Teaforthree: favourite for the Grand NationalPICTURE: Pinnacle
National forfeits loom as Aintree awaits big race
RACING'S most famous prize is up for grabs at Aintree on Saturday and confirmations for the £1 million Crabbie's Grand National are due today, with a host of connections hoping their horses can make the line-up.
The race, Britain's longest over 4m3½f, has a maximum field size of 40 and 73 horses remain engaged.
However, Jonjo O'Neill and Alan King have ruled out Sunnyhillboy and Godsmejudge and other defectors will mean more places become available for those on the fringe of getting a run.
Teaforthree is the 9-1 favourite with 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run, popular 13-year-old Tidal Bay and last season's memorable Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude next in the betting.
Rebecca Curtis, who trains Teaforthree, reports him in top shape and can see why he heads the betting.
"He's incredibly consistent, which is why the public like him," she said.
Champion jockey Tony McCoy, who won the National on his 15th attempt on Don't Push It in 2010, could ride 33-1 chance Double Seven.
"He's in really good form, eating great and in a great frame of mind," his trainer Martin Brassil says in an interview in Monday's Racing Post.
The going on the National course at Aintree was changed to good to soft, good in places (from good to soft) this morning after a dry night. Rain is forecast today and tomorrow.
The three-day National meeting starts on Thursday.