King targets Aintree with Smad Place and Raya Star

Smad Place is likely to bid for a first victory at Grade One level in the £120,000 John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2.50pm) over an extended three miles at Aintree on the final day of John Smith’s Grand National meeting, Grand National Day, Saturday, April 6. Alan King’s charge returned from a break to finish a gallant third in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for the second year in succession on March 14, after two placed efforts before Christmas at Ascot and Wetherby…

Puffin Billy has Aintree option

Puffin Billy could step up to two and a half miles at Aintree next week for the £60,000 Grade Two John Smith’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (1.45pm), the opening race on the final day of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, Grand National Day, Saturday, April 6. Oliver Sherwood’s charge was barely extended to win two bumpers and two novices’ hurdles, including a Grade Two at Ascot in December, but lost his unbeaten record when chasing home Melodic Rendezvous in a Listed contest at Exeter on…

Superb clash on the cards in John Smith’s Melling Chase

Trainer Colin Tizzard is looking forward to a potential clash with Sprinter Sacre and Irish ace Flemenstar after confirming his stable star Cue Card is on course for the £200,000 Grade One John Smith’s Melling Chase (3.05pm) over two and a half miles at Aintree on Ladies’ Day of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, Friday, April 5. Cue Card has established himself as the leading intermediate chaser this term with emphatic victories in Exeter’s sportingbet Haldon Gold Cup, the Ascot Chase and the Ryanair…

THE FIRST 10 JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL FACTFILES

  BALLABRIGGS (IRE) FACTFILE b g Presenting – Papoose (IRE) (Little Bighorn) 12-11-04  Form: 50220/6S22F212/0/3111/1121/46-P73  Owner: Trevor Hemmings Trainer: Donald McCain  Breeder: Mrs Sarah Jackson Ballabriggs The 2011 John Smith’s Grand National winner Ballabriggs was born in CountyTipperary on April 27, 2001. John Brady paid IR£12,000 for him as a foal at Goffs in December, 2001, and sold the youngster on to Highflyer Bloodstock, acting for owner Trevor Hemmings, for 32,000 euros at Tattersalls Ireland the following November. Ballabriggs was allowed to develop at two…

Donald McCain hoping to be triple-handed in John Smith’s Grand National

Trainer Donald McCain has four entries still entered in the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National and is hoping to have three runners.   Weird Al, with Adrian Lane up and Across The Bay, ridden by Henry Brooke, had a spin on the Mildmay Course this morning. Across The Bay led the work before Weird Al ranged up at the end.   Ballabriggs won the 2011 John Smith’s Grand National and has 11st 4lb at the moment this year, while Weird Al is three from the…

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