Saturday – Aintree
2.25 – Reserve Tank
Reserve Tank is a horse that keeps on improving and he’s actually surprised me just how much he has kept stepping up. He’s had some problems in the past but he’s looking better than ever in his coat and has gained some good wins this season.
He completely deserves his place in this race and it’ll be exciting to see how he fares in a Grade Two here. He’s definitely going to be one to watch in the future.
3.40 – West Approach & Kilbricken Storm
West Approach has been consistent all year although did disappoint a little at Cheltenham. He is certainly good enough to run into a place here if he puts his best foot forwards.
We might well look to go back chasing next season, dependent on how it goes, but he’s been such a consistent horse for us and we’re hoping he can add another big run to his record.
We’ve gone for the blinkers this time on Kilbricken Storm after he hung quite badly last time out. I think it might have been partly due to him needing the run at Cheltenham after a spell out with a fractured pelvis and we are hoping that the blinkers will help him get back on track here.
He has bags of ability and he can run a massive race here.
4.20 – Mister Malarky
This is one of our best chances of the whole three days at Aintree. He ran a solid race in the RSA, only beaten by three very good horses, and is left on a very good mark with a jockey on board that is riding out of his skin in Jonjo O’Neill jnr. He has a massive chance off this mark and I’m really hopeful that everything is in line for a huge run.
We have been itching to give Jonjo a chance and this is the perfect opportunity. He has ridden out for us once a week for the last six weeks and not only is he hugely talented but he is also a lovely lad. His record recently speaks for itself and he is a boy going places.
We want to be involved in that and that’s why his first ride for us is on one of the top horses in the betting in a huge handicap on Grand National Day. He could have a great future working with our yard and fingers crossed we can get off to a winning start here.
The Grand National
5.15 – Ultragold
Ultragold’s record around Aintree is impeccable, winning back to back Topham’s and finishing second and third in a Becher Chase. At the end of the day you cannot be too confident going into the National but he absolutely loves it round here and he should have a massive each way chance if he can run to his best.
We had an awful lot of discussions about which race to run him in but we just felt that at the age he is at now, 11, this is the time to give him his chance in a Grand National. The trip is a little bit of a question mark but that doesn’t put us off as it is for so many horses given the uniqueness of the race.
The rain wasn’t necessarily ideal but it’s been dry since then and with the race not until late on the card it should be plenty good enough for him still. Tom O’Brien has ridden some great winners for us this season and he has ridden Ultragold before. It would really be incredible if he can ride him to victory here.