Native River out of the running for Aintree Grand National
Trainer Colin Tizzard confirms the Welsh Grand National winner will not be entered
Richard Johnson riding Native River clear from the last to win The Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in December. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
The impressive seven-year-old had been prominent in the betting, but trainer Colin Tizzard said: “He was never going to be entered. His owners have categorically said, ‘No’.”
Native River is currently second favourite behind stablemate Thistlecrack for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Tizzard has, however, entered French import Alary for the National, which has this year attracted 110 entries.
Connections of Maggio, who carries the same silks as 2013 winner Auroras Encore, hope to make it “third-time lucky” after having twice missed the cut.
Trainer Patrick Griffin at least gained compensation at last season’s National meeting when the 12-year-old dotted up in a Listed race.
James Griffin, assistant trainer to his father, said: “We purposely haven’t run him over fences yet this season because, with the way the race is going, you don’t want to be dropping below a rating of 150, in my opinion.
“We missed it by seven two seasons ago and Maggio was fourth reserve last year, so hopefully it is third time lucky.
“He ran really well at Christmas and will now head to Kelso for the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase on February 16th, two days after the weights come out.
“Four and a quarter miles is obviously a contrast to everything else, but he is unexposed over three miles or further.
Don Poli, trained by Gordon Elliott, is generally at the head of the market and headlines 16 entries for Gigginstown House Stud, who won the race last year with Rule The World. Outlander, Empire Of Dirt and Road To Riches are other possible Gigginstown contenders.
Carlingford Lough, Minella Rocco, Cause Of Causes and More Of That are amongst eight possible runners for owner JP McManus.
Last year’s runner-up The Last Samuri has been entered by Kim Bailey and is also towards the forefront of the National ante-post lists.
Other British hopes includes One For Arthur, Ziga Boy, Vieux Lion Rouge, The Young Master and Vicente.