Tuesday 21 November 2017

Sunnyhillboy among 84 entries for English Grand National

LAST year's principals all feature among 84 entries for the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 6.

Winner Neptune Collonges has been retired, but runner-up Sunnyhillboy, who was denied by a nose, third Seabass and fourth home Cappa Bleu are all again possible for the £975,000 showpiece.

Former Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander has also been entered, although his participation is thought unlikely.

A tweet from his owners Imperial Racing read: "Please RT Imperial Commander Grand National - He is entered but his main and probably only target is the Gold Cup!".

Paul Nicholls, trainer of Neptune Collonges, has four chances to make it two National wins, headed by Tidal Bay, last seen winning the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Nicholls also has What A Friend and Harry The Viking, who are part-owned by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as Join Together.

For the first time, the world's greatest steeplechase will take place over the new distance of four miles, three furlongs and about 110 yards, with the start moved closer to the first fence.

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