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Waley-Cohen awaits big chance

By Graham Clark

Sam Waley-Cohen, the most successful current jockey over the Crabbie's Grand National fences, is on the look-out for a ride in this year's race on Saturday.

Waley-Cohen was originally suspended on National day after he received a seven-day ban at Carlisle last month, but the 33-year-old was given a reprieve by the British Horseracing Authority due to an ambiguous wording of the rules.

The Gold Cup winning-jockey, who has six victories to his name over the famous fences, had his best finish in the National itself when second aboard Oscar Time in 2011.

Waley-Cohen said: "I don't have a ride yet but things might change along the way.

"We've not got one lined up for the National but you never know what might come out of the woodwork.

"It just goes to show that most trainers have jockeys in the yard they can put up. When they are looking for someone you hope they can see past the amateur label. It is such a good-quality race this year that you would be thrilled to ride anything capable of getting into the race."

Waley-Cohen has selected last year's winner Many Clouds as the horse he would most like to partner if he had the choice.

He said: "I thought Many Clouds was fantastic last year.

"It would just be great to see him win back-to-back Nationals and, to me, he is in the right place at the head of the market.

"I think it is the way he jumps and travels while he just shows that he has got the courage and stamina.

"Leighton Aspell is a great jockey around the course and he run well at Kelso so he would definitely be the one I would like to be on."

Trainer Jim Best has been disqualified for four years and jockey Paul John banned for a period of 150 days, having been found guilty of breaching the rules regarding the running and riding of two horses in December of last year.

Best and his former conditional rider John faced the British Horseracing Authority's disciplinary panel last month over the performances of Echo Brava at Plumpton on December 14 and Missile Man at Towcester on December 17. Barry Geraghty is to appeal the 30-day ban he was issued at Limerick following his ride aboard Noble Emperor.

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