Big Fella Thanks will run in new colours in the John Smith’s Grand National after owner Harry Findlay sold his charge less than three weeks before the race.
Ferdy Murphy’s nine-year-old finished fourth in last year’s renewal of the four-and-a-half-mile marathon at Aintree, when trained by Paul Nicholls.
Findlay, famous for his former association with 2008 Gold Cup hero Denman, severed all ties with the champion trainer last summer, vastly reducing his involvement in racing.
The decision came after Findlay was warned off for six months in connection with laying his own horse, the Nicholls-trained Gullible Gordon, on two occasions.
He later had the disqualification revoked upon appeal, but Findlay was furious about how he was treated by the British Horseracing Authority.
Big Fella Thanks will now run in the blue silks of the Crossed Fingers Partnership.
“Harry has decided to sell the horse now as it has been well documented he wants out of racing,” said the trainer.
“He obviously decided to keep a few in training for this season, but he had Beshabar run a blinder in the four-miler (National Hunt Chase) at Cheltenham last week and he said it was very difficult viewing for him.
“He had mixed emotions as he feels he has been very badly treated by the BHA and he doesn’t think he’ll be able to go through all of that again at Aintree.
“Once Harry made the decision to sell the horse, we had a bit of time to try and find a new owner and thankfully we’ve found some people that were already with the yard to take him.
“There were actually a few other offers from outside, and one of them was quite a bit bigger than the one Harry has taken, but he is a man of his word and he wanted the horse to stay with us, which is fantastic.
“He will now run for the Crossed Fingers Partnership at Aintree. They have a few horses with us and they are obviously really looking forward to it.
“Opportunities to have a horse like him to run in the National don’t come around too often and, hopefully, he has a great chance.”