Walsh has Will for third Grand National

Ruby Walsh will go in search of a third John Smith’s Grand National victory on board My Will, who is likely to go off favourite at Aintree today.

Ruby Walsh will go in search of a third John Smith’s Grand National victory on board My Will, who is likely to go off favourite at Aintree today.

Walsh had multiple choices ahead of the race but plumped for the Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old.

Nicholls will be hoping for his first-ever success in the four-and-a-half-mile marathon with My Will one of four runners he will send out.

Walsh was, however, most confident of My Will’s credentials.

“He has plenty of weight but he ran a cracker in the Gold Cup,” said Walsh.

“I went for him because of the ground. You had to weigh it all up and you’d love to be on one with less than 11st – they have the best record in the race - but he has 11st 4lb and is a classy individual who was third in a Betfred Gold Cup off a big weight and he should stay.

“He has had a tendency in the past to make the odd mistake, so we are hoping to eradicate that, but I think he has a good chance.”

Tony McCoy is placing his faith in the mastery of Jonjo O’Neill to help him break his Grand National duck on Butler’s Cabin.

The 13-times champion jockey has infamously endured 13 failed attempts in the greatest race of them all – and has also suffered some rotten luck over the famous fences.

Along with Clan Royal having been carried out by a loose horse in 2005, McCoy was travelling like the winner 12 months ago on Butler’s Cabin when he tipped up at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit.

Despite the nine-year-old having shown little in his first three starts of the season, there was more to like about Butler’s Cabin’s run at the Cheltenham Festival, where he finished fifth.

“Jonjo appears to be able to get horses to peak specifically for a certain race, Clan Royal being the obvious one, and it looked like he had done the trick with Butler’s Cabin last year as he was running a big race until he fell, said McCoy, who also had the choice of riding Can’t Buy Time, Reveillez and L’Ami.

“He ran his best race since then at Cheltenham last time so, hopefully, he is hitting form at the right time.

“It’s the Grand National, and you need a bit of luck, but we are happy with him.

“Obviously Jonjo has two others in it and JP (McManus) has L’Ami, so it wasn’t a straightforward decision.

“But, having won an Irish National on him, it would have been difficult to get off him.

“You’d hope that stamina is one thing he has lots of and that is one of the main reasons I picked him.

“Last year’s race was the sweetest he’d travelled all year.

“Obviously he had been trained for the race, but it was the best he travelled and jumped and hopefully he’ll come alive again.

“I think Rambling Minster has a good chance, Kilbeggan Blade is a horse I have won a couple on who stays well and My Will undoubtedly has the best form – but the question mark over him is his jumping and no French horse has won the Grand National.”

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