Nigel Twiston-Davies compares Blaklion to Red Rum as National weights unveiled


Nigel Twiston-Davies compared ante-post favourite Blaklion to the legendary Red Rum after he was allotted 11st 6lb for the Randox Health Grand National on April 14.

The 2016 RSA Chase hero was the market leader for last year's renewal of the Aintree spectacular and was far from disgraced in finishing fourth behind One For Arthur when carrying 11st 1lb.

Blaklion has taken his game to another level this season, filling the runner-up spot behind stablemate Bristol De Mai in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby before dominating his rivals in the Becher Chase over the National fences in December, and h e is the clear 10-1 favourite to provide trainer Twiston-Davies with a third National success following the victories of Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

Twiston-Davies said: "We've got the Becher Chase in the bag and races in the bag are better than prayers. We could get struck by lightning next week!

"He will be ridden differently at Aintree this year. He was beaten eight lengths last year and there was no blame on Noel (Fehily) at all, but he kicked on a mile from home. Maybe if you don't kick on a mile from home that eight lengths could be found.

"I did a bit of research ages ago and Red Rum used to win with 12st.I don't know if I'm being a bit silly, but he reminds me a bit of Red Rum. He is small and very neat over his fences and after watching him jump round there twice, he doesn't seem to make a mistake."

The Naunton-based trainer is hoping Blaklion can enhance his Aintree claims in theBetfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday.

The nine-year-old holds an entry in next month's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, but is unlikely to head to Prestbury Park.

"He is flying and he is running on Saturday," Twiston-Davies continued.

"I am very tempted by the Gold Cup, but we probably won't go.

"Nothing is ruled out, but we will probably go for the National after Saturday."

Blaklion is one of six National entries for Twiston-Davies, but Bristol De Mai, who is second in the weights on 11st 9lb behind the Brian Ellison-trained top-weight Definitly Red on 11st 10lb, will not be lining up.

"He'll go for the Betway Bowl (Aintree, April 12)," Twiston-Davies confirmed.