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Grand National News – 30th March

by Aidan Elder | March 30, 2011

Grand National News
What A Friend – every other caption I had for this photo would get me the sack

Grand National News – 30th March
>>> Ruby Walsh has already revealed that he’ll be riding The Midnight Club in the Grand National, but an absence of any other news has meant he’s been asked to pad out a few newspaper columns with a polite explanation as to why. Naturally he obliged and told us “You can only ride one and I just thought The Midnight Club was the most unexposed in the handicap of all the horses I could ride. He might lack a bit of experience, there’s probably plenty of reasons why people won’t fancy him.” The explanation didn’t cause a ripple in the market and The Midnight Club remains the 8/1 favourite to win the National. Irish Independent

>>> The excitement is building around Liverpool ahead of the Grand National Festival and to celebrate, the race sponsors have stuck a giant horse’s ass on a building. Just be grateful the marketing campaign for the new series of Loose Women doesn’t use a similar tactic. Aintree Racecourse Twitter

>>> Paul Nicholls has also chipped in with a few column inches of his own about a story we pretty much already know inside out. He says What A Friend has a great chance of winning the Grand Nationall, but he won’t be too upset if the April showers buggered off until after the race. “The key to him is the weather staying dry and the ground not being too soft. We’ll have to see but if the ground is good I suppose he’s got a great chance,” said the Champion Trainer. Sky Sports

>>> Irish Grand National winner, Bluesea Cracker is still in good form, days after being reported to be in good form. The mare is a 25/1 shot to win the Grand National and trainer James Motherway says if there were a few dribbles of rain between now and the big race, that wouldn’t hurt her chances. “I don’t know how accurate it can be but they’re predicting 22-23mms of rain over the next while so that would be good,” he explained, presumably living in constant fear of 21mm or 24 mm of rain. The Irish Times

>>> Carlo Brigante was one of the most eye-catching winners at the Cheltenham Festival and after his romping up the hill in the Coral Cup, he’s being aimed at bigger targets. A meeting with triple World Hurdle winner, Big Bucks at Aintree’s Grand National Festival is in the pipeline after owner, Michael O’Leary took some time out of his busy ‘whoring himself around to promote whatever cheap tickets racket Ryanair are running’ schedule to talk about his exciting youngster. “The handicapper has put him up 17 lbs in Ireland and now we were faced with no option now but to take on the likes of Big Bucks,” he said before trying to sell us scratch-cards. Racing Post (buy it edition)

>>> The McCain family name almost as synonymous with ‘Aintree success’ as the Cyrus family name is with ‘face-punchingly annoying’ and they’ve got a good chance of landing some more this year. [Aintree success rather than face-punching just to clear up that clumsy sentence]. Jockey Jason Maguire says Champion Hurdle runner-up, Peddlers Cross will have no problem being upped in trip for the 2 ½ mile Aintree Hurdle. “The trip will play to his strengths,” was all you need know from the obligatory quote and Maguire was also pretty happy with how Ballabriggs is shaping up for the Grand National, even though he got beaten when odds-on at Kelso last time out. “It was a a stepping stone to Aintree and he looks great,” he said in what we’re assuming is a typo rather than a stammer. British Horse Racing Authority

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