Jodami fit to restore his status on National stage

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The Independent Online
Like all popular spectacles, the Grand National has a swift sequel. National II (the Irish version) is screened at Fairyhouse on Monday when Jodami tries to make up for his strange performance in the Gold Cup.

The 1993 Gold Cup winner's display at the Festival was so disastrous that medical tests were expected to reveal a tropical disease at the very least. The report, though, suggested that nothing was wrong with the gelding. "He was very fit beforehand and nothing showed up clinically wrong, so it is puzzling," Anthea Farrell, daughter of Jodami's trainer, Peter Beaumont, said yesterday: "Mark Dwyer rode him strong work for a mile this morning and he was pleased with him. We will do some blood tests and an endoscopy later in the week and providing they show nothing amiss it is all systems go for Ireland."

Jodami, who will carry top weight in the 3m 5f event, is one of five British challengers in the £100,000 race, along with Monsieur Le Cure, Antonin, Mr Boston and Tartan Tyrant.

Mary Reveley's Mr Boston has had a quiet spring, his last public performance coming when he was withdrawn lame before the start of the Midlands National. Charlie Swan, the gelding's jockey, said yesterday: "I haven't ridden him before but I know that he stays and goes on fast ground."

Sue Bramall reported Antonin, the mount of John Burke, "in great form", after his second to Rough Quest in the Ritz Club Chase at Cheltenham, while there was another effusive bulletin from Tartan Tyrant's trainer, Gordon Richards: "If we get any sort of rain he will run," the Cumbria trainer said. "I've got him very fit and he's very, very well."

The number of trainers putting their sticks into the Fairyhouse ground should make the terrain colander-like. Dermot Weld, the man behind Ebony Jane, is hoping for rain to help the chances of the mare who finished 12th of 15 finishers in Saturday's National. "She's come out of Saturday very well," Weld said. "She ran a very creditable race but they were always going a bit fast. If she's bouncing and happy we might give it a try."

There will be expectation that The Committee and Bishops Hall will get further than they did at Liverpool. This will not be difficult. Both tasted turf after the first obstacle.

"The horse has come out of his race perfectly, or should I say out of his tumble perfectly and he will run," Homer Scott, The Committee's trainer, said. Scott is looking for a jockey as Tsuyoshi Tanaka, the first and briefest Japanese jockey to ride in a National, has already gone home to tell his family all about it.

The favourite, with Ladbrokes, is Sullane River, who was second to the subsequent Aintree victor Coulton in the Cathcart Chase at the Festival. The mare has yet to race beyond three miles but this has not meant torrid nights for her trainer, David McGrath. "She handles three miles on soft ground so I don't see any reason why she shouldn't get the trip," he said. "She's in good form. The ground wouldn't want to be too fast but there is a little rain forecast so we should be all right."

IRISH NATIONAL (Fairyhouse, Monday: Ladbrokes: 7-1 Sullane River, 8-1 Flashing Steel & Mr Boston, 9-1 Antonin, 10-1 Jodami, 12-1 Belvederian, Jeassu, Monsieur Le Cure, Nuaffe & Scribbler, 16-2 Belmont King, Ebony Jane, Fissure Seal & Tartan Tyrant.