Noble Yeats 16/1 to defend Grand National crown
Last year’s Grand National winner Noble Yeats has been cut to 16/1 with Coral to defend his crown in the Aintree feature in April following his victory at Wexford.
The seven-year-old carried amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen, son of owner Robert, to a famous victory in the Aintree marathon last season in what was the jockey’s last ever competitive ride.
Trainer Emmet Mullins decided to send the gelding to Auteuil to begin his new campaign but under James Reveley he never hit his stride after making a mistake at the second fence and was pulled up.
There were no such errors at Wexford in the the M.W. Hickey Memorial Chase though, as Noble Yeats joined forces with Sean Bowen for the first time and cruised to an unchallenged four-and-three-quarter-length victory at 15/8.
Coral’s John Hill said: “Noble Yeats looked backed to his best at Wexford and as a result of that victory, he is back to the top of the betting to defend his crown at Aintree in April.”
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Reflecting on the Wexford win, Mullins said: “It was a joy to watch and there weren’t too many anxious moments. Everything went to plan and it all fell into place.
“It is testing out there but he’s handled it in the past. He won a bumper at Thurles on it and a maiden hurdle at Navan as well.
“One of his only bits of good ground form is in the National. He is a very versatile horse and was foot perfect today. I have no plan for him yet.
“Today was to get the show back on the road and we have plenty of options for him. He still seems to be going the right way.”
Of the Auteuil run Mullins added: “It just didn’t happen for him in France. He made the mistake at the second and James sensibly decided to look after him and pulled him up.
“The horse was none the worse for it and he showed that today. I’d imagine it will be Aintree for him again but there should be plenty of races for him between now and then.”
Bowen, who is based in the UK, said: “I’ve not had many rides in Ireland but it’s nice to get a winner here.
“I haven’t actually spoken to Robert (Waley-Cohen), but I think my winners over the National fences swayed him towards me.
“I’m very grateful and he is a lovely horse to get the ride on. He is a horse that wouldn’t impress you on the way around, he just does what he needs to do. Every time you ask him, he gives it to you.”
2023 Grand National betting
16/1 Noble Yeats, Stattler
20/1 Any Second Now, Win My Wings
25/1 Capodanno, Corach Rambler, Delta Work, Fury Road, Galvin, Hewick, Kittys Light, Minella Times, The Galloping Bear
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication