West End Rocker: a general 12-1 chance for Saturday's Grand NationalPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Rocker ready to roll in National says King
JOHN SMITH'S Grand National contender West End Rocker will have no issues with the drying conditions at Aintree, trainer Alan King said on Friday.
West End Rocker, a general 12-1 chance for Saturday's race, has not run since winning the Betfred Becher Chase in December when the going was officially described as heavy but King believes his ten-year-old does not need testing conditions to show his best form.
The trainer said: "While softer ground would have helped, as we know our fellow acts on it whereas some of the others might not, we have never thought he had to have testing conditions.
"The rain earlier in the week was a big bonus and, though it has since dried up, they have watered."
Alan King: hoping for better luckPICTURE: David Dew
West End Rocker was brought down on the first circuit in last season's Grand National but King added everything has gone smoothly for him in the lead-up to Aintree.
He said: "Preparation-wise, everything has gone perfect for Rocker.
"The only slight irritation was having to miss the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster because of the quick ground but it was not a problem as the trip there got his adrenaline flowing and he had a good walk around the paddock, which did him good mentally.
"There was nowhere else for him to run. He hates Cheltenham, so the festival was out, but he worked with those that were going there on the Barbury Castle point-to-point course and has since enjoyed a good blow working on the Manton gallops last week, so if he does not win it won't be because of a lack of fitness."
Writing on his website, King added: "We have done everything that we can, Wayne [Hutchinson] is four from five on the horse and now we can but hope that we get the rub of the green."