It’s a little over two week until the Aintree Grand National and the second scratching stage of the race has just taken place. The original list of entrants contained well over 100 horses with notable names such as Long Run, Seabass and Teaforthree all in the mix.
73 horses have stood their ground after the latest scratching stage and they go forward to the six-day stage on Monday, March 31. Ante-post backers will be sorry to see the likes of Seabass and On His Own withdrawn from the race. Both horses have been well supported in previous running of the National.
The scratching stages help whittle the number of entries down from 100s to just 40. The final line-up of horses (maximum 40 allowed) will test their mettle against the Aintree fences on the 5th April.
After the omission of Seabass and On His Own bookmakers reacted by rejigging odds on the remaining horses. Teaforthree who placed in last years race has been installed as the pre-race favourite. Odds on the Rebecca Curtis trained horse have shortened from 20/1 into 10/1. The 2011 Gold Cup hero Long Run has also seen his prices clipped too, moving from 25/1 into 16s which makes him the second favourite for the big race.
Along with those horses who won’t be making an appearance at Aintree this year a number of jockeys will also be absent. Jason Maguire who won on Ballabriggs in 2011 suffered a nasty fall and is unlikely to recover in time. Irish jockey Ruby Walsh who also won the race on Papillon in 2000 will miss the big day after breaking his arm in a race at the Cheltenham Festival.