Carberry ready to ride Bobbyjo

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Paul Carberry is optimistic he will be fit to partner Bobbyjo, last year's winner, in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

Carberry has not ridden in a race since finishing second on Florida Pearl in last month's Cheltenham Gold Cup because of recurring back problems.

Carl Llewellyn, who rides Senor El Betrutti, said yesterday: "I rode him out this morning over at Sue Nock's place and he's in form."

Brendan Powell, who rides top weight Young Kenny, said yesterday: "The more rain we get the more confident I'm getting. I rode him in work at Malton on Saturday and he feels in great form."

Toby Balding is hoping for a prominent show from Kendal Cavalier. He said: "He ran a blinder in last year's National on very quick ground."

Brian Storey is hoping the rain stops for him to partner Sparky Gayle for Colin Parker. He said: "I schooled him over a fence at Mr Parker's on Saturday and he had a piece of work early. He felt really well."

The Grand National looks set for its first maximum field (40) since 1992 after 52 were left in the race yesterday. The most notable of the 12 withdrawls was Edmond. The going on the Grand National course is good to soft, soft in places. Drying weather is expected from this afternoon. Final declarations are made on Thursday, with a provision to accommodate four reserves.

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