When aimed for the 2012 Grand National, the Ted Walsh trained, Irish runner Seabass gained huge attention due to his unbeaten record in his previous seven starts. Just prior to the 2012 National he won at Naas on February 26th 2012 and before that won the Leopardstown Handicap Chase in a field of 22.
Ted Walsh, a former amateur jockey based in Kill, County Kildare, Ireland previously won the Grand National with Papillon in 2000, with son Ruby Walsh on board. He began training Seabass in 2007 and by 2010 began to pick up some steam.
He went off at 8/1 in the 2012 Grand National and with Katie Walsh on board many thought that this was the year a female jockey would finally with the Aintree Grand National. And she nearly did, coming in third place, putting her firmly in the history books.
Back again for another shot in 2013, Seabass was ten years old and went off as race favourite, the first time in history that has happened with a female jockey on board. But with 11-06 to carry it wasn’t to be the crowning glory of Katie Walsh’s career and in fact, Seabass was rather unlucky in that he didn’t make much of an impact at all during the race.
Walsh got him around the course but could only manage to finish in 13th place which was no doubt incredibly disappointing for connections. He was re-entered for the 2014 renewal but unfortunately was withdrawn at the second scratchings stage on March 18th 2014.
He was side-lined for most of 2015 and as such didn’t get an entry into the Grand National but now back on form and raring to go at 13-years-old, he could very well be heading back over the National fences on April 9th 2016.
He’s had a good season so far with five runs since December 6th, winning one of them at Thurles. His official rating has dipped but this isn’t a bad thing as it means he’s more likely to get a decent weight from the BHA Handicapper.
Writing recently for the Liverpool Echo, Irish Grand National winning jockey, Katie Walsh, outlined her plans with Seabass ahead of the National stating: “I should have a couple more rides with him ahead of the National, most probably at Fairyhouse racecourse at the end of the month.
“Fingers crossed he will stay on excellent form.”
unfortunately, Seabass was withdrawn at the first scratching stage of the Grand National 2016 and will not run in the race.