Delta Work and Galvin over the last
Delta Work and Galvin over the last

Randox Grand National: What the trainers say

Check out what the trainers are saying ahead of Saturday's Randox Grand National at Aintree.

Ted Walsh - Any Second Now: “He’s as good as he can be and I think he’s as good as he was last year. That probably won’t be good enough but anymore than that I can’t do. Whatever he has he has, but he is rated 8lb higher than last year and he couldn’t win it last year, so it is very hard to see him winning now. But he’s in good nick, he goes there with a good chance and I’m glad to have him.

“There’s been no hiccups all season and everything is good, no problems. It is great to be a part of it. I never thought I would ever have a horse that was saddlecloth number one going to the start of the Grand National anyway."

Emmet Mullins - Noble Yeats: “He was last over the first last time. He wasn’t in contention for the first two miles, but it all worked out in his favour. There’s no rule of thumb for it, it’s just getting the horse happy and confident in a bit of space and running into the gaps. It’ll probably have to be the brave man’s route to get that space. He negotiated it last year and fingers crossed he can do it again.

“I think he’s getting a bit wiser every time and looking after himself a bit more. He’s just holding a bit back for himself, but hopefully we can get it out of him. Just a bit of space is ideal for him, it’s going to be hard in a National with 40 runners but I suppose I’ll just keep telling Sean to go back and look at Sam’s ride last year.”

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Gordon Elliott - Delta Work and Galvin: “If I had to pick a horse to ride this year, it would be Delta Work. He got a little bit far back early last year, but ran a very good race. He was a bit careful, but he is in great form now and we couldn’t be happier with him. With Galvin, the drier the ground, the better chance he has. He will have come on a lot from Cheltenham and is in good form. We are very, very happy with him.”

Peter Fahey - The Big Dog: “He travelled over great and is in great form. We are really looking forward to it. If you drew a line under his last run, his form is rock solid. The ground is beautiful, everything seems good and well for him. He is in great form and working well at home. You get a bit of luck in running, and hopefully he runs a big race for everyone. It is a race that every trainer in the world wants to win and to have a horse going to it with a great chance is brilliant.

"Please God he’ll win and it would be brilliant for everyone involved. I think he can win – I do. I can’t see any reason why not. I think he has a great profile. You take away his fall and he has a proper profile for it.”

Martin Brassil - Longhouse Poet: “Everything is as it should be, hopefully. He was a bit keen last year and we have had that to look back on, so we can see what we can do to alleviate it. The fact that he has had a run round there might mean he is not as exuberant as he was the first time, but at least he has the experience of it anyway. It’s a great ride for JJ (Slevin) and there has been plenty of rain, which won’t hurt – the slower the ground, the better.”


Dan Skelton - Le Milos: "He is in really good form. I took him for an away day recently, and he was very good. He’s versatile in regards to the ground and I think he’ll stay the trip, so he’s got a good profile for the race. He’s a Coral Gold Cup winner and I can assure you that I was probably as fit as he was at Kelso!

“I was a bit embarrassed about it to be honest, as I knew he’d need the run, but then when you get caught that late, you do kick yourself a little bit. He was obviously a gallop short of winning that day but I know how much he’d done and how much he’s done since, so I know that will be well left behind.”

Gavin Cromwell - Vanillier: “He has a lovely weight. The ground looks like it is going to be ideal and he’s settled in well since he’s come over. We’re looking forward to it. His run last time behind Kemboy in the Bobbyjo was a great run, especially since were were ‘wrong’ at the weights, and that was a good prep.

“He has come out of that well and hopefully come forward a bit since then. Like every National, you need everything to go your way and you need luck on your side, but if he gets that, hopefully he’ll be in the mix. I think he’ll take to the fences. We schooled him over similar (National) fences at the Curragh and he seemed to like them, so fingers crossed he’ll go well.”

Nicky Henderson - Mister Coffey: “His stats are great – he’s a maiden over fences but he placed in a National Hunt Chase. But you need to worry about my stats!” Henderson said. It would be nice (to win it) and we will give it a go. He ran a great race at Cheltenham, that was a perfect Aintree trial. He took to the fences in the Topham, it just wasn’t far enough, this time it’s another whole circuit.”

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Lucinda Russell - Corach Rambler: “It was funny really because going in I didn’t expect to win at Cheltenham at all, I certainly didn’t expect him to win as he did. We knew that he had improved this season and before the race we knew that he had improved, so it was exciting to see him be able to go on and win like that. But the slightly scary thing is, I think he has improved again.

“Scu (Peter Scudamore, Russell’s partner) rode him just afterwards and he said that he had come out of that race so well. So if he can do (improve again), Aintree is the race for him. Technically, if you look at it, he is extremely well in on the handicap,” Russell added.

“He’s gone up in the weights since Cheltenham and I think he has improved as well. From that point of view, technically, I think has got a fantastic chance. He has to take to the fences, he has to take to the whole Aintree experience, but again I am pretty confident that he will do that.”

Sam Thomas - Our Power: “We took him to Lambourn as they’ve got two ready-made fences and it was a nice away day for them. He jumped brilliantly, had a good day out and a good experience all round. It’s very much an unknown, they go a terrible speed down to the first few and you’re in the lap of the gods really. You need to have a lot of luck, meet the first on a nice stride and get your feet on the ground.

“Sam (Twiston-Davies, jockey) is super excited, he wears his heart on his sleeve and he’s been pretty vocal about it for quite some time. He’s got a progressive profile I’d say. We’re going into the race with a nice, fresh horse but there are so many unknowns.”

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