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Grand National Meeting 4th - 6th April 2013 

horse racing tipster

grand national 2013 / liverpool hurdle /


King Targets Aintree with Smad Place and Raya Star

Smad Place is likely to bid for a first victory at Grade One level in the £120,000 John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle (2.50pm) over an extended three miles at Aintree on the final day of John Smith's Grand National meeting, Grand National Day, Saturday, April 6.

Smad Place
© Racehorse Photos

Smad Place

Alan King's charge returned from a break to finish a gallant third in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for the second year in succession on March 14, after two placed efforts before Christmas at Ascot and Wetherby respectively.

The six-year-old was travelling powerfully when unseating his rider in the 2012 John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle, won for a record-breaking fourth time by the Paul Nicholls-trained Big Buck's.

King revealed today: "The plan at the moment is to go to Aintree with Smad Place for the John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle on the Saturday.

"He was a bit disappointing at Wetherby but ran well to finish second in the Long Walk at Ascot when the ground wouldn't have been ideal for him and I was very pleased with his performance in the World Hurdle.

"He seems to have come out of Cheltenham fine and will do a bit of work at the weekend, but we are happy enough with him."

Aintree's John Smith's Grand National meeting gets underway on Grand Opening Day, Thursday, April 4, which features four Grade Ones on a fantastic seven-race card, headed by the £200,000 John Smith's Aintree Hurdle (3.05pm).

Raya Star
© Racehorse Photos

Raya Star
King is likely to be represented in the two and a half mile contest by Raya Star, who will be stepping up in trip after finishing fifth in the Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle over two miles at Wincanton on February 16. The seven-year-old had previously been runner-up in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

King added: "Raya Star will run on Thursday in the John Smith's Aintree Hurdle and I think the step up back up to two and a half miles will help him.

"I would put a line through his run at Wincanton in the Kingwell. He made a very bad mistake at the third last which put him on the back foot and the ground was very holding that day.

"The return to better ground will suit him."

Raya Star's potential opponents include dual John Smith's Aintree Hurdle scorer Oscar Whisky, 2010 Stan James Champion Hurdle hero Binocular and Grade One winner Grandouet, who are all trained in Lambourn by Nicky Henderson.

The John Smith's Grand National meeting continues on Ladies Day, Friday, April 5, when Sprinter Sacre, Cue Card and Flemenstar could possibly clash in the £200,000 Grade One John Smith's Melling Chase (3.05pm) over two and a half miles.

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