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Category: Grand National

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Blaklion’s Aintree chances unharmed by Haydock loss says Nigel Twiston-Davies

• Grand National hope ‘has come back and he’s fine,’ insists trainer• Twiston-Davies will have no runners in Cheltenham Gold CupA combative Nigel Twiston-Davies has attempted to shoot down concerns that Blaklion may have left his Grand National chance …

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Talking Horses: the Grand National outsider seeking an emotional win

I Just Know has halved in price to 50-1 since the Aintree weights were revealed and trainer Sue Smith says he’s the right typeI see that Pricewise’s Grand National tip in today’s Racing Post is Total Recall at 14-1, a day after I put up the same horse …

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Sam Twiston-Davies to ride favourite Blaklion in Grand National

• Trainer Paul Nicholls frees his top jockey to ride general 10-1 shot• ‘Blaklion’s the favourite, so of course I’m going to help Sam‘Sam Twiston-Davies has been handed his best chance yet of Grand National glory, having landed the mount aboard the fav…

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Talking Horses: a new peace between British and Irish handicappers

There’s going to be less to argue about in future, alas. Plus, a new rule that makes things tricky for Grand National hopesI suspect we’ll hear renewed criticism of Phil Smith’s handicapping from Michael O’Leary at some point soon, possibly even today,…

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Grand National: Total Recall the name to remember as weights revealed

• Willie Mullins’ horse currently available at 16-1• Definitly Red given top weight but doubtful for raceA power cut at the Bafta building on Piccadilly took some of the energy out of the unveiling of the Grand National weights on Tuesday night and it …

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Blaklion to prepare for Grand National at Haydock and skip Gold Cup

• Grand National favourite to have Haydock run in mid-February• Bristol De Mai also among 105 entries for Aintree race on 14 AprilBlaklion, the 8-1 favourite for the Grand National in April after 105 entries for the race were published on Wednesday, is…

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Talking Horses: stunned by news of Frankie Dettori’s pay cut

Al Shaqab are to pay the famed jockey half as much this year, on the grounds that they expect to have fewer runners in BritainIt’s a terrible thing when middle-aged workers, having given their best years to a company, are tossed on the scrapheap becaus…

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Bryony Frost in Grand National picture after skills dazzle at Warwick

• Young jockey lifts another big prize with victory on Milansbar• Frost turns on the skill and then the charmThis was the latest big day for the enormously popular young jockey Bryony Frost, who won another major Saturday race and simultaneously bagged…

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Talking Horses: Has Evan Williams found another Grand National type?

The Welsh trainer has an excellent record of making the frame in the Aintree race and Cesar Collonges could be going there one dayEvan Williams, the Vale of Glamorgan trainer, achieved the astonishing feat of saddling horses to finish placed in five co…

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Gloam lights up Newmarket sales ring with £4.2m price tag after bidding war

• Sheikh Mohammed wins fierce battle for 19-month-old filly
• Sheikh ended his 12-year boycott of Coolmore-produced horses last month

One precious young filly carries a price tag of £4.2m after a bidding war at a Newmarket sales ring on Thursday. Gloam, who is 19 months old, is now part of Sheikh Mohammed’s vast racing empire after the Dubai ruler’s agents saw off competition from the Irish bloodstock giant Coolmore and also from Qatari interests.

Gloam would not have attracted a single bid from the Sheikh’s team had she been sold at any time in the past 12 years, as she is a daughter of Coolmore’s champion stallion Galileo. Without explanation, the Sheikh ended his boycott of Coolmore-produced horses last month, allowing his team to contribute to the fireworks in Newmarket during the famous annual Book 1 sale at Tattersalls’ auction ring.

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Aintree Grand National meeting 2017 – in pictures

From the glamour of Ladies Day to One For Arthur’s triumph in the Grand National steeplechase, we bring you some of our favourite pictures of the winners, punters and atmosphere from over the three days

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Derek Fox in dreamland after One For Arthur wins Grand National

Desperate throw of the dice comes off for triumphant Aintree jockey, one month after he sustained broken wrist and collarbone

Alongside the efforts by all of those connected with One For Arthur, a portion of this Grand National victory belongs to Jack Berry House, a £3m rehabilitation facility set up by the Injured Jockeys Fund that will shortly mark the second anniversary of its opening. If that money had never been found, Derek Fox would not have recovered in time to deliver one of the coolest winning rides in the long history of this famous race, having broken a wrist and a collarbone a month ago.

Sending Fox to live there at Malton in North Yorkshire was rather a desperate throw of the dice after the tumble he took at Carlisle on 9 March. While brave statements were made in public, private doubt prevailed.

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Derek Fox in dreamland after One For Arthur wins Grand National

Desperate throw of the dice comes off for triumphant Aintree jockey, one month after he sustained broken wrist and collarbone

Alongside the efforts by all of those connected with One For Arthur, a portion of this Grand National victory belongs to Jack Berry House, a £3m rehabilitation facility set up by the Injured Jockeys Fund that will shortly mark the second anniversary of its opening. If that money had never been found, Derek Fox would not have recovered in time to deliver one of the coolest winning rides in the long history of this famous race, having broken a wrist and a collarbone a month ago.

Sending Fox to live there at Malton in North Yorkshire was rather a desperate throw of the dice after the tumble he took at Carlisle on 9 March. While brave statements were made in public, private doubt prevailed.

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Grand National 2017: news and updates before the big race at Aintree – live coverage!

1.41pm BST

Aintree Race One: 1.45pm … the Gaskells Handicap Hurdle … coming up soon …

1.39pm BST

Sydney Cup abandoned
Shades of the void Grand National over in Australia earlier today …

One of Australia’s biggest horse races the Sydney Cup was abandoned at the halfway point on Saturday in dramatic and controversial scenes after two horses threw their riders and one of the horses died on the track.
The two-mile Group One event, worth Aus$1.5m is one of the highlights of the autumn racing season at Sydney’s Randwick racecourse.
But trouble occurred soon after the field passed the winning post the first time in the lap-and-a-half race when Almoonqith a former Europe and Dubai-based stallion raced by the Emirates deputy ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum broke down.
Not only was the seven-year-old’s English jockey James Doyle thrown from the saddle, the incident also caused rival horse Who Shotthebarman to unseat its jockey, Blake Shinn.
With Almoonqith lying on the track and Doyle having trouble moving away due to an injured knee, race officials decided to call a “no-race” with 1,600 meters left. But with no warning sirens in operation, it was left to mounted track officials to call out to jockeys that the race had been abandoned.
Only about half of the remaining riders heard the call and pulled up their horses, however, with the other half pushing on in the belief the race was still valid.
English visitor, the Godolphin-owned Polarisation, was first across the line, with his rider Corey Brown celebrating what he believed was a big win for the horse’s connections.
He and the other finishing riders then steered their mounts around Almoonqith, who later had to be euthanized.
Brown was later fuming over the decision to abandon the race, saying jockeys could easily have avoided the stricken horse after the finish of the race.
“One’s broken down and it was a furlong [200 meters] after the winning post. If it was at the 100-meter mark [before the post] I could understand,” said Brown, who also called the lack of a warning siren “farcical.”
Race officials, who were expected to reschedule the event, defended their decision. Chief steward Marc van Gestel said officials had to “err on the side of caution,” as it was not immediately clear whether Almoonqith might still get up and cause havoc with the remaining field.
Meanwhile, five-year-old Australian mare Winx, the world’s highest-rated horse on turf, completed her 17th straight win with a five-length victory in the day’s richest race, the Aus$3m Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2,000 metres. AP

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Grand National 2017: news and updates before the big race at Aintree – live coverage!

1.41pm BST

Aintree Race One: 1.45pm … the Gaskells Handicap Hurdle … coming up soon …

1.39pm BST

Sydney Cup abandoned
Shades of the void Grand National over in Australia earlier today …

One of Australia’s biggest horse races the Sydney Cup was abandoned at the halfway point on Saturday in dramatic and controversial scenes after two horses threw their riders and one of the horses died on the track.
The two-mile Group One event, worth Aus$1.5m is one of the highlights of the autumn racing season at Sydney’s Randwick racecourse.
But trouble occurred soon after the field passed the winning post the first time in the lap-and-a-half race when Almoonqith a former Europe and Dubai-based stallion raced by the Emirates deputy ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum broke down.
Not only was the seven-year-old’s English jockey James Doyle thrown from the saddle, the incident also caused rival horse Who Shotthebarman to unseat its jockey, Blake Shinn.
With Almoonqith lying on the track and Doyle having trouble moving away due to an injured knee, race officials decided to call a “no-race” with 1,600 meters left. But with no warning sirens in operation, it was left to mounted track officials to call out to jockeys that the race had been abandoned.
Only about half of the remaining riders heard the call and pulled up their horses, however, with the other half pushing on in the belief the race was still valid.
English visitor, the Godolphin-owned Polarisation, was first across the line, with his rider Corey Brown celebrating what he believed was a big win for the horse’s connections.
He and the other finishing riders then steered their mounts around Almoonqith, who later had to be euthanized.
Brown was later fuming over the decision to abandon the race, saying jockeys could easily have avoided the stricken horse after the finish of the race.
“One’s broken down and it was a furlong [200 meters] after the winning post. If it was at the 100-meter mark [before the post] I could understand,” said Brown, who also called the lack of a warning siren “farcical.”
Race officials, who were expected to reschedule the event, defended their decision. Chief steward Marc van Gestel said officials had to “err on the side of caution,” as it was not immediately clear whether Almoonqith might still get up and cause havoc with the remaining field.
Meanwhile, five-year-old Australian mare Winx, the world’s highest-rated horse on turf, completed her 17th straight win with a five-length victory in the day’s richest race, the Aus$3m Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2,000 metres. AP

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Talking Horses: Lord Windermere tipped to shine in our Grand National preview

Odds of 50-1 look far too big for the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and allow for a good return each-way, even if he finds something finishing more strongly

Contrary to what regular readers may imagine, I don’t generally like to provoke laughter with my big-race selections, but I’m steeling myself against the inevitable response because Lord Windermere (5.15) looks like the Grand National winner to me. A smile is the most restrained reaction one can expect from racing fans in response to this suggestion because the general view is that this horse has, in the parlance, ‘gone at the game’.

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Meet the men who build the Grand National’s fences – video

The fences at the Grand National were redesigned in 2013 to be more forgiving for the horses, but how are they made? Mark Shaw and his team explain how each fence takes two days to build using around 150 tonnes of spruce from a forest in the Lake Distr…

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Grand National 2017: a horse-by-horse betting guide

The Last Samuri, second last year, heads the field for the world’s most famous race at Aintree on Saturday

Jockey D Bass Trainer K Bailey Age Nine Weight 11st 10lb

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Grand National 2017: a horse-by-horse betting guide

The Last Samuri, second last year, heads the field for the world’s most famous race at Aintree on Saturday

Jockey D Bass Trainer K Bailey Age Nine Weight 11st 10lb

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The Last Samuri aims to follow Red Rum with top-weight Grand National win

• Red Rum was the last top-weight winner in 1974
• Six horses from original National handicap top 40 taken out on Monday

The Last Samuri, who had only 10st 8lb on his back when he finished second in last year’s Grand National, is set to carry the top weight of 11st 10lb in this year’s renewal at Aintree on Saturday after Carlingford Lough, who was at the head of the weights in the original handicap, was scratched at the five-day stage . If he comes home in front this weekend, Kim Bailey’s chaser will be the first top weight to win since Red Rum carried 12st to victory in 1974.

The Last Samuri is top-priced at 16-1 to bridge that 43-year gap but a glance at the likely runners in this year’s race compared with the field that finished strung out behind Red Rum shows how much the race has changed in recent decades and the size of the task facing The Last Samuri on Saturday.

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