From trainer Tom Taafe came Smoking Aces, a then Irish eight year old who was hoping to head to Aintree for the first time on April 14th 2012. Before he did though he still needed horses to be withdrawn ahead of him in order to make the final starting line-up of 40 as he was the fourth reserve on the 2012 Grand National entries list.
Of course another difficulty is that being so far down the list also means that the BHA Handicapper had only given him 9-05 which is below the minimum required for the National and so if he did make it, it would have to be revised upwards to the min. weight of 10-00 – at least!
Smoking Aces had 13 chase starts with only one win and two third places so he was definitely not one of the more experienced horses in the race. Add to that the fact that he’d only been a novice Chaser for just over one full season and that he is more successful over hurdles and you begin to see the issues with him stack up – at least for this renewal of the Grand National.
he didn’t make the line-up in 2012 and wasn’t given another chance or entry in 2013 either.