Titley asserts his Aintree faith in Monsieur Le Cure

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The Independent Online
Jason Titley, who rode Royal Athlete to victory in last year's Grand National, made clear yesterday that he believes Monsieur Le Cure has the best credentials for this year's race.

The young Irishman partnered the John Edwards-trained 10-year-old to a fine second to One Man in the King George VI Chase at Sandown last month. "He's a great jumper, clever too and capable of getting the trip as well,'' Titley said. ''He's probably the best ride in the race, tough as old boots, who will keep going all day for you.

"The first time I rode him at Haydock I told Mr Edwards to put him in the National because he was that type of horse. He would have a live chance in the Gold Cup too and I'm looking forward to riding him as many times as I can."

Monsieur Le Cure is in Ireland for the Hennessy Gold Cup, scheduled to be run at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Titley last rode Royal Athlete when pulling him up in the Scottish Grand National. But the 13-year-old has yet to reappear this season and his trainer, Jenny Pitman, has admitted that opportunities to get the horse back on a racecourse have been lost because of the freeze.

Leading bookmakers rate Royal Athlete a 25-1 chance to gain a repeat victory at Aintree, but there has been no rush to snap up those odds.

Young Hustler, yet to complete in the National, was backed down to 16- 1 co-favourite with Ladbrokes and William Hill yesterday while Superior Finish at 20-1, Party Politics and Earth Summit at 25-1 also attracted interest.