Prince De Beauchene misses Grand National for second year running
The news that Prince De Beauchene will once again miss the Grand National through injury will have been greeted with groans across the land from punters who had backed him into 10/1 from 16/1 with Coral for the April spectacular.
One person who won’t be too bothered about the withdrawal of Willie Mullins 10 year-old is jockey Ruby Walsh who still has a trio of mounts that he could potentially ride. As the Mullins’ stable jockey he can expect first refusal on On His Own, whilst occupying the same role in Paul Nicholls’ Ditcheat yard entitles him to the leg-up aboard Join Together. Finally, despite little sister Katy Walsh doing such a fine job on Seabass in last year’s race it’s highly possible the horse’s trainer (Ruby’s father Ted) would bring in one of the finest jump jockeys in the game to pilot the 10-year-old if it became an option.
On His Own, currently 7/1 favourite with Coral, had been running a good race last year when falling at Bechers Brook on the second circuit under Paul Townend and could well benefit from the expertise of dual National-winning jockey in his second tilt at the prize. Even with Walsh’s added know how in the saddle, On His Own has raced just seven times over fences, whereas the last 10 Grand National winners had all contested at least 10 chases prior to the Aintree visit.
Overlooked by Walsh even before injury ruled him out of last year’s race, Seabass was held prominent throughout, running a highly creditable race to finish third. Those safety-first tactics kept the gelding out of the melee, but a ride that kept him off the pace may have seen the strong stayer finish with more conviction. That he can improve upon last year’s bronze medal is far from certain with the 10-year-old carrying 8lbs more than he did in the 2012 renewal. Seabass is currently 10/1 second favourite with Coral.
Join Together hardly enjoyed the ideal prep-race last time when pulled up having been impeded by the falling Night In Milan at just the third fence, but had previously posted an eye-catching display over the National fences in Aintree’s Becher Chase. The eight-year-old showed an excellent turn of foot at the business end of a gruelling 3m2f on heavy ground to shoot from second last to a quarter length second in the final 2f that day and can be backed at 16/1 with Coral.