Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Mullins has big National team

Willie Mullins has entered eight horses in the English Grand National

Willie Mullins has eight of the 115 entries for the first £1million Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on April 5.

Successful with Hedgehunter in 2005, the champion trainer's team includes the Graham Wylie-owned trio of On His Own, Prince De Beauchene and Boston Bob.

The other members of the County Carlow handler's squad are Paddy Power Chase winner Rockyaboya, Up The Beat, Vesper Bell, last season's Irish Grand National runner-up Away We Go and Quel Esprit.

Martin Brassil struck with Numbersixvalverde in 2006 and could be represented in this year's showpiece by Double Seven, who was last seen completing a five-timer at Wexford in October.

Leading hunter chaser Mossey Joe, now trained by Enda Bolger, has been entered after being purchased by Barry Connell. Ted Walsh, successful with Papillon in 2000, could be represented by Colbert Station and Seabass, who was third in 2012.

Only two of the first six home last year have entries this time - the third Teaforthree, trained by Rebecca Curtis, and the sixth, David Pipe's Swing Bill, owned by Halewood International, parent company of Crabbie's. With last year's 66-1 winner Auroras Encore retired through injury, trainer Sue Smith relies on Mr Moonshine and Vintage Star.

Paul Nicholls secured his first National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and has seven entries this year, headed by the 13-year-old Tidal Bay. The Ditcheat trainer is also responsible for Welsh Grand National runner-up Hawkes Point, There's No Panic, Rocky Creek, Kauto Stone, Mon Parrain and Sire Collonges.

Jonjo O'Neill, successful with Don't Push It for principal patron JP McManus in 2010, has also made seven entries, headed by the same owner's Sunnyhillboy, beaten a nose by Neptune Collonges in 2012, Alfie Sherrin, Merry King, Burton Port, Lost Glory, Storm Survivor and Twirling Magnet.

Pipe, who sent out Comply Or Die to win in 2008, has six engaged, with Swing Bill joined by Standing Ovation, Our Father, Goulanes, Junior and The Package. Last season's Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude, trained by Michael Scudamore, and Hennessy Gold Cup victor Triolo D'Alene are among the ante-post market leaders.

Triolo D'Alene, winner of last year's Topham Chase over the famous fences, is with UK champion trainer Nicky Henderson, who has yet to win the race. The Lambourn handler has also entered 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Long Run, Hunt Ball, Shakalakaboomboom and Quantitativeeasing.

Other notable entries include Scottish Grand National scorer Godsmejudge from the Alan King yard and Kim Muir Challenge Cup winner Same Difference, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies. The latter has been on the roll of honour twice, with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

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