Blaklion tops 105 entries for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National
Staged over four and a quarter miles and 30 fences, the Randox Health Grand National is the world's richest and greatest chase - the highlight of Aintree's famous three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival.
Last year's fourth Blaklion, one of six entries for dual Grand National-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, looked as good as ever on his latest start as he powered to a nine-length victory over The Last Samuri (Kim Bailey, 20/1 with Betway) in the G3 Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase (3m 2f) over the Grand National fences on December 9. He is the 10/1 favourite with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.
The Last Samuri, who was second to Rule The World in the 2016 Grand National, finished an excellent fourth behind likely top-weight Definitly Red (Brian Ellison, 20/1) in the G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (3m 2f) at Cheltenham on January 27.
Worcestershire handler Dr Richard Newland, who tasted Grand National glory with Pineau De Re in 2014, has another eye-catching Irish import among the entries in the Abolitionist (40/1).
Abolitionist captured the valuable Leinster National Handicap Chase at Naas in March before finishing third behind Our Duke in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, when trained by Ellmarie Holden.
The 10-year-old, who is now part-owned by Pineau De Re's owner John Provan, has not raced since finishing down the field next time out in a handicap hurdle at Killarney in August.
Newland revealed: "Abolitionist is coming back from an injury. We got him in the autumn and then he had an issue with a stress fracture.
"He is on the way back now and doing really nicely. He is a nice horse who shows a good attitude and we are pleased to have him.
"We are stepping up his work and hope to have him on the track towards the end of February. Then all being well, he will go on to Aintree for the Randox Health Grand National.
The weights for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National will be unveiled on the evening of Tuesday, February 13.
A maximum of 40 runners can go to post at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 14.
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