Midnight Chase and Synchronised are the most notable absentees following the confirmation stage for the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.
Welsh National winner Synchronised was last seen finishing third in the Midlands equivalent at Uttoxeter, while Cheltenham Gold Cup fifth Midnight Chase is instead likely to take his chance in Thursday’s totesport Bowl.
Last year’s National hero Don’t Push It heads 65 remaining entries, with Scotsirish, Notre Pere, Ballytrim and Nedzer’s Return the other horses who were in the race proper to have been withdrawn.
Although Willie Mullins has taken out Scotsirish and the injured Ballytrim, the Irish champion trainer still has a strong hand, headed by ante-post favourite The Midnight Club.
The Co Carlow maestro can also call upon Dooneys Gate, as well as Arbor Supreme and Our Monty, who are now the final two horses guaranteed a place in the 40-runner race.
Royal Rosa joins that pair on 10st 3lb but as he comes out worst on official ratings, he is 41st on the list and therefore needs one horse above him to come out.
British champion Paul Nicholls is still searching for an elusive first National triumph and he, too, is mob-handed, with Gold Cup fourth What A Friend seemingly the best of his team.
The Tother One, Niche Market and Ornais are other likely contenders for the Ditcheat handler.
Backstage, Ballabriggs, Oscar Time, Big Fella Thanks and Silver By Nature also figure in the remaining entries.
Completing the nine defections are the Topham Chase-bound Frankie Figg, One Cool Cookie, who died in a gallops accident on Friday, and Dev.
Andrew Lynch is to have his first ride in the great race on the Dessie Hughes-trained Vic Venturi after his other possible conveyance, Notre Pere, was taken out because the ground will not suit.
“Vic Venturi won the Becher Chase so he has a bit of course form and hopefully he’ll run well. He was a bit unlucky in the National last year,” said the Irish jockey.
“Notre Pere gave me my first spin round the fences in this year’s Becher Chase.
“We had a few problems at Becher’s and he did well to finish fifth after the leaders went away. He ran on well.
“I can’t wait for Saturday.”
Davy Russell will be fit to ride Noel Glynn's Becauseicouldntsee.
The jockey will be back in action on Thursday after recovering from a hand injury suffered in a fall at Thurles last month.
“He’ll be back riding at Aintree on Thursday and he’s looking forward to getting back,” said his agent, Frostie Kelly.
“He’s looking forward to the big race on Saturday and he thinks the horse has a bit of a chance.”
Nina Carberry loved every second of her ride on Character Building when she got John Quinn's grey into seventh place last year, and she is excited about having another go.
“I rode him last year when I didn’t really know him, but at least I know him a bit better this year and I’ve ridden him once since so I’m looking forward to the ride now,” she said.
“Last year we went very quick early on. He was fourth jumping the last but he just got a bit tired.
“Hopefully this year I’ll be able to lie a bit closer and get into a rhythm.
“If he runs a race like last year I’ll be delighted.
“John Quinn said he is better prepared this year than he was last year so that’s a big plus.”