Note
14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
Nag Me about
To add a NagMe alert you must sign in.
Forgot password?
Not a member yet?

Search: Horse Jockey Trainer Owner All

Smith happy with weightsHeadlines
Seabass leads in last year's Grand National

Handicapper Phil Smith has defended his decision to allot leading contender Seabass a burden of 11st 2lb in the John Smith's Grand National.

Trainer Ted Walsh appeared bemused by the rise of last year's third, which leaves him badly treated on official ratings with Tidal Bay, the top-weight on 11st 10lb for the Aintree showpiece on April 6.

Smith is allowed to use his discretion for the National in order to attract higher-class horses to take their chance in handicap company and he frames the weights himself, taking into account various factors.

"He's carrying 11st 2lb this year - the last four winners have carried 11st plus - and he was third last year. Horses have a very good record coming back a second time, and I thought he had a reasonably good chance," Smith said of Seabass.

Referring to Tidal Bay, he added: "The horse's real rating is 171 and he has achieved that twice this year, in the Hennessy and in the Lexus. He is going to run off 162 and the theory behind it is that if he can replicate his Lexus run, he has got a chance of winning. The problem is, it's a completely different race.

"It's four and a half miles over 30 fences. If I'd left it as it is, he'd probably have to perform to 180 to win it, but he's a 12-year-old and I don't think anyone would believe he could perform to that level. So I've compressed his weight, and some of the other horses at the top, in order to give them a chance of winning."

It appears a strong contest once again, with dual Ryanair winner Albertas Run next in on 11st 8lb, and 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander on 11st 6lb.

Smith went on: "It's great for the race as the top three have won 10 Grade Ones between them. We are always talking about wanting high-quality horses to run and set the high standard the race deserves. We've definitely got that this year with Tidal Bay, Albertas Run and Imperial Commander.

"In Imperial Commander, I never thought I'd have a Gold Cup winner that wasn't top or second top weight. Who's to say how good he is, because we've only seen him race once in the last two years."

Smith said three horses had given him trouble as he made his decisions on what weights to allocate - Imperial Commander, Wyck Hill and The Rainbow Hunter.

26 November 2014

Fehily answers Unioniste call
Irving fighting fit for Newcastle
Fit-again McCoy rules out landmark
Bobs confirmed for Lexus repeat
King expects Mor from Carraig
Cheltenham foes back on Gold trail
BHA announces prize-money fillip
Grant handed six-month ban
McCoy makes winning return
Banned Fenton 'less than truthful'
National aim for Wyck
Hand up for Becher challenge
Meade admits Riches ground question
McCoy leaning towards Merry mount
Christmas aim for Owega
Walsh expecting bold Sceaux show
Smith sadness at Mania retirement
Cadeaux among Hong Kong hopefuls
Staying aims for Trev
Retirement for National hero Mania
Fenton lodges ban appeal
Knott found in breach of rules
No stopping Twiston-Davies
Bans for jockeys in flag drama
Djak experience a concern for Walsh
More headlines Long Distance field
Tributes flow for Lady Herries
McCoy returns at Fontwell

25 November 2014

Void race drama at Sedgefield
Colombieres stars in Mullins entry
Bridgwater buoyed by Bolster
Trade ready to storm Hong Kong
Bowe ponders Robin Power play
Apache on the march for Drinmore
Pipe - Stamina key to Bally chance
Sacre not guaranteed for Sandown
Tower 'sore' after Navan spill
Spirit ensures more Henderson woe
Walsh praise for Vautour
Walsh cool on Faugheen odds
Victory team on weather watch
New relief for Twiston-Davies
Nicholls planning dual George raid
Leather in fine form ahead of Cup

24 November 2014

Hobbs upbeat about Fingal raid
Fry keen for crack at Tolworth
Midnight to stay over hurdles
Creek seeking Hennessy Gold
Dynaste team consider George run
Topper target hinges on ground
Followme poised for Drinmore date
Balbriggan lands Troytown gamble
Vautour impresses on chasing debut
Un De Sceaux set for Thurles
Melodic team face tough choice
Henderson aims at Listed prize
Croco in frame for Topham
Deputy in Kempton firing line
McBratney banks on Boy progress

23 November 2014

Balbriggan all the way
Vautour off to impressive start
Belle set for hurdling campaign
Silvi scraps to Betfair glory
Bally sparkles on Mullins' big day
Kelly's a Fixed Brush hero
Faugheen turns on the style
Fenton banned for three years
Amlin double for fab Ferof
New One excels in Haydock romp
Flyer grounds Ascot rivals
Vasco a cut above opposition

About | Terms | Privacy | Manage Alerts | Manage Account | © 2014