Tuesday, March 29, 2011
GLYNN HOPING STABLE STARS CAN FIND VOICES AT THE JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL MEETING
County Clare owner/trainer Noel Glynn is set to launch a double assault at Aintree next week, with Becauseicouldntsee and Gonebeyondrecall on course to take on the famous National fences at the John Smith’s Grand National meeting.
Progressive chaser Becauseicouldntsee takes his chance in the £950,000 John Smith’s Grand National on Saturday, April 9, following a pleasing recovery from surgery on an injury sustained in the Grade Three Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on December 29.
Despite injuring a back leg during the race, the eight-year-old Beneficial gelding still ran superbly to take second behind fellow John Smith’s Grand National contender Majestic Concorde.
He also posted an excellent effort in defeat at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, when finding only Poker De Sivola two and a quarter lengths too strong in the four-mile National Hunt Chase, despite spreading a plate at the start and running on three shoes. He is currently a 25/1 chance for the John Smith’s Grand National with totesport, official betting partner of the meeting.
Glynn revealed: “Becauseicouldntsee is 99 per cent certain to line up in the John Smith’s Grand National. You never know what’s going to happen in the week building up to the race - usually everything goes wrong - but he has recovered well since having surgery a couple of months ago.
“He got a nick in his hind leg in the Paddy Power Chase and it looked nothing at the time but the impact on the bone was more severe than we thought so he had to go under the knife.
“He is a fantastic jumper and seems to prefer to go left handed, so I am hopeful that he can run well at Aintree. He has a lovely racing weight (10st 8lb) and we are keeping our fingers crossed that he gets there now. Fitness won’t be an issue as we wouldn’t be going unless we thought that he was 100 per cent.
“He will definitely get the four and a half miles of the John Smith’s Grand National and I see that there is a little rain forecast which will certainly help our cause. He was second on good going at Cheltenham last year when he had to run with only three shoes, which was an awful disadvantage.
“Davy Russell says that he will be back in time to take the ride and I am just hoping that his fracture heals quick enough.”
Despite not having saddled a runner in the world’s greatest chase, Glynn has been able to call on the advice of his assistant Jason Titley, who partnered the Jenny Pitman-trained Royal Athlete to victory in the 1995 renewal of the John Smith’s Grand National. Glynn will also be bidding to follow in the recent footsteps of Jimmy Mangan (Monty’s Pass 2003), Martin Brassil (Numbersixvalverde 2006) and Gordon Elliott (Silver Birch 2007) - three Irish trainers who all triumphed with their first runners in the John Smith’s Grand National.
Glynn added: “Jason has been working with me for the last three years and it’s great to have a National winner as part of the yard. We built a couple of National style fences for Becauseicouldntsee and he seemed to take to them very well.”
Stable companion Gonebeyondrecall will also head to Aintree for a crack at the £100,000 Listed John Smith’s Topham Chase, which is run over an extended two miles and five furlongs of the National course on Friday, April 8.
The eight-year-old, who like Becauseicouldntsee owes his name to the lyrics of Sean Keane’s Irish folk song Writing On The Wall, triumphed in a novices’ hurdle on his only previous appearance at Aintree in June, 2009.
He easily landed a beginners’ chase at Killarney in August and recorded another success in a Listowel handicap chase the following month before an abortive trip to Cheltenham for the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November, when he was withdrawn at the start due to incorrect headgear.
On his most recent start, Gonebeyondrecall headed back to Cheltenham for the Vote AP Gold Cup on December 11, in which he was pulled up two fences from home.
Glynn continued: “Gonebeyondrecall will also travel over for the John Smith’s Topham Chase and hopefully he will get in the race. I will also give him an entry in the John Smith’s Handicap Chase on the Saturday in case he misses the cut and he will definitely run in one or the other.
“He is in great form at the moment and he is a real spring horse who is coming into himself at the right time. I only ran him at Cheltenham in December after they wouldn’t let him run there the previous month - I wanted to prove a point over the blinkers and the visor.
“He won at Listowel and Killarney last year and he would also have won at Tipperary in October but a horse fell in front of him and nearly brought him down. He has previously been successful in a novice hurdle at Aintree and he also took a valuable bumper at the Punchestown Festival, but it has taken him a long time to get his act together over the larger obstacles.
“He ran eight times before he won over fences but he is a fantastic jumper and he will love good ground. He has also schooled over our National fences at home and seemed to enjoy jumping them.”
The going at Aintree is currently:
MILDMAY & HURDLE COURSES - Good
GRAND NATIONAL COURSE - Good
Andrew Tulloch, Aintree’s Clerk of the Course and Director of Racing, reported today: “The ground is currently good on all courses at Aintree.
“The forecast is for drizzle today, with more substantial rain moving in around lunchtime tomorrow (Wednesday).
“Overall, the forecast is for generally unsettled conditions this week with another tranche of rain set to come in on Friday.
“Looking at the long-range forecast, the unsettled weather is set to continue into next week.”
The 2011 John Smith's Grand National Meeting runs from Thursday, April 7, to Saturday, April 9, and features top-class racing on each day. Tickets and hospitality packages are still available. Visit www.aintree.co.uk for further information or call 0844 579 3001.
Seats are still available on Thursday, April 7, Liverpool Day, from £24 in West Tip. General Tattersalls admission is still available from £21 and hospitality packages can be purchased from £99. Also on Thursday, Liverpool group The Farm will perform for 60 minutes following racing.
The 2011 John Smith’s Grand National meeting will be opened on Thursday by legendary Knotty Ash comedian Ken Dodd.