By Sean Bowen
I ride Warriors Tale in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree – and I think he has a great chance.
It’s been wet across Britain for weeks and it’s still raining, but the good news for me is that my horse is very versatile. He’s won on soft and good to soft going, but he races on any surface. With an unsettled forecast in Liverpool, that stands me in good stead.
My horse’s best runs have come when he races left handed and on a flat track. That’s illustrated by his great form at Newbury Racecourse, where he has won twice and been narrowly second in the last year or so. As it is left-handed and flat at Aintree, I’m confident about his prospects.
He’s had a nice break since his last run when he was very narrow runner-up in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster Racecourse. He was the winner for the whole of the race that day, except on the finishing line.
Warriors Tale is a great jumper and of course he’ll need to be over the unique fences at Aintree.
This is my fourth ride in the Grand National and I think it’s my best chance of winning to date. I’ve completed the course in each of the last three Nationals – Mon Parrain was 11th in 2015, Just A Par 15th in 2016 and Le Mercurey 12th last year.
The previous three horses were older or wiser. Warriors Tale is younger and is in good form.
It will also be interesting riding in the race with my younger brother James. His mount is Shantou Flyer who ran in last year’s Grand National and was very close to being a Cheltenham Festival winner last month.
I’ve been enjoying a good season, with 77 winners and over £960,000 in prize money to date. Along with Harry Skelton, I’m the leading jockey at Aintree this season, with three winners. Victory in the Grand National for owner Trevor Hemmings – who is seeking his fourth winner of the race - would cap it all.