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Realistic Mouse Morris plays down chances of Grand National double

Trainer Mouse Morris feels the pressure is off as he prepares to fire a twin assault on Saturday's Randox Health Grand National in a bid to win the race for the second year in succession.

The popular trainer was reduced to tears in the winner's enclosure last April after Rule The World, a horse who had twice broken his pelvis and arrived on Merseyside a maiden over fences after 13 starts, galloped to National glory in the Aintree mud.

It had been a traumatic 12 months for the County Tipperary handler following the tragic death of his son, Christopher, the previous summer.

Rule The World's National triumph completed a remarkable couple of weeks for Morris, with Rogue Angel having landed the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday.

Wind the clock forward a year and the trainer is set to be double-handed at Aintree, with Rogue Angel joined by another former Irish National winner in Thunder And Roses.

But with no trainer having saddled back-to-back winners since Red Rum landed the first two of his three Nationals for Ginger McCain in 1973-74, Morris is not getting carried away.

He said: "We're going there with no pressure as the likelihood of winning it two years in a row is probably non-existent.

"They're two Irish National winners and I don't think the ground will be an inconvenience to either of them."

Confirming jockey plans, Cooper added: " I think Bryan Cooper rides Rogue Angel and Mark Enright will ride Thunder And Roses."

Ruby Walsh, who is a twice a National winner, was happy with the condition of Pleasant Company during a workout at the Curragh on Tuesday.

He told RTE Radio: "I rode Pleasant Company in his last serious piece of work before the Grand National at the Curragh. He went well and I'm happy with him. He will just have a couple of canters between now and Thursday before he travels to Aintree."

Derek Fox is thrilled to make his competitive comeback at Carlisle, just three days before taking the ride on One For Arthur.

The 24-year-old has been sidelined by injury since suffering a fall at Carlisle on March 9, but returns to the saddle with two rides at the Cumbria circuit on Wednesday.

Fox said: "I'm 100 per cent sound and I'm just looking forward to getting back now.

"I schooled One For Arthur (on Tuesday) and he went really well. Lucinda (Russell, trainer) was delighted with him.

"He definitely goes there with a big chance and you just have to hope you get a bit of luck on the day and everything goes well.

"It would be incredible to win it."


From Belfast Telegraph