Thursday 14 December 2017

Heartbreak for Katie as Monty ruled out

There was heartbreak for Katie Walsh yesterday when her intended mount Our Monty was ruled out of Saturday's Aintree Grand National.

Our Monty had just crept into the field, but trainer Willie Mullins revealed that his former Cork National winner had sustained a leg infection and he wouldn't be able to take his place. As a result of the horse's defection, Howard Johnson's veteran Royal Rosa is now guaranteed a run having been number 41 on the list. Just behind Royal Rosa is Skippers Brig, and his trainer Nicky Richards is hoping his charge gets a late call-up.

Winner of his last two starts, Skippers Brig beat the well-fancied Ballabriggs at Kelso last time out.

One with a question mark hanging over him was Tony Martin's Northern Alliance, but the trainer feels it is likely that he will line up after making progress from a stone-bruise setback.

"He's been ridden out today so, hopefully, we're nearly there. I'd be hoping we'll declare him anyway."

Meanwhile, Edward O'Grady's Tranquil Sea will take on Albertas Run and Master Minded in tomorrow's John Smith's Melling Chase.

Tranquil Sea was forced to miss the Ryanair after a late setback, but has recovered in time to take on Albertas Run, which won the Cheltenham race for the second consecutive year.

Master Minded steps up in trip having been outpaced in the Queen Mother. Kalahari King was second in the Ryanair and he reopposes again, while fans of Henrietta Knight's Somersby will be pleased to see him race over two and a half miles again with Robert Thornton up.

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