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Hello Bud and Neptune Equester declared for Grand National

| 12.04.2012

14-year-old Hello Bud will be aiming to make history on Saturday, as he takes his place in the Grand National hoping to become the oldest horse since 1853 to win the race, and is a 50/1 shot to do so.

The gelding is somewhat of an Aintree specialist, and will be in the capable hands of Sam Twiston-Davies on Saturday, who, despite being one of the youngest jockeys in the race, has a wealth of experience.

He is also trained by the jockey’s father Nigel Twiston-Davies, who appears confident that the 2010 Becher Chase winner could do as well as improve on his previous best fifth place finish in the 2010 National.

“The fact is that he doesn’t know he is 14. He has many things in his favour going into the race, one being his ability to handle the course. He has jumped around the big National fences five times,” he told the Telegraph.

Another late entrant into this year’s renewal of the world’s greatest steeplechase is Neptune Equester, who will run 5lb out of the handicap amidst Gold Cup winner Synchronised’s appearance in the race.

The nine-year-old gelding is a 66/1 chance, and takes up his place in the field in the aftermath of continued rain at the Aintree track.

It will be his debut outing in the coveted steeplechase, and his trainer Brian Ellison, who was quick to point out that soft ground would suit his runner, is keen to see how he fares.

He told BBC Sport, “He won a good race at Haydock this year but his last few races haven’t been as good. Basically he’s just been wanting a little break.

“After his last run which was on firm ground, we gave him a little break and feel he’s come back and he’s really well in himself. It’s all down to if he takes to the National.”



John Klee