Jumps racing champion Black and Bent is set to take on several challengers to his throne in this Sunday’s Grand National Hurdle (3900m) at Sandown.
The 2013 Grand National Final Field and Barrier Draw was released this morning with Black and Bent the top weight at 72kg.
Trainer Robert Smerdon believes the seven-year-old is good enough to win but history is against Black and Bent recording his second Grand National victory as no horse has carried that much weight to win the race since Cheery Jack was successful carrying the imperial equivalent of 73kg in 1940.
The Black Hawk gelding had his record breaking jumps racing winning streak snapped by Gotta Take Care in the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle (3200m) in June and suffered another surprise loss in the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle (3600m) at his last start.
Stablemate Brungle Cry has been allocated the second top-weight and will jump from barrier five carrying 67.5kg.
Last year’s winner finished last in the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle but connections are hopeful that he can return to the winning form he exhibited earlier this campaign in the Galleywood Hurdle (3200m) at Warrnambool.
The in-form Wells will carry 65.5kg as he aims for his second straight victory.
The Galileo five-year-old has been in exceptional form this campaign, recording an impressive win in the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle and finishing a close second in the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle after a strong performance on the flat in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m).
Macedonian has drawn the outsider barrier and gets in well at the weights with 64kg – the same weight he carried when third in the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle.
The Peter Moody-trained gelding has made a strong transition to jumps racing after his successful career on the flat and his jumping ability has improved with each start.
The other acceptors for the 2013 Grand National are Stand To Gain, Redevelop and Sanctuary who will all carry 64kg.
The complete 2013 Grand National Hurdle field, barriers, jockeys and set weights are listed below with betting on the Perth races this weekend to open shortly at bookmaker.com.au
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2013 Grand National Hurdle Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 4 – 1:50pm (AEST) – 14/07/2013
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1×80091834||BLACK AND BENT||Robert Smerdon||Steven Pateman||1||72kg||148|
|2||x001216070||BRUNGLE CRY||Robert Smerdon||Tom Ryan||5||67.5kg||139|
|3||x9x7232121||WELLS||Kathryn Durden||Brad McLean||6||65.5kg||135|
|4||3543595113||MACEDONIAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Mr Joseph Hateley||7||64kg||127|
|5||Px78080619||STAND TO GAIN (IRE)||Bob Challis||Paul Hamblin||4||64kg||117|
|6||7519x001P5||REDEVELOP||Fran Houlahan & Brian Johnston||Richard Eynon||2||64kg||115|
|7||0x3090FP41||SANCTUARY||Anthony Cosgriff||John Allen||3||64kg||115|