Racing: Hold fire on Ballistic bets

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The Independent Online
DAVID NICHOLSON yesterday warned punters to "keep their powder dry" until a decision has been made on Go Ballistic's next target. The 10-year-old ran the race of his life in Thursday's Gold Cup to finish second to See More Business and was elevated to favouritism in some books - as short as 7-1 with the Tote - for the Grand National.

However, Nicholson said: "He could go next for the Martell Cup at Aintree. He is entered in the Grand National and I would advise people to keep their powder dry until a final decision has been made."

Go Ballistic was sent off the 7-1 favourite for the 1997 Grand National on the strength of a fourth place in Mr Mulligan's Gold Cup but failed to make any show and was pulled up.

Certainly National-bound is Addington Boy, who pleased connections with a good fifth in the Gold Cup.

His trainer, Ferdy Murphy, said: "He ran an absolute blinder on ground that would be soft enough for him - we were delighted.

"He's in good form and ate up last night so it's next stop the National."

Addington Boy had become lax at his fences but jumped much better for Adrian Maguire in Thursday's race.

"We've built some National-style fences at Middleham which are pretty stiff and he has schooled well over them," the West Witton-based trainer explained. "And Adrian suits him - he sits into him.

"We have fitted Addington Boy with a gag bit which is fairly severe but used in the right hands - and Adrian has good hands - it can be very effective. It makes the horse back off a bit instead of trying to do everything in one stride."

Addington Boy is a best-priced 20-1 with William Hill and the Tote for the National.