Saint Are just made it into the top 40 for the starting line-up for the 2013 Grand National, due to a number of horses ahead of him being withdrawn at the scratching stages, when trained by Tim Vaughan.
Saint Are was only seven years old and had just run in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on March 14th, so it was unusual that he ran at both festivals given how close together they were.
Finished 2nd in the 2015 National
But despite being only 7 years old, Saint Are wasn’t short on experience going into the 2013 National having run in 11 chases including three trips to Aintree, winning twice and placing second once and that’s also where the bulk of his earnings had come from. He got around the course to finish in 9th spot on the day.
He didn’t run in the 2014 Grand National but was back for the 2015 renewal under new trainer Tom George and jockey Paddy Brennan, where he ran a fantastic race to finish in second place. He was narrowly beaten, by less than two lengths, by the winner Many Clouds.
He has run at Aintree nine times, winning twice and placing in another three races. His experience at Aintree is only second to Cheltenham where he has run 11 times though he hasn’t been as successful there.
While he had a very good start to the 2014/15 season with three third place spots on the bounce, plus a win at Catterick he hasn’t been on the dame kind of form this season.
With two starts under his belt, he finished a long way off the mark at Cheltenham in November, a full 34L behind the winner, and didn’t fare much better when he went to Aintree for the Becher Chase in December. He finished 7th, 32L behind the winner Highland Lodge.
That said, his past record in the National is great and he ticks plenty of boxes for a successful Grand National 2016. Will be worth a look closer to the date after he has had one or two more prep races.