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Grand National: Kitty's Light gets in as bottom weight as 2022 winner Noble Yeats heads Aintree field


Grand National: Kitty's Light gets in as bottom weight as 2022 winner Noble Yeats heads Aintree field

Christian Williams' anxious wait is over after his well-fancied Kitty's Light snuck into the final line-up for the 2024 Randox Grand National.

Bidding to be the first Welsh-trained winner of the race since 1905, Kitty's Light was one of a trio of National candidates left sweating after Monday's confirmation stage.

Eklat De Rire, Chambard and Kitty's Light were among a plethora of runners allotted a rating of 146 for the big race but with that trio seeing their official handicap mark dropped to a figure of 145 since the weights were unveiled in February, a random ballot would have been required to determine which two of the three would take their chance in the world's most famous steeplechase.

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However, as envisaged earlier in the week, the Melling Chase-bound Conflated came out of the race on Thursday meaning no ballot is required and all three of Eklat De Rire, Chambard and Kitty's Light will face the starter on Saturday afternoon.

Conflated is the only absentee from the previous top 34, meaning 2022 winner Noble Yeats will carry the burden of top weight, with Gary Moore's Welsh Grand National winner Nassalam next in, as he provides a first ride in the race for leading conditional Caoilin Quinn.

Defending champion Corach Rambler heads the betting as Lucinda Russell and jockey Derek Fox both seek a third win in the Aintree showpiece and the Cheltenham Gold Cup third bids to join the likes of Red Rum and Tiger Roll as a back-to-back Grand National winner.

Last year's runner-up Vanillier is one of two in the race for Gavin Cromwell, who will also saddle Cheltenham Festival scorer Limerick Lace, the chosen mount of JP McManus' retained rider Mark Walsh.

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The Irish challenge is boosted by Willie Mullins' eight contenders, with McManus-owned pair I Am Maximus and Meetingofthewaters both high up in the betting and bringing strong form claims.

Capodanno is another Closutton contender wearing green and gold, with Mr Incredible also among the market leaders for the perennial Irish champion trainer.

Panda Boy has the chance to give Martin Brassil a second victory in the race, while John McConnell will saddle his first-ever National contender in Coral Gold Cup second Mahler Mission.

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Delta Work - third in 2022 - is the leading name among Gordon Elliott's eight runners, with Henry de Bromhead's Gold Cup winner Minella Indo set to be Rachael Blackmore's mount and adds a touch of class to the contest.

As well as the previously mentioned Eklat De Rire, De Bromhead will also be represented by Ain't That A Shame, the mount of amateur David Maxwell.

Former French champion jockey James Reveley will return to the Aintree fold aboard James Griffin's Roi Mage, who was seventh in the race 12 months ago.

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Dan Skelton's game mare Galia Des Liteaux forms part of the small British challenge and is one of those towards the bottom of the weights with strong form on testing ground to her name.

Skelton also oversaw the preparations of Latenightpass on behalf of good friend Tom Ellis this season, with the 11-year-old set to be Ellis' first runner as a licensed trainer after hastily joining the professional ranks for the chance to saddle his Aintree specialist on Saturday afternoon.

Eldorado Allen (Joe Tizzard) and Mac Tottie (Peter Bowen) are the other British-trained contenders.

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29 of May 2024