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Grand National News – 23rd March

by Aidan Elder | March 23, 2011

Grand National News
There’s not a whole lot to do in Meath except lean on a post

Grand National News – 23rd March
– And then there were … em … 74.
Yeah, it’s not particularly dramatic, but we now have an ever so slightly better idea of who might win the Grand National after Tuesday’s forfeit stage. Most of the market leaders have stood their ground and in the absence of any real news about the race, the Racing Post have put former not quite Champion Jockey, Adrian Maguire on the front page as he trains Golden Kite – currently a 50/1 shot for the race. He still needs eleven horses to come out so he can squeeze into the 40 runner field, but if that happens – and he gets some luck – and the ground is right – and the jockey does his stuff – then he’s got a great chance. “Touch wood, he’s a very good jumper and he might just like it,” said the young trainer, who clearly has a thing or two to learn about bullish overconfidence. Racing Post (you have to buy it edition)

– Prince Charles doppel-ganger and trainer, David Arbuthnot has confirmed that his progressive hurdler, Topolski is likely to take his chance in one of the big hurdling prizes at the Grand National Festival. After winning his two most recent assignments in some style, Arbuthnot told us “We’ll aim towards to Liverpool with him now as he deserves to take his chance in one of those better races.” We’ve no odds to push in this story just yet, but remember this story for when we do. At The Races

– Kind of Aintree specialist and euphemistically labelled ‘quirky sort’, Tidal Bay is set to go for the Grand National after not being embarrassed in finishing 6th in Friday’s Gold Cup. The 10 year old has three Aintree wins to his name, although treat that stat with about 2 mg of salt because none of them have come over the National fences. “He doesn’t over-exert himself and is bouncing and there is nothing else to go for,” explained trainer Howard Johnson, not exactly selling his 33/1 shot to us. Irish Independent

– Laying his cards on the table especially early, Ferdy Murphy has told everyone how he wants Graham Lee to ride Big Fella Thanks in the Grand National . “That’s to hunt round and leave it late, and take our time and get the horse to settle”, he explained. That’s how Lee won the 2004 Grand National onboard Amberleigh House so there’s absolutely no reason to think he can’t do it again. Honestly. The Guardian

– The shock news that spring is actually going to be a little bit like what you’d expect spring to be like means Aintree are likely to sprinkle a little bit of water over the ground before the start of the Grand National Festival. Manfully taking on our obligatory weather forecast duties from Simon Claisse at Cheltenham, clerk of the course, Andy Tulloch told us “At the moment we would be looking at good, good to soft on the Mildmay course and probably good to soft on the National. If we need to water we will.” Racing Post

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