How much do the connections of your Grand National fancy rate their mount? In our feature ‘Straight From The Horse’s Mouth’ we aim to collate, in one article, the best of the quotes concerning each of the leading entrants ahead of Saturday’s spectacular.
Owner JP McManus: ‘He has been laid out for the race all year. He seems to be in good form and, with luck in running, he could give a good account of himself.’ [Western Gazette, 5th April]
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill: ‘Don’t Push It was a bit of a law unto himself really. This is a lovely horse, this is a real old pet. This fella could be a little bit timid, a bit soft.
‘I think he’s quite clever. He’s pretty accurate and knows what he’s doing. You’ll know after the first three or four [fences], whether he’s taken to it or not and, if he has, he’ll run a blinder.’ [The Guardian, 1st April]
Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies: ‘I schooled him [Monday 6th April], he was in great order and jumped 42 obstacles. He was very good, seemed very fresh and seems very well.
‘He ran round there last year and was very good. There’s a lot of positives and not so many negatives.’ [Sky Sports, 7th April]
Trainer Philip Hobbs: ‘His form overall suggests he’s better after a long break, so, off a high handicap mark, he was probably going to get beat at the Cheltenham Festival this year so I didn’t see any point in running him.
‘He’s phenomenal.’ [Liverpool Echo, 31st March]
The Druids Nephew
Trainer Neil Mulholland: ‘I made no secret that he was in the best shape I had ever had him going into Cheltenham and I believe he’s the same now. You want a horse who can travel in their comfort zone at Aintree and I think the place will suit him.’ [Racing Post, 5th April]
Jockey Aiden Coleman: ‘He handled the hustle and bustle of the Cheltenham Festival and came out a very nice winner. That should stand him in good stead as far as the Aintree experience goes.’ [Daily Mail, 7th April]
Cause Of Causes
Trainer Gordon Elliott: ‘He jumped four National fences up on the Curragh so we’re very happy with him. He had an easy week, 10 days after Cheltenham. He’s back working away and did a nice bit of work the other day.
‘For the first three miles we’ll just hunt away there and ride him to get round and if he’s still there going out to the last mile-and-a-half then we’ll worry about winning.’ [At The Races, 8th April]
Trainer David Pipe: ‘The application of blinkers and a tongue strap have brought about improvement and I’m really looking forward to seeing our gentle giant in the big race. He has schooled over the National style fences at home and it’s all systems go.’ [Racing Post, 6th April]
Trainer Fergal O’Brien: ‘We were very happy with his prep run, he did very well to be fifth. It was something to build on.
‘He’s a very good horse, a bit quirky with a lot of speed. We probably have never seen the best of him.’ [Gloucestershire Echo, 7th April]