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Aintree, 5 April, 2008

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Watch a full replay of the 2008 Grand National

Venue: Aintree Date: Saturday, 5 April Start: 1615 BST
Highlights: BBC One at 2340


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Oliver Brett

1702: Thanks to everyone for the contributions on 606 and by text. That's it from me and I hope you backed the winner, or at least covered your stake with a bit of each-way money on one of the placed horses.

"The first six jockeys home gave their horses fabulous rides. I thought it was a super National," says Norman Williamson on BBC1. John Parrott adds: "It's been a very bad day for the bookmakers. Plenty of money will be paid out in the offices."

1657: Some sad news to bring you - McKelvey, ridden by Tom O'Brien for Peter Bowen, died after the race. He came second in 2007.

At one point it looked like we might have the first grey winner since 1961 when King Johns Castle almost came up alongside the winner at the final fence. But nothing travelled better than Comply or Die throughout. As for Cloudy Lane, he was handy up until the final mile, but did not have enough in the tank for the final few fences. Irish horses filled places 2, 3 and 4, but the winner was trained on the Devon-Somerset border.

1646: "I can't really describe it. Gordon Elliott trained last year's winner and is a good friend, he was one of the first to come and congratulate me. It's great for everyone, for the whole team. We couldn't do any of it without them. I've had a great teacher in my father (Martin), David Johnson [Comply or Die's owner] has been brilliant and Timmy gave him a fantastic ride."
Winning trainer David Pipe

Here's the official SP
1st: No.33 Comply Or Die (T J Murphy, 7-1 joint-fav)
2nd: No.27 King Johns Castle (P Carberry, 20-1 )
3rd: No.16 Snowy Morning (D J Casey, 16-1 )
4th No.12 Slim Pickings (B J Geraghty, 10-1 ); 40 ran. No. 26 Cloudy Lane (J M Maguire, 7-1 joint-fav) finished sixth.
Distances: 4 lengths; 1 lengths; 16 lengths
Winning trainer: D Pipe.

"Yay, thanks Beeb, I put a tenner on Comply Or Die 'cos I read the horse was your tip. Treat my parents to a drink or two."
MarkNobleisthefuture on 606
You're very welcome though I wasn't the only person to tip Comply or Die - OB

Murphy: "It's the best ride I've ever had. He got into a lovely rhythm, jumped fantastic and picked up for me again when Paul Carberry came up to me [on King Johns Castle]. It hasn't sunk in yet."

1631: Timmy Murphy and Comply or Die are led in front of some ecstatic punters. A lot of people have backed the winner today, who started as joint favourite with Cloudy Lane.

"I can't really believe it yet," says winning jockey Timmy Murphy.

1st: Comply or Die 7-1 jf
2nd: King Johns Castle 20-1
3rd: Snowy Morning 16-1
4th: Slim Pickings 10-1
5th: Bewleys Berry
6th: Cloudy Lane


1622: McCoy's dreams are dashed as Butler's Cabin falls. Knowhere falls. Five fences to go as Bewleys Berry and Chelsea Harbour come into the picture. D'Argent falls.

1622: Naunton Brook, Bob Hall and Vodka Bleu are all pulled up.

1621: Point Barrow has been pulled up. Mr Pointment leads.

1620: Mr Pointment, Comply or Die and Simon all look very handy at The Chair.

1618: Milan Deux Mille leads at the Canal Turn, with Philson Run a faller. Kelami has also fallen. They're very tightly grouped behind two loose horses.

1616: Every horse clears the first fence. Backbeat falls at the second and Tumbling Dice goes at the third. L'Ami and Iron Man have also fallen.

1615: They're off first time. Great start.

1614: They're at the start now. Butler's Cabin is looking a bit hot and sweaty with the sun out now. Comply or Die looks good.

"What is this gamble on Hedgehunter? Jeez the horse is carrying an absolute ton on his back."
anubisrich on 606

Betting update: Cloudy Lane 7-1, Comply or Die 8-1, Slim Pickings 10-1 are the top three.

1609: One of the calmest horses out there looks to be Contraband, the rank outsider. Some look a bit spooked by the crowds as they are walked down to the start.

1605: The horses parade in front of the grandstand and there's a bugler's fanfare. Just time for a last minute bet or two.

"He doesn't look like one of the great National horses," says Ginger McCain of his son's horse Cloudy Lane. A bit of a negative vibe all round then...

1602: JP McManus, who owns three runners, says Tony McCoy has made the right choice on Butler's Cabin, but adds "I don't know how strong it is." He is not sure whether King Johns Castle is right for Aintree, while L'Ami is "not without an each-way chance". A legendary gambler, he says he hasn't had a bet on either Butler's Cabin or King Johns. But has he had a touch on L'Ami?

"No worries at all. Thrilled," says Cloudy Lane's trainer Donald McCain. Owner Trevor Hemmings just wants him to finish the race. "May the best horse win," he says.

"He's not very big, that's the only worry, but I'm hoping he'll run a big race. He certainly stays."
Mon Mome's trainer Venetia Williams

1555: The jockeys are heading out of the weighing-room for a group photo. Some look white with fear, like England's cricketers before the Ashes Test in Brisbane last time.

1554: Butler's Cabin is being led up to the parade ring, along with Snowy Morning. Both horses look "fabulous" says Clare Balding, and she knows a thing or two about racing.

1552: Hedgehunter looks incredibly calm as his saddle goes on. There's been a torrent of bets for the 2005 winner. Suddenly it's all lovely and sunny at Aintree after that sharp shower.

"It feels quite weird but I'm looking forward to this one. Point Barrow was well fancied last year, hopefully he'll get further this time."
Point Barrow's jockey Tony Dobbin who retires next week

1547: Cloudy Lane is "very alert and keen to get on with it," says Richard Pitman on BBC1.

"Apparently women are better at picking winners than men, so ask your wives, girlfriends, mistresses, hairdressers and anyone else of the female gender for their tips!"
Seb on 606 Your tips for the big race

1537: Cloudy Lane is televised approaching the saddling boxes. He looks so small. Clare Balding can't believe the money being thrown on Hedgehunter. Generally, Cloudy Lane is still the clear favourite, and William Hill, having had him joint favourite for about 15 minutes with Comply or Die, have him at 6-1, Comply or Die 8-1. The tension is building now at Aintree. They'll be parading soon.

"I'm going for Comply or Die as my boss uttered those words to me only last week."
jockfromlaidley on 606 Your tips for the big race

1531: The last race before the Grand National, a 3m handicap hurdle, is won by Ruby Walsh's mount, Forest Pennant, in torrential rain. That's his sixth winner of the festival. Trainer Paul Nicholls has five winners now. Is that an omen? Aintree results

"I've backed Bewleys Berry but would love it if Hedgehunter came in ahead of the rest. Having just watched the highlights of Red Rum's third win, there's something about the top weight horse winning which I like."
ruthere 909 on 606 Your tips for the big race

1518: It's the biggest moment in racing for goodness knows how long. William Hill is showing 7-1 about Cloudy Lane, making it a co-favourite with Comply or Die. Well, well, well.

"Cloudy Lane's form is bullet-proof. He stays, he jumps, if he's coming round the final turn with a chance he's the one they have to beat. Donald McCain's a really good trainer."
BBC1's John Parrott, who's doing an ultra-sanitised version of John McCririck. Couldn't be rude to a goose, could our John

1510: It's a crazy sporting day today. My colleague Sam - who often sits through the night with me covering Test matches in places like Napier and Bangalore - is covering the football.
Live - FA Cup and Premier League
And Mark Orlovac has all the goodies from Rugby Union's Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
Live - Heineken Cup

"Joaaci is going to win the National. Why? Because I filled in one of those stupid national forms in William Hill and instead of putting my money on Mr Pointment, Joaaci appeared on my slip. I didn't notice until I got in the car. It's a sign."
Homer J. Simpson on 606 Your tips for the big race

1502: With barely an hour to go to the big race, BBC1 is running a little AP McCoy feature-ette. "Tony McCoy is such a special sportsman. He reminds me so much of Tiger Woods," says Harry Redknapp, whose Portsmouth side have just reached their first FA Cup final in 69 years. I can guarantee you Harry will have a few bob on something or other. Knows his racing does that man.

"Leo rising, pride and famous fathers. Saturn may crash the fav. King Johns Castle to win."
Astrologer on 606 Your tips for the big race

1453: The second most valuable race of the day, the Aintree Hurdle, is won by Al Eile for the third time, a horse the Racing Post describes as the "standing dish at this meeting". Comply or Die backers should note that was a tidy performance by your jockey, Timmy Murphy, on the winner.
Aintree results

"Hello to John Parrott! I looked after your wife many years ago in the winning suite when she was expecting.
Billy King, Crosby, by text. His tip is Comply or Die."

1447: Does Hyperion in The Independent know something nobody else knows? His selection for the big race is Joaaci, currently available at 100-1 with Ladbrokes.

1444: Christine Bleakley, the presenter of the One show, is tipping McKelvey. So there. Actually, the horse that came second last year has been overlooked a little bit by the pundits. But he's had an odd build-up by being sent over hurdles this season.

1436: "Comply or Die is our best one. He's got great credentials, just needs a bit of luck in running. Vodka Bleu has always been a good horse. Milan Deux Mille has got a squeak if he gets the trip. Joaaci's in or out. He's bred to stay and has schooled very nicely. If you saw the right Joacci he wouldn't be without a squeak."
Some honest talk from a busy trainer, David Pipe, on BBC1

"I had Slim Pickings last year and he did well to get third. Has improved over the last 12 months and with those dark clouds overhead at Aintree, the smart money should go to him this year. A 25 win today from me but good luck all 606ers who have a bet today."
ScouseDave07 on 606
Your tips for the big race

1428: There's a surprise for presenter Richard Pitman, as BBC2 flashes up a photo of him from his riding days, still steaming from the sauna, with the corner of a towel just about protecting his modesty. On that bombshell, coverage switches to BBC1.

1426: "Being the youngest takes a bit of the pressure off," says the only amateur jockey in the Grand National, Nick Scholfield, 18, who goes on the outsider Cornish Sett. His mum and dad are at Aintree. I wonder who's most nervous.

1421: The Maghull Novices Chase is won by the favourite Tidal Bay, beating Takeroc despite some slightly iffy jumping. He joins Our Vic as a winner of the Cheltenham Festival who has gone on to win here. Winning jockey Denis O'Regan is on the quietly fancied Bewleys Berry for the big race.
Aintree results

1411: I've had another quick look at the latest odds, and Hedgehunter is extremely popular, right down to 11-1 with a couple of bookmakers. Can't see him winning under such a huge weight though, but I can imagine him snatching a place, if that makes sense.

"He's only a small horse so I won't go asking big questions early in the race. We know he's won over four miles in the past so hopefully he'll like the conditions."
Simon's jockey Dominic Elsworth on BBC2

1406: Clare Balding has had her hair done by Mr Pointment's owner, who funnily enough is a hairdresser. And very lovely it is too.

Two people have just texted us on 81111 to tell us they are backing Simon. Unfortunately one of their comments are not printable on a family website. The other says: "Please come in, Simon. I am carrying 90 of the queens finest into this."

"I think Slim Pickings has a very, very good chance and the ground will help him. It's perfect ground out there, the overnight rain didn't make any difference."
BBC TV analyst Richard Dunwoody

1359: We have a new starter for the Grand National this year, after a chaotic opening to the race 12 months ago. The man in charge, Sean McDonald, has been explaining the system on TV. Apparently there's a crucial 15-yard gap between his rostrum and the tape and that should ensure they get away first time.

1349: We have the result of the first race of the day - Pearl King beats Khachaturian by about half a dozen lengths to win the John Smith's Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle.
Aintree results

"I've personally had a 5 each-way punt on Turko, the trainer reckons its run very nicely in preperation for the national on similar fences in Ireland. Could it be the surprise package?"
scuffer_uk on 606
Yes, Paul Nicholls has been "bullish" about Turko. Also he has had four winners in the first two days here - OB

1340: Something fairly sensational is happening in the market for the Grand National. Comply or Die has been heavily backed all morning and is now as short as 7-1 with Blue Square. The same firm are offering 13-2 about Cloudy Lane, so right now there's every chance the long-term favourite may not start the race favourite. I bet you didn't expect that.

1333: Congratulations due to Clare Twemlow - I hope I've spelt that right - who has won the charity "people's race" on Zabeel Palace, open to members of the public.

"I've put 3 on Kelami each way 50-1. I am new to this and loving it! Wish me luck!"
Well Tom, I've had a bit of each-way on Kelami as well. I have also backed Cloudy Lane and Comply or Die, and have Vodka Bleu and Hi Cloy in two separate sweepstakes. Possibly over-egging the pudding, but hey this is the Grand National - OB

I'm getting lots of chat from you on the 606 message boards already, which is good news. Nice observation here from anubisrich: "Cloudy Lane is being backed heavily but the bookies are certain it will lose so are standing firm on the price. Excellent tactic, the punters are going to be mugged today. Simply doesn't have the stamina."
Your tips for the big race

1320: Interesting interview with Jason Maguire, Cloudy Lane's jockey, on BBC2 - the live coverage on TV has just started by the way. I would say from his body language that he's already very nervous, and why wouldn't he be? "It hasn't been that much in my mind," he says. Yeah, right Jason.

1310: Welcome to what promises to be a fascinating Grand National. Cloudy Lane is now available at an almost generous 13-2, so people are looking around for better value. The news from the racecourse is that there was rain overnight, softening the going a touch. They expect a record crowd of 70,000 at Aintree.

"If there's a last-minute plunge for Cloudy Lane, Hedgehunter - who's been here before - or one of the Irish horses like King Johns Castle, we could end up with a losing Grand National. And that does make or break a year, with the ability to make tens of millions of pounds and the ability to lose it as well."
William Hill spokesman David Hood on BBC 5 Live

see also
Master Minded stunned by Voy Por
04 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Kauto beaten on comeback outing
03 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing

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