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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Grand National: Paul Nicholls enters 10 in Aintree race

Full Replay - Don't Push It wins Grand National

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has 10 of the 102 entries for the Grand National at Aintree in April.

Nicholls has never won the race and his hopes include recent Cheltenham winner Neptune Collonges and What A Friend, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Midnight Club is among nine entries for Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

Jonjo O'Neill has three contenders - Don't Push It, who won the National for Tony McCoy in 2010, plus Synchronised and Can't Buy Time.

Entries for the Grand National closed on Wednesday, with the weights announced on 15 February. Of the 102 contenders, 34 are trained in Ireland and three in France.

Last year the race attracted 112 entries. although a maximum field of 40 is allowed on the day for the four-and-a-half mile contest.

Neptune Collonges and What A Friend are joined by stablemates The Tother One, Tricky Trickster, Taranis, Tatenen, Niche Market, Just Amazing, Gullible Gordon and Meanus Dandy.

McCoy won the National at the 15th attempt last year, and was voted the 2010 BBC Sports Personality.

It seems likely he will choose between Don't Push It and January's Welsh National winner Synchronised.

The Northern Irish jockey is retained by owner JP McManus, whose other entries are the recent purchase Quolibet, trained in France by Francois Doumen, as well as Arbor Supreme and Quiscover Fontaine, representing Willie Mullins.

Ballabriggs, trained by Donald McCain, hardened as ante-post National favourite after winning over hurdles at Ayr on Monday.

The 10-year-old, ridden by Jason Maguire, was scoring his fifth straight victory as he took the novices' hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.

Ballabriggs is rated a 16-1 chance for the Aintree marathon on 9 April.

McCain's father Ginger won the National four times - three with Red Rum in the 1970s, plus Amberleigh House in 2004.

Hoping to win the National for a second time will be David Pipe, whose five hopefuls number the 2008 scorer Comply Or Die, now aged 12.

He has also entered Junior, who could seek a remarkable Royal Ascot-Grand National double, having won the Ascot Stakes last summer.

The Evan Williams-trained State Of Play, Howard Johnson's Tidal Bay and Ferdy Murphy's Big Fella Thanks are other interesting contenders.

The Irish entries include the 2008 Welsh National winner Notre Pere, the Edward O'Grady-trained Tranquil Sea, Noel Glynn's stable star Becauseicouldntsee, the Martin Lynch-trained Oscar Time and Gordon Elliott's Backstage, who unseated his rider in the 2010 race.

But one Irish challenger who will not be making the trip is the 2010 Grand National runner-up Black Apalachi, who has been ruled out for the season.


Now a 12-year-old, Black Apalachi was going ominously well when unseating Denis O'Regan at Becher's Brook on the second circuit in 2009 before finishing second to Don't Push It last April.

He was being prepared solely with the race in mind again but has sustained a tendon injury.

"Can you imagine it? He jumps around Aintree with not a bother year after year and then he gets a leg," said trainer Dessie Hughes.

"I've no idea how it happened, it just appeared. We were lucky we didn't run him the other day.

"He might come back, but he's 12 now. He'll have to stand in his box for a month or two. This probably would have been his year.

"But maybe his year was the year he unseated - you don't get too many chances."

Another horse missing the race is Pipe's The Package, who has suffered a setback.

He was creeping into contention before unseating Graham Lee at the 19th fence in the 2010 National.

"Fortunately he is a relatively lightly-raced eight-year-old so there is still plenty of time for him, and I look forward to getting him back on track next term," said Pipe on his official website.

Grand National entries

0P1-006 ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) 10 Peter Bowen

60U0-60 AMBOBO (USA) 11 Martin Brassil IRE

2212-52 APT APPROACH (IRE) 8 Willie Mullins IRE

0U2F-0P ARBOR SUPREME (IRE) 9 Willie Mullins IRE

256-021 ASKTHEMASTER (IRE) 11 Robert Tyner IRE

0BP-500 BACKSTAGE (FR) 9 Gordon Elliott IRE

3111-11 BALLABRIGGS (IRE) 10 Donald McCain

40F-044 BALLYFITZ 11 Nigel Twiston-Davies

0100-03 BALLYTRIM (IRE) 10 Willie Mullins IRE


1F4/22-1 BELON GALE (IRE) 8 Wylie Howard Johnson

2U14-2F BIG FELLA THANKS 9 Ferdy Murphy

0C21-04 BLUESEA CRACKER (IRE) 9 James Motherway IRE

P12-UPP BURREN LEGEND (IRE) 10 Richard Rowe

4-56242 CALGARY BAY (IRE) 8 Henrietta Knight

16F-0P5 CAN'T BUY TIME (IRE) 9 Jonjo O'Neill

635P-6P CANE BRAKE (IRE) 12 Conor O'Dwyer IRE

12/- CARRONHILLS (IRE) 9 Rebecca Curtis

000-305 CHARACTER BUILDING (IRE) 11 John Quinn

30011-0 CHIEF DAN GEORGE (IRE) 11 Jimmy Moffatt

2/000-06 COMPLY OR DIE (IRE) 12 David Pipe

1P46-3U DEEP PURPLE 10 Evan Williams

363221- DEV (IRE) 11 Gordon Elliott IRE

23P1-P0 DON'T PUSH IT (IRE) 11 Jonjo O'Neill

01F24-4 DOONEYS GATE (IRE) 10 Willie Mullins IRE

21PP-PP DREAM ALLIANCE 10 Philip Hobbs

05241P DUERS (IRE) 9 Paul Magnier IRE

3/402P-0 FAASEL (IRE) 10 David Pipe

1500-10 FAIR ALONG (GER) 9 Philip Hobbs

1F3U-P1 FRANKIE FIGG (IRE) 9 Howard Johnson

313-355 FROM DAWN TO DUSK 12 Philip Hobbs

5/2613-P GALANT NUIT (FR) 7 Ferdy Murphy

F123-P2 GILES CROSS (IRE) 9 Victor Dartnall

1-P1440 GLENCOVE MARINA (IRE) 9 Eoin Griffin IRE

421001 GOLDEN KITE (IRE) 9 Adrian Maguire IRE

11FP10 GRAND SLAM HERO (IRE) 10 Nigel Twiston-Davies

P22-41F GULLIBLE GORDON (IRE) 8 Paul Nicholls

005P-1P HELLO BUD (IRE) 13 Nigel Twiston-Davies

P0-24U3 I'MONCLOUDNINE (IRE) 8 Neil Mulholland


566U-34 IN COMPLIANCE (IRE) 11 Dessie Hughes IRE

3131-32 JUNIOR 8 David Pipe

121616- JUST AMAZING (IRE) 8 Paul Nicholls

315F-0(3) KHACHATURIAN (IRE) 8 Donald McCain

P2P-253 KILLYGLEN (IRE) 9 Stuart Crawford IRE

3211-11 KING FONTAINE (IRE) 8 Malcolm Jefferson

3P-0204 LE BEAU BAI (FR) 8 Richard Lee

16-1155 LITTLE JOSH (IRE) 9 Nigel Twiston-Davies

U62/1-31 MAJESTIC CONCORDE (IRE) 8 Dermot Weld IRE

P1P-41U MEANUS DANDY (IRE) 8 Paul Nicholls

0D61-0F MERIGO (FR) 10 Green Andrew Parker

1-41111 MIDNIGHT CHASE 9 Neil Mulholland

15P-614 MOBAASHER (USA) 8 Venetia Williams

1-122B0 NEDZER'S RETURN (IRE) 9 Gordon Elliott IRE

F14/-B01 NEPTUNE COLLONGES (FR) 10 Paul Nicholls

520P-F5 NICHE MARKET (IRE) 10 Paul Nicholls

331-P31 NICTO DE BEAUCHENE (FR) 10 Victor Dartnall

021-062 NOBLE CONCORDE 9 Jim Culloty IRE

P-55004 NORTHERN ALLIANCE (IRE) 10 Tony Martin IRE

4UP-250 NOTRE PERE (FR) 10 Barry Potts IRE

1P0-053 ONE COOL COOKIE (IRE) 10 Charlie Swan IRE

2F1425 OR NOIR DE SOMOZA (FR) 9 Jean Pierre Totain FR

1215/1P/- ORNAIS (FR) 9 Paul Nicholls

3152-26 OSCAR TIME (IRE) 10 Martin Lynch IRE

013111- OUR MONTY (IRE) 8 Willie Mullins IRE

00P-234 PIRAYA (FR) 8 David Pipe

PF4-536 POMME TIEPY (FR) 8 Willie Mullins IRE

321112 PUTNEY BRIDGE 9 Keith Goldsworthy

012P51 QUEZAC DE LA ROQUE (FR) 7 Francois Cottin FR

510-113 QUINZ (FR) 7 Philip Hobbs

0/1160-2 QUISCOVER FONTAINE (FR) 7 Willie Mullins IRE

2F-FF25 QUOLIBET (FR) 7 Francois Doumen FR

560-P23 REGAL HEIGHTS (IRE) 10 Tom George

3P6/454- ROLL ALONG (IRE) 11 Nigel Twiston-Davies

P5U-42P ROYAL ROSA (FR) 12 Howard Johnson

111U0-6 SADDLERS STORM (IRE) 9 Tony Martin IRE

31-PP11 SAGALYRIQUE (FR) 7 Donald McCain

6-22000 SANTA'S SON (IRE) 11Howard Johnson

20-3534 SCOTSIRISH (IRE) 10 Willie Mullins IRE

5121-00 SILVER BY NATURE 9 Lucinda Russell

41/313-0 SKIPPERS BRIG (IRE) 10 Nicky Richards

032236- SNOWY MORNING (IRE) 11 Colin Bowe IRE

11P61/0/- STARZAAN (IRE) 12 Hughie Morrison

0/144/P3- STATE OF PLAY 11 Evan Williams

PP2/111/- SURFACE TO AIR 10 Chris Bealby

131-561 SYNCHRONISED (IRE) 8 Jonjo O'Neill

14P//1-0F TARANIS (FR) 10 Paul Nicholls

UP-3631 TATENEN (FR) 7 Richard Rowe

301050 THAT'S RHYTHM (FR) 11 Martin Todhunter

U3133-2 THE MIDNIGHT CLUB (IRE) 10 Willie Mullins IRE

00-5064 THE SAWYER (BEL) 11 Bob Buckler

204/12-P THE SLIOTAR (IRE) 10Philip Hobbs

205-244 THE TOTHER ONE (IRE) 10 Paul Nicholls

104-322 TIDAL BAY (IRE) 10 Howard Johnson

4F2P-43 TINAKELLYLAD (IRE) 7 Mouse Morris IRE

311120- TOBY JUG 10 Sarah Humphrey

2106-11 TRANQUIL SEA (IRE) 9 Edward O'Grady IRE

F/116PP- TREACLE (IRE) 10 Tom Taaffe IRE

1/2100-P TRICKY TRICKSTER (IRE) 8 Paul Nicholls

501B-00 VIC VENTURI (IRE) 11 Dessie Hughes IRE

2P/00-11 WEST END ROCKER (IRE) 9 Alan King

61/211-5 WHAT A FRIEND 8 Paul Nicholls

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see also
McCoy ends wait for National win
11 Apr 10 |  Horse Racing
Denman ruled out of National run
29 Nov 10 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing

related bbc links:

related internet links:
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Sky Sports Strong Nicholls team - 1 hr ago
Mail Online UK Rising star Nick Schofield handed chance to shine on Dulcote - 17 hrs ago
Telegraph Paul Nicholls puts Pride Of Dulcote to test at Leopardstown - 18 hrs ago
Daily Express Grand National: Ballabriggs is up for Aintree - 37 hrs ago
Betfair Festival Trials Weekend Review: Can Grands Crus topple Big Buck's? - 44 hrs ago


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