‘His last two runs have been good, he is an economic jumper’: Fiddlerontheroof is the real deal for the Grand National, says Brendan Powell, after bypassing Cheltenham handed son Brendan Jr Aintree shot
- Brendan Powell won the 1988 Grand National and is targeting success this year
- He believes keeping Fiddlerontheroof fresh bodes well for his son, Brendan Jnr
- They may now have a genuine shot at completing a rare family double at Aintree
- There is only one instance of a father and son both riding winners at the race
Powell won the 1988 National on Rhyme ’N’ Reason.
In the race’s history, stretching back to 1839, there is only one instance of a father and son both riding winners — Tommy Carberry, successful in 1975 on L’Escargot, and Paul who won in 1999 on Bobbyjo.
Brendan Powell believes keeping Fiddlerontheroof fresh for Aintree has given son Brendan Jnr (pictured) a shot at completing a rare Grand National family double
Previously, the father and son to get closest to both winning as jockeys were Tommy Barnes, second in 1962 on Wyndburgh and Maurice, who won on Rubstic in 1979.
Fiddlerontheroof, a 14-1 shot who finished second in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November, has run only once since finishing runner-up at Ascot in February and trainer Colin Tizzard passed a chance to run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup to concentrate on the National.
Former trainer Powell Snr, who is now assistant trainer to Joseph O’Brien in Ireland, said: ‘Fiddlerontheroof has been trained for the race and they probably did the right thing missing Cheltenham.
Powell Snr won the 1988 National on Rhyme ‘N’ Reason and is now targeting success this year
‘This year we could see a few funny results at Aintree with horses who had tough races at Cheltenham with the meeting starting less than three weeks after the Festival.
‘His last two runs have been good, he is an economic jumper and the Tizzard horses continue to run well. He has the profile of a National horse.’
Brendan Jnr has enjoyed his best season with 61 winners.
He said: ‘The Ladbrokes Trophy was a mighty run. He didn’t travel or jump as well as he can at Ascot but he still looked like winning at the last fence and just got caught by a horse carrying a lot less weight on the day. With a clear passage he should be competitive.’
Fiddlerontheroof (pictured) has run only once since finishing runner-up at Ascot in February
A shuffle in the National line-up has seen Gordon Elliott-trained Battleoverdoyen switched to Friday’s Topham Handicap Chase. That allows stablemate Death Duty to maintain Elliott’s representation at eight of the 40 starters.
Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson says Shishkin was suffering from a bone problem when pulled up in last month’s Queen Mother Champion Chase after starting favourite.
Shishkin was subsequently intermittently lame. He needs rest but should be fine to return next season.