/EINPresswire.com/ The entries for the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National have been announced and 82 horses are now in contention for the record prize money of £975,000 on April 14th 2012.
The entries for the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National have been announced and 82 horses are now in contention for the record prize money of £975,000. The 2012 Grand National takes place at Aintree on Saturday, April 14 and top of the list is Ballabriggs, the 2011 Grand National winner who is bidding for his second title in two years.
Champion trainer Willie Mullins heads up the Irish charge with 12 of the overall 31 entries from Ireland. Mullins has included Apt Approach, On His Own, Quel Esprit and The Midnight Club are among his dozen.
Somerset-based handler David Pipe won the 2008 John Smith’s Grand National with Comply Or Die and he is responsible for Junior who hopes to go one better than last year when he was cut before the final line-up.
Henrietta Knight has entered recent Sky Bet Chase winner Calgary Bay and the highly anticipated Shakalakaboomboom has been given the green light from Nicky Henderson’s stable after finishing behind Calgary bay on Saturday at Doncaster.
Alan King has thrown his hat in the ring with Hold On Julio and West End Rocker, the winner of the Betfred Becher Chase over the National fences at Aintree on December 3rd 2011.
Winner of the The John Smith’s Topham Chase in 2010 and 2011, Always Waining, is making the step up to the Grand National along with Le Beau Bai, winner of the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27.
The 2012 John Smith’s Grand National will be the first renewal since entry requirements were tightened. Only horses aged seven or above can now compete and every runner must have been placed in the first four of a chase of three miles or more by March 20 and be rated 120 or above.
Paul Eddison of www.grand-national.me.uk said “It’s clear that tightening the entry requirements have had an effect on the number of horses entered. In 2011 102 were entered with 112 in 2010. Despite this, there are still some terrific horses to keep a close eye on, though picking a winner will definitely be more difficult this year.”
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