Star Traveller's career hangs in the balance

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The Independent Online

Richard Johnson yesterday reported that his Grand National mount, Star Traveller, whose career is in the balance after he pulled up lame at Aintree, is still "very sore" and receiving veterinary attention.

"I was up this morning at Henry Daly's yard and saw Star Traveller," Johnson said. "He's very sore, but he will have the best attention. The vet is going to see him again tomorrow and see what they can do. Hopefully, if he could race again he will. If he can't, he'll be very well looked after."

The nine-year-old is believed to be suffering from a tendon injury which may have been caused by the horse striking into himself.

The Scottish Grand National provides the focal point for National Hunt enthusiasts this weekend and Ladbrokes reported good support yesterday for the favourite, Paris Pike.

The firm quoted 6-1 about Ferdy Murphy's charge when odds were announced, but he has since been backed to 9-2 and is also a 4-1 chance, from 11-2, with William Hill.

Birkdale has been shortened up to 10-1 from 16-1 with Ladbrokes, but his trainer, Len Lungo, warns that his mudlark, the winner of his last three chases, may not run at Ayr if the going is too firm.

SCOTTISH GRAND NATIONAL (Ayr, Saturday): Ladbrokes: 9-2 Paris Pike, 8-1 Marlborough, 10-1 Birkdale, Cavalero, Edmond, 11-1 Young Kenny, 12-1 Earthmover, 14-1 Browjoshy, Mister One, Soldat, 16-1 Golden Drum, Moondigua, Red Marauder, Samlee, Spendid, Trouble Ahead, 20-1 others.