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CLOTH CAP is set to carry a modest 10st 5lbs and is fancied to take advantage of the light weight and win the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Cloth Cap heads the betting at 9-2 (Paddy Power) for the unique four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards contest.
The nine-year-old has raced three times this campaign, which commenced with a third place in a Class 2 Chase at Cheltenham in October. The Trevor Hemmings-owned chaser followed up with victory in the Grade 3 Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November. At his most recent start he won the Listed bet365 Premier Chase at Kelso on March 6.
Hemmings is seeking a record fourth win in the Aintree showpiece, after winning with Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015); while O’Neill scored with Don’t Push It in 2010.
Jockey Tom Scudamore, who is seeking his first win in the Grand National, said:
“I am really excited by it all. In any other race he would be much shorter [in price]. It’s a very privileged position to be in to be riding the favourite and I would much rather be riding the favourite than under the radar on an outsider.
“He is favourite for a reason and a very good reason.
“The Grand National was the natural race for him to go for after his win in the Ladbrokes Trophy. He ran very well in the Scottish National as a novice and he is related to some good stayers, so Aintree always looked the natural progression for him. Obviously, Mr Hemmings is no stranger to National glory and the horse was probably bought with Aintree in mind so it is the logical race for him to go for.”
“Jonjo told me he jumps and stays and we got a good start at Newbury. We just took each fence as it came and it was a similar scenario at Kelso. He doesn’t have to make the running. He was up in the van when he ran so well in the Scottish National but I wouldn’t put his performances this year down to the fact he has been able to make the running. He has obviously matured plenty this season and has gone from strength to strength.”
Irish-trained runners are fancied to fill the places, with the 2019 Cheltenham Festival winner Any Second Now fancied ahead of Grand National regular Anibale Fly and Milan Native.
SELECTIONS: The lightly-weighted CLOTH CAP is selected ahead of Any Second Now, Anibale Fly and Milan Native.
5:15pm Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 4m 2f 74y
1 Bristol de Mai (FR) 10 11 10 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Daryl Jacob
2 Chris’s Dream (IRE) 9 11 7 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Robcour Darragh O’Keeffe
3 Yala Enki (FR) 11 11 3 Paul Nicholls Hills of Ledbury Ltd Bryony Frost
4 Ballyoptic (IRE) ts 11 11 1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mills & Mason Partnership Sam Twiston-Davies
5 Definitly Red (IRE) p 12 11 1 Brian Ellison Phil & Julie Martin Henry Brooke
6 Lake View Lad (IRE) p 11 11 0 N. W. Alexander Mr Trevor Hemmings Brian Hughes
7 Burrows Saint (FR) ts 8 10 13 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mrs S. Ricci Mr P. W. Mullins
8 Magic of Light (IRE) p 10 10 13 Mrs J. Harrington Ireland Ann & Alan Potts Limited Robbie Power
9 Acapella Bourgeois (FR) h 11 10 12 W. P. Mullins Ireland Slaneyville Syndicate Daniel Mullins
10 Talkischeap (IRE) 9 10 12 Alan King Mr Charles Dingwall Tom Cannon
11 Tout Est Permis (FR) p 8 10 12 Noel Meade Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Sean Flanagan
12 Anibale Fly (FR) ts 11 10 12 A. J. Martin Ireland Mr John P. McManus Denis O’Regan
13 Mister Malarky ts, p 8 10 12 Colin Tizzard Wendy & Malcolm Hezel Jonjo O’Neill Jr.
14 Kimberlite Candy (IRE) p 9 10 10 Tom Lacey Mr John P. McManus Richie McLernon
15 Any Second Now (IRE) bl 9 10 9 T. M. Walsh Ireland Mr John P. McManus Mark Walsh
16 Balko des Flos (FR) 10 10 9 Henry de Bromhead Ireland RacehorseClub.com Aidan Coleman
17 Alpha des Obeaux (FR) bl,ts 11 10 9 Mrs Denise Foster Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jody McGarvey
18 Ok Corral (IRE) 11 10 8 Nicky Henderson Mr John P. McManus Mr Derek O’Connor
19 Takingrisks (IRE) p 12 10 7 Nicky Richards Mr Frank Bird Sean Quinlan
20 Shattered Love (IRE) ts, p 10 10 7 Mrs Denise Foster Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Kevin Sexton
21 Jett (IRE) p 10 10 7 Mrs J. Harrington Ireland Mr Robert Waley-Cohen Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
22 Lord du Mesnil (FR) ts, p 8 10 6 Richard Hobson Mr Paul Porter & Mike & Mandy Smith Nick Scholfield
23 Potters Corner (IRE) bl 11 10 6 Christian Williams All Stars Sports, Davies & RacehorseClub Jack Tudor
24 Class Conti (FR) ts, p 9 10 6 W. P. Mullins Ireland Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede Brian Hayes
25 Milan Native (IRE) ts 8 10 6 Mrs Denise Foster Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Mr J. J. Codd
26 Discorama (FR) ts 8 10 6 Paul Nolan Ireland Thomas Friel/Andrew Gemmell B. J. Cooper
27 Vieux Lion Rouge (FR) ts, p 12 10 5 David Pipe Prof Caroline Tisdall & Mr John Gent Conor O’Farrell
28 Cloth Cap (IRE) p 9 10 5 Jonjo O’Neill Mr Trevor Hemmings Tom Scudamore
29 Cabaret Queen 9 10 5 W. P. Mullins Ireland Syndicates.Racing Sean O’Keeffe
30 Minellacelebration (IRE) 11 10 5 Katy Price Mr Nick Elliott Ben Poste
31 Canelo (IRE) p 8 10 4 Alan King Mr John P. McManus Tom Bellamy
32 The Long Mile 7 10 4 J.P.Dempsey Ireland Mr John P. McManus Luke Dempsey
33 Give Me A Copper (IRE) ts 11 10 4 Paul Nicholls Done, Ferguson, Mason, Nicholls & Wood Harry Cobden
34 Farclas (FR) ts 7 10 3 Mrs Denise Foster Ireland Gigginstown House Stud Jack Kennedy
35 Minella Times (IRE) ts 8 10 3 Henry de Bromhead Ireland Mr John P. McManus Rachael Blackmore
36 Sub Lieutenant (IRE) ts, p 12 10 3 Georgie Howell Ms G. Howell Tabitha Worsley
37 Hogan’s Height (IRE) ts 10 10 3 Jamie Snowden Foxtrot Racing: Hogan’s Height Gavin Sheehan
38 Double Shuffle (IRE) 11 10 2 Tom George Crossed Fingers Partnership Jonathan Burke
39 Ami Desbois (FR) ts 11 10 2 Graeme McPherson The Reserved Judgment Partnership Kielan Woods
40 Blaklion 12 10 2 Dan Skelton Darren & Annaley Yates Harry Skelton
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