Aintree 2015 Grand National news round-up
Coral take you through the latest updates ahead of the three-day Crabbie’s Grand National meeting, including news that last year’s Gold Cup winner and top-weight Lord Windermere is set to take his chance alongside stablemate Spring Heeled.
Cullotty to be double handed in Grand National:
Lord Windermere and Spring Heeled have been confirmed definite runners in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree by Irish trainer Jim Cullotty.
The former, who was pulled up in his defence of the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, is set to carry top weight on Merseyside and will be partnered by Robbie McNamara after Culloty sensationally axed regular pilot Davy Russell following that poor run.
The nine-year-old is currently 33/1 with Coral.
Spring Heeled, who like Lord Windermere is owned by Dr Ronan Lambe , has been purposefully preserved for the National having had just one run all season.
The gelding, who is 20/1 with Coral, is set to be partnered by Nick Scholfield now that his intended mount Sam Winner is a likely non-runner.
O’Neill believes Shutthefrontdoor faces “tall order”:
Jonjo O’Neill, trainer of Grand National favourite Shutthefrontdoor, said today that the gelding faced a tough task to provide jockey AP McCoy with a dream winner in his last ever ride in the Aintree spectacular.
The Jackdaws Castle handler reports last years Irish Grand National winner, who is 7/1 with Coral for the big race, to be in good order following a setback that has kept him off the track since winning at Carlisle in November.
O’Neill said: “Shutthefrontdoor is in great form and I’m very happy with him.I would like to have got a run into him but he had an abscess around in his sinuses back in January and February which took a while to clear up.
“He has schooled well and is spot-on for the race. He goes there fresh and well.
“I think AP will probably ride him and the public will all be backing him looking for that fairytale story. We would all love it to happen, but it is a tall order”
Breathing problem rules out Merry King:
Merry King, stablemate to Crabbie’s Grand National favourite Shuttthefrontdoor, has been ruled out of the race with a breathing problem.
The Jono O’Neill trained eight-year-old, who had been 25/1 for Aintree glory, was third in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in late November, but was pulled up over hurdles on his comeback run at the same track in early February.
Other horses set to miss out are the Nicky Henderson-trained Hadrian’s Approach, who has a minor leg injury, and the Henry de Bromhead trained Home Farm who is going to wait until next year to take his chance.