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Ashtown Lad out of 2023 Grand National with 57 left in the line-up
Ashtown Lad, Hewick and Conflated are just three of the sixteen horses to have been taken out of the line-up for the 2023 Grand National at the most recent acceptors stage.
Following the latest trimming of the line-up for the 2023 Grand National, 57 runners are left in contention and this will soon be whittled down to a total of 40 with three in reserve. Eva’s Oskar currently occupies the Number 40 spot with fancied Our Power just one behind at Number 41.
Handler Tim Vaughan was naturally delighted and somewhat relieved when it was confirmed that Evas Oskar would make the top 40 spot after the latest round of scratchings. Having triumphed in a competitive handicap chase earlier this season at Cheltenham, the nine-year-old was initially further down the entry order for the Grand National, however he is now guaranteed a run in the Aintree spectacular.
Vaughan said: “We definitely want to run – we’re eager beavers! What’s lovely is we’ve actually got in. A lad who works for me was counting them down and we were thinking we might be 41st and you’re still lingering then until the day. It’s quite nice as it feels like we can relax now, enjoy the process and just hope that he takes to the fences well on the day.”
Eva’s Oskar is currently a 100/1 shot for Grand National success next month, however the trainer insists that he isn’t just there purely to make up the numbers.
He continued: “We’ve been planning to go there for some time and he seems in good shape. We can make a few fences at home now with the spruce on,” the Welsh trainer added. “We didn’t want to do that until we knew where we were at. We thought today would sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of who definitely wanted to run and we’re excited to be in there.
“Of course I’m not naive enough to think we’re going there as a 10/1 chance, but as outsiders go he ticks a lot of boxes in that he’s good enough to win a £70,000 premier handicap at Cheltenham and he’s finished fourth in the Eider – we think he can do himself justice.
“It’s obviously a massive step up in class and it’s a great race with all the jazz that goes with it, but you’ve got to be in it to win it and that we are at the moment.”