The support team behind Grand National contender Vieux Lion Rouge

Features | 7th April 2021

Meet David Pipe’s Vieux Lion Rouge and the team behind his training and care ahead of the Randox Grand National at Aintree this Saturday.

The stable star has already proved what a hero he is with two William Hill Becher Handicap Chase’s to his name in 2016 and 2020, as well as holding the record for the most jumped Grand National fences, with an impressive 223 obstacles under his stride in his career so far.

Vieux Lion Rouge, known to the Pipe team as ‘Vieux’, will be ridden by Conor O’Farrell in the world’s most famous horserace on Saturday, as Vieux makes his fifth attempt to win the prestigious race at Aintree.

Vieux’s daily routine, led by a top team of professionals, includes his work riders, grooms, physio, farrier, trainer and yard staff, who work 24/7 to ensure every one of the horses in their care are given the fullest attention and uphold the best possible welfare standards ensuring that every horse bred for racing leads its best life.

The 12-year-old chestnut gelding has been in training with David Pipe for nine years and in this time his day-to-day care has been given by Julie Bellamy, who also rides him in training. Vieux is a firm favourite in the yard, his cheeky persona combined with his love of carrots from Julie has made him a lovable star.

Julie said: “Vieux Lion Rouge is a real gentleman in the stable and is a pleasure to look after. On the track and in training he has a zest for life and is an amazing horse to ride.”

Pipe, who won the Grand National in 2008 with Comply or Die, said: “We are lucky to have had him in the yard over the past nine years. He has a lovely way about him, the staff love him, and he is the first face I see when I come out of the office. He is in fantastic form and his record has proven that he enjoys jumping the course at Aintree.”

The Randox Grand National will be broadcast live on ITV Racing at 17.15 on Saturday 10th April.