Sam Twiston-Davies lands plum ride on Grand National favourite Blaklion


Sam Twiston-Davies will ride Blaklion at Haydock on Saturday with a view to maintaining the partnership in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.

Trained by the leading rider's father Nigel Twiston-Davies, the nine-year-old was fourth in the world's most famous steeplechase last April and is the general 10-1 favourite for this year's renewal.

Twiston-Davies has not ridden Blaklion in public since he finished fourth in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle in 2015, but is thrilled to be getting back on board in the Betfred Grand National Trial this weekend, and again in the Aintree spectacular on April 14.

He told Press Association Sport: "I am riding Blaklion and Zarkandar (Rendlesham Hurdle) at Haydock on Saturday. I am looking forward to riding Blaklion. I'm riding him with the provision that I then ride him in the Grand National.

"Fingers crossed it all goes well at Haydock on Saturday. I've spent a lot of time with the horse and Ryan Hatch (who rode Blaklion regularly in 2016). It will be a pleasure to ride him on Saturday and then in the National."

Twiston-Davies is free to ride Blaklion at Aintree after being given the green light by his main boss Paul Nicholls.

He added: "Unfortunately Sametegal doesn't look like he will get in the National and Warriors Tale and As De Mee are horses that Sean Bowen usually rides regularly.

"It is kind of Paul and the team to let me take this opportunity."