A total of 90 horses remain engaged in the Randox Grand National following the first scratchings stage, writes Nick Seddon.
The world’s greatest steeplechase takes place over four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards at Aintree on Saturday 10th April and Tom Lacey thinks Kimberlite Candy ticks all the boxes.
Kimberlite Candy has twice finished runner-up over the Grand National fences in the Becher Chase (2019 and 2020) and has been allotted 10st 10lb. The JP McManus-owned nine year old could warm up for Aintree in the Listed Premier Chase at Kelso this Saturday.
Trainer Tom Lacey reported: “Kimberlite Candy seems in really good order and he’s entered at Kelso on Saturday in the Premier Chase. We’ll monitor the ground (before deciding whether to run him).
“He does have a good record fresh, but you mustn’t underestimate the need for match practice, so we’ll take stock and then make a decision in midweek whether to have a prep run or not.
“A host of recent winners have carried between 10-10 and 11-06, and he’s in that range, so statistically he’s got a chance. He’s the right age and has got proven form around there, so he goes there with a big chance.
“The Grand National was always the target from the moment he came back in from his summer break. We’ll be hoping for some April showers, but he’d manage on good to soft. He’s a much stronger animal than he was this time last year.
“I think he’s actually the finished article now whereas last year he was still improving – he hit the line very hard in the Classic Chase and I feel he’s strengthened up even more on the back of another summer.
“I hope he’s got a chance. In the Becher Chase this year he was a bit clumsy over the first, but thereafter his jumping was very accurate.”
Trainer Evan Williams has gone close to success in the Randox Grand National before, with Cappa Bleu taking the runner-up spot in 2013 and State Of Play finishing in the first four on three occasions.
This year he could be represented by Secret Reprieve (10st 1lb), who was last seen claiming the Welsh National at Chepstow on 9th January.
Williams said: “Secret Reprieve is good, and we’re happy with everything. I’ve sort of discussed the National with Mr and Mrs Rucker (owners), and we’re going to leave him in, but we wouldn’t want to fully commit to this race at this stage yet, because obviously the ground and how he is over the coming weeks will be a major factor in whether we decide to have a crack at the race. We’ll see how things develop.
“What we’d like to know is exactly how everything is going to look like come April – we wouldn’t like to start being bold because that would be unfair to the horse. His last run was in the Welsh National so we just want to make sure everything is spot on with him as regards to everything really – his wellbeing, the ground and everything else. We’re taking every week as it comes.
“He wouldn’t be in the race if we didn’t hope he would be the type of horse that wouldn’t be able to excel around there. With these horses like him, it’s always best to take every week as it comes but if he could bring his best form to the table then obviously it looks like there’d be plenty of positives.
“Because he’s very inexperienced or young – rather than being bold and saying ‘this will suit him and that will suit him’, we’d be far happier ticking away and letting him tell us if he’s right.
“We’ll talk about Cheltenham after this week, because he’s due to do a piece of work in the middle of the week and I imagine come the weekend Mr and Mrs Rucker and myself will have a good chat about Cheltenham around this time next week. So let’s deal with the Cheltenham question first and then the Aintree question after.”
Williams has another potential starter in Prime Venture (9st 10lb), although the trainer acknowledges that the nine year old is far from certain to make the line-up on April 10th.
He continued: “He’s a horse that I can say that if he got a run in the Grand National we’d be delighted to take our chance, because he’s the complete opposite to Secret Reprieve.
“He’s proven in those long distance handicaps and has been placed in a Welsh Grand National and a Midlands Grand National and if he got a run we’d be delighted to have a crack at it. Our first preference with him, because he’s got less chance of getting in, would be the Midlands National at Uttoxeter.
“He’s a funny old devil! We’ve kept him fresh especially (in case he was to sneak into the Grand National) and I can say that Aintree would be right up his agenda. Those fences could spark him right up and he could still be going when other boys have had enough.
“He would relish the fences. He would be a big price, but I could see that fella relishing the job. If he gets in, he’ll be running in the Grand National.”
Betway PR Manager, Chad Yeomans, said: “The big talking point is that Tiger Roll will not be taking his chance in the Grand National this year, so a new Grand National hero will be crowned. It’s been a popular market since the launch of the weights a few weeks ago, with both Cloth Cap and Burrows Saint being supported into joint-favourites.
“JP McManus looks to have a very strong hand again this year and both Kimberlite Candy, who has been crying out for the Grand National trip, and Any Second Now for trainer Grand National winning trainer Ted Walsh, have both been popular with the Betway punters.”
Betway is the official betting partner of the Randox Grand National Festival.
RANDOX GRAND NATIONAL (Grade 3)
Easysland (FR) 7 11 10 Mr John P. McManus D. Cottin
Santini (GB) 9 11 10 Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Nicky Henderson
Bristol de Mai (FR) 10 11 10 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies
The Storyteller (IRE) 10 11 8 Mrs Pat Sloan Gordon Elliott
Chris’s Dream (IRE) 9 11 7 Robcour Henry de Bromhead
Yala Enki (FR) 11 11 3 Hills of Ledbury Ltd Paul Nicholls
Ballyoptic (IRE) 11 11 1 Mills & Mason Partnership Nigel Twiston-Davies
Definitly Red (IRE) 12 11 1 Phil & Julie Martin Brian Ellison
Lake View Lad (IRE) 11 11 0 Mr Trevor Hemmings N. W. Alexander
Burrows Saint (FR) 8 10 13 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins
Ajas (FR) 7 10 13 Mr Ulf Sjoberg D. Cottin
Magic of Light (IRE) 10 10 13 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Mrs J. Harrington
Acapella Bourgeois (FR) 11 10 12 Slaneyville Syndicate W. P. Mullins
Talkischeap (IRE) 9 10 12 Mr Charles Dingwall Alan King
Tout Est Permis (FR) 8 10 12 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade
Anibale Fly (FR) 11 10 12 Mr John P. McManus A. J. Martin
Mister Malarky (GB) 8 10 12 Wendy & Malcolm Hezel Colin Tizzard
Kimberlite Candy (IRE) 9 10 10 Mr John P. McManus Tom Lacey
Beware The Bear (IRE) 11 10 10 Mr G. B. Barlow Nicky Henderson
Pym (IRE) 8 10 10 Mrs Patricia Pugh Nicky Henderson
Bellshill (IRE) 11 10 10 D & D Armstrong Ltd & Mr L Westwood Sandy Thomson
Any Second Now (IRE) 9 10 9 Mr John P. McManus T. M. Walsh
Balko des Flos (FR) 10 10 9 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead
Alpha des Obeaux (FR) 11 10 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Brahma Bull (IRE) 10 10 8 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins
Ok Corral (IRE) 11 10 8 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson
Articulum (IRE) 11 10 7 Martin McDonagh/Paul G Murphy/M J Nixon Terence O’Brien
Takingrisks (IRE) 12 10 7 Mr Frank Bird Nicky Richards
Shattered Love (IRE) 10 10 7 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Jett (IRE) 10 10 7 Mr Robert Waley-Cohen Mrs J. Harrington
The Jam Man (IRE) 8 10 7 Ronan M. P. McNally Ronan M. P. McNally
Lord du Mesnil (FR) 8 10 6 Mr Paul Porter & Mike & Mandy Smith Richard Hobson
Potters Corner (IRE) 11 10 6 All Stars Sports Racing & J Davies Christian Williams
Class Conti (FR) 9 10 6 Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede W. P. Mullins
Milan Native (IRE) 8 10 6 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Discorama (FR) 8 10 6 Thomas Friel/Andrew Gemmell Paul Nolan
Vieux Lion Rouge (FR) 12 10 5 Prof Caroline Tisdall & Mr John Gent David Pipe
Cloth Cap (IRE) 9 10 5 Mr Trevor Hemmings Jonjo O’Neill
Cabaret Queen (GB) 9 10 5 Syndicates.Racing W. P. Mullins
Minellacelebration (IRE) 11 10 5 Mr Nick Elliott Katy Price
Glen Forsa (IRE) 9 10 4 Mr T. P. Radford Mick Channon
Canelo (IRE) 8 10 4 Mr John P. McManus Alan King
The Long Mile (GB) 7 10 4 Mr John P. McManus J.P.Dempsey
Give Me A Copper (IRE) 11 10 4 Done, Ferguson, Mason, Nicholls & Wood Paul Nicholls
Hogan’s Height (IRE) 10 10 3 Foxtrot Racing: Hogan’s Height Jamie Snowden
Minella Times (IRE) 8 10 3 Mr John P. McManus Henry de Bromhead
Farclas (FR) 7 10 3 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Agusta Gold (IRE) 8 10 3 Dr S.P. Fitzgerald W. P. Mullins
Sub Lieutenant (IRE) 12 10 3 Ms G. Howell Georgie Howell
Double Shuffle (IRE) 11 10 2 Crossed Fingers Partnership Tom George
Blaklion (GB) 12 10 2 Darren & Annaley Yates Dan Skelton
Ami Desbois (FR) 11 10 2 The Reserved Judgment Partnership Graeme McPherson
Gold Present (IRE) 11 10 2 Mr and Mrs J. D. Cotton Nicky Henderson
Keeper Hill (IRE) 10 10 2 McNeill Family Warren Greatrex
Death Duty (IRE) 10 10 1 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Secret Reprieve (IRE) 7 10 1 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Evan Williams
Some Neck (FR) 10 10 1 Some Neck Partnership John McConnell
Deise Aba (IRE) 8 9 13 Mr Trevor Hemmings Philip Hobbs
Jerrysback (IRE) 9 9 13 Mr John P. McManus Philip Hobbs
Kauto Riko (FR) 10 9 13 Mr and Mrs J.Dale and Partners Tom Gretton
Saturnas (FR) 10 9 13 Mr Nick Peacock W. P. Mullins
Storm Control (IRE) 8 9 13 Mr Will Roseff Kerry Lee
Fagan (GB) 11 9 13 Mr Ben Brackenbury Alex Hales
Valtor (FR) 12 9 13 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
Golan Fortune (IRE) 9 9 13 P Middleton, M Lowther Phil Middleton
Captain Drake (IRE) 8 9 11 Gary Stevens and Brian and Sandy Lambert Harry Fry
Run Wild Fred (IRE) 7 9 11 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
The Hollow Ginge (IRE) 8 9 11 The Ginge Army Nigel Twiston-Davies
Crievehill (IRE) 9 9 11 Highclere T’Bred Racing- Crievehill Nigel Twiston-Davies
Another Venture (IRE) 10 9 11 Racing For Maggie’s Partnership Kim Bailey
Flying Angel (IRE) 10 9 10 Mr R. J. Rexton Nigel Twiston-Davies
Fitzhenry (IRE) 9 9 10 Mr John P. McManus Paul Nolan
Prime Venture (IRE) 10 9 10 Mrs Janet Davies Evan Williams
Le Breuil (FR) 9 9 10 Mrs Emma Palmer Ben Pauling
Achille (FR) 11 9 9 Mrs Vida Bingham Venetia Williams
Plan of Attack (IRE) 8 9 9 Mr A. Halsall Henry de Bromhead
Roaring Bull (IRE) 8 9 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Hold The Note (IRE) 7 9 9 Mr T. P. Radford Mick Channon
Dounikos (FR) 10 9 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Treacysenniscorthy (IRE) 9 9 8 Paula Widger Robert Widger
Soupy Soups (IRE) 10 9 8 Equi ex Incertis Partners Neil Mulholland
Musical Slave (IRE) 8 9 8 Mr John P. McManus Philip Hobbs
Shantou Flyer (IRE) 11 9 7 David Maxwell Racing Limited Paul Nicholls
Hear No Evil (IRE) 9 9 7 Mr Patrick Joseph McCartan Noel C. Kelly
Beau Bay (FR) 10 9 7 Mr Peter Green & Dr RDP Newland Dr Richard Newland
Monbeg Notorious (IRE) 10 9 6 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Aforementioned (FR) 8 9 5 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Fingerontheswitch (IRE) 11 9 3 Cahill, Atwell & Crofts Neil Mulholland
One Style (FR) 11 9 3 The Four Bosses Venetia Williams
Bellow Mome (FR) 10 9 2 Mrs Audrey Turley W. P. Mullins
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