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Cloth Cap is now firm favourite to win the 2021 Grand National after eleven entries taken out at the latest scratching’s stage – including joint-top-weight Easysland.
Cloth Cap remains very much on course for the Grand National which takes place on April 10th after he found himself amongst the 77 entries remaining in the Aintree showpiece next month. Connections of the Jonjo O’Neill-trained runner, who is a general 4/1 shot for the famous steeplechase, have been more than happy with his recent progress and they are confident that he will perform well in the big race in just over two weeks’ time.
The nine-year-old triumphed in the Newbury Ladbrokes Trophy in excellent fashion back in November his weights for the 2021 Grand National have been announced as 10st 5lb. Owned by Trevor Hemmings, Cloth Cap won by a sizeable margin in the Listed Premier Chase at Kelso earlier this month and he will be ridden by Tom Scudamore at Aintree next month.
A J O’Neill, assistant and son of the trainer, said: “Cloth Cap is in great form. His training regime hasn’t really changed since the Ladbrokes Trophy – we have kept him doing the same thing. But he is in great form at home and the whole team is very excited about Aintree.
“We were lucky enough to have a winner at The Festival with Sky Pirate in the Grand Annual and we followed up on Saturday in the Midlands National with Time To Get Up so last week was definitely one to remember and there have been a lot of smiles around the yard for sure.
“I would agree with Tom that Cloth Cap is entitled to be favourite off of 10st5lb. It is a competitive weight and we are really looking forward to seeing him run. He jumped very well in the Ladbrokes Trophy and obviously stays as showed in the Scottish National when he was younger. It will be very exciting to see him over the bigger fences at Aintree.
“The ground as it was when he won at Newbury (Good) would be ideal but obviously it is out of our control and we will just have to see how it is on the day. We certainly wouldn’t want it bottomless – it already takes plenty of getting with such a long trip.
“He jumps very well. We don’t actually have any National style fences at home any more. We always used to have them until 2010 and the first year we didn’t have them Don’t Push It won the National! So we have stuck with leaving them out from then to be honest. It’s not superstition, we still take horses to the schooling fences at Lambourn sometimes and we did with Minella Rocco so it’s a possibility we could take Cloth Cap there.”