The West Country Grand National Raiders
It’s known as ‘The People’s Race’, ‘The World's Greatest Horse Race’. On Saturday at 5.15 the nation stops to watch the Grand National. With the Irish raiders making up about half of the 40 runners, who might bring the coveted trophy back to the West Country?
The Somerset raiders are Rock The Kasbah, trained by Philip Hobbs near Minehead, Warriors Tale trained by Paul Nicholls at Shepton Mallet, and Ramses De Teille and Vieux Lion Rouge, both trained by David Pipe at Wellington.
Of the Dorset raiders, Regal Encore, trained at Littlewindsor by Anthony Honeyball and Walk In The Mill trained near Blandford by Robert Walford were unlucky not to run last year due to last minute problems. Ultragold completes the Dorset team, trained by Colin Tizzard at Milborne Port.
It’s a first time over the Aintree obstacles for Rock the Kasbah and Ramses De Teille, but both have proven stamina and are the shortest odds for the race. The other 5 have jumped them before, Walk In The Mill, Ultragold, Vieux Lion Rouge and Warriors Tale all winning over shorter trips, and Vieux Lion Rouge and Regal Encore finishing 6th and 8th respectively in 2017. But that counts for nothing - as any racing fan knows, this race is about luck as much as the form stats.
Let’s hope all of the West Country raiders come back safely on Saturday night, and if they are lucky enough to bring the trophy home, you’re sure to find a cracking celebration in the local pubs!