Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

WALKON (with Hope in Your Wallet); Max's 50/1 Grey Can Give Us All a Grand Day out at Aintree; Get Ready for a Grey Day in the National

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

WALKON (with Hope in Your Wallet); Max's 50/1 Grey Can Give Us All a Grand Day out at Aintree; Get Ready for a Grey Day in the National

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY OWEN

SOMETIME around 4.15 this afternoon connections of the 40 horses will experience the most exhilarating, nerve-shredding nine minutes or so of their lives as the Crabbies Grand National grabs the attention of the nation.

At the end of it all, some brave pair of souls will be led into the hallowed winner's enclosure at Aintree and I'm hoping with all my heart it will be Max McNeill and his family who'll be leading in their gutsy grey WALKON (4.15).

I've made a case for Walkon since the weights were published, primarily down to his formline with subsequent Hennessy winner Triolo D'Alene in last year's Topham Trophy here.

Nicky Henderson's star, owned by Scot Sandy Orr, held off Walkon by three parts of a length here last season but the Alan King-trained nine-year-old is now a massive 20lb better off at the weights. It TURN TO PAGE TWO TURN TO PUNTER TWO It didn't look as though Walkon was stopping at the end of that 2m5f trip and yes I know there are plenty of experts keen to suggest that the grey couldn't stay today's marathon trip in a horsebox.

Well, we'll find out soon enough but I reckon at his current odds of 50-1 he's certainly worth taking the chance on. Wayne Hutchinson, who rode him in the Topham, is back on board and I rate him as one of the best jockeys around at present.

The ground should be fine for the grey and if the racing gods are with him he can run a massive race.

I've deserted a couple of my Cheltenham selections at Aintree and paid the price I'm ashamed to admit, but I'm sticking by WILDE BLUE YONDER (1.30) who ran a cracker to finish fifth in the Supreme to the Mullins machine Vautour.

The five-year-old son of Oscar would probably have won his previous two starts at Newbury and Ascot but for falling at the last and his confidence was restored under a waiting ride at the Festival. …

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