Blackmore to ride Minella Times in Grand National

Blackmore secured a landmark victory with Minella Times 12 months ago
Date: Saturday, 9 April Venue: Aintree Racecourse Time: 17:15 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live (also Friday 15:00-16:15); updates on BBC Sport website and app

Rachael Blackmore will reunite with defending champion Minella Times in Saturday’s Grand National after making history in the contest last year.

Blackmore became the first female jockey to triumph in the Aintree race.

The 32-year-old Irish rider stays loyal to Minella Times – trained by Henry de Bromhead – who will carry top weight.

“Rachael will ride Minella Times. He’s back showing me all the right signs at home,” said De Bromhead, who is also set to run Court Maid and Poker Party.

The National is a handicap chase with weights allocated according to the rating of each runner and Minella Times must carry 21lb more, on 11st 10lb, this year.

“He loved it last year, but he’s obviously gone up a good bit in the ratings so it’s not going to be easy for him,” De Bromhead told the Racing Post.

Minella Times is around a 14-1 shot for a repeat victory.

Grand National 2022 – approximate odds: 8-1 Any Second Now, Snow Leopardess, Delta Work; 10-1 Escaria Ten; 12-1 Enjoy D’Allen; 14-1 Eclair Surf, Fiddlerontheroof, Minella Times; 16-1 Longhouse Poet, 18-1 Burrows Saint 25-1 Bar

Other Grand National news

The going description on all courses at Aintree (Hurdle, Mildmay and Grand National) was changed on Tuesday to Good, Good to Soft in places (from Good to Soft).

Watering will now take place on the Grand National course, with 4 to 5mm of irrigation being applied.

Meanwhile, trainer Gordon Elliott plans to replace Battleoverdoyen with Death Duty in Saturday’s Grand National.

Death Duty is 41 on the list of runners, with a maximum of 40 allowed to line up and he will be one of eight Elliott contenders.

Battleoverdoyen will run in Friday’s Topham Chase at Aintree instead.

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