Grand National: Well-schooled horses fit the demanding bill

Henry Brooke won the Sky Bet Trophy on Wakanda for Sue and Harvey Smith earlier in the season.
Henry Brooke won the Sky Bet Trophy on Wakanda for Sue and Harvey Smith earlier in the season.
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HENRY Brooke hopes the positives will outweigh the negatives on Grand National outsider Delusionofgrandeur after Sue and Harvey Smith’s runner became the last to make the 40-runner field.

A three-time winner at Catterick, the chaser did not appear to stay four-miles-plus in the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh before finishing a battling third at Haydock just a fortnight ago.

However, Brooke, 26, says the horse is in better shape after he schooled him over replica Aintree fences at Malton.

It is the Middleham jockey’s fifth ride in the race, he won Doncaster’s Sky Bet Trophy on Wakanda in January for the Smiths.

“You’ve got to be in the National to win it,” he added. “If you’re in, you can win it. If you want to ride a National horse for anyone, you want to ride for Sue and Harvey. Their horses are well schooled, well trained, fit and their horses are back in a purple patch.”