West End Rocker: trainer pleased with his form but would like some rainPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
King after rain to boost Rocker's National chance
ALAN KING is hoping for more rain in the lead up to the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree, for which his West End Rocker was cut to 12-1 (from 14) by bet365 on Sunday.
Wayne Hutchinson will ride the Becher Chase winner, who is a general 14-1 shot for Saturday's £975,000 spectacular, the market for which is headed by Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised, who has been confirmed an intended runner.
King, speaking from Towcester, where he saddled a double, said: "West End Rocker is in good nick. I would love to see a bit of rain. It would not have to be a bog but on the easy side of good would suit."
The word 'soft' is likely to be reinserted into the ground description at Aintree on Monday by clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch, who said on Sunday: "There's a band of rain coming from the Irish Sea tonight through to tomorrow evening, so we will see how much we get and take it from there.
"I'm very pleased with where we are at the moment and the ground is looking great."
Midnight Chase: no Aintree runPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Synchronised is set to be one of four runners for owner JP McManus, whose racing manager Frank Berry said on Sunday: "The plan is to run Synchronised but he will first just do a bit of work early in the week."
The Cheltenham hero, who was cut to 7-1 (from 8) by bet365 and BetVictor on Sunday, will likely be joined by Sunnyhillboy, Quiscover Fontaine and Arbor Supreme in the famous green and gold hoops.
Argento Chase winner Midnight Chase, who was seventh behind Synchronised at the festival, will not be heading for the National, for which he had been a 40-1 chance.
Trainer Neil Mulholland told the Racing Post: "We're going to finish him for the season as the Argento probably took its toll."
In jockey news, Evan William has booked Noel Fehily for State Of Play, while Jamie Moore will partner Deep Purple following Paul Moloney's decision to select Cappa Bleu.
>>Read more in Monday's Racing Post - which also includes an Aintree Jury special with Grand National pointers from Jenny Pitman and Charlie Swan