Grand National winner turned eventer to return to Aintree

Retrained Grand National winner Pineau De Re will return to Aintree today to parade for racegoers.

The 16-year-old gelding, who triumphed in the iconic race under Leighton Aspell in 2014 (pictured below, green and gold colours), heads the nine-strong line-up in the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) parade today (4 April).

Formerly trained by Dr Richard Newland, “Pineau” ran his final race at Uttoxeter in 2016 before retiring from the track.

He was retrained Dr Newland’s daughter, Amelia, and Lizzie Doolittle. He made his eventing debut with Lizzie at Aston-le-Walls in April 2017 and is thriving in his second career.

Pineau De Re on his way to winning the 2014 Grand National

Pineau will be joined by five other former Grand National Festival winners in the parade ring at 12.15pm for the event, sponsored by the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust.

These include three-time Topham Chase victor Always Waining, El Dancer, Peddlers Cross, Walkon and Grade One Mildmay Novices’ Chase winner Saphir Du Rheu.

“Saffi” delighted crowds on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, taking part in the RoR parade before leading in Champion Hurdle victor Espoir D’Allen to the winners’ enclosure.

Saphir Du Rheu won the Grade One Mildmay Novices’ Chase in 2015

The former H&H cover star is also enjoying an active second career with Charlotte Alexander since his racing days came to an end in April 2018, taking part in his first affiliated event at Aston-le-Walls in March and relishing open team chasing with Team Rideaway and the Boring Gorings.

Charlotte said “Saffi” has also turned into a “super hunter”, following the Beaufort hounds.

“He will jump everything from the stiff park railings to hairy hedges. He is my ‘show off’ horse,” she said.

“He is very athletic, bold and intelligent. Going forward the aim is to do some eventing. We recently completed our first BE100 class and he is showing a great aptitude for dressage and showjumping, as well as being a machine across country.”

The RoR parade line-up is completed by The Queen’s prolific showing star Barbers Shop, Wild West, Cloudy Too, who was the 2017 supreme champion at the RoR National Championships.

Di Arbuthnot, chief executive of RoR, said: “There is a great line-up for this year’s Aintree parade featuring some wonderful examples of the racehorse’s adaptability and versatility.

“The team at Aintree are great supporters and promoters of the charity and we would also like to thank the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust for their most generous sponsorship.”

The full line-up is as follows:

1. Always Waining (hunting and showing) ridden by Rebecca Francis
18-year-old by Unfuwain, formerly trained by Peter Bowen

2. Barbers Shop (showing) ridden by Katie Jerram Hunnable Is her surname hyphenated?
17-year-old by Saddlers’ Hall, formerly trained by Nicky Henderson

3. Cloudy Too (hunting) ridden by Carolyn Woods
13-year-old by Cloudings, formerly trained by Sue Smith

4. El Dancer (hunting and eventing) ridden by Clemmie Hoskins
15-year-old by Seattle Dancer, formerly trained by Lucy Wadham.

5. Peddlers Cross (showjumping and showing) ridden by Brian Storey
14-year-old by Oscar, formerly trained by Donald McCain

6. Pineau De Re (eventing) ridden by Lizzie Doolittle
16-year-old by Maresca Sorrento, formerly trained by Dr Richard Newland

7. Saphir Du Rheu (team chasing and eventing) ridden by Charlotte Alexander
10-year-old by Al Namix, formerly trained by Paul Nicholls

8. Walkon (hunting) ridden by Catherine Warner
14-year-old by Take Risks, formerly trained by Alan King

9. Wild West (showing) ridden by Lizzie Harris
11-year-old by Galileo, formerly trained by Jonjo O’Neill

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