Lord Windermere tops 98 entries for £1-million Crabbie's Grand National

Lord Windermere tops 98 entries for £1-million Crabbie's Grand National

Wednesday 4th February 2015 - Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere headlines 98 entries for the £1-million Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on Saturday 11th April. 

Trained in Ireland by Jim Culloty, the nine year old could bid to become the first horse since L'Escargot and only the third ever to win the Gold Cup and Grand National. L'Escargot won the Cheltenham showpiece in 1970 and 1971, and then denied Red Rum a hat-trick of wins at Aintree in 1975. Golden Miller won both races in 1934.

 Culloty has also entered Spring Heeled who emerged as a potential Aintree contender when making most of the running to win the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

 Culloty partnered the 2002 Grand National victor Bindaree and if successful at Aintree on April 11th would join Algy Anthony, Tommy Carberry, Aubrey Hastings, Fulke Walwyn and Fred Winter - all of whom have ridden and trained Grand National winners since 1900.

Betfred, the official betting partner of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival, makes Spring Heeled its 25/1 co-favourite of 11 alongside the likes of last year's winner Pineau De Re, the 2014 runner-up Balthazar King and Hennessy Gold Cup hero Many Clouds. Seven of the first eight finishers from last year are entered again. 

Alvarado is also among the market leaders but has not been seen since last year's renewal. The Fergal O'Brien-trained 10 year old was quietly fancied after an impressive victory at Cheltenham in November, 2013, and stayed on strongly from the last to snatch fourth under Paul Moloney. 

O'Brien said: "Alvarado put his heart and soul into the National last year and he was a bit tired when he came back, so we gave him a long break. He has had no real problems - just a couple of niggly things - and the weather has conspired against us, which is why he hasn't run yet. 

"Alvarado did not run between New Year's Day and the National last year and Paul felt that if we had done a run in between, it might have taken the freshness out of him and made him settle better. You need loads of luck as well. We have watched the replay several times and there were two or three incidents where he could have been brought down. We had the luck last year and we need that again this year."