Trainers of some of the John Smith's Grand National entries give their reaction to the weights that their horses have been allotted.
Last Updated: 12/02/13 6:03pm
Teaforthree: His trainer is pleased with his weight for his 'main target'
Colm Murphy - Quito De La Roque (11st 5lb)
"I'd prefer if it was 5lb less but I'm happy enough with that weight. He has a good few other engagements as well, I'll speak to the owners (Gigginstown House Stud) about what they have got in mind but it's on the menu at the moment. The horse seems good and it's all systems go with him."
Paul Nolan - Joncol (10st 9lb)
"If we can get some issues with his back sorted, there should be improvement in the horse. His jumping the last day (in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown) left a lot to be desired.
"I'd be happy with 10st 9lb. He's a monster of a horse and weight doesn't make any difference to him. It's just a case of trying to get him right."
Thomas Gibney - Lion Na Bearnai (10st 9lb)
"I think that's very similar to his correct mark. This has been his aim all year but the season has not gone according to plan. We'll head for the Bobbyjo on Saturday week and then to Aintree.
"He won a Grade Two as well as the Irish National last year so he's got quality and stamina and if I can get him back in that sort of form he won't be a no-hoper."
Martin Lynch - Oscar Time (10st 7lb)
"He (Phil Smith, handicapper) has got us on a very similar rating to two years ago and to be honest I'd have thought we'd be a few pounds lower.
"I'd be happy running off that weight but if a few at the top came out I wouldn't want him to have much more than 11st as he's only a small horse.
"Tidal Bay looks to be very well handicapped to me. I expected something in the region of 142 so 145 is a bit high. I hope to get a run into him in the Bobbyjo, he'll certainly be entered.
"We need to be going there on the back of a completed run, so unseating last time was not much use to us. He's in very good form and it's all systems go, he still gives the impression that he retains his ability."Tom Cooper - Forpadydeplasterer (10st 10lb)
"He's only rated 147 now as he was dropped 2lb the other day and Tidal Bay is 171 but we're only getting 14lb from him. That makes us 14lb wrong. I've spoken to the owners and they are quite happy to go for the National.
"He's 100% after Clonmel. The ground was very heavy but he's come out of it particularly well. Call The Police is not a bad horse and maybe we are on a downward slope, but he still wouldn't be out of place.
"I've got a hurdle race in mind at Leopardstown at the early March meeting."
Ted Walsh - Seabass (11st 2lb)
"I don't know how Seabass can get over 11st this year if Tidal Bay is rated 171 and my horse is rated 154. Whatever Phil Smith does, he does - it is immaterial to me and I can't change it. You don't have to be a great mathematician to subtract 54 from 71.
"Seabass will run somewhere in the next three weeks to a month. There is just over seven weeks to Liverpool so I would like to get a run into him. The Bobbyjo Chase at Naas and the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton are possible targets."
Ted Walsh - Colbert Station (10st 11lb)
"I wouldn't be worried about the ground for Colbert Station as it is never anything worse than good jumping ground at Aintree. He has 10st 6lb in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton and is 3lb higher in England than he is in Ireland, which makes him worse off with Seabass in England.
"Like Seabass, Colbert Station will possibly have one more run. I have no idea where he will go at this stage as he only recently ran. I would also be looking at running him in three weeks to a month's time, which will be ideal timing for the National."
Donald McCain - Ballabriggs (11st)
"That weight is fine for Ballabriggs and it will be grand if the top horse (Tidal Bay) runs because then we will have a lovely racing weight. He has come out of his race at Warwick OK. He will go to Kelso for the Premier Chase, as he has done for the past two years, and then on to Aintree."Neil Mulholland - Midnight Chase (11st)
"I'm very happy with that and hopefully he will run in it this year. He's 3lb better off in the handicap after the Argento, and five grand richer and away we go.
"He'll go for the (JLT) Specialty Chase on the Tuesday at Cheltenham and then he'll go for the National. Having come down in the handicap, if the ground is nice at Cheltenham I'd be confident of a good run.
"All's going well. He does enjoy his racing, but he hasn't had much of it. He finished fourth in the Argento, he hated the ground, but he didn't have a hard race as nothing challenged him for fourth and he came home in his own time."
Rebecca Curtis - Teaforthree (10st 13lb)
"I'm happy enough with that weight. I'm fairly happy he's got less than 11st. It's a nice weight. Aintree is the main target and I'd say he'll run first in the National Trial at Haydock on Saturday."
Nigel Twiston-Davies - Imperial Commander (11st 6lb), Little Josh (10st 11lb), Major Malarkey (9st 9lb), Viking Blond (9st 7lb)
"Imperial Commander's next race is the Gold Cup, that's what we're aiming for. If for some reason that doesn't work out, it's a hell of a consolation prize. I hope he'll run. Little Josh isn't qualified and the other two probably won't get in the weights."
Jonjo O'Neill - Albertas Run (11st 8lb), Sunnyhillboy (11st), Lost Glory (10st 4lb), Alfie Sherrin (9st 12lb), Mister Hyde (9st 11lb)
"They would all run if they get in. The plan is for Albertas to go for the Ryanair and then we'll have a chat and see. Like Sunnyhillboy, they both like better ground and a bit of sun on their backs.
"Sunnyhillboy adapted well last year and if he could do that again and maybe a small bit more, I'd be delighted. He might run over fences or hurdles at Cheltenham.
"Lost Glory improved all summer. I'd like to get in a race beforehand and hopefully he'll run. I don't think the other two will get in."
Tim Vaughan - Beshabar (10st 5lb), Saint Are (10st 4lb), Tartak (9st 10lb)
"Beshabar had a year off with a tendon strain but he's in and cantering away. I might take him for a couple of racecourse gallops and go straight there. He's got all the attributes for the race, he stays and jumps, and I'm excited about him.
"With Saint Are, who also has a nice weight, I've been cautious not to run much before Aintree. He should stay the trip and he'll either run at Kempton or Ascot first."
Gordon Elliott - Roi Du Mee (11st 1lb), Jessies Dream (10st 5lb), Chicago Grey (10st 3lb), Tarquinius (9st 12lb), Backstage (9st 8lb), Romanesco (9st 7lb)
"A couple might not get in, and I suppose Jessies Dream is the dark horse in there. He hasn't run since he was second in the RSA, and he was within a fortnight of running last year. He's back in good form and the National would be the plan.
"Chicago Grey has had a wind operation since last year, he jumps and stays and might run in the cross-country race before the Grand National. The others would be doubtful and might not get in."
David Bridgwater - Wyck Hill (10st 4lb)
"He should be unbeaten over fences but for a mishap at Newbury and has gone from strength to strength this year. If it all goes according to plan he will go for the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton and we'll take a view after that."
Evan Williams - Cappa Bleu (10st 7lb)
"Cappa Bleu seems grand and I'm desperate to run him, so hopefully he'll be out over the next fortnight. Every horse in the weights has a chance, but if he has luck in running, he has every possibility."
Venetia Williams - Katenko (11st 4lb), Summery Justice (9st 9lb), Pentiffic (9st 4lb)
"Katenko is hugely exciting and my sales pitch to the owner was that he could just qualify for the National. He's now 5th-from-top weight and the plan is to go for the Gold Cup and see what happens. He's only seven, but he's a big horse."
Kim Bailey - The Rainbow Hunter (10st 2lb)
"It was horrible ground at Chepstow last time and he runs on Saturday at Ascot. It's how they react to Aintree on the day. He's not very big, but I think he'll deal with it. He will do a load of schooling first and I'm sure he'll run a blinder if he gets there."
Dessie Hughes - Tofino Bay (10st 11lb), Magnanimity (10st 3lb), Rare Bob (10st 2lb)
"Magnanimity and Rare Bob want good-ish ground, while Tofino Bay will revel in it if it came up heavy. Tofino Bay had time off when getting a leg, but he should stay all day and should jump the fences."
David Pipe - The Package (10st 8lb), Problema Tic (10st 4lb), Swing Bill (10st 4lb), Matuhi (9st 11lb)
"The Package didn't perform on heavy ground last time but his run in the Hennessy was rock-solid. The weight is fine, even if we're a bit worse off with Tidal Bay. I've always been keen on him and if he can get back to that sort of form, he must have a chance.
"If Swing Bill hadn't been hampered last year he would have been closer and he's on a nice weight. Matuhi probably won't get in, and Problema Tic fell in the Becher and we need to get his confidence back. We'll run him somewhere first and see how he goes."
Willie Mullins - Prince De Beauchene (11st 3lb), Quel Esprit (11st 3lb), Call The Police (11st 1lb), On His Own (10st 10lb), Lambro (10st 6lb), Quiscover Fontaine (10st 3lb), Shakervilz (9st 7lb)
"It's nice to have two or three chances. Prince de Beauchene and On His Own would be our main ones, but I thought Quel Esprit ran very well at Leopardstown. I was expecting him to run a good race and I was a bit surprised he blew up at the end. He'll stay all day.
"Prince de Beauchene had a good run at Limerick over Christmas and will probably go for the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse. He's a big horse who can carry a big weight.
"On his Own has had a few problems and I've not got a run into him yet. I'd like to maybe get two runs into him, maybe one over hurdles and one over fences. He can jump around there, and both he and Prince de Beauchene are lovely big horses and fantastic jumpers.
"Quiscover Fontaine was running a great race until he fell last year and I'd love to see him back there if he gets in. I'm not sure if Call The Police has enough experience, I might run him at Cheltenham and see how he gets on."