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Talking Horses: calm down over Elliott running 13 in Grand National

Superpower trainers and owners are dominating the world’s most famous race but it could be a mistake to put limits on the numbers they can run

Gordon Elliott looks like having 13 runners in Saturday’s Grand National, smashing the record for a single trainer in the race, which was the 10 run by Martin Pipe in 2001. Michael O’Leary’s maroon and white silks will be carried by seven runners, or possibly nine if Don Poli and Outlander fail to sell at auction on Thursday evening.

All of this has revived talk on social media about whether trainers and owners should be allowed to run as many as they please, and I think we can expect more of such talk in the build-up to the race. Elliott has nearly a third of the field and, while he presumably does not fancy all of them as much as he must fancy Tiger Roll, their presence in the race will have the effect of limiting rival trainers to 27 runners. If, as seems possible, the fancied Joe Farrell misses the cut by one, that will become really significant.

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