Backstage team have high Grand National expectations
Connections of Backstage are hoping that the horse can enjoy a little more good fortune in the Grand National this year to even out the bad luck they suffered last April.
Luck is always said to be an important factor in the Grand National, with all of the 40 entrants needing to successfully negotiate 30 fences in the 4m4f contest.
Backstage was well in contention in the race last year when he was hampered by a loose horse on the second circuit at Aintree, which culminated in Davy Condon being unseated.
A more experienced nine-year-old is to return this year, with Backstage given a strong each-way chance in the Grand National odds at 12/1, making him one of the three co-second favourites.
Although Backstage was well prepared for last year’s renewal, connections believe that the horse stands an ever better chance in The Grand National 2011.
Tim Palin of the Middleham Park Racing team said: “Last year we were just a length and a half behind the eventual winner Don’t Push It when he fell, and he was travelling every bit as well as him at that time.
“This has been the target since then and we think we have him right for it. Last year he had a few little niggles before the race, a bruised foot and a pulled muscle, but he’s not had any setbacks this time.”
Backstage heads to Aintree in fine form this season, with victories achieved on both of his starts in the current calendar year.
The latest of these came at The Pigeons, when Backstage won at a canter over three miles and was particularly impressive in his jumping.
Trainer Gordon Elliott also knows what is required to train a Grand National winner after saddling Silver Birch to victory in 2007.
A £20 stake on Backstage winning the Grand National would return £240. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of free bets totalling up to £60.