Racing: Buck baulks at an Aintree attempt

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The Independent Online
HOLLYBANK BUCK, a Grand National consideration since his win in the Eider Chase at Newcastle last month, will miss the big race at Aintree on Saturday week and will be aimed instead at the Scottish National at Ayr on 17 April.

Confirmed as Aintree-bound is Fiddling The Facts, whose trainer, Nicky Henderson, said: "I got a fax from Aintree saying the going is mainly soft and the plan is to go there, provided it remains good to soft or softer.

"I had been sceptical, but if it is between running under 12st in the Irish National or 10st 3lb at Aintree it isn't much choice."

Belmont King will head straight for the National after missing an engagement at Newbury on Saturday due to the fast ground, while Terry Casey is undecided about plans for Rough Quest, the 1996 National winner, who was also taken out of the Newbury race.

Simon Sherwood, trainer of the dual National runner-up Suny Bay, was delighted at Aintree's going report. "It's perfect for him. Suny Bay is absolutely fine - you can forget his run in the Gold Cup as he couldn't go the pace in the ground."