Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood won’t be cheering on his first runner in the Grand National with his horse Sandymount Duke apparently suffering a ‘minor’ setback. The guitarist bred the runner which is in the stable of Jessica Harrington, the trainer saying: “Sandymount Duke will miss the Aintree National. It’s nothing serious, but he’s met with a little setback, so he won’t be running.”
Harrington triumphed in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John but she has yet to enjoy success in the Grand National. Nevertheless she remains in with a chance of winning the famous steeplechase with Magic Of Light, the eight-year-old winning twice at the Punchestown Festival in the past and performing well over National-style fences at the Curragh last week.
The trainer continued: “Magic Of Light will be my first runner in the race and she’ll be ridden by Paddy Kennedy.
“He knows her well and it’s great for Paddy, who has been with me a for a long time. He’s a tireless worker and she will be his first ride in the National.”
The withdrawal of Sandymount Duke from the 2019 Grand National will be a huge blow to Ronnie Wood although he wasn’t due to attend the race. He was planning to tour with the Rolling Stones later this month but the trip has been postponed due to Mick Jagger struggling with ill health and needing to undergo heart surgery.