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McManus bags National cracker

Last year's winning owner JP McManus has added to his team for this season's John Smith's Grand National with the purchase of Bluesea Cracker.

The nine-year-old mare, who won the Irish National last April from Oscar Time for the Note The Link Syndicate, will remain in the care of trainer James Motherway.

McManus was already due to be represented by 2010 winner Don't Push It, French import Quolibet and Can't Buy Time, with Arbor Supreme and Synchronised other possibles.

"It's fantastic to be teamed up with Mr McManus for the first time and great that she stays in the yard, hopefully it's exciting times ahead," said Motherway.

"If she's as lucky for him as she was for the previous owners we'll be happy. They had a fantastic time with her and while I'm sad to see them go, the flip side for us is that such a big owner is in the yard. He seems to be a very loyal owner and hopefully it can be a good partnership.

"Everything is on track with the horse. I couldn't be happier. She had a school over an Aintree fence on Friday morning, which went well.

"We could just do with a shower of rain. People have been asking me if she needs it really soft. She doesn't, good to soft would be fine."

Lucinda Russell has been putting the finishing touches to Silver By Nature's preparations but admits she would like to see a lot more rain in the Liverpool area.

She told At The Races: "He's had his last piece of decent work up the all-weather and he looks fantastic. We'll put a bit of spruce over one of our fences and he'll pop over that.

"It's how he gets on on the day, but he jumps very well in his races and was brilliant around Haydock the other day. I hope it's very soft ground and we are following every single weather forecast looking for precipitation over Liverpool."

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