Andrew Tulloch, Aintree's clerk of the course, reported on Friday, March 31, that there is no alteration to the official going on all three courses, and expects little change over the weekend, after over six millimetres of rain was followed by a drying breeze.
Grand National Course
Good to soft, soft in places - going stick reading 5.4
Good to soft - going stick reading 5.9
Good to soft - going stick reading 5.7
Tulloch said this afternoon: "We had five or six millimetres the night before last and just over a millimetre last night. We've got a nice, breezy, drying day today so there has been no change to the going. We could do with a couple of millimetres each day to maintain what we have.
"The weather is unsettled and it should stay like that right the way through the weekend. There is a 70-80 per cent chance of us getting two or three millimetres of rain and a 20 per cent chance of us getting more than that.
"That's what we're expecting up to the beginning of next week but the forecasters can't say beyond that.
"We're putting the finishing touches to the National fences and it's all looking fantastic. The grass has started to kick in and we've got some good growth on the course."
AINTREE ADMISSION AVAILABLE FOR ALL THREE DAYS
A limited number of Grandstand badges are available for the Thursday, while Tattersalls tickets can be purchased for all three days. Tickets to the John Smith's No Nonsense Enclosure are available for just the Saturday.
These can be bought from the racecourse ticket office in person or via telephone on 0151 522 2929.
JOHN SMITH'S GRAND NATIONAL FACTFILES
Please find attached in Word the first 20 factfiles for possible runners in the £700,000 John Smith's Grand National on Saturday, April 8. The horses are Amberleigh House, Clan Royal, Cornish Rebel, Ebony Light, Eurtotrek, First Gold, Fondmort (doubtful), Forest Gunner, Hedgehunter, Inca Trail, Innox, It Takes Time, Jack High, Joes Edge, Juveigneur, Nil Desperandum, Numbersixvalverde, Royal Auclair, Sir Rembrandt and Therealbandit.
All 40 runners will be covered and jockeys added by Friday morning, April 7 at the latest.
John Smith's Grand National prices offered on Betfair on Friday, March 31, 2006
7.6 Hedgehunter, Clan Royal, 14.5 Numbersixvalverde, 18.5 Innox, 22 Jack High, 22 Sir Rembrandt, 28 Garvivonnian, 30 Joes Edge, 32 Cornish Rebel, Dun Doire, Ross Comm, 36 Royal Auclair, 38 Lord Of Illusion, 40 Direct Access, 42 Nil Desperandum, 44 Silver Birch, 46 Haut de Gemme, Sir Oj, 50 Eurotrek, 55 Le Duc, 60 Colnel Rayburn, 65 Therealbandit, 80 Inca Trail, 85 Forest Gunner, Ebony Light, 100+ bar
JOHN SMITH'S GRAND NATIONAL MEETING - LATEST ORDER OF RUNNING
Aintree, April 6, 7 & 8, 2006
Thursday, April 6
2.00 The John Smith's and Flixton Conservative Club Liverpool Hurdle 3m ½f £70,000
2.35 The Betfair Bowl Chase 3m 1f £150,000
3.10 The Sportsman Anniversary 4YO Novices' Hurdle 2m ½f £120,000
3.45 The John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase 2m 5½f £35,000
4.20 The John Smith's Red Rum Handicap Chase 2m £70,000
4.55 The Citroën C4 Mersey Novices' Hurdle 2m 4f £55,000
5.30 The John Smith's HBLB TBA Mares Only Standard Open NH Flat 2m 1f £30,000
Friday, April 7
2.00 The John Smith's Mildmay Novices' Chase 3m 1f £80,000
2.35 The Citroën C6 Sefton Novices' Hurdle 3m ½f £90,000
3.10 The John Smith's Melling Chase 2m 4f £150,000
3.45 The John Smith's and Spar Topham Chase 2m 5½f £100,000
4.20 The John Smith's Imagine Appeal Top Novices' Hurdle 2m ½f £55,000
4.55 The betfair.com Handicap Chase 3m 1f £50,000
5.30 The Sportsman Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f £50,000
Saturday, April 8
1.45 The John Smith's Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle 2m ½f £50,000
2.15 The John Smith's Maghull Novices' Chase 2m £110,000
2.50 The Scottish and Newcastle Aintree Hurdle 2m 4f £150,000
3.25 The John Smith's Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle 3m ½f £50,000
4.15 The John Smith's Grand National Chase 4m 4f £700,000
5.00 The John Smith's Novices' Handicap Chase (for amateur riders) 2m 4f £30,000
5.30 The John Smith's Champion Standard Open NH Flat 2m 1f £35,000
MAGNUSSON DREAMING OF GUINEAS GLORY WITH LOVE
Mikael Magnusson, the Swedish businessman who trains from Old Manor Stables in Lambourn, revealed today that I'm In Love is set to become his first-ever runner in a British Classic in the Stan James 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday, May 7.
The daughter of Zafonic won her last start of 2005 by taking a mile maiden on the all-weather at Lingfield in good style and is currently a 100/1 chance with Stan James for the fillies' Classic.
Magnusson said this morning: "It's a case of so far so good with I'm In Love. She worked at Lingfield on Wednesday under Eddie Ahern and went very nicely.
"I have been very pleased with her progress over the winter - she has matured and is much more relaxed this year.
"She'll go for the Shadwell Nell Gwyn Stakes (Group Three) at Newmarket on April 18 and, if she runs well there, we will aim her at the Stan James 1000 Guineas.
"I am slightly concerned about dropping her back to seven furlongs in the Nell Gwyn, although she has plenty of speed. She looks very well and I couldn't be happier with her."
Despite not having the Group-race credentials of many of those currently heading the betting for the fillies' Classic, Magnusson is confident that she has the ability to prove herself a decent sort this season.
"She was unlucky at Newbury on her second start [beaten two lengths by previous winner Mostaqeleh in a seven-furlong conditions race], where she got into all kinds of problems, but still came through for second - Richard Quinn was impressed with her," Magnusson explained.
"On her next start at Lingfield, the others might not have been up to much, but she could only beat what was there on the day.
"Being by Zafonic, she will require quick ground to be at her best. I've always regarded her very highly and she is an exciting filly to look forward to this year."
I'm In Love cost 115,000 guineas as a yearling at Tattersalls in October, 2004, and has had three starts. She made her debut over five furlongs at Sandown in May last year but was outpaced and then stepped up another two furlongs for her second start at Newbury in September when the two-length runner-up. Her third outing was at Lingfield on November 12 when she scooted away to beat 10 others comfortably by two lengths over a mile.
Stan James latest odds for the Stan James 1000 Guineas: 4/1 Rumplestiltskin, 6/1 Nannina, 10/1 Flashy Wings Silca's Sister, 16/1 Race For The Stars, 20/1 La Chunga Donna Blini Quiet Royal Queen's Best Alexander Alliance, 25/1 Nasheej Alexandrova Wake Up Maggie Scottish Stage Pearls Girl Bouboulina, 28/1 Royal Proposal, 33/1 Nidhaal Star Cluster Innocent Air Short Dance Silver Touch Sindirana Sandglass Wasseema Emily Bronte Flamingo Guitar, 40/1 Salut D'Amour Confidential Lady Modeeroch Mostaqeleh Chenchikova Lifetime Romance, 50/1 Bar