Aintree 2015 Grand National news round-up
Topham & Foxhunters entries revealed
The supporting races over the Grand National fences had their entries revealed earlier today with 67 in the Topham Trophy and 39 in the Foxhunters. Both races are run over the same distance of 2m5f 110yds.
The leading yards are all well represented in the Topham with champion trainer Paul Nicholls entering four, including recent Newbury winners Sound Investment and Rebel Rebellion, although the latter is more likely to go for the Grand National. Nicholls also has Wonderful Charm and recent Kempton winner Ruben Cotter.
Nicky Henderson has an excellent record in the race having won the race four times including the last two renewals. He has the trio of Hunt Ball, Rajdhani Express and the novice Golden Hoof to depend on. Other notable contenders include the first two home in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Plate Darna and Monetaire, Grand Annual runner up and last year’s third Eastlake, the novice Splash Of Ginge and last year’s runner up Benny’s Mist.
In the Foxhunters, Warne heads a field of 39 as he returns to defend his crown which includes the 2013 winner and last year’s runner up Tartan Snow who bids to return at the grand old age of 15. On The Fringe will try to become the first since Double Silk in 1993 to do the Cheltenham/Aintree Foxhunters double in the same year.
Other leading entries include Big Fella Thanks who has placed in a Grand National, Pacha Du Polder and No Loose Change who represent champion trainer Paul Nicholls, Current Event who could represent Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and first fence faller in last year’s Grand National Twirling Magnet.
The New One to miss Aintree Hurdle
The New One has been ruled out of the Crabbie’s Grand National meeting on Wednesday and will not run again this season, after Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge was found to have kissing spines.
The problem was revealed after a bone scan was conducted in light of his disappointing performance in the Champion Hurdle in which he finished fifth behind Faugheen.
Twiston-Davies hopes the result of the test explains the below par effort of his stable star, who had finished an unlucky third in the same race the previous year.
“The New One won’t be going to Aintree,” he said. “We were slightly disappointed with his run at Cheltenham so he went for a bone scan. He has some kissing spines in his back but they think they can help. We could patch him up and go but the obvious thing is to wait until next season.
“We are very much hoping that that is the cause of him not being able to finish a lot closer. The problem is an absolute new thing to us. We will let him down now and he will be treated over the summer. There is no surgery required.”
Mullins commits Ballycasey for the National
Ballycasey looks set to be Willie Mullins’ sole representative in the Grand National.
As big as 100/1 yesterday, he is now as short as 25/1 with the news as this makes him the ride of Ruby Walsh for owner Susannah Ricci. He has been a major disappointment this season having not gone on from an early season win at Gowran Park. He was pulled up before the third last in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last time out.
Mullins, who saddled a record eight winners at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this month said: “I am looking forward to running him there. I think the spring ground will be better for him and his breeding suggests he will stay the trip.”