By Simon Jackson.
Connections of The Romford Pele can rest easy knowing they have secured the coveted place in the starting line-up for the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National.
The final field of 40 runners will be known on Friday for the £1million contest where the weights are headed by last year’s winner Many Clouds, with nine-year-old The Romford Pele assured of a start at number 40.
The order of entry for the National hopefuls outside of the top 40 was decided earlier this week; with the Rebecca Curtis-trained The Romford Pele one of three Wales-trained horses along with stablemate O’Faolain’s Boy and Buywise all guaranteed a start.
The sole previous Grand National winner trained in Wales was Kirkland in 1905 and Buywise’s trainer Evan Williams is hoping for another good run from the nine-year-old Buywise, who was a close second in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November.
“Everything is good with Buywise ahead of the Crabbie’s Grand National,” said Williams, who is based at Llancarfan in the Vale Of Glamorgan.
“I wouldn’t be confident at all whether he will stay or whether he will jump but we will take our chance and see what happens.
“He has won on all types of ground, so that does not really concern me,” the trainer added ahead of the unique four mile, two furlong and 72 yard contest that will be contested at the later start time of 5.15pm.
The new start time is considered to be more user-friendly. Peter Eaton, deputy chairman of Halewood International – the parent company of Crabbie’s said: “Sport in general is changing and having it an hour later will give more people the opportunity of seeing the race live as they may otherwise have had work or family commitments.
“I think it will be hugely beneficial.”
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