When aimed for the 2012 Grand National, the Ted Walsh trained, Irish runner Seabass gained huge attention due to his unbeaten record in his previous seven starts. Just prior to the 2012 National he won at Naas on February 26th 2012 and before that won the Leopardstown Handicap Chase in a field of 22.
Ted Walsh, a former amateur jockey based in Kill, County Kildare, Ireland previously won the Grand National with Papillon in 2000, with son Ruby Walsh on board. He began training Seabass in 2007 and the gelding had two starts that year, but did not finish well in either of them.
He had two starts in 2008 as well, but managed only fourth in the Woodlands Park 100 Poplar Square Chase and a late seventh in his next race at Navan. Two starts continued to be the routine in 2009. He finished a decent fifth in the Thoroughbred County Novice Handicap Chase before managing a second place finish in the Irish Racing Yearbook Handicap Chase.
The next year, 2010, is when Seabass began to pick up some steam. He looked good in the Molony Cup Handicap Chase finishing third, but then fell in his next race at Navan. But Walsh brought him right back for the Star Best For Racing Coverage Handicap Chase and the gelding finally got the elusive win. He went on to win one more start in 2010, three in 2011 and two in 2012 before the National.
He went off at 8/1 in 2012 and with Katie Walsh on board many thought that this was the year a female jockey would finally with the Aintree Grand National. And she nearly did, coming in third place, putting her firmly in the history books.
Back again for another shot in 2013, Seabass was ten years old and went off as race favourite, the first time in history that has happened with a female jockey on board. But with 11-06 to carry it wasn’t to be the crowning glory of Katie Walsh’s career and in fact, Seabass was rather unlucky in that he didn’t make much of an impact at all during the race.
Similar to 2013, Walsh got him around the course but could only manage to finish in 13th place which was no doubt incredibly disappointing but we could see him back for the 2014 Grand National as he will only be 11 years old and maybe they will be triumphant then.