The top weight in tomorrow’s £1million Randox Health Grand National (Saturday, 14 April) has been confirmed as a non-runner.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Minella Rocco has been taken out of the big race due to the wet ground conditions.
Aintree’s clerk of the course, Andrew Tulloch, reported this morning (Friday): “We had 4mm of rain between 4am and 8am. The ground is now soft on all courses and heavy on the Canal Turn of the Grand National course.”
The eight-year-old gelding — who is owned by JP McManus and carries the famous green and gold silks — headed the weights of tomorrow’s 40-runner race and was set to carry a hefty 11st 10Ib under Noel Fehily.
Due to Minella Rocco’s departure from the race, all the runners will now be raised one pound in the weights and the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner Blaklion is the new top weight, carrying 11st 10lb.
It means that the race’s first reserve Thunder And Roses will get his run over the National fences and will carry 10st 5Ib.
The ten-year-old is trained by Mouse Morris and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, who teamed up to win the 2016 Grand National with Rule The World. However, the gelding has fallen in his last two outings. He will be partnered by JJ Slevin tomorrow.
Thunder And Roses will take the “number one” saddlecloth of Minella Rocco.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Vicente has also been declared a non-runner in the race — held at 5.15pm tomorrow — also due to the current going.
Vicente will be replaced by the second reserve Delusionofgrandeur, who will take Vincente’s number 12 saddlecloth.
The eight-year-old, who is trained by Sue Smith and owned by McGoldrick Racing 3, will also carry 10st 5Ib. No jockey has yet been announced for Delusionofgrandeur.
The deadline for reserves to come into the Randox Health Grand National was 1pm today (Friday), while the deadline for all jockey bookings was 1.30pm today.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s Grand National preview — including our ultimate form guide and more — on sale Thursday 12 April. And you can read the full report from the Grand National meeting in H&H on Thursday 19 April