Apr 7, 730 days ago

Third time lucky for Across The Bay?

Third time lucky for Across The Bay?

One of the key moments of last year’s Grand National was after the 16th fence when clear leader Across The Bay was carried across the course by a loose horse. Jockey Henry Brooke was powerless to prevent the incident and the pair eventually completed the race in 14th place.

Up until the incident, Donald McCain’s gelding had jumped superbly in front and Brooke was delighted to have him settled into a nice rhythm. It was too early in the race to say what might have been but Across The Bay and Brooke are to be re-united again this year.

The son of Bob’s Return has always had a touch of class and won the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock in 2013 prior to his first tilt at the National fences. Remarkably, he suffered very similar interference at the same stage of the race that year, except Brooke was able to drive him back to the front again soon after.

He did not surrender the lead until four from home before weakening back through the field. He completed a circuit of the National course again in the Becher Chase in December that year and won The Last Fling Chase at Haydock.

He has not troubled the judge in four starts since last year’s Aintree mishap but appeared to be travelling well when brought down at the Cheltenham festival last month. Brooke has not ridden the horse since last year’s National but will be hoping for an overdue change of luck on April 11th.

Donald McCain’s retained rider Jason Maguire has not recovered from injury in time so stable companion Corrin Wood will be ridden by Wilson Renwick. The grey was a high class novice, winning at Market Rasen, Catterick and Warwick in 2013.  He was officially rated 156 after beating Black Thunder with a brave front-running performance in heavy ground.

He ran disappointingly in the RSA Chase and is yet to recapture his best form. He pulled muscles when a beaten favourite at Haydock in January but has been pleasing McCain in his recent work. His handicap mark has now slipped back to 144 and he could bely his current odds of 66-1.

The Cheshire-based trainer emulated his famous father when saddling Ballabriggs to win the National in 2011. His stable will forever be associated with the legendary three-time National winner Red Rum who won the race in 1973, 1974 and 1977. Ginger McCain added a fourth National winner with Amberleigh House in 2004.

 

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