No surprises in National field

All the big guns have stood their ground following the final 48-hour declaration stage for Saturday’s John Smith’s Grand National.

All the big guns have stood their ground following the final 48-hour declaration stage for Saturday’s John Smith’s Grand National.

Le Coudray tops the weights for the Aintree marathon, with Amberleigh House, winner 12 months ago, and this year’s favourite Hedgehunter, both confirmed runners.

Forest Gunner, the mount of Carrie Ford, and Lucinda Russell’s well-backed Strong Resolve also feature in a maximum field of 40.

Just three horses - First Gold, Lord Noelie and Hunters Tweed - were withdrawn from the five-day declarations.

The bottom weight is now Paul Nicholls’ L’Aventure, with the Irish Grand National third Marcus Du Berlais also making the cut.

First reserve is the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Native Emperor, second is Jim Goldie's A Piece Of Cake, third is Kim Bailey's Longshanks and fourth is Pat Murphy's Supreme Glory, runner-up in 2003.

The four will be on standby until 9.30am on Friday morning.

John Grand Smith’s Grand National runners: Le Coudray, Royal Auclair, Monty’sPass, Fondmort, Take The Stand, Ballycassidy, Ballybough Rasher, Risk Accessor, Bindaree, Amberleigh House, Hedgehunter, Foly Pleasant, Astonville, Ad Hoc, Heros Collonges, Glenelly Gale, It Takes Time, Clan Royal, Nil Desperandum, Joly Bey, Jakari, Frenchman’s Creek, Iznogoud, Polar Red, Double Honour, Forest Gunner, Colnel Rayburn, Just In Debt, Spot Thedifference, Innox, Strong Resolve, Shamawan, Lord Atterbury, Europa, Merchants Friend, Simply Gifted, Arctic Copper, Turnium, Marcus Du Berlais, L’Aventure.

Reserve runners: Native Emperor, A Piece Of Cake, Longshanks, Supreme Glory.

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