Grand National - At The Races

David Pipe

    Grand National-winning trainer David Pipe sends a select squad to Aintree which is headed by Vieux Lion Rouge, the likely favourite for the Randox Health Grand National.
  • Monday 03 April 2017
  • Stable Tours

David Pipe probably looked on in admiration at the way his father Martin continually smashed records and raised the bar for those in the training ranks of National Hunt racing during his formative years but it could a reversal of positions at Aintree on Saturday should Vieux Lion Rouge or one of his other contenders land the world’s most famous race.

Martin Pipe, despite re-writing the record books, only hoisted the Grand National Trophy once during his illustrious career when Miinnehoma took the race in 1993 and son David has already achieved that goal with Comply Or Die in 2008.

Father would have been puffing his chest out in 2009 had Comply Or Die not found only Mon Mome too good but the former Pond House maestro could have his day should David lift it this time.

The Pipe team isn’t as strong numerically as in the past but with top novice hurdler Moon Racer on a retrieval mission after being pulled up in the Champion Hurdle and Starchitect looking to improve on a good run in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Plate there could be rewards to be reaped later this week.

David said: “We don’t have as big a team as usual but fingers crossed they go there with decent chances. Vieux Lion Rouge has done all that has been asked of him this season and he is a stronger horse this year and it would be amazing if we could win another National.”

David kindly spoke to Tony Elves of attheraces.com about those that will be on duty for him at Aintree.

All Horses

Ballynagour (IRE)

  • 11-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Shantou - Simply Deep (Simply Great)
  • Trained by: D Pipe
  • Last Race: Uttoxeter, 28 May 2017 16:15
  • Result: U/7, held up in mid-division, headway 10th, outpaced after next, soon weakened, hampered and unseated rider 3 out
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He is in the National and the Irish National and will go for one of the races. He has had a disappointing season so far but the better ground usually brings out the best in him and he’s a very good horse on his day but just a little bit hard to predict.

Video Form
28 May 2017:
26 Jun 2016:
29 Apr 2015:

Doctor Harper (IRE)

Trainer Says:

He ran well in the Kim Muir when seventh to Domesday Book and the trip will probably suit him well. He would be a lively outsider.

Video Form
3 Jan 2016:

La Vaticane (FR)

Trainer Says:

She is number 47 and it is a question of whether she gets in but she has been over the fences before and jumped well. She was badly hampered last time at Cheltenham and was pulled up and, ideally, she would want softer ground in the National.

Video Form
10 May 2017:
29 Dec 2016:

Moon Racer (IRE)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Saffron Walden - Angel's Folly (Wesaam)
  • Trained by: D Pipe
  • Last Race: Aintree, 7 Apr 2017 14:20
  • Result: 6/9, tracked leaders on outside, niggled along after 4 out, not fluent 3 out, lost place 2 out, no extra
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He seems to have come out of Cheltenham ok and the plan is to go for the two-mile Top Novices’ Hurdle on the Friday. Hopefully, a lot of the Irish horses will stay in Ireland and we will take on the best of the British horses and see him come back to his best.

Video Form
27 Apr 2016:

Starchitect (IRE)

Trainer Says:

He ran well in the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate at Cheltenham where a couple fell in front of him and didn’t help during the race but he still finished a respectable fifth to Road To Respect. The plan is to enter him in the three mile novices’ handicap chase and the three-mile handicap chase and hopefully he will go for one of those. The better the ground the better for him.

Video Form
2 Jan 2017:
5 May 2016:
13 Dec 2014:

Vieux Lion Rouge (FR)

Trainer Says:

He has done well this season so far and won the Becher Chase and the Grand National Trial at Haydock. He has had a good prep and he ticks a lot of the boxes having won over the National fences and then at Haydock. He has been in good form since Haydock and everything has gone smoothly with his preparation. He didn’t see the trip out last year but he is a stronger horse this year.

Video Form
18 May 2015:
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