County Carlow trainer John Hanlon was fortunate in having Alfa Beat be his first starter in the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree in April 2012. The grey gelding won handily in the Kerry National at Listowel in September 2011 and then made his first 2012 start in the Tote Trifecta Rollover Handicap Hurdle on January 29. Unfortunately, he stumbled and unseated his rider in that race and did not finish.
Before the race, Hanlon seemed quite confident that it would be a major prep for Alfa Beat. He has since ran him at Fairyhouse, Ireland, in the Bobbyjo Chase on February 25th where he carried 11-06 but unfortunately he was pulled up by jockey Andrew McNamara. Prince De Beauchene ultimately won that race.
Alfa Beat began his career in 2008 with two starts, but did not win either one. In 2009 he had seven starts and he broke his maiden in his second. However, he did not have much further success for the rest of that year.
2010 was a different story and saw Alfa Beat starting ten times and racking up five wins in quick succession by the latter half of the year. It was quite a turnaround from how he began the year with a sixth in one race, being pulled up in another and unseating his rider in yet another.
He did not run quite as much in 2011 and had mixed success in six starts, but he captured a second win in the Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase at Listowel, having won it previously in 2010.
He began 2012 much like previous years without a finish in his first start and didn't hit his stride by the time the Grand National rolled around.
He is trained by John Joseph Hanlon and owned by Mr Irvin S Naylor and in the 2012 Grand National he fell at Fence 7 and did not complete the race. The racecard above is from that day.