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  Haze team switch from Fairyhouse to Aintree  

Betfair Grand National – 2 

Kim Bailey, trainer of the 1990 winner Mr Frisk, has decided to switch his decent staying chaser Midnight Haze from his original target of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse to a bid for the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on April 14 instead, writes Elliot Slater. 

Although he is ranked, in Grand National 2012 betting stakes, 49th of the 59 entries still left in the contest and only 40 will get into the race, Bailey is hopeful that his 10-year-old will make the starting line-up and improve on his most recent effort when a creditable sixth in the dizzying Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase behind Balthazar King at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Sean Quinlan, who partnered the son of Midnight Legend for the first time at Cheltenham, will keep the ride and be in the plate for the four-and-a-half-mile marathon that will be screened live to more than 600 million television viewers across the globe.

Bookmakers don’t appear too frightened of Bailey adding to his success in the race some 22 years ago and rate Midnight Haze at between 50/1 to 125/1 in places, but after the 100/1 horse race betting shock success of Mon Mome in the 2009 renewal all racing fans and once-a-year punters know that it is very hard to discount the chance of any performer if the breaks go his way over the uniquely challenging and gruelling Merseyside course.

A winner of five of his 15 career starts, Bailey’s gelding has won twice at Ludlow this season over trips in excess of three miles and has gradually been rising up the handicap having started the term off a mark of 120 before rising to a rating of 137, putting him in the original Grand National handicap right on the 10 stone mark, set to receive plenty of weight from the big guns such as Synchronised, Ballabriggs, Burton Point and Midnight Chase.

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