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The Package fails to recover in time for Aintree

The Package Fails To Recover In Time For AintreeDavid Pipe has passed on the disappointing news that his quietly fancied outsider The Package will not run in the John Smith’s Grand National on Saturday having failed to recover in time from a gruelling race at the Cheltenham Festival last time out, writes Elliot Slater.

The Package ran a fine race in his first outing after more than 15 months on the sidelines to finish fourth to Alfie Sherrin in the JLT SPeciality Handicap Chase, challenging going to the second fence from home before lack of a previous outing took its toll and he could only keep on at the one pace after the last. Connections were delighted with a performance that augured well for the chance of the David Johnson-owned gelding at Aintree, but it soon became clear that the nine-year-old had expended a huge amount of energy in the Cheltenham race and was taking longer than had originally been anticipated to return to his best form.

Pipe has now admitted defeat in the race to get the son of Kayf Tara ready in time for the Aintree marathon contest in which the talented stayer was still in touch with the leaders and apparently going well in the 2010 renewal when unseating his rider at the nineteenth fence.

Pipe is now left with two chances in ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’, most especially Junior, currently disputing favouritism with the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised at Grand National odds of 10/1 in the ante-post market after a fine trial effort in failing by just a short-head to beat the lightly weighted Ikorodu Road at Doncaster last time out. The other representative for the Nicholashayne handler is the capable Swing Bill, generally a 66/1 shot in the Betfair horse betting, fifth to Always Waining in last year’s Topham Trophy over the National fences before pulling up after getting stuck in the heavy ground on his return visit to the Liverpool track in the Becher Chase in December.

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