An experienced chaser with a fantastic record of six wins, two seconds and seven third place finishes from his 18 starts, Joncol was one outsider who was definitely worth a second look.
At 10-years of age and having been allocated 10-09 by the BHA Handicapper, which was the lowest weight of his career, he was primed for the 2013 race and without a blemish on his jumping record he jumped fluidly and had stamina in bucket loads as evidenced by the fact that he primarily entered races of three miles or more.
He may not have had any headline grabbing wins but he’s a classy horse and a Grade 1 winner from the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2010 and with a decent prep season behind him he was going straight to the 2013 Grand National and had not hedged his bets by getting an entry at Cheltenham.
His only issue was that if he got off the pace he would struggle to catch up and the Top Speed that he displayed throughout the 2010-2011 season had appeared to have deserted him slightly. But the National is not necessarily all about speed, it’s about stamina, solid jumping and to some extent luck so if all those things had gone his way he could have been one of the long odds horses who was actually in with a shot.
As it turned out the best jockey Robbie Power could manage was to get him to the 19th fence before pulling him up. He may be back for the 2014 Grand National, but he’ll be 11 years of age so he may not get an entry.