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Swing Bill hoping to make it third time lucky in Grand National

| 02.04.2014

Swing Bill has become a standing dish at Aintree and is 66/1 with Coral to make it third time lucky in the Crabbie’s Grand National on Saturday, April 5th.

The David Pipe-trained grey finished 12th in the race in 2012, and sixth behind Auroras Encore in last year’s contest.

He has run six times in total over the Grand National fences, finishing fifth in 2011 Topham Chase, fourth in 2012 Becher Chase and fifth in this year’s Becher behind Chance Du Roy.

The 13-year-old has only failed to complete the course once, and that was when pulled up in the 2011 Becher Chase.

That experience is sure to stand him in good stead in this year’s renewal, in which he is set to carry just 10st 1lb, after finishing a fair 11th of 23 to

Spring Heeled in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen in action.

Previously owned by the late David Johnson, he now runs in the colours of Halewood International Ltd – a parent company of Grand National sponsor Crabbie’s.

Halewood International was founded in 1978 by the late John Halewood, who always dreamt of success in the Grand National and realised it when the Ginger McCain-trained Amberleigh House won in 2004.

His widow Judy, who used to train herself, is now chair of the company and saddled Harley to finish 12th in the 1991 Grand National.

If Swing Bill wins the National, he will become only the third horse aged 13 to do so.

Why Not in 1894 and Sergeant Murphy in 1923 are those that have rolled back the years to do so, while the oldest horse to have ever won was 15-year-old Peter Simple in 1853.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.