Published: 08:50 06/04/2011
Leading Irish trainer Dermot Weld will have his first Grand National runner for 16 years after declaring Majestic Concorde will run in the John Smiths-sponsored race on Saturday.
The Curragh handler is best known for his flat racing achievements having saddled a string of classic winners across Europe and in America. Under National Hunt rules he won the Irish Grand National with Perris Valley in 1988 but has never won the Aintree showpiece.
Weld went close with Greasepaint who twice finished second in 1983 and 1984, his last Grand National runner was in 1995 when Ebony Jane who finished 12th behind Jenny Pitman’s Royal Athlete.
Majestic Concorde schooled with amateur jockey Robbie McNamara aboard and was given the go-ahead after a pleasing session. Weld confirmed: "He's a definite runner on Saturday and Robbie McNamara rides. He's very well."
McNamara will be having his first Grand National ride and is looking forward to partnering the eight-year-old who has won three of his seven races over fences.
"He's a 100-plus rated horse on the Flat - he won the GPT Galway Handicap and was fourth in the Chester Cup," said the jockey. He won the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown off top weight, that was his last run. He's a horse that runs best fresh.
"I schooled him last week over two Grand National fences at the Curragh and he jumped super. He's a great attitude and he stays well. He has plenty of class for it and, fingers crossed, with a bit of luck you never know what could happen."
Majestic Concorde is best price at 33/1 with online bookmaker William Hill, who like most firms, now go non-runner no bet for the Grand National.