Former winners head Grand National entries

EACH of the last three winners of the John Smith’s Grand National have been entered for the 2010 renewal on April 10.

A total of 112 entries were received, the lowest number since 2000, but they include last year’s hero Mon Mome and runner-up Comply Or Die, who won in 2008, as well as 2007 scorer Silver Birch.

The 38 strong Irish-trained entry includes Vic Venturi, Black Apalachi, Notre Pere, War Of Attrition and 10 from the Willie Mullins stable.

Comply Or Die is one of nine entries for trainer David Pipe along with the likes of Madison Du Berlais and Seven Is My Number, while Silver Birch's Irish handler Gordon Elliott is also planning to run Backstage.

My Will was third in 2009 for trainer Paul Nicholls and could again take his chance, meaning that, with State Of Play, Cerium and Big Fella Thanks also engaged, the first six home from that renewal have all been entered once again.

Nicholls has also engaged Saturday’s Cheltenham winner Taranis and Tricky Trickster, the ante-post 16-1 favourite with totesport.

With two victories in the race Nigel Twiston-Davies is the most successful current trainer and among his seven are Irish Raptor, Ollie Magern, Beat The Boys and Hello Bud.

Plenty of other top British horses could turn up in Merseyside like Albertas Run, Star De Mohaison, Trabolgan, Air Force One and Joe Lively.

Phil Smith, the British Horseracing Authority’s head of handicapping, said: “There is fantastic strength in depth to the entries.

“There are more horses rated 140 or above among the entries in this year’s race than in the previous 11 years that I have handicapped the contest.”

Bob Buckler thinks Irish National winner Niche Market has a “serious chance”.

The nine-year-old was third in the Hennessy but then finished last behind Carruthers in a graduation chase back at Newbury.

Buckler said: I was a bit disappointed with him at Newbury. Maybe he wasn’t fully switched on but he’s absolutely fine and it all just happened a bit quick for him.

“He’s a relentless galloper and the trip was a bit short around a flat track.

“He might go for a graduation chase at Exeter on Sunday week if the ground is not too heavy. Then probably the William Hill Trophy at Cheltenham and then the Grand National at Aintree.

“I think he has a very serious chance in the National. Obviously you have got the National factor of not knowing what happens in the race. But as a horse he is made for it.”


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