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Grand National weights unveiled – What do the leading connections say?

3 minute read

Following the unveiling of the Grand National weights on Tuesday we take a look at what some of the leading connections had to say…

Aintree Grand National Race.
Aintree Grand National Race. Picture: RacingandSports

Hewick (11st 12)
Best price: 33/1
Trainer: Shark Hanlon

"I knew he'd have top weight. You have to expect that. He probably deserves top weight.

"I think the trip will suit him. He's going for the Gold Cup first and please God he comes out of the Gold Cup safe and if he does, he'll definitely head there (to Aintree).

"It's a mighty day. It's one of those days you look forward all year to. The National, the Gold Cup and the King George at Kempton – they're the three big days in England aren't they, so it's great to have a runner there."

"The most important thing is that he gets good ground. With fewer runners in the race this year there won't be quite as much weight between us and the horses at the bottom. In previous years the difference could be a fair bit more and we'd be giving more away.

"He won the Galway Plate off nearly top weight, he won the bet365 (Oaksey Chase at Sandown Park) off a big weight. It's not that he's not used to carrying top weight and he carries it very well.

"All is great with him, and he couldn't be better. I'm very, very happy with him."

Noble Yeats (11st 8)
Best price: 20/1 Trainer:
Emmet Mullins

"I suppose with a horse like Noble Yeats he always runs his race.

"He's never going to have much up his sleeve with the handicapper so we can't complain with our weight and fingers crossed he'll show up on the day and run another cracking race.

"He ran a cracking race off 166 last year so if we get him back in the same shape, he might get into a place again. He's had two goes at the course before and he enjoys it there."

Nassalam (11st 4)
Best price: 28/1
Trainer: Gary Moore

"I'd have liked him to be given a bit less (weight), but it could be worse.

"I did send in an email stating my facts, that while he did win very, very well nothing has come out of the race (the Welsh Grand National) and won since, and he'd want to be winning that race if you were even thinking of entering him in the National.

"He overachieved and they underachieved - that's my thinking. But I guess you need to be that high to get in!

"I've never had a Grand National runner before and I'm actually looking forward to training a horse for it. It's another thing and I'm looking forward to it.

"He had a little break and now we're starting to try to bring him along slowly. He probably won't need the ground to be really heavy over four and a half miles."

Capodanno (11st 4)
Best price: 25/1
Trainer: Willie Mullins

"The Grand National is certainly an option.

"Once we get a look at the weights in more detail, then we'll be firming up plans for the National.

"There are some very interesting looking ratings there and we'd love to have horses with real chances for the race.

"It would be an honour to have another winner of the Grand National on our CV, but we've already been very lucky to have won it once and been placed a couple of times.

Corach Rambler (11st 2)
Best price: 14/1
Trainer: Lucinda Russell

"I'd say that rating is in line with our expectations.

"We're sort of prepping him for the National, but the Gold Cup comes first. He's doing plenty of work at the moment and then we'll back off with a couple of weeks left.

"Winning the National is incredibly addictive. When you win it the first time it's fabulous when you win it the second time you want three and you think 'we can do it again'! It's obsessive!"

Mahler Mission (11st 1)
Best price: 14/1
Trainer: John McConnell

"I knew he got up to 158 after the Coral Gold Cup so it doesn't come as much of a surprise. It's fine, isn't it? It's a nice weight.

"He'd be my first National runner. I had a first reserve about three years ago, but he didn't get in so at least he'll (Mahler Mission) get in.

"It's very exciting to be going there with a horse and maybe a horse with a chance as well. I didn't expect him to be so high. I thought there would be more high-quality horses entered."

"He had a break after that run and he's back now in full training. There is a possibility that we could give him a hurdle run maybe, but he's fine and at the minute he's very well.

"He definitely wouldn't be going to Cheltenham though. He doesn't need to be having a hard race before the National."

"The owners are leaving it up to me, but you are kind of limited where you can go with a guy with his rating anyway.

"At the minute he's still a little bit short of Gold Cup class so you have to go for one of the big, big handicaps and the way he jumps he looks like Aintree should suit him, so it's an obvious target.

"He probably does handle all ground but slow, good ground or good to soft is fine for him and he's got a high cruising speed as well, so he shouldn't be taken off his feet if they did go quick early.

"Obviously you need an awful lot of luck, and you need to be 110% for it but he certainly ticks a lot of the boxes."

Galvin (10st 12)
Best price: 50/1
Trainer: Gordon Elliott

"Galvin looks like he could be well handicapped. He was nearly top weight last year and he's one who could be there.

Farouk d'Alene (10st 11)
Best price: 66/1
Trainer: Gordon Elliott

"Farouk d'Alene might go to the Irish National."
Salvador Ziggy (10st 11)
Best price: 50/1
Trainer: Gordon Elliott

"Salvador Ziggy will go for the National Hunt Chase (at Cheltenham), and he could go for the Randox Grand National afterwards."

Letsbeclearaboutit (10st 10)
Best price: 50/1
Trainer: Gavin Cromwell

"He's a possible for the race. He needs one more run to qualify. He's likely to go to Cheltenham and hopefully that'll qualify him, but the plan is certainly to go to Aintree."

Fury Road (10st 9)
Best price: 100/1
Trainer: Gordon Elliott

"All's good with him. He'll definitely run."

Vanillier (10st 8)
Best price: 16/1
Trainer: Gavin Cromwell

"I'd have to be happy enough with that. It's a lovely racing weight and having been second last year it's got to be expected.

"He's been trained for this race really and it's a case of him coming in the Spring. He is a Spring horse. He's going to have to improve plenty, but he does have the experience of last year."

"We were obviously thrilled to be second in the Grand National last year but when you're coming home well like that you do think about what could have been.

"But it was a great moment. We had lots of luck last year. He went round on the inside and got all the luck – you need luck in every National.

"It's every trainer's dream to win the Grand National and we'll certainly give it a good shot again this year anyway."

Mr Incredible (10st 7)
Best price: 40/1
Trainer: Willie Mullins

"He's one who could come back this year. I'm very happy with his work at home."

Chemical Energy (10st 5)
Best price: 40/1
Trainer: Gordon Elliott

"Chemical Energy is another. He'll definitely run, and we've been keeping him for a bit of Spring ground, so this has been the plan all year."

Meetingofthewaters (10st 4)
Best price: 40/1
Trainer: Willie Mullins

"If he got in, he'd be very interesting."


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