More exit Grand National picture
Last Updated: 18/03/14 9:24pm
Teaforthree: One of the leading fancies for the Crabbie's Grand National
73 horses have been left in the £1million Crabbie's Grand National at the latest acceptance stage, an increase of 16 upon the same time last year.
Current ante-post favourite Teaforthree stands his ground on the back of finishing eighth in last week's Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. Trio D'Alene finished two places further back in the race won by Lord Windermere and is on course for Aintree.
The latter's trainer Nicky Henderson has yet to win the Crabbie's Grand National but has three other entries this year including former Gold Cup and dual King George winner Long Run. Hunt Ball and Shakalakaboomboom complete his team.
Balthazar King, winner of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, remains a possible Aintree runner while the National has long been the target of top weight Tidal Bay. His trainer Paul Nicholls also has three other entries in Rocky Creek, Hawkes Point and There's No Panic.
Jonjo O'Neill, successful in 2010 with Don't Push It, has six remaining contenders to choose from including the 2012 runner-up Sunnyhillboy as well as Burton Port, Twirling Magnet, Lost Glory, Alfie Sherrin and Storm Survivor.
There are five representatives going forward from the Pond House stable of David Pipe, who sent out Comply Or Die to victory in 2008. They include The Package, a good third in a competitive handicap chase at Cheltenham last week and recent Midlands Grand National victor Goulanes. Pipe could also run Swing Bill, sixth last year and owned by race sponsor Halewood International, as well as Our Father and Standing Ovation.
A total of 17 Irish-trained contenders go forward including Prince De Beauchene and Vesper Bell from the stable of Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins, successful in 2005 with Hedgehunter. Ted Walsh, handler of 2000 scorer Papillon, has left in Colbert Station, while the progressive Double Seven hails from the stable of Martin Brassil, triumphant in 2006 with Numbersixvalverde.