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Published: 14:22 | 4/4/16

Anxious wait for National hopes

There are 87 horses still engaged in Saturday's Crabbie's Grand National following the five-day declarations.

Only 40 horses will go to post for the famous Aintree marathon with Rebecca Curtis’ The Romford Pele the last horse guaranteed a place in the field.

Many Clouds took the honours last year for Oliver Sherwood and Leighton Aspell and he is set to carry 11st 10lb, 1lb more than 12 months ago, when he bids to become the first horse since Red Rum to win the race for a second successive season.

Dual King George VI Chase winner Silviniaco Conti is next on the list with Paul Nicholls' charge set to shoulder 11st 8lb, while the champion trainer also has Wonderful Charm, Rocky Creek, Unioniste, Just A Par and Black Thunder.

Nicky Henderson is double-handed with Triolo D’Alene and Hadrian’s Approach both entered, while 2014 winner Pineau De Re is in danger of missing out as he sits outside the top 40.

Others facing an anxious wait include Gordon Elliott’s Cheltenham Festival winner Cause of Causes and last year’s fourth Alvarado.

Willie Mullins is planning a big assault on the Grand National meeting as he looks to win the UK trainers’ title for the first time and the County Carlow handler will have up to four runners in the feature with On His Own, Sir Des Champs, Boston Bob and Ballycasey all standing their ground.

Other Irish hopes still in the handicap include Gilgamboa, Morning Assembly, Goonyella, Ucello Conti and Gallant Oscar, while leading contenders The Last Samuri, Holywell, Saint Are and Shutthefrontdoor remain on course to line up in the marathon.

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