Owned by JP McManus and trained by Grand National winning trainer Ted Walsh, Colbert Station looked like JP’s best chance to add a second National win to his collection in 2013 as he was on great form and had just had two back-to-back wins.
The first was in Leopardstown in December 2012 when he romped home in the Paddy Power Chase and the second was shortly after in February 2013 at Punchestown in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle. Similar to Seabass, the other Ted Walsh trained entry, Colbert Station had plenty of good solid runs in Ireland but had never raced in the UK but was on great form giving Walsh two very exciting prospects for the 2013 Grand National.
Two Grand National attempts in 2013 & 2014 but unseated and pulled-up
There were some negatives however, not least of which was his lack of experience having had only five career chase starts. He was raced predominantly over hurdles and tended to like the going on the soft side so a quick ground at Aintree may not have suited him.
He was given 11-01 by the BHA Handicapper which was just about in his range and he had won at over three miles. A steady jumper who had never fallen, unseated his rider or pulled up but even his trainer had pointed out, a relative lack of chasing experience could be an issue at Aintree, but he was in good hands for an attempt at the famous race once it was confirmed that A.P. McCoy would be riding him on the day.
Despite going off as one of the favourites in 2013 at 12/1, McCoy couldn’t stop him from unseating him at the 15th fence – the Chair.
He was back again in 2014 and given another entry but the season hadn’t gone as well and from his five prep races hadn’t realised his potential. He finished 10th at Naas back in October, third at Navan in November, unseated again at Navan in December, could only manage 11th from 21 runners at Leopardstown in January and fell at Leopardstown on March 2nd 2014.
Despite this relatively poor form, he was only given one pound less this year than in 2013 and ran off 11-00. AP McCoy chose to ride another of the JP horses so Mark Walsh took the reigns and despite his poor form, his odds were shortened from 33/1 to 28/1 with many believing that he could overcome and turn a great performance on April 5th.
Unfortunately he didn’t and was subsequently pulled-up by Walsh. Despite tow failed attempts to complete the course he may yet be given another chance to redeem himself in the 2015 Grand National.