Sunday 17 November 2019

Walsh salutes his 'old friend' Seabass

Trainer Ted Walsh
Trainer Ted Walsh

Johnny Ward

Former English Grand National third Seabass has died, trainer Ted Walsh paying tribute to "an old friend".

Owner by a syndicate based in the west, Seabass, 14, won seven races, including a Grade Two, and memorably finished third in the 2012 National under Ted's daughter Katie. He was a well-beaten favourite in 2013.

Ted Walsh said: "You are always sad to lose an old friend, a horse that was good to everyone in the family and who gave us great days. "He also won under the late John Thomas McNamara. If he hadn't had his issues, getting a sniff of a leg injury twice, one wonders what he could have done, and the National he was third in was a high-class renewal.

"He even ran well in France for us and in general Katie got on great with him - he's a horse I'll never forget. He was going into retirement with Papillon and Rince Ri, who are 26 and 24 respectively, but he had a heart attack."

Elsewhere, the Walsh-trained Foxrock is given an "each-way chance" by his trainer, while Bryan Cooper is set to ride General Principle in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National on Monday.

Cooper's boss Michael O'Leary could conceivably declare 12 runners in the €500,000 contest so Gigginstown's retained rider will have a choice to make and he is set to pick General Principle, a novice which has won his last two but escapes a penalty.

It is expected Gigginstown will claim off top weight Lord Scoundrel, with Alpha Des Obeaux to wear a hood.

Noel Meade has expressed reservations about the ground - so dry that it required recent watering - for long-term National hopeful Bonny Kate. There is also a concern about the terrain for Baie Des Isles, trained by Ross O'Sullivan. "We began watering on Wednesday and there is no real rain forecast," said Fairyhouse manager Peter Roe.

A dark one for the race could be French recruit Polidam, which has joined Willie Mullins.

Across the Irish Sea today, Lingfield stages its lucrative all-weather championships with six races televised live on ITV4, plus three from Newcastle.

Irish Independent

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