Wylie pair head 84 entries for Grand National

 

Just for a moment, all eyes are trained on Aintree instead of the Cheltenham Festival with the publication of the John Smith's Grand National entries.

For all the safety tweaks to the race, it remains the most famous in the calendar, and connections of the 84 entered are now officially under orders to start dreaming – no one more so than owners Graham and Andrea Wylie, whose beige-and-black silks will be carried by the ante-post joint-favourites, Prince de Beauchene and On His Own (both trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins, both a best-price 16-1), as well perhaps as the classy Tidal Bay if Cheltenham exertions don't take too much of a toll.

Prince de Beauchene would have started favourite last year had he not suffered a hairline fracture to a hip a fortnight before the big day. On His Own did run at Aintree and was travelling as well as any when falling at Becher's Brook second time round.

Neptune Collonges, who finally filled the one big gap in trainer Paul Nicholls' CV when beating Sunnyhillboy by a nostril in a breathtaking finish last year, is now retired, but the runner-up will try again (best-price 25-1), along with the third and fourth, Seabass (20-1) and Cappa Bleu (25-1).

Nicholls still has plenty to go to war with. Join Together (20-1) and Tidal Bay (25-1) will be among the leading fancies on the day, 6 April, while Harry The Viking and What A Friend, both part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, have decent claims.

Donald McCain's Ballabriggs, the 2011 winner and sixth last April, will attempt to become the first since Red Rum (trained by his father, Ginger) to win the race more than once, but the omens aren't good. It is an astonishing, though perhaps telling, fact that no Grand National winner has gone on to win another chase of any description under Rules since the 2002 hero Bindaree added the Welsh National the following year.

Meanwhile, the current wet spell continues to disrupt the programme. Sandown has contingency plans to stage an all-chase card on Saturday should the hurdles course be unfit, and will make a decision on it this afternoon. One of the races in danger of being lost is a Champion Hurdle trial, for which Darlan, Grandouet and Rock On Ruby have all been entered.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Marmalade Man (3.20 Towcester) Has shown a degree of promise in two bumpers and can spring a surprise on his hurdles debut in conditions he should relish.

Next best

Bury Parade (1.40 Wincanton)

Where the money's going

Raz De Maree, subject of an upbeat bulletin from his trainer, Dessie Hughes, has been clipped to 16-1 for the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teacher Required in Grays

£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee