Aintree Grand National 2011 

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grand national 2011 /


Lynch Hoping to Repay Waley-Cohen Faith with National Win

A victory in the coveted John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 9 would put the seal on what has already been a dream season for owner Robert Waley-Cohen and his amateur jockey son Sam, who have already scaled the heights this term with the imperious Long Run, winner of both the King George VI Chase at Kempton and last month of the Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, writes Elliot Slater.

Sam Waley-Cohen won the
Cheltenham Gold Cup on Long Run

Sam Waley-Cohen

At the start of this season it was almost inconceivable to imagine that an amateur rider might win each of the big three chases this term, but young Waley-Cohen stands on the very brink of pulling off an unprecedented treble. The 28-year-old will be on board Oscar Time at Aintree, a horse his father purchased in partnership with Sir Martin Broughton at the start of the season with a view to being the ideal conveyance for his son to have a genuine chance of success in the race that is seen live by some 600 million viewers across the globe. The Grand National betting odds seem to suggest he is right.

It was Oscar's Time's trainer, Irish handler Martin Lynch, who contacted Waley-Cohen to suggest that he might have just the horse he has been looking for. Lynch has remained close friends with Waley-Cohen's since the mid-80s when he used to ride many of the horses trained by the gentleman permit holder and believes that last season's Irish Grand National runner-up has everything required of a potential Aintree Grand National winner.

The 12/1 co-second favourite has been coming to hand nicely this term and last time out finished a highly creditable third to current ante-post favourite The Midnight Club in the Grade 2 Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February. Any rain would certainly enhance the 10-year-old's chance, but on genuinely decent ground he is still expected to give his amateur rider a genuine chance of making even more racing history.

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