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The BBC's Rob Noffman
"There are four reserves standing by"
 real 28k

banner Friday, 7 April, 2000, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
National boasts maximum field

Bobbyjo is aiming for back-to-back victories
Saturday's Martell Grand National at Aintree will have a maximum field of 40 for the first time since 1992 following the final declaration stage.

There were no surprise withdrawals on Thursday with Luzcadou, Forestal and Even Flow the only defections.

Celtic Giant, winner of last season's Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, scrapes in as the 40th runner.

There were no further withdrawals on Friday, meaning that none of the four reserves will be used. This will be the case even if a horse is pulled out at any time up to the off.

'Back-to-back

The Tommy Carberry-trained Bobbyjo will attempt to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win back-to-back Nationals.

The 10-year-old has had an unusual preparation for the race this season, having run over hurdles on his three starts.

Most major bookmakers have Bobbyjo sharing favourite status with the Henry Daly-trained Star Traveller, mount of Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Richard Johnson.

Call It A Day and Addington Boy, third and fourth behind Bobbyjo last season, take their chances again, as do Feels Like Gold, Brave Highlander and Kendal Cavalier, who filled the next three places last April.

The weights are headed by the Peter Beaumont-trained Young Kenny, winner of the Stakis Casinos Scottish Grand National at Ayr last season.

He will be joined by stablemate Niki Dee.

French chaser Djeddah will represent Francois Doumen while there will be a Scandinavian challenge for the first time when the Rune Haugen-trained Trinitro carries Norwegian hopes.

Those horses who were declared but eliminated were Mountain Path, whose trainer Terry Caldwell turned down the chance to be a reserve, Ryhane, Full Of Oats, Another Excuse and Back Bar.

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See also:

05 Apr 00 | Grand National
Williamson makes his selection
05 Apr 00 | Grand National
National going changed to good
04 Apr 00 | Grand National
Carberry reunited with Bobbyjo
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