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Goulanes the pick of Pipe’s Grand National quintet

| 20.03.2014

David Pipe is enjoying a terrific season, and Goulanes looks the pick of five entries in this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National as he bids to win the race for the second time.

The Pond House handler saddled Comply Or Die to land the race in 2008 in the famous colours of the late David Johnson.

The Johnson family are responsible for two of Pipe’s entries in the shape of The Package and Our Father.

The best of that duo could be the former, who ran very well at the Cheltenham Festival when finishing third to Holywell and is set to carry a handy looking 10st 4lb at Aintree.

Pipe believes he will come on for that run, his first of the season, and he is 33/1 with Coral for the National.

He told his website: “The Package has the Grand National as his next objective. He put up a most pleasing seasonal debut when finishing a close third in the Baylis and Harding at Cheltenham and could improve a little for the outing. He adds another strong string to our bow.”

Pipe also has Swing Bill, who will carry the colours of John Halewood who won the National with Amberleigh House in 2004, and Standing Ovation among his team.

However, it is Goulanes that looks particularly well-handicapped following his win in the Midlands’ Grand National and the main hope of landing the spoils.

Phil Smith, the British Horseracing Authority’s Head of Handicapping, has a completely free hand to set the weights for the Crabbie’s Grand National and has said that Roger Brookhouse’s gelding would have been 9lb higher in the weights if he was framing the race now.

The eight-year-old is a classy sort who is very lightly raced over fences, and finished sixth of 11 to this year’s Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in the 2013 running of the RSA.

He is set to carry just 10st 1lb at Aintree, is a sound jumper and has bags of stamina.

Pipe has stated that final decision on his participation will be made nearer the time, but if lining-up he looks sure to go off shorter than the current 33/1 on offer with Coral.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.