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Edmond could be taken out at today's five-day confirmation stage for the Martell Grand National, trainer Henry Daly has revealed.

After seeing the weather forecast, the Ludlow trainer says it is "highly unlikely" that the Welsh National winner will run in the Aintree showpiece because the ground next Saturday is unlikely to be soft enough.

Daly said on Sunday: "They are forecasting rain today and tomorrow at Aintree but from Tuesday onwards it is meant to be dry.

"It looks like the ground will not be soft at Aintree on Saturday and therefore it is highly unlikely that Edmond will run.

But Daly still has Star Traveller, Coral's 8-1 joint-favourite with Bobbyjo for the National, in the race.

"Star Traveller is fine," he said. "He's won on good, good to firm and good to soft and I don't think the ground will be a problem for him."

Tommy Carberry believes that weight may stop Bobbyjo from becoming the first horse since the legendary Red Rum to win the National in successive years.

Bobbyjo will be one of the top weights on 11st 6lb yet he was 14lb out of the handicap when carrying the minimum of 10st to victory by 10 lengths from Blue Charm last April.

"The horse is in good form but he's gone up so much in the weights that I think he's got it all to do," the trainer said.

Bobbyjo was the first Irish-trained winner since L'Escargot, ridden by Carberry himself, denied Red Rum a hat-trick of Aintree triumphs in 1975.

And it was Carberry's son Paul, who was in the saddle 12 months ago. He has not ridden in a race since finishing second on Florida Pearl in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup because of recurring back problems, but is expected to be fit for the big day.

Trainer Paul Nicholls will have four runners - Earthmover, Torduff Express, Flaked Oats and Escartefigue.

Nicholls said: "They have all jumped the new Grand National-style fences we have at home well but if the ground stays on the good side I would probably just favour Earthmover as he will go to the race a fresh horse and he worked well with Linton Rocks, who has won since the other day."

Norman Williamson, left without a ride in the Martell Grand National following the death of Betty's Boy, will now choose between Escartefigue and Mely Moss, both owned by Darren Mercer, in Saturday's Aintree showpiece.

The jockey said yesterday: "I will make a decision about which horse I ride in the race tomorrow evening after I have discussed the situation with Charlie Egerton who trains Mely Moss as he's in Ireland at the moment."

Mick Fitzgerald will ride Nicky Henderson's runner Esprit de Cotte.

"We have always said this is what he wants to be doing and I thought he ran a good race in the Kim Muir. He is in good form, though he wouldn't mind a drop of rain," said Henderson.

Leading Irish jockey Barry Geraghty has been handed the chance to make his National debut on last year's third Call It A Day.

The rider, on course for his first championship, has been booked for the mount by Alan King who has been looking for a jockey for several days.

The trainer said: "Call It A Day has been a bit out of form for his last couple of runs but hopefully Aintree will spark him up as he was travelling well enough there until falling last November.

"I am very happy to have booked Barry, who is having such a fantastic season in Ireland. We waited until now to see who was available as most of the top jockeys in this country are already booked."

Robert Widger renewed acquaintance on Sunday with Choisty, who will bid to make it third time lucky in the National.

The gelding's regular rider Paul Flynn is sidelined by injury so the mount has been handed again to Widger, on board when Choisty departed at Bechers' for the second year running in the big race last year.

"Robert has been over this morning and schooled him and he was very pleased," said trainer Ted Haynes. "He'll ride him in the National - he's ridden him before and done everything bar win on him."

The gelding, winner of the Warwick National in January, has not raced for four weeks but Haynes stressed: "There is no problem - he is just rated too high nowadays to run in some of the races he ran in last year."

Ground conditions were reported no softer than good on the National course.

Clerk of the course Ian Renton admitted that forecast rain could well turn the going "on the soft side" but added that drying weather is likely for the second half of this week.

Martell Grand National latest betting:

Coral: 8-1 Star Traveller, Bobbyjo, 10-1 Young Kenny, 12-1 Edmond, 14-1 Micko's Dream, The Last Fling, 16-1 Cavalero, Djeddah, 18-1 Dark Stranger, 20-1 Niki Dee, Kendal Cavalier, Red Marauder, Earthmover, 22-1 Escartefigue 25-1 Luzcadou, Kingdom Of Shades, Hollybank Buck, 33-1 bar.