Giles Cross: has been backed for Grand National after going has easedPICTURE: Martin Lynch
Mudlover Giles Cross backed for National bid
THE slower ground predicted for Saturday's John Smith's Grand National at Aintree has seen punters latching onto horses proven in testing conditions, including Haydock Grand National trial winner Giles Cross, who has been backed to as short as 11-1 [from 16] with William Hill.
With the going described as soft, good to soft in places on the National course on Tuesday, Giles Cross was a mover across the board, with 14-1 now the best price available.
Paddy Brennan takes the ride for the first time, and the pair schooled over some National-style fences on Tuesday, as trainer Victor Dartnall said: "The horse is in great form, and we were delighted with him this morning. We've rigged up a couple of National lookalike fences and he jumped them beautifully. Paddy was very pleased with what he felt and we're all looking forward to Saturday."
"The softer the better for him. He's a heavy ground horse, which is one reason why he's run only 16 times in his life; he doesn't get his conditions that often. If he gets his ground, he'll run well. He travels, he jumps, he stays, he's straightforward and very genuine."
Hello Bud is now first in line for a crack at the John Smith's Grand National after handicapper Phil Smith reassessed the ratings for the field.
Five horses are on 10st from numbers 37 to 41, with the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained veteran first in line for Sam Twiston-Davies before the final cutoff point at 10am on Thursday morning.