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Neptune Collonges - Grand National Aintree 14.4.12

Neptune Collonges (left) just touches off Sunnyhillboy to win the National

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

National hero Neptune dazzles for Dom Alco

NEPTUNE COLLONGES' last-gasp nose victory in Saturday's John Smith's Grand National at Aintree was the latest feather in the cap of the late French National Stud stallion Dom Alco.

Other French-bred imports by Dom Alco who have flourished on the British and Irish jumps scene include Al Ferof, Grands Crus and Silviniaco Conti, who won Friday's Mildmay Novices' Chase to give the stallion a big Aintree double.

Dom Alco, a son of Dom Pasquini, was a high-class hurdler in France in the early 1990s, winning the Prix Aguado and Prix Cambaceres Hurdles as a three-year-old and the Prix Amadou Hurdle the following year. He was also second in the Grade 1 Grand Prix d'Automne at Auteuil.

Retired to stud in 1994, he died aged 23 in 2010, the year before was due to stand under the French National Stud banner at Haras de Cercy-la-Tour at €2,500.

Neptune Collonges was bred by GAEC Delorme Freres out of the El Badr mare Castille Collonges, who failed to get her head in front in 42 starts. He is the second French-bred National winner in the last four years, after 2009 hero Mon Mome.

He hails from the 'Collonges' dynasty that has thrown up several top-class jumpers: he is a half-brother to Quadrette Collonges, a Listed-winning hurdler at Enghien, and 2008 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner Nenuphar Collonges and 2002 Royal & SunAlliance Chase winner Hussard Collonges are among his other relatives.

Sunnyhillboy's narrow defeat denied the late Old VIc, the Grand National sire par excellence in recent years, a third winner of the race after Comply Or Die in 2008 and Don't Push It (who beat paternal half-brother Black Apalachi) in 2010.




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