73 Left In 2014 Grand National
Tue, Mar 18th, 2014
73 remain on Crabbie's Grand National trail
There are 73 horses going forward for the Crabbie's Grand National, run at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 5, 2014, after today's scratching opportunity, as against 57 left at this stage last year.
The Crabbie's Grand National, worth £1 million for the first time, has a maximum field of 40.
There is just over a fortnight to go until the £1-million Crabbie's Grand National and the sense of anticipation rises today with the unveiling of the latest acceptors for the Aintree spectacular on Saturday, April 5. A total of 73 horses go forward for the world's greatest chase, which takes place over 30 fences and four miles, three and a half furlongs. There were 57 horses left in at this stage last year.
The current 10/1 favourite with Betfred, official betting partner of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival, is Teaforthree (Rebecca Curtis), who finished an excellent third in the 2013 renewal of the Crabbie's Grand National and warmed up in good style when eighth in last week's Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Another horse to have run in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup is Triolo D'Alene (20/1), bidding to give reigning champion trainer Nicky Henderson a first Crabbie's Grand National success. The seven-year-old was 10th at Cheltenham and is already a winner at Aintree, having taken the 2013 Topham Chase over the Grand National fences. Henderson still has the 2011 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and dual King George VI Chase winner Long Run (20/1) engaged as well as Hunt Ball (66/1) and Shakalakaboomboom (33/1).
The Cheltenham Gold Cup form could also be represented by Katenko (33/1), who came home 11th at Prestbury Park. He is trained by Venetia Williams, who famously sent out the 100/1 shot Mon Mome to victory in 2009.
A winner from the Cheltenham Festival who could attempt to double up in the Crabbie's Grand National is Cross Country Chase scorer Balthazar King (33/1,Philip Hobbs)
Tidal Bay (16/1 Paul Nicholls) bypassed Cheltenham and continues to head the weights on 11st 10lb. Last seen out when runner-up in the Grade One Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown, Ireland, on February 9, he will be attempting to become the first 13-year-old to succeed since Sergeant Murphy in 1923. Other possible starters for Nicholls, victorious in 2012 with Neptune Collonges, are Rocky Creek (25/1), Hawkes Point (33/1) and There's No Panic (40/1).
Jonjo O'Neill, successful in 2010 with Don't Push It, also has six remaining contenders to choose from including the 2012 runner-up Sunnyhillboy (33/1) as well as Burton Port (33/1), Twirling Magnet (50/1), Lost Glory (66/1), Alfie Sherrin (33/1) and Storm Survivor (66/1).
There are five representatives going forward from the Pond House stable of David Pipe, who sent out Comply Or Die to victory in 2008. They include The Package (50/1), a good third in a competitive handicap chase at Cheltenham last week and recent Midlands Grand National victor Goulanes (40/1). Pipe could also run Swing Bill (66/1), sixth last year and owned by race sponsor Halewood International, as well as Our Father (40/1) and Standing Ovation (40/1).
A total of 17 Irish-trained contenders go forward including Prince De Beauchene (33/1) and Vesper Bell (50/1) from the stable of Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins, successful in 2005 with Hedgehunter. Ted Walsh, handler of 2000 scorer Papillon, has left in Colbert Station (25/1), while the progressive Double Seven (33/1) hails from the stable of Martin Brassil, triumphant in 2006 with Numbersixvalverde.
It is 55 years since Michael Scudamore captured the Crabbie's Grand National aboard Oxo and his trainer grandson, also Michael, has a live contender in Monbeg Dude (20/1), the 2012 Welsh National hero.
The surname McCain is synonymous with the Crabbie's Grand National and Donald McCain has two entries left in - Across The Bay (40/1) and Kruzhlinin (50/1).
Godsmejudge (25/1 Alan King) won last year's Scottish Grand National, while The Rainbow Hunter (33/1) won the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster in January and represents the Kim Bailey yard, victorious in 1990 with Mr Frisk.
The next scratchings stage for the Crabbie's Grand National at the six-day stage on Monday, March 31. The maximum field size is 40, plus four reserves.
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