A classy horse, Quel Esprit is trained by Irish Champion trainer Willie Mullins and did have an entry in 2012 but was withdrawn before the final stages and didn’t run. He had three more runs, one of them in a hurdle in France, before the 2013 National.
Quel Esprit is a French runner with a mixed career. In December 2008, the grey broke his maiden with an impressive win in a 20 furlong race against 16 other runners. His second race came at Cheltenham in 2009 where he finished fourth against a high-quality field. He then won three races back to back later in the same year. The races were over varied distances and conditions and seemed to prove Quel Esprit’s adaptability.
In 2010, he went on to run four more times, placing in his first start and then winning in his last. His first three starts of 2011 did not go particularly well. He fell in the first two and was brought down in the third. He did finally win his last start of that year, however, and then began 2012 positively with a win at Thurles.
The grey was guaranteed a spot at the Grand National on April 6th and ran off 11-07 due to the increase in weights once Tidal bay and Alberta’s Run were withdrawn and his trainer, Mullins, was confident about his chances.
His most recent prep race prior to the National, came at Leopardstown on 9th Feb 2013 but wasn’t as successful as last year when he won it as on this occasion he came 4th from four.
Going off at 40/1 and with Paul Townend on board, Quel Esprit could only manage to get around to Foinavon on the second circuit before being pulled up.
He was entered again for the 2014 Crabbies Grand National but was withdrawn at the first scratching stage on February 25th.