State of Play on course for seasonal debut in the Grand National

Published: 10:10 04/04/2011

Evan William’s trained State of Play is set for one final piece of work on Monday before making his seasonal debut in this weekend’s John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree.

William’s 11-year-old has not raced since finishing third behind Don’t Push It in last year’s National, but the trainer is satisfied with the horse’s condition after completing the serious part of his preparations for the race.

"He did his final piece of work on Saturday and he will have a school on Monday morning, but everything is good and we're happy with him," said the trainer.

"We've got a nice bit of grass we use in the spring and summer on some low-lying ground and he had a spin round there. He seemed happy and well.

"Paul (Moloney) has only been riding him very occasionally. He comes down and rides out once a week but we try to keep jockeys away from the place!

State of Play attempts to make it three times lucky in the Grand National on Saturday, in 2009, he ran in his first National carrying 11st 2lbs when he finished fourth behind 100/1 chance Mon Mome after being hampered. Last year he raced with 10st 11lbs when grabbing third place in the closing stages and will be 10lbs better off with winner Don’t Push It for the 25 lengths beating.

The going was good, good to soft in places on Sunday and with only a possibility of rain in the next few days, the course will be watered, if needed, to maintain the current ground conditions.

Williams’s commented; "I'm not concerned about the ground at Aintree. There might be a drop of rain in the middle of the week, it will be good fresh ground and there will be no excuses on that side."

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