Tuesday 20 February 2018

Irish National favourite Beautiful Sound not certain to face starter

Thomas Kelly

Jonjo O'Neill's Synchronised heads a maximum field of 25 runners for the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Monday, with ante-post favourite Beautiful Sound the second reserve.

Welsh National winner Synchronised, which will carry top weight in the 3m 5f stamina test, is one of six runners for leading owner JP McManus.

The famous green and gold silks will also be carried by Quiscover Fontaine, See U Bob, Sunnyhillboy, Glenstal Abbey and Nicky Henderson's Quantitativeeasing, with Tony McCoy choosing to ride the latter.

Gordon Elliott's Beautiful Sound -- last seen finishing third in the Byrne Group Plate at the Cheltenham Festival -- needs two horses to come out of the field to get a run.

Elliott is keeping his fingers crossed Beautiful Sound makes the final field and is also hoping Backstage will be able to show his true colours after his run at Aintree.

"Beautiful Sound is an intended runner and with the ground drying out we might have a chance (of getting a run). We're very happy with him," said Elliott.

"Backstage seems fine but we won't really know until we run him back."

The Meath-based trainer will definitely saddle Backstage -- which finished 10th in the Grand National at Aintree earlier this month.

Pomme Tiepy is first reserve, with Hold The Pin the third and final horse on the substitute's bench.

Other major contenders include Prince Erik, Some Target, and David Pipe's Or Noir De Somoza.

Another horse who completed Aintree's Grand National course is Adrian Maguire's Golden Kite.

The nine-year-old passed the post in 16th place on Merseyside and his trainer is keeping his fingers crossed that run has not left its mark.

"He seems to have come out of Aintree surprisingly well and we're taking a chance," said Maguire.

"It is a chance we're taking and we're just hoping Aintree hasn't left its mark. If it hasn't, we'd be hoping for a big run.

"The faster the ground, the better for him and he seems very well, so we'll see."

Irish Independent

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