84 entries for Grand National

Wed 30th Jan 2013, 12:30

photoQuito De La Roque among entries
©Healy Racing Photos
Grade One winners Tidal Bay, Imperial Commander, Albertas Run, Quito De La Roque and Quel Esprit head 84 horses revealed on Wednesday as being entered for the £975,000 John Smith's Grand National.

While the number of horses entered remains considerably down on the figures received only four or five years ago, it is two more entries than were received for the race 12 months ago despite the race attracting negative publicity after the death of two horses in the 2012 renewal.

This year's contest will take place for the first time over the new distance of four miles, three furlongs and about 110 yards on Saturday, April 6, with the start moved closer to the first fence.

The maximum permitted field is 40 runners, with up to four reserves on standby.

Champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls landed his first John Smith's Grand National in dramatic fashion last year when Neptune Collonges got the better of Sunnyhillboy by a nose in the closest finish ever seen to the great race.

Neptune Collonges was retired following his famous victory but Sunnyhillboy could bid to go one better. Third-placed Seabass and fourth Cappa Bleu are both also entered again.

Mullins delighted at Connell role

Danny Mullins has expressed his delight after being named retained jockey for one of the country's biggest owners in Barry Connell.