State Of Play guaranteed Grand National place
AINTREE regular State Of Play is guaranteed a runin the John Smith's Grand National on April 14 after trainer Willie Mullins confirmed Prince De Beauchene and Quel Esprit will miss the marathon contest.
The Evan Williams-trained State Of Play - now a 12-year-old - was 42nd on the list before Mullins' announcement but he will have the option to run in the race for a fourth consecutive year. He finished fourth last year, third in 2010 and fourth behind Mon Mome in 2009.
Le Beau Bai, winner of this season's Welsh National, is also sure of a run.
Mullins wrote in his exclusive Racing Post column: "Prince De Beauchene is going to need about eight weeks' box rest, so Aintree and the rest of the season are gone as far as he is concerned.
"Quel Esprit is still in the National but he won't be running. We've decided to give Aintree a miss and wait for the Gold Cup at the Punchestown festival instead."
State Of Play and Le Beau Bai are both available at 33-1 with Paddy Power and bet365.