Jessica Harrington and Ted Walsh react to Randox Grand National weights

Published 2021/02/16

Jessica Harrington believes a weight of under 11 stone gives Magic Of Light a great advantage in the Randox Grand National, as she hopes to lead Irelands charge at the Aintree spectacular on Saturday 10th April.

Ireland is responsible for 43 of the 105 remaining entries for this years running of the worlds greatest steeplechase.

And while Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins will have more than half of those between them with 16 and eight respectively, there are some well-fancied contenders from other yards.

Harringtons two entries are the 2019 runner-up Magic of Light (10st 13lbs) and Jett (10st 7lbs).

And the County Kildare trainer revealed that she was content with the figure handed to her star mare, who will be aiming to reverse the form with fellow Irish raider Tiger Roll this year.

She said: She is off a fair mark, and I think she is lower than she was going to be last year.

She is 2lbs better off with Tiger Roll. It is fair enough for her and I think in the great scheme of things, she is still under 11 stone and I think that is a great advantage.

All roads lead to Aintree.

I am not quite sure where she is going to run next as I do not want to run her on heavy ground, but she may come to Cheltenham to run at The Festival.

Meanwhile Ted Walsh, who won the Grand National in 2000 with Papillon, is happy with the weight of 10st 9lbs allocated to his entry, Any Second Now.

Walsh said: That is roughly around what I thought he would get, so I am happy enough with the weight - it is much the same as what he had last year. I was disappointed with him when he ran in the Thyestes Chase, but Mark (Walsh) said he did not handle the very heavy ground and pulled him up.

I will run him again either at Naas or at Fairyhouse in two weeks time.

The National is where JP McManus wants to go with him, and he wants me to get him there in as good a shape as I can get him there with as little weight as possible on his back.

The trip will not be a problem, the only problem will be whether he takes to the Aintree fences or not. Some horses love it, the 40 runners, and the hustle and bustle of it and some do not and I hope he is one of those wholl relish it.

If he is one of those who the occasion gets to him and hes careful at his fences he might as well be at home. He may well go over and love it and if he does hell have a good chance.

Other Irish entries include four for Henry de Bromhead (Chris's Dream 11st 7lbs, Balko des Flos 10st 9lbs, Minella Times 10st 3lbs, Plan of Attack 9st 9lbs) and two for Paul Nolan, who is the only other Irish handler with more than one entry at this stage (Discorama 10st 6lbs and Fitzhenry 9st 10lbs).