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banner Wednesday, 5 April, 2000, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Williamson makes his selection

Williamson during this year's Cheltenham Festival
Top jockey Norman Williamson has decided to ride Mely Moss in Saturday's Grand National.

The former Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey was left without a ride at Aintree after his original choice Betty's Boy was put down on Saturday.

He had been linked to Escartefigue, owned, like Mely Moss, by Darren Mercer.



There's only one Grand National and I have had Liverpool in mind for him for some time. I am very happy with him - I wouldn't be running him if I wasn't

Trainer of Mely Moss Charlie Egerton
But trainer Charlie Egerton confirmed that the latter horse would be ridden by Williamson.

"Norman rides my horse who is a Liverpool horse and is blooming in himself," said Egerton.

"He has not had the ideal preparation as I was qualifying him for hunter chases and when he was 10 days off running he went a bit wrong.

"He had been hunted with the Berks and Bucks Draghounds and is as fit as I could get him.

"My main concern is about Mely Moss getting the trip, but until you run you don't know.



Williamson: Original horse put down last weekend
"But there's only one Grand National and I have had Liverpool in mind for him for some time. I am very happy with him - I wouldn't be running him if I wasn't."

Mely Moss has yet to run this season but has been backed down to 20-1 from 50-1 at one bookmaker's, Coral.

Following Williamson's decision Paul Nicholls has given Jimmy McCarthy the ride on Escartefigue, winner of the Martell Cup at Aintree two years ago.

The trainer said: "Jimmy will ride Escartefigue in the Grand National on Saturday and he is scheduled to come down to the yard tomorrow morning to sit on the horse and get to know him."

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