Nina Carberry may battle sister-in-law in Grand National
Having come closer to winning than any other woman, when third last year, Katie Walsh will have high hopes when Seabass returns to Aintree next month for the John Smith's Grand National. Remarkably, however, she could yet be beaten into the history books by her own sister-in-law.
Nina Carberry was riding Tofino Bay for the first time when he produced a magnificent performance in defeat at Cheltenham last week, and he looks excellent value at 33-1 for the National. The one caveat remains that he also holds an entry in the Irish version, on Easter Monday, but his trainer indicated that he would be urging his owner, Michael O'Leary, to head to Liverpool six days later. Dessie Hughes also felt that Carberry deserved to keep the mount after getting such a tune out of him in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase, over four miles. Having jumped superbly in a share of the lead, Tofino Bay was left clear by a rival's fall at the second last but idled and was just collared close home by the classy Back In Focus. Some will be deceived into wondering whether he would get home at Aintree, over an even longer trip, but Carberry herself put it well on dismounting: "He wasn't tired – just lonely."
Hughes saddled Black Apalachi to finish second in the 2010 National, and is unconcerned by Tofino Bay's relative lack of experience. "I wouldn't be quite sure yet, because he's in both races and I have to speak to the owners," he said. "Personally, I would like to see him run in the English National.
"He jumps and stays so well, and could really make into a nice horse for round there. Like most National Hunt horses somewhere along the line, he got a leg when he was younger and had to have a good time off. But he's 10 years old now and I'd say he could be at his peak. He wasn't tired in the finish last week, he was just idling, and I think he was unlucky that the other horse fell and left him on his own."
Hughes had two other acceptors among the 57 published, but is pointing Magnanimity towards the Fairyhouse race. Rare Bob does go to Aintree, where he is likely to be ridden by the rising star Bryan Cooper; Hughes feels that Davy Russell, the owner's retained jockey, will almost certainly have other Aintree options in the same silks – assuming he has recovered from the punctured lung he suffered at Cheltenham. "I'd imagine they'd love Nina to ride him again," Hughes said.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Spellmaker (6.15 Kempton) Landed good support at Lingfield on his first start since a gelding operation, unlucky from a poor draw round here since and still unexposed.
Midnight Belle (4.35 Warwick) Another low on mileage in handicaps, likewise with sound excuses last time, having been turned out quickly over a longer trip.
One to watch
Mizyen (James Tate) Was heavily backed for his handicap debut at Wolverhampton on Monday but just lost out after proving too green from the gate.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: It's an exciting time for this ...
£22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are currently looking to rec...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national business publishi...