chase (Handicap) - 4m1f

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Definitly Red 7/2 8 D Cook B Ellison
2nd The Last Samuri 10/3 Fav 9 D Bass K Bailey
3rd Wakanda 10/1 8 S Quinlan S Smith

Festival Handicap Chase

There are generally a number of Grand National entries trying their luck in the Festival Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The race name was changed in 2012, with a number of staying chasers also entered in the Grand National.

14th Mar 2017 - Cheltenham - Festival Handicap Chase - Grade 3 - 3m110yds

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Un Temps Pour Tour 9/1 8 T Scudamore D Pipe
2nd Singlefarmpayment 5/1 Fav 7 A Heskin T George
3rd Noble Endeavor 15/2 8 D Russell G Elliott
4th Buywise 33/1 10 A Wedge E Williams

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Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase

Run at the Cheltenham Festival, this Class 2 Handicap Chase is for amateur riders but has produced several top quality Grand National horses in the past, particularly over recent years. 2009 Grand National winner, Mon Mome was second in this race in this in 2006, while Character Building was amongst the favourites for the Grand National after winning this race in 2010. Other top Grand National horses to have run well in this include, Cloudy Lane and Parsons Legacy. 2010 winner was the Donald McCain Jr trained Ballabriggs, who went on to win the 2011 Grand National.

16th Mar 2017 - Cheltenham - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase - 3m1f 110yds

Result Horse/Sp Age Jockey Trainer
1st Domesday Book 40/1 7 G Andrews S Edmunds
2nd Pendra 16/1 9 D O'Connor C Longsdon
3rd Premier Bond 9/1 7 S Waley-Cohen N Henderson
4th Potters Legend 10/1 7 M Legg L Wadham

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Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup has recently become a trial for the top Grand National fancies. Although none of those horses entered in the Grand National are given any hope of winning the Gold Cup, there is a current trend for trainers to give their Aintree hopefuls a last run out in this most competitive of races.

17th Mar 2016 - Cheltenham - Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase - Grade 1 - 3m2f 110yds

Result Horse/SP Age Jockey Trainer
1st Sizing John 7/1 7 R Power J Harrington
2nd Minella Rocco 18/1 7 N Fehily J O'Neill
3rd Native River 7/2 7 R Johnson C Tizzard

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Winners Poll /
Who will win the 2017 Grand National?
Definitly Red
22%
Vieux Lion Rouge
8%
More Of That
6%
Blaklion
11%
Cause of Causes
19%
The Last Samuri
7%
One For Arthur
24%
Ucello Conti
3%
Other
0%
Total Votes: 504
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