2014 Racing News

Colbert stationed at head of Grand National market

The old racing adage that “losses are only lent” might well turn out to apply to those who supported the talented Irish staying chaser, Colbert Station, in last season’s renewal of the Aintree Grand National, a horse who was the subject of a major gamble for the ‘world’s greatest steeplechase’.

For the first circuit of the four-and-a-half mile spectacle the JP McManus-owned gelding looked as though he would go a very long way towards repaying those who had placed their faith in him and supported him down to just 12/1 on under the guidance of the great Tony McCoy.

Patiently ridden by the 18-times British champion jumps jockey, Colbert Station was towards the rear of the field (but in touch), when he blundered and unseated his rider at the biggest fence on the course, The Chair, the 15th of the 30 daunting obstacles.

It was too far from home to say with any confidence just how close the gelded son of Witness Box might have gone towards landing the great race, but connections are hoping that they will get another bite of the cherry back at the Liverpool circuit in April 2014.

For that race, the Ted Walsh trained nine-year-old is currently a 25/1 co-favourite with betfair for the biggest betting event of the sporting year.

Last term, Colbert Station proved himself a particularly progressive performer, beating 27 rivals to land the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas fixture, a victory for which he was raised 17bs by the handicapper to a new career-high mark of 149.

Switching codes for his Grand National warm-up race, Walsh’s charge then scored in fine style over timber at Punchestown in February and he remains a horse to keep very much on the right side ahead of this term’s big staying handicap events.

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