The entries for the 2013 Grand National have today been published with 84 horses entered for the £975000 Aintree showpiece which for the first time will be run over a slightly reduced distance of 4m3f110y with the start being moved forward 110 yards.
Chapion trainer Paul Nicholls who last year broke his Grand National duck with Neptune Collonges has entered a team of four with the revitalised Tidal Bay the pick of his entries alongside What A Friend and Harry The Viking both part owned by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Fergurson with Join Together completing the champion trainers entries for the race.
Last years runner up Sunnyhillboy is among five entered from Jonjo O'Neills stable while 2011 winner Ballabriggs heads Donald McCains team of five entered which also includes the 13yo Cloudy Lane who was successful in last years Foxhunters Chase around the Grand National circuit.
Willie Mullins the Irish Champion trainer has both Prince De Beauchene and On Hid Own both among the ante post favourites for the race along with his 2012 Irish Hennessy Gold Cup hero Quel Esprit. Other contenders from Ireland include the previous two Irish Grand National winners Organisedconfusion and Lion Da Bearnai alongside the high class Joncol and Quito Da La Roque. 2000 winning trainer Ted Walsh has again entered Seabass who was 3rd last year alongside his Paddy Power Chase winner Colbert Station.
Other notable names among the 84 entries are 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander but by no means a certain runner with a repeat Gold Cup bid his number one objective.
Other fascinating entries include Albertas Run a multiple winner at the Cheltenham Festival, The rapidly improving Katenko from the Venetia Williams stable and Beshabar the 2011 Scottish Grand National winner but of the course since the 2011 Hennessy Gold Cup and it would be a magnificent training feat if Tim Vaughan can this lightly raced 11yo to make a winning return to the track in a race as demanding as The Grand National.