Mullins Says Grey Has ‘A Good Chance’ In Aintree Opener Today

Watch the 14h45 Grand National Festival opener

There is South African interest at Aintree today with the gutsy Il Etait Temps carrying the familiar yellow and purple of the Hollywood Syndicate in partnership with the Kieswetter family’s Barnane Stud in the 14h45 Grand National Festival opener, the Close Brothers Manifesto Gr1 Novices’ Chase.

Trainer Willie Mullins said that his charge, who will be ridden by Paul Townend, moves up to two and a half miles today.

“I don’t think he’ll have a problem staying. He will like the ground and I don’t anticipate any problems for him around Aintree. I think he has a good chance,” said the top conditioner.

Ridgemont’s Wayne Kieswetter and Il Etait Temps (Pic – Supplied)

There was no change in the Aintree going for day one today with the hurdle and chase track described as soft, heavy in places.

The Merseyside track received 1.2 millimetres of rain overnight, ensuring conditions remain on the testing side for the three-day festival.

Clerk of the course Sulekha Varma said: “It was quite blustery yesterday evening which helped to dry the surface a touch but we had some rain overnight which means we’ve kept the going the same.

“A predominantly dry is forecast today. There is the possibility of a light shower during the day but it is more unlikely than likely and showers are forecast tonight. I think the horses will get through the ground fine today. If it stays dry, it might become harder work later on and tomorrow as the ground will be a bit more dead.”

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