On His Own an Ever-shortening National Favourite

3/22/13 - Tuesday’s latest declaration stage for the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on April 6 saw the field of possible runners reduced to 57, amongst whom the Willie Mullins-trained On His Own remains a clear favourite, now offered at just 8/1 across the board with all major betting firms.

With Mullins having all but stolen the show at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this month, where his horses carried all before them, it looks likely that the County Carlow-based handler could field as many as four runners in ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’, his other representatives being Prince de Beauchene, Quel Esprit and Quiscover Fontaine.

On His Own has headed the Aintree betting market for the gruelling four-and-a-half-mile for a number of months, even prior to his surprise success in the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle at Navan in February, on his first outing since contesting the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree last April.

His surprise 10/1 victory in beating Si C’Etait Vrai by over two lengths came in stark contrast to the disappointment experienced by the gelding’s connections, including owners, Andrea and Graham Wylie, when On His Own appeared set to go close in last season’s Grand National.

Paul Townend’s mount travelled like a dream throughout the race and was still travelling strongly when tipping up at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit when looking likely to take a hand in the finish.

Given similarly decent ground and the pre-requisite luck-in-running, Mullins and his team are more than hopeful that On His Own will again feature prominently in the showcase marathon contest having been trained since last April for his second bid for the big race, a training schedule that thus far has gone exactly to plan.

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