I am really pleased to be sending a strong team to the three-day Aintree Grand National meeting, culminating with Saint Are’s bid for a third successive win at the meeting in the big one on Saturday!

The grey Donnas Palm (pictured right, Kristian Hanmer) is our first runner on Thursday and makes his debut for us in the Red Rum handicap chase, having been a high-class performer over the years in Ireland for Noel Meade.
Runner-up to Cheltenham Festival winners Hurricane Fly and Solwhit in Grade 1 company in his prime, he has shown plenty of sparkle on the gallops and I am looking forward to seeing him make his debut for Ian Beach and the Select Racing Club.
WRB Racing 40 & Premier Chance Racing’s First Fandango has been such a consistent sort for us over hurdles and, following a spell chasing this season, he ran very well to finish 10th in the Pertemps at Cheltenham on his latest start.   3rd at Aintree last May, he has conditions in his favour for the first time this season and the assistance of the excellent amateur Bradley Gibbs in the saddle, claiming 7lbs.
Tartak (pictured left, leading Saint Are in schooling earlier this week) bounced right back to form at Cheltenham last time when a fine 3rd in the Byrne Group Plate and the drying ground will certainly help his chances in the Topham.  He is 4lbs lower too and has done everything right since Cheltenham.  Montoya’s Son is also an intended runner if he gets in.
Trop Fort and Ivan Vasilevich both hold entries in the 2m4f handicap hurdle on Friday but will need plenty to come out in order to get a run.
Course specialist Saint Are (on left of picture, with Tartak) bids for glory in the Grand National for owner David Fox and I couldn’t be happier with him since his latest run at Cheltenham.  Winner of the Grade 1 Sefton novices’ hurdle in 2011 and of the Listed handicap chase in 2012, he will bid for a fantastic treble at the meeting and, as for several of our runners, the ground appears to be coming right for him.  It is such a shame that we don’t have Beshabar joining him in the field but I consider myself very fortunate to have a runner in the race and everyone at the yard is really looking forward to it!
Distant Memories is likely to make his debut for the yard
and his new owners Oceans Racing in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle
later that day.  A Group 3 winner on the flat, he was beaten just 12 lengths in last year’s Supreme Novices’ at the Festival and is an exciting addition the the yard.
I hope to run both the unbeaten Alphabetical Order and Ludlow
scorer Be Bop Boru in the concluding bumper, though the latter needs a few to
come out.