Grand National News
Pipe Hopes The Package Can Deliver
Trainer David Pipe is hoping The Package can give him his second winner of the Crabbie's Grand National.
The Pond House handler saddled Comply Or Die to land the race in 2008 in the famous colours of the late David Johnson, and The Package is one of two entries in the race set to carry the blue and green silks of the Johnson family.
The other is Our Father, but stable jockey Tom Scudamore has overlooked him in favour of The Package who has previous Aintree experience to his name.
He warmed up for the 2014 Grand National with a staying-on third to Holywell in the extended three mile Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, beaten eight and three quarter lengths.
The 11-year-old was sent off at just 14/1 for the 2010 Grand National and was warming to the task when unseating Graham Lee at the 19th fence.
He is due to race in this year’s contest off the same mark of 141, and Pipe believes that the new style fences which aren’t as unforgiving as they were four years ago will suit him far better.
Pipe told Channel 4 Racing: “The Package ran a very good race at the Cheltenham Festival. He was off the bridle a long way, did well to finish third and he seems to have come out of it well.
“He has run before in the Grand National once before. He didn’t take to it that well early on that day but he was warming to the task when unfortunately unseating Graham Lee at the 19th fence.
But the fences are different nowadays and I think he could have a big chance.”
He looks to have plenty going for him off a nice weight of 10st 4lb, and if Scudamore can get him into a nice jumping rhythm early to safely negotiate the first circuit he is likely to be a big danger to all at the business end of affairs.
With Midlands Grand National winner Goulanes now missing the race, The Package looks the stable’s number one hope in the big race on Saturday, April 5th.
Stable companion Our Father is 40/1 with Coral for the contest, while Pipe’s other likely runner Swing Bill, who will carry the colours of John Halewood who won the race with Amberleigh House in 2004, can be backed at 66/1.