Native River has not been entered for the Grand National
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
FOR the third time in the last four years, over 100 entries were received for the Randox Health Grand National but there was a major player missing, with Welsh National hero Native River not featuring.
The Colin Tizzard-trained chaser, who also won the Hennessy Gold Cup this season, was favourite in some places for the Aintree showpiece, although the trainer does still have a potential challenger with Alary.
Rule The World’s win last year for Mouse Morris was the first Irish-trained success since Silver Birch triumphed for Gordon Elliott in 2007, and of this year’s entries, 37 are trained in Ireland.
With last season’s hero retired, Morris has three contenders courtesy of Dromnea, Rogue Angel and Thunder And Roses, while Elliott has 14 possibles, including ante-post joint-favourite Don Poli.
Maggio marching to Aintree
Maggio (50-1), was a winner at the meeting last year, and is on target to try the formidable National fences for the first time.
James Griffin, assistant to his father Patrick, said: “We have been delighted with Maggio. He was mightily impressive on Grand National day last year.
“We purposely haven’t run him over fences yet this season because, with the way the race is going, you don’t want to be dropping below a rating of 150.
“We missed it by seven two seasons ago and Maggio was fourth reserve last year, so hopefully it is third time lucky. He ran really well at Christmas and will now head to Kelso for the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase on February 16.”
Last year’s runner-up The Last Samuri could be back for another crack, while One For Arthur and Vieux Lion Rouge are also entered.
Weights for the race will be revealed on February 14.
Ascot Chase entries
Cue Card won the Betfair Ascot Chase in 2013, and is the 6-4 favourite with the sponsor to repeat the feat following Wednesday’s entries.
A total of 14 entries were made for the Grade 1, with Peterborough Chase winner Josses Hill next in the betting at 9-2.
Impressive Peter Marsh winner Bristol De Mai also feature, along with Silviniaco Conti and Vaniteux, although Ar Mad was missing from the list.
var $facebookBlock = $(‘#facebook’);