One For the Grand National
One For Arthur and The Young Master have both been declared on course for the £1million Randox Health Grand National, for which entries close next Tuesday, January 31.
The new trophy for the 2017 Randox Health Grand National being hallmarked.
There has only been one previous winner of the Grand National trained in Scotland, wRubstic taking the honours back in 1979.
Aiming to become the second in 2017 is One For Arthur, trained near Milnathort, Kinross, by Lucinda Russell and owned by the Two Golf Widows syndicate.
The eight-year-old gained the biggest victory of his career last time out when recording an impressive six-length success in the Betfred Classic Chase over three miles and five furlongs at Warwick earlier this fence.
One For Arthur had already gained valuable experience of the Grand National fences in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree on December 5 when he stayed on strongly to finish fifth behind Vieux Lion Rouge, beaten just three lengths in total.
Russell said: "We have already entered One For Arthur in the Randox Health Grand National. Unusually, we were delighted that the handicapper put him up 10lb for his win at Warwick to 147.
"When we talked about it in the autumn we decided that, if all went to plan, we would aim One For Arthur at the Randox Health Grand National.
"He will go straight to Aintree now and won't run beforehand. He has had a nice, quiet couple of weeks since Warwick and will go back into proper work on Monday.
"His run in the Becher was fantastic and everything has come together nicely with him. We are looking forward to it."
The Young Master, trained by Neil Mulholland near Bath in Somerset, is another horse with the Randox Health Grand National on his agenda.
The eight-year-old battled his way to a short-head victory in the last big race of last season, the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park on April 23.
So far this season, The Young Master has made one appearance, falling two from home when well behind in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree on December 3.
Robert Waley-Cohen, of part owners The Old Masters, and the father of jockey Sam said: "The Young Master will definitely get an entry in the Randox Health Grand National.
"He runs on Saturday in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham and then, all being well, will head to Haydock Park on February 18 for the Betfred Grand National Trial before going on to Aintree. I don't think we will be going to The Festival at Cheltenham with him this year.
"The horse is in good order at the moment his trainer tells me. I didn't know quite what to make of his run in the Becher Chase – he jumped the fences fine but got very tired.
"To be fair, he had missed his intended prep run at Wincanton because the ground was too quick and that meant he was having his first run since winning at Sandown in April. I think he needed the race."
Prize money for the Grand National Festival has been increased by £100,000 and reaches £3 million for the first time this year.
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The main changes see Friday's Grade One Top Novices' Hurdle, now backed by former Grand National sponsor Crabbie's, and Saturday's Grade One EZ Trader Mersey Novices' Hurdle both increased by £25,000 to £100,000.
Two handicap hurdles, the Grade Three Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle, run over two and a half miles on Ladies Day, Friday, April 7, and the Grade Three Gaskells Handicap Hurdle, the opening three-mile race on Grand National Day, Saturday, April 8, both gain £20,000 extra and are now worth £70,000.
GRAND OPENING DAY, THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2017
1.40pm Manifesto Novices' Chase (Grade 1) MC 2m 4f £100,000
2.20pm Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 2m 1f £100,000
2.50pm Betfred Bowl Chase (Grade 1) MC 3m 1f £150,000
3.25pm Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 2m 4f £200,000
4.05pm Randox Health Fox Hunters' Chase GNC 2m 5f £40,000
4.40pm Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3) MC 2m £90,000
5.15pm Goffs Nickel Coin Mares' SO NH Flat (Grade 2) FL 2m 1f £45,000
LADIES DAY, FRIDAY, APRIL 7, 2017
1.40pm Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) HC 2m 4f £70,000
2.20pm Crabbie's Top Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 2m ½f £100,000
2.50pm Betfred Mildmay Novices' Chase (Grade 1) MC 3m 1f £100,000
3.25pm JLT Melling Chase (Grade 1) MC 2m 4f £200,000
4.05pm Randox Health Topham Chase (Grade 3) GNC 2m 5f £120,000
4.40pm Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 3m ½f £100,000
5.15pm Weatherbys Champion SO NH Flat (Grade 2) FL 2m 1f £45,000
GRAND NATIONAL DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2017
1.45pm Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) HC 3m ½f £70,000
2.25pm EZ Trader Mersey Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 2m 4f £100,000
3.00pm Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase (Grade 1) MC 2m £100,000
3.40pm Betfred Handicap Chase (Listed) MC 3m 1f £70,000
4.20pm Liverpool Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 3m ½f £150,000
5.15pm Randox Health Grand National Chase (Grade 3) GNC 4m 2½f £1,000,000
6.15pm Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (conditional & amateur riders) HC 2m ½f £50,000
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