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I, too, would like that answer.
In the meantime, here's Saturday's Telegraph Article written by a.p. mccoy who rides iris blue
Iris Bleu has the right credentials
By Tony McCoy (Filed: 05/04/2003)
The Grand National has so far eluded me but I've been getting closer lately - third on Blowing Wind in both the last two years - and I'm hopeful that Iris Bleu, my ride this afternoon, can go even closer.
Martin Pipe fields seven runners and my choice was between only three - Iris Bleu, my old friend Blowing Wind and Royal Predica.
Iris Bleu fell early on in the race last year but had never really been in any sort of form all season. Two years ago, I rode him, as a five-year-old, to be sixth in the Topham Chase over the National fences and my one memory is of how well he jumped. I've every confidence in his jumping, and this season, he's improved with every run.
He hacked up in the Mildmay-Cazelet at Sandown, a race often won by subsequent National winners. Last time, he was just beaten by Shotgun Willy and if that one is the favourite, then we shouldn't be far behind him. Iris Bleu stays and he'll like the ground. Now all we need is luck.
I'm disappointed not to be riding Blowing Wind. He's guaranteed to get round - he's like a show jumper. My only feeling is that if he was going to win, he would have done so by now.
Some firms are betting each-way on the first six home, and with some of them he's 66-1. That is the bet of the race - that he'll finish in the first six. What's more, if it was me, rather than Tom Scudamore, riding him, he'd be 16-1.
Royal Predica is, after winning the Kim Muir Fulke Walwyn Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, possibly the best-handicapped horse in the race. He's 12lb well in, was eighth last year, and should give Jamie Moore a great spin in his first ride in the race.
I discarded him because I didn't want to do 10st, my lightest, in the race this year after returning from a broken collar-bone.
Just going through some of the opposition, I think Ad Hoc has a grand chance. In Paul Carberry, he has no better man for the National on board.
Paul seems to get his horses to enjoy themselves round this course as much as he does himself. I was on holiday recuperating from injury and he came back one afternoon with his hair dyed yellow - he's quite mad.
Chives will go well but I'd be worried he had a hard race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. They've put plenty of water on the course, which will suit Gunner Welburn a lot and he's been round the course twice. He's another you'd put down each-way.
Carbury Cross will have a squeak, and Liam Cooper will have a feeling of invincibility about him, having won the Topham yesterday.
Likewise, Goguenard is a horse in good form - provided he can get over the first.
I'd be worried about Killusty jumping round - he's a novice in all but name and took a long time to warm up at Sandown.
Gingembre's jumping might be the chink in his armour. The Bunny Boiler won't get round and I'd be surprised if Youlneverwalkalone got round or stayed the trip.
I'm not more worried about any one fence than the others. A lot of jockeys have a thing about the first or the third, the big ditch, but they've all got to be jumped - even Foinavon's fence, the smallest on the course.
A few years ago, I really fancied Challenger du Luc and, buzzed up by the parade and cavalry charge to the first, he took off like he was jumping off the end of the earth and crashed to the ground. So there'll be no relaxing until we've jumped three or four. I had a great ride round the course yesterday on Exit Swinger but, like we thought, he had plenty of weight. Nevertheless, he was a good third, though he never quite threatened to win. Let's hope everyone comes home safe and sound today.
I have a couple of rides to warm up with. Polar Red runs in the Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle (1.45). He has plenty of weight and he's a very decent horse on his day but at the moment, he's suffering at the hands of the Handicapper. Non So shouldn't be too far away.
The Martell Cognac Aintree Hurdle (2.55) is an interesting race, as always. Copeland was running a great race in the Champion Hurdle when he fell at the second-last. He should stay two and a half miles and I think he could run a big race here. Rooster Booster, the champion, seems to me to be an out-and-out two-miler and I'd stay well away from him as a betting prospect. He's very keen and I can't see him getting home. Hors Le Loi III, the previous champion, is more than capable, provided he jumps off.
this is probably my favorite handicapper, so I thought I'd copy his thoughts for tomorrow:
Maximize makes maximum appeal
By Rob Wright
MAXIMIZE, a former eventer, can put that jumping experience to good use to land the Martell Cognac Grand National (3.45) over the unique spruce fences at Aintree today.
He joined Henrietta Knight after winning a point-to-point three years ago, but took time to reveal his true ability, only gaining his first success under Rules at Wincanton in October 2001. He went on to show high-class form last season, gaining a grade one victory in the Feltham Novices Chase at Kempton and finishing sixth in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham.
Relatively fresh after just four starts this term, he showed signs of a return to peak form when a staying-on fourth to Youlneverwalkalone in the William Hill Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month. Although now 4lb higher in the weights, Maximize remains extremely well treated on the pick of his form and is open to any amount of improvement now that he is given a suitable test of stamina for the first time.
The evidence from the first two days of this meeting are that it is an advantage to race up with the pace, which is Maximize’s preferred style of running. Add to that the fact that he seems ideally suited by a flat track such as this, and that he has the assistance in the saddle of last year’s winning rider, Jim Culloty, and Maximize looks like a corking bet at a general price of 16-1.
Gingembre, advised here at 25-1 when the weights were announced in February, is the main danger. Winner of the Scottish National two years ago, when he beat Ad Hoc (5lb better off) by five lengths, he was forced to miss last season because of a tendon injury. However, he has looked better than ever on his return, finishing runner-up in the Hennessy at Newbury for the second time when beaten half-a-length by Be My Royal at Newbury in November. That form received a significant boost when the third, Harbour Pilot, who received 10lb from Gingembre, went on to make the frame behind Best Mate in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup.
He disappointed on his latest start, when a distant third to Behrajan at Cheltenham, but should be forgiven that as both the undulating track and soft ground were against him. Gingembre has always looked an ideal National type and will surely go close, but at around 12-1 he no longer offers much in the way of value.
Paul Nicholls saddles five in an attempt to improve on a record of no places from 17 starters in the Aintree marathon. Shotgun Willy, chosen by Ruby Walsh in preference to Ad Hoc, is the pick of his quintet. Runner-up in the Scottish National last year, Shotgun Willy made a winning reappearance in the valuable Red Square Vodka Gold Cup at Haydock last month, showing a willing attitude to overhaul You’re Agoodun close home. He is much respected.
Those looking for a live outsider should consider Royal Predica, who provides Jamie Moore, a blossoming amateur, with a first ride in the race. Royal Predica has his quirks, but is probably the best-handicapped horse in the race after an impressive reappearance win in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, for which he escapes a penalty. Royal Predica negotiated these fences to finish eighth 12 months ago, when ridden closer to the pace than suits him, and could go close with a more patient ride.
Ad Hoc has been prepared with this in mind since being brought down when travelling sweetly at the fourth last a year ago. Campaigned over hurdles for most of this season to protect his handicap mark, he shaped as though in good heart when third at Cheltenham last time.
Monty’s Pass proved his ability to cope with these fences when runner-up in the Topham last year and improved on that when winning the Kerry National at Listowel in September. He will have been sharpened up by two recent outings over inadequate trips over hurdles and could make his presence felt if his stamina holds out.
Last year’s winner, Bindaree, bids to become the first horse to win the National twice since the great Red Rum in the Seventies. He has been disappointing this season, but would have claims if rekindled by the National fences.
Tony McCoy, who has yet to win the National, has plumped for Iris Bleu from Martin Pipe’s seven-strong team. He did nothing wrong when a close third to Shotgun Willy at Haydock last time, but it is offputting that he fell early on last year.
Of the remainder, top weight Behrajan is a class act but needs softer ground. Gunner Welburn has finished first and second in the Fox Hunters’ here for the past two seasons but, in common with Youlneverwalkalone, is not certain to stay. Chives gave his all when seventh in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, but there has to be a chance that his hard race there will have left its mark.
The experts' choice
3, Shotgun Willy
4, Royal Predica
1, Monty’s Pass
2, Gunner Welburn
3, Ballinclay King
4, Amberleigh House
1, Gunner Welburn
2, You’re Agoodun
4, Cregg House