Grand National Day is here! The day of the biggest race in the world, throughout the Grand National Festival at Aintree there’s top quality races but it all comes to a climax in the Randox Grand National at 5:15pm, Saturday 10th April.
I’m hoping to have some more success on the track today having ridden Monmiral and Clan Des Obeaux who were brilliant in their Grade 1 wins. Here’s my thoughts on my Saturday rides.
1:45pm: Southfield Harvest in the Grade 3 EFT Systems Handicap Hurdle
He’s been working well at home, he didn’t go to the Cheltenham Festival so he’s nice and fresh going into the first race of Grand National Saturday. He came a decent third last time out at Newbury and he’s in a good position in the weights which means he’s got a good chance.
2:25pm: Lucky One in the Grade 1 Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle
Hopefully, Lucky One will be a lucky one! He had an off day in his last run at Kelso where he didn’t fire but he’s come back and rediscovered his good form since. I’ll be hoping he recreates something like his Wincanton run in February where he won by 20 lengths and takes it into the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.
5:15pm: Give Me A Copper in the Grade 3 Randox Grand National Handicap Chase
It’s a unique and special experience riding in the Grand National.
There’s normally a huge buzz with the Liverpudlian crowd creating a brilliant atmosphere, this year will be different but the jockeys will want to win the race just as much. Having the chance to write your name into the history books as a Grand National winner doesn’t come round often!
I ride Give Me A Copper, which Sir Alex Ferguson part owns. Here’s Sir Alex celebrating Give Me A Copper’s victory at Wincanton in the 2019 Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase. He clearly loves the game!
Give Me A Copper has got a very low weight with 10st, 4lbs. He’s a big strong horse so that combination will give a little impetus throughout the race. First thing to sort out will be getting him into a good rhythm and jumping the first few fences well with 40 horses in the race there’s lots of factors which can effect you in the early parts of the race.
You can’t really have much of a plan going into the Grand National, it really tests your skills as a jockey to find the right position and right pace for your horse in various stages of the race as well as setting up your horse to jump as well as he can.
In terms of how we’d like the race to pan out would be to be fairly cautious on the first circuit, getting Give Me A Copper into his stride then start creeping towards the front of the field in the final circuit and hopefully in a good position coming towards the end.
If he is in a good position at the end, he’ll stay on and gallop right the way through. He’s a big price but the Grand National has taught us over many years that outsiders can win it!
He’s coming into the race nice and fresh having not run since January. He’s had some injury problems in the past and long lay offs but he’s going into the race primed and raring to go.
6:20pm: Stage Star in the Grade 2 Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race
He’s a lovely, young horse. I’m not sure he has the speed that Knappers Hill has got but Stage Star, being the hard-working type, will be pushing hard. He’s a straight-forward horse, I could see him running into a place, he’s been consistent in his career coming second and first in his career so far.
Whatever he does this year will be a bonus on next year because he jumps very well and he’ll probably be one of our top novice hurdlers next season.