It’s the last day of the Grand National Festival and much as I would love to be riding in the big race I am going to be a spectator this year.
The National is the ‘People’s Race’, the one day of the year when most of the country likes to have a bet.
I think this year’s race is going to be tough for the British but by the time of the off I am hoping to have signed off with a winner from one of the four horses I ride.
Aux Ptits Soin – 1.45
We bypassed Cheltenham so Aux Ptits Soin comes here a fresh horse. He is a class horse on his day and I fully expect him to run well. There won’t be any excuses. We are very happy with him at home and he has been training really well.
Tommy Rapper – 1.45
Bridget rides him in the same race as Aux Ptits Soins on Tommy Rapper. He could run very well at a big price. He has a lovely weight and won’t mind the ground. He is a decent horse.
No ride for me in this but I think Brewin’upastorm will be hard to beat. He ran a very good race for Olly [Murphy] at Cheltenham and he should like the track.
Destrier – 3.00
Destrier is a horse we have always thought quite highly of. His race at Southwell has worked out very well. He beat Another Crick, who has done well since, and Castafiore was another winner to come out of the race. He also won a small novice chase at Ayr to gain some more experience. This is his first big test.
Roksana – 3.40
I am obviously looking forward to riding Roksana again. She has come out of her Cheltenham win really well and we’re really happy with her. She ran well here last year behind Santini. It’s a good race and she will have to be on top of her game. We take on Apple’s Jade here but things didn’t work out for her at Cheltenham and it could be difficult for her again.
Oldgrangewood – 4.20
Oldgrangewood has taken time to get going this season but he ran okay at Cheltenham and wasn’t beaten that far. I would prefer it if the ground was a bit drier but he is well handicapped and could run very well.
With Gordon Elliott fielding 11 runners, the Irish have a really strong hand and you would have to say last year’s winner Tiger Roll has looked even better this season than he did last term.
I would love to see Paddy Brennan, who rides Singlefarmpayment and who I sit next to in the weighing room, win the race but I also think Trevor Hemmings has a good chance. He has three runners but I particularly like the look of Vintage Clouds and Lake View Lad. I think Rathvinden might be a player as well.
West To The Bridge – 6.20
We tried a change of tactics with West To The Bridge the last day in a novice hurdle at Bangor and that did the trick. We really hope he runs well again under Will Marshall. There won’t be too many excuses. He will handle the ground.