The 2013 Grand National Hurdle (3900m) is set to be the most exciting Hurdle race of the season with eight talented jumpers nominated to run in the $200,000 race at Sandown this Sunday.
The field is headlined by superstar Black and Bent who will be aiming to bounce back up after two surprise losses over hurdles in his last two starts.
Black and Bent achieved an Australian-record 10th successive victory with an impressive performance in the Jack Dow Memorial Hurdle (3300m) in May but has lost both subsequent starts over jumps in the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle (3200m) at Bendigo and the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle (3600m) at Warrnambool last month.
The Robert Smerdon-trained gelding scored a dominant twelve length victory in the 2011 Grand National and has won his last seven starts at Sandown.
Consistent jumper Wells upset Black and Bent at Warrnambool last month and has now won three of his four race starts over hurdles.
The son of Galileo is a noted stayer who will relish the extra distance of the Grand National on Sunday.
Also backing up from the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle will be runner-up Gotta Take Care who ended Black and Bent’s winning streak in the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle.
The eight-year-old gelding finished third behind Brungle Cry and Zaman in last year’s edition of the race but has improved significantly in the last twelve months.
2012 Grand National Hurdle winner Brungle Cry is back to defend his title despite producing a career-worst performance in the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle.
The five-year-old finished at the tail of the seven horse field, more than thirty-three lengths behind the winner Gotta Take Care, and failed to impress on the flat in the Guinot International (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Leading Melbourne trainer Peter Moody will have his first ever runner in the Grand National when Macedonian takes part on Saturday.
The Zabeel gelding has made a successful transition to jumps racing after an impressive flat racing career, which included top three finishes in the Adelaide Cup and Lexus Stakes, and has scored dominant victories in the Fitzgerald Memorial Maiden Hurdle (3300m) and Leslie Short Hurdle (3100m) in Adelaide.
Redevelop, Sanctuary and Zaman round out the 2013 Grand National nominations.
Will the champion Black and Bent bounce back or will another horse lay claim to the title of Australian jumps racing champion? No matter who you wish to bet on you will find the best Grand National odds at bookmaker.com.au.