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Wednesday, April 5, 2000


BEST ODDS

MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL, AINTREE, APRIL 8, 2000. 3.45 pm.
(Ladbrokes - L, William Hill - WH, Tote - T)

Star Traveller - 8 (T)
Bobbyjo - 7 (L,WH,T)
Young Kenny - 12 (T)
Micko's Dream - 10 (L,WH,T)
Cavalero - 20 (T)
Dark Stranger - 16 (L)
The Last Fling - 14 (L,WH,T)
Djeddah - 16 (WH)
Red Marauder - 14 (L,T)
Escartefigue - 33 (L,WH)
Listen Timmy - 50 (WH)
Papillon - 40 (WH)
Call It A Day - 40 (WH,T)
Niki Dee - 33 (WH)
Kendal Cavalier - 14 (L,WH,T)
Earthmover - 20 (WH,T)
Luzcadou - 50 (WH)
Hollybank Buck - 33 (L,WH)
Kingdom Of Shades - 50 (L,WH,T)
Merry People - 50 (WH,T)
Lucky Town - 25 (L,T)
Sparky Gayle - 40 (WH)
Suny Bay - 50 (WH,T)
Buck Rogers - 50 (WH)
Feels Like Gold - 33 (WH)
Flaked Oats - 40 (T)
Royal Predica - 50 (WH)
Torduff Express - 40 (WH)
Addington Boy - 40 (WH)
Choisty - 40 (L,WH)
Esprit De Cotte - 50 (WH)
Village King - 50 (WH,T)
Mely Moss - 25 (L,WH,T)
Brave Highlander - 50 (L,WH)
Druids Brook - 66 (WH,T)
Even Flow - 50 (L)
Stormy Passage - 50 (L,WH,T)
The Gopher - 80 (T)
Art Prince - 100 (WH)
Cariboo Gold - 100 (WH,T)
Celtic Giant - 66 (L,WH,T)
Trinitro - 100 (WH)
Full Of Oats - 100 (WH,T)
Mountain Path - 100 (WH,T)
Senor El Betrutti - 66 (L,WH,T)
Forestal - 100 (L,WH,T)
Overflowing River - 150 (WH,T)
Ryhane - 150 (L)
Another Excuse 200 (T)
Camelot Knight - 200 (L,WH)
River Unshion - 200 (L,WH)
Back Bar - 500 (L,WH)


McCARTHY ON ESCARTEFIGUE


JIMMY MCCARTHY has been booked by Paul Nicholls for his first ride in the Martell Grand National on Escartefigue, once heralded as the most promising chaser in training.


Escartefigue never quite lived up to his billing but Nicholls has insisted all season that he is just the type for four and a half miles round Aintree.


McCarthy, fresh from partnering his 31st winner of the season on Starbuck at Ludlow yesterday, said: "It's great to get a ride in the National. Let's face it, if you're not in you can't win. I am going to Paul Nicholls's to sit on Escartefigue in the morning to get to know him before going to Aintree."

McCarthy has had only one ride over the National fences and that was in November 1994 when he won the John Parrett Memorial Handicap Chase on Young Snugfit. "I'll be trying to keep my 100 per cent record intact," he smiled.


Escartefigue seemed to lose his way but his last two runs - second to Spendid at Wincanton and fourth to Ackzo at Uttoxeter - were encouraging. "It would be just right if Aintree could have a decent rain before the race," added McCarthy. "That would suit Escartefigue."

NON RUNNER

The following is a non runner on Thursday at Aintree

4.40pm LINTON ROCKS (Vets Cert)




BOBBYJO ARRIVES AT AINTREE


BOBBYJO, hero of last year's Martell Grand National, stepped out into the Aintree sunshine this afternoon on his arrival from Tommy Carberry's County Meath stables in Ireland.


Accompanied by stable companion Native Status, who runs in Friday's John Hughes Trophy, Bobbyjo made the seven-hour journey by ferry and horsebox. He looked on good terms with himself, despite the close attentions of a welcoming party of security police.


Two police officers were all but on the ramp waiting to inspect the horsebox before Bobbyjo emerged. They were politely asked by Carberry's wife Pamela to step to one side while Bobbyjo was led into the racecourse stables. It was only then that a sniffer dog was allowed to check out the Carberry horsebox.


Mrs Carberry said: "Everything on the journey went fine. We left at quarter to nine this morning and arrived here just before four o'clock. Bobbyjo never kicked up or sweated and seems to have taken the journey well. He is in good form."

Meanwhile, Francois Doumen's Grand National runner Djeddah arrived from France down the road at Haydock racecourse stables where he will spend the last 48 hours before the big race with the Norwegian raider Trinitro.


Christy Roche's pair Grimes and High Stakes came through the Aintree security gates at four o'clock this morning and looked well settled and contented as they were given a pick of grass during the afternoon.


Roche's 15-year-old son Padraig was in attendance with High Stakes, who is in both the Barton And Guestier Top Novices' Hurdle and the Glenlivet Anniversary Four-Year-Old Novices' Hurdle. Grimes goes for the Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle, the opening race on Grand National day.


Noel Meade's quartet of Fable, Frozen Groom, Native Dara and The Bunny Boiler settled in yesterday along with Aidan O'Brien's only runner at the meeting Darapour in the Barton & Guestier Handicap Hurdle on Thursday.



NB A picture of Bobbyjo's arrival is on Aintree's Internet site at www.aintree.co.uk



TICKET AND BADGE AVAILABILITY AT AINTREE



THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2000

County Stand Roof/ Princess Royal Roof are available on the day
Tattersalls Enclosure (£12) are available on the day

FRIDAY

Tattersalls Enclosure (£15) are available on the day

SATURDAY

Tattersalls Enclosure (£20) are available on the day
Steeplechase Enclosure (£7) are available on the day









NATIONAL GOING NOW GOOD


The going on the Martell Grand National course is now GOOD, having previously been good, good-to-soft in places.

The going on the Mildmay and Hurdle courses remains GOOD.


Ian Renton, Aintree's Clerk of the Course, said at 3pm today: "We have been continuing to water today to maintain good ground on the Mildmay and Hurdle courses.


"The forecast is for possible frost on Wednesday and Thursday nights. It should be dry on Thursday and Friday but we will consider watering again after racing on Friday if necessary.


"A small area of the Martell Grand National course has been watered, where the Mildmay course crosses it, but that has only been done as part of the Mildmay watering.


"We have no plans to water the National course today or tomorrow but we might consider watering on Friday night if conditions permit and we feel that it is required."





LATEST MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL NEWS - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 2000


Class A, Grade 3, Showcase Handicap, 3.45pm Saturday, April 8, 2000, 4m 4f, £500,000 guaranteed, six-year-olds and upwards who are allotted a rating of 110 or more by the senior BHB National Hunt Handicapper following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 6. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at January 26 may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performance to February 6 would merit a minimum rating of 110, and that the horse has either won a chase or hurdle race, or has run at least three times collectively in chases or hurdle races by February 6. At the Handicapper's discretion, such horses may be allocated either a rating, or will be allotted top weight under Order 95 (iii) (b). No penalties after the publication of weights. Entries closed January 26 (108 entries), weights released February 8 (99 weighted), first forfeit stage February 22 (85 entries), second forfeit stage March 21 ( 64 entries remain), five-day confirmation stage April 3(52 remain), final declaration stage 10am April 6. (Form correct up to March 20). A maximum of 40 runners can go to post.


Form Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey
U111-0614 YOUNG KENNY 9-12-00 Gareth Read Peter Beaumont Brendan Powell
11FP0-P5 SUNY BAY (IRE) 11-11-12 Andrew Cohen Simon Sherwood Chris Maude
202F-4524 ESCARTEFIGUE (FR) 8-11-09 Darren Mercer Paul Nicholls Jimmy McCarthy
4F-11305 DJEDDAH (FR) 9-11-08 John D Martin Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen
54116-045 BOBBYJO (IRE) 10-11-06 Bobby Burke Tommy Carberry IRE Paul Carberry
1011-P5P LISTEN TIMMY (NZ) 11-11-05 Stan Clarke Alan King Tony Dobbin
4-U14211P THE LAST FLING (IRE) 10-11-05 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith Seamus Durack
624-24P STORMY PASSAGE (IRE)10-11-03 Peter Luff Philip Hobbs Andrew Thornton
3///1/111-16 RED MARAUDER 10-11-02 Norman Mason Norman Mason Richard Guest
F354-U03 ADDINGTON BOY (IRE) 12-11-02 Fat Yuen Chiu Ferdy Murphy Adrian Maguire
42F13160 BUCK ROGERS (IRE) 11-11-00 Josephine Skinner Victor Bowens IRE Ken Whelan
12-1P2222P NIKI DEE (IRE) 10-10-13 George Dilger Peter Beaumont Robbie Supple
4100-005403 PAPILLON (IRE) 9-10-12 Betty Moran Ted Walsh IRE Ruby Walsh
200-65200 SENOR EL BETRUTTI (IRE) 11-10-12 Gerard Nock Susan Nock Carl Llewellyn
1-251123 STAR TRAVELLER 9-10-11 Jill Griffith/Liz Strachan Henry Daly Richard Johnson
23122-1336 VILLAGE KING (IRE) 7-10-11 Bill Edwards-Heathcote Philip Hobbs Jim Culloty
323-3FP5 CALL IT A DAY (IRE) 10-10-11 Jane Lane Alan King Barry Geraghty
31133-P121 MICKO'S DREAM (IRE) 8-10-10 S.P.O.R.T. Racing Club Willie Mullins IRE Jason Titley
21-2FPP40 ESPRIT DE COTTE (FR) 8-10-08 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald
3P31-06702 SPARKY GAYLE (IRE) 10-10-08 Ray & Anita Green Colin Parker Brian Storey
345-1P3P FEELS LIKE GOLD (IRE) 12-10-07 Independent Twine Manufacturing Co Nicky Richards Brian Harding
5P0-4656 KENDAL CAVALIER 10-10-06 Michael Wingfield Digby Toby Balding Barry Fenton
0522230 LUCKY TOWN (IRE) 9-10-05 Mrs Noreen McManus Enda Bolger IRE David Casey
P-511536 EARTHMOVER (IRE) 9-10-05 Roger Penny Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard
32-P33P55 HOLLYBANK BUCK (IRE)10-10-04 Mrs Sarah Warner Tony Martin IRE Peter Niven
31P-4211 ROYAL PREDICA (FR) 6-10-04 Peter Deal Martin Pipe Glenn Tormey
1P-1215U KINGDOM OF SHADES (USA)10-10-04 Michael Fenn Venetia Williams Tom Jenks
14/31/4-1 TRINITRO 9-10-03 Ms Liv Saether Myskja Rune Haugen NOR Robert Bellamy
12104-33 TORDUFF EXPRESS (IRE)9-10-03 Two Plus Two Paul Nicholls Robert Thornton
44-122160 THE GOPHER (IRE) 11-10-03 Joan L Egan David Wintle Warren Marston
0/132//21- MELY MOSS (FR) 9-10-01 Darren Mercer CharlieEgerton Norman Williamson
1P1-24P11 DARK STRANGER (FR) 9-10-01 Terry Neill Martin Pipe Tony McCoy
1B122-142 CHOISTY (IRE) 10-10-00 Fred Sainsbury Ted Haynes Robert Widger
404P-14522 FLAKED OATS 11-9-11 Daily Mail Reader Paul Nicholls Timmy Murphy
221213 ART PRINCE (IRE) 10-9-10 Terry Neill Martin Pipe Dean Gallagher
4P60-P666 MERRY PEOPLE (IRE) 12-9-09 Karl Casey John Queally IRE Garrett Cotter
2420-1PP2 DRUID'S BROOK 11-9-09 Major Tony Everett Kim Bailey Rupert Wakley
2U0/P6-PP0 BRAVE HIGHLANDER (IRE) 12-9-09 Nick Embiricos Josh Gifford Philip Hide
4F00-440 CAMELOT KNIGHT 14-9-08 Michael Gates Nigel Twiston-Davies Jamie Goldstein
3R/11PP-0 CELTIC GIANT 10-9-07 Richard Gilbert Len Lungo Bruce Gibson
Current cut-off point for the maximum 40-strong field
*P/123-31P6 MOUNTAIN PATH 10-9-07 Terry Caldwell Terry Caldwell ?
*F2350P-211 CAVALERO 11-9-06 John Manners John Manners Mr Alex Charles-Jones
*312P/P1-31 OVERFLOWING RIVER (IRE)11-9-06 John Wade John Wade ?
? 4/34P53-22 CARIBOO GOLD (USA) 11-9-06 Kim Bailey Kim Bailey
5-P525400 RYHANE (IRE) 11-9-02 Mrs B M McKinney Arthur Moore IRE
*10-03310P RIVER UNSHION (IRE) 10-9-02 R J Crake Howard Johnson J P McNamara
12303-43 FULL OF OATS 14-9-00 Martin Bradford Philip Hobbs
*315//03/-64D ANOTHER EXCUSE (IRE)12-8-13 Kilshannig Racing Syndicate Eugene O'Sullivan IRE Noel Fehily
*0-U66U0 BACK BAR (IRE) 12-8-11 Fergus Wilson Ginger McCain ?
*Likely to be nominated as reserves

The following are unlikely runners
6531/-F5110 LUZCADOU (FR) 7-10-12 Andrew Chappell Micky Hammond
26P-2053 FORESTAL 8-9-12 Billy Maguire Howard Johnson
1330-P402 EVEN FLOW (IRE) 11-9-08 Andrew Wates Terry Casey



For immediate release, Wednesday, April 5


MELY MOSS TO RUN IN NATIONAL


MELY MOSS will be ridden by Norman Williamson in Saturday's Martell Grand National. Chaddleworth trainer Charles Egerton confirmed this morning that he has decided to give his nine-year-old his first run of the season in the Aintree spectacular.


Williamson had been set to partner Betty's Boy who broke a leg last Saturday. He had also been linked with Escartefigue but Egerton said: "Norman rides my horse who is a Liverpool horse and is blooming in himself.


"He has not had the ideal preparation as I was qualifying him for hunter chases and when he was 10 days off running he went a bit wrong. He had been hunted with the Berks and Bucks Draghounds and is as fit as I could get him.


"My main concern is about Mely Moss getting the trip; until you run you don't know. But there's only one Grand National and I have had Liverpool in mind for him for some time. I am very happy with him; I wouldn't be running him if I wasn't."

Mely Moss has not run since winning a hunter chase at Cheltenham in April.


Paul Nicholls hopes to confirm a new jockey for Escartefigue this afternoon.


Overflowing River will be put on the reserve list if he does not get in the race. His alternative engagement is the Grimthorpe Gold Cup at the Middleton point-to-point at Whitwell on the Hill on Sunday - a race he won last year.


Sedgefield permit holder John Wade said today: "I would really love to run Overflowing River in the National but we must wait and see what comes out of the race before we can make any plans. As fas as a jockey is concerned, I want to see who becomes available in the National"

Arthur Moore is still considering running Ryhane in the National, though he feels the more realistic target would be the John Hughes Trophy on Friday. "It doesn't look very likely that Ryhane will get in the National and we will be looking at the John Hughes for him," said Moore.



JOHNSON AND McCAIN VERY KEEN TO RUN


Howard Johnson and Ginger McCain are desperately keen to run River Unshion and Back Bar respectively in the Martell Grand National, even though both horses are right at the bottom of the handicap and will need several others to come out if they are to get a place in the final line-up.

Both will declare the horses tomorrow and hope that at least they will get on to the reserve list.


"He is so far down the bottom of the list that I had rather given up on the idea of running him," said Johnson today. "But we are very keen to run him and shall definitely declare him. We would be happy to be a reserve if things work out like that.


"I would think that JP McNamara would ride him if he gets in. He is very well and has jumped round there before."

Johnson's other entry, Forestal, will run in the John Hughes Memorial Chase at Aintree on Friday. Ginger McCain will declare Back Bar, who is at the bottom of the handicap for the Martell Grand National, for Saturday as well as for the John Hughes Chase the day before.


"We will leave him in both races and see what happens, but if we could we would love to run him in the National," said the trainer this morning.


"We would be happy for him to be a reserve for the National if he gets into that group, and surely they cannot fine me if we declare him for both races in such circumstances."

McCain has not yet booked a jockey for Back Bar for the National. "I didn't want any of the boys to commit themselves to him until we knew whether he had any chance of running," he said. "I am sure we will get one, but if necessary I will come out of retirement and ride him myself."

Philip Hobbs does not want Full Of Oats to be a reserve, and expects that the 14-year-old will get balloted out.


Trainer Eugene O'Sullivan hopes to run Another Excuse and will nominate him as a reserve.




TELEVISION BROADCASTING OF THE 2000 MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL IN THE USA



1 Fox Sports International will be broadcasting in the USA on a delayed basis;

2 Setanta have acquired closed-circuit television broadcasting rights for use in bars & clubs;

3 Via Philadelphia Park racecourse, the following racecourses have been licensed to show the race live - Arlington International, Keeneland, Aqueduct, Meadowlands, Remington Park, Plainridge Race Course, Philadelphia Park, Garden State Park and Freehold Raceway.



STAR TRAVELLER PLEASES DALY IN FINAL WORKOUT



Star Traveller pleased his trainer Henry Daly this morning in his final workout before the Martell Grand National on Saturday, for which he is favourite in most bookmakers' lists.



Daly said: "Star Traveller is absolutely fine and we're happy with him after he worked nicely with one other horse this morning."


Outlining plans for the next couple of days, Daly added: " He will be led out tomorrow and then canter on Friday and that will be it."



For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive


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