With Cumbria currently under constant threat of snow, floods and gales, April 4th may seem some distance away, however the unveiling of the Grand National weights last Tuesday afternoon marked the start of the countdown to the big race which takes place in less than seven weeks’ time.
The release of the weights will have been awaited with noticeable concern by connections of two-time winner Tiger Roll who will have been desperately hoping for some leniency from the official handicapper, however this will have also been the case for Frank Bird and Nicky Richards, owner and trainer of Cumbria’s sole representative in this year’s Grand National.
Had the weight been too much, then Takingrisks would have been put ‘at risk’. Too little and he may not have made the cut. Given that the runner triumphed in last year’s Scottish National and also the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle, the worries have proven groundless and the news that he has been burdened with 10st 1lb will have been greeted with satisfaction.
Since the win in the Rehearsal Chase last November, Takingrisks has made just one appearance, this being over hurdles at Haydock Park last month. Richards has made no plans as yet about any further outings prior to the Grand National and as things stand, bookies are currently quoting 40/1 on Takingrisks for the famous steeplechase, a price which looks a solid investment for a runner which jumps well and has stamina in abundance.