Grand National winning trainer David Pipe sent the then 8 year old Our Father to the 2014 Grand National with high hopes. And while it may have been to give him a spin over the fences with a view to entering him again in 2015, it certainly didn’t do him any harm.
He was on the young side at just eight las t year which wouldn’t have been so bad if he had plenty of experience under his belt but he didn’t. On just six starts over fences, with only one win and a place, it was almost impossible to see how he could win this.
Unseated in the 2014 National but finished 9th in the Becher Chase 2014
He hadn’t won a race since November 2012 and although he’d had three starts last season, none had produced superb results. Having said that he did finish fifth at Haydock in the Grand National Trial in absolutely dire conditions and was the highest placed of any of the Grand National runners who also ran in that race so that improved his chances.
Another advantage was the 10-08 he’d been given. It was the lowest of his career but it didn’t help in any real way as unfortunately he unseated his jockey, Denis O’Regan at the eighth fence.
He has since had a summer break and returned this season with a couple of runs. First at Aintree in the Becher Chase where he finished ninth so no doubts over his ability to get over the National fences.
He then followed that up with a second place at Cheltenham, behind the winner, and possible Grand National 2015 contender, Mon Parrain so all in all things are looking quite good for Our Father’s chances come April 11th 2015.