Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shock as Oscar Time ruled out of Grand National

Sam Waley-Cohen was understandably very upset at the news that the gallant Oscar Time who carried him into a superb second place behind Ballabriggs in the 2011 John Smith’s Grand Nationa has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season after sustaining a leg injury, writes Elliot Slater.

Joint-favourite with last year’s big race hero at 16/1 in the ante-post horse racing betting list for this year’s renewal of the ‘world’s greatest steeplechase’, the Martin Lynch-trained 11-year-old had been trained specifically with a return trip to Aintree in mind and had not been seen in action since contesting a staying novice hurdle at Naas in November where he was far from discredited in finishing fourth behind the very useful Zaidpour.

Horse racing betting tips has expected him to reappear following the publications of the weights for the Grand National in mid-February, Waley-Cohen had eagerly been looking forward to being reunited with the horse owned by his father Robert who gave him such a tremendous spin over the awesome fences at the Liverpool track last spring, racing up with the pace for most of the way then coming to challenge at the elbow on the long and tortuous run from the final fence. In the end Lynch’s gelding couldn’t get by Donald McCain’s runner as the pair pulled a long way clear of the rest and went down to a brave defeat by just two-and-a-quarter-lengths.

Although he hasn’t won since landing the extremely valuable Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown’s 2009 Christmas meeting Oscar Time has run a number of other fine races in defeat, notably when second to Bluesea Cracker in the 2010 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse and when third to The Midnight Club in last season’s Grade 2 At the Races Bobbyjo Chase at the same track.

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