Silver Birch

Silver Birch Silver Birch registered a remarkable victory in the 2007 Grand National, not because he wasn’t entitled to win, nor because his narrow defeat of McKelvey was anything out of the ordinary, but because his fledgling trainer, Gordon Elliot, had only saddled three winners, and none of them in his native Ireland. Elliot, 29, had only taken out his training licence in early 2006 but, nevertheless, became the youngest trainer ever to win the Grand National.

Three seasons earlier, when trained by Paul Nicholls, Silver Birch had won the Becher Chase, over 3 miles 3 furlongs, on the National Course at Aintree and the Welsh National, over 3 miles 5 furlongs, at Chepstow. He had been favourite for the Grand National before injury ruled him out, but when he returned, after an absence of 394 days, he failed to complete the course twice in three starts before falling at the Chair in the 2006 Grand National, won by Numbersixvalverde.

After finishing a one-paced third, of three finishers, in an open point-to-point at Castletown-Geoghegan the following November, Silver Birch was sold out of Nicholls’ yard for £20,000 at Doncaster Sales and joined Gordon Elliot. His new owner, Kildare farmer Brian Walsh described him as “in a right old state” but, gradually nursed back to health, Silver Birch finished second in what is now the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival prior to another crack at the National.

Ridden by Robert Power, Silver Birch jumped superbly in the National, bar a slight peck on landing after Becher’s Brook on the second circuit. He led over the final fence and stayed on well on the run-in to hold the strong-finishing McKelvey by three-quarters of a length, with Slim Picking a further 1¼ lengths away in third place.

Grand National 2019 – Tiger Roll Does It Again!

Grand National 2019 - Tiger Roll Does It Again! It turns out that dreams really do come true, or at least for the likes of Tiger Roll jockey Davy Russell, trainer Gordon Elliot and owner Michael O’Leary. For every dream though there is a nightmare, and this time it was the bookmakers taking the hit for what sealed back-to-back  Grand National wins for Tiger Roll (following on from his outstanding 2018 Grand National display). The 4-1 favourite, had more support in the betting for the 2019 race than any Grand National horse in recent memory and it’s estimated that it has resulted in bookmaker lose of between 150m and 200m.

Going over the last fence it looked like 66-1 shot Magic of Light was still in with a fighting chance, but the class of Tiger Roll shone through (the winner receives a very healthy £561k) . Is it too early to ask whether a 2020 Grand National win is now a possibility for Tiger Roll? An unheard of three in a row beckons. The closet any horse has previously come to thisat is three time winner Red Rum (with wins in 1973, 1974 and 1977).

Grand National 2019 full result

  1. Tiger Roll – 4/1f
  2. Magic of Light – 66/1
  3. Rathvinden – 8/1
  4. Walk In The Mill – 25/1
  5. Anibale Fly – 10/1
  6. One For Arthur – 25/1
  7. Regal Encore – 66/1
  8. Singlefarmpayment – 50/1
  9. Outlander – 66/1
  10.  Valseur Lido – 66/1
  11. Livelovelaugh – 25/1
  12. A Toi Phil – 50/1
  13. Bless The Wings – 50/1
  14. Ultragold – 50/1
  15. Vieux Lion Rouge – 50/1
  16. Captain Redbeard – 66/1
  17. Folsom Blue – 66/1
  18. Valtor – 66/1
  19. Don Poli – 66/1

The Brexit Grand National

The Brexit Grand National

Picking the winner from a field of 40 each year is a tricky business to say the least, but the current Brexit Grand National is proving far more difficult to call!