Grand National 2014: Holywell and Ma Filleule deliver express message on form for big-race punters
Friday 04 April 2014
If there was a message in the form book ahead of today’s 167th Grand National, it arrived special delivery for The Package.
Last month at Cheltenham the David Pipe-trained 11-year-old, having his first run for a year, finished an eye-catching third in a Grade Three handicap and yesterday the two in front of him that day, the winner Holywell and Ma Filleule, both romped home, by an aggregate 18 lengths. The Package was immediately cut from 20-1 to 16-1 for the National.
Ma Filleule was particularly impressive in the Topham Trophy over two and three-quarter miles of the National course, taking to the unique fences with aplomb. But the contest took a toll on jockeys, with Paul Carberry, Noel Fehily, Andrew Tinkler and Mikey Fogarty – all with National mounts – suffering injuries.
Carberry, taken to hospital for precautionary X-rays on his pelvis, is still likely to be able to partner Monbeg Dude, one of the National favourites. Fehily (Rocky Creek) and Tinkler (Hunt Ball) were both treated on course and both should be fit for today. But Fogarty, who suffered a back injury and also left the course in an ambulance, may miss his ride on Vesper Bell. None of the 10 horses who fell or unseated their rider in the Topham was injured.
How ever Tony McCoy fares today on Double Seven in his quest for a second National, further ahead he has the prospect of riding Holywell in next season’s elite races. In the Mildmay Novices Chase – taken in the past two years by two of the best in the staying chasing division, Silviniaco Conti and Dynaste – the blinkered seven-year-old put his rivals, including RSA Chase winner O’Faolains Boy, ruthlessly to the sword.
It was Holywell’s fourth win in a row; his 10-length defeat of one of Ireland’s best novices, Don Cossack, confirmed him as sharply progressive and he is now as short as 8-1 for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. “He’s a bit of a jack the lad,” said his trainer, Jonjo O’Neill “At home he bucks and kicks and generally messes around coming up the gallops.”
Latest in Sport
VIDEO: Did Marcos Maidana bite Floyd Mayweather during their bout?
Arsenal vs Manchester City: How did Danny Welbeck do on his Arsenal debut?
Manchester United vs QPR comment: Glimpse of Radamel Falcao lifts United hearts but Daley Blind keeps things ticking
Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana result: Mayweather prevails but complains of Maidana bite
Manchester United vs QPR player ratings: Who was the star man? Angel Di Maria? Daley Blind? Wayne Rooney?
- 1 Scotland independence vote: Everything you ever wanted to know about life after the result
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
- 5 Tyler, The Creator says having the new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...
£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...