Encouraged by Cappa Bleu’s 2011 campaign, trainer Evan Williams had said that the gelding’s main goal was the Grand National in April 2012 and having been given 10-10 by the handicapper he went off as one of the favourites at 16/1 and although he didn’t win it, Neptune Collonges did, he did come in a very solid fourth place and as such was given an entry for the 2013 renewal.
Jockey: | Trainer: Evan Williams
The Irish gelding began his career in 2009 with E Crow as his trainer. He won his maiden race over a field of 24 at Cheltenham. He was then switched to Evan Williams’ stable later in the year and raced two more times, resulting in a third at Aintree and a disappointing fall in the Hennessy Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Newbury.
He raced twice in 2010 and, while he managed a second in his first start, he was pulled up in his second start, not much more than a month later. That was in March of 2010 and he took an extended break until November of 2011.
He made his comeback in 2011 in the Betfair Multiples Handicap Chase at Haydock where he beat a field of 10 over 24f. He raced one more time in the following month, taking on 20 in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow. He came in third behind Giles Cross.
Since the 2012 National he had two prep races and they were at Carlisle in November 2012 and Ascot on February 16th 2013 where he finished 2nd to Vino Griego while carrying 11-10 so the 10-11 for the National looked well within his capabilities and just 1lb more than what he carried in 2012 when he finished fourth.
He went off as a short favourite at 12/1 with many speculating that he was the horse to beat and indeed the punters were very nearly right as jockey Paul Moloney was so close that he finished just 9L behind the winner and finished 2nd winning £205,823 for his connections.
Will he be back again for the 2014 Grand National? He’ll be 12 years old but so far his age hasn’t been a barrier to his Grand National achievements!