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Marine Nationale Horse - Age, weight, trainer, owner, race record and form

Having missed the 2024 Cheltenham Festival due to a suspensory strain, Marine Nationale will hopefully be back in action in the near future.

Barry Connell's stable star was an impressive winner of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at last year's Festival and was the favourite to supplement his record in the Arkle, despite suffering the first defeat of his seven-race career at the Dublin Racing Festival in February.

Horse Racing

Marine Nationale Owner

Marine Nationale is owned (and trained) by Connell. The Dubliner says he was introduced to the sport by his father 'as soon as I could walk or talk' and that racing became a lifelong infatuation when the former stockbroker bought his first horse in his late 20s.

Connell has enjoyed plenty of success as first a rider and, now, as a trainer.

He rode two winners at Cheltenham's November meeting, one in 2003 and another in 2008. Incredibly, Connell did not start race riding until he was well into his 30s.

He told the Irish Times of those days riding against the likes of AP McCoy and Richard Johnson: "It was like a soccer fan being able to go into the dressing room at Old Trafford and then walk out on the pitch and play."

Marine Nationale Trainer

Connell saw his yellow and blue silks succeed on the biggest stages for other trainers. Martello Tower won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March 2015, trained by Mags Mullins and ridden by Adrian Heskin, under Connell's ownership.

In 2023, he went to the Cotswolds dreaming of training a Festival winner for the first time under his own steam and he didn't have to wait long.

Marine Nationale stormed up the Cheltenham hill to thwart Facile Vega for Willie Mullins and win the Supreme.

His other main contender, Good Land, who like his stablemate was ridden by Mikey O'Sullivan, was a fine fourth in the Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle behind Impaire Et Passe.

Marine Nationale Age

Marine Nationale is a seven-year-old gelding.

Marine Nationale Breeding

Marine Nationale is a son of former Kildangan Stud sire French Navy out of a mare that was trained by Sir Henry Cecil, Power Of Future. He was bred by John O'Connor of J B Bloodstock.

The mare Power Of Future was bred in Germany and sold as a yearling for €11,000 before winning three times for Cecil. She changed hands as a four-year-old for 42,000 gns but was unable to attain any black type and didn't add to her tally of wins before going to stud.

French Navy was an 11-time winner in his career, including four successes at Group 3 level.

Marine Nationale Official Rating

Marine Nationale has only run twice over fences this season, ensuring he has yet to get an official rating as a chaser.

His wide-margin Leopardstown win at Christmas on debut did, though, see him get a Racing Post Rating of 156, while he was deemed to have run some 11lb below that mark when fifth in the Irish Arkle back at the Foxrock venue in February.

He is officially rated 158 over hurdles having won all three starts in that code, the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse and the Supreme at Cheltenham amongst them.

Marine National Weight

Marine Nationale last raced off 11st12lbs at Leopardstown, the joint-highest weight he has competed at in his career.

Marine Nationale Record

Marine Nationale has won six of his seven starts under Rules.

He won bumpers at Punchestown and Killarney in the summer of 2022 and was back at the former venue in October that year to make a winning start over timber.

The Royal Bond at Fairyhouse (2m, soft) saw a winning rise into Grade 1 company, with the smart Irish Point in second for Gordon Elliott, before Facile Vega was condemned to second in the Supreme at Cheltenham under a cool ride from O'Sullivan.

The pair made the ideal start over fences at Leopardstown in December 2023, landing a 2m1f beginners' contest in pleasing style and were hot favourites for the Irish Arkle back there in February.

Things went awry, with a mistake at the last proving the damning moment as Marine Nationale faded into fifth behind Il Etait Temps and, thus, lost his perfect record.

Marine Nationale Next Race

The Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham was the target for Marine Nationale before his injury diagnosis.

Connell and his team were shocked to see their stable star lame after a routine piece of work, but they revealed in March that the injury would rule him out of both Festivals at Cheltenham and Punchestown.

However, Connell has hinted at a potential switch to Flat racing later in the autumn.

He told the Racing Post: "We might have a little autumn Flat campaign with him. I think he could be a serious Graded horse on the Flat, so it's something we can look at. He prospered when we had him on the go during the summer of his novice hurdle campaign.

"I may be shooting for the moon but he could be an Irish Leger horse, but we'll see how we go.

"Given where we're at, it's something we'll contemplate given he's missing his spring season.

"We can get him out to grass early and look at an early autumn campaign and have him fit going into next season, where we'll hopefully be going for the Champion Chase."

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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