Grand National Meeting 4th - 6th April 2013 

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Grand National Field Set and Raring to Go

On His Own is the 7/1 favourite with Betfred – Aintree’s official betting partner – after a maximum field of 40 was declared for Saturday’s John Smith’s Grand National.

On His Own
© Caroline Norris

On His Own
Pentiffic and Mortimers Cross, the two reserves for the John Smith's Grand National, will not get a run at Aintree on Saturday.

With no defections from the 40-strong line-up on Friday morning, the field remains as was declared on Thursday.

Viking Blond was the last horse to have crept into the race for the Nigel Twiston-Davies team.

As expected, Ruby Walsh takes the ride on the favourite and will be looking to land his third John Smith’s Grand National following victories on Papillon (2000) and Hedgehunter (2005).

Tony McCoy has decided to ride Colbert Station and this has seen the bookies run for cover and Betfred have cut the Ted Walsh-trained gelding to 10/1 (from 12/1), the same price as his stablemate Seabass who will be ridden by Ted’s daughter Katie. Seabass was the subject of an almighty gamble in last year’s race with Walsh on board and the pair eventually finished third behind Neptune Collonges and Sunnyhillboy.

Last year’s fourth Cappa Bleu is a 12/1 shot and Betfred make it 14/1 bar that quartet.

“Tony McCoy left it late but his decision to ride Colbert Station is what punters have been waiting for,” said Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths.

“We’ve already taken evasive action and cut him to 10/1, but we’re braced for a stampede, and he could well go off a single-figure price.”

Cristal Bonus
© Racehorse Photos

Cristal Bonus
Paul Carberry is expected to be fit to ride Chicago Grey after avoiding serious injury following a fall at Fairyhouse on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old was unseated from Mae’s Choice at the first fence in the Grade Three John & Chich Fowler Memorial Mares Chase and suffered a chest injury which put his participation in Saturday’s race in doubt.

Carberry, who won the 1999 John Smith’s Grand National on Bobbyjo, was forced to miss his intended rides at Downpatrick yesterday and will also sit out today's John Smith’s Topham Chase where he was due to ride Jamsie Hall (now ridden by Davy Condon).

However, his agent Ciaran O’Toole expects him to be fit enough to partner Chicago Grey in the John Smith’s Grand National as well as Solwhit in the Grade One John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle.

“We were a bit worried after his fall on Tuesday but he’s just a little stiff now,” said O’Toole. “He should be fine for Saturday.”

The final piece of the jockey jigsaw for Saturday’s John Smith’s Grand National has been put in place following the news that Paul Townend will partner Quel Esprit for Willie Mullins.

Townend, whose best placing in a John Smith’s Grand National came in 2009 when he was 11th on Irish Invader, rode current favourite On His Own in last year’s race following an injury to Ruby Walsh. The pair fell at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit (22nd fence).

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