Addington Boy, who has finished fifth and fourth in the last two Grand Nationals, will be doing his bit to ease tensions between the racing world and the farming community when he runs in Saturday's race. Many involved with livestock do not approve of racing continuing through the foot-and-mouth crisis and Aintree, mindful of this, have organised that the 13-year-old is leased for the day as a prize in a competition to raise money for farmers.
Aintree's managing director, Charles Barnett, said: "We have been looking for a way to support the farming community. Our objective is to raise £100,000." One donor will be drawn out of a hat on Friday and will travel with a guest as the owner of Addington Boy for the day and receive 12 per cent of any prize-money won.
Adrian Maguire may be the jockey on board but will leave his decision on whether to ride Addington Boy or Paddy's Return until the last minute. Maguire has completed the Grand National course on all five occasions he has competed.
Arthur Moore has decided not to take advantage of the relaxation in the restrictions on Irish horses travelling to Britain and his Feathered Leader will be an absentee on Saturday. Moore said: "The problem of leaving him over in England is not really satisfactory."
Fran Flood will have his first ride in the National on Hollybank Buck, who finished 10th last year. Michael Hourigan has booked Robert Widger for Inis Cara. "He's in good form and goes well fresh but he likes heavy ground," the trainer said. "He's never fallen and has a good each-way chance."
Senor El Betrutti, a first-fence faller last year and quoted at 200-1 this time, will participate only if the ground dries out. That was what was happening yesterday and the going on the National course is now good, good to soft in places.
* Sandown has announced details of the four Grade One races which have been added to the Whitbread Gold Cup meeting following the cancellation of the Cheltenham Festival. On Friday, 27 April, the £100,000 Gold Trophy Chase over three miles will be staged, along with the three-mile Select Hurdle. Saturday's card contains the Championship Hurdle over two miles and the Championship Chase over two miles.
* Leicester's card tomorrow and Hamilton's Saturday fixture have been abandoned due to waterlogging. The Hamilton card will be replaced by one at Musselburgh the same day.
* The enigmatic Green Green Desert, who was due to run at Ascot today, has been retired after sustaining a leg injury during work with Paul Nicholls.Reuse content