Prince De Beauchene - Fairyhouse 25/02/2012

Prince De Beauchene: is a general 9-1 chance to land the Grand National

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)  

Prince ride likely for
Walsh in Grand National

PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE is likely to be partnered by Ruby Walsh in next month's John Smith's Grand National at Aintree although his trainer Willie Mullins has yet to decide riding plans with his stable jockey.

Owned by Graham Wylie, Prince De Beauchene shot to the head of the National market after winning the Grade 2 At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last month and is a general 9-1 favourite for Aintree.

 

With Neptune Collonges the only possible runner for trainer Paul Nicholls, Walsh, who is 10-1 to win the Grand National with Ladbrokes, is likely to have the choice between Mullins's two main hopes Prince De Beauchene and On His Own, although his father Ted's Seabass also holds an entry for the race.

"I imagine Prince De Beauchene and On His Own will run. We'll just see closer to the time what will go but I'll be happy to get Graham Wylie's two horses there. They would be a nice team on their own just going," Mullins told At The Races on Wednesday.

"I haven't asked Ruby yet what's he going to ride, but I imagine it's always nice to ride a favourite."

Sunnyhillboy was the biggest mover in the market for the Grand National on April 14 after his victory at the Cheltenham Festival left him 10lb 'well in' following the BHA handicappers' decision to raise his official mark.

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained nine-year-old was cut across the boards to a general 16-1 chance (from 20-1) to land the prize.

As sporting sights go, few match the sheer excitement of 40 horses thundering towards the first fence at Aintree for the John Smith's Grand National.

A race steeped in history that always provides a story, the Grand National is the ultimate test of endurance and skill for both horse and jockey, as the pairing must navigate 30 treacherous fences, and then still have enough stamina to make a challenge on the run-in.

To manage a clear round in the 4m4f epic is no mean achievement, with the fences notoriously difficult and offering unique challenges.

Over the years, there have been countless memorable moments, Devon Loch's phantom leap in the 1956 contest, Foinavon's shock 100-1 win in 1967 and the brilliance of Red Rum, who took the chase on three occasions in 1973, 74 and 77.

In 1981 Aldaniti and Bob Champion completed a heartwarming tale when winning the race, as Aldaniti had recovered from a career-threatening injury while jockey Champion had battled back from cancer.

In 2011 the race provided another fairytale story as Donald McCain emulated his father and Aintree legend Ginger when winning with Ballabriggs - and that came just a year after champion jockey Tony McCoy finally gained victory in the race at the 15th time of asking.