Scu hoping The Package can deliver in Crabbie’s Grand National
Tom Scudamore will partner The Package in the Crabbie’s Grand National, and the gelding is 33/1 with Coral to give trainer David Pipe his second winner in the race.
The Pond House handler saddled Comply Or Die to land the race in 2008 in the famous colours of the late David Johnson, and The Package is one of two entries in the race set to carry the blue and green silks of the Johnson family.
The other is Our Father, but stable jockey Scudamore has overlooked him in favour of The Package who has previous Aintree experience to his name and ran really well last time out to finish third of 23 to Holywell at the Cheltenham Festival.
He stayed on at Prestbury Park to be beaten 8 3/4 lengths on what was his first run of the season following a 364 day lay-off, and that should have put him spot on for the Aintree showpiece.
The 11-year-old was sent off just 14/1 for the Grand National back in 2010 and was warming to the task when unseating Graham Lee at the 19th fence.
He is due to race in this year’s contest off the same mark of 141, and Pipe believes that the new style fences which aren’t as unforgiving as they were four years ago will suit him far better.
Pipe told Channel 4 Racing: “The Package ran a very good race at the Cheltenham Festival [in the Baylis & Harding Handicap Chase]. He was off the bridle a long way, did well to finish third and he seems to have come out of it well.
“He has run before in the Grand National once before. He didn’t take to it that well early on that day but he was warming to the task when unfortunately unseating Graham Lee at the 19th fence.
But the fences are different nowadays and I think he could have a big chance.”
The son of Kayf Tara also acts on any ground, and his age group have triumphed in eight of the last 30 runnings – including in 2012 and 2013.
He looks to have plenty going for him off a nice weight of 10st 4lb, and if Scudamore can get him into a nice jumping rhythm early to safely negotiate the first circuit he is likely to be a big danger to all at the business end of affairs.
With Midlands Grand National winner Goulanes now missing the race, The Package looks the stable’s number one hope in the big race on Saturday, April 5th.
Stable companion Our Father is 40/1 with Coral for the contest, while Pipe’s other likely runner Swing Bill, who will carry the colours of John Halewood who won the race with Amberleigh House in 2004, can be backed at 66/1.