Grand National News
The dust – and quite possibly a few stomachs – has only just settled on Cheltenham, but it’s time to look forward to Aintree and of course the Grand National.
– Don’t Push It was only at Cheltenham to get tuned up for the defence of his Grand National title, but his run in the Pertemps Hurdle Final went surprisingly well as he finished a creditable 10th in a race dominated by a front running performance from Buena Vista. A tilt at next year’s World Hurdle is unlikely, but Aintree is still on the agenda according to JP McManus racing skivvy, Frank Berry. “You’d have to be happy with him. All roads lead to Aintree, that’s the plan,” he said whilst possibly banging the details into his sat-nav. British Horse Racing Authority
– It’s also destination Aintree for Kalahari King. After narrowly avoiding the protesting lunatic to stay on for second in the Ryanair Chase, he’s being aimed at the Melling Chase where he hopes to avoid looking at Albertas Run’s backside as he crosses the line victorious again. His trainer, Ferdy Murphy also confirmed that Big Fella Thanks will be running in the Grand National. Racing Post
– After the kind of heart-warming performances that makes you feel slightly gooey inside, Paul Nicholls has confirmed that Denman and Kauto Star will not be retired. It links into a blog post about the Grand National because Denman has regularly been talked about as a Grand National horse, even though it now looks like that Grand National will be the 2012 version at the earliest. This Is Gloucesershire
Nicholls also confirmed What A Friend is on target for the Grand National and that sentence is also factually correct if you replace insert ‘Dermot Weld’ and ‘Majestic Concorde’ at the appropriate points. Racing Post
– And it may only have a tenuous connection to the Grand National, but whoever looks after the PR at the Nicky Henderson yard needs to pull the finger out. After criticism for how the Binocular affair was handled, going on TV and talking about backing himself to have no winners at Cheltenham smacks of the lack of foresight/common sense that might just get him a job in the Paddy Power Journalists’ Cupboard. Sky Sports
Henderson did manage not to get himself into trouble for in the region of 15 seconds, which was just enough time to confirm that he’s considering Aintree or Punchestown for this former Champion Hurdler. The Irish Times