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Blaklion heads 90 remaining entries for the Randox Health Grand National with Coltherd keen on Captain

Ante-post joint favourite Blaklion headlines 90 entries going forward for the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 14 – the 171st running – following yesterday’s first scratchings’ deadline.

Staged over four and a quarter miles and 30 fences, the Randox Health Grand National is the world’s richest and greatest chase – the culmination of Aintree’s famous three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival.

Last year’s fourth Blaklion (11st 6lb), one of five entries going forward for dual Grand National-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, looked as good as ever when scoring by nine lengths over The Last Samuri (Kim Bailey, 11st 4lb, 16/1 with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival) in the G3 Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase (3m 2f) over the Grand National fences at Aintree on December 9.

Blaklion has since finished second under top-weight to Yala Enki in the Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Chase on heavy ground at Haydock Park on February 17. He is the 10/1 joint-favourite with Betway as he bids to give Twiston-Davies a third winner in the race following the victories of Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

The Last Samuri, who was second to Rule The World in the 2016 Grand National, finished an excellent fourth behind the Randox Health Grand National top-weight Definitly Red (Brian Ellison, 11st 10lb, 20/1) in the G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (3m 2f) at Cheltenham on January 27, with American (Harry Fry, 11st 2lb, 50/1) in second.

The Willie Mullins-trained Total Recall (11st 1lb) is the other 10/1 market leader with Betway, having landed the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and a competitive Leopardstown handicap hurdle on his last two starts. Ireland’s champion Jump trainer, successful at Aintree with Hedgehunter in 2005, has six other entries remaining in the £1-million contest including recent G3 Bobbyjo Chase winner Bellshill (10st 7lb, 18/1) and Pleasant Company (10st 7lb, 33/1), ninth in last year’s renewal.

Britain’s champion Jump trainer Nicky Henderson has two contenders engaged, with the talented Gold Present (11st, 20/1), a three-length winner of a Listed handicap chase at Ascot on December 23 and O O Seven (10st 11lb, 50/1), fifth to his stable companion at Ascot, as the Lambourn handler seeks a first victory in the Randox Health Grand National.

Gordon Elliott, who landed the Grand National with Silver Birch (2007) in his first season with a training licence, has eight remaining entries headed by three-time G1 winner Outlander (11st 8lb, 33/1), Troytown Handicap Chase victor Mala Beach (11st 3lb, 33/1) and last year’s runner-up Cause Of Causes (10st 12lb, 14/1).

Scottish handler Stuart Coltherd is looking forward to saddling Captain Redbeard (10st 3lb, 66/1) in the 2018 Randox Health Grand National following an excellent campaign thus far.

Captain Redbeard finished a creditable third over two and a half miles in an Ayr handicap chase on first start of the season in November, before coming home sixth to Gas Line Boy in the 188Bet Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (2m 5f) over the Grand National fences in December.

A six-length winner on heavy ground over two miles and seven furlongs in the Betfred Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock Park later that month, Captain Redbeard was an excellent second to Colin Tizzard’s The Dutchman (10st 7lb, 33/1) on heavy ground in the G2 Peter Marsh Chase, also at Haydock Park, over an extended three miles and one furlong on January 20.

The improving nine-year-old is set to run in the Listed totepool.com Premier Chase at Kelso on Saturday, March 3, weather permitting.

Coltherd, based in Selkirk, reported today: “Captain Redbeard is in excellent form at home and has come out of his latest race at Haydock in great shape.

“That was a really good performance over the longest trip he’s tried, so we were delighted with that run, particularly off a career-high mark.

“Everything’s good and his work has been good at home. The plan was to run at Kelso on Saturday, but with the weather playing havoc with the racing schedule, there’s a likelihood that the meeting won’t go ahead. He’ll run if the weather is OK as the race fits nicely into our schedule.

“However, there is a covering of snow, it is bitterly cold and there is more bad weather forecast so it’s not looking good. The temperatures are not rising much this week so we’ll just have to keep an eye on the weather.

“If we can’t run on Saturday, then we’ll look to run him somewhere else as I’m keen to get another outing into him before the Randox Health Grand National.

“There are plenty of options for him and everybody else is in the same boat – you can’t account for the weather,

“If the worst came to the worst, we could go for a couple of racecourse gallops just to keep him sharp, but we’ll see.

“I think the Randox Health Grand National will suit him. The race is definitely the plan and off his weight [10st 3lb], he should definitely get in so we’re looking forward to hopefully running him.

“I’ve always thought he was a horse that wanted better ground as he does look like a bit of a spring horse, but he won nicely on heavy going at Haydock in December and then followed that up in bottomless ground when he was second in the Peter Marsh Chase which surprised me.

“That proved he goes on any ground, but I do believe he is a better horse on better ground even if the ground won’t inconvenience him too much.

“Whether he stays the trip is another question. You never know until you actually run, but I’d be hopeful that he would be OK.

“He’s a good jumper and he ran really well in the Peter Marsh last time and that was the longest trip he’s ever run over.

“Whilst the National trip is another thing entirely, that gave us optimism that he potentially could stay, and I’d like to think that on better ground, he would.”

A maximum of 40 runners can line up at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 14 for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National.

The next scratchings’ stage for the Randox Health Grand National is on Tuesday, March 20.

The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree runs from Thursday, April 12 to Saturday, April 14.

Randox Health Grand National – Betway odds

10/1 Blaklion, Total Recall

14/1 Cause Of Causes

16/1 The Last Samuri

18/1 Bellshill

20/1 Definitly Red, Gold Present, Minella Rocco

22/1 Seeyouatmidnight

25/1 Anibale Fly, Vicente

33/1Edwulf, Gas Line Boy, Mala Beach, Outlander, Pleasant Company, Regal Encore, The Dutchman, Ucello Conti, Wild West Wind

40/1 Milansbar, Raz De Maree, Saint Are, Tiger Roll, Valseur Lido, Vieux Lion Rouge, Warriors Tale

50/1 bar

The Randox Health Grand National

Grade 3 handicap chase, £1 million total prize fund. Aintree, 5.15pm Saturday, April 14, 2018. 4m 2f 74yds over the Grand National fences. For seven-year-olds and upwards which, have started in a chase during the current season and who, up to and including March 19, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a steeple chase with an official distance description of’ two miles seven and a half furlongs’ or more and which are allotted a rating of 125 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 11. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including February 11 would merit a minimum rating of 125. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 11. At the Handicapper’s discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. Entries closes January 30, entries revealed January 31 (105 entries), weights revealed February 13 (104 go forward – 1 not qualified), first scratchings deadline February 27 (90 entries remain), second scratchings deadline March 20, five-day confirmations April 9, final declarations 10am April 12. Maximum field of 40 plus four reserves.


  Horse Age Wgt Owner Trainer
1) DEFINITLY RED (IRE) 9 11-10 Phil & Julie Martin Brian Ellison
2) EDWULF 9 11-09 J P McManus Joseph O’Brien IRE
3) OUTLANDER (IRE) 10 11-08 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
4) MINELLA ROCCO (IRE) 8 11-07 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
5) BLAKLION 9 11-06 Simon Such & Gino Paletta Nigel Twiston-Davies
6) SUB LIEUTENANT (IRE) 9 11-05 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE
7) ANIBALE FLY (FR) 8 11-04 J P McManus Tony Martin IRE
8) THE LAST SAMURI (IRE) 10 11-04 Paul & Clare Rooney Kim Bailey
9) VALSEUR LIDO (FR) 9 11-03 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE
10) MALA BEACH (IRE) 10 11-03 Chris Jones Gordon Elliott IRE
11) AMERICAN (FR) 8 11-02 The Jago Family Partnership Harry Fry
12) TOTAL RECALL (IRE) 9 11-01 Slaneyville Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
13) ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR) 8 11-00 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
14) GOLD PRESENT (IRE) 8 11-00 John & Barbara Cotton Nicky Henderson
15) SIZING CODELCO (IRE) 9 10-13 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Colin Tizzard
16) PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE) 11 10-13 ISL Recruitment Fergal O’Brien
17) CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA) 10 10-12 J P McManus Gordon Elliott IRE
18) SHANTOU FLYER (IRE) 8 10-12 Carl Hinchy Richard Hobson
19) TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR) 11 10-11 Boultbee Brooks Ltd Venetia Williams
20) O O SEVEN (IRE) 8 10-11 Christopher Hanbury Nicky Henderson
21) CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE) 12 10-11 J P McManus John Kiely IRE
22) VICENTE (FR) 9 10-10 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
23) GO CONQUER (IRE) 9 10-10 Paul & Clare Rooney Jonjo O’Neill
24) TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR) 8 10-10 Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Gary Moore
25) TIGER ROLL (IRE) 8 10-09 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
26) REGAL ENCORE (IRE) 10 10-09 J P McManus Anthony Honeyball
27) VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR) 9 10-09 Professor Caroline Tisdall & John Gent David Pipe
28) RATHVINDEN (IRE) 10 10-09 Ronnie Bartlett Willie Mullins IRE
29) ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR) 8 10-09 Slaneyville Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
30) A GENIE IN ABOTTLE (IRE) 7 10-08 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
31) CHASE THE SPUD 10 10-08 Christine Banks Fergal O’Brien
32) WARRIORS TALE 9 10-08 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
33) ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE) 8 10-08 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
34) SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT 10 10-08 Quona Thomson Sandy Thomson
35) AS DE MEE (FR) 8 10-08 The Stewart Family & Judi Dench Paul Nicholls
36) GAS LINE BOY (IRE) 12 10-07 The Three Graces Ian Williams
37) THE DUTCHMAN (IRE) 8 10-07 SprayClad UK Colin Tizzard
38) PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE) 10 10-07 Malcolm C Denmark Willie Mullins IRE
39) FLYING ANGEL (IRE) 7 10-07 Rob Rexton Nigel Twiston-Davies
40) BELLSHILL (IRE) 8 10-07 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE
41) UCELLO CONTI (FR) 10 10-06 Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Gordon Elliott IRE
42) SAINT ARE (FR) 12 10-06 David Fox Tom George
43) BEEVES (IRE) 11 10-06 Paul & Clare Rooney Jennie Candlish
44) LONG HOUSE HALL (IRE) 10 10-05 Carl Hinchy Dan Skelton
45) CAROLE’S DESTRIER 10 10-05 Carole Skipworth Neil Mulholland
46) RAZ DE MAREE (FR) 13 10-05 James Swan Gavin Cromwell IRE
47) I JUST KNOW (IRE) 8 10-04 M B Scholey & the late R H Scholey Sue Smith
48) VIRGILIO (FR) 9 10-04 C J Edwards, D Futter, A H Rushworth Dan Skelton
49) BAIE DES ILES (FR) 7 10-04 Zorka Wentworth Ross O’Sullivan IRE
50) MAGGIO (FR) 13 10-04 Douglas Pryde/James Beaumont Patrick Griffin IRE
51) PENDRA (IRE) 10 10-04 J P McManus Charlie Longsdon
52) BUYWISE (IRE) 11 10-04 T Hywel Jones Evan Williams
53) CHILDRENS LIST (IRE) 8 10-04 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
54) HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR) 11 10-03 Mrs Julian Blackwell Venetia Williams
55) THIRD INTENTION (IRE) 11 10-03 Robert & Sarah Tizzard Colin Tizzard
56) LORD WINDERMERE (IRE) 12 10-03 Dr Ronan Lambe Jim Culloty IRE
57) WILD WEST WIND (IRE) 9 10-03 Simon Clarke Tom George
58) CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE) 9 10-03 Stuart Coltherd Stuart Coltherd
59) DOUBLE ROSS (IRE) 12 10-02 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies
60) MORNING ASSEMBLY (IRE) 11 10-02 Clipper Logistics Group Ltd Pat Fahy IRE
61) BLESS THE WINGS (IRE) 13 10-02 Adrian Butler & S P O’Connor Gordon Elliott IRE
62) FINAL NUDGE (IRE) 9 10-02 Corbett Stud David Dennis
63) MILANSBAR (IRE) 11 10-02 Robert Bothway Neil King
64) ROAD TO RICHES (IRE) 11 10-01 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
65) DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR (IRE) 8 10-01 McGoldrick Racing 3 Sue Smith
66) THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE) 10 10-01 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
67) WALK IN THE MILL (FR) 8 10-00 Baroness Harding Robert Walford
68) VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE) 8 10-00 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith
69) VIC DE TOUZAINE (FR) 9 9-12 Andrew Brooks & G Moore Venetia Williams
70) WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE) 9 9-12 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
71) GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE) 9 9-12 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
72) BONNY KATE (IRE) 8 9-11 Patricia Hunt Noel Meade IRE
73) COGRY 9 9-11 Graham & Alison Jelley Nigel Twiston-Davies
74) SIR MANGAN (IRE) 10 9-11 Frank McAleavy Dan Skelton
75) SPLASH OF GINGE 10 9-11 John Neild Nigel Twiston-Davies
76) MYSTEREE (IRE) 10 9-11 Lynne Maclennan Michael Scudamore
77) MINELLA DADDY (IRE) 8 9-10 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
78) BRAQUEUR D’OR (FR) 7 9-10 Corsellis & Seyfried Paul Nicholls
79) PAIROFBROWNEYES (IRE) 9 9-10 Fibbage Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
80) RELENTLESS DREAMER (IRE) 9 9-10 Nigel Morris Rebecca Curtis
81) KNOCK HOUSE (IRE) 9 9-09 Tim Leslie Donald McCain
82) THE YOUNG MASTER 9 9-08 Mike Burbidge & The Old Masters Neil Mulholland
83) ALFIE SPINNER (IRE) 13 9-06 Alan Beard & Brian Beard Kerry Lee
84) HENRI PARRY MORGAN 10 9-06 Ednyfed & Elizabeth Morgan Peter Bowen
85) PHIL’S MAGIC (IRE) 8 9-06 Lyreen Syndicate Tony Martin IRE
86) DANCING SHADOW (IRE) 9 9-05 The Dancing Shadows Victor Dartnall
87) ROGUE ANGEL (IRE) 10 9-05 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
88) OUT SAM 9 9-03 D Charlesworth Gordon Elliott IRE
89) KRACKATOA KING 10 9-00 JC Harrison Lee & T Howard Partnership Kerry Lee
90) GOODTOKNOW 10 8-13 Burling Lee MacEchern Nolan Potter Kerry Lee