Grand National Favourite Blaklion to be Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
Sam Twiston-Davies has been handed his biggest shot at Grand National glory this year, landing the mount aboard favourite, Blaklion, in a week that saw trainer and father, Nigel, compare the leading runner to the late Red Rum.
Blaklion, who will race in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday has shown exemplary form this season and is currently a 10/1 shot for Aintree.
Despite being touted to ride for trainer Paul Nicholls, with several potential runners available, Twiston-Davies has been freed to take the reigns of the impressive 9-year-old Gelding as he guns for Grand National glory for the first time in his career.
“I mean, Blaklion’s favourite for the National, so of course I’m going to help him,” said Nicholls. “When you’ve got a good team of jockeys you can all work together and it’s the only way to do it.”
It is likely viewed as most unusual for a high-profile yard to release its number one jockey to ride against its own horses in the most lucrative race of the year. Nicholls, however, has dispelled any rumour that himself and Twiston-Davies’ alliance is wavering, stating that he had advised the 25-year-old jockey to choose a route that gave him the best chance of success.
It now transpires that Twiston-Davies may well ride Blaklion at Haydock this weekend, but only if he can also commit to riding the horse at Aintree in April.
There will certainly be stern competition from fellow rival Total Recall in the Grand National this year, however. The Mullins-trained runner has been allotted 11st 1lb and sits as Blaklion’s closest competitor at 16/1. Only time will on who reigns victorious at the world’s most famed steeplechase.